During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Israel, his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, emitted the following pearl of wisdom: “The peace treaty with Egypt saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides.”
Of the two countries against whom Israel fought the last all-out war – Egypt and Syria – only Egypt made “peace” with us. According to Peres’s logic, we should have had hundreds of thousands of fatalities on the Syrian front since the Yom Kippur War. But just the opposite is true. The Golan Heights that borders on Syria is actually the quietest frontier in Israel, with zero fatalities. By contrast, Israel’s south is bleeding – and has been for years.
For those who did not cheer the emperor whose new clothes were conspicuously absent – both in Menachem Begin’s Camp David Accords and in the Rabin/Peres Oslo Accords – the current developments in Egypt come as no surprise. There is not, and never has been, peace between Israel and Egypt. Iran and Syria fight us in the north through their Hizbullah proxy. Egypt fights us in the south with its Hamas proxy. If the Egyptians had wanted, they could have stopped the convoys of Katyusha rockets and all the other armaments from streaming into Gaza from the Sinai.
Many Israelis, both soldiers and civilians, have lost their lives on the Egyptian border. Israel’s entire southern region is now under fire by merit of this “peace.” And this is so without even mentioning the civilian price that we have paid for “peace” with Egypt: trafficking in drugs and women, infiltrators from Africa, and other miserable side effects.
The Israeli “peace industry” made sure to keep up the adulation for the emperor’s new clothes. They blocked the development of Israeli gas fields so that Israel would continue to purchase oil (that was discovered in the Sinai and developed by Israel after the Six-Day War) and gas from Egypt. This arrangement padded the pockets of Egyptian top brass and also those of some select Israelis, who made sure to present a thin facade of pseudo-normal relations with Egypt. We are still paying the price of this arrangement with our outsized electric bills and severe air pollution.
The entire lie of peace with Egypt is now exploding in our faces, and that is just fine. Hopefully, it will not cost lives to restore our southern border to the kind of peace we have on our Syrian border: peace based on the IDF’s deterrence.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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