As the Sinai Goes, so Too the Golan Heights?

The new status quo in the Middle East is one of porous borders, growing radicalization and the fragmentation of once stable nation-states

  • Share
  • Read Later
Sebastian Scheiner / AP

Israeli Meir Elakry looks toward Syria at an army outpost in the Golan Heights on July 23, 2012

The overnight air strikes by the Egyptian military against rebels based on Egyptian territory in Sinai on Wednesday would have alarmed Israeli security chieftains, confirming that Cairo has lost control of the desert territory over which the two countries fought three wars and is now mounting a full-blown military campaign to reassert its authority. Egypt’s military — which operates independently of its elected civilian government — was spurred to action after border posts were targeted in a series of attacks on Sunday and Tuesday by what are believed to be jihadist groups looking to stage attacks on Israel. The same organizations are also attempting to undermine the authority of the Egyptian military, the fledgling government of President Mohamed Morsy — a longtime Muslim Brotherhood leader — and the Hamas administration that runs the adjacent Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

(MORE: What’s Behind the Unrest in Egypt’s Rogue Province?)

But this is hardly the only flash point in a region in flux. The spectacle of nonstate actors exploiting the fraying of state authority to assert their own agendas would have given the guardians of Israel’s security even more cause for alarm over events unfolding on their northern frontier, where the regime of Syria’s President Bashar Assad is losing control over vast swaths of territory, creating operating space for all manner of independent actors, including jihadists of various stripes.

The latest Sinai confrontation began on Sunday with a dramatic raid on an Egyptian-army border post that left 16 soldiers dead. The attackers stole an armored personnel carrier and crashed through the border into Israel before being killed in an Israeli air strike. They were later found to have been wearing suicide bombers’ explosive vests, signaling an intent to spread mayhem on the Israeli side of the border. Walking back on an initial claim by its U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren, that Iran had been behind the attack, the Israeli military blamed al-Qaeda. Egypt’s military appeared to reach a similar conclusion, but said the attackers were based both in Sinai and the Palestinian territory of Gaza, where the control of Hamas is being challenged by al-Qaeda-inspired militants, among others. Hamas and its allies in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood furiously condemned the attack, but in a throwback to the paranoid style of the Mubarak era, blamed it on the Israelis themselves, claiming a dark plot to sow discord between Cairo and Gaza.

The discrepancy between those statements obviously reflects competing political agendas. But it’s certainly clear that the attacks were intended to further strain the already fragile relationship between Israel and the Egyptian military, disrupt the nascent post-Mubarak domestic political order in Egypt, provoke confrontation with Israel and challenge the authority of Hamas in Gaza, where there have been recent moves to ease Israel’s six-year siege and blockade of the territory. After Sunday’s raid, the Egyptian military began closing the smuggling tunnels that have been Gaza’s economic lifeline.

Sinai’s Bedouin population has complained of decades of neglect by the Egyptian state, making it an economically depressed zone in which smuggling and criminality has thrived — as well as a more permissive environment for small jihadist groups. But the February 2011 uprising that dispatched Mubarak also saw a dramatic weakening of state authority in Sinai, and local militants have for months conducted a low-key insurgency that has included targeting gas pipelines and other facilities, and occasional cross-border attacks on Israel.

Although the latest attacks have sparked widespread outrage in Egypt and a groundswell of support for the military, it remains to be seen whether a military show of force, including air strikes on villages said to be bases of rebels, will eliminate or exacerbate the problem. Nor will tightening the blockade on Gaza strengthen Hamas’ ability to enforce its security edicts on rival organizations.

Despite the political discord in Cairo and the poor security situation in Sinai, Israel is aware of the tacit consensus between Egypt’s military and its elected government on the need to keep and enforce the peace with Israel. However effective or otherwise efforts may be, the Israelis are confident that Cairo is committed to restoring its authority in Sinai. But the security challenge Israel will soon face on its northern frontier, however, is altogether more daunting.

(PHOTOS: Syria’s Bloody, Slow-Motion Civil War)

In Syria, the authority of the state itself has collapsed over vast swaths of territory, particularly along the borders as the regime concentrates its forces to battle rebels in the main cities. And the circumstances in the Kurdish region of northeastern Syria demonstrates how effectively nonstate actors with independent agendas have been able to exploit that situation. Syrian Kurdish groups, acting entirely independently of both the regime and the rebellion but assisted by their kin in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish province, have created militias that have taken direct control over their own turf, staking out a future autonomous Kurdish zone in Syria — much to the alarm of Turkey. Of course, Israel has nothing to fear from Kurdish self-determination in Syria, but developments in Kurdish Syria underscore the fundamental rupture in the architecture of state power that has kept a hostile but stable peace with Israel for four decades. And the Kurds are not the only nonstate actor with an agenda independent of the mainstream Syrian opposition, given the growing reports of the emergence on the battlefield of various al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups.

Syria’s borders with Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq have become increasingly porous — Sunni insurgents and jihadists once encouraged by the Assad regime to cross into Iraq from Syria are now crossing the other way, as are jihadists from Lebanon; Free Syrian Army fighters are crossing from Turkey into Syria; and PKK Kurdish separatists may be crossing the other way. Israel has good reason to be nervous about what to expect on the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory it has occupied since 1967. Israeli military-intelligence chief Major General Aviv Kochavi last month told the Knesset that unnamed “global jihad” groups (Israeli code for al-Qaeda) had begun operating on the Syrian side of the Golan, from which the Assad regime had pulled thousands of troops for deployment against the rebellion. “The Golan area is liable to become an arena of operations against Israel in much the same way the Sinai is today, and that’s a result of the increasing entrenchment of global jihad in Syria,” Kochavi told a Knesset committee, according to the Associated Press.

Unlike the Sinai, which was returned to Egypt in 1980 under the Camp David peace agreement, the Golan Heights remain under occupation, and a more representative government that replaced Assad would, if anything, be even more insistent on securing their return to Syrian control. The Syrian National Council, the mainstream exile opposition group backed by the West, has made clear its commitment to seek the return of the Golan through negotiations with Israel. But the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly indicated that it has no intention of returning the Golan to Syria. The combination of the fraying of state authority as a result of the rebellion, and the broad legitimacy in Syrian society enjoyed by any effort to reclaim this contested territory, will likely create a more permissive environment for more radical elements to take root once the battles to dislodge Assad’s regime are over.

Indeed, as Assad’s power crumbles, the Israeli leadership may well find itself quietly experiencing an improbable nostalgia for its intractable — yet entirely predictable and effectively tame — foe in Damascus.

MORE: TIME Exclusive — with Syria’s Militant Jihadists

52 comments
Jair Ben Abraham
Jair Ben Abraham

I had to laugh at the attached photo that describes the scene as:  "Israeli Meir Elakry looks toward Syria at an army outpost in the Golan Heights on July 23, 2012."

That is actually a tourist area above the town of Merom Golan on Har Bental, in the Golan Heights.  Yeah, 40+ years ago it was once an army outpost, but now tourists walk around it drinking lattes and listening to descriptions of the scenery from their tour guides. 

It is sort of like "TIME" telling one of their "stories" about the U.S. Military of 2012 and showing a photo of the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

It is interesting to imagine what the writer of the story wanted his readers to believe, when they saw this deceptive photo.

mdshams22
mdshams22

All the dirty  and heinous  activities  done by Israel/US  is going to hunt them pretty

soon.

ricardo lion
ricardo lion

  Activities done by Israel:  The elected government defends the people against Muslim Arab bloody dictatorships, medieval kingdoms and jihadi groups supported by Iran.

robertsklar
robertsklar

 Well said. How do we bring about a Palestinian state without risking a regional war. Israel's evacuation of Gaza was a disaster subjecting the people to a harsh government and causing a sucession of violence across Israel and Egypt.

robertsklar
robertsklar

 VT, I think I'm in love. How do we bring about a Palestinian state without risking a regional war. Israel's evacuation of Gaza was a disaster, causing a succession of violence with Israel, Egypt, and Turkey.

VT
VT

How indeed! :) I honestly don't know if the necessary pre-conditions are in place in Israel, today (and this is simplifying it). One of which is the will, sustained and widely enough supported by the citizens themselves, to a politically and existentially livable self-limitation and legitimacy. I know too little about what's really going on among the Palestinians themselves, too, to be able to contribute an even semi-intelligent outline of that "how".

BTW, I get replies to my posts via e-mail -- but did not get yours. Found your reply almost accidentally while checking out someone else's reply. Ah, the deficiencies of Disqus! ;)

robertsklar
robertsklar

 VT, I think I'm in love. Let's have a conversation. How do we bring the Palestinians to statehood without risking a regional war. Israel's evacuation of Gaza was a disaster and renewed violence with Egypt, Turkley, Cyprus, and Israel. That cannot be rep

 be repeated. violence in Is

ricardo lion
ricardo lion

  But 

there is already one Muslim Arab country in Palestine, in 80% of the region,

the judenrein autocratic kingdom of Jordan, given by GB to one family from Arabia plus the autonomous judenrein Gaza, ruled by a Muslim terrorist group and the most of Judea and Samaria given by stupid Israeli politicians to Egyptian Muslim Arab terrorist Arafat and is corrupt PLO.  Already 22 Muslim Arab countries.  Do we realy need anoter dictatorship, another exporter of terrorism?

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

Look at the Far East with

Chinese inflation data lifting hopes for fresh easing measures by Beijing, but

gains were limited as weak European data dented recent optimism. Wall

Street and

European traders were unable to provide a strong lead after a three-day rally

on central bank stimulus hopes lost momentum, although the euro managed to eke

out some small gains Thursday. Tokyo was up 0.43 percent by the break, Hong

Kong climbed 0.70 percent, Seoul gained 1.24 percent and Sydney was 0.22

percent higher, but Shanghai eased 0.14 percent. China on Thursday had consumer

price index at 1.8 percent year on year in July, in line with forecasts but

down from 2.2 percent in June and its slowest pace since January 2010. The

figures indicate Beijing -- which has cut interest rates twice this year and

lowered the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve -- has more room to

loosen monetary policy to kick-start the slowing economy. China. No

wonder no one predict the economy these days China’s trade growth has fallen

steadily this year as global demand for its exports cooled and efforts to boost

domestic consumption have failed to gain traction as fast as the government

hoped. The slowdown is politically dangerous for the Communist Party because it

raises the risk of job losses and unrest at a time when the ruling party is

trying to enforce calm ahead of a handover of power this year to younger

leaders. Export industries employ millions of workers and weak sales, coupled

with higher costs, have led to a wave of bankruptcies. In July, its global trade surplus narrowed by 20.3 percent from July

2011 to $25.1 billion but was this year's second biggest after June's $31.7

billion. Exports were $176.9 billion while imports were $151.8 billion. The

trade surplus with the 27-nation European Union, China's biggest trading

partner, narrowed by 37.9 percent to $10.8 billion, reflecting sluggish

European demand due to the continent's debt crisis. The surplus with the United

States narrowed by 4.8 percent to $19.9 billion. Beijing has set a goal of

increasing total trade by 10 percent this year, a target that looks

increasingly hard to meet. Trade grew 9.2 percent for the first half of the

year but the rate fell to 7.1 percent for the first seven months. If the huge economy like

China where the population is also to be taken into account I guess I have no

idea what the domino effect is I could not underline the word HOPES as the

economy is like the shirt we wear change it as soon as the grit shows or just

hide it, turn the collar, save money on the laundry I thank you Firozali A.Mulla

DBA No pun no sarcasm meant Oh boy Coyote and Dragonfly, this should be a

relationship worth talking about :) I spent hours yesterday in the garden

weeding and planting. I must say it is easier planting than weeding. I guess

that is why it is so important to be mindful about what we are thinking as once

the plant or weed is takes root it is much harder to "pull" out. And

boy oh boy those weeds sure take off just as fearful, angry or just plane

worthless thoughts can root and take off....Mindfulness is definitely needed

when coyote and dragonfly are around... How are we tricking our selves? what

illusion needs to be pierced with the light of truth? Enjoy your week with the help; of coyote and dragonfly!

 

 

 

GrandpaTarkin
GrandpaTarkin

Yeah, Assad's Syria was so tame and harmless that in 2007 Israel had to bomb its secret nuclear weapons facilities to keep Assad from getting The Bomb.

Not to mention that Israel fought (and arguably lost) a war against the Syrian proxy force Hezballah in 2006, an organization which today effectively controls all of Lebanon and is now funded and supplied by Iran.

No one should mourn the eventual passing of the dictator Assad, least of all Israel.

peterrawlins
peterrawlins

The English invaded Britain and stole the country.The Scots invaded Scotland from Ireland the Turks stole Greece from the Greek nations and the Kurds stole Armenia, and so the problems of the middle East cannot be solved by  looking at what belonged to whom in the past.

No one is looking into the real fundamental problem which is that children are being indoctrinated to believe in a magic man in the sky who hates the other magic men in the sky. This is called religion and as we learned when ignorant youngsters in the army (British),religion only causes wars.

The Catholics and Protestants of Europe shared a common heritage and yet slaughtered each other as an act of faith.

The same situation exists with Arabs and Israelis, and perhaps instead of refering to Middle East probems we should refer to Middle East Insanity

robertsklar
robertsklar

Israel will never give the Golan Heights to Syria. First of all, Syria has no legitimate claim on the Golan Heights. The Golan since antiquity has been part and parcel of the land west of the Jordan River. With good reason. Borders are demarcated by watersheds. The Golan houses the western watershed of the Jordan River. The Golan goes with the Jordan River. One of the principle reasons for the Lewis and Clark expedition was to map the watershed of the upper Missouri River. Having done so, the border between Canada (then Britsh) and the US was set. The Golan was part of the Palestine Mandate entrusted to Britain. Britain traded the Golan to France for the oil region of Kirkurk in direct contravention of Article 5 of the Mandate. The Golan Heights are a strategic defense position of Israel. Syria gave up jurisdiction over the Golan when they shelled Israel from the heights. Israel depends on the water from the Golan Heights and cannot allow its water to be out of Israel's direct control.   The media's continued reference to the Golan as occupied is nothing more than propaganda. I applaud Time's acknowledgment of the Syrian Kurds. However, Time's failure to state clearly that 30 million Kurds are under occupation by Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran is inexcusable.  Due to the law of unintended consequences, Iraqi Kurdistan has gained complete autonomy from Iraq following the Iraqi war and  Syrian occupied Kurdistan has gained the prospect of autonomy as a result of the current rebellion. It remains to be seen whether the nations of the world will respect that autonomy following Assad's demise. Time and the rest of the media must explain to the world that the Kurds are the largest ethnic group of people in the world, with their own language, history, and culture, without their own state. Kurdistan is occupied by Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. their neighbors on all sides. The US in securing freedom for the Syrians must, at the same time, guarantee self determination for the Kurds and put an end to the Turkish/Ottoman rule and Iranian rule of Kurdistan.

VT
VT

What Israel wants (direct control over its water supply from the Golan Heights) and what is legitimate and right -- and recognized as such by most of the world -- are two different things.

Let Israel mend its relations with its Arab neighbours by dealing fairly and justly with Palestinians, and it won't need to worry about either direct control over that water-supply region or the Golan as a necessary strategic defense position.

Israel's rationalizations for its occupation of the Golan Heights -- which it stole from Syria in the land-grab of 1967 -- cannot obscure the facts and their standing in international law.

robertsklar
robertsklar

Are you suggesting that Israel is a fascist state. Israel rules by consensus among numerous parties from the left to the right. By what standard do you charge Israel with Fascism????? Saudi Arabia maybe, the Taliban for sure, but Israel??? Lebanon and Syria have denied the Palestinians their fundamental civil right, including the right to work, to education, and to citizenship. There are no Palestinians being educated as doctors in Lebanon or Syria.  What do you mean by stole. Take a look at a map of Syria from 1920-1921. You will see 4 districts: Damascus, Aleppo, Alexandretta, and Alawite. You will see that the Golan Heights was not part of Syria. The Golan Heights were part of the Palestine Mandate. The British traded the Golan Heights to the French in exchange for the oil producing region of Kirkurk in Iraq. This was strictly forbidden by Article 5 of the Palestine Mandate Charter. If you look at a map of Syria today, you will see that the district of Alexandretta is not there.  The French gave Alexandretta to Turkey in exchange for assistance in WWII. The Turks evacuated by force thousands of Arabs and Armenians from Alexandretta. The French held Syria in trust as a mandate and were not allowed to alienate any of its land. Antioch, a very sacred and special place to Christians is located in Alexandretta. Syria has never recognized the transfer of Alexandretta by the French to Turkey. Please explain what you mean by stole?????

VT
VT

Am I?

I think you're projecting -- or, less innocently, using misdirection in order to suggest that I'm suggesting any such thing.

The only map of any relevance to this is the 1966 map of the region. Israel stole -- forcibly annexed -- the Golan Heghts from Syria in 1967, contravening international law.

Colonel_Green
Colonel_Green

Syria's "legitimate claim" on the Golan Heights is that it was a recognized part of Syria, and is being occupied by Israel in the aftermath of the war in contravention of international law against territorial annexation.

robertsklar
robertsklar

Are you suggesting that "recognition" makes it legitimate.  Kaliningrad was East Prussia, Germany for 700 years and Polish/Baltic f0r at least 2000 years before that. Russia grabbed it after WWII because it needed a warm water Baltic port. Does recognition make Russia's annexation legitimate or is it  the 20 million Russians murdered by the Nazis that makes the annexation legitimate. The eastern lands of Germany (including Pomerania and Silesia) became Polish after WWII. Does recognition make this legitimate or is it legitimate due to the 6 million Poles butchered by the Nazi's. Does recognition make the Chinese annexation of Tibet legitimate in spite of the fact that Tibet as a political entity and the rich Tibetan culture are at least 3000 years old.  Or is it the murder of 1,000,000 Tibetans and the exile of the Dalai Lama by the conquering Chinese army that makes the wholesale extirpation of a entire people legitimate. Maybe the fact that the Chinese hold billions of dollars of American paper makes it legitimate. Are the annexation of Texas and California legitimate because of the cruelties of Santa Ana or is it the inexorable flood of Americans flowing from the East to the West.  What international law are you referring to. Is it the one that allowed the Sudanese to murder 500,000 people and displace 3 million in Darfur. Is it the same international law that allowed the Turks to go on a rampage after WWI and murder 1.5 million Armenians, tens of thousands of Kurds and Greeks and takeover their lands. Ani, an Armenian city of 1000 churches that existed long before the Turks dropped down form central Asia, has been left in ruins and exists today as a symbol of Turkish savagery. Does recognition make Turkish genocide legitimate. When Jesus performed his miracle of walking on water in the Sea of Galilee, and of healing of the blind man, and his miracle of loaves and fishes, was he performing his miracles in Syria. The Golan Heights is an integral part of Israel by history, geography, and geology. The demilitarized zone between Israel and Syrian has kept the peace and peace in the region for 40 years and must be maintained, for that reason, if none other. 

agarron
agarron

Golan heights was territory lost to war.

Case closed.

Why did Syria lose it permanently?

Prior to war, Syrians used to shoot at Israeli farmers - for sport.

These days- they would simply resume their sport and plus shoot rockets too at innocent Israelis.

The Golan belongs to Israel- and so does 1/2 of Lebanon.

As long as the Lebanese keep the peace, they'll keep the land.

If they start war- next time, they'll lose pretty much 1/2 of Lebanon, that'll be thanx to Hezbollah

rar113
rar113

The Syrians attacked and lost that territory as a result.  They have no claim to it, legal or moral.

drorbenami
drorbenami

hey tony baloney,

i think that, just in the last 12 months, about 150 of your neighbors in brooklyn have been murdered by their fellow americans... not to mention another 300 or so who were murdered in the rest of new york city....

also, you still haven't provided us the names of the hospitals in cairo which were sending surgical teams to sinai to carve up the bodies of healthy africans attemping to migrate to israel. unless, of course, you want to insist that these body parts were removed by bedioun tribesmen using daggers as surgical instruments...

robertsklar
robertsklar

I like your sense of humor. Macabre, but to the point.

YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada

The rebel forces, in accordance with established Arab tradition, do not limit their nationalistic rhetoric to reclaiming the Golan Heights, but proclaim uncompromised hatred of the Zionist state.  This is unfortunate, especially to their chances in getting rid of Assad et al. They will have to persevere through horrors and win against superior forces by their own means, then succeed in eliminating the Al-Qaeda and other “Jihadists” challenge and prove they can maintain a trustable political stability – before they come to the negotiation table. If they could convince Israel that they seek real peace, (more convincing than Egypt ever tried to be, even during Mubarak Time) the Golan Heights will not be an insurmountable obstacle. And with a little help from Israel, the fall of Assad is a foregone conclusion within days. But it seems they can’t break the mold after using it for so many years.   

robertsklar
robertsklar

 "Golan is not insurmountable" What are you talking about!!!!! Israel will never give the Golan Heights to Syria or anyone else. Why do you even bring that up????

moderate Guy
moderate Guy

That's because, pace nonsensical claptrap from Western "analysts" and "commentators", with exception of Israel, there are no "nation-states" in Middle East. And even Israel has a large minority inside the state that does not identify itself with the "nation". Elsewhere, of course, we are now seeing the true picture of Middle eastern states cobbled together by the colonial powers. Syria is breaking up into Arab, Alawite and Kurd sectors, Iraq, whatever the Arab Sunni and Shiite will decide in the end, has Kurds, unhappily stitched to the Arab entity. Libya is a patchwork of tribes, many of whom hate each other. In Egypt, the Copts - descendants of the original Egyptians from before Arab conquest - add religious differences to national ones.

The "stability" of Middle East states was created by oppressive security apparatus, of whichever nation/tribe/sect was in power in a given state at the time, much like in communist Yugoslavia. Until the true national aspirations are addressed in Middle East, this 'stability" will only last as long as people live in fear of the proverbial "knock on the door in the middle of the night", half-wit prattling of Western victims of public education notwithstanding.

VT
VT

Bah! The same could be said of the UK, for example: Celtic tribes in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, some Briton tribes and the Angles and Saxons, all just patched together by the force of arbitrary and often enough, historically speaking, heinously brutal political "authority."

It's time to drop the "nation" bit and simply talk of states.

moderate Guy
moderate Guy

Which is why Scotland is clamoring for independence, Ireland has it (Northern Ireland is a bunch of transplanted Scots who aren't sure what to do), and Wales clings to its weird language.

moderate Guy
moderate Guy

The basic dishonesty of such people, and those who see nothing wrong with their approach... hint:that would be you, is, indeed, amazing, though not in a good way.

VT
VT

I'm sure it does amaze you....

moderate Guy
moderate Guy

Oh, I would imagine adapt to the culture of the host country or leave for a place that suits them better.

It always amazes me that people immigrate to other countries and then promptly declare how much they dislike their new country, its culture, its mores and customs, and how much they want to stick to their own.

VT
VT

Back to tribalism, in other words. And what will the new tribes do with all the "strangers" among them that have come in, in the meantime?

moderate Guy
moderate Guy

Well, that's (one of) the problem with the likes of you; you assume things, you repeat mindlessly the leftish talking points about "regressive" this or that, you don't think for yourself. You really ought to try it sometimes, it's liberating. (I'm not a denizen of OK, by any means, visited it once, didn't like it much).

The "craze", as you clumsily put it to create nations, in Europe and elsewhere, is a natural and normal idea of people to wish to reside among other of the same culture, the same worldview, people among whom they can build a civil society; not be atomized, and sandwiched into giant multi-culti monstrosities lorded over by bureaucratic fiat.

VT
VT

Of course. But I do think it's regressive, unnecessary, all that clamouring for "independence" -- now. Forms of regional autonomy, yes -- that makes excellent sense for some things, of course. [Ireland is a slightly different matter, so I'm not referring to it here.] The recent craze for the cration of small ethnic (nation) states in Europe and elsewhere strike me as historically and politically regressive, and that island of yours (I assume you are a denizen of the UK) is itself a geographic unit of such moderate size that a kind of federalism should surely be perfectly workable among the different "tribes". And let Wales cling to "its weird language": the more, the merrier, I say :)

robertsklar
robertsklar

 Truer words have never been spoken!!!!! In the next 100 years the map of the middle east will be completely rewritten starting with the unification of disparate parts of occupied Kurdistan and the reunification of North and South Azerbaijan. The independence of Darfur. The breakup of  Iraq into its true constituencies. Perhaps the independence of all the nations of the Caucasus. The list goes on I'm sure.

ACraigs
ACraigs

Israel has offered to return the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for a peace agreement multiple times. These offers were rebuffed by the Assads.  Perhaps the Israelis should be glad of that.  Perhaps they will be able to negotiate with a new government in Syria that can focus more on the success of the Syrian people instead of trying to take over Lebanon, "drive the Jews into the sea" and "reclaim Jerusalem."

Tammiendw
Tammiendw

David replied I didnt even know that a single mom able to get paid $4664 in one month on the network. have you look this(Click on menu Home)

George Hoffman
George Hoffman

I guess you could say the champagne bubbles from the Arab Spring have definitely gone flat in the flute glasses. And things will continue to unfold in unexpected ways now that Egypt is lurching toward some kind of democracy. It bodes ill for the region, which is a virtual powder keg with the civil war in Syria. Hopefully the spark will not be ignited.  But I doubt it. 

GrandpaTarkin
GrandpaTarkin

 No, it does not bode ill for the region. The only hope of long-term stability, peace and prosperity in the region is democratization. All revolutions are messy two-steps-forward-one-step-back affaires, but they are also the only way to get lasting, fundamental, change.

Every dictator who falls should be greeted with enthusiasm by the West, even, and I want to make this very clear, EVEN if it means having islamists are voted to power.

VT
VT

If you step back for a second and give it another thought, you might agree that your argument, presented in the first paragraph of your post, breaks apart under the irresolvable contradiction in the second: you can't have democratization with Islamists in power. [Just as you couldn't have democracy with national socialists, although they were voted into power.]

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

One thing is a proven fact. Any time Israel gives back occupied territory in hopes of peace, such as it has done in the Sinai, southern Lebanon, and the Gaza strip, all it has gotten in return is more terrorist activity and suicide bombings against its people. The fallacy of "land for peace" is well established. Until peace treaties are signed with ALL parties, Israel should not yield one more inch of occupied land to its enemies.

AS85
AS85

The Arab League invited former Israeli PM Olmert to address them and discuss the terms of the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative (the regional peace you seek). Olmert turned it down and decided to pursue a bi-lateral agreement with the Palestinians. As such, Israel can, if it desires, take the necessary steps to secure a regional peace. But that would constitute the end to Settlement expansion; which we all know, the right-wing Israelis won't relent . 

Colonel_Green
Colonel_Green

Er, the return of the Sinai was a huge success.

rar113
rar113

He probably should have said "unilateral" cession of territory.  And the return of Sinai has been a mixed success, as we are now seeing.  The reason it was a success of course is that the peace agreement was in both sides' interest.  In the other instances, including, one might add, the Oslo "accords," the unilateralism only provoked the attacks we've been seeing for the last 20 years or so.

As far as the Golan goes, it was ceded by the British to the French in the aftermath of WW I, and given the Syrians' history when they had possession, I wouldn't expect any Israeli government to cede it back.

Marisolbbh
Marisolbbh

Jane explained I'm amazed that anybody can profit $6639 in a few weeks on the network. have you look this(Click on menu Home)

Terrence1
Terrence1

The article does not note that Cairo is prohibited (due to the terms of Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai, which they occupied and placed settlements in a few decades ago) from putting its military in the Sinai, and seeks to change this due to the latest trouble there. Will Israel abide a large Egyptian force so close to the border? Cairo seeks to change the current agreement. 

robertsklar
robertsklar

 Militarization of the Sinai will result in a regional conflict. The Egyptian economy  is in a state of collapse. The Saudis refuse to bail out Egypt and are looking for the Mursi to be voted out of office. (Query: Can that happen without a new Arab Spring?) Mursi by re-militarization of the Sinai can threaten war with Israel and gain leverage with the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Street. We must not allow this to happen. A demilitarized Sinai has allowed a cessation of hostilities for 40 years.

Pellam
Pellam

 What will Cairo offer to Israel in exchange for this concession? The least they can do is agree to warmer relations, as that was part of the original agreement anyway.

robertsklar
robertsklar

My dear friend Pellam, there is nothing that Cairo could ever offer Israel in exchange for acquiescence to Egyptian troops on the border of Israel. The "warmer" relations between Israel and Egypt are a direct result of the demilitarization of the Sinai.

Nasser56
Nasser56

 There is NO concession... Sinai is part of Egypt and they can do what they want in their own country .. i think that is what Sovereignty is all about ! Israel would do well to ignore this and concentrate on keeping the interests of its neighbors a priority or have to face increasing hostility and return to isolation again. The agreement is not unchangeable and now due to many factors, needs updating if not, as some factions demand, outright cancellation !