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Silver Lining in the Sinai

If you take the media at its word, things are heating up along the border between Egypt and Israel, where several Israelis and Palestinians have been killed in recent days.

The recent outbreaks are the latest in a series of incidents along what was once a quiet frontier. Israel has complained of lawlessness and cross-border terrorist attacks from the Sinai, and a recent conflict between a terrorist group and Egyptian and Israeli security forces in southern Israel led to a rare diplomatic crisis between the two neighbors. In Israel, there have been fears that Islamists will come to power and scrap the peace treaty that a majority of Egyptians oppose.

Perhaps, and Israelis are legitimately concerned. However, as the military reasserts control in Cairo, the present violence on the border may start to fade away. The perpetrators are suspected to be Palestinian terrorist groups taking advantage of the chaos in revolutionary Egypt to cross borders and cause strife between Israel and Egypt.

If recent events mean that stability is returning to Egypt, worries of a new war over Sinai may be put on hold.

Military rule has its drawbacks, and Via Meadia hopes that Egypt will soon find its way to a stable and liberal democratic order. But in the meantime, we should note that the Egyptian military kept the peace with Israel for 30 years and provided security in the Sinai; as and if the military regains control of the country, it is likely to continue to keep the border quiet.

Like a great many armies around the world, the Egyptian military does not want war and at a time of great economic stress and political uncertainty, it especially does not want a war that would kill the tourist trade and bring foreign investment to a screeching halt. Stability in Cairo most likely means peace in Sinai; let’s see how things work out.

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  • vanderleun

    Well, what it wants and what it gets can well be two different things. Sometimes we have to deal with the fact that things are in the saddle, etc.

    Right now it seems to me that the whole world has to deal with the plain fact that, like it or not, the thing is under the boat.

  • Mark in Texas

    The underlying truth about Egypt is that in the global economy, Egyptians have less ability to buy food than Chinese pigs (or at least the farmers who buy grain to feed those pigs).

    If an Islamist government achieves real control in Egypt, that fact is going to be a lot more relevant.

  • Kris

    Mark@2: Why did you have to ruin it by adding the parenthetical statement? 🙂

    [Racism is bad, mmkay?]

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