Dec 13, 2011


I never thought that in my lifetime I would disagree with anything that Martin Sherman wrote. But, I guess there is a first time for everything.

If I understood the point of his excellent article in the December 9, 2011 Jerusalem Post (p. 23) it is that Begin was wrong to sign the peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, and withdraw from all of Sinai, because look at the situation today!

According to him Begin should have foreseen this possibility and not withdrawn from all of Sinai, which means, to be fair, not have peace with Egypt. He sees the cup as empty or half empty. I want to give some reasons why it can also be seen as half full.

1. The agreement survived the assassination of Sadat, which was not a given.

2. Egypt sat quietly by when Israel launched "Operation Peace for Galilee" otherwise known as the First Lebanese War, advanced all the way to Beirut and drove Arafat off to Tunis.

3. Egypt also sat by when Israel destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad, Iraq.

4. The peace agreement broke up the Egyptian alliance with Syria, which has never been resumed.

5. Israel remains to this day in military control of Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"). No one enters or leaves it without inspection by and consent of Israel's authorities.

6. When the Egyptian mob threatened to lynch the security guards in the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, they were rescued by an elite Egyptian military unit in an action coordinated with the US and Israeli governments, and returned safely to Israel.

These are all elements of the "half full" cup which must be considered together with the "half empty" elements, which Sherman cites so correctly.

On the other hand he is absolutely on target when he writes that we must not repeat the withdrawals on the Syrian front and in Judea and Samaria. In those areas geography leaves not the slightest margin for error.

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