In a press conference in Washington on April 30th U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that Egypt is not at peace with Israel.
In response to reporter's question about what is now being called the "Arab League land swap proposal" Kerry declared:
"This is literally a statement by the Arab world that they are prepared to make peace providing the Palestinians [sic] and Israelis reach a final status agreement. I don't think you can underestimate the — I don't underestimate the significance of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, [United] Arab Emirates, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, and others coming to the table and saying, 'We are prepared to make peace now in 2013' ..."
A simple question: If Egypt and Jordan are already "at peace" with Israel than how can they be saying, "We are prepared to make peace now in 2013 ..."
Kerry said what everyone really knows. That is, Egypt may not be in a state of war with Israel right at this moment. And Egypt may have not taken overt military action against Israel since the 1970s but that is a far cry from peace.
Egypt's stance towards Israel is now (and was throughout the Mubarak era) one that can only be truly categorized as adversarial.
The United States and Canada are at peace. Israel and Egypt?
It should also be mentioned that Egypt's mass media is notoriously anti-Semitic and has remained stridently so since the Camp David Accords. In 2002, the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] reported that the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion "Emerge[d] as key theme [on an] Egyptian TV Series." There had been numerous other examples of similar things throughout Mubarak's rule. Anti-Semitic images were frequently used during the Arab Spring riots in Cairo. (See this author's January 2011 article about anti-Semitism during the Egyptian Revolution.)
This was not a mere slip of the tongue for Kerry. He knows full well that Egypt's peace with Israel is a sham. What's worse is that the State Department expects Israel to continue to negotiate away the strategic depth that it won in battle to neighbors that have never shown even the slightest interest in being neighborly or peaceful. The dangers to Israel have been compounded over the last two years as nations throughout the Arab world have shown remarkable instability. Kerry has admitted what everyday Israelis have always known: their peace agreement with Egypt is a piece of paper that means nothing to the average Egyptian.
The territory that Israel gained in 1967 provided it with strategic depth that proved to be vital to Israel's ability to defend itself.
Israel's standing army is a small percentage of its military strength. The territory that Kerry would have Israel swap takes time for enemy forces to cross and allows the Israeli army reserve to be called up and enter combat. This is something the Arab world learned in 1973 during the first days of the Yom Kippur War.
Prime Minister Netanyahu fought on the front lines in that war. Let's hope he never forgets that those lands saved Israel's cities from destruction then and may have to serve the same purpose again.
[Source Moshe Phillips]