Saturday, January 29, 2011

So what about Israel?

Assuming that the unrest in Egypt leads, sooner or later, to the departure of Hosni Mubarak from the scene, what does that mean for Israel? As American-Israeli commentator Caroline Glick argues, no matter what scenario you choose, the news is bad.

Essentially, for decades the Egyptian government has defended its highly unpopular peace treaty with Israel by tolerating if not promoting anti-semitism in Egypt which today has reached phenomenal levels.

At the same time, as part of the Camp David accords, for the last thirty years the United States has been arming and training the Egyptian military. As a result, she writes, "the Egyptian military today makes the military Israel barely defeated in 1973 look like a gang of cavemen. Egypt has nearly 300 F-16s. Its main battle tank is the M1A1 which it produces in Egypt. Its navy is largest in the region. Its army is twice the size of the IDF. Its air defense force constitutes a massive threat to the IAF. And of course, the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons it has purchased from the likes of North Korea and China give it a significant stand-off mass destruction capability."

So what about El Baradei, who is emerging as a likely rival to Mubarak? Well, he just spent years at the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency protecting Iran's nascent nuclear weapons program. And he is close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which now appears to back him. In another report, Michel Garrote reports that Bedouins have attacked Egyptian police stations. They are suspected of acting as mercenaries and smuggling arms to Hamas, which has ties to Iran. In other words, many signs point to substantial Iranian meddling in Egyptian affairs.

If you add to this assessment the ascendancy of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel's mid-term prospects for avoiding war are bleak; those for achieving peace are less than zero.

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