Friday, September 09, 2011

Egyptian Sinai's Future of Maintaining Contracts with Israel and Jordan
Nadene Goldfoot
According to the Jewish "Tanakh" or bible, the Israelites crossed the Sinai Peninsula during the Exodus in 1313 BCE.  Since then it has been in Egypt's hands, and then became part of  the Ottoman Empire.

In 1948 Egypt invaded Israel from the Sinai.  In 1956 Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal and stopped Israeli ships from entering.  Israel, Britain and Franced then invaded the Sinai and occupied the peninsula.  This led to the U.N. Emergency Forces to take over the area.

In 1967 Egypt blockaded Eilat and ordered the UN forces out.  This was the beginning of the Six Day War where Egypt's army was defeated by Israel who then took over the peninsula.  A Peace treaty was signed in 1979 and Israel withdrew totally by 1982.  Since then from Sadat to Mubarak's rule, there has been peace between Egypt and Israel, even allowing tourism to happen.  Two of my friends from the Ulpan were tourists in Egypt from 1980 to 85. 

Now we have the "Arab Spring" where Mubarak, dying, has been on trial where Egyptians have taken over his helm of rule.  With the Muslim Brotherhood being the best organized group, I see them taking over.  Their charter is strickly anti-Israel, anti- Jewish so this is not a welcome to Israel.  Already their gas supplies have been sabatoged that service both Israel and Jordan.  The first time was February 5th, then there was a foiled attack in March. There was an explosion at the pumping station along the pipeline at Nagah.  Armed men with machine guns came in a small truck and forced the guards to leave.  Then they planted explosive charges.   The second attack was April 27th and the 3rd was Saturday, May 2nd. Egypt said it was done by a big terrorist operation. 

40% of Israel's natural gas comes from this source which is used to create electricity.  A contract was signed in December 2010 by four  Israeli firms to import gas for the next 20 years.   Jordan also imports enough to service 80% of their needs.  In May Egypt backed down in their contract with Jordan and demanded high prices from them.  Gasco is the company operating the pipeline

Both Jordan and Israel are affected economically by these terrorist attacks.  Egypt needs to do a better job of guarding their money-making industry.  Hopefully the time is not too distant that Israel can enjoy its own natural gas that has been discoverred.  With continued peace between Jordan and Israel, Jordan can also benefit from Israel's holdings.  Then neither will be dependent on Egypt's sources.  Right now both states have reserves to rely upon so as not to disrupt service to their people. 

Update: 9/9/11 Israel's ambassador has been forced to leave the embassy which was attacked by people with hammers.  docments and the flag were thrown out of the window.  He is flying back to Israel. 

The source of any peace right now with Egypt seems to be in the hands of their military who are abiding by the peace treaty.  There doesn't seem to be any serious collapse of the cold peace as yet, although I wouldn't travel to Egypt now as a tourist.  A cousin of mine did a few years ago from South Africa.  They're going to find that their tourism industry is hurting. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinai_Peninsula#History
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/07/2011740176861868.html
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/egypt-holds-gas-supply-to-israel-and-jordan-after-pipeline-explosion-1.341368
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/world/middleeast/28sinai.html
update on Egypt and Israel's embassy in Cairo 9/9/11 : http://israel-nadene.blogspot.com/2011/08/israels-embassy-and-ambassador-to-egypt.html
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0811/glick083011.php3
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