With the ageing Hosni Mubarak soon gone, the American push for democracy in Egypt will bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power. Egypt will become an Islamic fundamentalist state worse than Iran; Persians are generally more civilized and Westernized than Egyptians. Western culture has touched Cairo, but the influx of the impoverished and traditional rural population into the cities changes Egypt’s outlook. Israel should preempt the nuclear fundamentalist state.

The first thing is to create depth of defense by acquiring Sinai. Egyptians hate Israel for the past offenses and wouldn’t hate her more for that. Egypt surrendered the Negev to Israel, Gaza to Palestine, and countless border rectifications to other neighbors.

Egypt never effectively controlled Sinai, and ethnic Egyptians never lived there. The Egyptians dislike the Sinai Bedouins. There has been no independent Egyptian state since Pharaonic times, and a country continuously occupied for 2300 years cannot claim much sovereignty.

Sinai is central to the Jewish national conscience. It is included in the boundaries of Eretz Israel. The Jewish nation was formed there, Jewish law given there. Any nation would consider its cradle central to its conscience.

Sinai contains oil reserves vital for Israel and poor uranium deposits. Egypt did not annihilate Israel in the opening days of the 1973 war only because its army dragged deep in Sinai. If it held Sinai, Egypt would eventually militarize it, just as Germany remilitarized the Rhineland in violation of the treaties.

Israel’s choice is not between confronting Egypt over Sinai or not, but whether to fight now far from her population centers and with Egypt politically unable to use its nuclear weapons, or fight several years or decades from now with Islamist Egyptian nuclear missiles fifty miles from major Israeli cities.

The Israeli-Egyptian situation is more serious than the Cuban missile crisis. The Soviets were unlikely to use nuclear weapons against the United States, but fundamentalist Egypt, with a failed economy and a Jew-hating population will definitely attack Israel. Kennedy preempted and cleared nuclear depth of defense for his country.