A tribute to the armed forces for saving Sinai


I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that our armed forces were putting an end to the Sinai smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. In two days they destroyed 20 tunnels with heavy machinery while confronting the criminals who were trying to prevent the demolition. The future of one of the most precious part of our country is secure once again.

There is no doubt that the action of the armed forces was carried out in coordination with the military intelligence. This service, trusted by the people of Sinai, is the only authority qualified to gather and act upon information on terrorist groups. After finding proof of plans to attack the security forces that have the terrorists in a stranglehold, commandos arrested the group and put an end to their plot.

With these continued operations to save our nation in the land of Sinai, I pay tribute to our army who won the battle for dignity on the Tenth of Ramadan, giving President Anwar Sadat the leverage he needed to free Sinai before he was treacherously assassinated.

I have no doubt that Egyptians condemn the irresponsible statements made on the TV program “90 Minutes” by Assem Abdel Majid, one of the leaders of the Gamaa Islamiya (Islamic Group), in which he expressed pride that the group to which he belongs assassinated Sadat, the commander, the leader and the liberator of Sinai, under the pretext of saving the Egyptian people from him!

Those who falsify Egyptian history and attack the values it symbolizes are not worthy of our attention. I prefer to give my own testimony to the youth of the country as one who witnessed firsthand an important part of Egypt’s modern history.

Working with President Sadat as media adviser during the October War of 1973 and the peace negotiations that followed, I watched the extraordinary political minds of President Sadat and his high-level group of Egyptian diplomats and experts, as they participated in the painstaking process that led to the Camp David agreement.

It has been said that the Camp David negotiations were a game played by America to isolate Egypt from the Arab Nation, while the first priority of President Sadat was to restore the last inch of occupied land to Egypt. I have a story that proves that the negotiations were not a game.

Before leaving Egypt for another round of talks at Camp David, President Sadat asked me to accompany him on his flight to Paris where he was stopping on his way to the United States. On the plane, I was surprised when he said to me: “Negotiations at Camp David could succeed or fail, and in the case of failure I want Paris to be the platform from which we launch our campaign against Israel to hold her accountable for the failure of negotiations.” He handed me an official envelope on which he had written in bold red letters: “Do not open before receiving the green light from Camp David”.

As for Sadat’s commitment to restore every single inch of Sinai land to Egypt, I later learned that during the behind-the-scenes negotiations with President Carter at Camp David, Menachem Begin, Israel’s prime minister, stubbornly refused the idea of evacuating the Israeli settlement of Yamit in northern Sinai near El Arish. In reaction to Begin’s intransigence, Sadat instructed his delegation to pack their bags and prepare to depart. The U.S. president, deeply concerned, convinced Ezer Weizman and Moshe Dayan to put pressure on Begin who finally agreed to evacuate Yamit.

On the Internet, you can easily find pictures of the evacuation of Yamit in April 21, 1982 in accordance with the terms of the Camp David Agreement. There are images of extremists and rabbis headed by Meir Kahane threatening to throw themselves from the walls of the settlement. In the end, Yamit was cleared and restored to its rightful owners.

God bless Sadat. In my book, he was the hero of war and peace. As for the army that protects our dignity and security while refusing to politicize its role, I think the time might come when it will be duty bound to intervene to protect Egypt’s national security and the lives of ordinary citizens.

translated from Al Ahram

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