This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
As with every year before Passover, the Counter-terrorism Bureau has issued a severe travel warning to Israelis advising them not to enter the Sinai Peninsula. It would seem that even those with the smallest level of common sense would not need to be reminded of the danger involved through an official and formal warning.
But it turns out that an annual wave of dumb people still insist on crossing the Taba border checkpoint into Sinai wearing a silly smile and explaining on entry, that ‘Sinai is Cool, Brother’.
Today Sinai is one of the world’s greatest centers for terrorism. Egypt is unable to control the area, not because they cannot, but because they have other problems pending and really don’t care that much for the safety of residents of the State of Israel. The estimate is that several hundred Israelis will enter into the den of Sinai’s terrorist lions this year.
Of course, I wish these fools a happy and safe Passover vacation, but I know that they are not only endangering themselves beyond all reason, but will probably subjecting Israel to a difficult diplomatic entanglement as well. A terror attack, kidnapping or any other action might force Israel to respond, an act that could even endanger its current peace treaty – one which is built on a rickety building foundation right now.
More than that even were Israel to be given permission to enter Sinai to help (and I strongly doubt whether such approval would even be granted) it would force too many people to move into harm’s way. As difficult as such an act might be, not allowing Israeli tourists to enter a country Israel has a valid peace agreement with, such a recommendation would have a snowball’s chance in hell of being approved and eliminating a potentially dangerous situation.
Israel’s situation with Egypt is delicate but someone has to take responsibility and to prevent ’fun trips’ to Sinai’s beach. Those who are looking for a vacation with life-threatening tension would better be advised to try bungee jumping off of the Shalom tower in Tel-Aviv. His chances of survival will be much higher and his need to act stupidly would not involve Israel in any diplomatic incident.