Israel to lose important maritime passages following Arab revolutions

Saleh Naami , Monday 18 Apr 2011

The fall or teetering of friendly regimes in the Arab world presents Israel with a dilemma more pressing than mere diplomacy

The transformations underway in the Arab world are a precursor to an Israeli strategic crisis. That is the analysis of an Israeli strategic expert based on the possible transfer of control of important water crossings to powers that oppose Israel and the West.

In an article published in Israeli daily Haaretz, Professor Alexander Bligh said that the four most important maritime passages for Israel are the Suez Canal, the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, the Strait of Hormuz and the Black Sea straits.

Bligh added that the upcoming elections in Egypt will lead to the ascent of anti-Israeli entities to power, whether secular or Islamist.

In Yemen, which controls the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, the current regime is another strong ally of the West leading to fears that any replacement will be more hostile to Israel and its interests.

He said that Israel will be faced with a serious strategic dilemma in the future, citing the October war in 1973 where Israel was cornered only when the Bab-el-Mandeb was closed to it.

Bligh asserted that Israel must conclude that it is necessary to prepare a plan to secure its oil imports through other passages, or give serious thought to the idea of increasing investment directed at finding oil on Israeli territory.

Bligh warned that while the next government in Egypt will not revoke the Camp David treaty so as not to lose international legitimacy, it will weaken it in a way that would force Israel to renege on it.

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