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Charles N. Steele

There is a kind of sense to the fuss. The islands can be used to block Israeli access to the Red Sea. And apparently Egypt and Saudi Arabia have both claimed, strangely enough, that the islands belong to Egypt and also that they belong to Saudi Arabia.

I would say the Israelis ought to just buy them; pay something to each country, and make them Israel. I imagine that would go over poorly with the Egyptian and Saudi populations, but if the significance of the things is simply to hang on to the potential to someday deny Israel access to the Red Sea, then selling makes sense. The Arabs would get cash now, instead of later fighting a losing battle should they eventually be so foolish as to try to blockade Israel. But Netanyahu seems OK with the deal (2nd link below), and he probably knows more about this than I do.




John Pepple

Thanks. According to that third link, at one point Egypt and Saudi Arabia each claimed the islands belonged to the other. That's pretty unusual.

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