Both-Gain Sinai

The Knowledge Revolution makes possible new solutions to old conflicts.

The war between Israel and Egypt, for example, came to an end in a negotiation over the Sinai Peninsula, occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Egypt demanded the return of the entire peninsula, but Israel insisted on retaining a third of the peninsula as a security buffer. No simple compromise was acceptable.

It turned out, however, that what Israel really needed most was not the land itself, but knowledge— early warning of attack. Thanks to new technology, both sides were able to agree to demilitarize the Sinai and establish electronic detectors to monitor any threatening movement. Egypt received all its land back and Israel obtained even more of a security buffer than it had been demanding.

A negotiated both-gain solution replaced an unstable win-lose solution.