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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Would the Egyptians take it back?

The Christian Science Monitor proposes an old-new idea: Turn Gaza over to Egypt.
Gaza and the West Bank are not contiguous territories. And Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a radical Islamic movement opposed to peace with Israel, while the West Bank is controlled by the secular, moderate Palestinian Authority. Making peace between Israel and Palestine would be easier to accomplish if the only territory in dispute was the West Bank. In addition, while many Gazans view themselves as Palestinians, in many ways, they are more culturally and economically connected to Egypt than the West Bank. Increasing these ties could benefit Gazans and move the region closer to peace.


But the idea of returning Gaza to Egyptian control has always been rejected out of hand, mainly by Egypt itself. The rationale for this has always been that Mubarak’s regime would be threatened because the radicalism from Gaza would strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt. However, this rationale might not apply in a post-Mubarak Egypt, especially one in which the Muslim Brotherhood played a role.
Read the whole thing.

My guess is that Egypt will still reject this out of hand; all the Arabists I follow on Twitter rejected it. But it actually does make sense to me, assuming, of course, that Israel has no intention of retaking Gaza (which unfortunately seems to be the case). The 'connection' between Gaza and the 'West Bank' is one of the huge elephants sitting the room at Israeli - 'Palestinian' 'peace negotiations.' Removing that elephant would undoubtedly move things ahead.

But the 'Palestinians' have no interest in removing elephants from the room, especially when they have hopes of getting a 'state' without negotiations with Israel. They will do nothing to move the 'process' ahead. And the Egyptians have no interest in doing anything that would acknowledge Israel's existence right now.

What could go wrong?

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At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel does not want to reoccupy Gaza and Hamas does not want to abandon its dream of a revanchist Islamist Palestine (for starters). Unless a Muslim Brotherhood Egypt were to arise promising not only confrontation with Israel but an Egyptian-Palestinian condominium to secure a Greater Palestine, why would Hamas agree to being "returned" to Egypt? It wishes to return to Beersheva, Ashkelon, Acre, Tel Aviv etc.

At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article: "...the West Bank is controlled by the secular, moderate Palestinian Authority." --- I wish the media would stop spreading this lie. The PA are none of those things.


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