Daniel Pipes: How to Turn Gaza Over to Egypt





[Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum. His website address is http://www.danielpipes.org. Click here for his blog.]

"Listen to me carefully," President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt instructed an interviewer on Jan. 30."Gaza is not part of Egypt, nor will it ever be …. I hear talk of a proposal to turn the Strip into an extension of the Sinai peninsula, of offloading responsibility for it onto Egypt" but Mubarak dismissed this as"nothing but a dream."

Egyptian security seals the border wall in Rafah on Feb. 3, 2008, with metal spikes. (AP Photo / Adel Hana)

Hardly a dream. It's a reality that surfaced since January 23, when Hamas operatives breached large segments of the wall separating Gaza from Egypt. That unexpected step alerted the world that an Egyptian embargo, no less than an Israeli one, prevents Gazans from leaving their territory or trading with the outside world.

Given that Gazans have shown themselves incapable of responsible self-rule and Cairo has tacitly allowed the smuggling of arms since 2000, Mubarak needs to be made responsible for the Gaza Strip. As my column last week argued,"Washington and other capitals should declare the experiment in Gazan self-rule a failure and press Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to help."

Hamas partially concurs: One leader, Ismail Haniyeh, hopes Gaza can"move toward economic disengagement from the Israeli occupation," while another, Ahmad Youssef, wants the Gaza-Egypt border opened to trade and Egypt to serve as Gaza's"gateway" to the outside world. As Hamas promises that Cairo's re-closing the wall on Feb. 3 will not turn back the clock, Egypt's Muslim Brethren, a Hamas ally, demands the Gaza border be opened. Can Mubarak ignore these demands, popular among Egyptians? In effect, Gaza has already begun imposing itself on an unwilling Egypt.

Some Israelis wish to help it. Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, for example, holds that Cairo should take over economically."When Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it. We want to stop supplying electricity to them, stop supplying them with water and medicine." The Israeli supreme court having ruled on Jan. 30 that the government may reduce supplies of fuel and electricity to Gaza renders a cutoff feasible.

How to achieve Gaza's transfer?

Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy suggests to me that Jerusalem announce three steps:"a date certain for the severing of Israel's provision of water, electricity and trade access, free entry for replacement services through Egypt, and an invitation for international support to link Gaza to Egyptian grids." Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, would also detach Gaza from its customs union with Israel and the West Bank.

These Israeli initiatives would force the Egyptian hand. Sure, the Egyptians, with help from Fatah and even Hamas, will try to resurrect the border and put the onus back on Israel. But in the end, Arab solidarity demands that Egyptian"brothers" fill in for the Israeli enemy. Once Jerusalem cuts supplies, Cairo has no choice but to furnish them. Economic dependence would then further involve Egypt, which has further consequences. It:

  • Revives the old idea of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict via a three-way partition by Egypt, Israel, and Jordan.

  • Permits Hamas to connect with its parent organization, the Muslim Brethren. Indeed, Egyptian security forces have already arrested at least 12 armed Hamas members in Egypt and other Gazans with suicide belts. Controlling Islamist violence out of Gaza will become an Egyptian priority – but Mubarak has coped with Islamists throughout his 27-year presidency and he can deal with this new challenge in ways that Israel cannot.

  • Limits the freedom for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to attack Israel. Yes, Egyptians want rockets falling on Sderot, but Cairo knows that their continuation invites Israeli reprisals and possibly a full-scale war.

To prevent Gazans from creating trouble in Egypt or attacking Israel requires heavy policing of their territory. This presumably means loosening the stringent restrictions on the deployment of Egyptian forces near the border with Israel in Annex I to the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Fortunately, Egyptian security services in Gaza need be only lightly armed and the Multinational Force & Observers in the Sinai peninsula could add this monitoring duty to their tasks.

In brief, Gaza can be dumped on Egypt with confidence that the Egyptians must accept it and must impede Gazans from attacking Israel. Starting this"peace process," though, will require uncharacteristic imagination and energy from Israel and the Western states.





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omar ibrahim baker - 2/16/2008

I stand corrected re Professor Chomsky only; he is NOT an Israeli.


N. Friedman - 2/16/2008

CORRECTION.

I should have said that Shahak is not only permanently expatriated but also dead.


art eckstein - 2/16/2008

N. F. writes: "I already explained that Palestinian Arabs cannot use a residential building for war purposes. That makes the building a legitimate target."

Exactly so. I made the same point myself to Omar. abpve. Indeed, the fact is that according to the 1949 Geneva Convention, the deliberate use of civilian shields, i.e., the use of civilians as human shields to protect military objectives from attack is a violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime.

But of course for the Palestinian terrror organizations this Geneva Convention war crime is standard operating procedure. (It parallels, of course, the intentional Palestinian strategy of targeting of Israeli civilians, including children, which is also a war crime.) And Omar has the incredible nerve to complain when the Palestinian use of civilians as shields for engaging in genocidal military operations against civilians leads to Israeli counterfire!


N. Friedman - 2/16/2008

Omar,

I already explained that Palestinian Arabs cannot use a residential building for war purposes. That makes the building a legitimate target.

Chomsky is not even an Israeli. Shahak is an expatriate, and permanently so to the best of my knowledge. Were I you, I would not cite to the likes of Shahak. I have, since the last time you used him as a source, done some homework on him. He is not much of a source, in my humble view.


art eckstein - 2/15/2008

These general statements by Omar are simply historically false, and it is an issue that has been gone over in detail in many threads previously, where Omar has been made to look very foolish.

As several people have said, Omar's argumentation is so often irrational and his information so often wrong that it is legitimate to wonder whether he is in fact an agent of Israeli intelligence, masquerading as a devotee of Hezbollah in order to discredit Hezb.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/15/2008

The history of Israel is replete with,is a chain of, consciously planned and deliberately executed massacres of CIVILIANS starting with Deir Yassin going through Tantoura, AsSumuh, Qibya, Nahalin, Bahr al Bakar, Qanaa, Gaza , Nablus, Jenin (where Israel refused to admit a UNSC designated investigation team) .

In retrospect it is clearly realized that, historically, Civilians NOT armies were the prime enemies and targets of the criminal and racist Zionist movement and its armed offshoots from the Hagan-ah to the "IDF".

Which is only to be expected since its paramount goal was/is and will always be to dislocate and dispossess the indigenous native population to better supplant and rob them;which is the history of Israel in a capsule.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/15/2008

"The Israelis, at least those who follow orders, all fight like men."

And their orders do include dropping ONE TON BOMBS on residential buildings!
Right Mr Friedman ?

Or is it that those ONE TON BOMBS were dropped on CIVILIAN targets despite orders to the contrary?

You have to face the truth, MR Friedman; that a criminal, racist and colonialist state ie Israel makes some decent fellows do abominable things.
Hats off to those brave and honest men and women who refuse to implement the criminal and racist orders of their superior officers in the Israeli army.
Israel must have many more Shahaks and Chomskys that you suspect.


N. Friedman - 2/15/2008

Omar,

The Israelis, at least those who follow orders, all fight like men.

Your history of Israeli activity is not correct. It is a gross distortion of the facts.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/15/2008

Mr. Friedman
Your presumption is ridiculous and smacks of your usual hypocrisy and conscious attempt at disinformation!

You presume that the Palestinians have a state and and army with all the hellish gadgets that go with it: F16,Abrams tanks, Apache gunships , one ton bombs , airports, radars from which they can launch a war according to your specifications.

However it should be noted that even if they did have one or a semi-state ,as with Hizb Allah, that would not deter the criminal Israeli army from consciously attacking CIVILIAN areas as they did with the Southern Dahia of Beirut where the Civilian dead run to the thousands!

The history of Israel is replete with,is a chain of, consciously planned and deliberately executed massacres of CIVILIANS starting with Deir Yassin going through Tantoura, AsSumuh, Qibya, Nahalin, Bahr al Bakar, Qanaa, Gaza , Nablus, Jenin (where Israel refused to admit a UNSC designated investigation team) .

In retrospect it is clearly realized that, historically, Civilians NOT armies were the prime enemies and targets of the criminal and racist Zionist movement and its armed offshoots from the Hagan-ah to the "IDF".

Which is only to be expected since its paramount goal was/is and will always be to dislocate and dispossess the indigenous native population to better supplant and rob them;which is the history of Israel in a capsule.

Nevertheless I do recognize that NOT all residents of colonized Palestine are innate criminals since a number of "IDF" officers, pilots and other personnel have refused to go on obeying orders to target and kill CIVILIANS, as was their standing orders, and have publicly declared their conscious refusal to carry out IDF orders.

However I note with pleasure that that you have skipped away hurriedly from answering my question: whether the Israeli pilots who dropped the ONE TON BOMBS on the shelter at Qanaa and the residential buildings in GAZA, whether these criminals did:

"stand up and fight like men," ???

Did they Mr Friedman??
Did they??


A. M. Eckstein - 2/14/2008

When Palestinian militants intentionally launch rocket attacks from civilian areas, doing so in order to employ the civilians as "shields" against counterattack, they are themselves responsible--AND NO ONE ELSE IS--for the civilian deaths caused by Israeli counterfire.

In the case of the apartment-house to which Omar evidently refers, a very important Hamas terrorist, Sheikh Saleh Shehada, had taken up residence there in order to plot to kill Israeli civilians (his operations had already killed dozens) while protected by Palestinian civilian "shields". THAT man, and no one else, is responsible for what occurred. A similar tactic, with similar results, was employed by the major terrorist Mahmud Abu Hunud. THAT man, and no one else, is responsible for what occurred.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2008

Omar,

Every Israeli civilian killed by a human bomb f.k.a. Jihadi is killed intentionally. That is the basic strategy adopted by Palestinian Arabs.

That strategy is in contradiction to the idea of a just war. It undermines what might, depending on the aims of the war, include a just war by Palestinian Arabs. Palestinian Arabs mostly take the view that, contrary to what is permissible in a just war, they are entitled to more than what is minimally necessary to lead a normal life. Which is to say, Palestinian Arabs have adopted the strategy of barbarians and are not fighting a just war - neither the aims or the means are just.

By contrast, no Palestinian Arab civilian killed - unless the killer fails to follow orders - is killed intentionally. Your 1 ton bomb story is premised on assumption - which is an unlikely one - that the Israelis realized they would kill civilians. The more likely scenario - one consistent with Israeli military doctrine - is that the Israelis thought the building was used exclusively by Jihadists or that, at the time of the attack, only Jihadists would be present. It is a natural mistake given that Palestinian Arabs fail to observe the most basic rules of war - to remove fighters and bomb making factories, etc., from civilian areas.

Note: the rules of war do not permit, with your very scenario in mind, the placement of bomb building and other military establishments among a civilian population. Why? Because the laws of war permit war targets to be attacked and the attacker is not expected to know who is in the military establishment. Accordingly, the laws of war create an obligation not to locate military related targets in civilian locations.

Which is to say, the civilian deaths are the fault of Palestinian Arab for locating their forces in impermissible locations.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/14/2008

Mr Friedman
That modern weapons (F16 jets, Abrams tanks, Apache gunships, One ton bombs etc) were used against CIVILIANS does NOT make their user civilized.
If anything it demonstrates that the veneer of know how and access to technology does NOT change an intrinsically base nature BUT rather enhances it , amplifies it and shows it to all for what it is.

Criminals tend to use the most effective guns they can lay their hands on; that does NOT change or detract from their criminal nature.
So it is with Israel's use of modern weapons it underlines its intrinsic barbarism.

When you declare that:
***" they ought stand up and fight like men, rather than hide."
And
***"I look at what the Israelis do in that light. "
do you have in mind the Israeli pilots who drop ONE TON BOMBS on civilian targets?

A One TON bomb was used by the Israeli Air force against the civilian shelter in Qana , Lebanon, killing all 106 civilians sheltering in it.
A ONE TON bomb was used against a residential building in Gaza killing all 26 civilians who happened to be there at the time.
That is BARBARISM despite the modernity of the weapons, that is Israel as is: a BARBARIC nation/state with access to technology.
Did the pilots who dropped these bombs "stand up and fight like men," Mr Friedman??

(I welcome your admission that Israel is a colony; you are getting there slowly but surely.)


R.R. Hamilton - 2/14/2008

Thanks Mr. Friedman, but to be fair to Mr. Baker, there are at least as many American Jews who should be getting paychecks from Hamas -- perhaps not excluding a few found at HNN.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2008

Art,

I entirely agree.

I also note that R.R. Hamilton has a good point. If Omar is not secretly on Israel's payroll, he ought to be.


R.R. Hamilton - 2/14/2008

First, if Mr. Baker isn't on the Israeli government payroll, he should be.

Second, instead of fighting, shouldn't we be celebrating the reunion of Imad "Muggie" Mugniyah with his late brother, Fuad? http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080214/D8UPODUG5.html

Here's a picture of Muggie when his body was still above room temperature. http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/termugniyah.htm

I notice the Arab leaders are crediting Israel with arranging the Muggie family reunion, but I hope America did it. I guess they'd credit us except they depend on us for their Swiss bank accounts, London condos, and Parisian shopping sprees.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/13/2008

By the way, Sderot originated as a miserable refugee camp for Jews who fled Persia because of a large spike in anti-Jewish behavior in Iran in 1948-1953. These poor folks are the people, according to Omar, who "voluntarily" left Muslim lands to participate in "the Zionist colonization project", by accident, no doubt, leaving behind to Muslim seizure all their property and money.


art eckstein - 2/13/2008

Sderot is not a military base. It is a civilian town. Most of the inhabitants are Jewish refugees from Morocco. It has been hit by 6,300 rockets as of November 2007. All those killed or wounded have been civilians. In such circumstances, the message is genocide: killing any Jews (young, old, women, children) will do. Omar cannot deny it, because these are the facts. Or rather, he may well try to deny it, but thsee are the facts.

The school in Sderot was hit several times in 2006; hit on May 16, 2007, on January 17, 2008, on Feb. 7, 2008. Is this supposed to be somehow an accident?


N. Friedman - 2/13/2008

Omar,

My suggestion is that if Hamas were a group of heroic people, rather than primitive barbarians, they would not hide among their population. As we say in English, they ought stand up and fight like men, rather than hide.

I look at what the Israelis do in that light. If and when the Palestinian Arab side decides to act like a nation, rather than a collection of primitive barbarians, there may be something to say for your position.

In the meanwhile, I note that the Israelis are not colonists but even if they were, so are most people who live in the Americas. So, I do not consider the accusation to be important.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/13/2008

Mr. Friedman
Not withstanding your inane entree re propaganda I find your belated defense of your "comrade" Eckstein heartening.
You are here consciously trying to bluff your way out of the issue under discussion by presuming that the bone of contention, in this exchange, is NOT his equally inane statement that:
"--children playing in school yards, are targetted by thousands of rockets."

My comment centered on the absurdity, the willful disinformation and the conscious deception in the Professor's contention that the Kassam rockets have the accuracy to pin point:
"children playing in school yards."

Not having recourse to Israel's often used AGAINST PALESTINIAN CIVILIAN targets means of killing and destruction i.e. F16s jets, Abrams tanks, Apache gunships , one ton bombs and the means to deliver them Palestinian heroic freedom fighters deploy and use their "primitive rockets".

This, if anything at all, underlines their heroic resistance to the colonizer of their homeland.

Ethically the use of "primitive rockets" against an enemy that normally uses "F16s jets, Abrahams tanks, Apache gunship, one ton bombs” against Palestinian civilian targets means and changes many things!


N. Friedman - 2/13/2008

Omar,

Must everything your write be pure propaganda?

Rockets that are fired willy nilly - which is your version of events - are fired with reckless indifference to their target. Reckless indifference is, in the law, no different than intentional. In any event, the entire point of the rockets, as you know full well, is to kill people and otherwise terrorize people. So, the target is one of indifference but if it kills people, the Hamas barbarians celebrate.

That the rockets are primitive changes nothing. Were the cruel Hamas people to obtain better rockets, they would, given their history, aim them at children. Why? Because the Hamas people are barbarians. They know no limits to their behavior.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/12/2008

And here's a REAL fabrication, a typical one, coming from the Arab side:

From Martin Kramer:

"Gaza buried in flour

Monday, 28 January 2008

The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed under the headline "Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza." The authors are Eyad al-Sarraj, identified as founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, identified as senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won't even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.
You don't need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost HALF A TON FLOUR per Gazan, per day.

A typographical error at the Boston Globe? Hardly. The two authors used the same "statistic" in an earlier piece. They copied it from an article published in the Ahram Weekly last November, which reported that "the price of a bag of flour has risen 80 per cent, because of the 680,000 tonnes the Gaza Strip needs daily, only 90 tonnes are permitted to enter." Sarraj and Roy added the bit about this being "a reduction of 99 percent."

Note how an absurd and impossible "statistic" has made its way up the media food chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard "research scholar," and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can't do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that "reduction of 99 percent" becomes a well-attested fact.

What's the truth? I see from a 2007 UN document that Gaza consumes 450 tons of flour daily. The Palestinian Ministry of Economy, according to another source, puts daily consumption at 350 tons. So the figure for total consumption retailed by Sarraj and Roy is off by more than three orders of magnitude, i.e. a factor of 1,000. No doubt, there's less flour shipped from Israel into Gaza--maybe it's those rocket barrages from Gaza into Israel?--but even if it's only the 90 tons claimed by Sarraj and Roy, it isn't anything near a "reduction of 99 percent." Unfortunately, if readers are going to remember one dramatic "statistic" from this op-ed, this one is it--and it's a lie.

Sarraj is a psychiatrist."

DISGRACEFUL. Almost Omar-esque!


art eckstein - 2/12/2008

Sunday 10th February, 2008

An eight-year-old boy in Sderot has had his leg amputated after a Qassam rocket landed in the backyard of his home.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/12/2008

Another fabrication.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/11/2008

They consistently hit the school by accident, Omar?


A. M. Eckstein - 2/11/2008

The figures on civilian deaths vs. military deaths are irrefutable. The terrorists target civilians; the Israelis don't.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/11/2008

The fabrication goes on and on and on!
In the Professor's latest gem, they are too numerous by now to count, we have:

a-"...Israeli withdrawal from Gaza being a first step to peace"
Of which, if truth has any bearing on the Professor, the fact is: Israel DID NOT "withdraw" from Gaza.

IT "redeployed" (Israel's own words) its own forces from within Gaza to encircle Gaza with a very tight noose with the only non Israeli exit, to Egyptian Sinai,under its strict control.

b-"And we are not talking about the West Bank,..." which goes only to confirm my contention of Israel's
plan of "further fragmantation" of the cause,the issue, of Palestinian lands occupied in 1967.

However, the real gem of the Professor's bottomless truthfulness and credibility IS:
c-"...from which Israeli civilians, including--intentionally--children playing in school yards, are targetted by thousands of rockets." Which states categorically that the primitive Kassams, the locally manufactured rockets, have the accuracy to target accurately
"...intentionally--children playing in school yards,".

Wow, next the Professor will be warning the USA that the Kassams will pose a threat to the USA!


omar ibrahim baker - 2/11/2008

Zionists will go on playing games with figures to justify the unjustifiable.
The actions to be justified is the very high ratio of deaths during the recent past of 10 (ten) Arabs to 1 (one) Israeli in their reciprocated hostile actions
The unjustifiable is that Israeli killing (including Israeli Government sanctioned political assassinations) is planned, under taken and implemented by the Israeli government and its regular /official killers in its attempt to maintain and prolong its occupation of Palestinian territories.
The justification of some, cf Professor Eckstein's above, often verge on the bizarre to the point of being a variation on "black humour“; except that human beings are the victims.
His latest gem is:
"... given that the genocidal Palestinian terrorists intentionally hide among civilians "
What Professor Eckstein is really after here is that Palestinian resistance fighters should:
Either
a- go out into the open country side (of which precious little is left) to afford the Israeli official killers clear "killing fields"
Or
b- that they designate and proclaim "civilians free " areas to humour Israeli "conscience".

I am NOT treating lightly these sad figures nor the Professor’s implied proposed acceptable” alternatives; he must have been serious in his message/demand/recommendation.
With "Professor” Eckstein the most weird and the plainly inane is a way of thinking!

However that cities and densely populated areas have been, historically, a major harbour of resistants all over the world seems to have passed over his head unnoticed and unheeded.
He, a Professor of history no less!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


art eckstein - 2/11/2008

The reason the Gazan population has shown itself incapable of self-rule is because, being now in complete self-government, they have turned Gaza into a terrorist nest from which Israeli civilians are targetted by thousands of rockets. THAT is Pipe's point.

Omar wants to say that all "resistance" is justified. Therefore it doesn't bother him in the least that instead of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza being a first step to peace, Hamas has instead turned Gaza into a terrorist nest from which Israeli civilians, including--intentionally--children playing in school yards, are targetted by thousands of rockets. And we are not talking about the West Bank, but within the 1967 borders. It was THESE action that turned a radical friend of mine, with whom I had argued for several years, firmly against the Palestinians.

Others will draw a different conclusion from Omar as to what responsible government is.


art eckstein - 2/11/2008

The ratio of military-aged fighters to women, children and old people killed in the Second Intifada by the israelis is 2/3 military men to 1/3 civilians--a good but not great ratio of military to civilian deaths, and not surprising, given that the genocidal Palestinian terrorists intentionally hide among civilians, using them as shields in contravention of the Hague Convention. The ratio of military-aged fighters to women, children and old people killed in the Second Intifada by genocidal Palestinian terrorists is the reverse: 1/3 are the former; 2/3 are the latter. And that is not an unfortunate accident of war but the intentional targetting of civilians. The intentional targetting of old people, women, and children by the Palestinians is a message of genocide. They will kill ANY Jew, and what is more racist than that?

(Indeed, as in the case of the Arab Israeli George Khoury, they will kill anyone who just LOOKS like a Jew, even if he is not. Fatah later apologized to Khoury's family--they were looking for Jews to kill.)

ONLY the Palestinian terrorist hierarchy is happy when civilians are killed--on either side. They intentionally target Israeli civilians, and use their own civilians as human shields, which either protect the terrorists or, if the Israelis strike anyway, can be used as a propaganda example of Israeli "atrocity"--precisely as Omar does here.

Those are the facts.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/11/2008

Pipes message is clear:” How to Turn Gaza Over to Egypt" in which case the important thing here is that GAZA should be "turned over" to some other party; Israel having failed to digest it!
It is also telling in that no where in his post was the WILL of the people of Gaza given the slightest consideration.

To him and his doctrinaire alma mater, Zionism, the Palestinian people was/is deemed chattel to be disposed of at the will and whim of whosoever "controls" them.

In that sense his proposal is true to form and doctrine and is as "honest" a reflection of Zionist racism as could be PUBLICLY declared!

That his post had the following, SOLE, reference to the people of Gaza viz:
"Given that Gazans have shown themselves incapable of responsible self-rule ….."
does neither detract from nor negate his innate Zionist inspired and nurtured racism.

It, his sole reference to the people of Gaza, only portrays and reflects the classical justification of colonialism as much as the innate colonialist mind set of Zionist colons and settlers and their supporters!

That has been the historical Zionist/Jewish approach to Palestine and the Palestinian people: to totally disregard and ignore their will and their legitimate aspirations to Self Determination and to ignore their national and cultural identity, .
However the Palestinian people’s national and cultural identity , at the start of the Zionist colonialist conquest, i.e. pre GB enabled Zionist forced migration, was 90% Arab, Moslem and Christian, and less than 10% Jewish.


omar ibrahim baker - 2/11/2008

No...not at all; it is simply that Zionist colonization of another people's land that led to the geographical detachment of Gaza from the rest of Palestine that calls on all to participate in the fight to evict the colonizer.
Fighting the alien colonist to liberate one's homeland is only normal,honourable and inevitable be he Jewish, Buddhist, Christian or Xish!
(That is A, B &C)
Hamas rockets are are only toys compared to the hellish Israeli arsenal with which the kill ratio is 1/10 including children women and oldsters.


art eckstein - 2/10/2008

Of course, the shooting of thousands of rockets from Gaza aimed intentionally at Israeli civilians, including intentionally at little schoolchildren--the genocidal Nazi-like Hamas ideology at work in the real world--has nothing to do with the Israeli desire to have someone responsible in control of Gaza. No, no--it's simply more plots by those evil Jews!


omar ibrahim baker - 2/10/2008

Possibly inadvertently Pipes has outlined the true Israeli wish, NOT yet will, behind its desire to disengage from Gaza.

In the words of:
"Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, would also detach Gaza from its customs union with Israel and the West Bank"

The operative words here are:
"would also detach Gaza from its customs union with ......the West Bank"

Which ALL boils down to a further fragmentation of the "Israeli" (1967) occupied territories, after the multitude of its extensive occupied land expropriation, the Wall and the new, some parts still under construction " Jews Only " road and high way network to the colons Settlements from (1948) occupied territories.
All hopefully, according to Israel, to lead to:
"...., revives, the old idea of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict via a three-way partition by Egypt, Israel, and Jordan."
Nothing new here, absolutely NOTHING except that this 40+ years old "proposal" failed in the past and will most probably fail in the future .

Both the Camp David of Egypt and the Wadi Arabaa of Jordan make its implementation, more than ever, a total impossibility unless and until both treaties are rescinded.

That would mean a new ball game, to use an Americanism.
Hamas, however, seems to harbour another, its own initiated , different ball game!


omar ibrahim baker - 2/10/2008

Possibly inadvertently Pipes has outlined the true Israeli wish, NOT yet will, behind its desire to disengage from Gaza.

In the words of:
"Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, would also detach Gaza from its customs union with Israel and the West Bank"

The operative words here are:
"would also detach Gaza from its customs union with ......the West Bank"

Which ALL boils down to a further fragmentation of the "Israeli" (1967) occupied territories, after the multitude of its extensive occupied land expropriation, the Wall and the new, some parts still under construction " Jews Only " road and high way network to the colons Settlements from (1948) occupied territories.
All hopefully, according to Israel, to lead to:
"...., revives, the old idea of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict via a three-way partition by Egypt, Israel, and Jordan."
Nothing new here, absolutely NOTHING except that this 40+ years old "proposal" failed in the past and will most probably fail in the future .

Both the Camp David of Egypt and the Wadi Arabaa of Jordan make its implementation, more than ever, a total impossibility unless and until both treaties


art eckstein - 2/9/2008

The recent border crisis between Egypt and Gaza has led to a drastic change in the attitude the pro-government Egyptian press takes toward the Palestinians. Noha El-Hennawy, blogging for the Los Angeles Times Web site, describes the shift:

The new content replaces headlines that showed sympathy with the Palestinians, stressing President Hosni Mubarak's statements that Egypt would not let the Palestinians starve. However, 10 days later, a change of heart has become crystal-clear. Rosa-al-Yousef, a state-owned paper known as the most vocal mouthpiece of the regime, has spearheaded the anti-Palestinian campaign. "Egypt is generous and patient but its patience has limits," warned a front-page headline that appeared after skirmishes the Egyptian-Palestinian borders earlier this week.
The paper even questioned whether Gaza had a humanitarian crisis, hinting that Gazans were well-off. "It is not true that the siege imposed on Gaza caused a serious humanitarian crisis that eventually led to the Palestinian flood [into Egypt]," wrote Abdullah Kamal, Rosa-al-Yousef's editor-in-chief and a staunch proponent of Mubarak's regime. "Each [Gazan] comer spent an average of US$260 in three days. . . . The total spending during that period [where the Gazans broke through Egypt] reached US$220 million. These figures raise real questions about the financial situation in the Gaza Strip."

Arabs love Palestinians in the abstract--as a symbol of the alleged evil of the hated Jews. But it turns out they quickly become dubious about Palestinians when they have to deal with the them as actual human beings. The Egyptians are clearly not averse to taking the money, though. It's just they were shocked about how much money the allegedly poverty-stricken and starving Palestinians (another triumph of lying Arab propaganda) had.

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