Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Give Gaza
Back To Egypt

Felix from Red State.org was kind enough to leave me a link to an article he wrote which proposes a solution to the Middle East Conflict; Give Gaza Back to Egypt:

Now that Israel has disengaged from Gaza, what next for this strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea where more than million Palestinian Arabs live? The plan, which is chiseled in stone and accepted as the only way to proceed by UN Security Council, the EU, and the US., is that Gaza will become part of the new Palestinian State. That state will also someday include whatever parts of the west bank Israel eventually disengages from. A new Palestinian State--make that County--will be started. Israel has a State--a Country--ergo the Palestinians must have one.

I think I know the recent history of Gaza, but do feel free to correct me. The land area we now call Gaza was, prior to 1948, part of Egypt. The people living there were Moslems, spoke Arabic, and had many of the same customs and traditions as other Egyptians. During the 1st Israel/Arab war in 1948, some of the Arabs living in the area that was to become Israel left for Gaza and joined the existing Gaza Arab population.

Depending on one's reading of history, the Arabs either fled from Israel in fear because of the war or left Israel upon the urging of Arab leaders (the idea being for them to return after the Arabs won the war). In the 1948 war, Israel could have taken over Gaza, but chose not to.

Then in 1967, when Israel swept into the Sinai Dessert, it also took Gaza. In the early 1980s, when Israel was giving the Sinai back to Egypt, as part of its Peace Agreement, Israel offered to give Gaza back to Egypt but Anwar Sadat said no.

At the risk of sounding not-with-the-program, I think the best outcome is for Gaza to become a demilitarized part of Egypt, like it was before. The new Palestinian State will be a perpetually unhappy place, always defined by its grievance with Israel. It will be divided into two parts from day one, with the in-between area being their former and current enemy--Israel. The Palestinian leadership is either the corrupt and ineffectual PLO or Islamofascist groups such as Hamas of Islamic Jihad. It will likely become more lawless than it is now.

If I were a current resident of Gaza, and was given a choice between being a citizen of the new PLO State or Egypt, I would opt to be a citizen of Eqypt. Part of a "normal" or "real" country. Give me my Eqyptian passport and let's get on with life. I understand that Egypt has to be persuaded to take the area.

There may be historical instances of solving border disputes between two countries (which is what I think this is) by creating a 3rd country in the disputed area, but I can`t see that improving the situation in the case of Gaza. Since we are all for promoting Arab democracy at this time, how about a referendum for the people of Gaza?

Question: Do you want to join Epypt? Let's see what happens.

Well? The first thing that comes to my mind is, Egypt doesn't want Gaza for good reason. When Israel vacated the Gaza Strip, as I understand it, there was some negotiation before Egypt would even agree to take control of the border.

Unfortunately, no one wants to govern the Palestinians, and they don't seem to want to govern themselves.