Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Rumour: The Palestinian State in the Sinai Peninsula

The Approach to Mount Sinai - David Roberts
Rumour has it that the Sinai is to become the Palestinian Homeland.

The word is being spread by the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (IEJ, in the person of Shaykh Nabil Naim) and Hamas itself; who allegedly accused Israel and Egypt of holding secret meetings to agree on settling Gazans in the Sinai. However, the thought is not new as it started with Hosni Mubarak's fear that Gazans were buying land to settle in the peninsula.
Last year, the subject came up again, in Egypt; and Hamas quickly dismissed it reiterating that Palestinians would stay in Gaza (an integral part of Palestine) and not go "(..) to an alternative homeland, migration or resettlement".
Yet, this year, Hamas and Nabil Naim brought it up again - albeit in a deflective fashion: to what purpose?
If the intent was to simply spread a rumour, what would be two possible outcomes? To provoke the ire of Islamic radicals against Israel and against Egypt (whose political leadership is in dire straits and surrounded by Salafi forces, that Cerberus-like, await President Morsi's fall in order to devour him and take his place); and to test the waters - to see the Palestinian reaction to such an idea.
If the intention was to make a suggestion to the PA and the Arab League (for approval); then perhaps we should think it through.
Either way, it could be an indication that Hamas (and friends) have finally realised the futility of their actions:

"After Hamas's takeover of Gaza, it has decided to clash with Israel, though this clash seems to be a laughable caricature, because clashing with an opponent in battle is supposed to mean damaging them (...) You do not go into battle just to damage yourself." -- Ahmed Aboul Gheit

Let's assume that Mr Naim's and Hamas' accusation is substantiated: inasmuch as this year marks 34 years since the two countries signed a peace treaty - and the Sinai was handed to the Pharaoh's Land - we can't avoid relishing the idea of Egypt (led by an Islamist government) and Israel concocting a solution to bring peace to the Middle East.

Assuming that Egypt is truly willing to sacrifice part of its territory (a piece of land it can't seem to control) for peace; then Palestine would be much better off than keeping Gaza and some parts of Samaria & Judea. The Sinai Peninsula, as a Palestinian State, would also offer Palestinians the possibility of living united in one single territory (as opposed to being divided - thus, weakened). The triangular peninsula has an area of 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq miles) - all Palestinians (including refugees) could live there without being crammed in an area of 365 km2 (Gaza) and in an area less than 5,000 km2. With investment from Qatar, and other Arab nations (although the EU and the UN would certainly chip in as well), Palestinians could continue to develop the Sinai; jobs would be created; and, security forces (that have been trained in Hamas' military schools) would finally be able to work to secure its borders (instead of fighting ineffective and detrimental wars) - the peninsula would no longer be lawless. Due to the political, judicial, educational and health systems built in Gaza, and in some parts of Judea & Samaria, it would be relatively easy for the new joint government (composed by both Hamas and Fatah elements) to transfer them to Sinai and carrying on with their work for the benefit of the People.

In the Sinai, Palestine could finally be a de juris State with full rights but mainly responsibilities - the actions of its leaders would actually be held accountable by the International Community (which should not constitute a problem when we think of the huge advantages of taking such a deal: peace and a land to call Home). Notwithstanding, we should ask ourselves whether Palestinians would be willing to respect the rights of the Bedouins living in the Sinai - which would represent another round of protractible negotiations.

We don't know the EIJ's and Hamas' real intent when they made the alleged accusations, but we do know that their idea (be it either a rumour or a suggestion) should be taken into consideration because, from where we are standing, it may be a divine one.

Who knew that from radical jihadist rhetoric could arise a possible solution to a conflict?

31 comments:

  1. If Hamas is considering moving to the Sinai, then we should all think about it, as long as it isn't a Zionist stratagem! But what does Fatah and the PA think of this plan? I am guessing they are against it...

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    1. Hi Celia :D!

      What do you mean by "Zionist stratagem"?
      Hamas accuses some Fatah elements of not only agreeing with it but also helping Israel bringing the plan into fruition. True, untrue? Can't really say.

      Celia, thank you so much for your comment :D. Always a pleasure.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. Celia, if it were a Zionist stratagem it would've been implemented a long time ago! It is not...but even if it was, it would've been a damn good one, don't you think, specially if they'd manage to convince the Arabs and the west?

      Delete
  2. Hello, lass! Has it has been quite a while, has it not? The moment I return I am greeted with such a gift as this article. I agree, the Sinai should be the Palestinian state! I don't know what Hamas and EIJ were thinking when they planned this "suggestion" but whatever the reasons were, they were bloody fantastic! I say, hear them!!

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    1. Hi Joe :D!

      We missed you! Thanks, I am glad you liked it *bowing*.
      It would be interesting if their suggestion would be accepted by the world, wouldn't it?

      Joe, thank you so much for your comment :D. It's good to have you back.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Palestine is the only land for Palestinians!!! We will not accept an alternative land!!

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Oh, we agree: Palestine is the only land for Palestinians. And if the Sinai becomes your Homeland then certainly the new State of Palestine is the only land for Palestinians... :)

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. I think that's a very fantastic idea.
    The only problem is the willingness of the Egyptian government to share the control of Suez Canal with the Palestinian Authority of Sinai.
    If this proposal will be realized, there are now two Palestinian countries: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (where the majority of the population are Palestinians) and the potential Palestinian State of Sinai. However, any talks of confederation between the two should never realize without consulting the people first.

    In short, that's a win-win solution for long-term peace in the Middle East

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      I agree: it is a fantastic idea.
      I see what you mean about the Suez Canal: but most certainly the international community could help them negotiating the issue, yes?
      I am guessing that if the proposal will be realised Jordan will demand the majority of its Palestinians to move to their new homeland in the Sinai. Keeping them in the Hashemite Kingdom would constitute the same problem as keeping them in Gaza and Judea & Samaria: they would remain divided. Perhaps it is better to just encourage them, as a nation, to be in one place: the Sinai Peninsula.

      "In short, that's a win-win solution for long-term peace in the Middle East"

      Agreed.

      Anonymous, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D. Hope to see more of you here.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. I don't think Jordan will think of that because:
      1. Queen Rania is a Palestinian (though born in Kuwait).
      2. Palestinians held the Jordanian private sector; if the government of the Hashemite Kingdom decided to move to Sinai, that would be disastrous for the Jordanian economy.
      3. Of all the Middle Eastern countries with Palestinian refugee population, only Jordan granted them citizenship (more or less) and assimilated them into the society.
      4. Most of Amman's population are Palestinians and their descendants.

      Nevertheless, as I said earlier, Palestinian State of Sinai is a fantastic idea, and if there's any talks of confederation between the two, they should consult both the Sinai Palestinians and Jordanians first.

      Will you imagine of a bridge between Aqaba and the town of Taba in Sinai?

      Here's the Facebook page:
      https://www.facebook.com/APalestinianStateInSinai

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    3. Anonymous, you are saying that even if the Palestinian state is created in the Sinai there won't be any other option but to create a confederation with Jordan?
      Question: despite the facts you presented; would the Jordanian King and indigenous tribes and elite accept it?
      I am under the impression Jordanians, the original (?) ones, are looking forward to kick Palestinians out of their territory...specially those supporting the Muslim Brotherhood...

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    4. No, Ana.
      Let's be clear; that's my own theory.

      Having a Palestinian State in Sinai is a win-win solution for long-term peace in the Middle East.

      They should consult both Sinai Palestinians and Jordanians (if the rumors of confederation are true); if the majority of them opposed that, then that's clear that they don't need a confederation and their respective government should respect it (though I doubt their sincerity, in my personal opinion).

      I hope you understand my humble opinion



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    5. Anonymous,

      1. Queen Rania may be a Palestinian descendant but she is now the Queen of Jordan - she serves the Jordanians, not the Palestinians.
      2. I suggested that Jordan would move the majority of the Palestinians, not all of them.
      3. You said it well: they do not enjoy full citizenship.
      4. 65%. The rest of the 35% would probably be happy to see most of them go.

      I agree with consulting the people.

      "Will you imagine of a bridge between Aqaba and the town of Taba in Sinai?"

      To join the confederation...that way the Palestinians wouldn't be divided...if feasible and if Jordanians would agree to be part of the plan, why not?

      Thanks for the FB page: I Liked it :).

      I am loving our conversation: thank you. And have a great weekend.

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    6. Anonymous, got it. Yes, I understand your humble opinion now :-). I just hope that everything goes accordingly; but one thing is for sure: Yesha can't go to those guys.

      Delete
  5. I agree it is a fabulous idea, but would the west agree to it in the event of an agreement between Egypt, Israel and the Arabs? Sometimes I think the west is interested in keeping the fire going in those parts of the region to sell guns and fuel anti-Semitic talk! Without war between Israel and the Palestinians what is there left for this guys to talk about?

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      You raise a very interesting point. Yes, would certain interested parts allow peace to come about, indeed?

      Let's ponder on it...

      Anonymous, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Hamas' best idea EVER!!!
    On a serious note, I have to agree with the anonymous dude above me; won't the west try to hinder this? And how about the Palestinian diaspora and the leftist groups that invested a lot in trashing Israel because of Palestinian statelessness? I bet they will come up with a bunch of excuses to explain why this is not doable!
    What can we do to counter them, Max? Just tell me what to do and I will do my best ;-)

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    1. Hey Adam :D!

      It is, isn't it?
      As I told Anonymous, we must ponder on that. But if they would try to prevent it then the mask would drop once and for all: perhaps, that is what we need.

      Patience, Adam...patience ;).

      Adam, thank you ever so much for your fabulous comment :D. Always a pleasure.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. Olá Max,

    Who would say indeed?
    If Hamas is bringing this issue back it's because it's thinking about it; it is actually considering going ahead with this plan. But at the same time it has to accuse his neighbours of plotting until the waters are tested. Being in the Sinai it would mean being closer to its friends and all that water...so close to Africa!
    Now, aren't you worried about Iran being closer to Palestine to sell her weapons?

    Overall speaking, it is a damn good plan! I hope the US reads this post, Max!
    Great job!

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      We hope so.
      No, I am not worried at all. In fact, it could be a solution to those who need the conflict to last for the sake of trade...

      lol You are generous *bowing*.

      Celeste, thank you for your comment and support :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. I agree with Hamas' suggestion, rumour, whatever. They should move into the Sinai and end this conflict once and for all! Now they have an opportunity to prove they REALLY want peace!
    I also agree with Anonymous that the Palestinian people are to be asked about this through a referendum...optimistic much? ;-)

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      It could be viewed like that, indeed: as a way to prove that they truly want to give their people a de juris state, with full rights and obligations.

      Referendum? Perhaps, who knows?

      Ana, thank you so much for your comment :D. Shabbat Shalom to you!

      Cheers

      Delete
  9. Reading it was just like a kind a fairy-tale in the dreary desert sand of dead habit. Well I wonder in hinduism there is a concept of four ages with the first one (satya yug) being where everything that happens is noble and good and the last is one (Kali yuga) when we are believe to be now is when everything bad that has to happen will happen and nobody can control that. Coming to the point, the solution looks too good to be true in this age maybe was possible in the first one.

    I believe there are too many alien vested interests at play today who will not let it happen for their own narrow interest and that's the crux in the whole world, where even small states within nations fight for every inch of land although they very well know its futile.

    To conclude, I can earnestly hope the solution sees the light of the day and many many more nations follow that trajectory to remove the unnecessary hostilities as also the fact that then defence spendings will come down which today is done at the cost of the ordinary people, even in nations where people are starving. I'll leave with a thought, if the common man in your country is dying out of hunger and malnutrition, then won't it be better for some other interested nation to take it over? Yes there is no guarantee things may improve after that or may further deteriorate but history has shown otherwise. Its the people who come victorious at the end, but then today's world is lot bi-polar and diplomatic for any such eventuality.

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    1. Are you saying that Peace between Arabs and Israel is like a fairy-tale, Kalyan? :-)

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    2. Hello Kalyan :D!

      Too good to be true...I see what you mean, however it is a viable solution and not accepting it, once on the table (if it ever gets there, I mean), it would surely prove that peace is not the real Palestinian objective. They need a homeland, after the many political mistakes made over the years.

      Peace doesn't necessarily bring the costs of defence lower. Machiavelli said that it was in times of peace that princes had to invest in war the most (since they have to stock, train and be prepared for any eventuality). Peace doesn't last forever and the same happens with war.

      "I'll leave with a thought, if the common man in your country is dying out of hunger and
      malnutrition, then won't it be better for some other interested nation to take it over?"

      Would it? :)

      Kalyan, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    3. @ Ana

      Beyond doubt as long as the US has its own vested interests. We have seen over the last few years how the relations are changing between US and Israel, so to that part it would be more like a fairytale.

      Delete
    4. Kalyan, so you are saying that the US has an interest in this ongoing conflict...many of us share that opinion sometimes, but is it actually true? That is the million dollar question!

      Delete
  10. Max, a first timer here; good to be here!
    This is one great rumor! But I am not sure the good old Palis would accept the deal if anyone would ever present it to them.
    Great stuff in here! I will be back!

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    1. Hi Don :D!

      Welcome! It is great to have you here with us *bowing*.
      I understand your doubts...

      Thanks, Don; and thanks for your comment :D. I am looking forward to seeing more of you.

      Cheers

      Delete
  11. Fabulous and exciting proposal the palestinians will have a homeland where every palestinian would be under one roof except judea and samaria that is israeli terrotory.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Indeed. Judea and Samaria is Israeli territory and it's time that the whole world acknowledges it.

      Thank you for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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