.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Egypt's violent reaction to idea of expanding Gaza into Sinai

A few weeks go, Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yona Metzger called on a Palestinian state to be established in an expanded Gaza that would extend into the practically-empty Sinai desert:
According to Metzger, the plan would be to "take all the poor people from Gaza to move them to a wonderful new modern country with trains, buses, cars, like in Arizona - we are now in a generation where you can take a desert and build a city. This will be a solution... they will have a nice county, and we shall have our country and we shall live in peace."
Of course, the reaction has been furious, saying that Metzger is calling for "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinian Arabs (although no one quite offers an alternate solution for Gazans who are always being characterized by these same people as bursting at the seams.)

Egypt's reaction is telling. Palestine Today reports (autotranslated):
Egyptian circles rejected a proposal aimed to transfer the population of Gaza as a first step to the Sinai in preparation for the transfer of Palestine to the West Bank and Jerusalem, in an area of a thousand square kilometers by the extreme view of the insane, insane one in the Jewish state.

The official spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Hossam Zaki, said that "The rumors about setting up an alternative homeland for the Palestinians in the Egyptian territories is a sick imagination of the people who are not responsible and not holding the decision or call for decision, the only decision-makers in Egypt alone as the Egyptian Sinai ground no one can be forced to waive a single Egyptian grain of sand."

The Chairman of the Committee for Arab Affairs Egyptian People's Assembly (parliament), Major General Saad beauty, said that "Egyptian national security is a red line that can not be crossed. The Sinai is critical to Egyptian national security... If we proceed in dealing with the Palestinian issue from our national pillars to belong to Arabism and Islam and the Arabs, it does not give a justification for the claim that the compromise on our national security and our lands for the sole purpose of helping others to seize the territory of others unjustly...

"If the Arabs and Palestinians have made concessions to Israel by allowing them to live on land seized by the year 48 and earlier, compared with the territories it occupied in 67, including Jerusalem the capital of the Palestinian state, this does not give the right of the Zionist entity to ask for more concessions from the Arab states and Palestinians."

Strategic expert Major General Ahmed Abdel Halim stressed that the importance of the separation of emotional issues and feelings of nationalism in dealing with the Palestinian issue as a national focus defend nor waiver by pointing out that "talk on the establishment of a homeland for the Palestinians in the Sinai is Jewish nonsense; we do not agree to it ...President Hosni Mubarak reiterated more than once that Egypt will not give up one grain of sand of the Sinai."
No one seriously expects Egypt to invite one and a half million Palestinian Arabs into the Sinai, but the vehemence of the reaction shows yet again that Egypt's commitment to help the lives of ordinary Palestinian Arabs is nonexistent.

Egypt may spout rhetoric about solidarity with Palestinian Arabs but in reality it, along with most other Arab countries, doesn't want to actually do anything concrete to help them. On the contrary - these statements prove that Egypt views Palestinian Arabs as their enemy, people who would compromise their national security.

And indeed, Egypt indeed treats Palestinian Arabs more as enemies than as brothers. Their support for PalArabs extends only to the amount that they can inflict damage on Israel.