The Greater Gaza Plan: Is Israel trying to force Palestinians into Sinai?

Israel/Palestine
on 57 Comments

What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza are emerging.

Desperately overcrowded, short on basic resources like fresh water, blockaded for eight years by Israel, with its infrastructure intermittently destroyed by Israeli bombing campaigns, Gaza looks like a giant pressure cooker waiting to explode.

It is difficult to imagine that sooner or later Israel will not face a massive upheaval on its doorstep. So how does Israel propose to avert a scenario in which it must either savagely repress a mass uprising by Palestinians in Gaza or sit by and watch them tear down their prison walls?

Reports in the Arab and Israeli media – in part corroborated by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas – suggest that Egypt may be at the heart of plans to solve the problem on Israel’s behalf.

This month the Israeli media reported claims, apparently leaked by Israeli officials, that Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had offered the Palestinian leadership the chance to annex to Gaza an area of 1,600 sq km in Sinai. The donated territory would expand Gaza fivefold.

The scheme is said to have received the blessing of the United States.

‘Greater Gaza’ plan

According to the reports, the territory in Sinai would become a demilitarised Palestinian state – dubbed “Greater Gaza” – to which returning Palestinian refugees would be assigned. The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas would have autonomous rule over the cities in the West Bank, comprising about a fifth of that territory. In return, Abbas would have to give up the right to a state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The plan, which would most likely result in significant numbers of Palestinians moving outside the borders of historic Palestine, was quickly dismissed as “fabricated and baseless” by Egyptian and Palestinian officials.

Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a spokesman for Abbas, accused Israel of using the proposal to “destroy the Palestinian cause”, referring to Abbas’ efforts at the United Nations to win recognition of Palestinian statehood on parts of historic Palestine.

But Abdel Rahim’s denial raised more questions than it answered. While rejecting suggestions that Sisi had made such an offer, he made a surprising claim: a similar plan, to resettle Palestinian refugees in Sinai, had been advanced briefly by Sisi’s predecessor, Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi, who served as president for a year from summer 2012 until his ousting by Sisi in a military coup, headed a Muslim Brotherhood administration that tried to strengthen ties to the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

He said the plan was based on a proposal made by Giora Eiland, Israel’s national security adviser from 2004 to 2006. Abdel Rahim appeared to be referring to a plan unveiled by Eiland in 2004 that Israel hoped would be implemented after the withdrawal of settlers and soldiers from Gaza – the so-called disengagement – a year later.

Under Eiland’s terms, Egypt would agree to expand Gaza into the Sinai in return for Israel giving Egypt land in the Negev.

Zionist strategies

The idea of creating a Palestinian state outside historic Palestine – in either Jordan or Sinai – has a long pedigree in Zionist thinking. “Jordan is Palestine” has been a rallying cry on the Israeli right for decades. There have been parallel suggestions for Sinai.

In recent times, the Sinai option has found favour with the Israeli right, especially following the outbreak of the second intifada 14 years ago. Support appears to have intensified after the disengagement in 2005 and Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian national elections a year later.

Notably, the scheme became the centrepiece of the 2004 Herzliya conference, an annual meeting of Israel’s political, academic and security elites to exchange and develop policy ideas. It was then enthusiastically adopted by Uzi Arad, the conference’s founder and a long-time adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister.

He proposed a three-way exchange, in which the Palestinians would get part of Sinai for their state, while in return Israel would receive most of the West Bank, and Egypt would be given a land passage across the Negev to connect it to Jordan.

A variation of the “Sinai is Palestine” option was dusted off again by the right during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 50-day attack on Gaza this summer.

Moshe Feiglin, the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, called for Gaza’s inhabitants to be expelled from their homes under cover of the operation and moved into Sinai, in what he termed a “solution for Gaza”.

Did Morsi offer Sinai?

Given that the rationale of the Sinai option is to remove Palestinians from what the Israeli right considers Greater Israel, and such a plan is vehemently opposed by all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, why would Morsi have backed it?

Further, why would he have proposed giving up a chunk of Egyptian territory to satisfy Israeli ambitions, thereby undermining his domestic credibility, at a time when he was fighting for political survival on many other fronts?

One possibility is that Abbas’ office simply made up the story to discredit Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and by extension Abbas’ political rivals in Hamas, and thereby win favour with Sisi.

But few Palestinians or Egyptians appear to have found the claim credible, and Sisi has shown no interest in pursuing this line of attack against Morsi. Why would Abbas fabricate a story that might rebound on him by linking him to underhanded moves by Egypt, Israel and the US?

There are two further pieces of the jigsaw suggesting that there may be more to the Sinai story than meets the eye.

The first are comments made by Abbas shortly before the Israeli media began reporting the alleged offer by Sisi, as rumours started circulating in the Arab media.

Abbas signalled at a meeting with Fatah loyalists on August 31 that a proposal to create a Palestinian state in Sinai was still of interest to Egyptian officials.

He reportedly said: “A senior leader in Egypt said: ‘a refuge must be found for the Palestinians and we have all this open land.’ This was said to me personally. But it’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

The Times of Israel website said it had subsequently confirmed the comments with Abbas.

The Palestinian leader made similar remarks on Egyptian TV a week earlier, when he told an interviewer an Israeli plan for the Sinai had been “unfortunately accepted by some here [in Egypt]. Don’t ask me more about that. We abolished it, because it can’t be.”

What about Mubarak?

The second clue was provided in a barely noticed report in English published last month on the website of the Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, headquartered in London but with strong ties to the Saudi royal family.

It claimed that in the later years of his presidency, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak came under concerted and repeated pressure from the US to cede territory in Sinai to the Palestinians to help them establish a state.

The article, based on information reportedly provided by an unnamed former Mubarak official, stated that pressure started to be exerted on Egypt from 2007.

The source quoted Mubarak as saying at the time: “We are fighting both the US and Israel. There is pressure on us to open the Rafah crossing for the Palestinians and grant them freedom of residence, particularly in Sinai. In a year or two, the issue of Palestinian refugee camps in Sinai will be internationalized.”

In Mubarak’s view, according to the report, Israel hoped that, once Palestinians were on Egyptian soil, the combined area of Sinai and Gaza would be treated as the Palestinian state. This would be the only territory to which Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return.

Anticipating later statements by Abbas’ office, the Egyptian source said a similar proposal was put to Morsi when he came to power in 2012. A delegation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders travelled to Washington, where White House officials proposed that “Egypt cede a third of the Sinai to Gaza in a two-stage process spanning four to five years”.

US officials, the report stated, promised to “establish and fully support a Palestinian state” in the Sinai, including the establishment of seaports and an airport. The Brotherhood was urged to prepare Egyptian public opinion for the deal.

Pieces of the jigsaw

So what sense can we make of these various pieces of the jigsaw?

Each in itself can be discounted. The Asharq al-Awsat report is based on an anonymous source and there may be Saudi interests at work in promoting the story. Likewise, the Israelis could be waging a disinformation campaign.

But taken together, and given that Abbas appears reluctantly to have conceded key elements of the story, it becomes much harder to ignore the likelihood that the reports are grounded in some kind of reality.

There seems little doubt – from these reports and from the wider aspirations of the Israeli right – that a Sinai plan has been crafted by Israel’s security establishment and is being aggressively advanced, not least through the current leaks to the Israeli media. It also looks strongly like variations of this plan have been pushed more vigorously since 2007, when Hamas took exclusive control of Gaza.

Israel’s current rationale for the Sinai option is that it undermines Abbas’ intensifying campaign at the United Nations to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood, which Israel and the US adamantly oppose.

It also seems plausible, given the strength of its ties to Israel, that the US is backing the plan and adding its considerable weight to persuade the Egyptian and Palestinian leaderships.

Harder to read, however, is whether Egypt might have responded positively to such a campaign.

An Egyptian analyst explained the expected reaction from Sisi and his generals: “Egypt is relentlessly trying to keep Gaza at bay. Tunnels are being destroyed and a buffer zone is planned. Bringing more potentially hostile elements closer to Egypt would be a dangerous and reckless move.”

This is true enough. So what leverage do Israel and the US have over Egypt that might persuade it to override its national security concerns?

Turning the screw

Aside from the large sums of military aid Washington gives to Egypt each year, there is the increasingly pressing matter for Cairo of dire fuel shortages, which risk inflaming a new round of street protests.

Israel has recently discovered large offshore deposits of natural gas, which is it is ready to export to its neighbours. It is already quietly agreeing deals with the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, and is reported to be in advanced discussions with Egypt.

Is this part of the pressure being exerted on Egyptian leaders to concede territory in Sinai? And has it been enough to make them overlook their security concerns?

Finally, there is the Palestinian leadership’s role. Abbas has said firmly he will not countenance such a deal. How might Israel think it can change his mind?

One controversial possibility, which throws a very different light on the events of this summer, is that Israel may hope it can “soften up” Palestinian opinion, especially in Gaza, by making life even less bearable than it already is for the population there.

It is noticeable that Israel’s large-scale operations attacking Gaza – in the winter of 2008-09, 2012 and again this year – started shortly after Israel and the US, according to Asharq al-Awsat, began turning the screws on Mubarak to concede part of Sinai.

The massive and repeated destruction of Gaza has the added advantage for Israel that it would allow Cairo to cast its offer of a small slice of the Sinai to the Palestinians as a desperately needed humanitarian gesture.

The success of Israel’s approach requires isolating Gaza, through a blockade, and inflicting massive damage on it to encourage Palestinians to rethink their opposition to a state outside historic Palestine. That precisely fits Israeli policy since 2007.

The Sinai option may be difficult to confirm at this stage but we should keep it firmly in mind as we try to make sense of unfolding events in the region over the coming months and years.

A version of this article first appeared in Middle East Eye

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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57 Responses

  1. Kay24
    September 30, 2014, 2:26 pm

    A very interesting perspective. It is highly possible that this may be the master plan by the occupier. They are making life unbearable and miserable in Gaza, and even to some extent in the West Bank. The periodical mowing of the lawn, the blockades, harassment, theft of lands, water and resources, ALL part of the evil plot. Of course if is highly likely that their partner in crime, the US, is fully aware of Israel’s grand schemes, yet keeps aiding and arming it. This harsh treatment of the Palestinians, and the torturous lives they live, because of their brutal neighbor, is unfortunate. We all know that Israel says one thing, but what it does to the Palestinian people, is ugly, and completely the opposite of what they keep saying.
    Peace is furthest from the minds of the zionists, until they achieve what they really want.
    To rid the Galilee of Arabs, using terror, assassination, intimidation and land confiscation.
    It was said before, and despite their pathetic denials, actions show exactly that.

    • eljay
      September 30, 2014, 2:42 pm

      >> Kay24: Peace is furthest from the minds of the zionists, until they achieve what they really want. To rid the Galilee of Arabs, using terror, assassination, intimidation and land confiscation.

      Once the non-Jews are gone, beaten down or dead, Zio-supremacists will have (relative) peace in their (greater) supremacist “Jewish State”.

      There still won’t be any justice, accountability or equality, but Zio-supremacists don’t care about that stuff anyway.

      • Kay24
        September 30, 2014, 4:58 pm

        They certainly don’t care. It is all about themselves, their entitlement, their land thefts, their devious plan to spread like cancer and eat up land, water, and every resource their greedy minds think of. The illegal settlers have even stolen soil from the Palestinians. That is how low they will go.
        The US aids and abets them along with the UK, Canada, and Australia, and the rest of the world simply tut-tuts and does nothing. The poor Palestinians don’t have a chance to live in their own lands.

    • JWalters
      September 30, 2014, 7:30 pm

      You add good points. And this is a longstanding pattern. This strategy is the same as used at Deir Yassin to drive Muslims from their homes and lands – terrify them into leaving with murderous brutality. The Muslims have divided into two camps, those who are trying to make a deal with Israel, and those who believe Israel only fakes interest in peace to continue murdering and taking land. History clearly supports the second opinion. See “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” at
      http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

      The current rise of Muslim religious radicals is a reaction to the radical Jewish supremacists who started the religious war in Palestine, and who still rule Israel (as the “settler” faction. This entire war zone, and the anti-American sentiment among Muslims, was predicted in the 1940’s by the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who watched it get started.

    • inbound39
      October 8, 2015, 11:47 pm

      I can’t see it being accepted by the Arabs given it would mean rescinding rights to Al Aqsa Mosque and that complex is too important to Muslims for them to allow Israeli Right Wing Jews take it over and demolish it and build a Synagogue in its place. To me on that basis alone it is a non starter. East Jerusalem is too important to Palestinians and other Arabs historically. If Israel and America try to shift the Palestinians that will be the spark that ignites the fire and Israel will,even with American help become ashes. The Arabs will go ballistic.

      Israel wants all the West Bank for one reason and it is not religious. Israel has three main water supplies. One in Israel which is contaminated with military industrial waste from weapons manufacturing and two which it has stolen from the Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel needs that water.

  2. Boomer
    September 30, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Whatever happens to the refugees (and their descendants) who were evicted from Israel–whether they are relocated or continue to be oppressed (and frequently killed) where they are–I expect that U.S. taxpayers will be expected to pay for it.

    • JustJessetr
      November 28, 2015, 9:52 pm

      Maybe they’ll finally be treated like refugees everywhere, and not be given refugee status in perpetuity for them and all their descendants. Reparations, money, and a fresh start somewhere else seems to be acceptable by most people dislocated by war.

      • talknic
        November 29, 2015, 4:55 am

        @ JustJessetr “Maybe they’ll finally be treated like refugees everywhere, and not be given refugee status in perpetuity for them and all their descendants.

        All refugees have the same rights and the Palestinians actually ask for no more than their rights.

        UNRWA gives them no more rights. UNRWA only provides works and assistance for people while they are refugees. In fact UNRWA cared for Jewish refugees in Israel until 1952 when Israeli Government took over responsibility, giving them citizenship, thereby forgoing their refugee status and right to return to the state of their origin.

        “Reparations, money, and a fresh start somewhere else seems to be acceptable by most people dislocated by war”

        Actual UN compiled statistics show a favour towards moving back home

        Say, weren’t our fellow Jews in the diaspora dislocated by war some 2,000 yrs ago?

        Logic tells us those dispossessed from Palestine because of the Romans were long gone by 1897 and the Zionist decision to colonize Palestine. By which time their lineal descendants back to the Roman era would no longer be refugees because they’d had citizen ship in numerous countries, some of which unfortunately they became refugees from. A German Jewish refugee escaping Germany was FROM Germany, not Palestine!

      • RoHa
        November 29, 2015, 5:19 am

        @Just Jessetr.

        Why can’t they just go back to the part of Israel from which they were driven, and be assisted in making their homes in their own land? What terrible consequences would follow?

      • YoniFalic
        November 29, 2015, 8:15 am

        The natives of Palestine are in a unique situation because they are the victims of vicious white racist 19th century style European genocidal colonialism, in which vile racists from Europe drive out or destroy the native in order to move in more white European racists along with favored non-Europeans, who serve as ersatz native collaborators.

        After Auschwitz it was and remains vile and despicable for a state to be founded in post-Auschwitz genocide.

        The International Community needs to develop the stamina to follow the International Law it claims to hold dear, to remove the genocidal invaders, who continue to commit genocide before our eyes, and to place the leadership of the racist genocidal State of Israel as well as its chief international supporters on trial for their lives according to Nuremberg Tribunal precedents and as required by Articles II, III, & IV of the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

        We should keep in mind that the Nuremberg Tribunal executed at least one propagandist (Julius Streicher) that engaged in incitement but never physically hurt anyone with his own hands.

        We must all keep in mind that the racist genocidal E. European invaders have in fact committed greater crimes against human scholarship than the German Nazis did. The German Nazis tended to plunder and to relocate artifacts of scholarly and of aesthetic value to Germany. The racist genocidal Eastern European invaders destroy artifacts and people that do not fit their ideology and completely false history.

        Because the native Palestinians unlike the racist invaders descend from Greco-Roman Judeans, their language, culture, and practice provide us with knowledge and information about the Greco-Roman period that is obtainable nowhere else. 19th century Semiticists were able to explain difficult usages in Greco-Roman Judaic literature by reference to modern Palestinian colloquial Arabic idiom that was loan translation of Greco-Roman Judean Hebrew-Aramaic idiom.

        When the vicious invaders committed genocide in Palestine, they trampled on a treasure trove of human knowledge. For this crime the invaders in Palestine can never be forgiven and must be punished. There can be no statute of limitations on post-Auschwitz genocide especially when it continues to this day right before our eyes. In this case, armed resistance to the racist genocidal invaders, who are nowhere protected noncombatants anywhere in the ME or anywhere in the world (thanks to globalization), assures that the doctrine of laches cannot be applied because the natives have asserted their claims continuously since the racist genocidal E. European invaders started physical destruction of the natives in late 1947.

        There is also a genuine need to investigate the foundations of the fortunes of hyper-wealthy “Jewish” plutocrats like Adelson and Saban, who subvert the government of the USA. After I pass the bar examination, I will research in detail, but both of them should have gone bankrupt over at least a decade or two ago, but either received mysterious infusions of capital or were able to sell assets at far more than they were worth.

        The Zionist leadership seems to have learned from Jacob Schiff’s successful effort to undermine the Czarist Empire in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War that a few hyper-wealthy “Jews” can successfully act to manipulate governments as well as to run their own foreign policy and yet successfully escape criticism for such actions because fools will rant about antisemitism if anyone looks closely at the (often coordinated) actions of such plutocrats.

      • diasp0ra
        November 29, 2015, 4:53 pm

        I agree JustJesstr,

        A fresh new start somewhere else is needed. Their homes back in Palestine is an excellent fresh start and change from the squalor in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

  3. MHughes976
    September 30, 2014, 3:33 pm

    How habitable is this area of Sinai?

    • Horizontal
      September 30, 2014, 7:07 pm

      @ MHughes976 ~

      Probably pretty much like this:

    • gracie fr
      October 1, 2014, 2:04 pm

      28/01/08 “Haaretz ” — —

      London – Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has been quoted as calling for Gazans to be transferred to the Sinai Peninsula, to a Palestinian state which he said could be constructed for them in the 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 for the poor people – they will have a nice county (sic), and we shall have our country and we shall live in peace.”
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19222.htm

      • MHughes976
        October 2, 2014, 5:51 pm

        Well, anything might happen in this world but this plan seems to me to have a very strong whiff of sheer fantasy.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        February 26, 2015, 12:20 am

        Hey, if Israelis think the Sinai is so great, I say, get Egypt to let ISRAEL acquire land there, and let the Palestinians have the land in historic Palestine. Problem solved!

      • YoniFalic
        November 29, 2015, 8:32 am

        Metzger is just repeating the white racist genocidal ideas that are found in Herzl’s diary and that Nordau approved.

        Eastern European “Jews” have expressed approval of genocide for at least a century (as long as the genocide was not directed against them).

        [Note that the three primary founders of Zionism, Herzl, Nordau, and Jabotinsky, were all Eastern Europeans and not Jewish Germans or Austrians. Likewise, Buber, who pretended to seek a genuine reconciliation with the Palestinians but was really a vicious “Blut und Boden (blood and soil)” Nationalist, was actually a galitzianer.]

        Below is the quote. I have excerpts from Herzl’s diaries somewhere in my apartment. The quote is mistranslated or perhaps the original German is simply untranslated, but as I remember “spirit away” is translating an idiom that is used for “putting out the garbage”.

        http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Famous-Zionist-Quotes/Story643.html

        We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back.

      • Kris
        November 29, 2015, 4:22 pm

        @Atlantaiconoclast: “Hey, if Israelis think the Sinai is so great, I say, get Egypt to let ISRAEL acquire land there, and let the Palestinians have the land in historic Palestine. Problem solved!”

        Good idea. Or maybe the Saudis would like to give Israel the area where the Jewish temple probably was in the first place, and let the new Israel be built there.

        But the problem of a state based on the supremacist ideology of privileging one group above all others would remain, so we would still have to push for BDS.

  4. oldgeezer
    September 30, 2014, 3:49 pm

    I don’t think it’s remotely questionable that the end game is indeed that.

    During the recent conflict it was one of the zionist talking points (and one cabinet member at least) that Egypt should open up camps in the Sinai and allow civilians to move there. The plan wasn’t a land grab of course but merely a measure of the great levels of humanity displayed by the GoI. Israel would allow them to return once hostilities had ceased and reconstruction completed.

    Additionally I have read several articles over the past year that forcing the Palestinians out of Gaza into the Sinai would permit them to annex both Gaza and the West Bank without doing too much damage to the overall existential threat of demographics. Don’t forget that Palestinian wombs are a threat to Israeli’s. They have the most lethal wombs on the planet I suspect.

    I can think of 3 billion reasons Egypt will eventually agree. It’s two hardest issues are 1) can we make that 4 billion. 2) How do we sell it to our citizens.

    The perfidity of the state of Israel and it’s supporters know no bounds.

  5. seafoid
    September 30, 2014, 4:08 pm

    The Sinai is mostly desert so wouldn’t be able to support much of a population even if it had a bigger area than Gaza. Where would the water come from? Gaza is entitled to the water from the aquifer.

    I think the bots seriously underestimate what the inevitable collapse of Gaza into a pit of disease is going to mean for the wider Judaism. Pottery Barn rules will apply and it’ll be very hard to whine about WW2.

    Israel is a middle aged man who is slowly going insane.

    • Kay24
      September 30, 2014, 4:54 pm

      Truly belongs in the loony bin. Nothing so dangerous as a mentally deranged evil entity.

      • seafoid
        September 30, 2014, 5:31 pm

        The issue is larger than “are there enough shekels to educate Israel’s children”. The issue is “do they want to educate” Israel’s children. And the answer is “no”.

    • JustJessetr
      November 28, 2015, 9:54 pm

      They could use Israeli technology, like desalinization plants. If Jews are smart enough to make deserts bloom, then Palestinians are just as capable. I have faith in them.

      • talknic
        November 29, 2015, 5:09 am

        @ JustJessetr “They could use Israeli technology, like desalinization plants”

        Without Israel occupation and theft of non-Israeli water resources, they’d have no need for desalination plants

        “If Jews are smart enough to make deserts bloom, then Palestinians are just as capable. I have faith in them”

        Israel’s Jews were no smarter than people in many other areas in the world that also benefited from improvements in irrigation at the end of WW2.

        BTW Peres tried to spin the same BS line. “We were poor and happy. The sort of happiness felt when a person as is turning desert into garden. “

        Lie No# 11 – Kibutz Alumot was a failure in his time, it didn’t turn the desert into garden. It was abandoned until 1967 and Kibbutz Geva was not in desert, it had been a garden for centuries. http://wp.me/pDB7k-BP#peres-deserts-bloom

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 29, 2015, 6:12 am

        What a load of racist nonsense. How do you think Arabs, and others, managed to survive in the desert for millenia before the folks from Poland and Ukraine turned up?

        Same sort of mentality which would have us believe that nobody in the region knew how to blend chickpeas until those nice Polish folks came along and taught them how to make khummuuus. You’d think they’d learn how to pronounce it properly though. But no.

      • Kris
        November 29, 2015, 3:54 pm

        JustJessetr, are you the same person who came to my house so many years ago to make a bid on installing insulation?

        Remember? We were in the basement, and you started talking about salmon fishing. You said that the native peoples here in western Washington state were so bone lazy that they would rather starve to death than walk over to a stream full of salmon and pick up a fish. Remember that?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 29, 2015, 6:09 am

      seafoid,

      You’re back! I was getting a bit worried about you – seriously!

      Anyway, nice to see you here again.

  6. seafoid
    September 30, 2014, 4:16 pm

    Whatever Israel does to Gaza will be visited on the Sabras eventually, assuming they are still around. Zero sum games tend to work like that.
    And the future is going to be awfully long while the notion that history has ended is not likely to provide any comfort.

  7. justicewillprevail
    September 30, 2014, 5:27 pm

    I’m not convinced that israel has anything so rational or organised as a plan for any future for Palestinians. Their entire strategy for years has been to isolate them into ghettoes of ever decreasing viability, where they are invisible, cut off and marooned without hope. It is a war of attrition on an entire people, whose lives are to be made so miserable and intolerable that they will be forced to leave. It is also a strategy of unmitigated stupidity, but this is a hallmark of israel’s thinking, one entirely consistent with the fascist themes they have adopted. They show all the signs of settling for a status quo where the Palestinians are non-citizens, and effectively non-humans, subject to arbitrary violence and humiliation, no rights or say in any aspect of their lives. israel has built a wall around them in order to vanish them, and after that they don’t care, although they appear to hope that somehow the Palestinians will just disappear and expire. That is the extent of their callous stupidity of indifference. Like the characters in The City and The City, they are unseen.

  8. Horizontal
    September 30, 2014, 6:59 pm

    Whatever is being worked on behind the scenes by whatever actors involved, I believe that it would be a hard sell to the actual citizens of Gaza, who have suffered through so much pain, death and injustice to what? — move to the Sinai? I ain’t buyin’ it.

    My take is, if it was anything other than miles & miles of desert, Israel never would have traded it back to Egypt (Land for Peace, remember?) in the first place. It would be kind of like us when we forced the Cherokee from the Carolinas out to oh-so-beautiful & temperate Oklahoma. That worked out well for everyone involved, didn’t it?

    Of all the empty conceits of the Zionists, perhaps the one I detest the most is that land and place is everything to them, but everyone else should be happy living just about anywhere. Such gall.

    • BethlehemOlivesRedeem
      October 14, 2015, 2:40 am

      I think Horizontal is onto something. Gaza is a U.S.-Israeli weapons-testing laboratory with live test animals, real human beings who are simply on the planet to serve Jews, according to the atheist Zionists who run the Zionist Entity in 48 and the OPT. It is far too profitable, in selling weapons and surveillance, crowd control technologies to dictatorships (which, like apartheid Israel, call themselves democracies) with the unique sales pitch — “We’ve tried this on real people and it works marvelously well, as you can see from the impoverishment statistics, the kills and the ethnic cleansing numbers.” No, in the next year or two they may roll out a new and improved aerospace defense system to replace the joke that is iron dome. And U.S. tax dollars will finance its development, the lazy sneaky Jewish Supremacists pretending to be victims while financing suppression of free speech in the usa’s campuses. The captive test subjects won’t be shipped, by rail or boat or desert wind, to Sinai, but kept in place for further sadistic experimenting — until pro-Palestinians figure out the right strategy to turn the tide of public opinion in favor of the people of Palestine [we could start by occupying Congress with a Million Moms and their pro-feminist auxiliary of brothers, uncles, dads and sons.

  9. RoHa
    September 30, 2014, 9:05 pm

    “Is Israel trying to force Palestinians into Sinai?”

    Yes. Sinai, Siberia, the Moon, or anywhere else. Just as long as they leave Palestine.

  10. Boomer
    September 30, 2014, 10:07 pm

    Personally, I feel that we Americans owe the Palestinians a lot. Britain was the responsible colonial power when the process of making the Palestinians a homeless, stateless people began–the process of “redeeming the land,” aka “ethnic cleansing”–but after ’48 we became Israel’s primary protector and enabler. Under the circumstances, I feel that we are morally obliged to give the Palestinians refugee status here, with a path to full citizenship. Relocating them would be expensive, but we can save $4.5 billion a year on “aid” that we don’t need to give to Israel and Egypt; it’s aid they don’t really need. On balance, that’s not a bad deal for us financially, and would be a clear benefit to us from a moral perspective. When I mentioned idea this before, someone said that AIPAC would not like the idea of millions of new Arab-American voters. That’s a feature, not a bug, as far as I’m concerned. They wouldn’t balance out the influence of billions of Zionist dollars, but it would be a start.

    • Horizontal
      September 30, 2014, 11:24 pm

      @ Boomer ~

      I’ve always said that I don’t mind paying taxes so long as it’s used for something better that bombing other countries or paying nuts from NYC to relocate to the West Bank. I have nothing against your idea per se, but it still seems like it rewards Israel for it’s bad behavior which strikes me as wrong. The Palestinians deserve to be in Palestine without a Zionist boot on their necks. We should be paying for that to happen.

      After that, any who want to come here and become US citizens, no problem.

      • Boomer
        October 1, 2014, 6:55 am

        I agree, it rewards Israel for bad behavior, I just don’t see a better alternative. Israel seems to be able to dictate what happens there, and in Washington DC. It is a ruthless nuclear power that also controls our Congress (and, evidently, our President). I suppose some people can imagine that if the world ever managed to act collectively with BDS, even the U.S. could not protect Israel from constructive change. Perhaps that is what you have in mind, and perhaps that is a more realistic fantasy than my fantasy. I con’t object in theory. In practice, I see more hope that Israel would permit its victims to escape to the U.S. (at U.S. expense, of course), thus freeing up more land for Jews there, and eliminating a small but nagging problem for them.

    • seafoid
      October 1, 2014, 7:42 am

      Staying put is their right. Relocation would kill them. That is their land and nobody takes them out of it, even if thry see it as a kindness. I met a Palestinian working in a Lebanese restaurant in London once. He told me he was from Haifa. He still isn’t allowed to visit Haifa. Staying in Gaza is better than that. It is not about money. It is about the life of the Palestinian people and the descent into madness of the sabras.

      • Boomer
        October 1, 2014, 1:48 pm

        I take your point. I’d still prefer to offer those who want to come here the option, given our role in making them homeless and stateless victims of oppression, but I understand that is a poor consolation. If there is a better solution for them, then they deserve that, I agree. I’m not sure what that solution might be, realistically. It seems that we and the Zionists have made a tragedy that we don’t know how to cure, or don’t have the will to cure. Here, as in Iraq, among other places, the actual Pottery Barn applies, not the fictional one that was so often cited after we invaded that country. That means, “we break what we want to break, but we don’t own it. ” We eventually just leave, as we did in Southeast Asia, leaving the aftermath for the locals to deal with. “Stuff happens.”

      • Boomer
        October 1, 2014, 2:15 pm

        PS: About 2 million Vietnamesse fled their country after we left; the U.S. took in about half of them as refugees, with the others going to other countries. It seems to me that we and Britain owe the Palestinians who wish to relocate just as much. If Palestinians have a better alternative, that’s good, but I don’t know what that is.

  11. radii
    September 30, 2014, 10:35 pm

    or Jordan, or Lebanon, or Turkey, or boats, or the grave … zionist israel’s plan has been total removal from the start – they’ve only slowed down from time-to-time

  12. Bornajoo
    October 1, 2014, 3:20 am

    Nearly 30 years ago I was having this argument with a pro settler zionist nutter in israel. He said to me that 200 tears ago if you went to North America you would see the native American Indian people everywhere. Now you see them mostly on reservations. He argued that the Palestinians would simply have to go, one way or another and leave the whole land to the Jews which has and always been the zionist goal from the very start. I used to think he was a lunatic but I later came to realise that this was indeed the actual plan. There will be one large reservation in the south and one or two in the West Bank (the least fertile and less desirable bits). The process in the West Bank will consist of forced expulsions based on supposed crucial security issues. Isis or similar groups will be mentioned, some bombs may go off and this will lead to the “transfers” of the Palestinians into these designated reservations.

    The brainwashing regarding isis/Hamas and Hamas/isis has already begun (UN speech and long before that)

    I’m unfortunately convinced that this really is indeed the real master plan. And as we know all of these supremacist nut jobs always have a master plan don’t they?

    • Boomer
      October 1, 2014, 6:59 am

      Of course, native Americans were treated terribly, but at least today they are full citizens. They live where they want. If he sees them mostly on reservations, that is because he doesn’t look elsewhere. I don’t see that as part of the future for Palestinians in Israel, unfortunately.

      • seafoid
        October 1, 2014, 7:46 am

        The Palestinians were resistant to disease and alcohol and the white settlers from over the sea chose their site on the edge of Asia, surrounded by 100 million Muslims. Thanksgiving prolly won’t be celebrated 300 years on. The key parameters are very different.

      • Mooser
        October 1, 2014, 3:39 pm

        Remember also that disease, mostly smallpox, had a lot to do with it. Which the Europeans had no way at that time of knowing they carried, nor did either the Native Americans or the Europeans have any way of stemming it. Unfortunately, not even the most scrupulous of relations could not have avoided that infection of Native Americans with germs they had little resistance to.

      • Kris
        November 29, 2015, 4:37 pm

        @Mooser: “Unfortunately, not even the most scrupulous of relations could have avoided that infection of Native Americans with germs they had little resistance to.”

        This leads to horrifying thoughts of germ warfare, and how deadly viruses could be engineered, and how immunizations could be faked or withheld.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2015, 4:41 pm

        It is very likely that Spanish and other contact for the 200 hundred years preceding had already had devastating disease effects on the native New World populations, too.

  13. Talkback
    October 1, 2014, 8:15 am

    What else do you expect from Zionists except a long time expulsion of Gentiles? It was never about coexisting. Even Gentile Israelis are considered to be a “threat” simply because they are not Jews. There is no other state in the world which has to keep people expelled so its racist regime can survive. It is pure Apartheid since 1948.

  14. Bornajoo
    October 1, 2014, 6:04 pm

    Yes point taken, the parameters between the native Americans and Palestinians are not the same. But in 1830 the US passed the Indian Removal Act which basically expelled native American Indians away from their traditional and established homeland to other areas West of the mississipi river. This was done in order to make way for the influx of immigrants mainly from Europe as part of the US expansionist policies at the time (source Wikipedia) . So the argument goes that just as the US expelled the natives who were in the way of their expansion plans, the zionists should do the same with the Palestinians who are a nuisance and also in their way of their greater agenda. I suppose that as time goes by they would hope that they would just end up being forgotten about, lost in faded memories. I believe that ultimately the zionists will try and most probably succeed in expelling Palestinians into “reservations” in both the south of Israel and in the least fertile and less desirable areas of the West Bank. Might sound far fetched but we’re already watching them slaughter the Palestinians live on TV so I’m sure they’ll manage the next phase too.

  15. catporn
    October 1, 2014, 9:53 pm

    So Israel is struggling with solutions for the Palestinians outside of two states in Palestine?
    Wonder if they’ve considered Madagascar yet.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 7, 2015, 6:37 pm

      The Madagascar Plan has the practical advantage that a lot of research and planning has already been done on it. Can’t quite recall by whom…

  16. Rusty Pipes
    October 1, 2014, 10:27 pm

    The timeline for when this Likud plan has been pushed relates not only to events in Israel, Palestine and Egypt, but also to political players and cycles in Washington. Throughout the Bush administration, neocon appointees in State, Defense and Intelligence set up structures and enacted strategies for the remaking of the Middle East (including the regime change in the seven countries listed by Clark). Many of them, like the invasion of Iraq, were already underway before the 2004 Hertzliya conference. Further plans were being brought together in 2007, as detailed in Hersh’s “Redirection” article.

    The “Greater Gaza” swap would have benefitted the Israeli right’s goals not only of gaining more of (high value) ’67 Palestine with fewer ’67 Palestinians, as well as gaining some Egyptian land for parking some ’48 refugees, but it would have sacrificed some less usable and historically less valuable Israeli territory (the Negev) with the potential of ethnically cleansing some ’48 Palestinians (Bedouins).

    It would be no surprise if this policy was pushed by some neocons and neolibs in the Bush and Obama administrations. At the time Morsi was elected in 2012, Democrats and Republicans were trying to out-do each other in their demonstrations of loyalty to Israel. In the months before the 2012 election, Obama was under pressure not to upset Zionist donors (they already were suspicious of him after Dennis Ross had left the administration in 2011 and Obama had “pushed Bibi too hard”). Also Hillary Clinton was pushing hard for “humanitarian intervention” in Syria (after the earlier stunning “success” in Libya) and other actions that AIPAC approved. If the White House or State had floated a Likud/neocon-approved option past Morsi it could have bolstered their Zionist support.

    I would hope that Obama hasn’t pushed anything this stupid since Hillary moved on. But then, he’s recently started bombing Syria.

  17. Ossinev
    November 29, 2015, 6:55 am

    Leaving aside the politics, local and international, of what would be a forced move what about the mechanics. Would the Zionists have to approach Germany for supplies of railway lines and cattle trains or would it be SS style forced marches with welcome incremental population depletions en route.Oh and yes to make it viable the Palestinians would almost certainly have to have some sort of identification emblem sown onto their clothing.

  18. Kay24
    November 29, 2015, 8:44 am

    The Arab nations seem to be constantly letting the Palestinians down. Now Abu Dhabi (UAE) seems to want to let the zio serpents into their nation too. Maybe they have forgotten how Israeli killers came in to Dubai and killed a Palestinian in a hotel, maybe they have forgotten that over 2000 Palestinians were killed by these war criminals. Maybe they have forgotten that Israel now has the means to spy on them. Maybe they are not very smart in the UAE.

    Making deals with the devil:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.688235

  19. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 29, 2015, 11:40 am

    Regarding energy supplies, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that massive gas deposits have recently been discovered in Egyptian territorial waters. If that’s the case, why would they need this ‘Israeli’ gas we’ve been hearing about for years? And in any case, LNG is fairly plentiful. What’s to stop them buying it from Qatar, one of the world’s biggest providers?

  20. Freija
    December 23, 2015, 9:47 pm

    as activists for justice in Palestine, we never will accept such a forced relocation for the Palestinians. The Jews have no right whatsoever to live in Palestine as there is no prouve that the Jews from Eastern Europe are the descendants of the Hebrew tribes in the land of Canaan. It is much more likely that the Palestinians, after the Arab conquest converted from Judaism to Islam. This situation of human kind often happened in our history. The zonists have have a totally fabricated story of their own a

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