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Nov 25, 2023, 2:48:24 PM11/25/23
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Steven Haddock
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B.A. in Political Science16h
How much land does the Palestinian Authority want?
Well, yeah, Mr. Putter is correct, but it’s more complicated than that.

In 1993 the PLO said “f*ck it” and formally acknowledged that it will
never get back what’s now formally “Israel”. Many Palestinians think
that’s a sell out, but in reality that’s the way it’s going to be.

So the question is how much of what’s controlled by Israel, but isn’t
officially part of Israel, will eventually become Palestine. That’s what
the talks have been about since 1993 when the Oslo Accords created a
framework for future negotiation.

So we need to define two terms here: The “pre-1967 borders” and “The
Green Line”.


After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel took control of Gaza and the West
Bank, which up to that point had been administered by Egypt and Jordan,
respectively. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which changed nothing, the
UN passed a resolution endorsing Israel returning all the land it seized
in 1967, which would become a new Palestinian state. Right now, however,
the UN considers both Gaza and the West Bank to be “occupied
territories” - not part of Israel, but effectively controlled by them.
In most of its peace negotiations since 1973, Israel has acknowledged to
other parties that it will withdraw to those borders… in time. That’s
still official Israeli policy.


However, Israel has expanded into parts of that territory on the West
Bank - not much, but it has effectively excluded non-Israelis from the
area. This is the “Green Line”, the effective limit of Israeli territory
past the 1967 borders. It appears Israel wants to keep this territory
permanently.

So, in the 30 years since the Oslo Accords, Israeli and Palestinian
negotiators have sat down on several occasions to formally define where
the new boundaries should be. Naturally, the Palestinians want the
entire West Bank, including that part between the 1967 border and the
Green Line. However, they might take less. But there’s a problem.


Settlements. Israelis, with the tacit approval and certainly the
knowledge of the Israeli government, keep cropping up in the West Bank.
To be fair, the Israelis removed all the settlements in Gaza by 1995, so
they might be willing to do it. However, many of the negotiations over
the extent of Palestinian territory are often interrupted not only by
new settlements actually being built during the negotiations, but often
by Israeli politicians outwardly calling for more settlements in the
area. Last I heard, about 400,000 Israelis live in the West Bank,
compared to about 4,000,000 Palestinians. However, with the settlements,
outposts and “no-go” zones, Palestinians are currently excluded from
about half the West Bank, and that continues to grow.

Settlements are not popular in Israel, and Israel’s allies are downright
apoplectic about them. However, people in favour of the settlements, as
well as the settlers themselves, form a powerful voting group and
efforts to remove them from time to time are halfhearted at best.
Palestinians are naturally terrified that even if they agree to a
border, Israel will use the settlements as an excuse to annex more land.
It’s pretty clear there’s no way that the Palestinians would be able to
govern the settlers, who routinely get away with displacing Palestinians
from their own land. To be fair to Israel, the possibility a hostile
military force could be set up in the area is a major concern.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as well. One of the major problems
is that the more populated and better behaved West Bank simply can’t
properly govern Gaza given the need to cross Israel to do so. Another
has nothing to do with territory but with individual ownership - many
Palestinians used to live in what’s now Israel and a lot of them owned
houses and property there in 1947. That’s the basis of “Right to return”
- being allowed to return to property that even the Israeli government
admits individual Palestinians own. Another issue is whether Palestine
will be “sovereign”, an actual country with its own foreign policy and
diplomatic relations. The current prime minister isn’t really a big fan
of that concept.

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Jose Smith
· 14h
Egypt lost Gaza and Sinai to Israel in 1967 as a result of the Six-day war.

In 1978 during Camp David negotiations Begin offered Sadat return of all
of Egypt’s territories. Egypt agreed to return of the Sinai which
included Suez canal but said that Gaza is not really Egypt. Begin didn’t
insist. A fool.

Jordan Vogel
· 11h
Guess he knew then that Gazans were developing nationalism and an
ideology that the whole region belongs to them.

Simon Ball
· 7h
Wouldn’t have mattered if he had insisted. Egypt would never have agreed
to it. After the role the PLO played in Black September and the Lebanese
Civil War, Egypt was never going to allow free movement of the
population of Gaza.

Jose Smith
· 3h
Possibly. He had a trump card in his hands called Suez canal. It was
that arguably that pushed Sadat to initiate the whole peace process for
which he later paid with his life in the first place.

If Israelis began to act as though they were about to start getting
comfortable with its ownership and operating it for themselves that
might’ve pushed Egypt to re-annex Gaza, or Leviathan, as it was called
when it was the Egyptian province.

At this point only Jimmy Carter knows how hard Begin pushed Sadat in
that regard and by the time I finish this post he might already be dead.
Both Sadat and Begin spoke English so I wouldn’t be surprised if there
were no interpreters (although unlikely).

In any case at this point the only long-lasting solution that I see is
for Israel to risk war with Egypt and push Gazans to storm Rafah gate. I
actually think it would be good for everybody in the long run, the
Israelis, the Gazans, the Arab world as a whole, and the rest of the
world but… might not be for Egypt. Natanyahu already tried to offer
Egypt to pay its World Bank debt to accept Gazan refugees but no dice.

That’s why I think Jewish diaspora+Israel+USA+the Arab Gulf states
(behind the scenes of course) should approach Egypt with open question:
“What would it take?” and pay what Egypt asks, no matter how exuberantly
high price it will be. In the long run it would still end up being
cheaper for everybody than letting the Gazans resettle the Gaza strip.
Just imho.


Simon Ball
· 2h
The problem is that Hamas’s endgame isn’t merely the annihilation of
Israel, but the creation of a new Caliphate; a hard-line Islamic
theocracy spanning the entire Arab world. As such, they are even more
intolerant of “moderate” Muslims than they are Jews and Christians. The
latter are merely enemies and infidels; the latter are traitors and
apostates. Consequently, they are a direct threat to Arab governments;
and those governments know this. They have no interest in repeating
Jordan and Lebanon’s mistake in the 70’s; allowing Palestinian refugees
to act as a Trojan Horse for Islamic militants bent on overthrowing the
state.

Egypt has enough issues with the Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is
an offshoot), without allowing the entry of a huge number of radicalised
Palestinians who would potentially destabilise the country, and lead to
a radical Islamic group seizing power. Worst-case scenario, you might
see Egypt under the control of something similar to Hamas.

Egypt’s price, therefore, would likely be the complete and total
eradication of Hamas and anyone who supports them with extreme
prejudice. I’m not sure Israel can actually do that without essentially
committing genocide.


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Jose Smith
· 43m
Hm… interesting. I actually disagree with you. Hamas is no ISIS, and it
could’ve cared less about the idea of the Caliphate. There is a
religious aspect to it but from what I read it’s relatively minor
compared to the “Palestinian liberation” thingy.

I believe that Hamas’s goals are what it says it represents, i.e. some
sort settlement of the Gaza issue, breakage of economic blockades, and
so on.

Maybe even coming up with something that snowballs into favorable
settlement of the West Bank issue too although that is secondary, and a
bit more complex since much of West Bank seem to want to be annexed by
Israel as oppose to everything else. Also Hamas is nowhere nearly as
popular in a more liberal, Jordan influenced, West Bank, as it is in
more conservative, Egypt influenced, Gaza.

I don’t think even Hamas understands what its end game is. For them it’s
some sort of a respect, ‘don’t forget that we’re here too’ type of thing.

As Hamas saw Arab world gradually getting closer and closer to Israel
and sort of bypassing the Gazans it decided to do something that would
bring attention back to the Palestinian cause. So it planned the October
7th.

No matter how horrific those attacks were, and it was the type of thing
where one says “it’s no time to reason, it’s time to freak out” - I
believe this was a typical traditional Muslim attack. Cutting throats,
burning homes, killing women and children, and so on. That’s the ways
it’s been going on in the Muslim world since probably even before Islam.
Goes to “total psychological suppression of the enemy”. It sure brought
attention back to the Palestinian issue alright.

How it’s going to end I haven’t the slightest idea. There is another
wild card here that I think between all the massacres and bombings
people don’t think about.
There is a highly successful, very intelligent and astute, and extremely
streetwise politician with huge ego whose legacy is in great peril.
People of such caliber have a tendency to do very decisive,
unpredictable things in order to correct their situation. Could it be
extremely inventive and effective? Absolutely. Could it also be
extremely dangerous for everybody around them? There is no doubt there too.

But everything that I read about Hamas doesn’t point to them having any
type of goals beyond their keep. They might pay lip service to the
Caliphate occasionally but from them I don’t take that seriously. This
is no Gaddafi or ISIS, albeit I’m sure personnel-wise the two sometimes
overlap.

There are a lot of variables here that I can’t reconcile into any type
of reasonable prediction in this case. Ukraine? I can see how that is
likely going to end up. But this? I’m at a complete loss.





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