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A late response

Reader comment on item: Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza
in response to reader comment: Nasser and Cyprus

Submitted by Y. (Israel), Aug 24, 2010 at 14:31

I apologize for responding so late. It seems I missed your comment. "

>A. The only type of "peace" Nasser wanted with Israel involved its de facto elimination. At one stage he sure did but this does not mean that he wanted peace with israel as early as 1955 but the policy makers in Israel did want to have any peace and why is that?"

A. Nasser demands' were completely unreasonable. Israel couldn't possibly allow the "refugees" in, and losing its southern port would have cut it off from its only oil supplier than (the then-friendly Iran), nevermind how unjustifiable the demand was. I don't think a peace offer means "Israel acquiesces to any Arab demand which does not directly involves eliminating Israel, followed by negotiations from a totally uneven position on the rest of the Arab demands, with the unspoken option of Arab war again on the table if it doesn't comply" (This description matches nearly all of the supposed Arab peace offers, especially the "Saudi Plan". Maybe there were a very few exceptions. e.g. a Syrian peace offer in 1949 from the unstable Za'im regime (overthrown 4.5 months later) which involved ceding half of Israel's major water source). "And how do you explain the shameful Lavon affair?" Both sides played dirty. At least the "shameful" affair didn't kill anyone, contra the Egyptian attacks.

">Oh, and he wouldn't start negotiations unless the head of the Mossad came to Egypt to talk... An obvious ruse. Could you rpovide us readers with evidence that Gamal Abd el-Nasser indeed would not negotiate unless the head of Mossad vistis him? Really? This would be very interesting or is this hasbara?" That was in 1966. See [1]. This wasn't the only time. In Jan. 1955 Nasser wanted a meeting with Yadin, but the death sentence given in the Lavon affair made Sharett reconsider. Later the events leading and following Gaza ended all talk. "

>B. The attack on Gaza was a retaliation for the numerous acts of terror by the Egyptian sponsored fayadeen... Wait a minute do you know the date of this Gaza attack i'm talking about or is this just BS?could you tell us more about nasser's so called sponsored el-fida'eyeen's attacks?"

B. The Gaza attack happened in 28 February 1955. There were at least three separate attacks by fadayeen infiltrators from Egypt before that same year, and an entire list of attacks the previous years before that. [2] has a partial list of attacks from both sides. Hundreds of Israeli citizens were killed (I find somewhat conflicting sources here. Anyway, ADL says it's about 260).

The context is as follows: since the end of the 1948 war, Arabs have infiltrated into Israel. There were numerous reasons for that (some were Palestinians wishing to go to their villages, some were copper (and other) thieves, some wanted to kill Jews), but by the early fifties, the movement had become completely military. We know for a fact the Egyptian governor of the Gaza Strip supported them and organized them into units[3]. After an attack at Rehovot, one of the fedayeen was found to have a letter of orders from that Egyptian governor[4].

">C. Nasser never had the slightest interest in democracy, So?

> as anyone observing the regime he has created can see. He sure was better then islam and islamists"

C. I was responding to your "Nasser admired America and its democracy". This is inaccurate. Nasser admired its power as he admired USSR's power. Of democracy he had no use, and he probably sympathized more with the USSR (the non-aligned movement was always more favourable to the USSR). I think try to choose between him and Islamism is an anachronism: at the time the Islamists were weak, and the Arabs had a barely functioning civil society in the 50's before the coups, dictatorships and demographic changes strangled it. It wasn't a choice between dictatorship and Islamism at the time. Nasser could have left alone the King and the barely functioning semi-democracy. It would have probably evolved to something like today's Jordan, but with more stability and a better basis for a secular nation (since Egypt has a long history and it's own sense of identity rather than an invented Jordanian one. Also a decent enough economic base before Nasser's policies and the demographic expansion destroyed it). D. I am sorry for misinterpreting you. In any event, Nasser's role was secondary since he had little-to-none influence on anyone involved. Same with Israel. This is just of little interest to anyone. You might as well write about France/Spain/Cuba's "role in Cyprus" (little to none until lately).

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/jul/28/obituary-major-general-meir-amit

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3405998,00.html (Hebrew).

[2] http://www.202.org.il/Pages/tagmul/tagmul1955.php This is for 1955, and Google translate can help with it and the links for the previous years (just switch the number). If you can stomach "Hasbara" and don't like Hebrew the mfa has a much smaller list:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-%20Obstacle%20to%20Peace/Palestinian%20terror%20before%202000/Which%20Came%20First-%20Terrorism%20or%20Occupation%20-%20Major

[3] http://www.labournet.net/world/1002/latifa1.html

http://www.jewishsightseeing.com/dhh_weblog/2006-blog/2006-04/2006-04-26-nonie_darwish.htm

etc. Just run a search for the name.

[4] "Israel: From war to peace" by E. Karsh, p. 27 "Israel's Border Wars: 1949-1956" B.Morris, p. 340

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