Daniel Pipes and the return of Egypt and Jordan

Daniel Pipes has produced an interesting idea for managing the Palestinians – invite Egypt and Jordan back into Gaza and the West Bank to rule.

There are advantages to this… Both regimes are at peace with Israel and have managed their own Islamist problems. If it works, this has the possibility of stamping out Palestinian terrorism and ending the whole Israeli debate about what to with the “territories”. It means no more “talks” with intransigent terrorists and frees Israel up to deal with Lebanon and Syria.

There are however distinct problems with this approach. Egypt and Jordan are much better armed than they were between 1949 and 1973. If they did not suppress Palestinian terrorism (the more likely candidate in this scenario is Egypt), then Israel would be forced to face the possibility of full scale war to prevent attacks. If they did (which is the likelier outcome as both states have no wish to sponser largely Islamist terror), then that still leaves the long term problem of lack of Arab democracy (outside of an imperfect Iraq) and the cultural effect of autocracy on people.
And there is a distict worry about the capacity of those nations to control those territories without resorting to open-state terror attacks against restive populations. Remember that the first intifada began on the Egyptian side of the border – the Egyptian police opened fire with 12.7mm heavy machineguns – against a crowd of civilians and halted any further rioting.

My suspicion is that if this came to pass (massacres in Rafah, Bethleham etc) as part of an autocratic crackdown on nationalist aspirations, no one beyond the “decents” would really care, apart from the Israelis.


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