Over the past few years, voices inside Israel have floated the idea of convincing Egypt to relinquish a strip of land on the western coast of the Sinai that could be joined to Gaza in order to create a geographically and economically viable Palestinian state. Notable among such Israelis is Benjamin Anthony, the head of a prominent organization of veterans of the Second Lebanon War. Anthony has succeeded in persuading a number of retired IDF officers to endorse this plan, which he has dubbed the New State Solution (NSS). But, argue Gregg Roman and Cynthia Farahat, the plan has little chance of succeeding:
The failed Oslo process showed that granting land to an undefeated enemy of Israel leads only to more violence if rejectionist incitement is allowed to flourish at the societal level. Why would a greater Gazan state fare any better? Because, the proponents say, what Palestinians really need is breathing space. . . . Instead of land-locked, resource-poor holdings in dreary old Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians would get “miles of beautiful, Mediterranean coastline . . . no less inviting than that of Tel-Aviv.” . . .
But that’s the Oslo Accords repackaged: give Palestinians self-rule with international aid to spur economic development, and soon the ranks of extremists will dwindle. If that were true, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It isn’t lack of space or resources that keeps most Palestinians poor; it’s bad governance and the rejectionism that sustains it. . . . The proposed state, which would be “fully sovereign . . . with the freedom to defend itself,” is sure to be dominated by Islamists, and its establishment likely would fuel Islamism among Palestinians in the West Bank, who would be granted absentee citizenship, residency rights where they presently reside, and little else. . .
All of this is academic, however, because there’s no evidence that President Sisi (or any other conceivable Egyptian ruler) would be willing to donate a major chunk of Sinai—hallowed ground for which thousands of Egyptian soldiers died fighting.
Granting more land to Hamas will not change the vision of many Palestinians to eradicate Israel; it will energize the Islamists.