That’s actually a misquote of what the late, great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban once said, but it’s accurate enough in this case. Writing in the International Business Times, Jack Moore reports that Egypt offered Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas a portion of the Sinai peninsula from which to form a Palestinian state… and Abbas refused:
Egyptian President General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has offered Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas the chance to create a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula, according to local Israeli media.
The offer to the Palestinian President which, reports say Abbas has denied, would have seen 1,600 square kilometres of the Sinai Peninsula given to the Palestinian Authority, creating a Palestinian state five times the size of Gaza.
According to IDF Radio, the offer would see Abbas relinquish demands that Israel return to the 1967 borders.
In the new and enlarged Gaza, the territory would be demilitarised and Palestinian refugees, many who were unable to return to their towns after the creation of Israel, would have been able to settle there.
As part of the proposal, Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank would have been autonomous and continued to be under Palestinian Authority control.
Sisi allegedly said to Abbas in the meeting: “You are now 80 years old, if you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will.”
The Palestinian Authority is yet to publicly comment on the initiative but unnamed sources said that Abbas rejected the deal in a meeting with Sisi.
Seems like a good deal to me: Israel will never go back to the 1967 borders, and rightfully so — they’re indefensible. The Palestinians would have their own homeland and, in return for demilitarization, they’d be free to make a prosperous country. You know, like those Jewish guys next door.
But, no. It seems there is no deal too good for the PLO, Hamas, or any other Palestinian group to turn down. But why? Why so obdurate? Why so bloody-minded? I think Robert Spencer nails it:
Of course he turned it down. The point is not to have a “Palestinian” state. The point is to destroy Israel. No one was crying about “occupation” between 1948 and 1967 when Egypt had Gaza and Jordan had Judea and Samaria. The “Palestinians” didn’t consider Egyptian and Jordanian rule to be “occupation.” Only Israeli rule is “occupation.” The hypocrisy of the entire “Palestinian” cause is as palpable as its dishonesty, but the world takes no notice.