In an Internet TV interview, researcher and politician Osama Ghazali Harb said that the Arabs had committed a "historic mistake" regarding the Palestinian cause by rejecting the 1947 partition resolution. "We should form normal relations with Israel, and through these relations, we should insist on the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people," he said in the interview, which aired on Copts United TV on January 30. The Hamas tunnels "have proven to be a cancer in the land of Sinai," he said, adding that Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza played a "pivotal role" in creating fertile ground for terrorism.
Osama Ghazali Harb: "Israel exists and will continue to exist. I have my own perspective about this issue. The Jews were present in Palestine and Jerusalem for thousands of years. Their link to Jerusalem and their presence there is a historical fact. The problem is that they use this presence in order to bring foreigners to colonize Palestine. In my view, the Arabs' historic mistake with regard to the Palestinian cause was to reject the 1947 partition resolution, which would have been the optimal solution to the problem that developed from the beginning of the previous century, as a result of the presence of the Jews, and their efforts to establish their own country.
"Unfortunately, however, Egypt made the wrong decision, and refused to accept the partition resolution. It should be noted that the resolution was passed by the United Nations. Israel came into being with the approval of the international community, headed by America and Russia. Unfortunately, we..."
Host: "In exchange, there would have been a Palestinian state."
Osama Ghazali Harb: "Exactly. What we are trying to get now is exactly (the same as) the partition resolution, but without all the benefits of the past. All we want is an Arab state alongside the state of Israel. All the talk about the destruction of Israel is unscientific. The Jewish state has roots in this region. It exists. It is a powerful, productive country, with nuclear weapons, and thus, there is no scientific support for the claim that Israel will be destroyed.
"I support the approach adopted by President Sadat, when he signed the peace accord with Israel. We should form normal relations with Israel, and through these relations, we should insist on the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. I believe that this can be done through political and diplomatic pressure, and by linking these achievements for the Palestinian people to the establishment of normal relations with the Jewish state.
"No country with any self-respect could accept the (Hamas) tunnels. These tunnels have proven to be a cancer in the land of Sinai, and a much more serious cancer than expected. There were dozens of tunnels used for the smuggling of everything, including weapons and drugs, among many other things.
"Unfortunately, as a result of these activities, we are witnessing catastrophes. Is it a coincidence that bombs are still exploding almost every day in northern Sinai, and that Egyptians are martyred? This is undoubtedly the outcome of this cancer, which has been allowed to spread in northern Sinai. Sadly, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza played a pivotal role in creating this fertile ground, which is absolutely not in keeping with Egyptian interests."