(July 3, 2018 / MEMRI) Salah Diab, Egyptian businessman and owner of the Al-Masri Al-Yawm daily who writes under the pen name “Newton,” published an article on Jan. 24, 2018, headlined “The Price of Refusal,” about Egypt’s rejection of a proposal for a settlement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
As part of this proposal—an American-British initiative that was dubbed “Operation Alpha,” and submitted to Israel and Egypt in 1955—Israel was to return to Egypt the territories in the southern Negev Desert that it had conquered in 1948, and to absorb 75,000 Arab refugees and pay reparations to the rest, in exchange for the lifting of the Arab boycott and recognition of Israel by the Arab world.
Both Egypt and Israel rejected the proposal, and it was finally shelved after Egypt chose to disconnect from the West and support the Eastern Bloc headed by the Soviet Union.
In his article, Newton bemoans the fact that the Egyptians rejected the plan, claiming that had they accepted it, “everything would have been completely different”: Egypt would have avoided all its wars with Israel, its losses and casualties and the waste of extensive resources, and wouldn’t have reached the situation in which it finds itself today.
Newton claims that the proposal was offered up on a silver platter, and that, in their current situation, the Arabs can only dream of a better proposal. He writes that a good statesman would not have rejected such a proposal, but rather accepted it “so as to achieve the best possible practical results, which would serve the interests of his people.”
The full report can be read at MEMRI here.