Rafah crossing is permanently open; At last, Egypt begins to shoulder responsibility for Gaza

Al Ahram: The Arab-Arab border to Gaza is open / Obama tends to the Arab Revolution / El Badil: ...but it can only be sustained by Arabs themselves / Watan: In Syria, Assad is slaughtering protesters / …who cry but carry on.

The Arab-Arab border between Egypt, the largest Arab country, and the Gaza strip, a territory controlled exclusively by Arabs, is now COMPLETELY open. At last!

This should put the lie to claims that Israel has been blocking access to Gaza. From time to time Israel had more or less closed its own border to the Strip, sure. But it could never seal Gaza, as critics so often said, because the territory borders Egypt.

Even more important than the erosion of falsehoods about Israeli control, however, is the fact that Egypt is slowly assuming responsibility for Gaza. The newly liberalized border traffic will force Cairo to address the needs of the Gazan population. Until now, Egypt had insisted that only Israel was responsible for Gazans’ well-being – a wrongheaded and unrealistic stance that was nonetheless foolishly endorsed by the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union, and not least Israeli governments.

For more than five years, there has been no Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip, civil or military. It is past time to transfer the provision of Gazan needs to Egypt. This change will reduce tensions and clear up confusions. It will also, incidentally, be in Egypt’s interest to prevent rocket fire on Israeli cities and villages from Gaza. Hopefully, Egypt’s military rulers will see things that way.

By the way: At present, Gazans are better off than Egyptians themselves. Life expectancy is much higher in Gaza than in Egypt. Infant mortality in Gaza is much lower than in Egypt. Gazans get better educations. All of which gives them a good foundation to take charge of their own future as members of the Arab world.

Explanation for the illustrations posted HERE:

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