What did President Nasser really intend, on the eve of his death in September 1970, to do about the Israeli occupation of Sinai? This question lies at the heart of his legacy. His remaining adherents fervently contend that Nasser’s acceptance of the Rogers Initiative was merely a stratagem. He hoped to allow time for the final preparations so that his secret scheme to retake Sinai by force could at last be put into effect.1299 They do tend to disagree on the details. The plan was called ‘Granite One’, say some.1300 According to others, it was ‘Operation 200’.1301 Most claim it was ’nearly exactly the same plan’ as that implemented by Nasser’s successor, Anwar Sadat, in the (relatively) glorious October War of 1973.1302 A few, such as the Minister for Presidential Affairs, Sami Sharaf, insist that it was much better. It would have been a truly united Arab operation, co-ordinated with the Syrians, Jordanians and Lebanese.1303 Egypt would not merely have established a bridgehead across the canal to improve her negotiating position. She would, the Nasserists wistfully avow, have taken the mountain passes and regained the entire Sinai by force of arms.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Arab World Suez Canal Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian Regime
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