|Hamas members burning the Israeli flag in Gaza (Reuters)|
By R. James Towe email@example.com
The Palestinian position has insisted repeatedly on a provision that would allow millions of Arabs to live within Israel. It's called 'right of return' for Palestinians displaced both voluntarily and by force during Israel's 1948 War of Independence and to a lesser extent, the 1967 Six Day War.
BEYOND AN INDEPENDENT PALESTINIAN STATE
Israel would not simply sign a peace agreement and then lock the doors on its border.
Consider that the 1948 War of Independence was over 60 years ago. Many, if not most of the displaced, are no longer alive. Those living and the descendents of the displaced (about four million people) would be given a 'right' to relocate to a country that speaks Hebrew and is Jewish in religion and ethnicity. Israel is a country of about eight million. It isn't difficult to imagine the violence and mayhem that would follow.
Working along side of 'right of return' is an increasing international distaste for Israel as a 'Jewish' state. Palestinian negotiators are willing to eventually recognize Israel, but not as Jewish. It's no coincidence that both issues run in parallel during negotiations. It is part of a puzzle designed to upend Israel's existence.
Israel guards its borders obsessively as non-Israeli Arabs moving freely within the Jewish state (not including the West Bank) would result in certain bloodshed. Prior to Israel's West Bank Barrier (Link), bus explosions and bomb blasts were common and deadly on a horrendous scale. After the new Israeli policy, terror acts within Israel have dropped to almost none. The suicide bombers are gone or at least unable to escape their towns in the West Bank.
The Left screamed apartheid and a policy reminiscent of Jewish ghettos in Nazi Germany when the wall building began. Extreme comments by extreme people that consider Israel a vestige of European and American 'imperialism'.
NO INTEREST IN PALESTINE ON JORDAN'S WATCH
The Hashemite Kingdom's ruler, the late King Hussein, viewed PLO chairman Yasser Arafat as a troublemaker, as he was subsequently exiled. End of story. It was not until Israel routed Arab armies in 1967 and sent them home in disgrace that the modern ideas for peace between Israelis and Palestinians took hold. Suddenly 'land for peace' became the phrase.
Prior to the 1967 Six Day War, East Jerusalem (including the Old City) and the West Bank were in the hands of Jordan. In 1989, Jordan removed itself economically from the Palestinian territories where Jordanian dinars had continued to be the currency following the '67 war. This action further isolated West Bank Arabs as they became increasingly dependent on Israel and the United States for economic assistance.
On a side note, wealthy Arab states have been strangely absent in providing economic assistance to Palestinians in order to exhibit the suffering as fodder for anti-Israel propaganda.
THE PALESTINIAN DEFINITION OF LAND FOR PEACE
- The right for over four million Arabs to 'return' to Israel proper (the area accepted by the United Nations as 'Israel')
- A Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem
- Return of the Old City of Jerusalem to Palestinians and a return to Israel's borders prior to the 1967 war.
- Arab recognition of what would be left of Israel, but not as a Jewish state.
- Preserving ability for Palestinians to work in Israel despite their 'independence'.
A TIRED COUNTRY
I fear that international pressure and the decades of war footing have made the Israeli public wary and more accepting of terms not in their favor. The result of 'peace' could eliminate Israel's ability to remain viable.
THE REAL MOTIVE
The peace negotiations are but a strategy to remove Israel from the Middle East. There are no Palestinian traditions or capitals. There never were. 'Peace' is simply a means to an end as anti-Western forces consider Israeli Jews nothing other than Europeans occupying Arab lands.
The right of return allows for the elusive Arab victory against Israel without having to fire another shot. All should beware.