InfraBlue knows full well that the so-called Right of Return
is such a key element of the Palestinian demands because it will accomplish demographically what the Arabs have not been able to accomplish military: the elimination of a Jewish State in the Middle East. CI on the other hand just browses anti-Israeli and Left-wing blogs so he can regurgitate propaganda in these threads.
It is a pointless demand because it will never be met. Not ever. Even Noam Chomsky has suggested that it is pointless for the Palestinians to continue to pursue it.
So why then do the Palestinians insist upon it?
I think Abbas might be prepared to give it up if he got the right deal, and he wasn’t afraid of being killed for reaching a peace accord with Israel. For whatever reason though, it’s always been kept in the back pocket of the PLO and taken out when they need to kill negotiations. Hamas will never concede on this demand, but then they don’t want peace.
It wasn't until 1993
that the PLO officially acknowledged Israel's right to exist, but even then they wouldn't agree to acknowledge its right to exist as a Jewish State. Conceding on the Right of Return
is tantamount to, at least, a tacit acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State. Hamas still refuses to acknowledge Israel's right to exist at all, and will never accept a Jewish State in the region.
Since they always ultimately introduce the issues of ROR and Jerusalem, not matter how far talks progress, it’s difficult to reach any conclusion other than that their leaders don't really want to achieve a lasting resolution, at least in a way that will result in two states.
The Right of Return
is a non-starter. As long as it is a condition for peace, there will be no peace. The Palestinians realize this and so its value even as a negotiating lever is non-existent. I’m sure it can supported by International Law and UN Resolutions (some of which are specific to this conflict), but since International Law and UN resolutions are essentially a fiction which nations cite as justification for taking certain actions (often violent), rather than following on a consistent basis, they are irrelevant. When they apply equally to everyone they may have a bearing in this matter.
The status of Jerusalem may also be a non-starter. Muslims seem to have more High Holy sites than Carter has pills (how’s that for a dated reference): The Kaaba, Masjid al-Haram, Al-Majid an-Nabawi, Quba Mosque, Masjid al-Qiblatain, Al-Aqsa Mosque (Jerusalem), Imam Ali Mosque, Imam Hysayn Shrine, Al-Baqi, Jannatul Mualla Cemetery, Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque, Al Abbas Mosque, Sayyidah, Ruqayya Mosque, Bab al-Saghir Cemetery, and, literally, dozens more.
BY comparison, the Jews have really only one: Jerusalem, and specifically the Jewish Quarter which contains Har haBayit, the Temple Mount, the Holy of Holies, Kodesh Hakodashim , the Western Wall, and several other lesser temples. If Israelis were more like the Muslims of old, when they won Jerusalem they would have razed the Dome of the Rock and built Ezekiel’s Temple, Beit haMikdash haShlishi, on its ruins. Instead Israel has allowed the Muslims to manage the site and even imposed a ban on prayer by non-Muslim visitors, a fact not often reported by the media.
This is all information, I’m sure you’re aware of but perhaps not so others. You might even remind me that the Jews have a second scared site, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah, are said to be buried. Not surprisingly Muslims built a mosque over the burial chambers. This tradition
led some to question the motivation of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque
Israel’s critics seem to blithely dismiss the very major concession made in the mid 90’s whereby control over Gaza and the West Bank was transferred to the Palestinian Authority created for that purpose. The Israelis have already proposed broad concessions on the West Bank Settlements and PM Olmert proposed a withdrawal from most of the West Banks with a swap of land for the retained portion, which would include a territorial link between Gaza and the West Bank. He got relatively far along with Abbas. Although represented as an agreement that reciprocal relations concerning business, water , tourism etc would exist, in effect, this meant that Israel would economically prop up the Palestinian state. I’m convinced Israel is more than prepared to do so in exchange for a lasting peace, and the US would pump in even more that the $400 million it already provides on an annual basis. It actually appeared that an agreement might finally be worked out in 2008, but Hamas would have none of that and the Gaza War broke out on December 27, 2008.
I think the expanding settlements have been a mistake on Israel’s part, but in light of the tactics taken by the Palestinians (Hamas, since 2008) to create leverage for Israeli concessions by firing rockets across the border and killing Israeli civilians, I can understand the thinking behind doing the same with expanded settlements.
The demand for a demilitarized Palestinian state by Netanyahu is seen as an impediment, but with Hamas in control of Gaza and now uniting with Fatah to run the PA, it makes sense. Security safeguards are a must in any eventual agreement. With Hamas in the mix I really see no hope for a resolution. You would think Israel’s hard-core critics would appreciate the near impossibility of negotiating a settlement with a terrorist group, but then most of them aren’t looking for a negotiated two-state settlement, they want to see one state eventually controlled by the Palestinians (Right of Return
) and it’s tough for me, at least, to conclude that anti-Semitism doesn’t play a big part in their thinking.
A cynical argument is advanced that in order for Israel to be considered a democratic state, they have to allow Palestinians to achieve through fecundity what they can’t achieve through military might, all the while ignoring the lack of democracy with the Palestinian territories (one questionable election of Hamas followed by cancelled scheduled elections does not a democracy make), and the high likelihood that a single state controlled by Palestinians would be a lot more like it’s undemocratic Arab neighbors than Israel.
I would like to see the complete destruction of Hama as a result of the current hostilities but this is too much for which to hope. It’s ironic, but given the opportunity to express themselves confidentially, I’m sure that I would be joined by Egypt, Jordan and even Fatah. In fact the only nations in the region that hope otherwise are Iran and its vassal states of Syria and Lebanon.