Palestinians Must Accept That They Will Never Be Granted a “Right of Return”

In addition to exposing the false claim that the violence at the Gaza border is about the “occupation” (which ended in 2005) or the Israeli blockade (which doesn’t apply to food, medical supplies, and other necessities), David Horovitz points to the self-declared purpose of the demonstrations: the “return” of Gazans to the towns and villages their ancestors left in 1948. The overall intent, writes Horovitz, is made clear by the very name, March of Return, which faithfully reflects the Palestinian insistence that all descendants of Arabs who fled the land of Israel, whether in 1948 or 1967, should be allowed to resettle in the areas they left—a policy that would destroy the state of Israel:

The “right” of “return,” demanded by Yasir Arafat and then by Mahmoud Abbas, has helped doom all efforts to date to negotiate a two-state solution. The assertion of a “right” of “return,” right now by Hamas, is bringing ever greater suffering to Gaza. The Palestinians’ unwavering insistence on a “right” of “return” has all but killed off belief inside Israel that a two-state solution can ever be attained.

The world owes it to the Palestinians to correct its definition of Palestinian “refugees”—and it can do so, incidentally, without in any way impacting any aid assistance it provides for Gaza and the West Bank.

It owes it to the Palestinians to make clear that Israel will not be required or pressured to commit national suicide as a Jewish state by absorbing millions of descendants of Palestinians who used to live in what is today’s Israel. Just as Israel, following the division of Mandatory Palestine by the UN in 1947 and independence in 1948, built a thriving state in its revived historic home, including by absorbing hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Middle Eastern and North African countries, so the Palestinians should be encouraged to build a thriving Palestinian state alongside and in true peace with Israel as the home to their millions—a first ever Palestinian state, in a framework that was spurned by the Arab world 70 years ago and that Arabs tragically continue to reject. . . .

Want to alleviate the ongoing tragedies of Gaza? Want to prevent the endless repetition of [horrors]? Make plain to the Palestinians that they have no “right” of “return.” Tell them that they deserve leadership that doesn’t lie to them and abuse them. And make it clear that their independence can be achieved only through a genuine readiness for coexistence, alongside majority-Jewish Israel.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinians, Two-State Solution

 

Syria’s Downing of a Russian Plane Put Israel in the Crosshairs

Sept. 21 2018

On Monday, Israeli jets fired missiles at an Iranian munitions storehouse in the northwestern Syrian city of Latakia. Shortly thereafter, Syrian personnel shot down a Russian surveillance plane with surface-to-air missiles, in what seems to be a botched and highly incompetent response to the Israeli attack. Moscow first responded by blaming Jerusalem for the incident, but President Putin then offered more conciliatory statements. Yesterday, Russian diplomats again stated that Israel was at fault. Yoav Limor comments:

What was unusual [about the Israeli] strike was the location: Latakia [is] close to Russian forces, in an area where the IDF hasn’t been active for some time. The strike itself was routine; the IDF notified the Russian military about it in advance, the missiles were fired remotely, the Israeli F-16s returned to base unharmed, and as usual, Syrian antiaircraft missiles were fired indiscriminately in every direction, long after the strike itself was over. . . .

Theoretically, this is a matter between Russia and Syria. Russia supplied Syria with the SA-5 [missile] batteries that wound up shooting down its plane, and now it must demand explanations from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. That won’t happen; Russia was quick to blame Israel for knocking over the first domino, and as usual, sent conflicting messages that make it hard to parse its future strategy. . . .

From now on, Russia will [almost certainly] demand a higher level of coordination with Israel and limits on the areas in which Israel can attack, and possibly a commitment to refrain from certain actions. Syria, Iran, and Hizballah will try to drag Russia into “handling” Israel and keeping it from continuing to carry out strikes in the region. Israel . . . will blame Iran, Hizballah, and Syria for the incident, and say they are responsible for the mess.

But Israel needs to take rapid action to minimize damage. It is in Israel’s strategic interest to keep up its offensive actions to the north, mainly in Syria. If that action is curtailed, Israel’s national security will be compromised. . . . No one in Israel, and certainly not in the IDF or the Israel Air Force, wants Russia—which until now hasn’t cared much about Israel’s actions—to turn hostile, and Israel needs to do everything to prevent that from happening. Even if that means limiting its actions for the time being. . . . Still, make no mistake: Russia is angry and has to explain its actions to its people. Israel will need to walk a thin line between protecting its own security interests and avoiding a very unwanted clash with Russia.

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More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war