|Israel Resource Review
||3rd October, 2006
Our World: Tzipi Livni and us
Caroline B. Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST October 3, 2006
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is an interesting case study in how a public
image can trump professional competence in Israeli politics.
Livni was brought into politics by then prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 1999. The back-bencher became prominent in 2003 after undergoing two major transformations. First, she exchanged her frizzy light brown curls and dowdy dresses for straight blond hair and couture. Next she followed former premier Ariel Sharon from the nationalist camp to the post-Zionist camp.
In the aftermath of these stunning changes, the leftist media crowned this
woman with pidgin English and no understanding of international diplomacy
the queen of Israeli politics. While bereft of actual accomplishments, with
the media's bottomless indulgence, Livni enjoys a reputation as a savvy,
competent, and scrupulously clean politician.
All this no doubt explains a poll published Sunday by Ma'ariv which claims
that if Livni were to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as head of Kadima,
she could lead the embattled candidates' list to victory in the next general elections.
One of Livni's chief advantages over Olmert is that she is less identified
than her boss with Israel's defeat in Lebanon. There are two main reasons
that this is the case. First, unlike Olmert and Defense Minister Amir
Peretz, Livni maintained a low profile throughout the war. Second, Livni was kept out of the loop of the war's military management.
More than anything else, Ma'ariv's poll exposes the public's ignorance of
Livni's positions on issues of national concern. This is so because in
repeated polls since the war came to its sudden cessation, the public has
expressed views diametrically opposed to those that Livni seeks to advance.
On Friday, Livni clarified her positions in an interview with Yediot
Aharonot. Her views were also given expression in an article in Haaretz on
Sunday regarding the government's diplomatic handling of the war. During the war, the principal difference between Livni and Olmert was that Livni gave up on the idea of Israel winning the war on July 12 - that is, on the day that Hizbullah attacked an IDF patrol along the northern border, kidnapped IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser and began pummeling northern Israel with rockets and missiles. It took Olmert another 10 days to be convinced that Israel ought to lose the war.
Both in her interview with Yediot and in her statements to Haaretz, Livni
makes clear that unlike the public, she doesn't see why the war in Lebanon
proves that the policy of surrendering land to terrorists is misguided.
Ignoring the fact that Israel's withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza enabled
the empowerment of jihadist terror groups and paved the way for the war that ensued, Livni sees the terror wars as an opportunity to bring foreign troops into Lebanon. Indeed, on the first day of the war, Livni instructed her advisers to begin drawing up plans for foreign forces to come to Lebanon to protect Israel. Although UNIFIL commanders have made clear that they will not disarm Hizbullah, enforce an arms embargo, or remove Hizbullah forces from the border, Livni views the UNIFIL deployment in Lebanon as a model for both Gaza and Judea and Samaria.
Livni's aversion - already on the first day of the war - to any attempt on
Israel's part to secure a military victory in Lebanon on the one hand, and
her enthusiastic advocacy of the international force model in Lebanon and in Gaza and Judea and Samaria on the other stems from her basic misconception of both Israel's regional security environment and its international position.
This conception makes her behave more as the EU and UN's ambassador to
Israel rather than as Israel's chief diplomat.
As she put it to Yediot, Israel has to stop seeing the US as its only ally,
and reach out to the UN, the Europeans, the Sunni Arab states in the
region - Jordan, Egypt, Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian Authority, the
Persian Gulf emirates and Saudi Arabia - and to the Saniora government in
Lebanon. Livni believes that all these players will cooperate with Israel
because they share some of Israel's interests.
While it is true that these international players share interests with
Israel, Livni ignores the fact that they have other interests diametrically
opposed to Israel's national interests. Those divergent interests have
always trumped the shared interests and nothing that Israel has done in the
past or could do in the future will change this basic calculus.
Livni began her interview with Yediot by attacking the religious Zionist
public. "In the Israeli political system there are no real gaps concerning
the [vision of a] comprehensive settlement of the conflict with the
Palestinians," she said. "The dispute is between the religious public and
the rest of the Israelis."
She argues her case by asserting that aside from the religious Zionists, all Israelis agree that we have to expel the Israelis who live in communities in Judea and Samaria and transfer their land and communities to the Palestinians. Livni's assertion is extraordinary given that in a recent Maagar Mohot poll, 73 percent of Israeli Jews stated that they object to territorial withdrawals from Judea and Samaria.
Livni continued her analysis arguing that Israel must immediately move to
destroy the so-called outpost communities in Judea and Samaria. She
justified this view by claiming that these communities were built without
government permission and that anyway, Israel intends to give the
Palestinians the lands the communities are located on. There are three basic flaws in her reasoning.
First, her claim that the communities must be destroyed because they were
built without government approval is ridiculous on its face.
The government decided in 2005 that it wanted to destroy them. Tomorrow it
could just as easily decide that it wants to expand them. What Livni is
effectively saying is, "I don't like them and therefore I want to destroy
Second, assuming that she is right that Israel would want to give the lands
on which those communities have been built to the Palestinians in the
framework of a peace agreement, it is far from clear what Israeli interest
would be served by conceding them today, when the Palestinians are governed
by their popularly elected jihadist government. Why would Israel want to
give up its bargaining chips before it has a Palestinian government willing
to accept its existence?
Finally, while Livni mindlessly insists that "everyone knows" the contours
of the peace settlement, Israel's experience since the onset of the peace
process with the PLO in 1993 has proven incontrovertibly that those contours are wrong.
The Palestinians have repeatedly rejected the vision of two states west of
the Jordan River and have repeatedly made clear through their actions and
words that they are not interested in having a Palestinian state in Judea,
Samaria, Gaza, and portions of Jerusalem. As they have clarified repeatedly, they want to destroy the Jewish state. So claiming that the solution is known is to simply deny reality.
Livni forcefully argued that Israel cannot rest on its laurels but must move forward immediately to restart negotiations with the Palestinians. In this vein she supports a massive release of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails. In her words, "The world doesn't suffer a vacuum in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When we don't initiate solutions, the world
comes with its own solutions."
What she fails to recognize is that the world did not rest on its laurels
after Israel made massive concessions on its own initiative to the
Palestinians in the past. Rather each Israeli concession was seen as but a
starting point for further concessions. Indeed the statement makes one
wonder where she has been for the past 13 years.
Livni's argumentation stems from her central misconception that Israel's
national security is secured not by the IDF but by opinion polls in Paris
and Brussels. She fails to understand not only that this is false, but that
Israel's popularity ratings in Europe have little to nothing to do with
Israel's actual policies or actions.
Finally, Livni told Yediot that her great plan now is to get the Arab states to work with Israel on solving the Palestinian refugee
problem. Now that Israel supports Palestinian statehood, she said, the Arabs will want to help solve the problem by settling the refugees in the
Palestinian state and by normalizing the status of the Palestinians who have been living in refugee camps in the Arab world since 1948.
Here too, Livni fails to understand reality. The Palestinian refugee problem is not a problem that the Arab world wishes to solve. The Arab world invented the problem because the Arab League wishes to destroy Israel.
The refugee problem does not stand on its own. It is a consequence of the Arab world's continued refusal to accept Israel's right to exist. Were this not the case, the refugees would have been resettled 50 years ago.
There is a question of how long the leftist media will be able to maintain
Livni's image as a responsible, competent leader.
They managed to prolong a similar fiction of Olmert as a national leader
until he led us to disaster in Lebanon this summer. We must hope that Livni
is exposed as an incompetent, opportunistic phony before she can do us
similar, if not greater damage in the future.
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AND THE WORLD LIES: The Anatomy of Refugeehood
Ben-Dror Yemini, Editorial Page Editor, Maariv
Let us begin with a story. A well-known and familiar story. In a certain well-known and familiar country that was once under Ottoman rule lives a large Muslim minority. The relations between the majority and the minority are hardly loving. They, the majority and the minority, have an
inglorious history that is full of reciprocal acts of hostility. At a
certain stage the majority forced a substantial number of the members
of the Muslim minority to leave the state, to emigrate to a
neighboring state in which the members of the minority are a
majority, both in terms of their religion, but also in ethnic and
national terms as well.
No, no, this is not a story about Israel and the Palestinians. It
is the story of the Turkish-Muslim minority in Bulgaria. And no, it
did not happen 200 years ago. It happened less than 20 years ago, at
the end of the 1980s. Three hundred thousand Muslims were forced to
leave Bulgaria. Not exactly forced transfer, but transfer under
And if you haven't heard about the "right of return" and about a
thousand and one organizations that tend to the "refugees" from
Bulgaria, and you haven't heard about refugee camps and seen a
thousand advertisements, it is only because of one reason: they
aren't Palestinians. Because, like the Turks, there are dozens of
other groups that account for millions of people, many millions, who
were forced to leave their quondam homeland in the wake of political
changes and border shifts.
[A graph depicting the number of people who became refugees from a
variety of locations throughout the world, including: Cyprus, Israel-
Arabs, Poland and Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Sudan, the
Balkans, Germany and India-Pakistan. The total number of world
refugees is cited by the graph as just shy of 45,000,000]
The World is Full of Refugees
Population swaps used to be viewed, and this remains the opinion
of many today as well, as the most effective solution to conflicts
between various populations over religious or ethnic issues. Less
than 100 years ago a Norwegian geographer, Fridtjof Nansen, sought
and found a solution to the conflict between Turkey and Greece. He
planned and executed a population transfer plan under international
auspices. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1930. We will revisit that
No, I did not write the above to advocate transfer [of the
Palestinians]. These are different times. International morality is
also a matter of time, background and circumstances. Not every
solution that was suitable in biblical times is suitable today as
well. Support for transfer is outside the list of recommendations for
Nobel Peace Prizes.
The world is full of entire communities that were forced to leave
one country or county and move somewhere else. If we apply to them
the definitions that were uniquely created for the Palestinians-in
terms of defining them as refugees, in terms of the international
approach towards them, in terms of the infinite number of
organizations that exist to protect them-we could only expect an all-
out world war. Millions of Hindus would have to return to Pakistan.
Tens of millions of Muslims would be returned to India. The Balkan
states would be forced to undergo a tremendous population shift that
would result in the remixing of the various populations and also in
the rekindling of countless conflicts.
It is true that no one even contemplates such an idea. It is true
that no one thinks that Muslims need to return to Greece or Bulgaria,
that Christians need to return to Turkey, that Germans need to return
to the Czech state, and the list goes on and on. Because if that
"right of return" is implemented, numerous states would consequently
collapse and fall apart, and we would begin a long era of a perpetual
"The Right of Return is a Winning Card that Means the Destruction of
Fortunately, the current world is sane. It does not demand
imposing this worldwide bloodbath on itself that would dismantle
states and cause their collapse. The world is sane-until it comes to
the Palestinians. It is at that point that it goes mad. Black is
white and white is black. Everything that applies to every other
conflict in the world, becomes inverted when it comes to this small,
tiny plot of land of the Jews.
Suddenly, everything that was true in Bulgaria and Turkey and
Greece and the Czech Republic and India and Pakistan and dozens of
other countries-is not true with regard to Israel. It is obliged to
meet other criteria. Opposite criteria. And here too, an entire
chorus of international organizations deal with just one thing:
worldwide propaganda that intensifies the problem of the Palestinian
refugees and perpetuates it.
The direction taken by many other organizations is even clearer:
to force Israel, and only Israel, a type of solution that is code-
named "the right of return," which is clearly going to produce a
tremendous volcanic eruption. There are some who support that
solution out of ignorance and naivet?. But many support this solution
because their goal is neither an arrangement nor a solution. Their
goal is the eruption of violence. Or, as Saker Habash, one of Yasser
Arafat's advisers, said: "the right of return is a winning card that
means the destruction of Israel."
We will not discuss the great migration of the nations in history.
Nor will we demand that the Arabs who invaded Asia, Africa and Europe
return to the cradle of their homeland, and we will not demand that
the White occupiers of America return to Europe, even though they not
only seized and occupied and raped a land that was not theirs, but
also committed, by the bye, crimes against humanity.
We will only examine those population swaps that have occurred
since the beginning of the twentieth century. And we will not examine
all of them, since our space is limited, but only those that bear a
certain resemblance to the population swaps between Israel and its
neighboring Arab countries. Swaps that contained everything:
expulsion, flight and voluntary departure-on both sides.
UNRWA's Purpose: To Perpetuate Palestinian Refugeehood
Between 600,000 and 800,000 Arabs left Israel for neighboring
countries. A similar number of Jews left Arab countries and arrived
in Israel. That occurred as part of a global process-tens of
thousands of population swaps that occurred against the backdrop of
the creation of the nation states-states that have either ethnic or
religious characteristics. Tens of millions were part of that
migration. Not a single one of those tens of millions has remained a
refugee. Including those who arrived in Israel. That title is
reserved only and solely for the Palestinian refugees.
The double standard begins, but does not end, with the fact that
there are two organizations that are responsible for refugees. The
first is for all the refugees of the world, and it is the UNHCR (the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and the second is UNRWA
(the United Nations Relief and Works Agency), which deals solely and
only with the Palestinians, in keeping with a special UN resolution.
While the goal of the general organizations is to help refugees
start over with a new life and to stop being refugees, the purpose of
UNRWA is the exact opposite: its purpose is to perpetuate the state
of refugeehood. Tens of millions of refugees have stopped being
refugees thanks to the UN aid programs. But not a single Palestinian
refugee has lost that title. On the contrary, their numbers only grow
from one year to the next.
UN Definition Forces Number of Refugees to Rise
There is a difference also in terms of the definition of the term
"refugee." When the subject is Palestinians, it is anyone whose
normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May
1948. The catch is that anyone who arrived in Palestine as a work-
seeking immigrant in early 1946 is automatically defined as a
Palestinian refugee, even if the person at hand was actually an
Egyptian, a Syrian, a Jordanian or a Lebanese national. A two-year
sojourn in Palestine wins a person the right to be included in the
list of people who will be taken care of in perpetuity by UNRWA.
That does not apply to a regular refugee, who needs to prove
entitlement to receive UNHCR assistance. And that is not all. The
general UN definition, which is good for everyone, is that anyone who
has become acclimatized in another state and has become an active
citizen in it is no longer a refugee. In Jordan there are hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians. They received citizenship. They even serve
as ministers in the Lebanese [sic] government. However, according to
the UN definition, they are still refugees.
And there is another important and substantive difference. With
regular refugees, it is only the individual who is considered to be a
refugee. Not family members and certainly not the future generations.
With the Palestinians the situation is inverted. Refugeehood becomes
genetic. A matter for generations to come. Even if his sons and his
sons' sons have never seen Palestine, and even if they are as rich as
Bill Gates-they are still refugees.
And so, with UN sanction, the "refugee problem" is perpetuated. It
has a different definition and the refugeehood is perpetuated. This
is how the number of refugees continues to grow with every passing
year. That is how a monster was raised that has only one purpose: to
create a problem that will prevent the conflict from being resolved.
In Tandem with the Regional Conflict, 10 Million were Expelled in the
By all international criteria, the "Palestinian refugee problem"
was over as soon as it began: the number of Palestinians who left
Israel is similar if not identical to the number of Jews who arrived
from Arab countries to Israel. Israel was not the only place where
population swaps were carried out in the wake of a religious or
national conflict. In every other place in the world that was the end
of the story. Not here. Here the double standard comes into play. In
order to understand just how much political, historical and
international manipulation is at work here, I will review other
instances in which there were population swaps.
The Balkans were a major scene of population swaps, expulsion,
transfer and mass flight in the wake of wars over the past 100 years,
beginning with the first Balkan War in 1912, all the way through to
the most recent war in Kosovo in 1999-which also failed to complete
the population swap. The number of people who took part in those
major migration waves is somewhere between seven and ten million. We
will not cite every migration, only a few key instances.
The first wave in the period in question began in 1915 after the
first Balkan War. In the course of this wave, 200,000 Ottomans moved
to Turkey, 150,000 Greeks returned to Greece and 250,000 Bulgarians
returned to Bulgaria.
The First World War resulted in a far more significant population
migration. The number of Serbs who were forced to leave their homes
is estimated at 750,000 at the very least. Another 250,000 were
indentured into forced labor in Bulgaria and Hungary. Many others
died in the course of the forced march to the Adriatic Sea.
The Designer of the Balkan Transfer Won the Nobel Prize
After the war 300,000 Bulgarians were forced to return to
Bulgaria, from territories that Bulgaria controlled up until the war.
The same applied to some 200,000 Hungarians who were forced to leave
Transylvania and to move to Hungary. A similar number of Hungarians
were forced to leave territories the belonged to Yugoslavia and
The 1920s produced another wave that is more significant to our
issue. The major population swap was carried out there in agreement
between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, and was secured in Lausanne in
1923. That migration involved principally approximately 1.5 million
Christians from Turkey to Greece, and 500,000 Muslims from Greece to
Turkey. There were other migrations as well, of some 80,000
Bulgarians to Greece.
It is noteworthy that not all of the Christians were moved to
Greece and not all the Muslims were relocated to Turkey, but the
declared goal was to create religious homogeneity. In 1930, with the
completion of the population transfer, Nansen was given a Nobel Peace
Prize for having conceived of an executed the above plan. [ . . . ]
None of the above adequately describes the migration of
populations in the Balkans, which involved between seven and ten
million people, as noted above. In some cases, it was the result of
ethnic cleansing, in other cases it was the result of genocide (such
as the lethal transfer the Turks forced on the Armenians), and
sometimes, as in the salient case of Nansen, it was the result of an
agreement. The common denominator to all of the above was an attempt
to create an ethnically or religiously homogeneous state. In any
event, there was no recognition of the "right of return," with the
exception of the unusual case of the Serbs who were permitted to
return to Croatia, but in practice that right was denied them.
The 12 Million German Refugees were Rehabilitated Within a Number of
After World War II, the Polish border was established along the
lines that were proposed in 1919. The demarcation of that border
resulted in a forced population transfer of some 1.4 million Poles
and Ukrainians. The Poles who remained on the Ukrainian side of the
border were forced to move to the other side and vice versa. The
principle, just like in the Balkans, was to retain the religious and
The next forced population movements were decided on at the
Potsdam Conference, immediately after the end of World War II. German
communities existed for hundreds of years in various parts of eastern
Europe and southern Russia. Those communities were accused of having
supported the Nazis and of having fermented nationalist conflicts.
Indeed, in the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, for example, a majority
of the Germans supported Hitler and his demands. But millions of
other Germans in the Sudetenland, Romania, Hungary and Poland were
not among Hitler's supporters. Nevertheless, the decision at the
Potsdam Conference was to transfer the German population.
In the wake of that decision between 12 and 16 million Germans
were forced to move against their will. Many others were murdered in
the course of the transfer. German ferries that helped with the
transfer were sunk with torpedoes. German sources claim that some 2.5
million people were either murdered or were killed in the course of
the population movement, but even if that number is somewhat inflated
the number of people who were killed remains very high.
Just a few years after the great expulsion, not a single German
was still living in a refugee camp, and the issue of the expulsion,
the refugees and the terrible suffering that was caused to the
Germans, many of whom were personally blameless-is not on the German
agenda. All that is left is a single organization, the BDV (the
organization of expelled Germans), but that is a fringe organization
that is supported mainly by the extreme right. There is also a single
MP, Erika Steinbach, who invests herself in the affairs of the
expelled and their rights, but the German consensus is that there are
no rights either to compensation and certainly not to return.
India: 14 Million Refugees Resettled Quickly
[ . . . ] Pakistan remained principally Muslim. In India today, with a
population of close to one billion, there is a Muslim minority that
accounts for approximately 16% of the population. [ . . . ] The absorption
of the refugees on both sides was not easy. But today there are
neither any Indians or Pakistanis who are defined as "refugees." They
resettled in their new counties. [ . . . ]
The World is Indifferent to Refugees (So Long as They're Not
The cases reviewed here are far from adequate to describe the
population migrations of the past 100 years. Some organizations
assess the number of people who moved inside the USSR under Communist
rule at 65,000,000. The conflicts in Africa, such as the endless
civil wars in the Congo and Somalia, produce numerous refugees. Most
of them receive no care. They certainly do not have their own UN
They would like to receive the treatment the Palestinians are
given, but the world is indifferent to their fate. For them, it sets
other criteria. Aside from various aid organizations with limited
budgets, they are left to fend for themselves. The degree of
publicity they receive and the international attention they command
is negligible, relative to the Palestinian refugees, regarding whom
there is an opposite international campaign: to intensify the
problem, to manipulate it so that the number of refugees rises from
one year to the next.
The major population movements that I reviewed above (not
including Sudan!) accounts for some 38 million people who were
absorbed into places where they are the majority. But only the
700,000 Palestinians became a "problem" that is perpetuated by the
UN, the international community and the Arab world, with the
encouragement of academics and members of the media, thousands of
books, articles and publications, that prevent the readers from
gaining access to the real facts and to a comparative international
The solution to the Palestinian problem today is not transfer.
These are different times. That which a murderous country like Sudan
does cannot serve today as an authority to force a population to
move. The forced and agreed to population movements that were
reviewed above were so done to point to one thing: the return of
refugees and displaced persons to the places they were born will lead
to an all-out war. The implementation of the right of return in
Europe will send that continent reeling into a countless number of
Supports Transfer in the Balkans, Condemns Transferists in Israel
The Muslims won't return to Greece, the Germans won't return to
Poland. That doesn't mean that there isn't room for a Muslim minority
in Greece or a German minority in Poland. There is also room for a
Muslim minority in Israel, just as there is room for a Jewish
minority in Morocco, and in future Palestine.
An interesting anecdote: Professor John Mearsheimer published with
Professor Stephan Walt a strongly-worded, borderline anti-Semitic
article against the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. The
hostility towards Israel and the influence of anti-Israel elements,
particularly those who support the right of return for Palestinians,
was particularly salient in the contents of that article and the
sources they cited.
But this very same Mearsheimer published an astonishing article in
1993 in which he wrote, among other things, about the way to solve
the problem in the Balkans. Mearsheimer wrote that "ethnically
homogeneous states must be created" and that Croats, Muslims and
Serbs were going to have to concede territories and move populations.
And this is the very same Mearsheimer who became a hero of the
radical Left, in the world and in Israel, on the one hand, and of the
most prominent anti-Semite in the United States today, David Duke, on
the other. In his hostile article towards Israel, incidentally,
Mearsheimer accuses the Israelis of being supportive of encouraging
the Arab population to emigrate from Israel. He bases that on polls
and the manipulation of poll results, but there is no mention there
that the parties that support transfer have never won any significant
And that is a little bit odd considering the fact that the
honorable professor advocates transfer, writing: "creating
homogeneous states would require transferring populations and drawing
new borders." One would be right to assume that a proponent of
transfer would pounce on this finding as a valuable treasure. The
issue is not transfer. Our issue is having international rules
applied fairly and equally. Mearsheimer is an example of the industry
of double standard, which creates the industry of the "right of
Blacks are Inferior Refugees, Palestinians are Privileged Refugees
All of the population swaps reviewed above have a common
denominator of international accord: the creation of a religiously or
ethnically homogeneous state prevents conflicts. That does not mean
that one should aspire to complete homogeneity. The international
agreement to homogeneity, as it was manifested in the Cyprus Accord,
is the correct model for solving the Palestinian refugee problem.
If the world were to take the same policy that was taken in those
same years to other groups-Germans, Indians, Pakistanis-there would
be no refugee problem today. But the UN decided, in one of the errors
that will go down in the history of poor decisions, to deal
differently with the Palestinians. That is a policy that is
inherently a declaration of inequality: Palestinians are privileged
refugees, and Blacks are inferior refugees.
The international community takes its cue from the UN. Even if it
does not formally support the "right of return," it finances the
"right of return" industry. The European Union helps dozens of
organizations whose goals include it. According to the international
principle, the Palestinians have the right to be absorbed by the
Palestinian state as well, which will be established if only the
Palestinians should choose to live in a nation-entity alongside of
Israel, and not in its stead.
Those Who Demand Right of Return for Palestinians Deny Israel's
The statement that each country has the right to maintain its
ethnic or religious homogeneity and that the refugees who now live in
a place where they belong to the religious or ethnic majority, do not
have the right of return, also binds Israel. This means that even
though Judea and Samaria are part of the historical homeland of the
Jewish people, the Jews do not have the right to return there, just
as the Palestinians do not have the right to return to Israel, even
though this is their historic homeland.
There must be one rule that applies to the Germans who were
absorbed in Germany, to the Hindis who were absorbed in India, to the
Muslims who moved to Pakistan, and this rule says that the Jews have
the right of return to Israel, but not to Palestine, and that the
Palestinians have the right of return to Palestine, not to Israel.
The absolute negation of the right of return is also a derivative
not only of the international situation, but also of the right to
self determination. The Palestinians have such a right, and so do the
Jews. And those who demand the right of return for the Palestinians,
and only for them, basically negates, in laundered words, the Jews'
right to self determination. Only of the Jews.
The Muslims Must Learn From Israel, and Take Responsibility for the
Israel is not to blame for the perpetuation of the Palestinian
refugee problem, but rather the international community is. Instead
of a remedy, it sowed salt in the wounds. It manipulated the issue.
It is the irony of fate, and this is very bitter irony, that the
double standard only increased the Palestinian s' suffering. It
perpetuated their suffering. It prevented a solution of their
The day that the world leaves off its double standard, will be a
day of new tidings for the Palestinians. It will be the first day in
which the level of their suffering will start to drop. It will be the
day they stop being political pawns. For their benefit, for the
benefit of the idea of peace, it would be good were this day to come.
Israel has already done its share by taking in the Jews who
arrived in Israel, as a result of the same conflict that caused the
Palestinians to leave Israel. Responsibility for the Palestinian
refugees, in the main, is that of the Muslim world and the Arab world
and the international community.
Germany took in the Germans. India took in the Hindis. Pakistan
took in the Muslims. Israel took in the Jews. Tens of millions of
refugees were taken in by countries to where they moved-countries
where their fellow religionists were the majority. Let the Arab world
now take in the Palestinian refugees.
This piece an in the on line edition of Maariv on October 3rd, 2006
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