The Two State Confusion
In response to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s recent reiteration of his refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state, the Israeli foreign ministry released the following statement: “Recognizing Israel as the sovereign state of the Jewish people is a crucial and necessary stage in the historical reconciliation process between Israelis and the Palestinians.” “The sooner the Palestinians internalize this basic fact, the sooner the peace between our nations will progress.”
To which Abbas responded: “Name yourself, it’s not my business.” “All I know is that there is the State of Israel, within the borders of 1967, not one centimeter more, not one centimeter less. Anything else, I don’t accept.” According to the latter part of the statement there is no reason why Abbas would be unwilling to accept Israel as a Jewish state at least within the pre-1967 borders, so why does he preface his statement with a repeat of his ongoing refusal?
The answer, I suggest, is this: Abbas refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state for one simple reason, because in his warped mind the Jews have no right to self determination in Israel whatsoever, the current land of Israel in Its entirety was stolen by the Israelis in 1948 and he wants it back. Yes, that’s right, the whole entire thing, from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat.
Here is how it works: The eventual destruction of Israel in Palestinian calculations is guaranteed by a clever little clause that has never been excluded from Palestinian demands, proposals, initiatives, peace plans and/or constitutions this clause has been labeled: “the Arab right of return.”
“The Arab right of return” demand is quite straightforward. If every Jew in the world has an inherent ancestral right to live in Israel and be granted citizenship there is no reason why every Palestinian shouldn’t share the same right. The demand therefore states that every person in the world with the status of “Palestine refugee” should be granted the rights of Israeli citizenship.
Now what makes this tactical ploy vastly troubling is that currently the world authority on what constitutes a refugee is a disastrous failure of an organization named the United Nations. The United Nations has two separate organizations dedicated to the plight of refugees around the globe, one, the UNHCR is dedicated to all refugees that are not Palestinian, and the other, the UNRWA is dedicated specifically to Palestinian refugees.
The UNRWA has a special set of new definitions for Palestinian refugees, including monumental changes that vastly alter the landscape of the Palestinian problem. First and foremost, whereas the UNHCR definition of a refugee is not trans-generational the status of Palestine refugee is passed on to all descendants until the end of time. Furthermore, in order to qualify for refugee status a refugee only has to have lived in the area for a minimum of two years prior to 1948.
With these new definitions, estimations on the grand total of Palestinian refugees in the world varies from 4-8 million. If an Arab right of return is granted, the new immigrants would join forces with the existing Arab population of 20.2% and the state of Israel would be democratically voted out of existence.
Because this wish can never be granted, even if a Palestinian state were to be established, the Arabs will always claim that Israel has discriminated against them by allowing Jews a right of return and not Arabs, thus granting them the right to continue their armed “resistance.”
If Abbas formally accepts Israel as a Jewish state, he can no longer use the “Arab right of return” card, as it will obviously undermine the Jewish nature of Israel as a country, hence the ongoing refusal of the Palestinians to do so.
Whatever you may think a befitting solution entails, one thing is definite: a solution must be built around realities. There are too many world leaders that are deeply caught up in the “two state confusion” and this will have to change if there is to be any progress in solving this crisis.