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January 9, 2004
Qureia: We Want One Middle-East State

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia threatened Israel with the bomb -- the population bomb, that is:

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said Thursday that if Israel unilaterally imposed a new boundary with Palestinian areas he would respond by pushing for a single Arab-Jewish state — a move that could spell disaster for Israel. A single country including Gaza, the West Bank and Israel would mean that the Jewish state would soon have an Arab majority. That would force Israel to choose between giving Palestinians the right to vote and risk losing the country’s Jewish character, or becoming a minority-ruled country like apartheid South Africa.

Of course, this has always been the idea behind the Palestinian offensive against the existence of Israel. The Palestinians have a higher birth rate and at some point will outnumber the Israelis. When that happens, all they need to do is recognize Israel not as an occupying power but as sovereign over the West Bank and Gaza -- and then demand their right to vote. Israel will then either have to deny sovereignty over the territories or deny the Palestinians the vote, which will lead to conflict with the West and the US.

It's a novel approach; I'm not aware of a case where a population demanded to be annexed into a nation against that nation's will, but it's apparent that both sides are down to last option. Qureia and Sharon are both talking victory through surrender, Sharon through his threat to unilaterally withdraw behind a security fence and abandoning Israeli settlements. Hopefully this demonstrates the futility of further armed conflict to both sides and gets them to mediate to a true settlement, one that respects both populations. It's either that or annihilation for one or both.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 9, 2004 9:05 AM

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