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The Jerusalem Post reports that the Palestinian leadership has once again insisted that they will never accept any "settlement" that does not include an absolute right of return for refugees -- a right that would completely destabilize democratic Israel and touch off the population bomb that Palestinians hope to use to destroy it:
The Palestinian Authority will never give up the right of return for all refugees to their original homes inside Israel, Zakariya al-Agha, head of the PLO's Refugees Department, said on Saturday. ...
The Palestinian leadership, [al-Agha] emphasized, will never sign any deal with Israel that abolishes the right of all the refugees to return to their original homes. It is "a red line for the Palestinian leadership that can't be trespassed," he said. "There won't be stability in the region until each one of the refugees feels that he has attained his freedom to return to his home. Without this, the refugees will use all methods available to achieve the right of return."
The Palestinians want to force Israel to reintroduce those Palestinians evicted in the partition of 1948 back into Israel, which would make them de facto citizens and give them the vote. And not just the ones specifically evicted, but all of their descendants as well -- pushing the numbers into the millions. Obviously, such a tidal wave of hostile immigration will destroy the territorial and cultural identity of Israel, and in the first election the crippled state could manage, the new electorate would finish Israel as a Jewish homeland and a democracy.
No one who seriously wants peace can expect Israel to blithely agree to its own destruction, and it's rather disappointing to hear Mahmoud Abbas endorsing the position as a bright "red line." Even as a negotiating tactic it's a bad idea; it handcuffs the Palestinians in future talks, setting an expectation among their population that will be impossible to meet.
It's a prescription for all-out war within the next few years, a war that the Palestinians simply cannot win. Not only have they lost their Iraqi patron Saddam Hussein, but the Syrians are now retreating from the Lebanese positions they used to pressure the Israeli military and pin them down on their border. With the American military all over Southwest Asia, other Arab nations are unlikely to step in on behalf of the recalcitrant Palestinians.Sphere It View blog reactions
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