Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Mideast Peace Starts With Respect"

Writing on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Ronald S. Lauder, the President of the World Jewish Congress, notes that while the two-state solution to Mideast Peace--a Jewish state and an Arab state existing side-by-side in the territory of the former UN Palestininan Mandate--was accepted by Israel’s pre-state leadership, led by David Ben-Gurion in 1947, when the Jewish Agency agreed to the partition plan contained in United Nation’s General Assembly Resolution 181, Palestinian Arabs and all other Arab nations flatly rejected it then and have done so ever since.

Mr. Lauder might have gone even further, and mentioned that the much ballyhooed Arab League peace proposal, lauded in the Western press and on the Israeli left as evidence of Arab good faith, would require a right of return to Israel of all Palestinian refugees and their descendents. That would be a prescription for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Mr. Lauder urges the Obama Administration to address that issue with the Palestinians and Arab nations. He writes:
The administration would also do well to take heed of the Palestinian Authority’s continued refusal to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. This is not a trivial matter. A long-term settlement can only be forged on the basis of mutual recognition and respect. To deny the essence of the Zionist project—to rebuild the Jewish people’s ancient homeland—is to call into question the seriousness of one’s commitment to peace.

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