Thursday, September 22, 2011

Palestinians Want It All--All of Israel that is

Saree Makdisi, a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA, has an op-ed column in today's Los Angeles Times. It is particularly revealing if one wants to understand the Palestinian Arab world view. He criticizes the effort of the Palestinian Authority for recognition as an independent state within the 1949 armstice lines (the so-called "1967 borders") because it would leave 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs as citizens of Israel within the 1949 armstice lines and would abandon the right of Palestinian Arabs to return to their homes within Israel. If one gives his arguments any thought, one realizes that what Professor Makdisi is advocating is the reversal of the 1947 resolution partitioning the Palestinian Mandate into a Jewish State and an Arab State. In its place he wants a partition into an Arab State and a binational state that would in due course become an Arab State.

The only surprising aspect of this column is its criticism of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, because if the truth were known what Makdisi wants is what Abbas wants as well. Abbas just does a better job of hiding the ball. If all the PA wanted was a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, it could have achieved that objective long ago, but only at the cost of relinquishing any claim on the part of Palestinian refugees to resettle inside Israel. Abbas, like Arafat (may the name of the wicked be erased) before him would not make that concession.

That is the main justification behind the PA's effort to obtain recognition of a Palestinian State through the United Nations, bypassing negotiations with Israel. A negotiated peace would require recognition of Israel as the Jewish State called for in the 1947 partition resolution, and relinquishment of any Palestinian right of return. A unilateral declaration of statehood, on the other hand, would give the Palestinians a state without compelling them to recognize Israel, relinquish claims to Israeli territory, or relinquish a claimed right of return. It thereby preserves the true Palestinian objective, the elimination of the world's only Jewish State.

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