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Friday, March 30, 2007


Twenty-two members of the Arab League, including Egypt and Jordan who already have peace agreements with and recognise Israel, have signed up to guarantee Israel’s security in return for Israel withdrawing entirely from the Gaza and the West Bank back to its pre-1967 lines, including withdrawing all settlements and also including withdrawal from the Golan Heights, recognising the sovereign state of Palestine and accepting a ‘just solution’ for all the Palestinians and their descendants that were displaced from Israel.

Naturally, the hard right-wing of Zionism is hardly likely to accept any aspect of the proposals and will make every effort to disrupt any discussion of them. There are others, however, who have at least expressed an interest in sitting down to talk despite their concerns about the proposals and their all but total rejection of the right of return part of the proposals which is by far the biggest sticking point as far as both sides are concerned. For the Israelis it simply won’t happen, and for the Palestinians there will be no peace unless it does.

Despite the fact that the Israeli government has rejected the entire proposal out of hand, the mere fact that the Arab League were prepared to go to so much trouble in arranging the meeting to thrash out this attempt at a peace plan says much about the current climate among the Arab peoples. It also makes a statement about the extent of Arab unity at a time when the US and Israel have been trying to wedge the differences that Sunni and Shia are currently having in Iraq by inferring that a fractured Iraq would have a detrimental effect on the relationships that each of the Arab nations have with each other implying that the Sunni/Shia differences could spread throughout the Middle East.

Despite the fact that Israel has rejected the proposal, the demand for peace should now be expanded to include not just the united voices of the Arab peoples, but the peoples of all the world including those moderate Jews throughout the Diaspora that want peace and the peoples of Israel who have also had enough of the wars and killing in the name of right-wing Zionism.


Anonymous said...

The 'right of return' does seem to be a sticking point - but why would the Palestinian people want a 'right of return' if they had their own state? Considering the rhetoric that Palestinian leaders direct towards Israel it is hard to see why any of them would want to live in Israel when they would have their own state.

Commenting on a FM source the JPost reported:

"Although not mentioning the refugee issue directly, the statement said that the peace process with the Palestinians was based on the two-state idea, with "each state addressing the national aspirations of its own people."

This is code for saying that Palestinians refugees should be absorbed in a Palestinian state, just as Jewish refugees were absorbed in the Jewish one."

Surely the 'right of return' would be moot if the Palestinians had their own state.

Also, the Saudi agreement mentions that the proposed Palestinian state would have Jerusalem as its capital. It's not clear if this is East Jerusalem or the whole city but one wonders if claiming the whole thing will be of any utility to the Palestnian cause. Surely the ISraelis would not surrender this city.

Damian Lataan said...

The Palestinian State and the right of return are two diferent things. Some Palestinian refugees aren't so much interested in living in a newly delineated Palestinian state; they just want to live where they used to live - in what was Palestine but is now Israel. If it remains Israel under the new arrangements then that's fine - as long as they have equal rights of course. Therein lies the real problem. If they get equal rights, Israel after a while will lose its status as a Jewish state.