by Herbert I. London
In a recent discussion of the anticipated Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas, leader in the territory, said he "would not tolerate one single Jew in his new country, Palestine." Speaking before journalists in Ramallah, he clearly noted, "We have already said, completely openly, and it will stay that way: 'If there is a Palestinian country with Jerusalem as its capital, we will not accept that even one single Jew will live there.'"
Abbas rejected any suggestion that Jews in Judea and Samaria, who have lived in their homes for decades, could remain under Palestinian rule. Meanwhile, in all negotiations, the Palestinian position is that "Palestinian refugees" have the right of return to Israel. According to the Abbas proposition, therefore, Israel should open its borders for Arabs while Palestine closes its borders for Jews.
Here is the deal: Arabs, who now represent about 20% of the total population in Israel, can now live in Israel as full fledged citizens with all the rights that being a citizen confers. They can have their own political parties and settle in their own communities. But on the other side of this political ledger, not one Jew, including those who reside on the West Bank, can remain, once Palestine becomes an independent nation.
What more does one have to know? Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. There is, and will remain, in the proposed new state, different standards for Arabs and Jews. Hence, what precisely is a two state solution? An Arab state that immediately becomes a threat to the very existence of Israel, as Jews are regarded as the enemy and, by virtue of law, must be ostracized -- or worse.
To make matters even more surreal, Abbas is considered an ideological moderate. After all, he does not call for killing Jews, only for a form of apartheid, of absolute separation. Should such a Palestinian nation be created, how long would it take for open hostilities between the two states to break out, especially with the old problem of succession we are now witnessing in the Arab world?
These questions, and a host of others, will have to be addressed to meet the demands of a two state solution. But even more fundamental is the attitude of the Palestinians themselves. If Jews are not permitted there, does that mean that Jewish tourist dollars and investment capital are not welcome there, either. Where does one draw the line?
In context, if Abbas did not have to mollify radical sentiment -- that he continues to create -- in the West Bank, these unmistakably racist comments would be an embarrassment, uttered only in private, if then. But his are the views of a radical, sensing that the tide of world opinion is with him. Unfortunately, he may be right about that: the media elite, as well as so-called human rights organizations, have so far remained silent over -- let alone condemned -- his forthright endorsement of Arab apartheid.
If this Palestinian state is created, Israelis should not have any illusions about what it will mean. Further isolation, increased hostility, border tension and suicide bombings. Rather than have a new Palestinian state that would be a force for peace the region, Abbas "The Moderate" has made it unmistakably clear that he plans to stack the deck against Israel.
Herbert I. London
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