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The Peace Process is the biggest danger to Israel proclaims Israpundit. That is a strange idea. What is the biggest danger to Israel? Ted Belman of Israpundit is certain that the biggest problem for Israel is the "danger" of giving up territory, but it is not.

The biggest danger to Israel is an imposed solution that brings about the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state. At one time, such an outcome was unthinkable, but it is no longer so. When Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, it began a sinister process. Those who want to understand the real factors that undermined the image of Israel since then (see Do settlements help Israel's Image? I and Do settlements help Israel's Image? II ) must understand that process.

As soon as it became apparent that Israel was intent on settling the West Bank and Gaza rather than returning them, the clock began to tick on an inevitable and ugly development, wherein Zionism became associated with aggressive expansionism and racism. Occupation itself is not illegal, and was understood to be a (temporary) consequence of Israeli victory. Settlements and refusal to return territories were less defensible in the eyes of world opinion. Israel's image suffered another blow when the Labor party went out of power in 1977, and Israel lost the sympathy of much of the moderate socialist camp in Europe.

The occupation and the settlements made possible the career of Yasser Arafat, now free to propagandize for "Legitimate Palestinian Rights" which consisted, in his view of "liberating" all of Palestine. This program became institutionalized in the UN in the form of the "Permanent Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," which is, in effect, a UN sponsored lobby with the purpose of destroying a member state.

When Arafat was forced to recognize UN Resolution 242 in 1988, implicitly recognizing the right of Israel to exist as a state, "Legitimate Palestinian Rights" gradually morphed into "Right of Return" for Palestinian refugees. This was a brilliant stroke. There are several million such refugees, and there is no doubt that their return to Israel would put an end to Zionism and to Israel as a Jewish state. There is also no doubt that there cannot be a real solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without settling the refugees and ending their now semi-permanent displacement.

Palestinians have not hidden the fact that the demand for "Right" of Return is a device for destroying Israel. A Fatah Web site states:

To us, the refugees issue is the winning card which means the end of the Israeli state. (http://www.fateh.net/e_public/refugees.htm)

Because of Right of Return, the various demographic calculations of wishful thinkers who try to show that Palestinian Arabs have less children than Jews are irrelevant in addition to being absurd. Without a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the image of Israel will continue to decline. The Palestinians can successfully project their "David versus Goliath" image and Israel is reviled as an "apartheid state."

The very unpleasant truth is that support for Palestinian Right of Return among rights groups and politically aware people in Europe and the US has been growing steadily. It is supported or legitimized by a variety of groups including the American Friends Service Committee, Madre, Global Policy Forum, Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engMDE150132001?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES/PALESTINIAN+AUTHORITY) and Human Rights Watch. (EG see http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/israel/return/). The power of the supposedly mighty Israel lobby is such that no international group is willing to consider the right of the Jews to a national state. A search of the Web for "Right of Return" Refugees will turn up hundreds of Web pages, most of which support Palestinian right of return, as though there are no other refugees in the world, and as though Israel has no legal case at all.

In terms of modern international law, which by and large no longer legitimizes population transfer, the best case that Israel has against implementing "Right" of return is to show that right of return conflicts with the Jewish right to self-determination. Self-determination is considered Jus Cogens, a right that overrides other considerations. Of course, Israel can only make that claim if we are willing to recognize a Palestinian right to self determination, and to allow return of Palestinian refugees to a Palestinian state. That is the solution anticipated by the Clinton proposals of 2000, by the Geneva Accord, and tacitly, by the road map to Middle East peace. The Arab Peace Initiative is equivocal on this point. The Palestinian prisoners' document unequivocally demands the "right" of return.

This is the real choice that Israel faces: to try to undo, insofar as possible, the damage done to Israel's international position by the occupation, and to reach a peace solution or accepted modus vivendi that rules out "right of return" or to face certain destruction. The "explanations" of Israel's right in terms of biblical promises that are offered by Dr Eldad and Evelyn Gordon (again, see Do settlements help Israel's Image? I and Do settlements help Israel's Image? II ) might be satisfying to some Zionists, but they aren't going to convince the overwhelming majority of world opinion, which is building in favor of "right of return." Most Zionists are blissfully unaware of the problem, unaware that HRW, Amnesty and other organizations have passed a death sentence on Israel, and unaware of the gravity of the situation. It is appalling that Israeli diplomacy and supporters of Israel have done virtually nothing to counteract this assault. The latter are often too busy venting their spleen on the peace process.

It is also unfortunate that those who are reviling the peace process or realignment do so apparently in total ignorance of the dangers that face Israel if the occupation continues. They offer us fairy tales based on manipulation of demographic statistics, and wishful thinking that excludes the refugees and actual considerations of World Opinion. If God is so anxious for the Jews to have all the land of Israel, He perhaps would find a way to slow down the accretion of Palestinian Arabs - both inside the territories and outside. The argument of majority rule is extremely persuasive. It is hallowed by custom as well as law. The real danger to Israel is not the peace process, but the lack of a solution that can gain international support. Failing such a solution, we will be faced with the alternative of a one-state solution, or "right of return" that would eventually produce two Arab states and no Jewish states in the land of Israel. True, God promised Abraham all of the land in Genesis, as Dr Eldad insists, but it won't be the first time God let us down.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000124.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 1 Comment


Where and then have you seen a consideration for existence of any state based on the
"world opinion" ?

This "world opinion" always will be
on the side of any movement to exterminate jews.

Your demagoguery is simply acall to
reduce temperature in the ovens to
burn jews. If you seriously insist on this technical measure as a "savior", then you yourself desrve
to be fried in them.

zov, Tuesday, June 20th

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