Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shavit Sputters

Ari Shavit is your typical rational middle-of-the-road Israeli intellectual. He's knowledgeable, is unabashedly nationalistic but feels the need to compromise.

So, he writes this:-

An Israeli [peace] initiative in this spirit will not bring an end to the conflict. It will not unravel the Israeli-Palestinian entanglement with one magical thrust. But it will create a gradual change in the situation that will indicate a direction that Israelis and Palestinians should follow.

It will prove that Israel is giving up the ethos of settlement while the Palestinians are beginning to move beyond the ethos of the return.

- - -

The Israeli initiative must have four aspects: Israeli willingness to carry out a limited withdrawal in Judea and Samaria even without a peace agreement

He also writes this:-

The demand for the right of return attests to the fact that in the era of Hamas the Palestinian people are not trying to establish a Palestine that will live alongside Israel, but rather strive to establish a Palestine that will replace Israel. Weaken Israel, put Israel to death and inherit it.

This extremely complex situation has a number of implications. On the one hand, it is clear that at the present historical stage there is no chance of getting the Palestinians to ideologically relinquish the demand for the right of return.

On the other hand, it is clear that without such a concession, any far-reaching Israeli withdrawal is extremely dangerous.

But what bothers me is that the two issues he treats, the right of a Jew to live in his historic homeland, a right recognized and guaranteed by international law, and the supposed 'right' of a 'return' of 'refugees' are unequal.

Arabs are residing in places where they didn't live 60 years ago because they refused to act in line with international law and used violence in expressing their opposition.

Arabs are residing in places where they didn't live 60 years ago because they would not agree for over three decades before the state of Israel was created to compromise.

Arabs are residing in places where they didn't live 60 years ago because they continued to harass and attack and kill Jewish citizens of Israel from 1948 onwards.

Arabs are residing in places where they didn't live 60 years ago because they would accept an autonomy plan or any other foolish proposal by an Israeli government or a its prime ministers based on solutions that don't respond to the problems.

But, again, I wish to emphasize that Shavit and those like him are in error in attempting to equalize and parallelize the two situations, the two national and historical rights and the two resulting realities. Jews living in areas the Arabs and Shavit want them to call Palestine and leave Israel and Zionism alone by having Israel retreat from them do not in any sense cause the same damage that Arabs living in Israel, whether the indigenous population or the expected 'returning refugees'.

One population, the Jewish, doesn't kill and contributes to economic well-being. The other, the Arab, practices terror wherever they are. Refugees returning are negative and Jewish communities are positive. Simple.

I hope Shavit learns sooner than later that he is wrong in his thinking.

Isn't it obvious to you as it is to me?

No comments: