Today I want to talk about two articles related to Israeli Jews and to Palestinians that set me back on my heels and scratching my head. My surprise is undoubtedly due to my woeful ignorance of these two Peoples and their history. Hopefully some more enlightened readers will help clear up my confusion.
Israeli Jews confuse me
The source of my confusion comes from yesterday’s Jerusalem Post and relates to a recent poll:
The poll, which was conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, also found that over 80% of the Palestinians support turning to the UN to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state. The survey was supported by the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
How would you expect Israeli Jews to respond when asked what Israel should do if the UN does recognize a state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders? I expected that they overwhelmingly reject the UN’s decision. But I would be wrong or maybe I’m not wrong. Please read the following poll results and I think you’ll understand my confusion:
In the face of UN recognition of a Palestinian state, 69% of Israelis thought that Israel should accept the decision and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation (34%) or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians (35%); 16% said Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 7% think that Israel should annex the PA territory to Israel; and 4% think Israel should invade the PA territories and use force to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Maybe I am confused because I don’t know how to read poll results. So, can someone explain to me how 69% of the Israelis polled could say that Israel should accept the UN’s decision while 35% don’t want to see any changes on the ground and 16% want to intensify construction in the settlements and 7% want to annex PA territory to Israel and 4% want to invade the PA territories and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. If my math is correct, 62% of the Israeli respondents are either moderately or strongly against any alteration of the current borders. So, how is it possible that 69% think Israel should accept the UN decision? Am I the only one confused by these poll results?
Okay, let’s now talk about the Palestinian Authority (PA) and their quest for the UN to recognize Palestine as a state. Now, just for kicks and giggles, let’s assume that the State of Palestine is recognized by the UN tomorrow and let’s further assume that Obama does not veto the UN resolution.
Surprise! Palestine would only be for some Palestinians
A measure of how naive I am, I assumed that if Mahmud Abbas was successful in gaining recognition of a new state of Palestine that all Palestinians, wherever they are currently living, would be welcomed to their new homeland and would immediately become citizens of Palestine in the same way that Jews from around the world were allowed to freely immigrate to the new state of Israel years ago. Silly me. Mahmud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are not the least bit interested in allowing Palestinian refugees to become citizens of a new state of Palestine. From this source we learn the following:
…the PLO’s ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, gave the Lebanese Daily Starlast week:
The ambassador unequivocally says that Palestinian refugees would not become citizens of the sought for U.N.-recognized Palestinian state…
This would not only apply to refugees in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Jordan or the other 132 countries where Abdullah says Palestinians reside. Abdullah said that “even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”
Abdullah said that the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” be issuing Palestinian passports to refugees…
“When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”
The Palestinian Liberation Organization would remain responsible for refugees, and Abdullah says that UNRWA would continue its work as usual.
What is the UNRWA? This is what Wikipedia tells us:
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency, providing education, health care, social services and emergency aid to 5 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is the only agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict. It is separate from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which is the only other UN agency aiding refugees, dedicated to aiding all refugees in the world.
So this is Mahmud Abbas’ plan for peace with Israel? Five million Palestinian refugees will not be welcome in the new state of Palestine but will be used as pawns to further his plan to destroy Israel. The plan of Abbas and the PA is that these five million refugees should be able to resettle inside of Israel because that is where the original refugees came from.
How’s that for a plan for peace?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?