Monday, January 20, 2014

Ethnic cleansing

There are reports that the PA leadership have decided not only to reject the American Framework intiative in the current peace negotiations, but also to go on the offensive again to try to achieve a Palestinian State unilaterally at the UN and to undermine Israel. They will do this because they are not only split, but because no Palestinian leader can make any compromise away from their maximal positions over land, Jerusalem and refugee "right of return."

One of their maximalist positions over which they will not compromise is the "ethnic cleansing" of the West Bank. They reject the right of any Jews to live in "their" areas, and the 500,000 or so settlers who live there now according to them must go. Of course, Israel will not agree to relinquish the large settlements of Ma'ale Adumim, Kfar Etzion and Ariel. But, there are many smaller settlements that the Palestinians will demand must be dismantled. Where are these Jews to go? As far as they and we are concerned they have a perfect right to live there, in part of the original Holyland and in the British Palestine Mandate that was set up to establish a Homeland for the Jews, not for the Arabs.

Some might say, well the Palestinians are fed up with being "occupied" by Israel and they want the Jews out. But, what about the 1 million or so Arabs who live in Israel. Does Israel insist that they be moved out, transferred to an Arab sovereignty? No, that would be considered ethnic cleansing and if Israel did that there would be international criticism and a furore in the UN against Israel. But, the Palestinians can insist on ethnically cleansing their putative State, without a word of protest from the international community.

FM Avigdor Liberman was criticized by UN Secty Gen Ban-ki Moon and many others for suggesting a population exchange with the Palestinian State, if one were to be established by agreement thru the peace negotiations. But, what would be wrong with this, if the Arabs want their own State and call themselves Palestinians and not Israelis and oppose Israel, why shouldn't they be accomodated in a Palestine State if one is established. If the Palestine State decides to expel all Jews from its territory, then Israel would be perfectly justified in reciprocating and expelling the Arabs living in Israel. However, what Lieberman had in mind was not expelling Arabs from their homes, but a land swap. The 6% of the West Bank that contains the large Jewish settlements in exchange for the largely Arab areas within Israel, of the so-called Triangle that contains the largest Arab town of Umm-al-Fahm. It is believed that this "land-swap" is part of the Framework plan that Secty. Kerry has proposed to the two sides in the current talks. An agreed exchange of populations is legitimate and can be agreed to, but a unilateral expulsion of Jews living in the West Bank would be ethnic cleansing and would be illegal and unacceptable.


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