In a recent discussion about 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 and unequivocally 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. Therefore, according to the Abbas proposition, Israel should open its borders for Arabs while Palestine closes its borders for Jews.
Here is the unvarnished truth. Arabs can live in Israel as full-fledged citizens with all the rights that status confers. They can have their own political parties, settle in their own communities, and represent about twenty percent of the total Israeli population.
But on the other side of the 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 about the Arab mentality? Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. There are and will remain different standards for Arabs and Jews. Hence, what precisely is a two state solution?
An Arab state immediately becomes a threat to the very existence of Israel since Jews are recognized as the enemy and, by virtue of law, must be ostracized.
To make matters even more absurd, Abbas is considered an ideological moderate. After all, he doesn’t 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? Can an Israeli government that encouraged its citizens to move into the West Bank after the culmination of the 1967 war, now tell these residents that they must depart? Is the government prepared to extricate 250,000 people from this region?
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 aren’t permitted there, then presumably Jewish tourist dollars and investment capital are not welcome either. Where does one draw the line?
Clearly modesty is in order. If Abbas didn’t have to mollify radical sentiment in the West Bank, these unmistakably racist comments would be an embarrassment and uttered only in private, if then.
But his are the views of a radical sensing that the tide of world opinion is with him. Alas, he may be right since condemnation from the media elite over his forthright apartheid stance has not been forthcoming.
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 bombers are all in the cards. In fact, the deck is stacked against Israel, and Abbas has made that fact patently clear.
Herbert London is president of the Hudson Institute and author of the book Decline and Revival in Higher Education (Transaction Publishers).
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