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Perhaps in the very long term there could be a Palestinian return

Reader comment on item: Bush Promotes a Palestinian "Right of Return"

Submitted by Steven Abrams (United States), Jan 14, 2008 at 16:07

Mr. Pipes -

As you're aware, utopian leftist critics of Israel (like Noam Chomsky) would like to see a secular, federal state encompassing both Israel and Palestine, negating the goals of Zionism and dissolving Israel as a Jewish state.

Its unrealistic to think that this could happen any time in the forseeable future, as Islamist movements like Hamas are in power in Gaza and on the rise in the West Bank. But from what I have read, Israeli society has become more secular and less sympathetic to the messianic, xenophobic maximalists on the Jewish religious right.

Perhaps, when peace is negotiated, incentives tying a Palestinian "right of return" to a secularization of Palestinian society could be included in the agreement. If they choose, Palestinians whose land was confiscated during the creation of Israel could recieve monetary compensation, or, on a limited basis they could be allowed to reclaim lands, provided that they respect Israel's status as homeland and refuge for the Jewish people, and assurances are made that Sharia law or any form of Islamic supremacy over other faiths could never be imposed in Israel, no matter how the demographcs change.

To me this seems like a very fair settlement, and, athough it may not be possible for many many years, because Palestinian society would have to abandon its martyr cult, and its dreams of destroying what they like to call "the Zionist entity", I think it would show that Israelis do not seek to usurp land and rule over another people, and that the real goal of Zionism is only to establish a permanent refuge for the Jewish people, in thier ancient homeland.

I'd be interested in hearing what other people think of this idea.

Submitting....

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