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Reader comment on item: Can the Palestinians Make Peace?

Submitted by freeman (United States), Jun 21, 2007 at 16:09

While I am completely ignorant on the international relations that this article discusses, the article is particularly jarring when it states:

The unhappy conclusion cannot be avoided: there can be either an Israel or a Palestine, but not both. To think that two states can stably and peacefully coexist in the small territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is to be either naïve or duplicitous. If the last seventy years teach anything, it is that there can be only one state west of the Jordan River. Therefore, to those who ask why the Palestinians must be deprived of a state, the answer is simple: grant them one and you set in motion a chain of events that will lead either to its extinction or the extinction of Israel.

Assuming that Israel would withdraw from a chunk of land with a Palestinian majority, a defacto Palestinian state would eventually emerge, even if not recognized by the U.N. That would mean that withdrawing from land would pose an inexorable existential conflict? Perhaps the author changed his opinion as he later advocated that there could be a Palestinian state.

Also, suppose Israel doesn't withdraw from the territories: either it could expel the Arabs living there to defuse the demographic threat, or it could rule over them indefinitely. But historically, there does not seem to be many cases of a minority ethnic population ruling over a majority ethnic population, especially cases where the governnment is a democracy, the most recent example being South Africa perhaps. Also, ruling over a majority Arab and especially Muslim population will be all the harder when surrounded by hostile Arab and Muslim nations.

What other developments can Israel wait for while controlling an Palestinian population that is exploding? Is it really reasonable to expect that the birthrates wil decline or that the Palestinians would emigrate elsewhere? Are sevveral decades really enough time for the Arabs to accept Israel's existence? Or what about the Arab majority in the Galilee and the fact that the Israeli Arab population that has voting rights is catching up with the Jewish one? Yet this article states that withdrawing from territory means threatening Israel's existence.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

You have selected one of my more prescient and notable passages.

I have written at length in recent years on the need for Palestinians to abandon their goal of elminating Israel before a settlement can be reached; and the inutility of figuring out that settlement at this early date.

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