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The Day After - continued

Reader comment on item: My Peace Plan: An Israeli Victory
in response to reader comment: 'The Day After'?

Submitted by Fred Schlomka (Israel), May 24, 2010 at 00:01

Mr. Pipes -

I have indeed read your post, and many others in the same vein: "Palestinian Arabs need to undergo the crucible of defeat" (Pipes - April 2006). Unfortunately your logic compares Palestinian Arabs with states that have undergone utter defeat. This is where your argument fails to convince. Palestinians are a people whose country has been taken over by immigrants, by colonists. Despite all the 3,500 years of Jewish presence here (including my family), the modern state has been populated by people from all over the world, and the local Arabs pushed aside. The situation is more akin to the defeat of the native peoples of South Africa or North America than a war between states. In north America the defeat was final and Europeans took over, granting belated citizenship to the 'natives' two hundred years later (1922). In South Africa the demographic reality dictated a different outcome.

My country is of course different that either of these examples, and our 'solution' will also be different. However given the near balance of populations we will necessarily need to learn to share the country. Palestinians today are much closer to accepting a sharing solution than Israelis, whether one-state, two states, or five states. For many today the ultimate political framework is less important than their basic freedoms. However most Israelis are still entrenched in the idea of a Jewish-controlled state, perhaps with an emasculated Palestinian mini-state in its midst.

Mr. Pipes - On your next visit to Jerusalem perhaps you would like to accompany me on a trip for discussions with colleagues and friends in Ramallah and West Bank villages, to gain an 'on the ground' overview. Learn first-hand the attitudes and political perspectives of Palestinians from many backgrounds.


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