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Right of Return & Sami Aldeeb

Reader comment on item: Which Way Will Abbas Go?

Submitted by John Brock (United States), Jan 12, 2005 at 19:26

Dr. Pipes,

Many of your readers have highlighted the "right of return" as a key issue.

Dr. Sami Aldeeb, Chairman of the Association for one Democratic State in Palestine/Israel, underscores this when he writes,

"The only possible solution is the creation of one Democratic State in Palestine/Israel, with equal rights for all, regardless of their religion. In this State Jews and non-Jews will have the right to live wherever they like. This includes the right of the Palestinian refugees to return home and build their 400 villages that Israel destroyed, and the right of the Jewish Settlers to live where they like. Both should respect one condition: no discrimination because of religion."

Whatever Abbas, (aka Abu Mazin) believes, his life indicates a flexibility to play with a variety of audiences. Unlike Arafat who openly said that he was untrustworthy (Arafat was on record having said that he would lie, cheat and kill if he thought that Palestine would be better for it), Abu Mazin seems to be diplomatically inclined. Does that mean that he lies? Perhaps, but what leader doesn't these days? The test is if Mazin will keep his promises. Arafat couldn't do tha, and it eventually became clear that Arafat's word was worthless.

So, Dr. Pipes, your points seem well taken. Dr. Aldeeb's post also seem to set the case that many will make for a open Israel, where the grandchildren of the pre-1948 inhabitants of what is now Israel can become citizens of Israel. Under Abbas that prospect might move forward, but Abbas has to realize that there have been 30+ years of terror that has undermined trust in any diplomatic effort that shares the same goals as Hamas or Hezbollah or Arafat.
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