Monday, January 10, 2011

Right of Return

What exactly is this concept of right of return that the Palestinians keep referring to? Does anyone really expect us to believe that Israel is going to open up their borders and allow seven million so called Palestinian refugees, the number the Palestinian negotiators are using, and the current population of Israel including their Arab citizens, to relocate anywhere they wish within the pre 1967 borders of Israel? Why do the Palestinians need their own state if they want to move to Israel? Who is going to live in the new Palestinian homeland if they all move to Israel? According to these numbers there will only be approximately 1 and half million Palestinians living in the new Palestinian state and over seven million Arabs living within the pre 1967 borders of Israel. It should seem quite obvious to even the novice observer to the Middle East situation that these numbers don't add up.
     That's correct the numbers don't add up. Those of us who are of sound mind and body must come to the following conclusion the Palestinians don't want to live side by side with the Jewish state. They want all of current Israel as their new Palestinian homeland. We all have seen maps produced by the Palestinian Authority that depict Palestine as stretching from the Jordan River until the Mediterranean. There is no depiction of the state of Israel anywhere on the map. There is even a tourist advertisement in the British issue of National Geographic that invites people to visit Palestine. The ad depicts tThe ad depicts westward to the m of Return from the negotiations , there is no reason to try to move ahead on any other obsticulhe state of Palestine to includes the entire area from the Jordan River westward to the Medditeranean. Visit Hebron, Jericho and of course the Capital of Palestine, Jerusalem. Obviously they have different plans in mind for the future landscape of the Middle East, excluding the state of Israel.
     That brings us to The Israeli politicians and their unbelievable team of negotiators. Where did they get their training? They haven't got a clue. Who needs to discuss final borders, status of Jerusalem, security concerns and of course the biggest joke of all, "Right of Return". Why is opposition leader, Tizpi Livni , keep blaming Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition for the stalemate in the current negotiations? Wasn't she the head of the negotiating team for previous not yet convicted Prime Minister Olmert? Did they not offer the store including all of its contents to the Palestinans and was smacked right in the face with a response that Israel is not offering them enough? Why are members of the labor party who are currently in the coalition threatening to leave this month or next month or even in 4 months if there isn't any progress in the negotiations? Of course that's a joke because Barak the Defense Minister and current head of Labor knows all too well that he is in no position to walk away from his current portfolio as defense minister.
     The time has come to put together a new negotiating team that perhaps can be made up of a cross section of the population that has a better understanding of how negotiating works. Mainly, you give something and you get something in return. Or, you state your position and listen to the other side's position and you try to meet somewhere in between. This isn't Nuclear Physics or sending someone to mars this is basic negotiating 101. Leaving issues like the right of return for and the division of Jerusalem and final items on the agenda is absolutely ludicrous.  There shouldn't be any continued discussions with the Palestinians until the Israelis stand strong  once and for all, removing this nonsensical idea of the right of return from the final status arguments. We all realize that it is a non starter and should not be allowed to be used as a negotiating ploy. Who negotiates the fine print of any deal or transaction before the price is agreed upon? If Israel cannot remove the Right of Return from the negotiations, there is no reason to try to move ahead on any other obstacles that are sure to follow.
A View from Jon's Place