15 thoughts on “The Case for Palestinian Return – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Gazans, Lebanese and Syrian Palestinians would claim there right to return, en masse. So would any Palestinian living in any insecure country, hedge his bets and claim his right to return in order to have dual citizenship.

    How about a Palestinian couple that opt to return to the New Palestine and get benefits and housing, while their kids ‘stay put’ in their host country and get compensation. Then, the kids and the grandchildren start drifting, illegally, into the new Palestine but flush with cash.

    Oh, by the way. Israel will soon be one of the hottest and driest countries in the world due to global warming.
    It will be quite a show when millions of new immigrants start competing with the natives for ever dwindling resources.

    Tom Pessah? He’ll stay in Norway or Denmark, wherever he is now.

    1. @ Ed:

      Gazans, Lebanese and Syrian Palestinians would claim there right to return, en masse.

      Ed, I had no idea you’d become a demographer. You here perfectly replicate the histrionics of the pro-Israel crowd. 7 million Palestinian refugees are all marching in lockstep toward the Israeli border, prepared to overrun it & turn Israel into Ain Hilweh or any of hundreds of other Palestinian refugee campus. Calm down, buddy. It’s not gonna happen.

      You remind me of the guy at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 who stood up during the debate about any number of crucial issues defining the future of the nation, and asked: “What about jaywalking? How are we gonna deal with jaywalking?” My advice to you: worry about the big issues. The smaller issues will sort themselves out. You can come up with a thousand reasons not to do something. And none of them amount to a hill of beans. You’re just blowin’ smoke.

        1. If Israel was smart it would organize a massive reconstruction program in Syria, Lebanon & Gaza that funded housing & other improvements so that refugees would be willing to stay and not return. That will require massive outlays of capital.

          BTW, Israel created the refugee crisis by expelling them. Israel is responsible for them all wherever they are now. If it doesn’t want them to return it should do all in its power to persuade them that they’re better off where they are. Persuasion by making their refugee homelands more hospitable and economically viable than they are now.

          You’re done in this thread.

          1. Richard, the possibility of mass movement of Palestinians to Israel is very possible and with the shekel being one of the strongest currencies in the world last year, there is no denying the Israeli economy is doing great.
            Why would anyone stay in a refugee camp where he can move to such an economy.

            Can you or anyone guarantee it won’t happen? Let me guess, NO!

            And what you wrote later about Israel responsibility might be true but it has nothing to do with ‘the case’ you presented.

          2. @ Ariel Koren: A few tips: first, read the comment rules; second, read the comment preceding yours and don’t repeat their arguments (as you’ve done here).

            Of course there will be “mass movement” of Palestinians to Israel. 1-million were expelled. So a portion of these individuals and their direct descendants will return. The U.S. accepted a far greater proportion of immigrants of wildly divergent religions, nationalities, races and ethnicity between 1870-1924 and it made us the great nation we are. Accepting Palestinians will do something similar for Israel over the long run.

            As for the Israeli economy, it’s doing great now. In the past, not so much. Things change.

            As for why they might refuse to return: make them an offer that is so generous they won’t want to. That’s your problem buddy, not mine.

          3. But at this point your case isn’t “you’ll be fine, there is nothing to worry about” but rather “just pay your way out of it”.

          4. @Ariel Koren: it’s not my job to get Israel out of the bind it got itself into. And Yes, if you expelled 1 million Israeli Palestinians in1948 then it’s your job to undo the damage, or find someone else who will help you.

          5. ‘Israeli Palestinians‘ – wow, that’s a new one.

            70 years ago the world had about 20 million refugees. 19 million were settled in their new countries and 1 million became somehow 5. Is it a coincidence? Was it planned? How come Palestinians are the only refugees with tailor made agency which instead of rehabilitating them, preserve their misery.

          6. @Ariel Koren: No. It’s actually not new. To you, the Palestinophobe it is new. To Israeli Palestinians It’s not. And actually polls show that Israeli Palestinians want to called this, and not your racist, condescending “Arab.”

            Comment rules demand coments not contain racism. You are racist and violate the comment rules.

            There were literally scores, if not hundreds of agencies serving WWII refugees, including Jews. You are a historical ignoramus.

  2. There is another possibility, which, while it would hardly constitute justice, might go some way to healing the wounds and permitting peace. This assumes, of course, that Israel actually wants peace — something I genuinely doubt.

    What if Israel merely permitted all those literally born in Palestine to return? At this point, that population could hardly consist of more than a few hundred thousand — only a fraction of whom would be physically able to take advantage of the offer?

    It would be materially almost meaningless — but it would at least acknowledge that the Palestinians were human beings, with rights ‘n stuff. As I say, assuming Israel actually wants peace, this could be a gesture leading to it.

    What Israel wants of course — indeed, needs — is continuing conflict. Only an enemy at the gates gives her the glue necessary for national identity. She merely needs to pretend to want peace. However, in a hypothetical universe where she actually wanted peace, the above gesture could help bring it about.

  3. I think my previous post suffers by attempting to discuss two ideas at once. Let me focus on one of them here: the notion that Israel should want peace.

    You assume that she does; that if only she could reconcile the Palestinians, she would. The various Jews inhabiting Israel really share remarkably little. They won’t even attend the same schools. Do secular Russian Jewish emigrants really share much at all with Yemeni Jews, etc?

    Isn’t the only thing binding them into a nation the living threat of the ‘other,’ and absent that other, wouldn’t Israel promptly collapse?

    In defense of this idea, I’ll point out the sequel to the economic protests that racked Israel a decade or so back. Jews were marching in the streets — and then there was a rather suspicious ‘terrorist attack’ across the Sinai border. I don’t think Israel manufactured the attack, but I am suspicious of how far the raiders got.

    In any case, it was all blamed on Hamas, the trumpet was sounded to man the ramparts, Gaza was duly shelled and bombarded until a hundred-plus Gentiles had been killed, and by the time the dust settled, the protests were a thing of the past.

    It all rather clearly illustrated the role of the enemy in preserving Israel’s national solidarity. You assume Israel would want to make peace. CAN Israel make peace? Is whatever common identity Jews from Iran, Germany, Morocco, etc share really enough to make a nation? After all, Filipinos, Peruvians, and Swedes all come from predominantly Christian cultures. It doesn’t follow that therefore they could be wielded into one people. Is there any reason to assume that absent a living and present enemy Israel could endure?

    Israel may need her Palestinians right where they are; as an infuriated but impotent enemy. Can she afford to allow that status to change?

  4. When you oversimplify reality, it is easy to be optimistic.
    In that future country of yours, how, for example, will LGBTQ treated. Like pinkwashing Israel or extra tolerating Palestinians?

    1. @ Calabasa: If Israel treated its Palestinian citizens as fully equal and offered them the same opportunities as Israeli Jews then the former would have come to terms with issues like gay rights. But through Israeli apartheid, its Palestinian population has had less contact with such issues. In a truly equal state, Palestinians will be forced to address & come to terms with gay rights.

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