Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
When President Bush hosted the Annapolis Conference in 2007, Israel, the Palestinians, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left hoping that some resolution to the decades-old conflict would reveal itself by the end of 2008. The likelihood of such an outcome by the end of Bush’s presidency seems to be steadily evaporating, as Israel’s prime minister exits office in disgrace and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, though softening his rhetoric, is still adamant that “Palestinian refugees must have the right to return to their homeland” (as he recently asserted in his meeting with Hosni Mubarak of Egypt) and that “Jerusalem and the right of return are inalienable Palestinian rights, too.”
For their part, Hamas leaders (Abbas’s political foes) are even more direct and stringent on the issue, contending that any negotiations “which disregards the basic rights of the Palestinians, and their internationally-guaranteed Right of Return will not be accepted by the Palestinian people.”
All sentient observers of the Palestinian issue know that “right of return” is a core tactic in rendering any viable Arab/Israeli solution effectively impossible — that the prospect of some four or five million Palestinian refuges flooding into Israel would, as University of Haifa professor Steven Plaut puts it, “derail Israel demographically and turn it into the Rwanda of the Levant.”
The demand for a right of return — a notion referred to by Abbas and his Palestinian supporters as “sacred” and an “enshrined” universal human right granted by UN resolutions and international law — in fact has no legal or diplomatic standing, and is part of the propaganda campaign based on the thinking that if Israel cannot be eradicated by the Arabs though war, it can be destroyed by being forced to commit demographic suicide.
In the first place, the concept of the right of return has at its core the notion that the Palestinians were “victimized” by the creation of Israel; that they were expelled from a land of “Palestine” where they were the indigenous people “from time immemorial,” as historian Joan Peters put it in her book of the same name.
The recounting of this wistful reading of history has enabled the Palestinian cause to become the obsession of Western leftists, Middle East Study Centers on university campuses, the United Nations, and throughout the Arab world where Jew-hatred helps fuel a central, persistent myth of Zionist oppression of Muslims.
More important, far from being either a “sacred” or, for that matter, legal right, the right of return is a one-sided concoction that deliberately misreads UN resolutions for political advantage and conveniently embraces only those portions that fit the intent of Arabs to make good on their long-standing intent to “drive Israel into the sea.”
In continually repeating the lie that they are victims of the “Zionist regime” and were expelled from a country of their own and condemned to unending refugee status, the Palestinians — and their Arab enablers — have prolonged the myth of victimhood.
But as Professor Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King’s College at the University of London and the author of Fabricating Israeli History: The New Historians, points out, the “claim of premeditated dispossession is itself not only baseless, but the inverse of the truth. Far from being the hapless victims of a predatory Zionist assault, the Palestinians were themselves the aggressors in the 1948-49 war, and it was they who attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to ‘cleanse’ a neighboring ethnic community. Had the Palestinians and the Arab world accepted the United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947, calling for the establishment of two states in Palestine, and not sought to subvert it by force of arms, there would have been no refugee problem in the first place.”
Thus, the accusations that the creation of the State of Israel led to the eradication and dispossession of a Palestinian “nation” and that Israel continues to obstruct and deny the Palestinians’ right to self-determination are spurious at best. Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, notes that before the 1967 war when Israel took control of Gaza and the West Bank, no one — including the Palestinians themselves — thought of the Palestinians as a nation; this “supposed national identity was invented in the 1960s in what turned about to be an extraordinarily successful ploy to adjust the paradigm of the Arab-Israeli conflict with the newly-minted Palestinians as the underdogs.”
About the Author: Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews,” is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
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At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
As shocking and insulting and horrifying as it is, Nazi war criminals are still living freely among us.
One can almost imagine a shocked Mr. Kerry thinking to himself, “How could he?” Yet not only did Mr. Putin do what he did, China, one of the three major international players along with the U.S. and Russia, agreed with him, not with Mr. Kerry.
Ramaz is a venerable Modern Orthodox educational institution whose mission statement contains the explicit commitment to “Ahavat Yisrael, and love and support for the State of Israel.”
What was unique about the MLA’s and the ASA’s approach was the breathtakingly Orwellian notion that not only was Israel itself guilty of the many alleged transgressions assigned to it by its libelers, but a boycott against Israeli academics was warranted because the academic establishment itself is complicit in Zionism’s excesses and a core element of the bemoaned occupation, oppression, and denial of Palestinian self-determination.
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents some 14,500 members, voted in early April “to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as cooperation in research programmes [sic].”
As an example of what the insightful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book The World Turned Upside Down, Northeastern University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), paralleling the moral incoherence of anti-Israel activists demonstrating elsewhere in American and European cities, sponsored a November 15 Boston rally in support of Gaza and, presumably, its genocidal thugocracy, Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently continued a long tradition of attempting to question a Jewish link to Jerusalem by expressing his mendacious notion that “Jerusalem’s identity is Arab, and the city’s and Christian holy sites must be protected from Israeli threats.”
On campuses today Israel is regularly, though falsely, condemned for being created “illegally” – through the “theft” of Palestinian lands and property – and thus has no “right to exist.”
The recent call by NYU’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for TIAA-CREF to divest holdings in targeted companies doing business in Israel is part of a troubling trend that exposes dangerous radicalism on campuses disguised as efforts at achieving social justice.
If you scratch a Holocaust denier long enough, you may reveal an anti-Semite, but not always. You will, however, probably find someone like the morally repellant Kaukab Siddique, a Pakistani-born tenured associate professor of English and journalism at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, who seemingly puts great faith in conspiratorial dramas in which a crafty and all-powerful enemy (i.e., Jews) weaves oft-repeated claims about the Holocaust just to elicit the world’s sympathy and promote Zionism and the creation of Israel.
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