For years I have tried to explain to incredulous people that there is absolutely no conceivable solution to the Palestinian (Arab) – Israeli dispute (conundrum). I always get the same statements which are often posed more like queries than certainties, which I guess I should take as the first signs that they understand. The favorite stated query goes something like, “But isn’t all they want is to have their state returned to them?” Where to start with such a completely off the mark beginning. First, they never had a state named Palestine or any other name. Even if they are given their invented state, they will not be satisfied. And lastly, the only way to satisfy the diehard Palestinians is the end of Israel and the removal of every single Jew by whatever means available.
This is where I usually am challenged to back up this presumable unfounded claim. I have, in the past, pulled out numerous quotes by Yasser Arafat which never seems to be sufficient proof as I am informed that he died and does not matter any longer. If only such were true. I tell them that Mahmoud Abbas the Holocaust denier also has said the same thing and did not change his calls for the death of all Israel until he became the President of the Palestinian Authority. After his promotion to try and fill Arafat’s shoes, he straightened his tie, cleaned up his demands and became the diplomat that Yasser Arafat never was. Of course, President Abbas never changed the songs he sang to enthrall the crowds when speaking in Arabic; it was only in English he spoke of coexistence and the hopeless intransigence of Israel. What makes his complaints and excuses all the more credible are the echoes of affirmation from the United States Department of State, the European Union, numerous European Government representatives and politicians, the United Nations General Assembly, the majority of Human Rights Groups and NGOs, the Muslim world, Russia, China and sundry other luminaries.
I had begun to reach the end of my rope as it seems that as time goes along more people appear to be falling under the dream weaver’s spell and are believing the sad siren’s song of Mahmoud Abbas et al. But my vindication has come from a new source, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah. He has been quoted saying about the refugees being kept under UNRWA care, “They are Palestinians, that’s their identity. But . . . they are not automatically citizens. . . . Even Palestinian refugees who are living in (camps) inside the state (of Palestine), they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens. When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.” I do believe that at this point, was this a court case, I would be saying, “Your Honor, I rest my case.
Beyond the Cusp