Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The unintended, and dangerous, consequences for Israel in east Jerusalem

Leon Wieselthier - in a piece that deserves to be read in its entirety - explains why the Israelis trying to reclaim properties that used to belong to Jews in Arab east Jerusalem, pre-state, are opening a can of worms:

Since the Palestinian right of return, and its premise that restoration is preferable to reconciliation, would undo the Jewish state, Israel is right to deny it. But if, in the name of moral realism, and so that they do not delude themselves with catastrophic fantasies of starting over, Palestinians are not to be granted a right to return to what was theirs before 1948, then neither should such a right be granted to Jews.

When Jews fled Sheikh Jarrah, they fled to a Jewish state, which should have been worth the loss of their property; and the same would have been true of the Palestinians, if their Arab brethren had allowed the state of Palestine to come into being. But the lunatic Jews who insist that a Jew must live anywhere a Jew ever lived do not see that they, too, are re-opening 1948 and the legitimacy of what it established.

What, in short, can Israelis say to Arabs who wish to reclaim their properties in Katamon, when they are busy reclaiming properties in Sheikh Jarrah?


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