- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 2, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The analysis by Claude Salhani (“Foreign trip gave Obama lesson on Mideast crisis,” Nation, Thursday) raises again the tired canard that the crux of the problem in the Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is a notion easily disproved. If the Arabs in that part of the world were truly concerned with the fate of the Palestinians, they would long ago have absorbed them into their societies.

Instead, the Palestinians have languished in refugee camps for six decades; only Jordan has allowed them to become citizens. Clearly, the interest of the Arab nations has been to use the Palestinians as pawns to deflect the righteous anger of their people from their autocratic rule to Israel and its patron the United States.

In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab sectors. When Israel declared itself an independent state the next year, five Arab armies invaded Palestine. They didn’t attack to provide the Palestinians with a homeland; they attacked to grab land for themselves.

When Jordan occupied the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), it didn’t permit the creation of an independent Palestinian state; it annexed the territory.

The question remaining is why does Mr. Salhani continually promulgate this distorted view of the conflict?

He points to the refugee camps and calls them havens for recruiting Palestinian terrorists.

But does anyone expect Israel to absorb millions of Palestinian refugees? Isn’t the real solution the same as it was in 1948? Until the Arab nations accept responsibility for the refugees on their doorstep, as Israel has done for the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, there will be no resolution of the conflict.

What Mr. Salhani is really advocating is the demographic destruction of the state of Israel.

DAVID KROSS

Columbia, Md.

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