Thursday, September 9, 2010

According to a recent Financial Times editorial, “Israel’s choice is land or peace - more settlement building will sink talks with Palestinians.” The implication is that the onus is on Israel for derailing a two-state solution in the Middle East. As the Financial Times put it, “it should be perfectly obvious that talks aimed at the creation of a Palestinian state cannot possibly prosper while Israel continues its strategic colonization of the land on which that state should be built.”

Yet this editorial misses the point entirely. Since 1948, 800,000 Jews have fled their homes in Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Yemen, according to Harvard professor Ruth R. Wisse. As she wrote in the Wall Street Journal last March, “It is unfortunate that Arabs obsess about building in Israel, rather than aiming for the development of their own superabundant lands. But why should America encourage their hegemonic ambitions?”

The Financial Times portrays the Palestinians as the victims and the Israelis as the villains. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Ending the moratorium will not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma, as the editorial contends. Until the Arabs recognize Israel’s right to exist, there is little likelihood of a “peace” settlement in the region. In that respect, the two-state solution is a mere illusion.



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