According to the USA Today headline: PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews. But if you look at what he says, PLO Ambassador Areikat is saying that the Arab Right of Return to Israel should be abandoned:
The Palestine Liberation Organization's ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that any future Palestinian state it seeks with help from the United Nations and the United States should be free of Jews.Obviously, if Areikat is saying that it is in 'the best interests of the two people' to be separated when it comes to the proposed Arab territories, it only stands to reason that it is equally in 'the best interests of the two people' to be separated when it comes to Israel itself.
"After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated," Maen Areikat, the PLO ambassador, said during a meeting with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. He was responding to a question about the rights of minorities in a Palestine of the future. [emphasis added]
Besides, according to international law--the children and grandchildren of the Arabs who fled in 1948 have no legal right to return according to international law.
The key though is that it is in no one's interest to have Arabs returning and taking up residence in Israel and creating unnecessary friction.
I think that Maen Areikat is just being a mensch for making this important point.
True, as Elliot Abrams points out, if the PLO Ambassador is merely talking about expelling Jews from their land because they are Jews--that would be reminiscent of an ugly episode in World history:
Such a state would be the first to officially prohibit Jews or any other faith since Nazi Germany, which sought a country that was judenrein, or cleansed of Jews, said Elliott Abrams, a former U.S. National Security Council official.But come on, what are the odds that is what Areikat had in mind?
Technorati Tag: Israel and Palestine.