Dec 03 2007

Unpublished letter to the Chicago Tribune

Published by at 1:14 am under Uncategorized

Your editorial “This Time?” published on November 28  misrepresented the Palestinian point of view. Your editorial quotes unspecified reports that Palestinian negotiators didn’t want to refer to Israel as a Jewish sate because “that might undercut the Palestinian’s right to return to Israel.”


 The right of Palestinian refugees who were  evicted  or left  their homes in 1948 and have been denied return since is an inalienable right enshrined in UN resolution 194 to which the US voted  for and has not rescinded since.  

The US and Israel have agreed to negotiate a resolution to the Palestinian refugee issue, but  the religious and ethnic nature of Israel in which 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs  (Muslim and Christian) citizens of Israel live is another issue.

 Israelis (where debate on most issues is more open than in the US) have been struggling with this issue since the creation of their state. The best answer some Israelis have agreed to is to call Israel a “Jewish and democratic “state. The latter being that a country is and should be the state for its citizen,  is the official Palestinian position and should be the position of all countries that believe in democracy and the rule of the people by the people irrespective of religion, gender and ethnicity. 

Radical religious fundamentalists (Jewish and Christian) are firmly opposed to the two state peace process and continue to encourage Israelis  to move to exclusive Jewish settlements illegally built on Palestinian lands. The last thing that should be asked of a secular Palestinian leader who believes in a nonviolent solution and is being called a collaborator in Gaza by Islamic radicals ( who are also opposed to the two state solution) to make such a declaration.

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