Steven den Beste has, as usual, one of the best critiques about any subject today. This time, the good Captain analyzes Arafat’s weekend NYT op-ed piece. Steven, you just left out one detail on the right of return, although perhaps it isn’t germaine to your argument. But it makes a good excuse for me to talk a little shop.
After Israel won its War of Independence in 1948, about 600,000 Palestinians became refugees in Egypt (via Gaza), Jordan (via the West Bank), and Syria (via the Golan Heights). This is well-known and well-reported, and, well, a pain in the ass.
Less well known is that throughout the Moslem world, from Morocco to Iran, about 600,000 Jews were kicked out of their ancient homes. Many went to Israel.
The Israeli refugees were welcomed by their new home. They were granted citizenship in Israel. They got jobs and built homes and had kids who are indistinguishable from “native” Israelis. “We are all Jews, are we not?”
The grandchildren of the Palestinian refugees are still living in camps. Egypt and Syria and (to a lesser extent) Jordan, all preferred to keep the Palestinians in camps, where they could continue to provide a reason to hate Israel. “Look what Israel has done to our Arab brothers.”
Israel didn’t do that — every war produces refugees; it takes the “host” country to keep them that way. Hell, millions of Germans were kicked out of Poland and Czechoslovakia after WWII. But you don’t see their granchildren living in tents. Millions of Poles were run out of Ukraine and Belarus at the same time. But you hear no horror stories of the Polish prison camps in the Pripet marshes.
If Arabs ever expect peace in the Middle East, they must first make peace with their Palestinian brothers.