Israelis, Palestinians and History

[New York Times] David Harris - In discussing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Agha and Malley stress dislocation and subsequent refugee status as core Palestinian grievances. But the Palestinians became refugees, in large measure, because of bad choices they made, especially rejecting the 1947 UN partition plan and joining a war to destroy the new State of Israel. Since then, the UN has protected the Palestinians by creating a separate agency, UNRWA, while all other refugees worldwide are under the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A separate definition of refugee eligibility has been created for Palestinians, allowing their descendants, without limitation, to fall under the purview of UNRWA, thus perpetuating a culture of victimization. Isn't it high time for the Palestinians to confront current realities and historical failures, and move on to embrace a pragmatic peace accord that promises a better future for all, Israelis and Palestinians alike? The writer is executive director of the American Jewish Committee.

2009-08-13 06:00:00

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