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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Some more "what if" questions

There's a great letter in today's New York Times responding to yesterday's article by Tom Segev. I have no idea who Gregg M. Mashberg of New Rochelle, New York is, but if any of you know him, please shake his hand and thank him for me:
Tom Segev poses some interesting “what if” questions in connection with Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the Six-Day War in 1967 (“What if Israel Had Turned Back?,” Op-Ed, June 5). Here are some additional “what ifs” that deserve equal consideration:

What if the Arabs had accepted the United Nations partition plan of 1947, dividing the remainder of mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state? What if in the aftermath of Israel’s 1948 war of independence the Arab states had assimilated the refugees into their societies, rather than leave them to fester in refugee camps for generations?

What if the Arabs had created a Palestinian state in the West Bank between 1948 and 1967, when it was held by Jordan? What if Jordan had heeded Israel’s pleas at the outbreak of the Six-Day War and not joined the attack?

What if the Palestinians had accepted the “Clinton parameters” in late 2000, calling for the creation of a Palestinian state on more than 90 percent of the West Bank, all of Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital? What if in the wake of Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005 the Palestinians had sought to create a viable society rather than a launching pad for rockets aimed at Israel?

And what if the Saudi peace proposal was not premised on the “right of return” of Palestinians into pre-1967 Israel?

Rather than young Israelis questioning why their parents didn’t turn back in 1967, young Palestinians should be asking why, at every opportunity, their parents have chosen conflict over compromise.
Very well said.


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