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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 15, 2003

Thanks to Mike for this link - interesting.

It is from JP, and it discusses transfer. The interesting part is some info on the population exchanges between Turkey and Greece, and between India and Pakistan. The disappointing part is this (the article is titled "Transfer: Not a Solution"):
Not a viable solution
In view of the conditions presently prevailing in the region, voluntary transfer by mutual consent is not a viable solution in the foreseeable future for several reasons:

1. The Arab states categorically oppose the idea of absorbing the refugees despite the wide spaces of their domain.
2. A considerable number of refugees insist on returning to their ancestral homes, be it in Jaffa, Haifa, Safed or Tiberias.
3. The term "transfer" has acquired a negative connotation and the international community will not support it.
4. It has absolutely no chance of UN support, unlike the Greek-Turkish project which was endorsed by the League of Nations.
5. A vast majority of Israelis reject the idea.

Disappointing, because I was hoping to see some real argument, beside "everyone opposes it". Still, there are points there that I did not specifically address last time I wrote about it:

1. The Arabs expelled their Jewish populations in 1948. If they are not willing to complete the second half of that "population exchange", will they take those Jews back, and return their property?
2. See 1.
3. I agree that "population exchange" sounds much better. And, international support might be achieved, when the Jews themselves start supporting it.
4. See 3.
5. This is the real problem, and that is what I am trying to change.
6. A point of my own, that few seem to address: everyone seems to be comfortable with transferring Israelis from the Territories, as a necessary condition to a fair settlement of the conflict. Why is that?

Israelis, and Jews in general, need to become more open-minded and creative, when thinking about possible solutions. We have forgotten, that the early Zionists have met with at least as much resistance to the idea of a Jewish state, especially from their fellow Jews. They heard the same arguments that "this" and "that" will not agree. Well, guess what: some agreed, and some did not, and in the end common sense prevailed.