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

June 03, 2003

Recognizing Israel's Right to Exist as a Jewish State.

Martin Kimel posts this piece. What a sorry statement about policy making decisons
James Bennet reports that the U.S. hasn't requested that the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state in connection with the summit. It's sad that such an explicit recognition is needed more than 50 years after Israel's establishment, but it is. It is important for many reasons. First, it would put the Palestinians on notice that they must put aside any dreams of relocating en masse within Israel proper. Just as Jews worldwide have the right of emigrate to Israel, so the Palestinian diaspora presumably will have the right to emigrate to a newly declared Palestine. (If Palestinians get their own state carved out of Israel and have the right to flood into Israel, the two-state solution begins to look like two states side by side, both Muslim and Arab.) Second, the desired recognition would also help end the calls of those pretending to be moderates who see nothing wrong with the existence of dozens of Muslim states but call on Israel to give up its identity as the world's only Jewish state, tiny as that state is. Finally and more fundamentally, Israel's existence as a Jewish state, as the only Jewish state, is so innately and inextricably tied to its identity that to deny this identity is to deny Israel's legitimacy, period. By itself, a statement of recognition by Abbas won't get us to peace, but it seems to me to be a necessary step on the way.