by Richard Schifter
Published in the Washington Jewish Week, January 2, 2014
As the year 2014 begins, the Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations sponsored by the United States have been underway for five months. Under the current schedule they are to conclude at the end of April. It is clear that Israel is prepared to agree to a two-state solution. The Palestinians, by contrast, continue to insist on their claim of a so-called “right of return”, the migration to Israel of more than 5,000,000 persons of Palestinian descent, 1% of whom are refugees of the 1948 war and 99% of whom are the descendants of refugees. That wave of migrants would end the existence of Israel as a majority Jewish state and is thus clearly unacceptable to Israel. Peace can be brought about only if that demand is dropped, as President Clinton proposed at the end of the Camp David talks of 2000.
If no agreement is reached, the Palestinians are expected to step up their anti-Israel campaign at the United Nations. Statements made on behalf of Fatah suggest that consideration is being given to proposing a resolution similar to the one adopted by the General Assembly in 1981 against South Africa, calling “upon all States … to impose comprehensive mandatory sanctions … [and] … strongly urging all States… to cease forthwith, individually and collectively, all dealings with [South Africa] in order to isolate it politically, economically, militarily, and culturally.”Continue Reading …