264. Why not ask Jews to move instead?

Seth Friedman’s Community View (Jan 12) calls for a “fresh look” at the Palestinian dilemma through the lens of historical facts.

Knowing that the lens through which Israel’s apologists look at historical facts is distorted, it is not surprising that his statement “The League of Nations… acknowledged the right of the Jewish people to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel” would also be distorted.

Not only did the League of Nations never acknowledge such a thing, but also the expression “Jewish state” is nowhere to be found in the Palestine Mandate, as approved by the League in 1922. The League basing itself on the 1917 Balfour Declaration only refers to a Jewish national home. Even the term “Jewish homeland” is not mentioned.

As for the “fresh look” he promotes, it consists of resettling the Palestinians from around the Middle East in Jordan. Since the West Bank and Gaza are in the Middle East, it is fair to conclude that Mr. Friedman is for cleansing the occupied territories of its Palestinian inhabitants.

While agreeing that “it is heart-wrenching to move people,” Mr. Friedman acknowledges that “this is a choice that has been made many, many times in history.” If this is the case, wouldn’t it make more sense to ask the descendants of the East European Jews to move, giving that they only started coming into Palestine in great numbers after 1920s, rather than asking that of the indigenous population who have been living there for centuries?

January 22, 2004