Roane Carey makes the two-state solution sound possible if both sides make large sacrifices--Israel would have to remove several hundred thousand settlers from the West Bank and the Palestinians would have to give up the right of return.
In a situation like this, we cannot speak of justice--not for the thousands killed, the lives stunted by loss of education, health and income--but we must think of some kind of resemblance to justice, and the two-state solution without recognition of refugee rights does not cut it. The PLO--the only recognized representative of the Palestinian people--might cede the right of return, but it is an individual right and cannot legitimately be given away. One can speak, as Carey does, of a parallel sacrifice by Israel by returning to the '67 borders, but the land was stolen and is no more a "sacrifice" than a thief makes a "sacrifice" when returning stolen jewels.
A two-state solution may not longer be possible, but for those who believe in it, a simple preliminary--a census of how many Palestinians would actually return and how many accept compensation--has never even been officially proposed.
New York, NY
Dec 3 2007 - 5:04pm