On Monday this week a discussion was held at Tel Aviv University on the right of return of Palestinians to Israel. Please don't call it an academic issue. It is a political issue entirely... Has Birzeit University ever conducted a discussion on the right of return of Jews to Hebron or Nablus? We know the answer.
But for us there is no limit to the audacity... If until now it was clear, or should have been clear, that the right of return is an Arab weapon whose sole purpose is the elimination of the state of Israel, then the academic aegis comes and turns this demand, the demand for the elimination of Israel, into a matter worthy of discussion.
What was actually said there is less important. Academic research suffers all. True, there are Palestinians who know how to present their demand in a moderate fashion, true that the return is a constitutive Palestinian ethos, but it doesn't mean that we have to enter this trap...
What is more important is what was not said in the conference – discussion of concrete, historical, and legal reality: tens of millions of refugees were created in the world as a result of wars and national conflicts in the past century. Most found their ways to countries in which members of their national or religious group were the majority: the Greeks from Turkey to Greece, the Turks from Greece to Turkey, the Hindus from Pakistan to India, the Muslims from India to Pakistan, the Germans from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and other countires to Germany. And more and more. And in no case was the right of return upheld. And in all cases – the refugees were rehabilitated and they are no longer refugees. And only Palestinians remained a bleeding wound. Because of the Arab side that wants to perpetuate them as a bleeding wound. Not because of us. Only Prof. Ruth Gabison, may it be said to her credit, did not try to conceal this. A righteous woman in Sodom ...
The issue is that there are those among us who willingly apply themselves in service of the enemy. At one of the breaks, members of the organization "Zochrot" approached me. This is a group of Israelis, it is hard to believe, that deals with the commemoration of the Palestinian names of different villages in the country and in promoting the right of return. Why do you call us Hamasniks, they asked me. Because you are collaborators with those whose aim is the annihilation of the State of Israel, I told them. There is no difference between them and those adherents of the right of return of Jews to the Kasbah in Nablus, and between them and those adherents to the right of return of Palestinians to Sheikh Muwannis. Both are enemies of the one sane solution: two separate nation-states. Exactly like in Cyprus. The right of return exists – for Jews to Israel and for Palestinians to Palestine.
The phenomenon of "Zochrot" is not only sick. It is primarily destructive. It perpetuates the memory of Palestinian and Israeli suffering, since it encourages the front of Palestinian resistance. If among Palestinians there are many who understand that the demand for the right of return is unrealistic, as in the more than 150 thousand Palestinians who have already signed the Ayalon-Nusseibeh document, people from among us come and clarify to them that they must be obstinate. Will Palestinian suffering come to an end this way, or will it merely be perpetuated?
And with Israelis like these, who needs enemies?