Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Supposed Situation, In a False Nutshell

Mondoweiss has this picture of Anna Baltzer and Haithem El-Zabri under the erroneous title "The situation, in a nutshell".

The sign Baltzer is holding is pretty accurate, except for the assertion that Israel is situated on El-Zabri's land. El-Zabri's sign, on the other hand, is just untruthful.

A Google search brought me to the discovery that he was born in the States. That means he's from the United States, not Palestine. His parents are from Palestine. There's a difference. So to recap, both people in this picture are from Austin, Texas, not just Baltzer.

The next two lines of El-Zabri's sign state "I cannot return to my land". Now, that's not true. This picture was taken in your land, Goddammit. If you'll leave the United States you'll certainly be able to return. You are an American citizen, after all. El-Zabri is saying that what is now Israel is his land. It isn't. Just like Poland isn't my land, even though my mother spent her early childhood there, and just like Ireland or Italy aren't the lands of second- and third-generation Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans. When the State of Palestine is established, if they decide to give El-Zabri the right of return and citizenship, then Palestine will be his land.

The Law of Return for Jews is an internal matter. It is an immigration policy. Most countries, if not all, have discriminatory immigration policies, and each country may choose which groups to prefer and confer the political right of immigration upon.

So-called "peace activists" promoting the Palestinian Right of Return will achieve neither peace nor justice. Insisting on this will only push peace beyond reach (and it is a distant prospect as it is).  Israelis would never, in their right minds, decide to become a minority in their own country. The only solution is the two-state solution, which can achieve both peace and the greatest degree of justice possible for both sides.

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