Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Should Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state?

Haaretz newspaper publishes an interesting exchange on the subject Should Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state?

It starts thus:

Ever since his June speech at Bar-Ilan University, Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that peace with the Palestinians is conditioned on
the latter accepting Israel as a Jewish state. During his much-lauded address at the United Nations, Netanyahu reiterated his position:

"We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. As simple, as clear, as elementary as that. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people."

The Palestinians, for their part, have rejected Netanyahu's position. Their claim rests on three assertions: It is not the business of Palestinians to recognize the Jewish nature of Israel. Such recognition would endanger the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Acknowledging the Jewish state would negate the Palestinian right of return. So, should the Palestinians accept a Jewish State?

Israeli and Palestinian writers Roi Ben-Yehuda and Aziz Abu Sarah got together to explore the topic.

Then follows an interesting exchange.

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