Israel, immigration and the right to return

There is a near unanimous consensus, expressed and not expressed, around the unfeasibility and the unpracticality of including or implementing the right to return for palestinians who were forced out of their villages in 1948 and who live abroad. Even Noam Chomsky, a critic of Israel, finds the matter unpractical.
However, between 1990 and 2004, while in the U.S, a country of immigration, 39% of the population growth was due to immigration, in Israel, 86% of the population growth was due to immigration. And while Israel is imposing economic hardship on the Palestinians remaining in the territories (those who were not forced out of their homes in 1948), it is spending on its immigrants because a big part of this immigration is motivated by economic concerns.

So what about the unpracticality of the right to return - and I am not talking here of ideological opposition to this right ? It appears to me that this position is tied to an implicit approval, not only of the right of Israel to exist as a jewish only state but also to its right to maintain this jewish majority by every possible means, including those who are taken at the expanse of the Native population.


Gert said...

Of course the right of return is inextricably linked to what kind of state Israel wants to be (and what we allow it to be). To me a one state solution with guaranteed right of return is simply no longer a realistic option, it simply isn't going to happen without a sea change in the I'nal Community's attitude to Israel/Palestine.

This isn't "crypto-zionism", it's merely realism, IMHO.

Emmanuel said...

The unfeasibility of the Palestinian right of return doesn't stem only from the number of refugees.

The refugees have been tought to hate Israel since 1948. The two populations wouldn't live in harmony in "Isratine". A Kosovo-type scenario (where foreign troops are always on guard to keep Serbs and Albanian Kosovars from killing each other) is more likely.

And yes, Israel wants to be a Jewish state. We need a state of our own where we won't be a minority. Letting refugees in would be suicide.

That's why I believe compensation is the only solution.

As for a one state solution - maybe after decades of the two states side by side the populations won't be hostile towards each other anymore and a unification can occur. But current conditions are far from allowing a one-state solution right now.

Since March 29th 2006