However, there is a glaring omission in setting forth the reasons for pessimism in the lead up to the beginning of indirect negotiations between. Specifically, the Palestinian side has set forth two pre-conditions to restarting direct talks—first, a return of Israel to the pre-1967 boundary as the boundary for a future Palestinian state, and, second, the absolute right of return of Arab refugees to the Israeli side of that boundary. Both are non-starters from the Israeli point of view.
Even American military advisers recognize that the pre-1967 boundary cannot be defended by in the face of another military attack by its Arab neighbors. Israel’s strategic placement of communities along the old boundary line was designed to give it additional buffer in the event of war. Yet, Israel has announced its willingness to exchange other land with the Palestinians in order to deliver an equal area only to have such a request dismissed out of hand by the Palestinians.
A return of Arab refugees, even if they can be properly identified after 60 plus years, to within the current boundaries of would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state. No other country has ever been asked to commit national suicide by granting such a request.
The Palestinians can have their state but by advancing demands that no sane Israeli or any other political leadership could accept, they have effectively blocked the Israelis from moving forward with negotiations. There should be talks, but without preconditions.
That's what I think.
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