Jun. 24, 2016
- Palestinian “Red Lines” – Adam Garfinkle and Walter Russell Mead
A basic fact which many well-meaning people keep missing is that Palestinians’ giving up the “right of return” is the key to any hope of a deal with Israel. The Israeli public won’t accept big concessions for anything short of a formal end to claims.
Many Palestinians also refuse to make a deal on religious grounds: Muslim lands cannot be ceded to infidels without breaking God’s law. Meanwhile, there are pragmatic worries: Many Palestinians who might be fine with a deal themselves don’t want to get assassinated by people who disagree. The Palestinian leadership is, for all of these reasons, under pressure not to make a deal and especially not to cave on the “right of return.”
There are a lot of “nevers” out there – the Palestinians will never this or that. But there were old “nevers,” too: Egypt would never, Jordan would never, Arafat wouldn’t ever. Often enough, these “nevers” become self-defeating and immobilizing false-truths. Circumstances change and the parameters of what people will do change with them.Adam Garfinkle is the founding editor of the American Interest. Walter Russell Mead is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and professor of American foreign policy at Yale University.(American Interest)