Friday, 30 November 2012

Of States and Settlements

It is either the UN's favoured option, or else it is a single State with a permanent Arab majority. Take your pick. There is no third way. This way, in fact, you get to offload a lot of the Haredim and others to the Palestinians. I am now pretty much certain of this: Israel is deliberately settling the Crazies in areas that will eventually form part of a Palestinian State, in order to get rid of them when that comes to pass.

People always say that the settlements on the West Bank are making a State there physically impossible. No, they just require that those settlements be included in that State. Complete with their inhabitants, people not above using armed force against Israel's teenage conscripts of both sexes. The Palestinians will be welcome to them. And in fact, they might be happier in a State governed on the common ground between Levantine Sunnism and Levantine Christianity. There will be no Tel Aviv in the State of Palestine.

Meanwhile, I have today been confronted with the old claim that the Palestinians are Syrian immigrants. The whole of what is now Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was called "Syria" for thousands of years, and it was all part of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds. And yes, within both of those entities, though especially within the culturally distinctive Greater Syria (over which Christian sovereignty is the historical norm), people moved around. But it was not as if they had migrated from Bratislava or from Brooklyn.

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