They Say, We Say: The 'right of return' is nothing more than a veiled call for destruction

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

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What about refugees? (Palestinian and Jewish)

They Say:

The Palestinian demand for the "right of return" is nothing more than a veiled call for the destruction of Israel. The fact that Palestinian leaders and negotiators, including from the so-called "moderate parties" will not drop this demand proves that the Palestinians don't really want peace and a two-state solution.

We Say:

While refusal to relinquish the principle of a "right of return" is the prerogative of the Palestinians, demands that the principle be implemented inside Israel are tantamount to a demand that Israel cease to exist as a Jewish state. Successive peace initiatives - including the Clinton parameters, the Geneva Initiative, and the Arab League Initiative - all make clear that a solution to the issue must be found that is acceptable to both sides. Such a solution will have to respect both the sensitivities of the Palestinian refugees and Israel's sovereign right to determine who may live within its borders. This is the right approach, and it is guided by moral, political, and strategic concerns.

It is clear that any solution to the Palestinian refugee issue will have to be found within the borders of a future Palestinian state, rather than inside Israel. It is also clear that any effort to resolve the conflict without addressing the needs and grievances of these refugees will almost certainly fail, sowing even deeper frustration and creating fertile ground for the growth of future violence. The issue has wider impacts, effecting the stability of countries of the region that are home to the refugee populations (including those who have made peace with Israel) and providing a powerful point around which extremists rally support. Allowing the refugee issue to fester is a dangerous approach.