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Obama and the Palestinian State

By David Singer - posted Monday, 16 June 2008

Presidential Nominee Barack Obama took only 14 words to effectively put paid to the idea that a third Palestinian State - in addition to Israel and Jordan - will be created during his term as President if he wins the forthcoming election in November.

Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington this week Mr Obama declared:

… any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state.

Mr Obama had previously made this viewpoint very clear when answering a question put to him at a meeting of 100 members of the Cleveland Jewish Community on February 24, 2008:

Israel has to remain a Jewish state and what I believe that means is that any negotiated peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is going to have to involve the Palestinians relinquishing the right of return as it has been understood in the past. And that doesn't mean that there may not be conversations about compensation issues.
Mr Obama - like President Bush - has now given his unequivocal support to Israel's rejection of the 40-year-old demand by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) - endorsed by the 22 member States of the Arab League - that millions of former Arab residents or their descendants be allowed to emigrate to Israel.

Arabs already comprise 20 per cent of Israel's existing population. They all are Israeli citizens enjoying the same rights privileges and opportunities open to the Jewish majority other than being required to serve in the armed forces. Israel is understandably reluctant to allow the Arab sector of its population to expand other than by natural growth.

No political party in Israel espousing a contrary view would have any hope of gaining Government. Agreeing to such a proposal would in a very short time destroy the Jewish identity of Israel and its Jewish majority presently living there and replace it with an Arab identity and an Arab majority.

The reason for this long standing Arab demand being maintained is writ large in the Charters of both Hamas and the PLO. It is considered as the political means by which Arab sovereignty can be established for the first time in history in the totality of Palestine - where at present Arab sovereignty exists in 77 per cent - today called Jordan.


For Hamas - the Islamic Resistance Movement - that right of return is non- negotiable and inviolate and will be pursued until the complete destruction of Israel's identity as a Jewish state is achieved.

Article 11 of the Hamas Charter makes that very clear when stating:

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [an inalienable religious endowment - author ] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Any attempt therefore by any Arab leader to abandon negotiate away or compromise on this issue would bring swift retribution from Hamas.
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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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