the Arab peace initiative skips over the settlement issue, leaving an opening for compromises like swapping territory. Similarly, it doesn’t mention Jerusalem’s Holy Basin. But there’s no need to despair. The Jewish brain finds a cure for every peace disease: in this case, UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
Resolution 194 actually rejected the refugees’ right to return to their homes. Benvenisti explained that the resolution left it up to Israel to decide whether, when and how many refugees it would accept – details that would be determined in a peace deal between the parties to the conflict. But Harel and his comrades on the right (much like Muammar Gadhafi ) won’t give in to the Arabs over the right of return. They have learned that even sworn opponents of the settlements remain silent in the face of that terrifying phrase.
we won’t relinquish the Arabs’ “no”s. Or, as the poet Constantine Cavafy wrote in “Waiting for the Barbarians” (as translated into English by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard ): “And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? / They were, those people, a kind of solution.”