Last Friday, during a tour of Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, is reported as having declared: “We are prepared to move toward peace based on international resolutions, the Road Map and 1967 borders, but when a Palestinian state is established, it will be empty of any Israeli presence.”
The argument that Jews have no right to live in East Jerusalem or on the West Bank is, of course, spurious. Indeed, an American missionary visiting Hebron back in 1835 estimated that there were about 400 Arab and 120 Jewish families living there at the time. Just a year later, Viceroy Ibrahim Pasha allowed the Jewish community of Jerusalem to rebuild the Hurva synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. The synagogue had originally been established in the 18th century.
Statistics gathered at the time of the British Mandate show that Jews represented no less than 20.59% of the total population of Palestine in 1933.
There is, therefore, no historical justification for a future Palestinian state to be Judenrein (clear of Jews) any more than there is for the State of Israel to demand that all Arabs pack their bags and leave.
While Israel’s critics are fond of referring to Israel as an “apartheid state” they seem to have little to say about those Arab countries that not only refuse to grant citizenship to Jews but do not even allow them to cross their borders.