Note to Newt (Part II): Rethinking Palestine

Consideration should be given even to the heroic remedy of transfer of populations... the hardship of moving is great, but it is less than the constant suffering of minorities and the constant recurrence of war.
– Former US president Herbert Hoover, five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee

With all the money that has been invested in the problem of Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries.
– Andrei Sakharov, 1975 Nobel Peace laureate

The collapse of the Oslo process demonstrate[s] that certain long-held “truths” about the conflict need to be turned on their head.... The US should launch an international initiative that would provide economic support for refugees in neighboring states... [and] incentive packages for patriation to non-neighboring states, including in the West.
– Scott Lasensky, 1999, recipient of the Yitzhak Rabin-Shimon Peres Peace Award, Tel Aviv University

As expected, US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s characterization of Palestinians as an “invented people” unleashed a maelstrom of responses – some commending his daring, others condemning his temerity to challenge the precepts of conventional wisdom.

However, if this pronouncement is not to remain just another headline-grabbing campaign slogan – with a commensurately short “shelf-life” – it must be accompanied by an actionable policy proposal that reflects its political content. After all, what is the point in identifying the Palestinians as a bogus national entity and then adopting a policy that relates to them as a genuine one?...

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