yesterday's Palestinian protests, the age of revolutions and the right of return

Yesterday's demonstrations and the attempt of Palestinians marching to Illegally cross the border into Israel from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza ended with a bitter taste and casualties. The circumstances of the shootings are still not completely clear. The claims regarding the use of violence by the demonstrators should be looked into. So should the  responsibility for the shooting at the border between Israeli and Lebanon,  and who is responsible for the high number of casualties and injuries at that site - Israeli or Lebanese soldiers, or the violence of demonstrators.

Yesterday's events require a significant rethinking on Israel's side. The governments persistent pretense that the Palestinian's coming declaration of independence is nothing to be treated seriously might at last come to an end. It is clear that as far as the Palestinian diaspora is concerned, something basic is changing. One should also note that this change is probably also greatly influenced by the  middle east's current Age of Revolutions,   Israel  should reconsider its strategic diplomatic plans and negotiations with the Palestinians. At the same time, Israel also needs to rebuild its methodologies regarding crowd control and demonstrations. The middle east is changing, and civil protests need to be controlled and responded by the police. Not by the army. It is true that the nature of the protests at the borders is unique, and presents a very complicated challenge, especially as it may very well be that between civil protesters there may be terrorists in civilian outfits. But the outcome of casualties in civilian riots is not acceptable.

Palestinians should also do some self scrutiny. As much as the vision of a complete right of return into Israel may seem like a wonderful fantasy, it is not feasible and it is not just in a reality, where only a two states solution can be realistically maintained without constant and endless violence.

If we recognize that Both nations have a historic right to the holy land.
That those historic right grants both nations the fulfillment of the right for self determination in the framework of a national state.
That the only feasible solution that is both just and long-lasting is a two states solution following the 1947 partition resolution, at least in spirit.
Then the right of return, which both nations are entitled to, should be upheld in regards to the partitioned territory that will be the state of the relevant nation.
Any claim to a right of return to the entire territory, any realization of that right, shall only end with great violence. And that will only be the beginning. Such a state shall escalate over time, and as the demographic map of the land shall become that criss-cross of clashing ethnic identities, the result shall be a never-ending dance of violence and bloodshed, in the image of a civil war.

The prevention of that dark vision may justify the usage of brute force against demonstrators. It might even be a justification for a transfer of Jewish residents from certain areas, and Arab residents from certain areas, as the Peel commission recommended at its day. Considering the fact that even now a feasible solution is hard to achieve, a realization of a full right of return shall make it a near insoluble conflict.

The level of maturity Palestinian leadership has demonstrated in the state-building process lead by Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas has been impressive. But now that leadership needs to take it one notch further. Just as Israel is required for some strategic and tactic self-scrutiny, so is the Palestinian side. A focus of the struggle on the territories realistically available for the coming Palestinian state is essential, for the advancement of a peaceful solution.

And the sooner the better. 

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