gsteff:The prisoners' document ... refers frequently to palestinians living in "the diaspora." Anyone know what that means?
> The purpose of this is to establish a deterrent against future kidnappings of this kind, by making clear that the cost to the Palestinians, all Palestinians, of this kind of action will be extremely high.
If there is one thing that gets on the Palestinians' nerves, it's the talk about Barak's "generous offer" at Camp David. Palestinians--all Palestinians--regard this expression as a deep contradiction. Just why they do needs explaining.
Palestinians view the Palestine that existed during British rule between 1918 and 1948 as theirs--100 percent theirs, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. They see themselves as the indigenous population of this region and hence the natural owners of the entire land of Palestine. Any part of the land that they yield as part of an agreement is, for them, a huge concession. Recognizing the State of Israel as defined by its 1967 borders--the so-called green line--and thus yielding some 77 percent of British mandate Palestine is to them by itself a colossal concession, a painful historical compromise. By recognizing the Israel within the green line they give up their claim to redress what they see as the wrong done to them by the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. If they accept any deal that recognizes Israel they will have succeeded at most in redressing the wrong done to them in 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Thus to ask them to compromise further after what they already regard as a huge compromise is, as they see it, a historical outrage. To call any such compromise "a generous offer" is to them sheer blasphemy.
The Israeli perception is of course diametrically opposite. And by "the Israeli perception" I do not refer to the idea of "Greater Israel," according to which the entire biblical land of Israel belongs to the Jews, who are the historical indigenous population that was forced out of the land but never gave it up. What I mean by the Israeli perception is something very prosaic and unbiblical. Following the two wars that were forced on Israel, in 1948 and 1967, Israel conquered and held on to the entire land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. So the Israelis say that any territory we yield to Palestinians is, to us, a concession. And if Barak was willing to offer them almost all of the territories occupied since 1967--an offer that no previous Israeli leader was willing to entertain, let alone to make--it is entirely apt to see this as a generous offer.
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