“I know this may sound Pollyannaish, but I believe that if we allow people to understand the truth of what occurred, then they will be able to recognize the other,” he said. “Right now the other is being demonized.”I agree with Mr. Cotler. From the Palestinian standpoint, any discussion of the rights of refugees to recognition, compensation, and repatriation, can only help raise the awareness of people, including Israelis, that there is no statute of limitations with respect to fundamental injustices. By embracing the cause of the Jewish refugees, the friends of the Palestinians should emphasize the similarities but also the differences between the two exoduses: one group was expelled from its home; another group was expelled to its home, at least according to Zionist and traditional Jewish ideology, and in many cases, into the physical homes of the expelled Palestinian refugees. The most significant difference between the two exoduses is that the Palestinian refugee problem was caused by the Zionist refusal to allow the Palestinians to return to their homes, but the Palestinians were not at all responsible for the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries; on the contrary, they also suffered from it. The idea that future compensation to be paid to the Palestinian refugees should be reduced by the compensation for the Jewish refugees, an idea apparently accepted by the PA negotiators, is horrendous. The Arab states should pay, not the Palestinians. It is the significant differences that caused me to raise my eyebrows when I read that, according to the Times,
Another objective is to push for early passage of resolutions introduced in the United States Senate and House that say that any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees in any official document must be matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees.Inasmuch as this forced and artificial balance serves a rightwing and anti-Palestinian agenda, it is offensive to both groups. The Zionists have always accused the Arab countries of using the Palestinian refugees as pawns in propaganda warfare; supporters of Israel should not be doing the same with the Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Injustices on both sides should be redressed by the appropriate parties and not forgotten. But one group should not suffer at the expense of the other.