For the last week or so, some defenders of the Israeli status quo have argued in the TMZ Comments Section that there is no more discrimination against Arabs in Israel than against minorities in most countries.
So those folks will be happy to learn that in a Palestinian state, Jews will be treated as least as well as Palestinians in Israel – according to the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. The full article can be read here.
The prime minister is appearing at the Aspen Ideas Festival, where he was asked the following question by former CIA head James Woolsey:
"Now, if there is to be the rule of law in a Palestinian state, and if Jews want to live in someplace like Hebron, or anyplace else in a Palestinian state, for whatever reasons or historical attachments, why should they not be treated the same way Israeli Arabs are?" Woolsey asked. "That would be, there could be a sixth of the population consisting of them. They could vote for real representatives in a real Palestinian legislature, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and most importantly, be able to go to the sleep at night without worrying someone is going to kick down the door and kill them."
Fayyad responded by saying, "I'm not going to disagree with you. And I'm not someone who will say that they would or should be treated differently than Israeli Arabs are treated in Israel.
"In fact the kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever.
"Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel," Fayyad said.
The crowd at the Greenwald Pavilion applauded enthusiastically.
I like the line "certainly not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel." Let's hope, for the sake of the Palestinian state, that Jews will enjoy more rights than their Arab counterparts in Israel.
Maybe then Israel will be able to learn from the Palestinians how to treat their minorities?