A Jewish or democratic state?

A Jewish or democratic state?

In NJJN’s editorial “Before the storm hits” (Sept. 7) we are informed that the policy director of the Israel Policy Forum is critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his lack of a plan to avert the political disaster of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.

The disaster being the Palestinians giving up their effort to secure their own state and demanding Israeli citizenship, forcing Israel to decide whether it will be a Jewish state or a democracy. Yet since 1967, during many negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians trying to reach a two-state settlement, the Israeli negotiators have faced the constant demand by the Palestinians of the return of the Palestinian refugees to pre-’67 Israel that would similarly force Israel to decide whether to be either a Jewish state or a democracy. Although this refugee resettlement demand existed prior to Israeli control of the West Bank, there was no expectation for the establishment of a Palestinian state in this territory when it was controlled by Jordan.

Though Israel is expected to foster continued Palestinians’ involvement to reach a settlement that would include a Palestinian state, would this continued activity be expected to yield the acceptance of a Jewish democratic state? If so, what would be needed?

Marvin Elmowitz
West Caldwell

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