Even as far back as 1967, some saw the refugees as the key to peace, like
the deputy regional development minister at the time, Aryeh (Lova) Eliav
. His resigned from his post and toured the territories and refugee camps, in order to better understand the Arabs whose future he believed to eb inexorably tied to that of Israel itself. He wanted a personal understanding of these people whom Amos Elion had said, were the "victims of our independence".

There is an historical paradox, Eliav wrote, "that Zionism was the reason for the creation of the Palestinian nation, but the Palestinian nation must be seen as a fait accompli." He revealed the ironic side of the Six-Day War. Israel went to war against neighboring countries that tried to attack it, but "the problem of our ties with the Palestinian Arabs now takes precedence in the complex of our ties with the Arab world. It is more important than the problem of our ties with the Arab world and therein lies the key to solving our problems with the countries of the region."

It is common for armchair analysts in America to oversimplify and make grand statements like "Arafat could have gotten everything he wanted except the right of return if he had accepted the Barak proposal" - totally false. The Barak proposal was essentially surrenderring the freedom of the Palestinian people to Israel forever as a subjugated nation, not unlike the American Indians. But right of return would not be the demographic nightmare scenario or doomsday, and no one on the Palestinian side even advocates it to be implemented in full, as the scaremongering would have you believe.

There are only two camps of people who will truly determine the stability of any peace ion the middle east. That is the settlers, and the refugees.

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