The major distinction in the Middle East is that Israel's goal is peace, while the single goal of the Palestinian side and Arab states is the elimination of Israel. The Palestinian view of "give and take" is that Israel is to always give, while the Palestinians always take, delivering nothing in return. The more Israel gives, the more terror and death it receives.
This "Palestinian state" to which the Bush Administration says it is committed (in furtherance of the myth that such a state will live at peace, side by side with Israel), is to be made up of much of the West Bank and Gaza. Part of the fiction that defines so much of Middle East politics is that the Palestinian-Arab demographic in these areas is the majority.
A study released Jan. 10 by an American and Israeli research team debunks that myth. The study found that the Palestinian-Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza totals 2.4 million, rather than the 3.8 million reported by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. A solid Jewish majority of 60 percent has been sustained - between the Jordan River and Mediterranean - since 1967. A solid 80 percent Jewish majority has been maintained within the (pre-1967) "Green Line," according to the study.
The conventional error about Israel is that Palestinian-Arabs are demographically in the majority, while the Jewish population is declining. The study shows the opposite.
Facts and intentions are important if true peace is to be achieved. We can't rely on the Jiminy Cricket line: "Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through; when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true."
Only in the movies.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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