Few, if any, Palestinians are likely to want to physically return to Israeli rule and even fewer Arab Jews would opt for a return to their ancestral homelands. Nevertheless, the devil is in the details.
It may well be that the Israel-Palestine conflict is but a reflection of the Middle East's inherent instability. Unfortunately this means that the area's fate, and that includes Israel's, will be determined by blind historical forces rather than by foresight and planning.
It's unquestionably tragic if a large segment of the population lives below the poverty line and doesn't receive basic services. And it's equally dispiriting to imagine an even bleaker future. Yet such an outcome wasn't inevitable, nor need it be down the road.
It is important for everyone to be exact and careful when speaking about Palestine and Israel, but it is wrong to construe every criticism leveled at the government of Israel as an attack on Jews or Judaism.
Now is the time for President Obama to become more actively involved, working to drastically revise the Quartet's approach and show that he can make a real difference to the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.
It's comfortable for Abbas to keep selling this lie, and for a good reason: everyone seems to be buying it. But the truth is that when Abbas was offered this deal he supposedly wants, he refused. Why? Because he doesn't just want "a Palestinian state." He wants much much more.
Just as our Freedom Riders were primarily directed to awaken the conscience and sense of decency in the majority of white America, our Palestinian brothers and sisters are seeking to awaken the conscience of the world and a majority of Israelis.