The interesting thing about this article about Obama and Middle East peace on the Guardian website Comment is Free is not the article itself, but that much of the discussion in the comments thread afterwards centres on refugees, with the emphasis on compensation for both Arab and Jewish refugees.(with thanks: Independent Observer). This is not something that would have happened, say, a year ago. Here's a sample exchange:
Professor Geoffrey Alderman: These proposals, apart from being incredibly naive, also seem to me to ignore other imperatives that must be addressed. The first is the compensation payable to Jews forcibly evicted from their homes in Arab countries in the wake of the 1948 re-establishment of the Jewish state. The second is the prevalence of anti-Jewish propaganda in the state-controlled Arab and Islamic media. As part of a comprehensive peace all this propaganda must cease. I assume, incidentally, that when professors Cohen and Gordon refer to each side having control of "its own religious sites" this includes Jewish control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and of the Tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
Papalagi: These proposals may be naive but not because of the reasons Geoffrey believes. He speaks about compensation for Jews evicted from Arab countries. This is the new tactic of the rejectionists. Fact is that Israel promoted a campaign to bring those Jews to Israel. Most went voluntariously (sic). There is nothing to compensate.
Papalagi produces the usual canards: the Jewish refugees left at a) Israel's instigation b) of their own free will. An argument also being advanced more and more lately is that, far from helping to bring about reconciliation between two wronged parties, the Jewish refugees are a spanner in the works of a peace deal.
Read article and thread