It has become an article of faith in the Israeli-Palestinian equation: Israel's withdrawal from occupied lands must be accompanied by a removal of Jewish settlers.AP's bias is evident in this article, making it appear that in such a scenario the only problem is Jews, and also maybe perhaps the possibility that Arabs could just start massacring the leftover Jews:
But perhaps there's another option.
Although it's hardly mainstream thinking, voices on both sides are quietly contemplating an alternative: Perhaps some Jews can live in a future Palestine, even if only in small numbers, the way Arabs live in Israel.
The problem, of course, is that most settlers have no desire to live under Palestinian rule — and in fact moved to the West Bank to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. Others are radicals who could well prove problem citizens.Look at how AP formulates their conception of why Jews move to Judea and Samaria - to prevent a Palestinian Arab state. This is exactly the Arab narrative, that Jews' entire existence in the Middle East is somehow meant to insult and humiliate Arabs, rather than to live peacefully in the land that their ancestors lived in.
The antipathy is generally mutual: Palestinians tend to think that the settlers' presence there is a violation of international agreements against colonizing occupied land. They are widely hated, and it is easily conceivable that they might suffer discrimination and even vigilante violence without protection of the Israeli military.
The fact is that most "settlers" moved to their homes because there was no reason not to. Prices were lower, the quality of life was higher, their government helped build some of the towns, and no Israeli government has ever said that they would return to the 1949 armistice lines - and neither does UN resolution 242. If you ask them why they moved there, most would simply say that it is part of Israel. None of them would say "I moved here with my family to prevent a Palestinian Arab state."
AP also writes, as shown above, "Perhaps some Jews can live in a future Palestine, even if only in small numbers, the way Arabs live in Israel."
About 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabs. There are some 4.5 million Arabs in the territories. In order to have the same "small number" of Jews in a Palestinian Arab state, there would have to be be a million Jews in "Palestine!" That means that the number of "setters" would have to double or quadruple, depending on whether Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem would be included in "Palestine."
But in AP's world, Arabs in Israel are a tiny, presumably persecuted minority, living in smaller numbers than Jews in the West Bank!
Finally, AP does not seem to realize that some Palestinian Arab leaders are a bit, shall we say, against the idea of even a single Jew - let alone Israeli - living in "Palestine." No, that little bit of obstructionism and intransigence is not on AP's radar. The main obstacles to peace are, always, the Jews.