Yes, Israel is certainly capable of absorbing Palestinian refugees and exiles (those who wish to return, as is their), but it is strongly opposed to restoring Palestinian rights, because that would mean turning Israel and all the Palestinian territory it controls into a secular and democratic state for all its citizens – i.e., it will no longer be a .
Israel’s insecurity over the decades after its violent establishment on part of Mandate Palestine has always been rooted in the fear that one day a reckoning will be coming.
Ben Gurion, who served as Israel’s Minister of Defense as well as its first Prime Minister, anticipated that the international community would one day demand the restoration of Palestinian land and property to their legal owners and made devious plans to prevent such an eventuality from happening:
He ordered the demolition of several hundred Palestinian towns and villages and entered into a fraudulent deal with the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an international Jewish organization registered as a tax-exempt charity in the USA and Europe. The deal was a fictitious sale contract of choice Palestinian land adjacent to the armistice line in order to prevent the return of the refugees. This way, he would claim that this land was not under his control. The data for this fictitious deal is shown in [Fig-3]. JNF had expropriated most of the property of 372 villages on which it established 116 parks under the slogan clean environment.
JNF planted parks in order to hide the rubble of destroyed Palestinian homes and the cactus plants which refuse to disappear till this day.
Today, Israel is still agog with that same trepidation that Ben Gurion felt and is essentially defenseless against the power of the existential threat embedded in Israel’s political and social fabric.
A Haaretz piece published 21 March 2018 goes like this:
The first field trial is next week, the day of Passover. A new weapon against occupation, wielded by Palestinian refugees. And Israel, with its layers of defense against every manner of killing devised by man, is unprepared
Beginning on the day of theseder, just a week from this Friday, Palestinians plan mass marches toward Israeli and Israeli-held territory, as well as sit-ins and vigils. They will press for Israeli and world attention to UN Resolution 194, the legal basis for what is known as the Palestinian Right of Return.
When I say Israel is capable of absorbing Palestinian refugees and exiles, I mean it is demographically possible for such an event to take place, as Salman Abu Sitta (researcher and author of) shows in , with little dislocation to the existing Jewish population:
Although the relationship between the two has not been easy, the fact is the Palestinians and the Jews lived together for the last 50 years without major problems, not to mention centuries of Arab and Jewish harmony. The return of the refugees is consistent with existing concentrations of Jews and Palestinians and with their respective occupations. The return shall not cause dislocation of Jews and only minor voluntary relocation.
You can watch Dr. Abu Sitta’s presentation of his research here (given in 2017 at the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility):
Israel as a Jewish state has; they are manifested in law and the design of Israeli State institutions.
Forto materialize in historic Palestine, Israel’s and institutional designs must be dismantled, restitution must be made to Palestinians and all their fundamental human rights [see ] must be restored.
[See also ethical decolonization:]