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What influence does the Boxer Protocol have in modern Chinese?
I've been waiting a long time for such a question, so please allow me.To avoid accusations of “Chinese government propaganda,” I have used English sources whenever possible.I personally believe it was the second most infamous crime against humanity act conducted by a foreign nation on China, second only the Nanjing massacre.The 8 Nation Alliance was formed in response to the Boxer Rebellion. The Boxer Rebellion was caused due to the conflict between local peasants and the Christian church. Obviously, the hostility towards the Christian missionaries were due to the cultural differences, plus some Chinese Christians were using the church as a faux “diplomatic immunity.” Obviously, with the gradual control that the foreigners had over China, many of the locals felt threatened. Some even angry.But eventually, the hostility reached a violent level. The Boxers began attacking Westerners, Chinese Christians, and Western sympathizers. They effectively formed a violent anti-Westerner cult.What’s the Qing government’s stance on it? Well, they too hated the foreign powers, and they would be very happy to see their influence over China get weakened. They also decided to officially motivate, and eventually even openly reward the Boxers for their “patriotism.” Instead of quelling or appeasing the angry mob, the Qing government tried to control the situation…by redirecting them towards the Westerners.Eventually, Empress Dowager Cixi declared war on the various Western nations. However, some people such as (former PM, now demoted) Governor of Canton, Li Hongzhang, refused to comply, stating that this was a “forged order.” Because he, having lost the Sino-Japanese war years earlier, foresaw the impending doom.The various nations of the West formed the Eight Nations Alliance and launched retaliation against the Boxers and the Qing government.The end result? I’m going to describe it as what Wikipedia summarised it:“Uncontrolled plunder of the capital and the surrounding countryside ensued, along with summary execution of those suspected of being Boxers.”(Many looted items were kept in various museums all over Europe. Some were returned, some were not.)Not only have the 8NA killed many and plundered much artefacts from China, they also demanded a repayment, termed the Boxer Protocol. Basically they came to China to kill the Chinese, and they will make the Chinese pay for it.Ultimately, the actions of the 8NA boiled down to two important questions.What was the total amount demanded to be paid back by the Boxer Protocol?450 million taels of silver, equivalent to $333 million USD. This number had a metaphorical meaning too, because the population of China at the time was 450 million, and the 8NA demanded a debt that must be paid by every Chinese person.There was also:a yearly interest of 4%repaid back in 39 yearstotalling up to 980 million silverNow, some American apologists have stated that that the U.S. had refunded a certain amount of the payment. This is true, and I believe due credit should be given when its due. The Americans founded the Tsinghua University in Beijing using some of this money.(Some Chinese nationalists have alternate theories on it, I’m not going to talk about it here.)However, what was the exact amount they returned? Based on numbers I found, America received a total repayment of equivalent to $24 million USD, and Teddy Roosevelt repaid $13 million back to China. What’s more important, was that it set a good example for other nations. Eventually after World War 1, many other countries did that same. The Central Powers who lost forfeited their share. The Allied Powers reimbursed the Chinese students like U.S. did.But all I want to leave behind is the final number that was actually repaid: 653 million silver.* All I could say is, I am thankful, but not grateful, for the “generosity” granted.(This is probably the only figure in my article that I could not find an English source to cross-reference. So feel free to change-my-mind.)Malcolm said it best.2. How many people were killed by the 8NA?This is a very important, but strange question. Because it took me a fair bit of effort to find an answer. But very few historical sources gave the exact body count. Even harder to find than the Nanjing massacre’s true body count.I found a particular English source that gave the following casualty count:1003 foreign soldiers2000 Qing soldiers32000 Chinese Christians200 missionaries5000 civiliansI am personally a little sceptical of this count, because another account by a Captain Francis Brinkley wrote that when Tongzhou (a distant county of Beijing) fell, no less than 573 women committed suicide to prevent their honour from being sullied (which is a nicer way of saying avoid getting raped). He lived in Japan in his later life and gave this detail to a Japanese newspaper.That’s just women who committed suicide.Another account described that Tianjin, the port city near Beijing (think Baltimore to DC), 90% of their population had fled or perished; Tianjin had a population of 1 million at the time.(There were photos of the atrocities committed by the 8NA but I prefer not to show them.)Why do a lot of people whitewash it, especially recently? In the wake of the COVID-19, the critics of China demanded compensation, and some have called it Boxer Protocol 2.0 to coincide with 120 years since the incident. Not a smart name IMO due to the offensive nature of it.Think what Israel would say if the League of Arabs changed their name to “League of the Holocaust 2.0.”Let's look at the beginning of it all. Who were the two types of people killed by the Boxers?Foreign missionariesChinese ChristiansMany Western countries are still heavily influenced by Christians, almost considering missionaries as “brave disciples of God.” Some of the missionaries killed by the Boxers Rebellion were canonized. If you say to them: Chinese are killing missionaries, they will cry out and yell “Injustice!”The FLG media also significantly whitewashing the Boxer Rebellion. Why? Well…Boxers killed Chinese Christians. It was the Qing government's official persecution of religion! It tickled the G-spot on the FLG believers.I'm biased on this regard, but I personally believe not all Christians are saints. There were some opportunists like Hong Xiuquan, the Taiping Heavenly King, who most certainly wasn't a true Chrisrian..In a modern lawful society, I do still agree the people killed by the Boxers were victims of the lawlessness mob violence, and the Qing government’s lack of persecution only fuelled their violence. But the subsequent retaliation by the 8NA was not justice. It was a pure atrocity.Angry mob. Stupid government. Greedy invaders.But the people will always be the biggest victims.(This is Hou Dejian, a Taiwanese singer. He is famous as the writer to the old song “Descendants of the Dragon.” He was also at Tiananmen Square on that fateful day. His song was written as a criticism to the 8NA invasion.)Disclaimer: I do not think there should be any active retaliation against the West. My personal core value is that a son should never pay for a father’s crime. But it is something that should never be whitewashed, because it would mean condoning such actions.
Why should China adopt blockchain-based technology for payment transactions when WeChat Wallet and Alipay appear to be working well?
Executive SummaryFor the vast, vast majority of payment transactions today in China, I do not think a decentralized, blockchain-based technology like Bitcoin can compete with a centralized platform like WeChat Wallet or Alipay.The structural and technical advantages that centralized approaches hold over Bitcoin are decisive while the advantages of the decentralized approach may only apply in certain niche payment channels and/or are neutralized by different behaviors and preferences exhibited by Chinese users.However, Bitcoin and the blockchain eco-system are new and rapidly evolving and it is too early to rule out the disruptive effects they may have on future behavior — potentially in completely novel ways that we cannot even imagine today.I also want to highlight the distinction between Bitcoin (and the idea of it or another crypto-currency replacing fiat) and its underlying blockchain technology and future applications of the more generalized “decentralized approach”. While I do not think Bitcoin has particularly bright prospects in China, I do very much see the promise and disruptive power of blockchain-based technologies in many other areas. In the future, I expect to see significant deployment of blockchain-based technologies in China and I even expect Chinese technology companies themselves to take the lead in many of these efforts.This answer is quite long, so I’ve structured it into four sections:Reviewing the structural advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized payment platforms.Looking at the major transaction categories and evaluating which approach is the better fit.Putting perspective on the size of these transaction categories.Looking at the future, potential paths forward for both centralized and decentralized approaches.(1) The structural advantages & disadvantages of centralized vs. decentralized technology approaches in paymentsLet’s first review the structural and technical advantages of centralized vs. de-centralized payment platforms:Centralized payment platforms (e.g. Alipay and Wechat Payments)Cost: Marginal cost to record a ledger transaction of effectively zero. This is particularly significant to enable micro-payments.Transaction throughput:Alipay demonstrated transaction throughput of 256,000 transactions per second in its peak minute during the last Singles Day. Scaling up is a simple matter of deploying additional Aliyun cloud servers.Bitcoin has a theoretical ledger processing throughput of seven transactions per second. As I understand, I do not think that Moore’s Law or “throwing computing power at the problem” can close the order-of-magnitude gap on this metric.While lots of very smart people are working on addressing its fundamental scalability issue, I think there will always be an order-of-magnitude difference between a centralized vs. decentralized system, because structural inefficiency is central to the idea of enabling decentralization itself.“Native”  integration with the “fiat world”:First-mover advantage — Alipay and Wechat payment nodes are already widely distributed across hundreds of millions of nodes.Simple integration with the banking system — near real-time transfers between wallet and the banking system.Supported by regulators.Interest may be paid on deposits.Works alongside traditional payments infrastructure like physical cash.For domestic payments (i.e. the same economy / currency zone), fiat currency is a far superior unit of account (just imagine if everything were priced in US Dollars while your salary and assets are in Renminbi).Dispute resolution: Relatively easy to reverse transactions and address fraud.Decentralized blockchain-based payment platform (e.g. Bitcoin)Not controlled by a single authority: hard (albeit not impossible) for the Chinese government to stop you from using Bitcoin.Cross-border: Bypasses traditional “red tape”, regulatory authorities and national boundaries with ease.Relative anonymity: With Alipay and Wechat Payments your identity is tied to your wallet account by decree.“Native”  integration into the “blockchain economy” which is open-source and rapidly evolving.(2) The major payment categories today and figuring out how these map to the relative advantages/disadvantages of centralized vs. decentralized approachesHere are a list of the major (albeit non-exhaustive) transaction categories or instances where value is transferred:Consumer-to-merchant paymentsIllustrative transactions: Buying something on Tmall; re-charging your SIM card; buying fruit from the fruit stand; renting a shared bike.Key success factors: high throughput; ability to do micro-payments; low cost.Centralized systems win on technical merits (high throughput and low cost) and first-mover advantage (already embedded in hundreds of millions of nodes in China).P2P (person-to-person) paymentsIllustrative transaction: Sending a digital red envelope to a friend.Key success factors: high throughput; micro-payments; low cost.Centralized systems win again on technical merits and first-mover advantage.B2B (business to business) paymentsIllustrative transaction: A factory paying its supplier.Key success factors: cost; speed; stable currency value.For domestic transactions (both businesses do business in RMB), centralized or “fiat” approach wins.For cross-border transactions, decentralized may be better positioned on a relative basis because there could be significant “red tape” / foreign exchange costs depending on the currency pair. But “relative” is italicized because you really need to do a side-by-side comparison of costs by currency-pair to make a proper assessment.Black/gray market paymentsIllustrative transaction: Buying illegal goods and services; evading taxes and capital controls.Key success factor: anonymity.This is where decentralized transactions shine especially for online transactions where physical interaction never takes place. Here it is less decentralized competing against a centralized platform and more decentralized vs. physical fiat cash.This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all transaction types or all ways that value can be transferred. For example, money/value is transferred whenever employees get paid salaries, when people take out loans, when insurance companies make payments etc. But these are some of the larger, more common categories today.As I alluded to in the bullet on cross-border transactions, there are sub-segments of these categories that cater more to the relative strengths of decentralized payment platforms .For example, cross-border P2P (i.e. “remittances”) appear to be an area where a decentralized system might make more sense because existing payment channels (e.g. Moneygram, informal Hawala channels) are fairly manual. This is especially true for payment channels that are relatively niche: Converting Chinese Renminbi to Korean Won is relatively efficient and straightforward; converting Renminbi to Rwandan Francs, not so much.(3) Putting perspective on the relative size of these major payment categoriesFirst, let’s see how big the categories are where centralized systems have a distinct advantage:In 2017, mobile payments in China were estimated to close to $15 trillion.This figure includes:your typical consumer-to-merchant interactions (where Alipay is dominant);person-to-person transactions (where WeChat is stronger); andbusiness-to-business transactions (where the traditional banking system is dominant, although for small merchants and payment sizes, Alipay can also be used).This figure is growing very fast and could double to $30 trillion by next year (2019).Total retail (online and offline) sales in 2016 came in at $4.8 trillion and probably grew another 10% in 2017.Now let’s take a look at the payment categories for some categories where decentralized payments platforms may be better positioned on a relative basis:The black market (including everything from drugs to prostitution to counterfeit goods) in China is estimated to be around $260 billion .Capital flight estimated in the ~$200 billion range at its peak in 2016 . Capital flight pressure has come down significantly in 2017, although it could certainly rise again in the future. There could also be capital inflow pressure if the Renminbi appreciates.Cross-border remittances in the $100–150 billion per year range (counting both outflows and inflows) .The first thing that jumps out is that the transaction payments market where a centralized platform appears to hold greater advantages is one or two orders of magnitude larger than the transaction payment types where decentralized platforms may work better. We are talking figures measured in the tens of trillions of dollars compared to figures measured in the hundreds of billions.The other thing is that it is not even clear how big a role decentralized payment platforms have played in the markets where they have a relative technical/structural advantage over centralized systems:Remember that it is not only competing against existing centralized payment platforms, but the entire “fiat system” including physical cash.Old school physical cash can be superior to a decentralized payments platform for anonymity — so for physical black/gray market transactions it could be considered superior.For cross-border remittances, the purported advantage that decentralized platforms like Bitcoin have is that they are more efficient. But I would challenge that assumption:First, cross-border remittances are dominated by a small number of currency pairs, e.g. RMB-USD, RMB-JPY and RMB-EUR. Traditional ways of conducting these transactions is actually quite efficient. For example, on cash withdrawals (RMB-USD) using an international ATM card, the implicit fee/FX spread was less than 1% for me.For cross-border remittances involving less affluent (i.e. the “un-banked”) who do not have say an international ATM card, decentralized platforms might make more sense. But this is a fairly small sub-segment of that $100–150 billion market.For cross-border transactions with uncommon currency pairs (e.g. Renminbi and the Rwandan Franc), the transaction costs using traditional methods can be very high and Bitcoin could be a very good alternative. But these uncommon currency pairs probably make up a very small proportion of overall cross-border transactions by volume.(4a) The future of centralized vs. decentralized paymentsThe big thing going for Bitcoin is that there is a vibrant global community of developers that are actively contributing to improving the efficiency and capabilities of the code. Moreover, the meteoric rise in the price of various crypto-assets in the past couple years has raised its visibility with hundreds of millions of people around the globe which should help tremendously with market adoption as people figure out how to use Bitcoin and other blockchain-based technologies in novel ways.So while I am quite pessimistic about the possibility of a Bitcoin-based payments platform replacing Alipay or Wechat Payments on a large-scale, I do see the possibility for application for certain areas:Niche cross-border trade relationships: There are many niche currency pairs today that are not heavily used because there is very little cross-border trade today. As a result, the implied foreign exchange spreads can be very high. If Bitcoin can be used to streamline the cross-border payment cost, it could very well lead to an increase in economic activity.Accessing the un-banked population: Many countries involved in China’s “One Belt One Road Initiative” have significant “un-banked” populations that are not tied into the traditional banking system. Bitcoin could — theoretically at least — enable the “flower store in Shanghai” to make a direct payment to the “local flower seller in Addis Ababa” that doesn’t have a bank account.There is also the idea that Bitcoin is “natively” embedded within the broader blockchain ecosystem so the success of the ecosystem will drive usage of Bitcoin or other crypto-assets and indeed create a whole new transaction category on its own. So to the extent the “blockchain ecosystem” becomes massive as multiple real-world applications for blockchain-based technologies are discovered, the market size for blockchain-driven transactions will be similarly massive. I understand this argument but I also think it is too early to draw any hard conclusions on it. For example, at this point I am not sure the success of the “blockchain economy” is necessarily tied to the success of Bitcoin (or any other specific crypto-currency) or vice versa.Decentralized payments technologies can also co-exist alongside a centralized payments platform and even be integrated within the platform. For example, if Bitcoin becomes used widely on a global level, I can see a scenario where it is integrated into the Alipay wallet as another payment option, just like any other foreign currency could be integrated into the wallet today.That said, Ant Financial and Tencent are also pushing their centralized approach very hard right now into other countries, whether it is via direct proliferation of their technology platforms (WeChat passes 100 million users outside China ) or through equity investments in local equivalents (e.g. Ant Financial’s investment in Paytm in India). And these centralized payment platforms are rapidly gaining market share all around the developing world and even making inroads in developed countries as well (Alipay, China’s top mobile payment service, expands to the U.S.).Finally, it goes without saying that — on top of evaluating the technical merits of centralized vs. decentralized payments technology — we also must take into account the role of the Chinese government in all of this. Judging from the exchange bans in early 2017 and the recent ban on Bitcoin mining, Chinese regulators are clearly against the idea of Bitcoin or any other crypto-currency asset taking root in China. This provides sanctioned payment platforms like Alipay and Wechat Payments just that much more of an advantage over their decentralized cousins.(4b) The future of blockchain-based technologyLooking beyond just Bitcoin and crypto-currencies, believe it or not I am actually quite optimistic about the applicability of blockchain-based technologies to solve fundamental inefficiencies in many areas, including in China.The $64,000 (actually more like $64 billion) question is where and how? It could very well be that mass consumer payments is not the ideal place but there are plenty of other functions in the world it can disrupt — perhaps areas where transaction throughput speed is not such a critical factor (e.g. insurance contracts, asset tracking etc.).Drawing this distinction between Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology is an idea that is also echoed in China. Here is what Jack Ma had to say about Bitcoin and blockchain when asked the question at a recent panel:The question about Bitcoin. Honestly, I am not that big a fan of Bitcoin. But I pay special attention to the cashless society, to blockchain technology. Bitcoin, the thing I want to know, what value, what things can Bitcoin bring to society. But, behind Bitcoin, the technology is very powerful. So, my job ... Alibaba and Alipay's job ... is to try to make sure that the world will move into a cashless society. Society can make everybody equal, make everyone inclusive to get the money they need and make sure it is sustainable, inclusive and transparent.Here is the full video:A cynic might point out that as the largest individual shareholder in Alipay, he is merely talking his book. But a realist would point out that with the rapid proliferation of Alipay and Wechat Payments, China is already well on its way to achieving this digital, cashless ideal while Bitcoin continues to be used almost exclusively for speculation or as a store of value and relatively little for legitimate payment transactions regardless of whether you are talking about China or anywhere else in the world.Meanwhile, he appears to be quite bullish on efforts to figure out how to apply the underlying blockchain technology and approach in different industries. Here’s an example of that: Alibaba Deploys Blockchain to Secure Health Data in China.And here’s another example from another Chinese company that literally just flashed across my Quora feed: Coindesk: Search Giant Baidu Launches Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform by Paul Denlinger on China's Future (also h/t to Paul Denlinger for the A2A).EpiloguePerhaps there is another basic, root explanation for why Bitcoin is ultimately unsuccessful taking root in China: Chinese people are just different.Whereas many vocal proponents of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies often tout that these systems cannot be controlled by a central authority and do a much better job of preserving privacy as major advantages, the reality is that Chinese people just don’t seem to place a lot of value on these features — except in situations (e.g. skirting capital controls) where it can be useful or practical.In other words, these features are arguably the most unique advantages of using crypto-currencies — yet Chinese users and businesses have demonstrated that they place significantly more value on other factors like convenience and low cost. This is evidenced by the fact that hundreds of millions of Chinese people have signed up for Alipay and Wechat Wallet and use these platforms to process trillions of dollars worth of transactions every month. In doing so, they have willingly given up anonymity and agreed to play along with the system. Moreover, this transition was completed in a timetable that was shockingly quick.So I want to conclude with this final thought.There appears to be a distinct philosophical difference between Chinese citizens and citizens in western liberal democracies where greater weight is placed on values like individual privacy — and where perhaps the government is viewed with a higher degree of skepticism and with less trust (especially post-GFC). And it is this philosophical difference that could indeed be the most difficult structural impediment for a decentralized payments platform like Bitcoin to take root in China.Related:What is Alibaba's strategy regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies?What does the bike-sharing mania say about the Chinese economy?Why aren’t credit cards popular in China, the world's second largest economy?How does Alipay compare with Paypal?Notes: By “native” I mean that you do not have to convert from one to another. With Alipay, you can withdraw Renminbi sitting in your digital wallet to your bank account quickly and then convert it to cash without having to do a currency conversation. With Bitcoin you would have to go through the additional step (at some point) of converting it to fiat currency and paying associated spreads and fees.Similarly, it is more efficient to invest in Initial Coin Offerings (part of the “blockchain economy”) using crypto assets as opposed to fiat currency. However, on an absolute basis I am still trying to figure out exactly how much better they are than existing alternatives. For example, I am still waiting for some answers on this question I recently posed on Quora: How much more or less expensive is it to transfer money from one country to another using Bitcoin than the traditional banking system? Source: Havocscope Country Risk Ranking Source: U.S. Federal Reserve paper on Chinese Capital Flight (June 2017) Based on analysis of China’s detailed Balance of Payments as I discussed in an old Quora answer: Glenn Luk's answer to Why does China have such huge foreign exchange reserves? How largely could China affect the dollar value in lieu of its huge reserve?
What is the Palestinian solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
I like Michael Davison’s excellent answer (as usual), but just wanted to throw one more tidbit of recent info into the discussion.The linked article here discusses what the Palestinian side really means when they talk about agreeing to a “two-state solution”:Community | What Palestinians Mean When They Talk About A ‘Two-State Solution’For those without the patience to read the whole article (it’s short), here’s the “executive summary”:Assuming the Palestinian leadership really wants two states, here is what they mean by that. One will be an Arab-only state, no Jews allowed, ruled under Islamic law, on the West Bank and in Gaza. This state of course must not yield an inch from the “1967 borders,” which are in fact not borders but were the “green line” demarcation line between the warring armies drawn at the time of the Rhodes Armistice in 1949, ending active hostilities in the 1947–49 war. But that means all the Jewish “settlers” who live anywhere east of the “green line” will have to leave.The other state, whether it is called Israel or eventually something else, will be a secular, Muslim-majority state covering all the rest of what is now Israel.Although, at first, Jews may be allowed to continue living there, the plan is to overwhelm the Israeli Jewish population with an influx of Muslim newcomers, by demanding the so called “right” of return (there is no such “right” anywhere else; it is a demand, not a “right”) for 6 million or so Palestinians now living abroad (i.e. outside of “historic Palestine”) in addition to the 2 million in Gaza and the nearly two million in the West Bank. This would, as noted, turn what is now Israel into a Muslim-majority state, after which the Muslim majority could vote for whatever form of government it wants. It could vote to dissolve the Knesset and merge with the West Bank Palestinian state. Who knows?All I do know is, it means nothing good for the Jews.EDIT 2020–02–08 = A fellow Quoran took issue with some of my statements in this answer, and I posted a reply which turned out to be much longer and more detailed than my original answer. Since other Quorans have expressed a desire to be able to share it, I am amending this answer to include that entire reply:Rashad Pollard wrote: "This response from Michael Jacobs contains so many complete fabrications."Oh, you think so? Well, I am happy to pick apart what you have to say about my answer, and address each of your concerns regarding things I wrote that you think were fabrications.Rashad Pollard wrote: "The Palestinians have always preferred the one-state solution"That's not what Palestinian leaders have been telling the West, or the UN, for decades now. They have CLAIMED to be in favor of a "two-state solution" since that's what Western liberals want to hear:Community | What Palestinians Mean When They Talk About A ‘Two-State Solution’And, frankly, most ordinary Palestinians DO prefer a two-state solution, as do most ordinary Israelis:Palestinians and Israelis Actually Agree On Something: They Really Don't Want the One-State Solution - Tablet MagazineOf course, though, you are correct, that in reality, the Palestnian leadership (and many of the Arab people as well) prefer a "one-state solution" which involves the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Arab-majority, Arab-run nation-state, whatever that state may be called -- or, the division of the territory that used to be Israel among its Arab-majority neighbors. Palestinian leaders made no call, before 1967, to "liberate" the portions of Cis-Jordanian Palestine (which is merely the geographical regional name designating the land area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which was not ever before 1967 treated as the name of any nation-sized ethnic grouping of people nor as the name of any independent nation-state) when all of the West Bank and all of Gaza was in Jordanian and Egyptian hands, respectively. All the PLO wanted was to "liberate" the REST of "Historic Palestine" -- that is, the territory that had been part of the "MANDATE for Palestine" under British administration until the British left in 1948 -- from the Jews. They did not really care WHICH Arab or Turkish or Persian ruler dominated that region, as long as he was Muslim.The Palestinian National CharterThe PLO Charter Still Calls for Israel’s DestructionRashad Pollard wrote: "history has shown that under the Ottoman Empire (when the majority of citizens in Jerusalem, for example, were Jewish) in general there was relative security between the Jewish, Christian and Muslim people.""Relative" yes, in the sense that tolerance of a Jewish presence was seen by the Muslim rulers as a gift from their gracious selves to a downtrodden, subservient, Dhimmi-status minority ethnic nation, which tolerance was conditional upon their acceptance of Muslim domination, AND which could be withdrawn at any moment, on a whim, for no reason at all, as in fact did happen, to the Jews of other Arab and Muslim countries, both before and after the creation of Israel, when the Jews of those countries were driven out in anger and with violence. Not that this is the first time such a thing happened in history, either -- though the Muslim world and the Christian world have both, at alternate times, proved relatively hospitable to Jews, the problem was that all control was in the hands of outsiders, and the Jews had no control over their own destiny.Jews and Christians Under IslamDhimmis, the Muslim Approach to SuperiorityThe Status of Minorities Under Islamic RuleBy the late 19th century, as Jews found the Jew-hatred inherent in European society to be intolerable, the Zionist movement arose as a way to re-establish Jewish self-determination in the one land where they had ever had it -- the "Holy Land," the Biblical Eretz Yisroel ("Land of Israel"), the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. When the Ottoman Empire began to ALLOW Jews to emigrate to that region once again, after centuries of being denied legal permission to do so, Zionist Jews flocked to rebuild the Jewish presence there.The Jews were LEGALLY ALLOWED by the Ottoman government to do so; and yet the LOCAL bigots in the land between the river and the sea took it upon themselves to kill and terrorize Jews for the "crime" of being "uppity," holding their heads high and refusing to kowtow to Muslim superiority, and for moving into "their" neighborhoods -- just the way the KKK and other "white supremacists" in the US South terrorized and killed US African-Americans who committed the "crime" of being uppity, of holding their heads high, and refusing to kowtow to whites, especially while moving into erstwhile "white" neighborhoods, AFTER THE US SUPREME COURT TOLD THEM THEY HAD THE RIGHT TO DO SO.And, yes, the violent and racist opposition, by hostile Arab residents already living there, to LEGAL Jewish immigration and LEGAL land purchases by Jews, began even during Ottoman times -- long before the Ottoman Empire lost in World War One and was dissolved, long before the Balfour Declaration, long before the League of Nations Mandate, and decades before the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel -- which violent opposition simply helped prove the necessity for such a Jewish state, for Jewish independence.1913: Seeds of ConflictFundamentally Freund: The Arab pogrom that started it allThe Demons of the Farhud Pogrom are With Us StillRemembering Farhud Day and the Arab PogromsRashad Pollard wrote: "So, now that Israel has been created (a Jewish State) for Israel’s supporters to say that any Palestinian State will not allow Jews is absurd."Oh, you don't have to believe ME. Listen, instead, to the words of Palestinian leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas:No Jews Allowed in PalestineThe New York Times Won't Let Mahmoud Abbas Have His YOLO MomentNot to mention the leaders of Hamas:Hamas Official Fathi Hamad's Speech Was No Exception: Repeated Antisemitic Statements From Hamas Officials And In Hamas MediaEven the Arab-controlled press, such as Al-Monitor, admits this is the case, and that it is JEWS, not "Israelis," who are forbidden to live in "Palestine" under the current Palestinian regimes.US-Palestinian man gets life sentence for selling home to JewsRashad Pollard wrote: "Yes, the original Palestinian manifesto""Original?" No, that's STILL their manifesto. IT. HASN'T. CHANGED.Rashad Pollard wrote: "did indeed claim that the State of Israel needs to be removed has not been changed but there is plenty of hard evidences that the Palestinians have reluctantly accepted a two-state solution”Sure. With what THEY mean by a "Two State Solution." See the first article I linked to in this reply comment, above. That’s just a temporary stepping stone to the FULL defeat and takeover of Israel that they still envision as their goal.Rashad Pollard wrote: "with Israel delineated within its present boundaries"The 1949 "Green Line" is NOT Israel's "present boundaries." If by "present" you mean, the ACTUAL boundaries of Israeli ultimate sovereign control in effect right NOW, that would be all of Cis-Jordanian Palestine except for the Gaza Strip, with the addition of the Golan Heights.But it's quite clear that this is not what you meant. You want Israel to retreat from its legitimate claims to legal sovereignty over the territories of Judea and Samaria -- what Jordan called "the West Bank" when they re-named it in 1950 to falsely make it sound like a natural part of Jordan, which was the "East Bank" -- and withdraw to the indefensible, crazy-quilt cease-fire line which, back in 1949, was ONLY intended to demarcate the battle lines held by Israeli forces on one side, and Jordanian forces on the other, at the time a cease-fire was declared late in 1949.At Jordan's insistence, the 1949 Rhodes Armistice agreement, facilitated by UN delegate Ralph Bunche, specifically stated that the "Green Line" was NOT to be interpreted as a permanent international boundary. That was, of course, because Jordan wanted the opportunity to re-open the conflict later, and complete their conquest of ALL of Israel; but that door swings both ways, and when Jordan DID re-open the conflict, in 1967 — despite Israeli pleas to King Hussein to stay OUT of the war that Egypt and Syria had already started — Jordan lost, and Israel re-acquired those Cis-Jordanian territories of the former Mandate, Judea and Samaria, and the eastern part of the single, united city of Jerusalem, which Jordan had been illegally occupying for the past 19 years.Rashad Pollard wrote: "and the West Bank and East Jerusalem made into a Palestinian State."That COULD, POSSIBLY, happen, IF a peace agreement is eventually negotiated to work out all the details. It's the Palestinians, and other Arab countries (with the exception of Egypt and Jordan), not Israel, who have refused to sit down and negotiate a peace deal, for the last 50 years since the Armistice. The war that started in 1947, in other words, is not yet over.In either event, even from your own language it's clear that this is something the Arab side WANTS, not something that already EXISTS. Wishful thinking won't make it happen; only negotiations will.Rashad Pollard wrote: "See the exchange of letters between Arafat and Rabin; see written commitments made at the UN and at Annapolis etc."I would, but it's not necessary, as I don't disagree with you on these FACTS. But you unhelpfully failed to include any links to them, in case anyone else wanted to look at them. Still, as I said, it's irrelevant to the issues we are actually discussing.Rashad Pollard wrote: "What delays a final peace is that Israel (having obtained about 73% of the land where the Palestinians (of all faiths) lived,"Wrong. JORDAN obtained about 77% of the land where Palestinians of all faiths lived, when Britain broke off all of the Mandate for Palestine that lay east of the Jordan River -- i.e. Trans-Jordanian Palestine -- and left only Cis-Jordanian Palestine for the fulfillment of the League of Nations' Mandate promise to foster a Jewish national home.The Legal Aspects of Jewish RightsJordan was supposed to be the ARAB Palestinian state, as far back as 1922. Yet, the Arabs refused to compromise at all, even though they had already got the lion's share of the deal; they continued to insist that even the tiny sliver (23% of the original) that remained designated for the Jews, must be partitioned yet AGAIN, into smaller and smaller pieces, until the Jews had NOTHING left. That was, clearly, their goal, shown not only by the Arab leaders' refusal to accept the proposed 1937 Peel Commission partition plan and the 1947 UN partition plan, but their combined attack on Israel the day after its Declaration of Independence, seeking to kill or exile all the Jews and capture their land.The History of Modern JordanRashad Pollard wrote: "when they lived under the British mandate and had Palestinian passports and identity paper)."As did the Jews. No one is denying that BOTH Arabs and Jews lived in Palestine (again, just the name of a region) during the Mandate. But ONLY the Jews declared their independence when Britain left. The Arabs chose, instead, to violently attack Israel with multiple, well-trained and well-equipped standing national armies. They lost. They made the wrong choice.Rashad Pollard wrote: "But Israel won’t give up the areas of Palestine demarcated to “Palestinians” (of any religion) by the United Nations and the International Court of Justice"Oh, please. That is the part that is a total fabrication. Israel tried, time and again, to negotiate a peace settlement with the Arab nations, over the last 50 years, and they refused: NO negotiations, NO recognition of Israel, and NO peace with Israel, was their mantra. Still is, with the exception of Egypt and Jordan.And this "Palestinians (of any religion)" trope is a brand-new propaganda effort to paint the JEWS as the racist nationalists here, NOT the Arabs. It's an inversion of reality. Anyone with any sense knows that a future Palestinian state would be Judenrein, based both on current statements by Abbas and by Hamas leaders (see above), and on Jordan's ACTUAL history of their treatment of Jews in "the West Bank" between 1948 and 1967. Those Jews who were not outright killed -- which included innocent women and children, not just fighters -- were driven out with barely the shirts on their backs, and their homes and property were taken over by Jordan. Jordan built public latrines and slum apartments alongside the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the "Wailing Wall," last readily accessible remnant of the Second Temple torn down by Titus in the year 70 C.E., and used Jewish gravestones from the Mount of Olives and elsewhere under Jordanian control to pave those urinals. It's fact. And it's NOT going to be allowed to happen again.See, for instance:"Clauses in the 3 April 1949 Armistice Agreements specified that Israelis would have access to the religious sites in East Jerusalem. However, Jordan refused to implement this clause arguing that Israel's refusal to permit the return of Palestinians to their homes in West Jerusalem voided that clause in the agreement. Tourists entering East Jerusalem had to present baptismal certificates or other proof they were not Jewish."The special committee that was to make arrangements for visits to holy places was never formed and Israelis, irrespective of religion, were barred from entering the Old City and other holy sites. The Jewish Quarter and its ancient synagogues were systematically destroyed such as the Hurva Synagogue and gravestones from the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives were used to build latrines for Jordanian army barracks."Jordanian occupation of the West BankThere’s NO “Israeli Occupation” In The West BankRashad Pollard wrote: "making wild claims about their Jewish rights to a State that existed over two thousand years ago!”NO. You miss my point, and the point of Zionism, entirely.Zionist Jews are MOTIVATED by their ancient ties to their Holy Land, Eretz Yisroel, yes. But that doesn't give them a RIGHT, to anything. They had to BUY it, and then WORK for it and DEFEND it.But the RIGHTS of the Jews to a State TODAY rest on several, secular points of MODERN international law, which are rarely mentioned by those who talk about "international law" as though deeply biased, Jew-hating UN General Assembly and Security Council proclamations (which Obama refused to veto) were the be-all and end-all of such laws. Here's the truth:1. Jews from other lands began coming as LEGAL immigrants to the Ottoman-controlled land between the river and the sea in the late 19th century. It was Ottoman domestic law that allowed them in, and allowed them to buy land.2. Local Arab leaders of a bigoted, nativist, Jew-hating stripe did their best to foment violence and terror against these new Jewish neighbors and actually participated in and abetted Hitler's efforts at a complete genocide of the Jews. That was a crime against humanity, and a war crime, even though such terms hadn't been invented yet (until the Nazis lost WW2, and the Nuremberg Trials).3. The Jewish community of that land began to arm themselves and defend themselves against such unjust aggression, as is any group's right under international law.4. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire -- along with other, imperialist and colonialist empires that had lost WW One, Germany and Austria, were broken up and their liberated lands were designated to become NEW, independent, states, with self-determination for the peoples living there. That's how Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and many other states were brought into being -- for local self-determination. AND the Mandate for Palestine was created, of which 77% was soon designated as an Arab nation-state, and leaving 23% -- a tiny sliver -- for a Jewish nation-state.5. The Arab forces were NOT happy with ANY sovereign Jewish presence in the Middle East because the Jews' Dhimmi status was so deeply ingrained in their worldview, even if they were not devout and practicing Muslims. They refused any compromise that would allow ANY Jewish state to exist. Nevertheless, the world community supported partition, into a Jewish state and an Arab state, even though an Arab state had ALREADY been pinched off from the Mandate for Palestine. This proposal, ipso facto, whether or not it was agreed to by the parties, implied international recognition of the RIGHT of the Jews to a state.6. For over half a century before 1948, the Jews of the region of Palestine had been buying land and had been working themselves to the bone, building the infrastructure and institutions of a viable state to be run along Jewish civilizational lines. The Arabs of the region had done no such thing.7. When the British withdrew from the Mandate, the Jews of the Mandate territory declared independence and announced the creation of the State of Israel. The Arabs of the region did no such thing.8. By the international law principle of Uti possidetis juris, when a foreign administrator withdraws from a territory they had been administering, and a local political and ethnic body declares independence, it is PRESUMED that the territory under the new country's rule extends to ALL of the territory that had recently been vacated by the former administrative power (here, Britain).Uti possidetis juris - Wikipedia9. IF the Arabs of Cis-Jordanian Palestine had ALSO declared independence, then TWO rightful political claimants to sovereignty over the territory of the former Mandate would have existed, and a compromise would have had to be worked out. Actually, a compromise already WAS worked out, in the form of the 1947 UN partition proposal, but the Arabs had already rejected that. Consequently, instantly upon its Declaration of Independence on May 15, 1948, Israel automatically became the legitimate sovereign of ALL of the former Mandate territory that Britain had just vacated.10. Israeli leaders recognized that, as a PRACTICAL matter, they lacked the strength, or the desire, to retain and defend those parts of their new land which were most heavily populated by Arabs in 1948 -- Judea, Samaria, Gaza. Hence, they planned on defending their independence along a perimeter that was LESS THAN what the law had actually given to them, which would be defensible and allow Israel to survive. That is what they did, allowing Gaza to be captured by Egypt, and Judea and Samaria to be captured by Jordan. The rest, Israel successfully defended.11. That did not mean Israel gave up its claim to LEGAL TITLE to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. When the Arabs launched war against Israel again in 1967, Israel re-captured Judea and Samaria from Jordan's illegal 19-year occupation. (I'm not mentioning Gaza at all in this discussion because it's irrelevant, given that Israel has withdrawn completely in 2005 and renounced any claims it had to the Gaza Strip in favor of Gaza's Arab residents.)12. Since both Israel, and the only-recently-recognized-post-1967 "Palestinian people," both had POTENTIALLY valid legal claims to Judea and Samaria, the status of those territories legally was "disputed," NOT occupied. Jordan, as noted, had voluntarily waived all of its claims to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem, in the 1980s, even before making peace with Israel in the 1990s.13. The Arab side rejected any possibility of negotiation with Israel, recognition of Israel, or peace with Israel, until Egypt took the first step in 1978. Egyptian President Sadat was promptly assassinated for his "betrayal" of the "Arab cause."14. Back-channel negotiations by non-state private individuals led to the Oslo Accords of 1993, whereby for the very first time in history, the "Palestinian Arab people" had political autonomy -- self-government -- over the lands where 97% of the Arabs of Cis-Jordanian Palestine, who were not already Israeli citizens, actually lived. That was "Area A" of the "West Bank," plus the Gaza Strip.15. The Oslo Accords, signed by Arafat as the internationally recognized sole authorized negotiator for the entire Palestinian people, LEGALLY AGREED to Israeli sovereignty over the remaining "Area B" of the disputed territories, where most of the remaining 3% of Palestinian Arabs lived, where Israel retained security control but the Palestinian Authority governed all civil affairs, and "Area C," which remained under FULL Israeli control and sovereignty, both military and civilian.16. Efforts at peace negotiation in 2000, 2001, and 2008 were rejected by Arafat and his successor, Abbas, although they would have given the Palestinian Arabs almost all of what they SAID they claimed (the West Bank and Gaza) as well as eastern Jerusalem. The fact that Palestinian leaders said “NO” at every opportunity does NOT necessarily mean, as Abba Eban said, that they are fools who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Rather, it much more directly shows that they do not really WANT a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza — because they want the WHOLE ball of wax.Do Palestinians Really Want a State of Their Own? - Foreign Policy MagazineDo the Palestinians Really Want a State? - Atlantic MagazineDo the Palestinians Really Want a State? - Huffington Post17. As noted, Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 in a hopeful unilateral gesture of peace, granting in effect full independence to the Arabs of Gaza. Instead of making peace and seeking prosperity, the Gazans elected as their leaders the terrorist group Hamas, and began firing rockets into Israeli civilian towns and digging tunnels under the Gaza border with Israel that led to the heart of Israeli civilian towns near the border, so that Hamas terrorists could emerge suddenly and kill Israel civilians, or capture them for ransom and drag them back to Gaza. When Hamas attacks, Israel fights back.18. Israel also fights back against terrorist attacks and planned attacks originating from the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem, which are fomented by Palestinian Authority propaganda that ceaselessly demonizes Jews and Israelis, praises and rewards terrorist murderers on the basis of how many Jews they killed, and still refuses to sit down at a negotiating table and make peace with Israel.That's the status quo. (Items 1 -18.) Thanks for reading this far. It's complex, messy, but completely LEGAL for Israel to be doing what it is doing, in response to such seemingly irrational, even bizarre, Jew-hating conduct by Palestinian leaders, which reveals itself as rational only in the context that there are EVEN MORE RADICAL elements of Islamist and Marxist terrorists chafing at the bit, waiting in the wings, who would be glad to assassinate the current Palestinian leaders and offer THEIR efforts toward obliterating Israel, if they thought the current leaders of the PA and of Hamas were wavering even the slightest in their commitment to "the resistance" -- the destruction of Israel. And the current leaders don't want to LOSE their current sinecures, much less their heads, over making peace with Israel, since they would much rather have the international recognition, hobnobbing with the bigwigs of major foreign superpowers, as well as the MONEY which continues to pour into Palestinian institutions from outside sources, much of which is outright stolen by Palestinian "leaders" in both the PA and Hamas, and most of the rest of which is diverted into the propaganda effort and terrorism effort against Israel's existence, rather than being used to build up Palestinian institutions and improve the lives of Palestinians. So, from that point of view, the "resistance" makes a lot of sense.Rashad Pollard wrote: "If Israel would agree to give the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians they would certainly allow Jewish people to live there (if they wanted to!) just as Christians live there now."No, JEWS live there now, too. And will CONTINUE to do so, if they want, as they do want. And the only way to insure that ALL religions will be given fair opportunity to visit their holy places, and to practice openly, is continued Israeli control over those sites. The Palestinians of all stripes -- including Jordan, from 1948-1967, as well as the Judenrein PA-controlled "Area A" since 1993, have proven incapable and unwilling of protecting Jewish rights.Rashad Pollard wrote: "So, it is Israel’s insistence that it keep all or large chunks of the West Bank and East Jerusalem that is the sole block to peace."Arafat GAVE the legal right to sovereignty over those "chunks" -- Areas B and C -- to Israel, pending outcome of final status talks. Which never, to date, happened. That doesn't change the fact that Israel's sovereignty over those lands it currently holds, is completely LEGAL.Rashad Pollard wrote: "Forget Gaza as that is not, right now, under the control of the Palestinian Authority but of a gang of terrorists."We can agree on THAT. But, don't forget, that same gang of terrorists is also active in the West Bank, and is just waiting for the opportunity to defeat the Fatah-led PA there, too, and consolidate its control over Gaza with control over the West Bank. Don't think it can happen? You're quite the gambler, aren't you? But it's not your OWN lives you are gambling with -- it's the lives of Israelis, who have already been stung so many times they are losing interest in trying again, without IRONCLAD ways of preventing that from ever happening. And that's what the parties need to sit down and negotiate and talk about. Meanwhile, Arafat GAVE Israel the full legal right to do WHATEVER Israel wanted, in Area C of the disputed territory, which is where all the Israeli "settlements" are, as well as to build Israeli military installations in "Area B," for an indefinite period, until a final status peace agreement could be reached, resolving all these issues including refugees, borders, and cooperation.