Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why do Palestinians think they have a "right of return'?

The Palestinian 'right of return':?

( Why? Which refugee group in the world has not been absorbed by other countries over 50years? Jews from Arab lands have been absorbed by tiny Israel,- they who have also lived through many generations and many centuries in Moslem lands and were forcibly evacuated from them when the State of Israel was declared. Why did not the 250 million Arab Moslems see fit to absorb a few hundred thousand Arabs from Palestine? So much for Arab brotherhood and Islamic solidarity! The only thing on which they are united is the destruction of Israel and keeping the Palestinians in refugee camps!
The Palestinian Government demands it. The Arab League refuses to compromise over it. Meanwhile the Israeli Government rejects it. And Israel's Prime Minister says he will never agree to it. No aspect of Israel's conflict with its neighbours is as polarised as the Palestinian 'right of return'.
Events of recent weeks have again exposed that polarisation. We'd like to highlight the Beyond Images Briefing on the topic in which we outline the Palestinian claim for a 'right of return', and explain several key arguments against it:-

Arab rejectionism, not Israeli aggression, caused the war in 1948 which created the refugee problem-
Arab states and the Palestinians have exacerbated the refugee problem for over 50 years. A general 'right of return' is more unrealistic than ever-
Israel is under no legal obligation under UN Resolution 194 to grant the Palestinians a general 'right of return' into Israel-
For Israel to accept a Palestinian 'right of return' would risk destroying the Jewish character of the State of Israel, which the Israeli leadership and population will never accept- granting the Palestinians a 'right of return' into Israel undermines the principle of a 'two-state solution'-

The demand for a Palestinian 'right of return' is presented as a formula for justice, but in fact is a formula for diplomatic stalemate, and perpetuates the conflict.
The debate over the 'right of return' is at the forefront of coverage of the Middle East. There is very little understanding in the media of how threatening this demand is to Israel. The Arab League, which upholds the 'right of return' is simultaneously described as seeking "normalisation of relations" with Israel. This is nonsense. The 'right of return' and "normal relations" are mutually contradictory.
Engaging in Israel's battle of ideas and information

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