So-called Palestinian “right-of-return”?

08.19.03

Lynn says No:

No.

There’s a very simple response to palestinian claims of a “right of return” (ROR) to the pre-1948 homes of their ancestors or themselves in Israel.

No.

That’s the answer and that will always be the answer. It’s time the rest of the world made this perfectly clear and stopped leaving it to Israel to spell it out, time and time again. Despite the screaming, shrieking, ranting and raving, the claim has no basis, no legitimacy, no historical precedent. And no such “return” is going to happen while the State of Israel still exists.

She makes the point quite well that Israel cannot – and never will – accept a so-called “compromise” that effectively negates its right to exist as a Jewish state. It’s a point underscored by this Ha’aretz editorial:

The Palestinian leadership would be well advised to take very seriously the united front in Israel that opposes a right of return. The most committed supporters of the Oslo Accords believe that a concession of refugees’ right of return to Haifa can be traded fairly for a concession of Jews’ right of return to Hebron. Israel, just like the PA and Arab states, should have an interest in the search for a just solution for hundreds of thousands of stateless, disenfranchised people who live in, and outside, refugee camps. But this solution cannot include a return of refugees to the State of Israel; instead, the return should be to the Palestinian state that will arise alongside Israel.

Virtually all Palestinian leaders have poorly served their own people by cultivating among refugees the illusion of a right of return to Israel, rather than courageously encouraging them to recognize that the establishment of a Palestinian state entails the relinquishing of hopes of returning to Israeli territory. With his irresponsible remarks, Sha’ath throws dust in Palestinians’ eyes, and spoils prospects of forging an agreement, even with those in Israel who believe in compromise.

And that of course is the crux of the issue. Because even those in the Arab world who speak about lofty principles like recognition of Israel don’t mean the Israel that we know. They really mean that they’d accept an Arab, Islamic Israel – renamed Palestine, of course, and where the Jews would live as a minority. To them, the notion of Jewish nationalism is an illegitimate one, even as they prop up Palestinian nationalism by funnelling millions to terrorist networks.

The so-called “right of return” was invented as a Plan B, in case Plan A (military annihilation of the “Zionist entity”) failed. Plan A has been attempted over and over, and each time Israel has emerged victorious. So it’s no surprise that Plan B has been taking centre stage lately.

It’s the same old song and dance. And anyone who doesn’t recognize it as such is either willfully ignorant or just blind.

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