Friday, December 10, 2010

The returning issue of Palestine's refugees

It's 62 years since the UN passed a resolution on the rights of Palestinian refugees – rights Israel must recognise for peace

Saeb Erekat, Friday 10 December 2010

"Before his murder in 1948, Lord Folke Bernadotte, the first UN mediator to the Arab-Israeli conflict, stated: "It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent [Palestinian] victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine." Lord Bernadotte paid for his candour with his life as Jewish militants assassinated him under the direction of Yitzhak Shamir, the man who would later become prime minister of Israel.

Less than three months after his death, as the war of 1948 ground to a close, and nearly three-quarters of the entire indigenous Palestinian population had been displaced by Israeli forces, the UN passed general assembly resolution 194, calling for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and to be awarded compensation for their losses......

When negotiations resume once again[The clown is already "negotiating" in Washington, D.C. He was born to "negotiate"; his pay that is.] , the world must not abandon the refugees of Palestine, nor attempt to coerce their representatives to do so either.

Israel's recognition of Palestinian refugee rights and its agreement to provide reparation and meaningful refugee choice in the exercise of these rights will not change the reality in the Middle East overnight, nor will it lead to an existential crisis for Israel. What it will certainly do is mark the beginning of a new reality that will no longer be rooted in repression, denial of rights, and discrimination. In other words, it will lead to a lasting peace – the kind of peace envisaged by Lord Bernadotte and hoped for by Palestinians and Israelis alike."

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