Friday, April 11, 2008

Reflections on the Palestine return movement

Muhammad Jaradat, The Electronic Intifada, 11 April 2008
(Muhammad Jaradat is the Coordinator of the Campaign Unit of Badil)

"......Later on, when the text of the agreement was opened to the public, the Israeli press was the first to publish. I ran to the Israeli Press Office in West Jerusalem to get a copy -- it was published then only in Hebrew and English. Reading the original English copy, I was not only shocked but also deeply alarmed and upset, because I had expected that the PLO leadership would not surrender and, at the minimum, uphold the fundamental national rights and base any agreement on UN resolutions and international law. Reading the agreement, I searched for references to the core issue of the conflict, i.e. the refugee issue, and found it mentioned only in a few words as an issue scheduled "for discussion in the final status negotiations." I thus understood that there were no guarantees or principles recognized for dealing with this most central issue of the conflict, and that the future of the large majority of the Palestinian people who are refugees was uncertain......

The Palestine Return Movement has succeeded in revitalizing the Palestinian consensus about the centrality of the right to return for the future of the Palestinian people and peace in the region. This consensus is expressed in similar language by a large majority of the Palestinian public, organized civil society and the media, as well as in public statements of the Palestinian leadership. Understanding and support of this Palestinian consensus, as well as the need for a solution of the Palestinian refugee issue in accordance with international law, have increased considerably also among the global solidarity movement and a small but important minority of Jews in Israel......"

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