Jews for Palestinian right of return

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 77 Comments
JFPROR

I signed the following statement because the ongoing displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people remains at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For this reason, honoring, and advocating for, the rights of Palestinian refugees is the key to any just outcome in Israel/Palestine.  To add your name or to learn more visit jfpror.wordpress.com or email [email protected]

January 1, 2013

“For Palestinians, the right to return home and the right to live in dignity and equality in their own land are not any less important than the right to live free of military occupation.”

–Prof. Saree Makdisi [1]

For more than a century, Zionists have sought to construct a “Jewish state” through forced removal of the indigenous Palestinian people.

In 1948, this state was established through the Nakba (Catastrophe): erasure and occupation of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages, dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians, and a terror campaign of which the massacre at Deir Yassin is but the most infamous example.

Since 1967, Israel has also occupied and colonized the remainder of historic Palestine. Today, this relentless ethnic cleansing continues — armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies — on both sides of the 1948 “Green Line.”

As a cumulative result, seventy percent of Palestinians are in exile, the world’s largest refugee population.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Gaza, where Israel inflicts particularly brutal collective punishment on 1.7 million people — most of them refugees — for defiantly resisting expulsion from their homes throughout historic Palestine.

“Pick a point, any point, along [Gaza's] 25-mile coastline,” writes Gaza City resident Lara Aburamadan, “and you’re seven or so miles — never more — from the other side. The other side is where my grandparents were born, in a village that has since become someone else’s country, off limits to me. You call it Israel. I call it the place where the bombs come from.”[2]

To hide these crimes and shield itself from their consequences, the Zionist regime officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial. It has even authorized legislation to penalize those who memorialize the Nakba — a step toward criminalizing its observance altogether.

As it is for all colonized peoples, liberation means reversing dispossession. “The Palestinian cause,” writes Dr. Haidar Eid in Gaza, “is the right of return for all refugees and nothing less.”[3]

Return — one of the key demands of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign — is affirmed in U.N. resolution 194, but derives from the principle of universal human rights and, as such, cannot be renounced or abandoned by any body or representative; it inalienably attaches to Palestinians, both individually and collectively.

Despite this, even some who criticize Israel’s 1967 occupation claim that Palestinian return is “unrealistic.”

However, solidarity means unconditional support for the just aims of those resisting oppression. As Palestinian journalist-activist Maath Musleh explains: “If you think that [return] is not possible, then you are really not in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”[4]

Some also object that refugees’ return would mean an end to the “Jewish state.” But supporters of social justice must ask themselves how they can defend a state whose very existence depends on structural denial of Palestinian rights.

Recently, more than a hundred leading Palestinian activists reaffirmed their opposition “to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.”[5]

Such racism and bigotry is reflected precisely in Zionism’s attempt to erase the Palestinian people, a century long campaign that dishonors the memory of Jewish suffering and resistance in Europe.

The moral response is clear: “There is one geopolitical entity in historic Palestine,” writes Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah. “Israel must not be allowed to continue to entrench its apartheid, racist and colonial rule throughout that land.”[6]

As Jews of conscience, we call on all supporters of social justice to stand up for Palestinian Right of Return and a democratic state throughout historic Palestine — “From the River to the Sea” — with equal rights for all.

The full measure of justice, upon which the hopes of all humanity depends, requires no less.

Initial signers
List in formation; affiliations listed for identification only
To sign as an individual or organization, e-mail [email protected]

Max Ajl, Writer and activist; Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine

Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Switzerland

Max Blumenthal, Journalist and author

Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar

Lenni Brenner, Author and anti-war activist

Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)

Sonia Fayman, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France

Sherna Berger Gluck, Founding member US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Coordinator, Fellowship of Reconciliation Peacewalks, Mural Arts in Palestine and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Spain)

Abraham Greenhouse, Blogger, Electronic Intifada

Tony Greenstein, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)

Jeff Halper, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)

Stanley Heller, Host of “The Struggle” TV News

Tikva Honig-Parnass, Former member of the Zionist armed forces (1948); author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine

Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor, Mondoweiss.net

Selma James, Global Women’s Strike; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK

David Klein, Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Dennis Kortheuer, Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign; Dump Veolia LA

David Letwin, Activist and writer; Gaza Freedom March

Michael Letwin, Co-Founder, Labor for Palestine; Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author

Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance

Mike Marqusee, Author If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew

Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Linda Milazzo, Participatory journalist and educator

Prof. Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist

Miko Peled, Author of The General’s Son

Karen Pomer, Granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor

Diana Ralph, Assistant Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices-Canada

Dorothy Reik, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains

Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, President, International League for Human Rights (German Section FIDH); Founding member of Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – EJJP Germany

Rachel Roberts, Civil rights attorney and writer

Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Carol K. Smith, Activist and civil rights attorney

Lia Tarachansky, Director, Seven Deadly Myths

Hadas Thier, Contributing author of The Struggle for Palestine; Israeli-born daughter and grand-daughter of Nazi Holocaust survivors

Dr. Abraham Weizfeld, Montréal; Jewish People’s Liberation Organization

Sherry Wolf, Author and public speaker; International Socialist Organization; Adalah-NY

Marcy Winograd, Former Congressional Peace Candidate; public school teacher

Dr. Roger van Zwanenberg, Non-Executive Director, Pluto Books Ltd.

—————-
Notes

[1] Saree Makdisi, “If Not Two States, Then One,” N.Y. Times, December 5, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/opinion/global/if-not-two-states-then-one.html?_r=0

[2] Lara Aburamadan, “Trapped in Gaza,” N.Y. Times, November 16, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/opinion/trapped-in-gaza.html

[3] Haidar Eid, “The Palestinian Left and RoR,” ZMag, October 8, 2012,http://www.zcommunications.org/the-palestinian-left-and-ror-by-haidar-eid

[4] Maath Musleh, “Communique: Palestine #4 Brief Thoughts on International Solidarity With Our Struggle in Palestine,” September 8, 2012,  http://internationalsocialist.org.uk/index.php/blog/brief-thoughts-on-international-solidarity-with-our-struggle-in-palestine/

[5] “The struggle for Palestinian rights is incompatible with any form of racism or bigotry: a statement by Palestinians,” Electronic Intifada, October 23, 2012,  http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/struggle-palestinian-rights-incompatible-any-form-racism-or-bigotry-statement

[6] Ali Abunimah, “Mahmoud Abbas’ real ‘accomplishment’ was not the UN vote on Palestine,” Aljazeera, December 2, 2012,  http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/12/2012122165114321474.html. See also, “The Way Forward for Palestine Solidarity, June 23, 2010,  http://al-awdany.org/2010/07/statement-the-way-forward-for-palestine-solidarity-please-endorse/

77 Responses

  1. Inanna
    January 5, 2013, 5:51 pm

    My thanks to you Adam and to all those who signed. This is the answer to Akiva Eldar – there are Jews who know how to save all of us.

    • sardelapasti
      January 6, 2013, 3:39 pm

      “save all of us”
      Save what? Are *you threatened, and who by? Palestinians, who are threatened, will get their land and return to it, by hook or by crook, if they are not exterminated before. Such signed declarations are good; they do contribute their mite, but the only thing that the Eldar you are quoting was trying to save was that illegitimate, racist, murderous, warring invader state. Which is expressed by “save all of us”?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2013, 4:20 pm

        Are *you threatened, and who by? Palestinians, who are threatened,

        so tell us sard, what ethnicity is inanna since you apparently know more than the rest of us.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 8:04 pm

        I fear sardelapasti misread what seems to me to be a very gracious and encouraging message from Inanna. The reference to Eldar’s column is beautifully put.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2013, 8:45 pm

        mooser, yeah, i thought it was beautiful. the answer to eldar
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Inanna
        January 7, 2013, 12:08 am

        I think you misunderstood my comment sardelapasti. The response to Eldar, who wants to throw up his hands and have non-Jews save Zionism since Jews can’t do it, is for Jews and all of us to say that saving an apartheid state is not something we want to do and affirm the right to return of Palestinians as a part of ending that apartheid. Is that clearer?

      • sardelapasti
        January 7, 2013, 1:43 am

        “Is that clearer?”
        It is, now. Thanks for clarifying.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2013, 3:46 pm

        Glad you took another look at it. This is not the easiest way to communicate, between the moderation lag and the nesting of responses. I’ve certainly misread my share of comments.

  2. eGuard
    January 5, 2013, 6:05 pm

    Nah. Again it’s jews that give freedoms to Palestinians.

  3. Shmuel
    January 5, 2013, 6:47 pm

    I’ve signed a number of “Jews for Palestinian right of return” petitions in the past, and agree that “The full measure of justice, upon which the hopes of all humanity depends, requires no less.” But does “the full measure of justice” also require “a democratic state throughout historic Palestine”? Are there no other possibilities? Can we – specifically as Jews – presume to dictate the modality of the “reversal of dispossession” (as Dr. Haidar Eid puts it)?

    • tokyobk
      January 5, 2013, 9:25 pm

      Shmuel,

      Its a great question.

      One way to answer is that the grounds for return are only that the conquest of Palestine was not fair, and that fairness can only be achieved by allowing a full return of the dispossessed and their descendants.

      So to whom does this idea of fairness matter? It matters to people (usually calling themselves liberal or progressive) that have a really recent (Post colonial and post-WWII) code of human rights. A non-ethnic and democratic state can best achieve this vision.

      Where in human history and on what continent and in what tradition has conquest ever been unfair? Sometimes regulated, but everywhere legal and even considered just (and the proof of divine favor).

      Obama can say with no irony that any nation attacked by missiles would respond because on planet earth right now, American conquest is sanctioned, legal and even considered moral.

      There are of course other ways to argue; The land belongs to Islam, the soil is Arab, might makes right, but those are not the arguments made here — its fairness.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 1:28 pm

        “Where in human history and on what continent and in what tradition has conquest ever been unfair? “

        tokyobk, it’s nice to see you admit that you take a “might makes right” position. That’s a position which has never failed to pay off for us Jews. I’d doiuble down ion it if I were you, and then, we’ll work on that birth and retention rate. Look out world! Fair kosher conquest, coming your way.

      • Donald
        January 6, 2013, 1:58 pm

        “tokyobk, it’s nice to see you admit that you take a “might makes right” position.”

        I don’t think he meant it that way–I think he’s saying that in most times and places conquerors took their right to conquer others for granted, or as a sign of divine favor (like America with its “Manifest Destiny” delusion in the 1800′s.)

      • tokyobk
        January 6, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Donald,

        Of course I did not and you understand me perfectly.

        Not sure if Mooser actually misunderstands me or its just part of his snarky antics.

      • MHughes976
        January 6, 2013, 5:31 pm

        The very fact that the Biblical narrative of Conquest makes such play of special and unique divine instructions shows us how it was as well accepted in ancient times as it is now that simply going into someone’s house or land and taking it amid fire and sword is wrong and horrible in all but the most exceptional circumstances. It’s true that people have found it rather easy to convince themselves that an exception should be made in their own favour but the elaborate arguments for the exception prove that the rule is there in the background.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 6:10 pm

        Apparently, I do misunderstand you. I thought you meant to type “has ever been fair” but mistyped. And if I have it right, you did mean to type “unfair” but the sentence was meant to be ironic. To be understood in an ironic sense.

        So you are stating that Zionism’s history in Palestine is a triumph of unfairness (which is a fine historical synonym for “crimes”) against the Palestinians, and there must be basic restitution and reparations and justice. Hard to disagree with that.

      • RoHa
        January 6, 2013, 8:16 pm

        Donald: “I think he’s saying that in most times and places conquerors took their right to conquer others for granted, or as a sign of divine favor”

        tokyobk: “you understand me perfectly.”

        And what does this imply for the Right of Return?

      • American
        January 6, 2013, 2:33 pm

        ”..but those are not the arguments made here — its fairness.”….

        Where in human history and on what continent and in what tradition has conquest ever been unfair?’ ….tokyobk

        Er…..the Jewish Israel claim, what has propelled things Jewish for centuries and still does, has always been that e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g that ever happened to Jews since time began was *Unfair.*

        Every conquest/battle they lost, any event they were caught up in, wasnt just lost, it was unfair to the losers, a deliberate persecution, a injustice, etc..

        I don’t think you can switch horses in midstream now and talk about conquest reality as opposed to fairness for Palestine without the huge *Hypocrite* neon sign flashing.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2013, 3:50 pm

        “I don’t think you can switch horses in midstream”

        Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t tokyobk’s ambition to put on a dazzling display of equestrian aquatics. Problem is, at the end he’s still all wet.

      • Byzantium
        January 7, 2013, 3:03 am

        There can be no doubt that most countries that exist today do so only because at some point in the past one group of people violently took a piece of land from another. However, the purpose of human evolution must be constant progression towards what is better; hence, once we know better, it is incumbent upon us to do better. The fact that a country like the US was built on the death and destitution of who-knows-how-many Indians (to take one example) can no longer be used to excuse a similar policy followed by another, younger country. Now we know better, so now we must do better.

      • talknic
        January 8, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Byzantium

        ” The fact that a country like the US was built on the death and destitution of who-knows-how-many Indians (to take one example) can no longer be used to excuse a similar policy followed by another, younger country. Now we know better, so now we must do better”

        Seems that lesson was learned some time ago link to cfr.org

        Israel has a lot of catching up to do link to unispal.un.org

        link to domino.un.org

        link to domino.un.org

        link to domino.un.org

        link to domino.un.org

        link to unispal.un.org

        link to unispal.un.org

        link to unispal.un.org

        link to domino.un.org

        link to unispal.un.org

    • eljay
      January 5, 2013, 10:31 pm

      >> The moral response is clear: “There is one geopolitical entity in historic Palestine … ”

      That sounds more like a geopolitical response than a moral response.

      >> … we call on all supporters of social justice to stand up for Palestinian Right of Return and a democratic state throughout historic Palestine … with equal rights for all.

      RoR – check.
      Equal rights for all – check.
      A democratic state throughout historic Palestine – I don’t see anything wrong with two secular, democratic and egalitarian states, each with its own character.

      • libra
        January 7, 2013, 3:30 pm

        eljay: A democratic state throughout historic Palestine – I don’t see anything wrong with two secular, democratic and egalitarian states, each with its own character.

        eljay, with upwards of 5 million Palestinian refugees how would you see two separate states working if they all returned? How would you see the refugees being divided up between the current Palestinian territories and Israel – especially considering their respective sizes and resources (e.g. water)? What would the characters of these two states be?

        For myself, the fact that the statement explicitly states the foreseen outcome is a single, democratic state is a clear indication that it is serious about the right of return as an actual, exercisable right and not some abstraction that could be traded away for some sort of compensation.

      • eljay
        January 7, 2013, 6:13 pm

        >> eljay, with upwards of 5 million Palestinian refugees how would you see two separate states working if they all returned? How would you see the refugees being divided up between the current Palestinian territories and Israel – especially considering their respective sizes and resources (e.g. water)? What would the characters of these two states be?

        Something like this.

        Existing distribution of resources would have to be revisted by an international body.

      • Sibiriak
        January 8, 2013, 5:49 am

        eljay:

        Something like this.

        A very reasonable view.

        I would be inclined, though, following Shlomo Sand, to replace “Jewish” with “Israeli” in your statement:

        3. A fostering of Jewish culture in Israel, and Palestinian culture in Palestine, with each state respecting the cultures of the minorities within them.

      • eljay
        January 8, 2013, 7:48 am

        >> I would be inclined, though, following Shlomo Sand, to replace “Jewish” with “Israeli” in your statement

        I used “Jewish culture” because I’ve read that a Jewish culture exists, and that it exists also in Israel, where it is the culture of the majority.

        I do, however, believe that Israel’s Jewish culture will – and should – inevitably become but one facet of Israeli culture (while perhaps, or perhaps not, remaining the major facet of that culture).

      • libra
        January 8, 2013, 2:09 pm

        eljay: Something like this.

        eljay, it looks like the “this” you are proposing is (as I predicted) based on a curtailment of the right of return for compensation. I’m sure you, of all people, will appreciate the irony when I say this has more than a touch of Witty about it.

        Perhaps the Palestinians will be willing to make such a trade – it was, after all, inherent on the Saudi peace proposal that Israel so foolishly ignored. But it’s hardly the business of others to advocate such a compromise on their behalf.

        Besides, any hint of compromise to the Israelis, with their attitude of “you offer an inch and we’ll take a mile”, has proven to be a mistake. It just confirms their view that they can keep on stealing more land and formalise it all in some eventual negotiation.

      • talknic
        January 8, 2013, 2:55 pm

        libra

        ” with upwards of 5 million Palestinian refugees how would you see two separate states working if they all returned?”

        The Palestinian claim for RoR is UNGA res 194. It was was adopted on the 11th December 1948. Here is the definition of a refugee for UNGA res 194 link to unispal.un.org Palestine refugees must have lived in the region of return. It doesn’t include lineal descendants born outside the region of return.

        UNGA res 194 (1948) cannot possibly be relying on the UNRWA definition (1949). Furthermore the UNRWA definition is only to determine who qualifies for assistance while they are refugees. It’s mandate does not extend to final status. link to unrwa.org

        Refugees with RoR return to Israel, only have RoR to the territory actually recognized as Israeli in 1948 (see map link to wp.me blue areas only) … They were ALL children in 1948 when they left, they are now all over 64 years of age. They now only number a few thousand.

      • eljay
        January 8, 2013, 2:59 pm

        >> eljay, it looks like the “this” you are proposing is (as I predicted) based on a curtailment of the right of return for compensation.

        Correct. A limited RoR, with:
        - optional payment in lieu for those who qualify to return, but choose not to;
        - mandatory payment in lieu for those who do not qualify for RoR.

        >> I’m sure you, of all people, will appreciate the irony when I say this has more than a touch of Witty about it.

        I don’t see the connection. RW wanted to limited the Palestinian RoR so as not to threaten the integrity of the “Jewish State”. I don’t believe in a supremacist “Jewish State”. RW also wanted to maintain the law of “return” for Jews only. I don’t believe in that supremacist law.

        >> But it’s hardly the business of others to advocate such a compromise on their behalf.

        I don’t advocate anything on behalf of the Palestinians. I just offer my very humble opinions on how a just and mutually-beneficial peace might be negotiated and constructed.

        Given my utter irrelevance in the grand – and in the I-P – scheme of things, my humble opinions, ultimately, have no bearing on anything.

        And I’m okay with that. :-)

      • libra
        January 8, 2013, 6:19 pm

        eljay: I don’t see the connection. RW wanted to limited the Palestinian RoR so as not to threaten the integrity of the “Jewish State”. I don’t believe in a supremacist “Jewish State”.

        eljay, no I really didn’t think you believed in a supremacist “Jewish state”. But nor do I see what any two state solution you are proposing really amounts to if one of the two states isn’t still in some fashion the “Jewish state” and hence remaining, at least in some aspects, supremacist.

        And once you’ve got past having a “Jewish state” then it seems to me the simplest way of unravelling the current situation with its gerrymandered borders is a single state where everyone is considered equal and all religious traditions are embraced.

      • eljay
        January 9, 2013, 8:01 am

        But nor do I see what any two state solution you are proposing really amounts to if one of the two states isn’t still in some fashion the “Jewish state” and hence remaining, at least in some aspects, supremacist.

        As I see it – and perhaps I see it incorrectly – an Israel that is culturally Jewish but otherwise fully secular, democratic and egalitarian is no more supremacist than a Palestine that is culturally Palestinian but otherwise fully secular, democratic and egalitarian.

        Two states, both secular, democratic and egalitarian, but each with its own “cultural flavour”.

        Over time, I imagine Israel’s Jewish culture either becoming synonymous with Israeli culture, or being subsumed by / incorporated into a broader and more diverse Israeli culture as the demographics of that country change (or even if they don’t change).

        In a similar fashion, Palestine’s Palestinian culture could transform over time.

        And once you’ve got past having a “Jewish state” then it seems to me the simplest way of unravelling the current situation with its gerrymandered borders is a single state where everyone is considered equal and all religious traditions are embraced.

        You may very well be right.

      • yonah fredman
        January 9, 2013, 10:54 am

        If a state has Jewish holidays as their official days off, then it is a Jewish state. That would be one minimalist definition.

      • eljay
        January 9, 2013, 11:49 am

        >> If a state has Jewish holidays as their official days off, then it is a Jewish state. That would be one minimalist definition.

        IMO, it would be a “Jewish state” in the same sense that Canada, which has Christian holidays as its official days off, is a “Christian state” – which is to say, not a supremacist state.

        Of course, Israel would also have to eliminate all its preferential and supremacist “Jewish State” laws.

      • libra
        January 10, 2013, 11:37 am

        yonah fredman: If a state has Jewish holidays as their official days off, then it is a Jewish state. That would be one minimalist definition.

        yonah, what about a state that recognises the main Jewish, Muslim, and Christian holidays? With all those extra days off it could be really good place to live. Can you see any significant problems with such a path to peace?

    • Sibiriak
      January 5, 2013, 11:02 pm

      Shmuel:

      But does “the full measure of justice” also require “a democratic state throughout historic Palestine”?

      I would tend to say yes. But a *full* measure of justice is not necessarily achievable (it rarely is in this world). If Palestinians are willing to accept a partial measure of justice, that is their prerogative.

      Are there no other possibilities?

      Of course there are. Two states in historic Palestine, for one.

      Can we – specifically as Jews – presume to dictate the modality of the “reversal of dispossession” (as Dr. Haidar Eid puts it)?

      No. But that’s what this document does. It’s dictating a one-state solution, even though a majority of Palestinians (and Palestinian organizations supporting BDS) support two states.

      • Obsidian
        January 6, 2013, 12:31 am

        @Sibiriak

        “..a majority of Palestinians (and Palestinian organizations supporting BDS) support two states.”

        Are you sure about that? I remember a poll recently that showed that a majority of Palestinians reject two states. I could be wrong.

      • Sibiriak
        January 6, 2013, 8:43 am

        Obsidian,

        I remember a poll recently that showed that a majority of Palestinians reject two states. I could be wrong.

        Here’s one recent poll:

        link to pcpsr.org

        52% support and 46% oppose the two-state solution but 57% believe such a solution is no longer practical due to continued settlement expansion.

        71% believe that that the chances for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the next five years are slim to non-existent.

        But 68% oppose a one-state solution and only 30% support it.

        On the question of Palestinian organizations backing BDS, Philip Weiss wrote:

        … when I attended the Third National BDS Conference in Hebron this past December one attendee asked Omar Barghouti why the movement doesn’t explicitly endorse one state?

        He responded by saying it’s because the overwhelming number of Palestinian organizations that endorsed the BDS call support two states.

        I’m assuming Barghouti knows what he’s talking about. Do you have reason to think otherwise?

      • Taxi
        January 6, 2013, 1:59 am

        Still peddling the sham 2SS, Sib?

        You think war criminals and their criminal progeny deserve to keep the land-loot?

        You think the holocaust jews deserve justice but not the ethnically-cleansed and mass-murdered Palestinians?

        You think the zionist masadists out there would let ‘honest’ people like you determine their borders?

        Short of evicting zionism from the middle east, no state of peace is possible for either side. It is impossible for a zionist state to exist in peace in the middle east – and existing in perpetual war is not a recipe for longevity.

      • Sibiriak
        January 6, 2013, 9:22 am

        Taxi:

        Still peddling the sham 2SS, Sib?

        The so-called “peace process” to this point has been a total sham. I don’t support that b.s.

        You think war criminals and their criminal progeny deserve to keep the land-loot?

        No.

        You think the holocaust jews deserve justice but not the ethnically-cleansed and mass-murdered Palestinians?

        No.

        You think the zionist masadists out there would let ‘honest’ people like you determine their borders?

        No.

        Short of evicting zionism from the middle east,

        Just exactly how do you envision this complete eviction taking place?

        As the not-a-Zionist Chomsky said:

        If you’re really in favor of a one-state solution, which in fact I’ve been all my life…you have to give a path to get from here to there. Otherwise, it’s just talk.

        I have no problem with Zionism disappearing. I see that as a very long term prospect, though. In the meantime, I think a two-state settlement (not a “solution”) *could* be a step in that direction.

      • MHughes976
        January 6, 2013, 4:04 pm

        I see no practical path away from the status quo. All the same I’m sure that the sq will come to an end.

    • Adam Horowitz
      January 6, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Shmuel, I actually totally agree with you. I signed on out of support for the right of return, but am ambivalent on one state. For me the baseline is rights and as long as the three demands of the BDS movement are met, I think the actual configuration on the ground is less important.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 1:44 pm

        “but am ambivalent on one state.”

        Well, darn it, make up your mind! The entire region is poised on the ball of its foot, awaiting your decision!

      • Adam Horowitz
        January 6, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Well, actually, the reason I’m ambivalent is because I know no one cares. Nor should they.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 6:15 pm

        Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit, but people do care.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2013, 4:01 pm

        “Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit, but people do care.”

        I don’t agree on much of anything, but both me and Sean are noticing that where Mondo goeth, the rest getteth, as soon as the getting’s good, of course.

      • Shmuel
        January 6, 2013, 3:31 pm

        For me the baseline is rights and as long as the three demands of the BDS movement are met, I think the actual configuration on the ground is less important.

        Adam,

        Knowing many of the signatories, I’m sure you’re not the only one. It’s a shame whoever wrote the petition didn’t take that into account.

  4. gingershot
    January 5, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Supporting Right of Return is the acid test and it really takes ‘social courage’ as well

  5. RoHa
    January 5, 2013, 11:36 pm

    This is great.

    And it is going to be published every month as a full-page ad in newspapers all over the world, isn’t it?

    If not, is it much use?

  6. Obsidian
    January 6, 2013, 12:19 am

    Besides Jeff Halper, how many of the signers live in in Israel?

    BTW. I’m in full agreement with the return of ORIGINAL refugees to Israel as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2013, 8:58 am

      “I’m in full agreement with the return of ORIGINAL refugees to Israel as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.”

      Yeah, what a peach you are. No doubt you would also limit the return of solely those individual Jews kicked out of the region by the Romans in 79 AD, too. Or do Jews merit special treatment in your view…

    • Cliff
      January 6, 2013, 9:40 am

      Good Obsidian. So all the Israeli Jews except for ‘ORIGINAL REFUGEES’, get the F out of Palestine.

      • American
        January 6, 2013, 10:53 pm

        ”Good Obsidian. So all the Israeli Jews except for ‘ORIGINAL REFUGEES’, get the F out of Palestine.”…Cliff

        If Israel had actually been for Jewish ‘refugees’ it would have only 450,000 of them.
        If Holocaust reparations were paid only to actual Holocaust survivors
        there were only 50,000 actual holocaust survivors from camps.
        And since that was 68 years ago most of both the Jewish DP refugees and the holocaust “suriviors” would be dead now or close to 80 or 90.
        Assuming about half of them, 225,000 are sill alive and all live in Israel build a nice Old Folks Resort for the still living suriviors and DPs in some part of Israel if they want to die there and return everything else that was Palestines to Palestines.
        Time to end the Zionist Con Game on the world.
        If Germany, or anyone else owe the Jews they only actually ‘owe’ the remaining 250,000 DP and suriviors, not their descendents, cousins or religious brethern or tribe.
        Maybe the countries all the Israeli Jewish non holocaust survivors came from will take them back.

        link to archives.gov

        Displaced Persons (DPs) and DP camps in central Europe 1945-1953

        By the end of World War II, there were eight million persons who had been driven out of their native countries by the hostilities. By the end of 1945, as many as six million were able to return. There remained two million who were unable to be repatriated, and were put into Displaced Persons (DP) camps administered by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Among them were 50,000 Jews who had been liberated from the concentration camps.’

        Of the 8 million “Displaced Persons/ DPs” 6 million were resettled in their original country. 2 million were Poles, Czechs, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Croatians, Slovenians and Serbs and others who refused to return to regimes that were Communist and those still occupied by the Soviets. 450,00 of the 8 million DP’s were Jewish.

        link to blackwellreference.com

        In 1947 this body was replaced by the International Refugee Organization. Between 1948 and 1950 the majority of the 450,000 Jews in camps for displaced persons emigrated from Europe to Israel, the US, and elsewhere.”

      • tree
        January 7, 2013, 1:28 am

        Between 1948 and 1950 the majority of the 450,000 Jews in camps for displaced persons emigrated from Europe to Israel, the US, and elsewhere.”

        Yosef Grodzinsky, an Israeli scholar, puts the number of Jews in DP camps at around 330,000. And he goes on to say

        All told, no more than about a third of the Jewish DPs would become Israeli citizens- a disappointing figure to the Zionist leadership. Many Jewish DPs registered for immigration to the United States…, and the fortunate among them did see the Statue of Liberty. Others immigrated to Canada, South America and Australia, and some settled in Western Europe. This process was obviously anathema to the Zionists, who had hoped to bring all the DPs to Palestine, and then Israel. Several thousand DPs naturalized in Germany, trying to build a future for themselves there, in many instances rather successfully. Of these, the Zionists did not approve. Chayim Hoffmann (Yahil), who headed the Jewish Agency mission to Germany, and then became the first Israel Consul in Munich, would later mince no words upon reflecting on these:

        ” The 20,000 DPs still in Germany today not only desecrate Israel’s honor, but also put the nation as a whole in danger. As long as a Jewish community exists in Germany, rootless and devoid of values, inherently parasitic and provocative in its practices, we are under the threat that savage anti-Semitism would once again become the main agent for a revival of a chauvinist Germany, whose venom would spread out from here throughout the Diaspora.”

        Grodzinsky, In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The struggle Between Jews and Zionists in the aftermath of WWII, pages 115-116.

        Another example of the anti-semitic viewpoint of Zionists. Most of the DPs and camp survivors who went to Israel were not treated very well, either. They were considered “not of good human material” in Israeli eyes, as opposed to those Jewish “pioneers” who came to Palestine earlier.

    • pjdude
      January 6, 2013, 6:48 pm

      of course you are now that most of them you and yours have killed or let die. real moral courage their. kill them all and than say your for them returning. your sick. decendents should get to come back to since Israel denied the right to their parents also to prevent from more sick basterds from trying this stunt in the future.

  7. mondonut
    January 6, 2013, 1:29 am

    Statements like this should receive world-wide publishing and dissemination. They represent the true position of the Palestinian people and their most ardent supporters.

    So it is extremely important that anyone interested I/P issues fully understands that an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines will not bring peace to the region. Nor will a state and a nominal return of Palestinians. Nor will a state, a nominal return , a release of prisoners and a land bridge between the West Bank and Gaza.

    The end game is, and always has been, a single Palestinian state from the river to the sea. Precisely as outlined and the above statement.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2013, 9:11 am

      The end game is, and always has been, a single Palestinian state from the river to the sea.

      And so long as that state respects the rights of everyone, regardless of religious/ethnic origin (and, as such would be a sight better than the judeo-supremacist apartheid abomination in place now) then let’s speed the day to this wonderful future!! Israel delenda est!

      • pjdude
        January 6, 2013, 6:49 pm

        damn straight. that’s what the goal but sadly no matter what we wish that probably won’t happen peacefully. thugs and criminals rarely give up their loot willingly.

    • Cliff
      January 6, 2013, 1:25 pm

      I agree mondonutcase,

      People should know that Jewish nationalists want to maintain an ethno-religious majority in Israel-Palestine through ethnic cleansing, colonialism and apartheid rather than a State for it’s citizens.

      I hope more American Zionist Jews will also promote that America adopt the Israel model and ethnically cleanse non-Jews here too! Let’s see how that goes down.

  8. ToivoS
    January 6, 2013, 3:17 am

    To think that just 12 years ago Israel could have signed a peace treaty with Arafat that very likely would have resulted in their dropping the demand for right of return to Israel inside the 1967 lines. But no, Israel also insisted on annexing large tracts of the WB and agreement was not possible. So today what do they get? Nothing less than the full demand for ROR. Greed does not pay.

  9. OlegR
    January 6, 2013, 7:04 am

    /Jews for Palestinian right of return/
    And the destruction of the Jewish people right to self determination and sovereignty.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2013, 9:00 am

      “And the destruction of the Jewish people right to self determination and sovereignty.”

      BFD. If the Jewish so-called “right of self determination” requires the oppression of another people, in their own land, for its existence, then there should be no so-called right.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      January 6, 2013, 9:23 am

      “destruction of the Jewish people … ”

      The concept of a ‘Jewish people’ was already destroyed (deconstructed) by the end of the 19th century. Unfortunately the Zionists and Hitler revived it. It may as well be deconstructed again (by Jewish anti-Zionists).

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 1:47 pm

        “It may as well be deconstructed again (by Jewish anti-Zionists).”

        I wouldn’t worry Klaus, it won’t need much deconstructing, I mean, you and sean are the ones who believe it much more than even Jews do.
        I can’t figure out why you are so ready to take the Zionists at their word.

    • eljay
      January 6, 2013, 9:50 am

      >> And the destruction of the Jewish people right to self determination and sovereignty.

      No one has a right to religiously-based and supremacist “self determination and sovereignty”.

      Leave it to a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist to demand such a thing.

    • Mooser
      January 6, 2013, 1:42 pm

      “And the destruction of the Jewish people right to self determination and sovereignty.”

      Why, you unbearable punk, do you always shove the “Jewish people” out in front of you, like it’s them you are so worried about, and not your own ill-gotten gains? How long do you think it’ll be before the Jews of Israel refuse to be used as human shields by the Zionists to protect their theft? We are considered to be a fairly intelligent people, you know, and we also have big ethics and values. You better watch out!

      Besides, I read that Israel is starting to draft the haredim. You are really screwed now, once those guys get in your IDF with the settlers, that’ll be fun.

    • pjdude
      January 6, 2013, 6:51 pm

      jews don’t have a right to self determination as jews. they have belonging to the territories they came from. their is no jewish right to self determination in palestine. its one of the biggest lies and frauds ever perpatrated.

    • talknic
      January 7, 2013, 1:53 am

      OlegR “And the destruction of the Jewish people right to self determination and sovereignty”

      Hilarious stuff. Can you quote/cite or otherwise? Or are you just making it up …. again?

      Every time you fabricate, make a false accusations or repeat illogical and easily dis-proven propaganda, you afford honest folk the opportunity to show readers just how low you and your kind are willing to sink. Seems there’s no limit

    • Byzantium
      January 7, 2013, 3:09 am

      You mean “Israeli Jewish”, don’t you? Most non-Israeli Jews live in countries where they enjoy full citizenship and voting rights, i.e. “self-determination”. Stop trying to drag the rest of us into your little imperialist project.

  10. Klaus Bloemker
    January 6, 2013, 8:15 am

    The problem starts with the comparison of the Holocaust and the Nakba.

    - As long as the Holocaust is accepted as a rational for Israel’s existence, the dispossession of the Palestinians is morally dwarfed.

    - Whom does the world have to feel more sorry about: The persecuted and killed Jews of WW2 or the dispossed Palestinians of 1948? – Israel plays this card to this day.

  11. iResistDe4iAm
    January 6, 2013, 11:10 am

    “A democratic state with equal rights for all” vs Two democratic states with separate but equal rights

    In 1951, the Apartheid regime formally established ten Bantustans for the country’s different black ethnic groups. These were allocated 13% of South Africa’s land, with the remainder being reserved for the white population. The indigenous South Africans rejected, resisted and rebelled against Apartheid, and the rest is history.

    However, WHAT IF, as a pre-condition of ending Apartheid, the white population (currently 8.9% of the total population) had insisted on a two-state solution including a small democratic and ‘White State’, then how would you partition South Africa? Specifically:
    - How much land would need to be allocated to create a viable, contiguous and secure White State? Would 8.9% be enough, or 13% or 22%?
    - Which areas/cities/provinces would need to be partitioned to ensure a white majority state? Would the major financial districts be included or excluded? What about the mining regions?
    - What would happen to the non-white population already living in the partitioned White State and vice versa? Would limited population transfer be required?
    - What would happen if, in the future, the White State lost its white majority due to demographic changes? Would future land swaps be required?
    - What would happen if armed terrorists rejected their leaders assurances and proceeded to militarily expand the border of their indefensible White State?
    - What if… what then…?

    In summary, how would you establish a White State as a national home for the Afrikaner people while simultaneously guaranteeing (to borrow from the Balfour Declaration) “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing [non-white] communities in [South Africa]“?

    Therein lies the problem.

    • Mooser
      January 6, 2013, 1:48 pm

      “Two democratic states with separate but equal rights”

      Cause if you’ve got “equal rights” it doesn’t matter how much water, arable land, or contiguousness, you’ve got? And of course, the price of these rights is amnesty for Israel?

      • iResistDe4iAm
        January 7, 2013, 7:45 am

        “Separate but equal” is a play on the old US doctrine that justified segregation, as well as on the Apartheid era euphemism of “separate but equal development”.

        Of course “separate but equal development” was to be achieved by forcibly moving the indigenous majority into 10 bantustans comprising just 13% of their homeland.

        For all intents and purposes, “two states for two peoples” is the modern day equivalent of “separate but equal development”. In this case the indigenous majority (most of whom are in enforced exile) will be forced into an unknown number of bantustans on 22% of their homeland, but with “land swaps” (conceding the most resource rich and strategic areas to Israel).

    • Byzantium
      January 7, 2013, 3:19 am

      Excellent post. I recall that, during the negotiations leading up to the 1994 elections in South Africa, attempts were made to assure the retention of white privilege even in a majority-ruled country, but in the end all such fantasies had to be abandoned in order for true democracy to be installed. This wholesale abandonment of their power by whites proved particularly important on a psychological level, since it served as a tacit admission of collective guilt for the crimes of Apartheid, an act of contrition that allowed for the healing to follow. In the Israeli case however, I fear that they are too far lost to their own arrogance ever to accept such a necessary humbling.

  12. AlGhorear
    January 6, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Noble effort, Adam. Kudos to you and all of your co-signers. I hope to see Mooser’s name added soon–of course it could already be there. Who knows? :)

    It brings to mind the debate that occurred around ten years ago(?) when Dr. Salman Abu Sitta posited that not only was full ROR possible but could be accomplished with very little displacement of the current population. His article can be found on the Palestine Remembered Website. Link to Palestine Right Of Return, Sacred, Legal, and Possible

    • Mooser
      January 6, 2013, 1:37 pm

      “I hope to see Mooser’s name added soon…”

      Gosh, I’m honored. I never thought they needed my permission, but if it’ll help. At any rate, it helps me feel that, at bottom, we are still in control of the situation.

    • yourstruly
      January 6, 2013, 9:21 pm

      the right of return?

      inviolable?

      palestine, just & free?

      about to be?

  13. American
    January 6, 2013, 11:36 pm

    People should listen to this Jew.

    * Nazism, Zionism, and the Arab World: Countering myths – link to p.feedblitz.com

    Holocaust survivor Annette Herskovits has written an important article— Nazism, Zionism, and the Arab World: Countering the myths spread by pro-Israel ideologues.

    She describes the tactics and goals of pro-Israel campus watchdogs and the harm wrought by their unabashed falsification of history and of current realities in Palestine/Israel.

    Conquerors have always justified seizing another people’s land on “moral” grounds, to ward off the world’s disapproval as well as the burden of a bad conscience. And while the world’s support for the creation of Israel was fueled in large part by the plight of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust–the fact remains that the taking of land already occupied by Palestinians in order to create a refuge was (and still is) justified using false histories and slogans like “A land with no people for people with no land.”

    The process of removing Palestinians from their land—which goes on to this day– requires a literally never-ending production of moral justification, and pro-Israel zealots are only too happy to oblige.

    Most damaging? People like Alan Dershowitz paint Arabs and Muslims as heirs to Nazism, bent on exterminating the Jews. The sparse history of Arab collaboration with the Nazis—nothing like what took place in most European countries—is used to “explain” Arab hostility to Israel and obscure Israel’s crimes.

    This “nazification” of Arabs and Muslims has been debunked by historian Gilbert Achcar in his book, “The Arabs and the Holocaust: the Arab-Israeli War of Narratives.” Campus Watch then launched a smear campaign against Achcar.

    From Herskovits’ article:

    About hasbara:

    Propaganda produced by Israel and the American Jewish establishment inverts reality. This is crude stuff, manifestly false to anyone who would look up information published by a multitude of respected media and human rights organizations. But omissions and outright lies are probably a deliberate tactic: deny, deny … confuse, confuse… Like Israel’s building of “facts on the ground” (settlements, roads, etc.), it gains time; the hope is that Israeli power will eventually be so entrenched in the land of “Greater Israel” that nobody will remember Palestinians ever lived there.

    About pro-Israel zealotry:

    As someone whose mother and father were murdered in Auschwitz, and who herself survived the Nazis’ barbarous nationalism thanks to the courage of a group of Catholics, Protestants, Communists, and Jews, I find the idea that defending the “Jewish state” supersedes all other human obligations both immoral and senseless. Nothing, not even the Holocaust, justifies Israel’s treatment of Palestinians or the continuing efforts of pro-Israel zealots to show Arabs and Muslims as less than human. ”

    Annette Herskovits, a holocaust survivor and the daughter of holocaust victims, holds a PhD from Stanford University and is the author of Language and Spatial Cognition (Cambridge University Press, 1987, 2009). She has written more than a dozen published articles on Palestine/Israel and is a Palestinian rights activist.

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