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Does the passing of time affect the rights of the displaced to return?: Palestinian claims for reparation in international context

Israel/Palestine
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First generation refugees visiting their home in the depopulated village of Lifta, West Jerusalem. 2002 (Photo: BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights)

First generation refugees visiting their home in the depopulated village of Lifta, West Jerusalem. 2002 (Photo: BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights)

Does the passing of time affect the rights of displaced people wishing to return to their property? Is there a difference between those returning the day, or a week, after a forcible eviction and those who still seek to return after many years?  If so, how does this impact the rights of Palestinian refugees? These were the questions running through my mind as I reviewed the material collected from case studies across the world and over the history of forced displacement during the past sixty years. [1] The answer to all three questions, it seems, is both yes and no. This study examines nine cases of reparations to refugees and displaced people and concludes that while many rights endure, over time new rights also emerge which complicate a resolution of forcible eviction. [2]

Reparations for forcible eviction are comprised of three main elements: “satisfaction”, restitution and compensation. This article will focus on restitution and to some extent on compensation. [3] In the main, there are three forms of restitution.  The first can be termed as restitution in kind.  This is regarded as the ideal form of reparation in that the displaced person receives back the title of the land or property from which they were evicted as part of a peace agreement that settles the conflict which led to the eviction in the first place. If the property was demolished the displaced person retains the title to the plot and receives compensation for the cost of reconstruction. In reality this form of restitution is often limited by secondary occupation.  Secondary occupation is when the land or property of the displaced person is occupied by either other displaced people or new settlers which have been given title of that property by the state. In most of the nine cases studied, the rights of these secondary occupants to remain in situ receive a degree of protection depending on the nature of the peace agreement. What these case studies suggest is that it is often the case that peace agreements can only be reached when they take into account factors such as the legally onerous task of removing secondary occupants and finding them replacement residences, the expense and time involved, and the possibility that their removal may destabilise a fragile political agreement.  Of the nine cases studied those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and post-Baath Iraq prioritised this form of restitution, but were only able to do so with the support of external intervention. Those that sought to restrict restitution were the cases of Rwanda, Cyprus and South Africa on the grounds that full restitution would be too de-stabilising. One innovative way of addressing these difficulties also took place in South Africa known as inverse rental where in some cases title was restored to the claimants on the condition that they continued to lease the property to the secondary occupants.

A second form of restitution is that of offering alternative assets to those who have lost land or property. In this model property can be exchanged or alternative sites provided as a form of compensation. In addition, displaced people may receive assistance with repatriation and integration, re-training, funds for business start-ups and bonds or vouchers for purchasing other property. In the Annan Plan for Cyprus, displaced people residing in the property of displaced people from the other side were to be incentivised to conduct exchanges or provided with bonds to purchase property to replace that which they had lost. In Guatemala, refugees were provided with cheap credit to purchase land while in many cases in post-Communist Europe claimants were offered alternative parcels of land. Again, in reality, the expropriation of land and property to provide alternative housing and livelihoods has been difficult to implement.

The third form of restitution is more diffuse and comes as development assistance. In this form, the peace agreement provides funds for state programmesfor housing, agricultural development, infrastructural development and other services designed to integrate returning refugees and other displaced persons. This form of restitution recognises that these groups require assistance in developing sustainable livelihoods and more specifically assistance packages tailored to their skills and culture. The main example of this form of restitution is drawn from the South African case in which land reform became a central feature. However, drawbacks in implementing this approach, such as the slowness in delivery, the unreliability of the databases used and the lack of integration into other state programmes, suggest the need for strong enforcement measures and comprehensive planning.

Turning to the third element of reparation, compensation, we again see many different forms which are targeted to deal with specific cases. Compensation for loss of property as well as for refugeehood can take the form of cash payments, the provision of vouchers or the allocation of bonds.  But these forms are themselves subject to different types of valuations. Some (very few) offer full market cost, others a percentage, some value the property at the date of dispossession and add inflation, while others offer valuations at specific later dates. In addition, the methods of payment differ widely.  Some cases pay a lump sum to the state for allocation to individuals or groups or to programmes.  Other cases set up a fund to which categories of people or individuals apply. One needs to recognise that a per capita framework of compensation for property loss may replicate the income and material inequalities that previously existed; e.g. a former wealthy landlord will receive much more than a former landless labourer. This can exacerbate internal tensions within the displaced community and damage the state re-building process.

Finally, we can also see that from the cases studied there are very few examples where the refugee or forced displaced community is given a free choice of options.  In most cases, it is assumed that restitution is the preferred option and that compensation (normally below market price) is offered where restitution is not possible. In the case of Cyprus, secondary occupants who are themselves displaced claimants to property are given a limited choice of returning to their original property or opting for title on their current property. In post-Communist Europe, some claimants were given the choice between restitution and compensation for lost property.  In South Africa, choice was restricted by virtue of the fact that negotiations over restitution required the participation of all parties which caused difficulties in reaching an agreement, with the result that compensation was usually opted for in order to avoid an impasse. It is also clear from the cases studied that even when restitution is available, many claimants prefer to sell the property rather than to return to it, presumably because of demographic changes that have taken place in the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of international “soft” law which is placing the issue of refugee choice at the forefront of peace negotiations involving the property of displaced people.

To sum up this brief overview and relate it to the Palestinian case, I would say that the comparative study of reparations brings both bad news and good news. The bad news is that restitution in kind does take place, but only in limited circumstances. It usually takes place soon after the forcible displacement occurs and usually with strong external intervention to enforce it. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo are the prime examples of this. From the cases studied, the rights of refugees and other displaced people do not necessarily diminish, but the rights of secondary occupants appear to increase as time elapses and the property is passed onto successive generations.  Thus the rights of refugees may remain the same but they do not remain the only rights that have to be taken into account.

The good news is threefold. First, while many aspects of the Palestinian refugee case are unique, in this respect it is not; The right for reparation and the restitution of property is a common theme running through numerous cases of forcible displacement.  The Palestinians are not anti-Semitic or extremists just because they are seeking reparations. It is a normal and understandable demand to make from people who have been dispossessed. Second, if the rights of secondary occupants emerges as a key obstacle in the restitution of property, particularly in protracted refugee situations like the Palestinians, these should not apply to properties which remain empty and deserted,  In this context, Salman Abu Sitta’s claim that 70% of Palestinian property in Israel remain unoccupied requires to be convincingly substantiated. [4] Third, the experience of the international community inrecognising claims for reparation have led to a range of innovative forms of restitutions and compensation which in many respects have proved to be acceptable to displaced people.  Rarely has the ideal solution been achieved but a measure of satisfaction is often arrived at. Nevertheless, it should be noted that peace agreements rarely incorporate the rights of people affected by a conflict but reflect more the balance of power between the main parties at the time of signing.

This paper is the basis of Professor Dumper’s presentation at BADIL’s Forced Population Transfer Conference on 4 June 2013. A video of his presentation is available on BADIL’s YouTube Channel. This article first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Al-Majdal The Clockwork of Ongoing Nakba: Unraveling Forced Population Transfer.

Notes

  1. See other comparative studies see Leckie, Scott, (2007) Housing, Land and Property Restitution Rights of Refugees and Displaced Persons: Law, Cases and Materials. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press); Wühler, Norbert, and Heike Niebergall, (2008) Property Restitution and Compensation: Practices and Experiences of Claims Programmes. Geneva: International Organization for Migration); Dumper, M., (ed) (2006)Palestinian Refugee Repatriation: Global Perspectives. (London: Routledge).
  1. The cases in this study comprise: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton Agreement 1995), the Annan Plan for Cyprus (2003), Guatemala (1996), the Jewish Holocaust reparations (1952 onwards), post-Baath Iraq (2003), Kosovo (1999), post-Communist Europe (1989 onwards), Rwanda (Arusha Accords, 1993) and South Africa (Land Rights Act, 1994).
  1. Satisfaction comprises an acknowledgement by the perpetrator of the violation that has taken place who also is required to convey an expression of regret.  This sometimes takes the form of a formal apology or through a “truth and reconciliation” commission. For further details see Dumper, M., (2007) The Future of Palestinian Refugees(Boulder, CO, and London: Lynne Reinner) Chapters 6 and 7.
  1. Abu Sitta, S., Palestinian Right to Return: Sacred, Legal, Possible. (London: Palestinian Return Centre, 1999).
Mick Dumper
About Mick Dumper

Mick Dumper was formerly Middle East coordinator for Quaker Peace and Service, consultant to Welfare Association Geneva), and Senior Researcher with the Institute for Palestine Studies (Washington, DC).

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52 Responses

  1. Walid
    Walid
    October 10, 2013, 11:03 am

    Mick Dumper’s article is very perplexing; all 3 forms of restitution are premised on millions of Palestinians returning to what is called Israel but it’s practically a fact that Israel would never allow the return of substantial numbers of Palestinians, so I can’t see to where this 3-point excercise could lead.

    The second element not considered, is Israel’s 40-year preparation to meet any claims by Palestinian refugees and their descendants head on with a counter offsetting claim by the 800,000 Jews that Israel alleges were evicted by the various Arab states, a claim totally absurd since most of the 800,000 were not effectively expelled but had left of their own will. This bogus tactic on which Israel is banking on to cancel out the Palestinian RoR claim is further compounded by the US having already conceded that point in favour of Israel.

    What happened in the ex-Yugoslavia and Cyprus are not at all what happened in Palestine, especially that there was no Zionist involvement there, so the parallels being compared are not applicable.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      October 10, 2013, 12:41 pm

      There are over half a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They have the right of return . Palestinian refugees are no different to Syrian refugees.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 10, 2013, 1:35 pm

        seafoid, they are now 1.2 million. In a medical examination of 40,000 Syrian refugees, 11,000 women are pregnant. Many won’t be able to return once their civil war is over because of their actions there before they fled, so they will become permanent refugees along with the Palestinians. The mess is worsening by the day. For the back to school, the already overtaxed public school system that was having problems accomodating the 250,000 Lebanese students (the numbers are low because the majority are in private schools), the school system is having to absorb close to 300,000 Syrian schoolchildren.

      • Mike_Konrad
        Mike_Konrad
        October 10, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Lebanon is dying.

        The Christians, who are ones who invented Lebanon – the Muslims wanted to be part of Syria – the Christians are starting to flee.

        They know that whatever happens, half the Syrian refugees will never leave.

        They know that if 400,000 Palestinians could spark the Civil War, 1 million Syrian refugees will destroy Lebanon.

        Game over. The Maronites are heading West. There are 15 Million Maronites in the Americas, and only 1.5 Million left in Lebanon.

        Time to call Uncle Tonoose and ask if he can get them a visa.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 10, 2013, 2:11 pm

        What happened to all the Iraqi refugees in Damascus, Walid?

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 10, 2013, 2:30 pm

        So far Damascus had been spared from the massive bombardments and the ensuing flight of refugees, so I’m guessing they are stil there with exception to the Christian ones that had moved to Lebanon before the civil war on their way to France, Sweden and other Western destinations where they were welcomed with open arms. The Muslim Iraquis are most probably still in Damascus. European countries are bending backwards to attract Christians from anywhere in the ME and especially from Lebanon.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 10, 2013, 4:09 pm

        “the Muslims wanted to be part of Syria –”

        That desire was not to be part of Syria but part of a nationalistic pan-Arab “Greater Syria”, which is a completely different thing; Syria was to be one of its components. It was extinguished in the early 1940s by the National Pact in which the Maronites dropped their dependence on their treaty with France that had protected them whenever they ran into trouble with the Ottomans or their own Muslim compatriots since 1700 in exchange of the Muslims dropping their aspirations to join a Greater Syria.

        True what you say about the potential trouble caused by the Syrian refugees. A while back, Turkey and Jordan closed their borders to the refugees but Lebanon kept its border open and the refugees continue to pour in by the thousands each week.

        The Christians don’t need Uncle Tanoos’ help. They have an open invitation to emigrate en masse to France anytime. Christians are also welcomed in several European countries but they are refusing to leave.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      October 10, 2013, 8:52 pm

      Mick Dumper’s article is very perplexing; all 3 forms of restitution are premised on millions of Palestinians returning

      Well the title and article conflates restitution with return a little too much. There is a fundamental human right to return to your country of origin in the ICCPR and Universal Declaration on Human Rights that is not tied to restitution or compensation.

      Obviously the right to return to any tribal or clan-owned lands is a matter linked to restitution or compensation when you are dealing with societies where those are protected family institutions. In international law there is a preference for restitution, unless there is a fear of persecution or discrimination. There used to be websites, that are still available in the wayback machine, that documented the sites of unoccupied villages destroyed during the 1948 and 1967 wars. There’s no right to deny restitution in order to preserve cactus, JNF forests, or Canada park.

      During the international peace conferences at Rhodes and Lausanne, the Zionists refused to engage in collective negotiations with “the Arabs”. They insisted that the negotiations be conducted one-on-one, between sovereign states. Ben Gurion also limited the scope of the negotiations to Palestine refugees. So the attempt to drag claims against third-party states into the talks with the Palestinians is ludicrous. Israel has already signed treaties that presumably ended all state-to-state level claims with Egypt and Jordan in any event.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 11, 2013, 12:03 am

        “Israel has already signed treaties that presumably ended all state-to-state level claims with Egypt and Jordan in any event.”

        Those presumably ended Jewish restitution claims were with the wrong parties; There aren’t any records of massive expuslsions by Jordan and as to Egypt, it would have been just about the only one where claims by Jews would have had merit since large numbers of Jews were wrongly expelled from there and their properties consficated. Claims against other Arab states especially those against Iraq, would be bogus.

        Getting back to international law, Israel’s proven track record makes it crystal-clear that it has no respect for it or of abiding by anything to do with it. International law simply does not apply to it unless of course, the law in particular is to Israel’s advantage. Law or no law, restititution priviliges are the exclusive domain of Israel.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 11, 2013, 12:20 am

        There aren’t any records of massive expuslsions by Jordan

        IIRC a little over 17,000 displaced Palestinian Jews were registered with UNRWA and its predecessor and registered property claims on the Jordanian side of the Armistice line with with the PCC. The Israel-Jordanian peace treaty normalized relations, established a joint committee on refugees, and established an international boundary without prejudice to the status of any territory captured in 1967.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 11, 2013, 3:45 am

        Thanks for the correction on Jordan’s Jews, Hostage. You referred to them as Palestinian Jews, not Jordanian ones, why is that? We hear a lot about Arab Jews from various countries but rarely about Jordanian ones or Palestinian ones living on the Jordanian side of the border.

      • Eurosabra
        Eurosabra
        October 11, 2013, 4:06 am

        They were mainly deportees from the Jewish Quarter of Old Jerusalem and other areas taken by the Arab Legion. They were (if naturalized) holders of Palestinian Mandate passports and if not, citizens of 3rd countries or stateless. They were never considered Jordanian by anyone and if not men of military age were generally handed over to the Israeli side at the first opportunity. Had the battle for the Old City gone the other way, they would never have been in Jordanian hands at all, moreover, as generally members of the pietistic, quiescent Jewish communities of the Old City’s Jewish Quarter (with a sprinkling of Haganah members, in one of the war’s odd twists, a few of them children) they were about the most stereotypically non-Jordanian population there could be. (With the exception of the Arabic-speaking Palestinian Jews among them.)

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 11, 2013, 5:06 am

        Thanks for the correction on Jordan’s Jews, Hostage. You referred to them as Palestinian Jews, not Jordanian ones, why is that?

        For a number of reasons:
        1) The Palestine Conciliation Commission and the UNRWA’s predecessor, the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees, were working under UN mandates, like resolution 194(III), that only dealt with the “Palestine refugees”.
        2) I think that the Palestine Citizenship Ordinance of 1925 and its amendments remained in effect:
        a) The Jericho Congress declared Abdullah the King of Arab Palestine and proposed a joint kingdom.
        b) Military Proclamation Number 2 of 1948 provided for the application in the West Bank of laws that were applicable in Palestine on the eve of the termination of the Mandate.
        c) Military Proclamation Number 17 of 1949, Section 2, vested the King of “Jordan” with all the powers that were enjoyed by the King of England, his ministers and the High Commissioner of Palestine by the Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922. Section 5 of the law confirmed that all laws, regulations and orders that were applicable in Palestine until the termination of the Mandate would remain in force until repealed or amended.
        d) Neither the military nor the civilian administrations of the West Bank applied Jordanian municipal law, until after the annexation was ratified in 1950.
        — See From Occupation to Interim Accords, Raja Shehadeh, Kluwer Law International, 1997, pages 77-78; and Historical Overview, A. F. & R. Shehadeh Law Firm http://www.shehadehlaw.com/businessLaw.htm

        While the Israeli Courts pretended that Palestinian citizenship had ceased to exist, it allowed the UN to feed and shelter these 17,000 Jewish Palestine refugees until 1950.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 11, 2013, 6:04 am

        Hostage, I’m trying to get a clearer picture of from where the 17,000 Palestinian Jews were expelled (or fled). When you mentioned the Jordanian side of the armistice line, were you referring to the West Bank being a Jordanian territory after Jordan had taken it over under the Jericho Congress Declaration, or were these 17,000 Palestinian Jews on the east bank of the river? Another question: Did the 17,000 Jews leave of their free will or flee for their lives or were they expelled after Jordan took the West Bank?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 11, 2013, 6:52 am

        Hostage, I’m trying to get a clearer picture of from where the 17,000 Palestinian Jews were expelled (or fled).

        In 1948-49 it was still considered Arab Palestine.

        When you mentioned the Jordanian side of the armistice line, were you referring to the West Bank being a Jordanian territory after Jordan had taken it over under the Jericho Congress Declaration, or were these 17,000 Palestinian Jews on the east bank of the river?

        Yes, the West Bank, which included East Jerusalem. IIRC there was no mention of any Jewish refugees from the Gaza Strip.

        Did the 17,000 Jews leave of their free will or flee for their lives or were they expelled after Jordan took the West Bank?

        A refugee is simply someone with a reasonable fear of persecution. I’m certain that the inhabitants of the watchtower and stockade settlements that were deliberately erected along the skirmish lines would have been in an untenable situation once the Arab Legion returned and occupied the West Bank. I have no idea whether they were driven out or fled, but suspect the latter after the lessons learned from Dier Yassin and the Etzion bloc.

      • Eurosabra
        Eurosabra
        October 11, 2013, 7:47 am

        There were in fact several Gaza Strip kibbutzim that were evacuated before their imminent capture by the Egyptian army, and the residents and defenders thereof are generally not included in the rough total of 10,000-17,000. The residents of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Atarot, and the Etzion bloc (the survivors, that is) were in Jordanian custody and later expelled, except for some men of military age and the actual Haganah defenders, who were held for up to a year and exchanged (numbering from a few hundreds to several hundreds, on the Jordanian front).

      • Eurosabra
        Eurosabra
        October 11, 2013, 8:02 am

        I think it’s interesting how my remarks take such a long time to clear moderation. It’s totally fine if you want anti-Zionists to be the only ones to recall the history of the “most Palestinian” of Palestinian Jews here, and that of their interaction with the Jordanian Arab Legion, but I think you should be aware that those of us actually in academic Jewish Studies are going to notice that as well as your absolute need to control your readers’ process of learning about what is obviously a gray area of the conflict, perhaps even unknown to Phil, Max, and the other writers and moderators of the site. There’s a moment in Kanafani’s “All That Remains to You” in which he mentions the Jewish baths (“hammams”) of al-Manshiya, Jaffa, without realizing he’s speaking of mikva’ot, that is, ritual baths denoting a near-two-thousand-year religious practice and presence. I think you run the risk of reproducing, repeating, and reinscribing that kind of blindness and erasure of Palestinian Jewishness as such, which is fine, I guess, except that people will know that’s what you’re doing.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        October 11, 2013, 9:38 am

        There’s a moment in Kanafani’s “All That Remains to You” in which he mentions the Jewish baths (“hammams”) of al-Manshiya, Jaffa, without realizing he’s speaking of mikva’ot, that is, ritual baths denoting a near-two-thousand-year religious practice and presence.

        Which mikva’ot does Kanafani refer to specifically, and are they really 2,000 years old? I studied a bit of archaeology of that period in Palestine, and don’t recall any such ancient mikva’ot in Jaffa. Is it a recent discovery?

        I think you run the risk of reproducing, repeating, and reinscribing that kind of blindness and erasure of Palestinian Jewishness as such

        I can’t recall any “erasure of Palestinian Jewishness” around here. Of course there have been Jews in Palestine ever since there have been Jews. There have also been Christians ever since there have been Christians and Muslims (almost) ever since there have been Muslims.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 11, 2013, 10:34 am

        There’s a moment in Kanafani’s “All That Remains to You” in which he mentions the Jewish baths (“hammams”) of al-Manshiya, Jaffa, without realizing he’s speaking of mikva’ot, that is, ritual baths denoting a near-two-thousand-year religious practice and presence. I think you run the risk of reproducing, repeating, and reinscribing that kind of blindness and erasure of Palestinian Jewishness

        Except of course that I was reminding readers about the existence of thousands of Jewish refugees from Palestine. If we’re going to talk about systematic blindness and erasure of Palestinians, then Zionists are the hands-down experts in that department.

        There may have been a Jewish a hole in the ground for 2,000 years in Jaffa, but if there were no Jews, it’s misleading to describe it as a near 2,000 year religious practice or presence. The UN wasn’t feeding or sheltering Jewish refugees from Jaffa in any case. So even after your comment went through moderation, I still wonder what it’s supposed to add to our understanding?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        October 11, 2013, 11:13 am

        @Eurosabra: “I think it’s interesting how my remarks take such a long time to clear moderation.”

        Oh, get down off of your cross. Everyone’s remarks take a long time to clear moderation.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 11, 2013, 12:58 pm

        There were in fact several Gaza Strip kibbutzim that were evacuated before their imminent capture by the Egyptian army, and the residents and defenders thereof are generally not included in the rough total of 10,000-17,000.

        Why don’t you be more specific? I’m not talking about a rough total of those on either side who ultimately decided to migrate to the other state as a result of the partition plan, just the people who were forced to register with the UN as refugees in order to survive or those who filed personal property claims with the UN PCC registry.

        In many cases the kibbutzim were thinly disguised military installations on JNF-owned land. In most cases they were being illegally reinforced by the organized Jewish militias in violation of the terms of the partition plan on right of transit, long after the non-combatants were evacuated. That wasn’t a viable plan for the long run and simply resulted in a war being waged on the roads. According to the UN the JNF/Jews owned about 4 percent of the land in the old, much larger Gaza subdistrict and 2 percent of the population there was Jewish. But much of the mandate era Gaza subdistrict was included in the Jewish State.

  2. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    October 10, 2013, 11:05 am

    There is also Zionist way of dealing with restitution:
    To arrive, after hundreds or thousands of years, with an ethnic army and via rape, murder and pillage drive the population out, shooting at anybody who thinks they have any rights as “secondary occupants (of mere couple of millennia)”.

    I keep having dreams, as a daughter of Adam and Eve of Bible fame, of being able to clear garden of Eden of secondary occupants and regains my rightful title to the place. I even managed, in principle, to obtains services of reputable mercenary army but their terms are really steep.

    (/sarcasm off)

    • adamhorowitz
      adamhorowitz
      October 10, 2013, 3:12 pm

      That’s a good question. I’ll try to get an answer from the author and will post here if I get one.

    • Present_Absentee
      Present_Absentee
      October 11, 2013, 5:31 am

      Erich Fromm put it quite nicely:

      If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse. … I believe that, politically speaking, there is only one solution for Israel, namely, the unilateral acknowledgement of the obligation of the State towards the Arabs — not to use it as a bargaining point, but to acknowledge the complete moral obligation of the Israeli State to its former inhabitants of Palestine.

  3. FreddyV
    FreddyV
    October 10, 2013, 11:14 am

    Hopefully without hijacking, I’m not clear on ROR. Its suggested that only those displaced have a right of return and not their descendents.

    Is this also the case with reparations and/or compensation or are descendants entitled?

    • Mike_Konrad
      Mike_Konrad
      October 10, 2013, 1:36 pm

      Is this also the case with reparations and/or compensation or are descendants entitled?

      Here Israel may have shot itself in the foot with Holocaust reparations precendents.

    • Walid
      Walid
      October 10, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Freddy, I asked that very question yesterday in a post to Annie on Lena Ibrahim’s thread:

      “… I guess the only reason Lena made to Haifa was because of her American passport and that in itself is amazing since Israel usually makes it hard for Americans of Palestinian descent to enter Israel. But in the eyes and the twisted thinking of Israelis, this American passport somehow disqualifies her from an future claims under RoR. Does it and in the same way that Oriental Jews gave up their rights to any claims against their former countries when they accepted the Israeli citizenship? Israel would like to think so and use these to offset all claims by Palestinians but it does not make it true. The American Congress seems to think that the overall RoR of Palestinians is no longer an issue so when the term “compensation” is being bandied about, I’m sure people in Lena’s situation don’t figure in any of those plans but rather they are limited to the 65 and over refugees that today number in the few tens of thousands stateless ones living in camps. It’s a tough and disappointing one.”

      Freddy, in 2005, the US Congress passed a resolution (albeit a non-binding one) to the effect that substantial portion of refugees would not be returning and that the major settlements on the wrong side of the 67 lines would not be going anywhere. So binding or not, as far as Israel is concerned, those two conditions that the Palestinians are aspiring for would never be met because the US would be morally bound by the resolution to ensure that these conditions are maintained.

    • tree
      tree
      October 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

      Freddy V

      This is from a comment I made a while back on another thread, dealing with that question.

      From the UNRWA website:

      Questions raised about the passing of refugee status through generations stem from a lack of understanding of the international protection regime. These questions serve only to distract from the need to address the real reasons for the protracted Palestinian refugee situation, namely the absence of negotiated solution to the underlying political issues.

      UNHCR’s Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for determining Refugee Status provides in paragraph 184: “If the head of a family meets the criteria of the definition, [for refugee status] his dependants are normally granted refugee status according to the principle of family unity.”

      In effect, REFUGEE FAMILIES EVERYWHERE retain their status as refugees until they fall within the terms of a cessation clause or are able to avail themselves of one of three durable solutions already mentioned — voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement in a third country.

      Also, Chapter 5 of the UNHCR publication, Procedural Standards for Refugee Status Determination under UNHCR’s Mandate is very clear that in accordance with the refugee’s right to family unity, refugee status is transferred through the generations. According to Chapter 5.1.2 “the categories of persons who should be considered to be eligible for derivative status under the right to family unity include:” “all unmarried children of the Principal Applicant who are under 18 years.”

      Chapter 5.1.1 makes it clear that this status is retained after the age of 18. It states “individuals who obtain derivative refugee status enjoy the same rights and entitlements as other recognised refugees and should retain this status notwithstanding the subsequent dissolution of the family through separation, divorce, death, or the fact that the child reaches the age of majority.”

      In addition, UNHCR typically cites a Palestinian refugee population number in their State of the World’s Refugees reports: see as an example this document. This makes clear that the practice of registering descendants of refugees is not disputed.

      http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/features/exploding-myths-unrwa-unhcr-and-palestine-refugees?id=1029

      The whole article is worthy of a read.

      • FreddyV
        FreddyV
        October 11, 2013, 4:32 am

        Thanks Walid and Tree. I’m sorry to say, I still can’t wrap my head around it. Do Palestinian refugees who are descendants of those displaced in 1947 – 1948 and 1967 have a right to compensation or indeed anything from Israel?

        I understand that only those affected and their dependents are entitled to ROR, but what I’m trying to understand is why Israel are so adamant for ROR to be taken from the negotiating table if all it’s going to do is allow a few thousand old people the option to move back to their decimated villages.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 11, 2013, 1:39 pm

        “why Israel are so adamant for ROR to be taken from the negotiating table if all it’s going to do is allow a few thousand old people the option to move back to their decimated villages.”

        Israel has been playing a vicious waiting game while the 48 refugees are getting older and dying. Of the original 700,000 or so 48 Palestinians there are probably less than 10% still alive. From way back Israel’s interpretation of RoR was restricted to those that were in Palestine before 48. So with every passing year of negotiations, there are less and less Palestinians to be involved in any deal. In about 10 or 15 years, there won’t be anyone left of the pre-48 Palestinians.

      • FreddyV
        FreddyV
        October 11, 2013, 2:38 pm

        Thanks for the reply Walid. Makes sense and sounds like textbook Zionism. I’m sorry to say I do have one more question. Sorry if I’m sounding a little ignorant:

        Why would the descendants continue living in refugee camps in poverty rather than assimilate into the local society? I know Israel would love this to happen, but that aside, I don’t see why anyone would choose to live as a refugee if there was no carrot or payout to look forward to.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 12, 2013, 12:28 pm

        “Why would the descendants continue living in refugee camps in poverty rather than assimilate into the local society? ” (FreddyV)

        Several reasons coming out of the different countries with refugees. For Lebanon, there are 3 problems with naturalizing 500,000 Sunni Muslims. One woud be the destabilizing of the current demographic situation that’s already shaky because of emigration. Another problem is that Lebanon’s resources such as water and electricity are already overtaxed and cannot accomodade an additional half million people. A third is economic since there is barely work for Lebanese citizens and an overnight naturalization of half a million Palestinians in the work force would be a disaster. Lebanon is already having major employment problems with the 300,000 Syrian labourers there and that before this year’s additional million Syrian refugees that entered the country. A last one is the argument that the problem was created by Israel so why should Lebanon be stuck in fixing it, so Lebanon never improved the living conditions of the Palestinians as a constant reminder to the world to fix this problem. So the Palestinians continue suffering.

        As to Syria and Jordan, you’d have to get the info from someone else. But in Syria, contrary to Lebanon, the refugees have running water and sewers in the camps and they are allowed to work in mostly all trades and professions and they all have access to education and health service whether through the Syrian state or the UN relief agencies.

  4. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 10, 2013, 11:56 am

    If Palestinians pray about haifa once a week in perpetuity their claim is good for at least 2 millennia according to my rabbi. History says crusaders lose aswell. Beaufort is the role model for the kirya.

  5. Mike_Konrad
    Mike_Konrad
    October 10, 2013, 1:34 pm

    but it’s practically a fact that Israel would never allow the return of substantial numbers of Palestinians,

    Wisdom!

    Move beyond right and wrong. RoR is not going to happen.

    Start with that fact, and plan accordingly.

  6. Fredman
    Fredman
    October 10, 2013, 4:08 pm

    > Does the passing of time affect the rights of the displaced to return?

    Aren’t there religious Jews that still want to go back to Shushan?

  7. just
    just
    October 10, 2013, 4:19 pm

    I wonder about the many Iraqis and Afghans who were displaced from their homelands by our horrendous actions…

  8. October 10, 2013, 4:23 pm

    The Harper government initiated hearings in the Canadian Parliament on the matter of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
    The hearings are part of a new push by Jewish groups (including Canada’s Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the World Jewish Congress) to highlight the plight of the Jewish refugees in the context of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. The issue is important because it highlights the justice of Israel as the legitimate expression of an indigenous Middle Eastern people. Here is a link
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Justice-for-Jews-from-Arab-countries-316469

    Here are narratives of individual countries according to http://www.justiceforjews.com/narrative.htmlNarratives of

    1.Iraq.
    In June 1941, the Mufti-inspired, pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali sparked rioting and a pogrom in Baghdad. Armed Iraqi mobs murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000.
    Additional outbreaks of anti-Jewish rioting occurred between 1946-1949. After the establishment of Israel in 1948, Zionism became a capital crime.
    In 1950, Iraqi Jews were permitted to leave the country within a year provided they forfeited their citizenship. A year later, however, the property of Jews who emigrated was frozen and economic restrictions were placed on Jews who chose to remain in the country. From 1949 to 1951, 104,000 Jews were evacuated from Iraq in Operations Ezra and Nehemiah; another 20,000 were smuggled out through Iran. Thus a community that had reached a peak of some 150,000 in 1947 dwindled to a mere 6,000 after 1951.
    2. Libya.
    During the British occupation, rising Arab nationalism and anti-Jewish fervour were the reasons behind a series of pogroms, the worst of which, in November of 1945, resulted in the massacre of more than 140 Jews in Tripoli and elsewhere and the destruction of five synagogues (Howard Sachar, A History of Israel).
    The establishment of the State of Israel led many Jews to leave the country. In June 1948, protesting the founding of the Jewish state, rioters murdered another 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes. Although emigration was illegal, more than 3,000 Jews succeeded to leave to Israel. When the British legalized emigration in 1949, and in the years immediately preceding Libyan independence in 1951, hostile demonstrations and riots against Jews brought about the departure of some 30,000 Jews who fled the country up to, and after the point when Libya was granted independence and membership in the Arab League in 1951 (Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times).

    3. Egypt

    In the 1940’s, with the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the Zionist movement’s efforts to create a Jewish homeland in adjoining Israel, anti-Jewish activities began in earnest. In 1945, riots erupted – ten Jews were killed; 350 injured, and a synagogue, a Jewish hospital, and an old-age home were burned down. After the success of the Zionist movement in establishing the State of Israel, between June and November of 1948, violence and repressive measures by the Government and Egyptians began in earnest. Bombs were set off in the Jewish Quarter, killing more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200. Rioting over the next few months resulted in many more Jewish deaths. 2,000 Jews were arrested and many had their property confiscated.
    In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext to order almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews to leave the country and confiscated their property. They were allowed to take only one suitcase and a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations “donating” their property to the Egyptian government. Approximately 1,000 more Jews were sent to prisons and detention camps. On November 23, 1956, a proclamation signed by the Minister of Religious Affairs, and read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt, declared that “all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state,” and promised that they would be soon expelled (AP, November 26 and 29 1956; New York World Telegram).
    By 1957, the Jewish population of Egypt had fallen to 15,000. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, there was a renewed wave of persecution, and the community dropped to 2,500. By the 1970s, after the remaining Jews were given permission to leave the country, the community dwindled to a few families.
    4. Syria.
    In 1945, in an attempt to thwart efforts to establish a Jewish homeland, the government restricted emigration to Israel, and Jewish property was burned and looted. Anti-Jewish pogroms erupted in Aleppo in 1947, stimulating 7,000 of the town’s 10,000 Jews to flee in terror. The government then froze Jewish bank accounts and confiscated their property.
    Shortly after the founding of Israel, as reported in the New York Times on May 16, 1948: “In Syria a policy of economic discrimination is in effect against Jews. ‘Virtually all’ Jewish civil servants in the employ of the Syrian Government have been discharged. Freedom of movement has been ‘practically abolished.’ Special frontier posts have been established to control movements of Jews.”
    In 1949, banks were instructed to freeze the accounts of Jews and all their assets were expropriated. Over the course of subsequent tears, the continuing pattern of political and economic strangulation ultimately caused a total of 15,000 Jews to leave Syria, 10,000 of which emigrated to the U.S.A. and another 5,000 to Israel.[2]
    5. Moroco.
    Waves of mass immigration, which brought a total of more than 250,000 Moroccan Jews to Israel, were prompted by anti-Jewish measures carried out in response to the establishment of the State of Israel. On June 4, 1949, riots broke out in northern Morocco killing and injuring dozens of Jews. Shortly afterwards, the Jews began to leave.
    During the two-year period between 1955 and 1957 alone, over 70,000 Moroccan Jews arrived in Israel. In 1956, Morocco declared its independence, Jewish immigration to Israel was suspended and by 1959, Zionist activities became illegal in Morocco. During these years more than 30,000 Jews left for France and the Americas. In 1963, the ban on emigration to Israel was lifted bringing another 100,000 to her shores.

    6. Algeria
    After being granted independence in 1962, the Algerian government harassed the Jewish community and deprived Jews of their economic rights. As a result, almost 130,000 Algerian Jews immigrated to France and, since 1948, 25,681 Algerian Jews have immigrated to Israel.

    7. Tunisia.
    In 1948, the Tunisian Jewish community had numbered 105,000, with 65,000 living in Tunis alone.
    After Tunisia gained independence in 1956, a series of anti-Jewish government decrees were promulgated. In 1958, Tunisia’s Jewish Community Council was abolished by the government and ancient synagogues, cemeteries and Jewish quarters were destroyed for “urban renewal.”
    Similar to the conditions for Jews in Algeria, the rise of Tunisian nationalism led to anti-Jewish legislation and in 1961 caused Jews to leave in great numbers. The increasingly unstable situation caused more than 40,000 Tunisian Jews to immigrate to Israel. By 1967, the country’s Jewish population had shrunk to 20,000.
    During the six-day war, Jews were attacked by rioting Arab mobs, and synagogues and shops were burned. The government denounced the violence and appealed to the Jewish population to stay, but did not bar them from leaving. Subsequently, 7,000 Jews immigrated to France.

    • Walid
      Walid
      October 12, 2013, 12:36 pm

      fnlevit says on October 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm:
      “The Harper government initiated hearings in the Canadian Parliament on the matter of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.”

      Didn’t Justice for Jews find anything to say about the Jews of Lebanon, or was the information about them there somewhat embarrassing for the Zionist narrative?

  9. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    October 10, 2013, 4:30 pm

    Unless right is to emerge from mighf or sheer bloody plunder which surely it cannot then then there must be a right to restitution or something as good as restitution which is as much inherited as property is in normal circumstances. I think that this right applies only to property which can be identified. I’m interested in Eva’s invasion of Eden. Is she sure where it is? Some say Iraq some say Tyre.

    • just
      just
      October 10, 2013, 5:45 pm

      Don’t you know that Eden is where the Zionists say it is?

      Silly– they have a stranglehold on all history, doncha know?

  10. October 10, 2013, 5:58 pm

    Refugees in the post WW2 Europe. Read the facts below and understand what were the standards of the civilized Europeans and Americans , not some backward nations at exactly the same period of time as the 1948 Israeli War of Independence (yes, go mad at my use of this term).
    When all the Wooden Tanakas or seafoids etc of this blog would want to roll their eyes again about Jewish “atrocities” in 1948 representing them as absolutely unique unheard off injustice ever committed in the civilized world they should return and read what the victorious Europeans and Americans were doing to those who lost at exactly the same time. And read again. And again.
    1. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, British, American and Russian leaders agreed to ‘… recognise that the transfer to Germany of German populations … remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken.’ They also specified that ‘… any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner.’ The expulsions were, in fact, conducted in a ruthless and often brutal manner. More than 12 millons were expelled or fled. Most of those being expelled came of stock whose ancestors had been settled in the eastern lands for generations, and who knew no other place as home.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/refugees_01.shtml
    2. City of Königsberg was simply annexed by the USSR and renamed Kaliningrad. Seven centuries of German civilization, in the city that had nurtured philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottfried von Herder, thus ended. By 1949 nearly all the surviving Germans in the region had been driven out.

    3. In Poland, German-owned farms and houses were handed over to Poles. Germans were rounded up by Polish militias and put in camps, before being removed from the country. In Czechoslovakia, more than 2.2 million Germans were expelled, and their property was expropriated. At the peak period, in July 1946, 14,400 people a day were being dumped over the frontier. About three quarters went to the American occupation zone of Germany, and most of the remainder to the Soviet zone.

    4. About 60,000 Germans had already fled from Hungary before the end of the war, some travelling by boat up the Danube. After the war the government ordered the German population to leave en bloc. As their trains left, some deportees tried to affirm their loyalty by waving Hungarian flags, singing Magyar folk songs, and chalking on the sides of the carriages slogans such as, ‘We don’t say goodbye, only au revoir!’
    Most were sent to Germany, but from some villages the entire adult population was deported to labour camps in the Donets Basin of the Soviet Union. By the end of the expulsions only about 200,000 Germans remained in Hungary.
    5. Germans in Yugoslavia fled, were expelled, or were sent to labour camps by the victorious Communist partisan forces. An estimated 27,000 were sent to camps in the Soviet Union. Violence against the Volksdeutsche here was probably more relentless than in any other country.

    6. According to official West German accounts (perhaps exaggerated) at least 610,000 Germans were killed in the course of the expulsions. The total number of Germans who were expelled or who departed voluntarily from eastern Europe after the end of the war mounted to 11.5 million by 1950.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      October 12, 2013, 12:48 am

      When all the Wooden Tanakas or seafoids etc of this blog would want to roll their eyes again about Jewish “atrocities” in 1948 representing them as absolutely unique unheard off injustice ever committed in the civilized world they should return and read what the victorious Europeans and Americans were doing to those who lost at exactly the same time. And read again. And again.

      Oh please, you are talking about a settlement imposed by a multilateral international peace conference working under the terms of existing law. It’s not as if Israel was acting on behalf of one of those in 1948, now is it?

      The Middle East was already under the protection of the public international law of the Concert of Europe and the League of Nations in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Eyal Benvenisti has explained at length that unilateral annexation as a result of private wars had been outlawed in the 19th century. See Eyal Benvenisti, “The Origins of the Concept of Belligerent Occupation, Law and History Review 26.3 (2008), http://archive.is/E8yI

      The major Allied Powers, Russia and the US, were never members of the League of Nations, and Germany, Italy, and Japan had withdrawn and become enemy states. That made it impossible to even convene a meeting of the Council of the League.

      One of your fellow Zionist posters pointed-out that the relevant Law of Conquest at the time according to Korman, McMahon, et al was only governed by the Kellogg-Briand Pact. It merely held that territory could not change hands as a result of a private war or one fought in the interests of the national policy of a individual state. But it still allowed territory to be exchanged as a result of wars sanctioned by the international community against an aggressor as a form of restitution or compensation, ala Versailles and Potsdam.

      Korman noted that the Covenant of the defunct League of Nations had prohibited any such territorial acquisitions, no matter how lawfully a war had been undertaken. By 1948, the United Nations Charter had been ratified by a sufficient number of other states and all of the principal Allied Powers had agreed to that new principle. It prohibited the threat or use of force against the territory of any state and all of the members were required to pledge to enforce that rule on non-member states.

      Both the Diplomatic Conference of the parties to the Geneva Conventions and the members of the UN General Assembly codified the Principles of International Law contained in Article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter. It made certain acts international crimes at all times and in all places. Then the General Assembly drafted a convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to those crimes defined in the Nuremberg Charter, including forced eviction resulting from military occupation and inhuman policies of apartheid and genocide or grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

  11. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    October 11, 2013, 3:40 am

    Funny isn’t it how Israel has no problem accepting right of return claims that are some 2,000 years old and backed by no physical evidence or documentation (Jewish? Welcome aboard!), but categorically rejects claims dating back a mere 65 years or so and in many cases well documented. Nothing unfair about that!

  12. October 11, 2013, 7:53 am

    The Article EVALUATING THE PALESTINIANS’ CLAIMED
    RIGHT OF RETURN by ANDREW KENT*
    https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/1949-kent34upajintll1492012pdf
    assumes arguendo (!) the truth of the Palestinian claim that the prestate
    Jewish community and later Israel engaged in concerted,
    forced expulsion of those Palestinian Arabs who became refugees.
    Even granting this pro-Palestinian version of the facts, however,
    the Article concludes that such an expulsion was not illegal at the
    time and that international law did not provide a right of return. A
    second contribution of this Article is to historicize the international
    law relevant to the dispute. Many relevant areas of international
    law have changed significantly since 1947–49—such as the law of
    armed conflict, refugee law, human rights law, and law regarding
    nationality, statelessness, and state succession. Previous
    scholarship and advocacy finding that international law requires
    return of Palestinian refugees have impermissibly sought to hold
    Israel to legal standards developed decades after the relevant
    events. This Article’s third contribution is to assemble detailed
    data, summarized in several tables in the Appendix, on the actual
    practices of states regarding expulsions of ethnic groups and
    repatriation of refugees. Analysis of these data sets allows the
    Article to conclude that Israel’s actions regarding the refugees of
    1947–49 was legal and consistent with the actions of many other
    members of the international community.

    • Qualtrough
      Qualtrough
      October 11, 2013, 10:43 pm

      For the sake of argument, let’s assume the author is correct and the Palestinians have no case. How, then, do you justify Israel maintaining such a right for Jews?

      • October 12, 2013, 8:36 am

        Frankly I am bringing this legal studies here just to silence the so called “legal” arguments of the anti-Israeli venom spouting crowd on this blog. I do no need them. They by the way too – all they want is to get Israel disappear.
        What convinces me best both emotionally and logically is that Jews want to have a Jewish state, like French do not want to give up on a state for French and Germans for Germans and Czechs for Czechs and Slovaks for Slovaks and … this list goes on for many pages. We already have a large non Jewish minority (close to 20%) and we do not want it to be larger if we want to maintain democracy (and we doo despite all the venom sputed here). The experience of the past and present century shows unequivocally that countries consisting of a mixture of large groups of population of different ethnicity are inherently unstable and are much better off living in separate states. Again a long list – former Yugoslavia, former Soviet Union, former Czechoslovakia, present day Lebanon, , even Belgium, Canada and Spain.
        Letting close to 6 mln hostile Palestinians return to presently densely populated area of Israel is a sure prescription for a bloodshed and turmoil for many tens of year, with much suffering to both Palestinians and Jews. Certainly not the end of the conflict and not the end of the Palestinian problem.

        Accepting Barak or Olmert proposal for essentially 100% of the West Bank (with land swaps)
        http://www.timesofisrael.com/hand-drawn-map-shows-what-olmert-offered-for-peace/

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/ehud-olmert-still-dreams-of-peace/story-e6frg76f-1225804745744

        following by a union with Jordan is in my mind the best practical solution.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        October 14, 2013, 2:45 am

        Jews want to have a Jewish state, like French do not want to give up on a state for French and Germans for Germans and Czechs for Czechs and Slovaks for Slovaks and … this list goes on for many pages.

        Before you pursue the double-standard argument any further, you should know that, in Europe, we call people who say things like “France for the French” or “Germany for the Germans” racists (and worse). If you would like to be in the company of the Front National, Forza Nuova, Golden Dawn etc., enjoy.

        Slovakia is actually not a bad parallel (see e.g. Sami Smooha’s comparative study of “ethnic democracies”), although such claims are all the more outrageous when made by colonialist settlers toward the (ethnically-cleansed) native population than vice versa.

      • October 14, 2013, 4:19 am

        Stop all this double talk. Nobody in Europe demands that Russia gives back the annexed Konigsberg or that Chech anf Poland, Hungary etc let the exciled Germans to return. Or that Turkey lets Greeks back in Cyprus and other areas, or that Japane gets back Sachalin, etc, etc, tens of such cases. Nobody. Do you? Do you? Show me that you are as ardent supporter of Germans RoR. Or Greeks. Then I will listen to you. Show me blogs which are dedicated like this one to all those other (much larger) groups’ RoR.

        So stop calling us all those names “colonial”, “racist” etc. The real question is Do you want 6 mln hostile Palestinians to return to Jaffa, Ramla, Haifa, etc and to start tens of years of blood shed and instability? If you do – we have nothing to talk about and the conflict will continue. When I say we I mean the overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis. And I said already earlier – countries do not commit suicide.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        October 14, 2013, 4:44 am

        Stop all this double talk … So stop calling us all those names

        Make up your mind. Do you want Israel to be judged by the same standards as other countries or not? The rhetoric you have chosen to use is that of the European far right. If you don’t want to be called a racist, don’t talk like one.

        The real question is …

        OK, I will ignore your rhetoric about “Israel for the Jews”, and address your “pragmatic” concerns.

        Premise: Palestinians driven from Palestine and prevented from returning — losing their property, communities and lives — have the right to return and to be compensated. Preventing them from doing so is immoral, illegal and an ongoing source of tension and conflict.

        The concerns and fears of Israeli Jews (both real and imagined) in this regard cannot be ignored, but neither can those of Palestinians — refugees and citizens — nor can the rights of Palestinian refugees be dismissed tout court on the basis of vague arguments such as “countries do not commit suicide”.

        The way forward is for Israel to recognise the rights of Palestinian refugees and to study and negotiate the modalities for their practical application, considering economic, social and other factors, as well as the wishes of the refugees themselves (many of whom will choose not to return to homes and villages that have changed beyond recognition). Places to start: The research of Abu-Sitta, the Geneva Initiative, the truncated Taba Talks, the Arab Peace Plan, the PLO position regarding cautious, phased RoR, etc.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 14, 2013, 6:13 am

        all they want is to get Israel disappear.
        What convinces me best both emotionally and logically is that Jews want to have a Jewish state, like French do not want to give up on a state for French and Germans for Germans and Czechs for Czechs and Slovaks for Slovaks and … this list goes on for many pages.

        What you’re suggesting violates the UN Charter and the Acquis communautaire, the cumulative body of European Community laws, comprising the EC’s objectives, substantive rules, policies and, in particular, the primary and secondary legislation and case law – all of which form part of the legal order of the European Union (EU). The maintenance of ethnic national nation states is a thing of the past. http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/industrialrelations/dictionary/definitions/acquiscommunautaire.htm

        A bill, jointly submitted by MK Yariv Levin (Likud) and MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), would enshrine as law the idea of the Land of Israel as the historical homeland of the Jewish people, not of another nation, and the State of Israel as the modern state where the Jewish people only can exercise national self-determination. http://www.timesofisrael.com/two-draft-bills-seek-to-define-israel-as-jewish-state/

        Judges sitting on your Supreme Court have long since handed down racist rulings which say:

        The principle that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people is Israel’s foundation and mission [yessoda vi-yeuda], and the principle of the equality of rights and obligations of all citizens of the State of Israel is of the State’s essence and character [mahuta ve-ofya]. The latter principle comes only to add to the former, not to modify it; there is nothing in the principle of the equality of civil rights and obligations to modify the principle that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people. (Ben-Shalom v. CEC 1988, 272)

        That violates Article 1 of the UN Charter by conditioning full participation in the political process of the State on ethnic or racial characteristics.

        A better comparison would be to the Union of South Africa or Southern Rhodesia, i.e. UN Security Council, Resolution 216 (1965) of 12 November 1965:

        The Security Council

        1. Decides to condemn the unilateral declaration of independence made by a racist minority in Southern Rhodesia;

        2. Decides to call upon all States not to recognize this illegal racist minority regime in Southern Rhodesia and to refrain from rendering any assistance to this illegal regime.

        Adopted at the 1258th meeting

        http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/216%281965%29

        It’s okay to want an illegal regime to go away.

        Stop all this double talk. Nobody in Europe demands that Russia gives back the annexed Konigsberg

        That was not a unilateral act of annexation. You are talking about a form of war reparation and punishments that were decided upon by an international peace conference under the terms of existing law. The Versailles Conference had broken-up several Empires, created new states, and transferred territories in exactly the same way.

        But all of that transpired before the conventional law prohibitions in the UN Charter were accepted and ratified by all the member states – including Israel. The international community and individual states enact new laws and prohibitions all the time. The argument that something used to be permitted is not accepted by the Courts in Israel or anywhere else.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 14, 2013, 6:30 am

        We already have a large non Jewish minority (close to 20%) and we do not want it to be larger if we want to maintain democracy (and we doo despite all the venom sputed here).

        That’s such a contradiction. I no other democracy do they talk about keeping a race or ethnic group to the status of a minority, let alone doing so to ensure democracy is maintained.

        What you really mean is you want democracy for Jews.

        like French do not want to give up on a state for French and Germans for Germans

        The French and Germans define being French and German not by race, but by nationality/citizenship. So the French could become a majority black population or Chinese and they would still consider themselves French. Israel on the other hand would never allow this because it is an ethnocentric state, not a democracy.

        Accepting Barak or Olmert proposal for essentially 100% of the West Bank

        False. First of all neither ever offered anything close to even 90% seeing as they did not include the existing settlements, East Jerusalem or the Jordan Valley.

        Neither ever offered a map. And 2 years after Camp David, Barak boasted that he offered NOTHING.

        It seem you can’t even read your own links.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 14, 2013, 6:34 am

        So stop calling us all those names “colonial”, “racist” etc.

        No, you are racists and colonial and will be referred to as such while you remain racists and colonial.

        Jabotinsky called you guys colonists, so quit whining and change your repugnant behavior and ideology.

        Do you want 6 mln hostile Palestinians to return to Jaffa, Ramla, Haifa, etc and to start tens of years of blood shed and instability?

        Stop being so dishonest. You don’t want them not because they might be hostile, but because they are not Jews.

        If they were sweet as pie, would you allow 6 mln Palestinians to return to Jaffa, Ramla, Haifa o woudl you sick racists call them a cancer the way you refer to Sudanese asylum seekers?

        And I said already earlier – countries do not commit suicide.

        What is so nauseating about this hypocrisy is that when the Arabs objected to mass Jewish immigration, you called them rejectionists, anti Semitic and unreasonable. They could well have argued that they did not want to commit suicide either , but you drove them out.

        Yet, when you are asked to atone for those crimes, you call it committing suicide, which is just a sleazy term for not wanting to share the spoils of your crimes.

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