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Kerry’s Saudi recipe for Palestinian homelessness

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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

Will Iran be coming to the Geneva talks on Syria? The United Nations thinks Iran is coming. American officials say, Not so fast.

The Syrian opposition, at least whatever is left of it and whoever they are, may or may not be coming, too.

No doubt the carpenters are on call for the late breaking news. They may have to reconfigure the table and the chairs. Perhaps a way of dealing with the various levels of acceptable invites is to make the chairs different heights. Everyone can be at the table but only some can see over the top.

If the Syrian people are relieved that the Geneva talks are about to begin, they should think again. Ever since the former Cold War adversaries brokered their own deal, the plight of the Syrian people has deteriorated further. Look for more of the same whether Iran and the opposition show up or not.

In other words, Syrians shouldn’t hold their breath. Brace for more suffering.

Meanwhile on the other good news front, reports are that Saudi Arabia will take responsibility for the Palestinian refugees in the about-to-be (or not) Israeli/Palestinian agreement. It seems that Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide housing and finances for Palestinians – who will not be returning to Palestine or what could be reasonably called Palestine.

To be specific here is how Alalam reports it:

The development has been revealed by a number of US-based news outlets, which have cited Palestinian weekly al-Minar as reporting that the secret US-Saudi agreement came following a recent visit to Riyadh by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Quoting an “informed source,” the Palestinian weekly further reports that during Kerry’s visit to the Saudi capital, the kingdom’s authorities expressed their readiness to carry out the US scheme of placing the Palestinian refugees in foreign-based housing units and also assume major funding of the huge project.

According to the source, the Saudis also pledged to convince various countries to accept the Palestinians by offering them “financial” incentives.

The source further quoted a member of the US delegation accompanying Kerry to Riyadh as saying that the Saudis openly expressed their willingness to also exert pressure on Palestinian authorities to implement US strategies concerning the Palestinian refugees.

Political observers in the region believe the secret deal also has the full blessing of the Israeli regime, which considers the Palestinian right of return issue as a major stumbling block in their US-sponsored negotiations with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

What an interesting project!

Foreign-based housing units. Sounds like a resettlement plan that makes foreigners feel, well, foreign.

Finances to help countries accept Palestinians. Citizens of various countries tend to love those who are planted there with financial incentives, don’t they?

Piecing it together, here’s what Kerry’s framework looks like so far: Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, forfeit the right of return, give up Jerusalem, live surrounded by the Wall and ever-expanding Israeli settlements, with Israeli soldiers stationed in the Jordan Valley. Gaza is permanently controlled by Israel and Egypt, while Hamas is in in power and after Hamas is destroyed.

With this scenario, foreign-based housing units sound better and better. But, then, why restrict housing and resettlement to Palestinian refugees outside Palestine?

If Palestinians are to become permanent refugees in their own homeland, Kerry should state what his framework is really about – making Palestinians homeless in the land they call their own.

Marc H. Ellis
About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.

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7 Responses

  1. dimadok
    January 20, 2014, 1:10 pm

    Sounds about right how is it going to happen- one way or another. Here, I’ve said it- Mark Ellis is right.
    Except one thing- this whole process of giving Palestinians citizenship and rights in their current countries should’ve been done 65 years ago. Israel, despite the common perceptions, couldn’t force any of them to do so. You should’ve focused on that as well, instead of supporting “acts of resistance” and other verbal coverup of terror.

    • puppies
      January 20, 2014, 2:21 pm

      Of course they couldn’t force them. Their right is to return to their country. By any means. How long are we to listen to vile, inhuman, murderous propaganda?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      January 20, 2014, 3:48 pm

      “Except one thing- this whole process of giving Palestinians citizenship and rights in their current countries should’ve been done 65 years ago.”

      Typcial zio, pleading for someone else to finish his genocide for him.

      • dimadok
        January 20, 2014, 9:19 pm

        I usually not replying to nonsense, but I have to ask – how’s giving the citizenship rights contributes to genocides?
        And yes, you may call me typical zio.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 22, 2014, 1:44 pm

        “how’s giving the citizenship rights contributes to genocides?”

        The zionist ideology has one goal: the genocide of the Palestinian people. You murdered a whole lot during the Nakba and are trying to turn the rest into Syrians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Egyptians.

  2. puppies
    January 20, 2014, 6:41 pm

    Think of it again, it seems that the pile-up of several extreme provocations has a double goal: -ensure some kind of worthless but triumphant agreement on the Zionist side (the Palestinian party remains irrelevant, as its refusal is perhaps more useful in terms of shifting the blame); -push the people to yet one more uprising, so as to commit large-sale butchery in both Gaza and the West Bank.

  3. traintosiberia
    January 20, 2014, 6:53 pm

    There is something odd in Saudi behaviors since 20o6 success of Hizbullah or failures of Israel. Saudi has slowly got closer to many Israeli positions that were anathema to Saudis.
    Is it due to a sincere reappraisal of the situation ( could be misplaced,could be wrong,but was it believed by Saudi to be to their interest ? Was it an informed choice or was it imposed on Saudi, Either by Israel or by US? Saudi are vulnerable on number of fronts. Canard of 911 and flying out of Saudi nationals, Russian anger at Saudis for terrorism, corruption and scandal that NSA have collected on them over the years and the a jihadist threat – all can be unleashed ,freed,manipulated or used if the strategy demands it. )
    Saudis are known to buy off . Today again they are buying off to stay on the good book of Israel and US who in one stroke have erased the major block by simply not addressing it . The results of the crimes committed by Israel and made possible by US will be shifted to Saudi citizen who are not in any position to question . Saudi acceptance will be used by US and Israel as automatic approval by the so called Sunni block from Manila to Maghreb. The autocracies ,who are so demonized by Israel and propagated by Israeli owned media in the west as the true nature of the Muslim political choices ,are offering the help that they have no right to offer and Israel has no right to ask and US has no right to enforce ,are now the pivot on which the Israel depends to be de facto a Jewish state.

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