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‘Israel should extend the right of return to all Palestinian refugees’ — Jebreal in ‘The Nation’

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Rula Jebreal has a wonderful piece up at the Nation calling out Israel for bragging on its relief efforts in Nepal while Gaza is in rubble and 150,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria are being slowly decimated in Yarmouk refugee camp.

The headline of the piece is “Israel must open its doors” to the Yarmouk refugees, but the piece urges Israel to open its doors to all Palestinian refugees. And it is notable for its explanation to American readers of what the right of return means.

Throughout history, Jewish people were displaced, abused, and murdered en masse, over and over again. The tragic irony is that, today, it is the Palestinians being persecuted, as were the Jews, not for what they have done but for who they are….

Israel’s national leaders call on Jews across the world to immigrate to Israel, backed by a discriminatory law granting automatic citizenship to Jews who choose to live there, but denying it to [700,000] Palestinians expelled in 1948—as well as to those who have lived under Israeli occupation and effective political control for a half century. A Jew born anywhere in the world is welcomed by the State of Israel, while a Christian or Muslim born in Safed or Al-Majdal and forced into exile in 1948 is denied the right to return to his or her birthplace. And this despite the fact that a majority of the world’s Jews has chosen, freely, to decline the option of settling in Israel, even as Israel’s leaders insist it is the only place they can be safe.

The desire to return home is a central tenet of the Palestinian national narrative. Our homeland is in our bloodstream and in our memories, transferred from generation to generation. Millions of Palestinians have never seen Palestine, but many wear the keys to their family homes in Haifa, Akka, or Jaffa around their necks. Palestine is vivid in their dreams and in their cultural narrative. History defines their identity just as much as it colors their future, and a true peace will require that all of the country’s residents, past and present, be reconciled as equals.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, despite winning re-election by appealing to the worst instincts of his base, has an historic opportunity—which he will no doubt fail to seize—to begin that reconciliation. He could make good on that opportunity by replicating the offer he made to France’s Jews after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and invite those former residents of what is today Israel to return home, saving them from the slaughter in Yarmouk. While the people of Tel Aviv enjoy the beach, their cafes, nightclubs, and unfettered freedom, another diaspora, over the border in Syria, is facing a human catastrophe. Meanwhile, the 71 percent of the population of Gaza who are refugees lose hope and grow desperate as they remain trapped behind the Iron Wall of Zionism.

The right of return for Palestinian refugees remains one of the great stumbling blocks to any lasting peace agreement—it is not even contemplated as part of the two-state solution … Israel should extend the right of return to all Palestinian refugees. This would not only be a humanitarian gesture, but also an act of justice—one which is necessary for a sustainable peace in which both peoples can achieve security and equality for themselves and their children.

Jebreal also quotes President Obama on the refugees in his 2009 Cairo speech. I was there, but I forgot this part:

For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

Says Jebreal:

The Cairo speech was a rare and remarkable acknowledgment by a US president of what the Palestinians call “Al Nakba”—the Catastrophe—in which some 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee or were expelled from their homeland in 1948 and scattered to every corner of the world in a seemingly endless exodus.

This is a landmark piece because it makes such a moving argument for a basic human right, in the US liberal press. The two state solution entailed selling-out Palestinian refugees in order to gain a peace; and many Palestinians and Arab countries accepted it; but with the two-state solution dead, this basic human rights issue has gotten renewed life.

It is also a landmark in the Nation’s progress away from the enthusiastic Zionism that distinguished the publication in decades past. Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel has openly struggled with that legacy. Former editor Freda Kirchwey campaigned for Israel’s establishment, “regularly exchanged information with Jewish Agency representatives in New York,” ran articles seeking to discredit Arab testimony at the United Nations against the creation of a Jewish state and other articles saying that Zionists were bringing the blessings of “westernization” to “primitive countries,” and was “oblivious to the rights of Palestine’s Arabs,” John Judis has reported in his book on the U.S. role in establishing Israel.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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44 Responses

  1. a blah chick on May 9, 2015, 12:17 pm

    There is only one reason why Israel must maintain a Jewish majority: the keep the Ashkenazi elite in power.

    In Israel you can live a very un-Jewish life: eating forbidden foods; working on the sabbath; boinking the occasional gentile. Why would Israel, a country that proclaims its duty to preserving Jewish life allow Jews there to live the same un-Jewish life they could have if they’d stayed in Boston or New York. In fact many Jews there complain that Israel has done a piss poor job preserving Jewish cultures from around the world.

    It’s got a new mandate now, preserving the country as a cozy, cushy world for the oligarchs that run the place and their friends.

    • Krauss on May 9, 2015, 2:41 pm

      I’m glad you brought up the racial question.

      I’ve always viewed the conflict through two prisms. The first is the conventional prism – Jews and Palestinians – but the second is White and non-White.

      If you look at the Ashkenazi population(non-mixed) it’s about 30% of the population inside “Israel proper”, whatever it means these days. “Pure” Mizrahi are about 50% but around 70% when mixed-Mizrahi people are counted.

      And that’s just the Jewish population, which is 75%. Add to that not just the 25% who are non-Jewish but also the millions who are uncounted but who are de facto ruled over by Israel in the WB and Gaza.

      What percentage of the Ashkenazi class do you end up with? Well, you get about 2 million Ashkenazim in a total population structure of around 12 million. That’s about 16,67%. What was the highest percentage share of the white population in Apartheid South Africa? It must be very similar.

      What you get is a very small white elite ruling over various shades of brown. Some Jewish, a smattering of Christians and a large group of muslims. The propaganda drumbeat that the racial question is solved inside the Jewish fold was dramatically smashed this past week with the Ethiopian protests.

      The big nightmare is if the Mizrahi start to realize that they have more in common with the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi ruling class who lord over them. The media, business, academia, politics, cultural establishment, it’s all there.

      In this sense Israel is perhaps a lot more alike Apartheid SA than we thought. The whites relied on a small class of Indians who were nevertheless 2nd class citizens but enjoyed some level of autonomy. It’s an open question if they were treated better or worse than the Mizrahi, but ultimately it was never in question which race controlled the country and that group would never cede space – unless forced to.

      • Elisabeth on May 9, 2015, 3:50 pm

        It would indeed be great if the Arab Jews in Israel would realize that they have more in common with the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi ruling class who lord over them. However, as Uri Avneri wrote:

        “Palestinians believed for many years that the “Jewish Arabs” would bring about peace and reconciliation, unlike the Arab-hating Ashkenazi Zionist leadership. Arab citizens in Israel also believed that the Oriental Jews would become a “bridge”. They were bitterly disappointed.”

        He connects this to a universal trend, and I think he is right:

        “Another reason for the attachment of Orientals to the Right in Israel is their socio-economic status. It is a world-wide phenomenon that in colonial countries, the lowest layer of the dominant nation (“white scum” in the US) is the most extreme enemy of the national minorities.”

      • irishmoses on May 10, 2015, 10:50 am

        Elizabeth quoted:

        “Another reason for the attachment of Orientals to the Right in Israel is their socio-economic status. It is a world-wide phenomenon that in colonial countries, the lowest layer of the dominant nation (“white scum” in the US) is the most extreme enemy of the national minorities.”

        Maybe the distinction is that the Mizrahi are not white scum and that their relative darkness is what makes them scum, or at least inferior in the eyes of the Ashkenazi.

      • irishmoses on May 10, 2015, 11:04 am

        Krauss said:

        “The big nightmare is if the Mizrahi start to realize that they have more in common with the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi ruling class who lord over them. ”

        A brilliant post, Krauss, Imagine the effect on Israeli politics if suddenly the Arab List and the Mizrahi see a common cause together. Suddenly, Israel becomes a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society in which all groups vie for power and the Zionist connection slowly recedes.

        Maybe the Ashkenazi (Ashkenazim?) mirror the once-dominant New England, White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant ruling class in the US, and maybe they’ll suffer the same fate?

        Wonderful, perceptive post, Krauss.

      • irishmoses on May 10, 2015, 11:21 am

        My attempted edit to my previous post apparently took too long. Here’s what was left out:

        Maybe the Ashkenazi (Ashkenazim?) mirror the once-dominant New England, White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant ruling class in the US, and maybe they’ll suffer the same fate when their darker-skinned, working class lessers suddenly realize they too can have power.

        While this may seem unlikely, the dawning of the Arab List may humanize the Arab minority in the eyes of Mizrahi and even Ashkenazi Jews, opening political doors never before seen possible. Suddenly, the demographic threat is not the Palestinian Arab population, but the Israeli Arab population of Jews, Christians, Druze, and Muslims, all people of color, all with a true historical connection to their ancient homeland.

        Wonderful, perceptive post, Krauss.

      • irishmoses on May 10, 2015, 11:25 am

        The only wild card in Krauss’ analysis may be the Russian “Jewish” immigrant population. How many are there and do they really fit in as Ashkenazim?

    • just on May 9, 2015, 3:09 pm

      Thanks for your astute comments, abc and Krauss.

      “The big nightmare is if the Mizrahi start to realize that they have more in common with the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi ruling class who lord over them.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/palestinian-refugees-jebreal#comment-146294

      Bingo.

      • a blah chick on May 9, 2015, 5:17 pm

        “The big nightmare is if the Mizrahi start to realize that they have more in common with the Palestinians than the Ashkenazi ruling class who lord over them.”

        That is why the anti-Arab rhetoric is important, it keeps the Jewish masses focused on the “enemy” rather on the people who really control their lives.

    • SQ Debris on May 10, 2015, 1:25 pm

      abc, “a piss poor job preserving Jewish cultures from around the world.” Indeed, and then some. In the early years it was illegal for a public event, like a play, to be performed in Yiddish. This effectively banned the creative output of large segments of European Jewish culture that spanned generations. Let alone putting a lot of Yiddish speaking actors and play writes out of work. All in the name of resurrecting Hebrew. These days there’s a whole lota Russian goin on.

  2. just on May 9, 2015, 12:53 pm

    It’s a perfect piece~ I read it twice yesterday.

    Thanks for highlighting it, Phil. Kudos to Rula Jebreal and to The Nation.

  3. pabelmont on May 9, 2015, 1:02 pm

    All praise to Rula Jebreal and to The Nation, which has surely turned an important corner in choosing to publish her essay.

    Some “liberal Zionists” have decried BDS if applied to all of Israel, presumably because they fear an Israeli backlash against the perceived “destroy Israel” or “Israel is illegitimate” message of such an all-Israel-BDS. They say it will be counter-productive. Just BDS the OPTs they say.

    Well, today there are no more than the merest stirrings of any all-Israel-BDS movement, tiny progress in getting the Palestinian story “out”, but already Israel has become the most right-wing, racist, really, really scary place that it is easy to imagine (easy to imagine it becoming, that is, for people steeped in a pro-Jewish outlook, as I am).

    So it is (to my mind) a toss-up whether all the pro-Palestine work people are doing is actually for the best. If it is having any effect at all, it appears to be eliciting the worst from Israel. Maybe it is only such a “worst”, and indeed something far worse than we’ve seen yet, that will catch the ethical sensitivity of the EU and USA.

    • John O on May 9, 2015, 1:03 pm

      Armies in retreat commit the worst atrocities.

      • pabelmont on May 9, 2015, 1:43 pm

        They don’t act as if in retreat. They act as if they were on top of the world, safe from all threats, as if granted full immunity and full impunity for all crimes. The army, the border police, the judiciary, the settlers, the government.

      • zaid on May 9, 2015, 3:24 pm

        john

        and if you commit an atrocity then you are a savage.

        there is no moral justifications for not letting the palestinian refugees return.

      • just on May 9, 2015, 4:11 pm

        Israel commits terrible atrocities every single day, and has for all of its several decades on this planet.

        It’s always on the offense; I shudder to think what it will look like “in retreat”.

        +1 to pabelmont and zaid! I would only add that, iirc, it is also illegal for Israel to prohibit Palestinians the right of return, among a myriad of other criminal activities and practices that they have been allowed to perfect with impunity.

      • John O on May 9, 2015, 5:46 pm

        My “retreat” theory is not much more than a gut feeling, with a bit of historical reading thrown in. But it was prompted by @pabelmont’s last paragraph: “So it is (to my mind) a toss-up whether all the pro-Palestine work people are doing is actually for the best. If it is having any effect at all, it appears to be eliciting the worst from Israel. Maybe it is only such a “worst”, and indeed something far worse than we’ve seen yet, that will catch the ethical sensitivity of the EU and USA.”

        Mounting pressure on Israel will, in the short term, produce a backlash that indeed makes things worse for the Palestinians (hence the rapid pace of settlement building to get the job done before outside pressure makes them stop). But they will stop, if only when the cost to Israel’s economy produces Israel’s very own Nakba. And then it’ll be a one-state solution, and the state won’t be Israel as we know it.

    • ckg on May 9, 2015, 3:43 pm

      All praise to….the Nation…

      Oh dear, Altman is going to have a hissy-fit.

  4. oldgeezer on May 9, 2015, 1:17 pm

    It’s remarkable progress that such a piece would be published but that’s only a start and won’t cause any immediate change.

    Israel could have permitted the Yarmouk refugees safe passage out of the war zone but in an act of pure mean spirit and venality only offered it if they would sign away their right of return (which shows that the GoI is well aware that the right of return validly exists).

    Any hope that there can be change while the racists are in charge is misplaced. It will take BDS to bring about change. Those in power never (rarely) give it up willingly and that condition clearly has the support of the majority of the populace.

  5. Krauss on May 9, 2015, 2:51 pm

    By the way, good for the Nation for finally evolving on I/P. I’m guessing Katrina’s husband, who is an excellent academic and a decent human being, must have turned against Zionism. I always perceived him to be a genuinely decent human being and I guess he had a nostalgic/romantic view of Zionism but nevertheless must have changed in the past few years.

    I continue to maintain that we underestimate the effect of intermarriage in the American elites on this question. Lots of gentiles with Jewish spouses who wish to keep the house peace. I doubt that Katrina would’ve evolved, and the magazine with her, if her husband wasn’t on board. That may sound parochial but people often underestimate the effect of parochialism. When I read history of magazine magnates, it’s often striking how much their personal relations affect their world outlook. It sounds so obvious but people somehow discount it for publishers/journalists, as if they are robots.

    Now TPM needs to turn, but I’m guessing Josh Marshall will be much slower in evolving. Think Progress was spooked in 2010 after the Zionist attacks and considering how close the institution is to the Clinton campaign I doubt that they’d make any serious efforts of evolving again.

    The NYT will be the last place to evolve. They’re now running in the opposite direction. To embrace Apartheid.

    History will be very harsh on the Times.

    • bintbiba on May 9, 2015, 3:16 pm

      Katrina van den Heuvel is married to Professor Stephen Cohen, the eminent scholar on everything Russian ……who is being smeared and silenced by the Administration for telling the Truth about the holy mess created by the neocons in the Ukraine.!!

      • lysias on May 9, 2015, 3:45 pm

        Not just by the neocons (why is neocon Victoria Nuland still in a high State Department post in the Obama administration?), but also by “liberal” supporters of so-called “humanitarian intervention” like Samantha Power and Susan Rice. All appointed to their positions by Hillary Clinton.

      • just on May 9, 2015, 3:59 pm

        Didn’t know that, bintbiba. Thanks.

        Meanwhile neocon Nuland & Co, McCain, Israel and the US support the neo- Nazis.

        What a cluster…

    • Mooser on May 9, 2015, 5:14 pm

      Josh Marshall of TPM may b e just as fast to turn away from Zionism as he was to turn towards Zionism. Or he may not, but you might want to check out his bio.

  6. bintbiba on May 9, 2015, 4:37 pm

    “Just” ….
    Stephen Cohen is a very impressive and well known academic in the US.
    if you’re interested you can watch his talks on YouTube. He is impressive !

    • just on May 9, 2015, 4:47 pm

      I completely missed that he is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel.

      I have seen him/read him often. ;-)

  7. pabelmont on May 9, 2015, 6:56 pm

    lysias: All those kindly folk appointed by Hillary Clinton? Caesar’s wife was quasi-Caesar ? And now she wants to be the real thing? And the fems will support her because she is biologically female. (Isn’t Netanyahu’s wife rather famous for interfering with appointments?)

    • tree on May 9, 2015, 7:29 pm

      lysias: All those kindly folk appointed by Hillary Clinton?

      No, lysias is wrong. Rice and Power were foreign policy advisers to Obama (not Clinton) during his 2008 election campaign, and Power even had to resign the campaign (officially, but still was an advisor) after she called Clinton a “monster” during the 2008 primary campaign. Neither were appointed by Clinton. Both were appointed by Obama. And Nuland was appointed to her current position by Obama after Clinton resigned as Secretary of State. They are all Obama appointments, not Clinton ones. Seems that too many people want to absolve Obama of his neo-con choices simply because he is black, and they think he couldn’t possibly have neo-con attitudes despite his actions which indicate otherwise.

      • Boomer on May 10, 2015, 2:12 pm

        Yes, his actions belie his words.

  8. DoubleStandard on May 10, 2015, 4:46 am

    1) The Palestinian refugees were not born in Israel. Their parents were — there is no return because none of them were ever in Israel/Palestine, and none of them have any properties or possessions left to return to.

    2) They got kicked out because they lost a war. Tough, too bad, so sorry. You don’t get to just reverse the effects of a war by crying about it for 67 years. Every other refugee group in the world has been resettled. That’s just the way the world works. The only reason the refugees haven’t been resettled is because they are a political thorn in Israel’s side. The Arab states support the refugees so that they can reproduce and pass refugee status on to their children.

    If they had no political value, the other Arabs would let them starve to death without blinking an eye.

    3) The article is extremely racist and is basically blaming the Jews for other Arabs deciding to kill Palestinians. As if Israel should let itself be swamped with millions of people to save them from being killed by their own brothers.

    4) Even if they had a right to return (which they don’t), they can only do so by turning Jews into a minority. In case you haven’t been paying attention, minorities don’t fair so well in Muslim countries. Thus, there is no way to implement the right of return without committing grave injury to the country’s Jewish population.

    If leftists in the West and the other Arab states would stop giving credence to this demand, then a peace agreement could have been signed long ago…

    • DoubleStandard on May 10, 2015, 10:04 am

      Should be fare, not fair. Noticed error later.

    • irishmoses on May 10, 2015, 11:50 am

      DoublesSandard,

      To be fair, your fare was so substandard that the correction of a misspelled word is ludicrous. Why don’t you start by correcting the substance of your hasbara-speak post? We’ll forgive your spelling errors. You can start by researching the many posts on refugees by Hostage, Tree, and many others.

      Do I detect something new in your charge that the article is “…racist and is basically blaming the Jews…”? Normally, that would be simplified into the more standard claim of antisemitism, or Jew-Hatred (self and non-self). Perhaps Hasbara-Central has concluded that the antisemitism/Jew Hater card has been so overused as to lose its impact? Is “racist” to be the new term for “antisemite” in the deck of Likud-Zionism’s House of Cards?

      • DoubleStandard on May 10, 2015, 12:20 pm

        In Hebrew להסביר (le-hasbeer) means “to explain.” Hasbara is just the noun construction of that. It means explaining. Just calling something Hasbara and picking at the terminology I used is not an argument.

        The return is ridiculous: there is no reason why liberals in the West should be concerned as to whether or not a couple hundred refugees live in abject poverty in Lebanon and Syria or turn the prosperous country that is now Israel into a third-world country.

        I try to psychologically analyze you guys, but maybe I complicate it too much.

        Do you guys just hate success and revel in mediocrity and failure? Is it really that simple? What is it about Israel that holds your fancy? Do you guys really just think we’re the chosen people and can’t stand it?

        I sincerely wish to know.

    • Mooser on May 10, 2015, 12:00 pm

      “2) They got kicked out because they lost a war. Tough, too bad, so sorry. You don’t get to just reverse the effects of a war by crying about it for 67 years”

      Gosh, about six million Jews died in the Holocaust so you could say that. I’m so glad their deaths weren’t in vain.

      DS, I’m a guy who believes in playing fair, so let me give you a tip about the Moderation here. When the Moderators put your posts through, that’s when you should worry about and possibly protest moderation. They are not doing you any favors.

    • talknic on May 10, 2015, 2:02 pm

      DoubleStandard “1) The Palestinian refugees were not born in Israel”

      Correct. However non-Jewish Israeli citizens were! BTW Jews from Japan, China, the US, Australian Aboriginals, etc weren’t born in Israel either

      “Their parents were”

      Correct. However, the parents of Jews from Japan, China, the US, Australian Aboriginals, etc were not!

      ” there is no return because none of them were ever in Israel/Palestine”

      A) If they’re over 67yrs (from ’48) or 48yrs (from ’67) , they were! Simple maths is a Hasbara weak point. B) But there is ‘return’ for Jews who were never in Israel/Palestine

      “and none of them have any properties or possessions left to return to.”

      Jews from Japan, China, the US, Australian Aboriginals, etc never had any properties or possessions in Israel/Palestine. BTW the existence of properties or possessions is irrelevant, people have a right to return to the ‘territory’ they once lived in. Territory belongs to all its legal/legitimate inhabitants whether they own ‘real estate’ or rent ‘real estate’ or live under a bridge.

      “2) They got kicked out because they lost a war.”

      They didn’t fight a war, they fled. In fact the majority fled during the civil war, cleansed under Plan Dalet, before Israel was proclaimed.

      ” You don’t get to just reverse the effects of a war by crying about it for 67 years”

      It took East Timor much less time… Kuwait even less

      “Every other refugee group in the world has been resettled”

      = nonsense. Read the news!

      “The only reason the refugees haven’t been resettled is because they are a political thorn in Israel’s side. “

      = more nonsense. Refugees are not obliged to accept citizenship in a country other than that of return and no one is obliged to offer them what they don’t want. While they remain refugees they have a right to return, that is the thorn in the Israeli side. There are no Jewish refugees from any of the Arab States, they have all taken citizenship in countries other than the state of return, no longer refugees = no RoR.

      ” If they…”

      If = speculation. Your speculation is based on Hasbara bullsh*t !

      “3) The article is extremely racist and is basically blaming the Jews for other Arabs deciding to kill Palestinians”

      Quote the passages … thx BTW Neither Jews or Israelis are a race.

      “As if Israel should let itself be swamped with millions of people to save them from being killed by their own brothers”

      Again your speculation is based on bullsh*t! non-Jewish Israelis have a right to return to Israel. The remainder have a right to return to whatever remained of Palestine after Israel was proclaimed independent of Palestine .

      “4) Even if they had a right to return (which they don’t), they can only do so by turning Jews into a minority.”

      = more nonsense. A) You’re claiming Israelis have no right to return to Israel. B) Simple maths simply doesn’t support the Hasbara theory unless it includes all Israeli/Palestinian refugees. However, Palestinian refugees do not have RoR to Israel.

      ” In case you haven’t been paying attention, minorities don’t fair so well in Muslim countries. Thus, there is no way to implement the right of return without committing grave injury to the country’s Jewish population.”

      = more bullsh*te.

      “If leftists in the West and the other Arab states would stop giving credence to this demand, then a peace agreement could have been signed long ago…”

      = more speculation which is not supported by anything that’s ever been on the Israeli agenda

      • DoubleStandard on May 10, 2015, 2:49 pm

        I can’t really respond since the non-insulting sentences are mostly incoherent.

      • zaid on May 10, 2015, 5:13 pm

        Double Standard

        the purpose of a comment should be to convince the debaters or the viewers of the article of your opinions.

        you said:

        “They got kicked out because they lost a war. Tough, too bad, so sorry. You don’t get to just reverse the effects of a war by crying about it for 67 years”

        Israel is loosing in the public image battle and the world is having more and more unfavorable views of Israel and its history every day, and this tone (shown in your comment) is only going to make it worse because it is arrogant and violent.

        you said:

        ” Even if they had a right to return (which they don’t)”

        so you are saying that people who became refugees during a war or their children does not have the right to return to their countries after the war!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!do you really think you are going to convince people with nonsense.

        Finally , don’t you see the double standard and absurdity in believing that the descendants of people who lived in Palestine 2000 years ago (allegedly) have the right to return but the direct children of Palestinians who left 60 years ago does not have that right!!!!!!!!!!! again , do you really believe people are going to be convinced with this madness.

        I know that you support Israel because of a primitive tribal thinking of sticking with your folk regardless of whether they are right or wrong.but don’t you realize that 99.8% of planet earth population does not have that tribal allegiance for the Jewish state.So how are you going to convince them with this bullshit.

        Rula wrote about a serious historical incident (The Nakba) , an issue with serious implications and rights for the refugees, entrenched in international law and UN resolutions and more importantly in justice and common sense. and your response to that serious issue was some nonsense ,arrogance,racism,and rubbish.

        the Hasbara army needs to work on their arguments more seriously or things are going to get worse and worse for them

      • talknic on May 11, 2015, 9:13 am

        @ DoubleStandard “I can’t really respond since the non-insulting sentences are mostly incoherent”

        Of course, of course, I understand your need to keep those olde moldy wholly holey Hasbara double standards intact :-)

    • RoHa on May 10, 2015, 8:28 pm

      ““and none of them have any properties or possessions left to return to.”

      What happened to their property and possessions?

      “They got kicked out because they lost a war.”

      Winning a war does not give a right to expel a population.

      “Even if they had the right of return…they can only do so by turning Jews into a minority.”

      Tough. Too bad. So sorry. If justice turns out to be uncomfortable, blame the Zionists who committed the injustice.

    • Misterioso on May 11, 2015, 5:33 pm

      DoubleStandard

      Patent nonsense. Get to the history books!!

      To be brief:

      1) Resolution 194, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.”), which along with the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva is binding on all UN members), calls for the repatriation of or financial compensation for the 700,000 Palestinian refugees of 1947-48 AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. (Subsequent UNSC resolutions call for the return of a further approximately 250,000 Palestinians who were expelled just prior to and during Israel’s first invasion of Egypt in conjunction with Britain and France in 1956 and during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967.)

      2.) “Every other refugee group in the world has been resettled. That’s just the way the world works.” Really? Then why were tens upon tens of thousands of primarily Russian, Polish and European Jews allowed to “return” to what was then historic Palestine and dispossess/expel the native Arab Christians and Muslims in the 20th century based on Zionism, a 19th century racist ideology that promotes the absurdity that before most were driven out by subsequent invaders, ancient Hebrews had a very brief United Kingdom there over 2000 years ago? Your hypocrisy is beyond words.

      3) Between passage of the 1947 Partition Plan (Res. 181), and the declaration of the state of Israel effective 15 May 1948, by Polish born David Ben-Gurion (real name, David Gruen) et al, Jewish forces had already expelled 400,000 Palestinians through force of arms, mass rape, several massacres and intimidation and a further 400,000 met the same fate by the end of 1948.

      As a precondition for being admitted to the UN after being twice refused, Israel declared it would comply with Res. 194.

      In order to be considered for admittance, Israel formally agreed at the United Nations to obey the UN Charter, comply with General Assembly Resolution 194 and to also accept Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, as a basis for negotiations. (The Arab states also agreed as did Palestinian representatives attached to the Syrian delegation.) Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference and thereby reaffirmed its commitment to Resolutions 194 and 181. (By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO under Arafat agreed to UNSC Res. 242 and thereby rendered the Res. 181, the Partition Plan irrelevant.)

      Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 and the UN Charter was made legally binding by including it in General Assembly Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting it UN membership. The full text of Resolution 273 is as follows:

      “Having received the report of the Security Council on the application of Israel for membership in the United Nations,

      “Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,

      “Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the General Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,

      “Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it ‘unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations,

      “Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [UNGA Resolution 181, the Partition Plan] 3/ and 11 December 1948 (UNGA Resolution 194 regarding repatriation of Palestinian refugees] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,

      “The General Assembly,
      “Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

      “1. Decides that Israel is a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

      “2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.”

      Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be obeyed.

      Shortly after gaining UN membership Israel reneged on its commitment to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 as well as the Partition Plan.

      There is no question whatsoever that Israel is legally bound to abide by the terms of Resolution 194. Indeed, its failure to do so caused the General Assembly to conclude that the Israel no longer qualifies for UN membership. Only Washington’s protection has prevented Israel from having its credentials rejected, as happened to apartheid South Africa.

      I also remind you that Israel has twice rejected the US supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state, exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, open borders etc., if Israel complies with international law and its previous commitments. Fully aware of Israel’s demographic concerns, the Initiative does not call for the return of all Palestinian refugees, only that Israel participate in negotiating a “just” solution to the refugee problem based on international law, i.e., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UNGA Res. 194. The Beirut Initiative has been agreed to by all Arab states, the PA, Hezbollah, non-Arab Iran and even Hamas has signed on subject to a Palestinian plebiscite and a corridor connecting the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

      As any reasonably informed person understands full well, Israel has no intention of complying with binding hard won international humanitarian law, preferring to maintain its belligerent/illegal/brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands and to continue dispossessing and oppressing the indigenous inhabitants. The good news is that with each passing day, more and more people around the world, including Americans and Jews everywhere (especially youth), are becoming disgusted with and enraged at Israel. The handwriting is on the wall, but Israel refuses to read it. It’s only a matter of time.

      Enough said.

  9. SQ Debris on May 10, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Link to a 1980’s film about the Palestinian Refugees titled Native Sons: Palestinians In Exile. It’s narrated by Martin Sheen and it’s a free download.

  10. Boomer on May 10, 2015, 2:12 pm

    All politicians lie, it is often said. Perhaps. But Obama seems a special case. For example, he does nothing but support Israel–even during slaughter in Gaza–after saying this:

    “For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”

  11. sjabulhawa on May 12, 2015, 1:42 pm

    Brava, Rula!

  12. eljay on May 12, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Throughout history, Jewish people were displaced, abused, and murdered en masse, over and over again. The tragic irony is that, today, it is the Palestinians being persecuted, as were the Jews, not for what they have done but for who they are …

    Even more tragic is the fact that (Zio-supremacist) Jews are the ones doing the persecuting…aaaand loving it!*

    (*Well, to be fair, some of them do have to “hold their noses” while their hardier co-collectivists do all the dirty work but, in the end, they all “primarily celebrate”.)

    … A Jew born anywhere in the world is welcomed by the State of Israel, while a Christian or Muslim born in Safed or Al-Majdal and forced into exile in 1948 is denied the right to return to his or her birthplace. …

    A refugee from Partition-borders Israel – that is, an Israeli refugee – is denied return to his home/land because he is not Jewish.

    But a citizen of a country elsewhere in the world…
    – who either is a convert to Judaism or was born to someone who converted to Judaism; and
    – regardless of whether or not he has any tangible ties to Partition-borders Israel,
    …is entitled to *ahem* “return” to Israel because he is Jewish.

    And on top of that he is permitted to settle in occupied and colonized land outside of Partition-borders Israel.

    Acts of injustice and immorality, all of them justified by Zio-supremacists because Jews are the ones committing the acts. (“We’re OK with doing unto others things we would not have others unto us!”)

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