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Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is demand that Palestinians abandon their rights and dreams

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The following is a report by Richard Falk on “The Arab International Forum for Justice for Palestine,” held in Beirut on July 29, 2018. His report is followed by a personal account to Falk’s blogreaders of a more personal character, describing the style and manner of the gathering.

1. There was bright sunshine throughout the entire Forum thanks to the announcement that Ahed Tamimi and her mother were released on that very day, and boldly reaffirmed their abiding commitment to resistance. This teenage Palestinian icon from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh had completed an eight month jail term for slapping an IDF soldier after her cousin had been shot in the face. Instead of exhibiting empathy for Ahed Tamimi, Israel exhibited its vindictive approach to the Palestinian reality by jailing such a sensitive young woman rather than acting in a civilized manner by exhibiting sympathy for the normalcy of her reactions, indeed their dignity, to being a witness of such brutality by an agent of the Israeli state.  

The Tamimi family were prominent resisters before “the slap heard around the world.” It was evident by the frequent reference to Ahed by speakers at the Forum that her show of defiance and youthful exuberance was worth a thousand missiles, expressing not only sumud, but also the conviction that nonviolent resistance can become transformative if adapted to the realities of an oppressive situation. Of course, not a word in the NY Times about Ahed’s release, while papers in Lebanon wrote complementary feature stories with sympathetic pictures of this heroine, and in every Turkish paper I saw her release was a front page story. Ahed seems comfortable with the prominence of her role despite being so young. As far as the eye can see, Ahed seems completely unaffected by the dark shadows cast over her young life by the harshness of Israel’s response to her totally spontaneous gesture of resistance.

While celebrating Ahed release, we should also pause to remember Razan Al-Najjar, the heroic nurse tending the wounded at the Gaza Great March of Return fatally shot on June 1st by an IDF sniper in cold blood while apart from the demonstrators, away from the fence, dressed in easily identifiable white medical clothing, working in the vicinity of Khan Yunis.

We should also salute Dareen Tatour, fine Palestinian poet, author of the poem “Resist My People, Resist Them,” sentenced to prison just now for the sin of writing defiant poetry, having only recently been released from years of house arrest, denied access to the Internet, and even to her own village community.

2. There was one feature of the Forum that I admit made me increasingly uncomfortable as I listened to speaker after speaker pour cold water on Trump’s promise, or was it a threat, to end the conflict with “the deal of the century.” When it came my turn to speak at the very end of the day, I started by saying how astonished I was by the attention given by prior speakers to this catchy phrase used by Trump. According these words of the demagogue so much attention gave the still undisclosed U.S. proposal a political weight it didn’t deserve or possess, and could put the Palestinians in an unnecessarily awkward, defensive, and combative position. I pointed out that Trump’s erratic approach to the world since he became president had weakened greatly the U.S. global leadership role, and that his extreme partisanship with respect to the Palestinian struggle had reduced to zero American credibility as an impartial or constructive arbiter in relation to the future of the two peoples. U.S. credibility as a peacemaker had long ago been convincingly challenged, for instance, by the devastating book of Rashid Khalidi, “Brokers of Deceit,” and even more comprehensively by Jeremy Hammond in his important assessment, Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict(2016). It seemed to me that the words “the deal of the century” had entranced and bewitched this Palestinian audience, and maybe others, leading to my fear that Trump had put them on a road leading to a political dead end for the Palestinian aspirations, crushing their struggle by being tricked into entering such a spiderweb of bombastic irrelevance.

What the U.S. seems ready to offer, besides bombast, and what Israeli leaders have been talking about more and more openly, is that if the Palestinians abandon their rights along with their dreams, “peace” becomes possible. This includes abandoning political goals associated with the right of self-determination. If the Palestinians are so foolish as to do this, then they can become hapless beneficiaries of “an economic peace” courtesy of Israel’s generosity and charitable nature. The deal of the century reduced to substance is nothing more than “geopolitical bribery,” exchanging the prospect of some dollars for the renunciation of inalienable rights. In such a bargain the devil is NOT in the details, but is the very essence of what is being proposed. Of course, there are almost certain also to be humiliating details involving the concrete implications of permanent submission by the Palestinians: acceptance of uncontested Israeli control of Jerusalem, a complete denial of any right of return for  Palestinian refugees or exiles, and a series of master/servant economic arrangements. My plea at the Forum was to put “the deal of the century” in its proper perspective by ignoring it, or if it must be discussed, then reframe all references to the deal by recognizing that it is less a deal that an attempted diktat, in actuality a crude attempt to commit “the crime of the century!”

3. I highlighted the second portion of my presentation by quoting the opening line of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I felt this kind of interface well depicted the current situation of the Palestinians. It was the worst of times because the alignments in the Arab world together with the geopolitical forces seemed to favor the success of the Zionist Project to an unprecedented degree. The major Arab governments were moving toward postures of “normalization” with Israel without any longer insisting on the precondition of reaching a sustainable peace with the Palestinians. This regional setback has weakened Palestine diplomatically, and materially. At the same time the Trump presidency has made no secret of its endorsement of maximal Zionist goals, agreeing to support whatever Israel (and Saudi Arabia) want. Above all this commitment involves ramping up a dangerous confrontation with Iran. Most of Europe seems unhappy with these developments, but has so far lacked the energy, incentive, and leadership to play an offsetting role to balance Trump’s one sidedness and thus act to keep alive what has become a Zombie solution, the barely flickering flame of “a two-state solution.”  In other words, from the international community of states, the best that can be hoped for at this stage, is a rather lame show of support for the two-state mantra, which has been effectively moribund for several years.

In sum, if Palestinian prospects are interpreted through the prism of standard international relations, the outlook is dismal, and not by chance this is the line being pursued by the Middle East Forum, an ultra-Zionist NGO. Its chosen mechanism to drive the point home is its rather diabolical scheme labeled “the victory caucus,” which is actively recruiting, with a disturbing degree of success, members of the U.S. Congress and the Knesset. It wants the world to understand that since international diplomacy is dead and with Trump in the White House the occasion offers Israel the opportunity of adopting more muscular tactics to force the Palestinians to understand that their game of resistance is over, that to avoid collective suicide there is no alternative left to the Palestine other than political surrender. And by such reasoning, if the Palestinians are wise enough to accept this line of thinking, then they will become beneficiaries of some variant of economic peace as a sign of Israeli gratitude.

Fortunately, these dismal scenarios of defeat do not tell the true or real, much less the whole, story. Several recent developments have created new and promising opportunities for the Palestinian national movement to move its own agenda forward. These developments involve a welcome shift of the center of gravity of the Palestinian movement from reliance on inter-governmental initiatives, including those pursued at the UN, to a phase of struggle that combines new modes of Palestinian resistance with a rapidly expanding global solidarity movement. This solidarity movement is receiving a great boost in credibility as a result of the militant support that BDS campaign is receiving in South Africa. In effect, on the basis of their experience of racism, South Africa is delivering this urgent message to the world: we alone know from experience the full horror of an apartheid regime, and what Palestinians daily face is a form of apartheid that is even worse than what we endured, and finally overcame by a struggle that combined the brave resistance of our people buoyed by the solidarity of the world; although the circumstances are far different, apartheid in Israel can be overcome by a similar shift in the balance of forces due to an intensifying popular struggle neutralizing the repressive capabilities of military and police domination.

I mentioned two developments of particular importance in the emergence of this altered scenario of struggle more encouraging for the realization of Palestinian aspirations. First, the Israeli nation-state law of the Jewish people that by its bluntness in asserting the exclusivity of Jewish rights in Israel, including that of self-determination, amounts to a formal adoption of an apartheid ideology by Israel in all but name. In effect, this development vindicated the conclusions of the ESCWA report on Israeli apartheid prepared by Virginia Tilley and myself that was condemned so fiercely by the Israeli ambassador, and even more so by Nikki Haley, the American ambassador at the UN, when it was released in March 2017.

As the discourse at the Forum and the mainstream media now illustrate, it is no longer controversial to attribute apartheid to the particular Israeli mode of dominance imposed on Palestinians. What makes the nation-state law so politically and psychologically helpful in this respect is that the relation of the Israeli state to its Palestinian minority was, although discriminatory enough to form one domain of the apartheid system, far less onerous than Israeli policies and practices toward refugees in neighboring countries or Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza. Thus for Israel to acknowledge apartheid as the modus operandi in Israel itself amounts to a signed and voluntary confession as to the racist character of overall domination.

Such an interpretation of the nation-state law is important for mobilizing popular support for more militant forms of solidarity with respect to the Palestinian people. Apartheid is an international crime, one type of crime against humanity that is set forth in Article 7 of the Statute governing the operations of the International Criminal Court, and deprives Israel of the propaganda value of claiming to be the only democracy in the Middle East, a major pillar of its claimed politic al legitimacy. That pillar crumbled the moment the Nation-State bill became Israeli law.

The second development that creates opportunities for advancing the Palestinian struggle is the exposure of the violent nature of Israel’s control mechanisms, especially its reliance on grossly excessive force in calculated response to the Great March of Return. These demonstrations at and around the Gaza fence are demands to implement the most fundamental of Palestinian rights as set forth by international law. Killing unarmed demonstrators with live ammunition exposes to the world the violent nature of Israel’s structures of domination. This use of lethal force at the Gaza border recalls vividly the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, which many commentators identified as the point of no return for South African apartheid, revealing the true racist nature of its governing process to the world.  The Gaza massacre is actually far worse than Sharpeville (although there were other massacres to follow including crushing the Soweto Uprising), as the willful killing at the Gaza border has now been repeated on a series of successive Fridays.

It is the extreme character of these two developments that provides this golden opportunity to civil society activists and their organizations to mobilize wider and deeper support for the Palestinian struggle. The BDS Campaign, already commencing its 14th year, becomes more central in this effort to isolate Israel internationally and emphasize the criminal illegitimacy of Israeli apartheid. It is appropriate to mention that South Africa sought to demonize opposition to its racist policies by dubbing anti-apartheid activists as “terrorists” or “Communists.” Israel uses a similar rhetorical tactic by branding its critics and activists as “anti-Semites.” Although Israeli apartheid is different in many aspects from South African apartheid with regard to both internal and international contexts, both instances of apartheid involve structures of subjugation based on race with the overriding purpose of maintaining domination of one race, and the victimization of the other. South African apartheid proved vulnerable to resistance and solidarity initiatives. It is my belief that the opportunity now exists, more so than ever before, to establish a comparable vulnerability with respect to Israeli apartheid.

It should be appreciated that the great unlearned lesson of the last half century is that military superiority has lost much of its historical agency. The colonial wars were won by the weaker side militarily. The Vietnam War was lost by the United States despite its overwhelming military superiority. The side that control the heights of legal, moral, and political opinion eventually usually controls the political outcome in contemporary struggles for control of sovereign states, especially if the struggle takes place in a distinct political entity, and not as a secessionist move by a captive nation with an existing large sovereign state (for example, Catalonia, Chechnya, Puerto Rico). The Palestinians have been winning the legitimacy war to achieve such nationalist aspirations, and now is the time for soft power militancy to get on with the job.

4. Despite the implicit acknowledgement of apartheid by the adoption of the nation-state law as Basic Law of Israel, that is, as not subject to change except by enactment of another law with Basic Law status, it seems helpful to reassert the relevance of the ESCWA Report. That study, arousing great controversy at the time of release, is no longer as relevant or as needed for purpose of debating whether or not Israel is an apartheid state. Even before the Basic Law was adopted, the evidence of Israeli practices shows, as the Report argues, that Israel is an apartheid state. The Report remains relevant, however, to obtain a better understanding of the distinctive, specific, and comprehensive nature of Israeli apartheid.

For one thing, the Report examines the allegation of apartheid from the perspective of international law as it is set forth in various authoritative places, especially the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the International Crime of Apartheid. Secondly, it argues on the basis of evidence that Israeli apartheid extends to the Palestinian people as a whole, not just to those living under the dual legal systems of the West Bank or as the discriminated minority in Israel. The apartheid regime developed by Israel applies also to the refugees confined to camps in neighboring countries and to those Palestinians living in Jerusalem, which is governed as if it is already wholly incorporated into the state of Israel.

We reaffirm the central conclusion of the Report that the only valid path to a sustainable peace for both peoples requires the prior rejection of the ideology and the dismantling of the structures of apartheid. Any other purported peace process will produce, at most, a new ceasefire, most likely, with a very short life expectancy. A secondary conclusion is that as a matter of law, all governments and international institutions, as well as corporations and banks, have a responsibility to do their utmost to suppress the crime of apartheid as being perpetrated by the leadership of the state of Israel. It also would follow that lending assistance to Israel either materially or diplomatically is now unlawful, aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise.

Conclusion: The time is ripe for civil society to represent the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Israeli apartheid regime. This struggle is just and the means being pursued are legitimate. Resistance and solidarity are the vital instruments by which to challenge apartheid, and its geopolitical support structure. This was the path that led to the collapse of South African apartheid, and a similar path is now available for the Palestinian struggle.

Afterword: Falk’s note on the conference of a personal character.

My initial impression after experiencing a 90-minute airport line for those carrying foreign passports to gain entry to Lebanon was that the conference was incredibly disorganized. There was no program available to the participants even after the Opening Ceremony began in a packed hotel auditorium with a crowded and passionate gathering of persons dedicated to justice for Palestine, hailing from many countries, from as far away as Mumbai and San Francisco, including diplomats, religious personalities dressed in traditional garb, and those who in a diversity of ways had kept faith over the years with the Palestinian struggle. Not surprisingly, the Irish participants stirred the crowd the most with their fiery eloquence, drawing on their shared experience of a somewhat similar prolonged, and often anguished, struggle. The Forum was a microcosm of Palestinian inclusiveness. I was not really surprised that Ramsey Clark was the beloved Honorary Chair of the Forum, and learned that only a recently broken hip kept him away.

There were many moments of personal satisfaction during my long one day visit (that seemed like three), including a warm coffee chat with Rabi’ Bashour, recalling our ESCWA experiences, and discovering that his venerable father, Maan, was the heart and soul of the Forum, both as moderator of the event and its guiding spirit throughout the entire process from its origins until the present. The formative idea of the Forum is to establish a platform that is wide enough to accommodate all tendencies in the Palestinian national movement provided only that there exists ample evidence of dedication to justice for the Palestinian people. This meant Fatah and Hamas in the same room, religious figures and firmly secular persons, representatives of trade unions, student organizations, prisoner and detainee family members, women’s groups, members of parties from the far left and the center (I never became aware of any right wing participation). It was the central task of the Forum to keep this symbolic expression of Palestinian unity in robust good spirits, and only secondarily, to address matters of substance. The unspoken dream of the occasion was that the success of the Forum would nudge the political leaders of the now deeply divided Palestinian movement to put aside their differences and achieve sustainable unity so as to pursue together the far greater convergence of goals at the common core of their struggle.

There was a call from the podium at the outset for “practical proposals” rather than just “speeches,” but rhetorical style is almost impossible to discipline, and especially so in the Arab world. And so, inevitably, there were an assortment of speeches mainly validated by frequent emotional flourishes throughout their delivery, yet in fairness there were also several promising concrete suggestions for action initiatives.

I came to appreciate greatly the anarchistic style of hospitality, above all by Nabil Hallak, the guiding conference presence, with no observable capacity for conventional organization beyond a restless vitality that made us all feel welcome, appreciated, and well cared for. Once I overcame my own anxieties about the chaotic logistics enough to go with the flow I enjoyed being in such a setting, and everything important worked out somehow. It turns out Nabil has a beautiful wife, has fought in Palestinian resistance, and as a result possesses a body that was pierced by nine Israeli bullets; despite this, Nabil is modest about his past, projects a joy-for-life esprit and manifests day and night an intense dedication to the Forum as an ongoing political project. He is close to Tima Issa, a TV producer in Beirut with whom I had done a program a year ago, who extended the initial invitation and made the social dimension of my brief visit both enjoyable and memorable.

Richard Falk
About Richard Falk

Richard Falk is a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 volumes. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967."

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44 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    August 2, 2018, 2:20 pm

    RE: There was one feature of the Forum that I admit made me increasingly uncomfortable as I listened to speaker after speaker pour cold water on Trump’s promise, or was it a threat, to end the conflict with “the deal of the century.” When it came my turn to speak at the very end of the day, I started by saying how astonished I was by the attention given by prior speakers to this catchy phrase used by Trump. According these words of the demagogue so much attention gave the still undisclosed U.S. proposal a political weight it didn’t deserve or possess, and could put the Palestinians in an unnecessarily awkward, defensive, and combative position. ~ Falk

    MY COMMENT: It is crtically important that Trump’s crime/fraud/insult/debacle of the century is widely seen as dead on arrival (DOA)* so that the Palestinians are not blamed for rejecting it!

    * “Dead on arrival” may be used to describe an idea or product that is considered to be fundamentally flawed, and therefore viewed as an utter failure from the start.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      August 4, 2018, 11:55 am

      P.S. RE: “Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is demand that Palestinians abandon their rights and dreams”

      ALSO SEE: “Kushner E-Mails Reveal Attempt to Abolish UNWRA and Palestinian Refugee Status”
      August 4, 2018 by Richard Silverstein

      (EXCERPT) Foreign Policy revealed e-mails written by Jared Kushner and his staff that are so radical and insane, they could only have been concocted by Israel itself. If so, then there are not three parties which are part of the negotiation for the Deal of the Century. But only two parties. The Trump administration and the Israelis are one. This is not a dialogue of equals or negotiation among equals. Rather it is an exercise in capitulation. The Israelis and Americans aren’t trying to persuade the Palestinians to come to the table or accept the plan. They’re attempting to bludgeon them into accepting it. . .

      CONTINUED AT – https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2018/08/04/kushner-e-mails-reveal-attempt-to-abolish-unwra-and-palestinian-refugee-status/

      • annie
        annie
        August 4, 2018, 12:24 pm

        we’re shocked!

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      August 5, 2018, 1:12 am

      Most of master deal maker Trump’s heavily marketed triumphs are shit. The North Koreans have not disarmed. There is no wave of factories for the rust belt. Trump is a bigger fraud than Israel. And that is some achievement.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 5, 2018, 1:02 pm

        Watan,

        The North Koreans have not disarmed

        Duh. They ain’t insane, as opposed to your Empire managers. The declaration is very clear. Comprehensive security guarantees and normalization first.

  2. mondonut
    mondonut
    August 2, 2018, 3:22 pm

    “Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ is demand that Palestinians abandon their rights and dreams”

    Well, he’s half right. Abandon fruitless dreams, certainly. Rights, not so much – they have no legitimate right to Jerusalem or the so called Right of Return.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 3, 2018, 4:21 am

      mondonut: “they have no legitimate right to Jerusalem or the so called Right of Return.”

      We all know that this is the case in your Kahane continuum. But in this universe it is Israel which does’t have a legitimate right to Jerusalem as it annexation is illegal according to several UN resolutions. And in this universe a right of return has been legally acknowledged sinve the Universal declaration of Human rights that was declared one day before resolution 194.

      You allready knew of all of this, but your dishonesty is as infinite as Israel’s illegal claims.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2018, 8:21 pm

        Maybe the Palestinians should add to their quiver an arrow pointing from ancient Canaanites to the present Palestinians to show their biblical credentials to the land?

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 3, 2018, 5:37 am

      Oh, and I just like to add fromt the Crime of Apartheid:

      “Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognised trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;”

      Now why does it say “right … to return to their country” if this right doesn’t exist, mondonut?

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 3, 2018, 8:25 am

        @TalkBack

        Hence the demand (never raised before 2009) that Palestinians recogize Israel as the Jewish state. If they fall for that duplicity the next thing will be of course there is no right of return except for those who are Jewish.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      August 3, 2018, 11:14 am

      @mondonut

      Sigh. Your ignorance knows no bounds.

      Reality:

      The ongoing occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands the entity known as “Israel” invaded during the war it launched on 5 June 1967 – yes, as is now common knowledge, Israel started the 1967 war – are in flagrant violation of the UN Charter, as reiterated in the preamble of UNSC Resolution 242 (which governs all that follows) – “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war…” The inclusion of this sentence in the opening paragraph reflects the fact that the Security Council must abide by the terms of the UN Charter, i.e., Chapter I Article 1 (1); Chapter I Article 2(4); and Chapter VII, Article 51, which reject territorial expansion by force of arms under any circumstances. The principal framer of the resolution, Lord Caradon of the United Kingdom, later noted that without this preambular statement “there could have been no unanimous vote” in the Security Council.

      On 15 September 1967, during Security Council discussions leading to the drafting of Resolution 242, UN Secretary-General U Thant announced that “everyone agrees that there should be no territorial gains by military conquest.” To state the obvious, the entity known as “Israel” is also in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (e.g., “Collective Punishment”) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which are binding on all UN members.

      The entity known as “Israel” argues that as the English version of article i of Paragraph 1 omits the definite article (i.e., “the”) before “territories,” Resolution 242 does not require it to withdraw completely from all lands it conquered and occupied in June 1967.

      Indeed, by calling for “withdrawal from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” Resolution 242 defines precisely what lands “Israeli armed forces” must vacate. To wit: All of East Jerusalem (along with its illegally extended boundaries) was “occupied in the recent conflict;” hence, Israel must withdraw completely. All of the West Bank was “occupied in the recent conflict;” hence, Israel must withdraw completely. All of the Gaza Strip was “occupied in the recent conflict;” hence, Israel must withdraw completely. All of Syria’s Golan Heights, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Egypt’s Sinai were “occupied in the recent conflict;” hence Israel must withdraw completely. (Israel did eventually withdraw from Sinai.) (BTW, the Russian and French versions of Resolution 242 do include the definite article, “the.”)

      As Abba Eban, then foreign minister for the entity known as “Israel,” revealed at the time, he understood full well that Resolution 242 calls for complete withdrawal: “The words ‘in the recent conflict’ convert the principle of eliminating occupation into a mathematically precise formula for restoring the June 4 Map.” During negotiations to determine Resolution 242’s wording, Abba Eban failed in an attempt to delete the phrase “in the recent conflict.” (Comment by Foreign Minister of Israel and Telegram 3164, UK Mission in New York to Foreign Office, 12 Nov 1967)

      Moshe Dayan also realized that Resolution 242 calls for full withdrawal. In June 1968, during a closed session of the Labor Party, he counseled against endorsing Resolution 242 as “it means withdrawal to the 4 June [1967] boundaries, and because we are in conflict with the SC [Security Council] on that resolution.” (Daniel Dishon (ed.), Middle East Record, v. 4, 1968 (Jerusalem: 1973), p. 247)

      Regarding the “Right of Return” –
      Setting aside the utterly absurd belief on the part of you and your ilk that based on the bogus argument that it is their “homeland,” Jews of foreign origin had/have the right to emigrate en masse to historic Palestine and dispossess/expel/slaughter/brutalize/ etc., its indigenous inhabitants, who including their ancestors, have lived there continuously for about 15,000 years, I remind you of the following facts:

      On 11 December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 (III) of which paragraph 11 resolves “…refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible….”

      On 11 May 1949, the General Assembly passed Resolution 273 granting Israel admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice.) As a pre-condition, Israel formally agreed at the UN to obey General Assembly Resolution 194. Along with Arab states and Palestinian representatives, Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference to the same effect.

      Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 was made legally binding by incorporating it into Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting Israel UN membership: “Recalling and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by [Israel]…in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, the General Assembly… decides to admit Israel into membership in the United Nations.” Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be implemented.

      Over the years several UN resolutions have been passed affirming the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. One of the most important is General Assembly Resolution 3236 (22 November 1974) which acknowledges that all those made refugees since 1947 have an inalienable right to return. Paragraph 1 refers to the national inalienable rights of “the Palestinian people” and paragraph 2 provides that the General Assembly “[r]eaffirms also the inalienable rights of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.”

      Mandatory UN Security Council Resolution 605 (22 December 1987) reaffirmed that all Palestinian refugees, including those of the 1947-48 conflict, have an inalienable right to return to their homes. Resolution 605 refers to “the inalienable rights of all peoples recognized by the Charter of the United Nations and proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

      The right of return was further enshrined in international law when the United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948) of which Article 13(2) states: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” The United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948 (Resolution 217 A III), the day before Resolution 194 was passed. By gaining UN membership Israel agreed to abide by the Declaration’s terms.

      Another important document dealing with human rights, including the right of return, was the Fourth Geneva Convention (12 August 1949) of which Article 49 states “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.” Israel is a signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      The legality and sanctity of the right of return was further demonstrated by the vigorous diplomatic and military efforts on the part of Western powers to ensure the return of refugees in Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor.

      To sum up: The Palestinian refugees’ right of return is an “inalienable” human right. Under no circumstances can it be renounced by their leadership. It can only be surrendered on an individual basis, e.g., as stipulated in Resolution 194, by accepting financial compensation for losses incurred rather than the right of return. Indeed, it is not only the legal right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to insist on their right of return, it is their duty on behalf of all humanity.

      BTW, for the record, there is no special provision in international law that enables Israel to violate it with impunity.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        August 3, 2018, 7:09 pm

        @Misterioso

        It is pretty hard to take seriously anyone who is so divorced from reality and petrified of Israel that they must refer to it as “the entity known as”. That alone makes anything that follows sound moronic.

        Nonetheless. None of your diatribe on Israel even tries to make the case for dividing Jerusalem, nor does it try to give reason to a Palestinian sovereign claim – its just more of the same bitching about Israel. The Palestinians do not have a superior claim to Jerusalem, period.

        And for about the millionth time, GA Resolutions are recommendations, they do not confer rights nor do they constitute law – no matter how many times they are repeated. Consequently, no rights are provided to the Palestinians from UNGA 194 or UNGA 3236. The same goes for the UDHR which is a declaration, not a treaty. It does not create law nor is it binding.

        And your interpretation UNSC 605 is pure invention, it says nothing of the Right of Return, the word “return” does not even appear within it.

        And most ridiculous, and typically only believed by the denizens of Mondowiess, is the nonsense that UNGA 273 had preconditions or that Israel agreed to make binding a non-binding resolution. The resolution simply “recalls” in the preamble, which has zero leal weight. It says nothing of preconditions, side agreements or of Israel accepting resolutions other than 273. What is does say is “taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representatives of the Government of Israel” – where Israel notes there are no preconditions.

        Bottom line – The Palestinian claim to a Right of Return is separate and unique to any other RoR that exists in law. They expect their so called right to be retroactive to 1948, to pass to descendants for hundreds of years, and to remain in force for Palestinians who are no longer refugees. There is nothing in law that even begins to make those provisions.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 3, 2018, 11:56 pm

        It is pretty hard to take seriously anyone who is so divorced from reality and petrified of Israel that they must refer to it as “the entity known as”.

        First time one hears of the “petrified of Israël”. We heard, of course, about the gal Edith who was turned into a column of salt in Palestine –wife of Job, or was it Jack Pott, but the name is irrelevant. We know the petrified of Greece, of course, the last one being Polydectes, some in China, etc. but in Palestine it’s only salt.

        As for the Zionist entity, that’s exactly what it is, illegitimate, genocidal military occupation in Palestine by a foreign, ragtag political movement. If you don’t like the word “entity” we’ll gladly replace it by “the Zionist Invader of Palestine”. Thank you for helping. It’s clearer than that neutral “entity”.

        I’ll agree that anyone who is more or less at home has a reasonable latitude in naming said home, like Imperial and Royal Austrian and Hungarian Commonwealth, or Jewish Republic of Birobidjan. But you guys are not at home.

        None of your diatribe on Israel even tries to make the case for dividing Jerusalem, nor does it try to give reason to a Palestinian sovereign claim

        Why divide it? It’s Palestinian, obviously. Who else could conceivably have any claim on it? It’s as if Alcoholics Anonymous or the Jesuits laid sovereign claim on DC.

        And for about the millionth time, GA Resolutions are recommendations, they do not confer rights nor do they constitute law

        That’s precisely what the Partition proposal is, a recommendation. And an absurd one.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        August 4, 2018, 2:56 am

        Mondonut

        The Torah can be reduced to a few words. Don’t be a ****.
        Israeli Jews are educated to be ****s.

        I came across psalm 84 yesterday

        How lovely is your dwelling place,
        Lord Almighty!

        2
        My soul yearns, even faints,
        for the courts of the Lord;
        my heart and my flesh cry out
        for the living God.

        3
        Even the sparrow has found a home,
        and the swallow a nest for herself,
        where she may have her young—
        a place near your altar,
        Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
        Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
        they are ever praising you.[c]
        Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
        whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

        As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
        they make it a place of springs;
        the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
        They go from strength to strength,
        till each appears before God in Zion.

        Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
        listen to me, God of Jacob
        Look on our shield,[e] O God;
        look with favor on your anointed one.

        Better is one day in your courts
        than a thousand elsewhere;
        I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
        than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

        For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
        the Lord bestows favor and honor;
        no good thing does he withhold
        from those whose walk is blameless.
        Lord Almighty,
        blessed is the one who trusts in you.

        Losing Shangri La in the Bronze age was traumatic. And the sages were wrong. Living in Zion doesn’t stop someone from being a ****.
        Israelis either learn to live in the world or they lose the house again.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        August 4, 2018, 5:40 am

        mondonut: “None of your diatribe on Israel even tries to make the case for dividing Jerusalem, nor does it try to give reason to a Palestinian sovereign claim – its just more of the same bitching about Israel. The Palestinians do not have a superior claim to Jerusalem, period. ”

        ROFL. Has anyobody of your diatribe ever made the case for deviding historic Palestine?

        Sharing Jerusalem is the present political proposal. The resolution 181 proposal was to put it under international administration. Israel declared its borders according to the borders recommended in 181. In May 1948 it declared to the Security Council that Jerusalem is OUTSIDE of the territory of the newly declared State of Israel. In August 1948 it officially declared West Jerusalem as “OCCUPIED”. Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem is illegal and null and void as reflected in several Security Council resolutions.

        As to superior claims. Palestinians actually have a superior claim to all of historical Palestine which was under mandate until 1948. Israel’s secession of Palestine has no legitimation, because there was no referendum amongst the citizens of Palestine. Not even amongst the citizens of Israel The Goverment of Israel was simply imposed on those it didn’t expell. Half of the Jews had not even acquired the citizenship of Palestine. They had NOT achieved any political right to co-determine Palestine’s future.

        mondonut: “And for about the millionth time, GA Resolutions are recommendations, they do not confer rights nor do they constitute law – no matter how many times they are repeated.”

        Another lie. Such views that are expressed repeatedly by the overwhelming majority of states become customary law. How many times do you need to ignore this?

        And unfortunately for your Apartheid Junta the “right of return” is explicitly listed in the Crime of Apartheid as one of the rights which is legally denied by states that practice Apartheid. So if you had a fully functioning brain you could conclude that it must be a right.

        mondonut: ” The same goes for the UDHR which is a declaration, not a treaty. It does not create law nor is it binding.”

        “The Declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual’s rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic transfers, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and other laws.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

        mondonut: “The Palestinian claim to a Right of Return is separate and unique to any other RoR that exists in law. They expect their so called right to be retroactive to 1948, to pass to descendants for hundreds of years, and to remain in force for Palestinians who are no longer refugees.”

        Another lie.

        “Palestine refugees are entitled to a just and lasting solution to their plight. In the absence of — and pending the realisation of — such a solution, it stands to reason that their status as refugees will remain.

        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.”
        https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/features/exploding-myths-unrwa-unhcr-and-palestine-refugees

        So much for being “divorced from reality”, “petrified” and “sound moronic”. You are totally dishonest, mondonut, and simply repeat your lie over and over again. Unfortunately for you this doesn’t create any customary law.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 3, 2018, 12:30 pm

      || mondonut: … Abandon fruitless dreams, certainly. Rights, not so much – they have no legitimate right to Jerusalem or the so called Right of Return. ||

      Zionists dreamed a dream of oppression, colonialism and religion-based supremacism and so far it has borne fruit. There’s no reason for the Palestinians to stop dreaming about justice, accountability and equality.

      I agree that Palestinians – and Israelis and Zionists and Jews – have no “legitimate right to Jerusalem”. It is – or should be – a Free City…
      – of and for all of its inhabitants and people up to n-generations removed from it; and
      – open to all visitors.

      As far as legitimacy goes, the RoR of refugees is far more legitimate – and just and moral – than a supremacist “Law of Return”.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 4, 2018, 10:02 am

        The UDHR has been incorporated into the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) including the right of return. ICCPR is a treaty. Israel is a signatory and has ratified it.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        August 5, 2018, 4:12 am

        In probably 3 weeks Mondonut will pop up again and repeat his same racist rights denying nonsense again. That’s what Hasbara bots do.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 5, 2018, 9:31 am

        Absolutely. Not the first time the reality surrounding the UDHR has been pointed out to him yet he continues the dissembling and lies. It’s all that they have.

  3. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 2, 2018, 6:20 pm

    A very good read on Kushner’s ridiculous “deal”, and attempt at showing Kushner’s laughable plans for the Palestinians.

    “First Trump gives Jerusalem to the Israelis. Then, when the Palestinians dare to complain, he cuts their humanitarian aid and drives them to despair. Then, courtesy of young Jared, Trump offers to shower them with money in the “ultimate deal” if they will just stop making these exorbitant, irrational, antisemitic, Nazi-like and racist demands for statehood, dignity and an end to colonisation.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jared-kushner-palestinians-israel-peace-deal-us-trump-jerusalem-west-bank-a8474536.html

  4. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    August 3, 2018, 9:04 am

    The Palestinians will never surrender their link to the land. Trump and Kushner are NY spivs and know-nothings.

  5. lenny
    lenny
    August 3, 2018, 6:08 pm

    Misterioso.a few small questions

    Does the right of return apply to each individual only who left in 1947 or does it also apply to that individuals subsequent family members.say 10 generations from 1947.
    Why i ask is because i can trace my family surname back to king david and i wonder if i would be entitled to “ROR” not as a jew but as an israelite

    15000 years of continuous occupation.i wonder who lived there before that and would they also have “ROR”

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 4, 2018, 2:04 am

      “Why i ask is because i can trace my family surname back to king david and i wonder if i would be entitled to “ROR” not as a jew but as an israelite”

      But can you prove that you are descended from some Israelite of King David’s time? Anyone can acquire a surname.

    • annie
      annie
      August 4, 2018, 2:25 am

      Does the right of return apply to each individual only who left in 1947 or does it also apply to that individuals subsequent family members.say 10 generations from 1947.

      10 generations from 1947 they will have already been back for a long time. unless israel genocides them or something. either way, non applicable.

      • lenny
        lenny
        August 4, 2018, 3:44 am

        That is a good answer but i wanted to know what the un resolution stated.not that israel cares much for un resolutions.
        The deal trump is trying to implement will be implemented but the right of return is a sticky one and i believe there will be compromises.what is needed though to get the deal done sooner rather than later is some sort of unique event.an act of faith that will carry the day.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 4, 2018, 1:05 pm

        Lenny says

        in his passionate defense of the Trump “deal” for the Palesinian people:

        what is needed though to get the deal done sooner rather than later is some sort of unique event.an act of faith that will carry the day.

        Well, he sure has a way with words! Imagine the Jewish reaction to even using the words “act of faith”.

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/Contemporary_illustration_of_the_Auto-da-fe_held_at_Validolid_Spain_21-05-1559..jpg

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-da-fé

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        August 6, 2018, 3:53 pm

        @an

        so, genocide is now a verb, or something. odd to be writing about future generations of arabs and their ‘genocide’ at the same time.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 6, 2018, 7:13 pm

        “genocide is now a verb”

        Not with my approval.

        “odd to be writing about future generations of arabs and their ‘genocide’ at the same time.”

        I’ve seen people write about a past genocide of Jews and also refer to presently existing Jews.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 6, 2018, 10:50 pm

        RoHa,

        The admirable verbing capacity of the English language, I have to say as a guy not especially admiring or even appreciating it, doesn’t seem to have ever asked for permission from anyone. Not that you are just anyone –perish the thought! But then, flowers bloom, woodpeckers peck and English verbs. Nature.

      • annie
        annie
        August 7, 2018, 1:00 am

        flowers bloom, woodpeckers peck and English verbs. Nature.

        profound. touche. didn’t know you had it in you.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 7, 2018, 8:37 am

        As Calvin said, “Verbing weirds language.”

        And Hobbes replied, “Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding.”

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 7, 2018, 9:49 am

        RoHa,

        Don’t quote me no heretic-burning frog Puritans, please. Some authority on “weird”, that one.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 4, 2018, 4:17 am

      lenny: “Does the right of return apply to each individual only who left in 1947 …”

      No, it also applies to the 95% individuals which didn’t flee but were expelled.

      lenny: “or does it also apply to that individuals subsequent family members.say 10 generations from 1947.

      It applies to everyone who has refugee status. This status is transfered to descendants based on the principle of familiy unification, whether under UNWRA or UNHCR. How many generations? Technically as many as these Apartheid state has to prolong this crime against humanity.

      lenny: “Why i ask is because i can trace my family surname back to king david ….”

      Which proves what exactly? That Jews can’t change their surnames to ancient Hebrew names? For example Netanyahu or Ben Gurion?

      “…and i wonder if i would be entitled to “ROR” not as a jew but as an israelite.”

      Which Jews or Israelies have refugee status?

  6. lenny
    lenny
    August 3, 2018, 11:42 pm

    I read this on the zionist entities hasbara organ today.right of return or rort of return.which is it mister

    It also accuses UNRWA of helping to perpetuate the Palestinian narrative of Israel’s illegitimacy by uniquely granting refugee status to the descendants of refugees, even when they are born in other countries and have citizenship there, conditions that do not apply to the refugees cared for by the UN’s main refugee agency, UNHCR, which cares for all other refugees worldwide. The population of Palestinian refugees thus grows each year, even as other refugee populations in the world shrink with each passing generation.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 4, 2018, 4:28 am

      lenny: “I read this on the zionist entities hasbara organ today.”

      Must have been an accident. Why should anybody who isn’t dishonest or stupid do that, right?

      This article deals with all the myths in your comment:
      Exploding the myths: UNRWA, UNHCR and the Palestine refugees
      https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/features/exploding-myths-unrwa-unhcr-and-palestine-refugees

      And btw. Do you really believe that nobody sees through your pathetic attempt to deligitimate Palestinians rights, because you support their violation?

  7. lenny
    lenny
    August 4, 2018, 10:37 am

    Talkback

    No I do not really believe anything of the sort because my opinion is worthless in the grand scheme of things.a sparrows fart as they say.obviously you disagree with the present us administration’s attempt to strike a deal.I still would like to know what the status of refugees who have become citizens of another country is.do they have a right of return.your comments about my dishonesty says more about you than me.
    I firmly believe that UNRWA has never been given a mandate by the UN General Assembly to resettle refugees contrary to what you would want me to believe.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 5, 2018, 4:24 am

      lenny: “obviously you disagree with the present us administration’s attempt to strike a deal.”

      What you consider to be a “deal” is what Israel considers to be a “peace offer”: The denial of Palestininian rights and a post facto legitimation to violate them.

      lenny: “I still would like to know what the status of refugees who have become citizens of another country is. do they have a right of return.”

      It is their internationally recognized refugee status that gives them the right to return.

      lenny: “your comments about my dishonesty says more about you than me.”

      ROFL. I will come back to this after some more comments from you. Mark my words.

      lenny: “I firmly believe that UNRWA has never been given a mandate by the UN General Assembly to resettle refugees contrary to what you would want me to believe.”

      I never claimed that it would have such a mandate. But how would you know about UNRWA’s mandate if you pretend not to know much? Like I said before. Mark my words.

      And btw. It is Israel’s responsibility to allow them to return. Believe it or not Neither Jews have the right to expell others.

      • lenny
        lenny
        August 5, 2018, 6:06 pm

        Mark my words i looked it up on wikipedia.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 6, 2018, 9:22 am

        looked it up on wikipedia.

        Of course he went to Ziopedia, where else?

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 6, 2018, 5:32 am

      lenny “Mark my words i looked it up on wikipedia.”

      Exactly. You only pretended that it was something you just “firmly believe”. The game your are playing is so see through, lenny, playing the innocent, unbiased and uninformed commenter who has no hasbara agenda at all. ROFL. Don’t waste your time.

  8. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 4, 2018, 11:07 am

    Juan Cole describes it more concisely:

    “According to Foreign Policy, Kushner has bought into a theory that Palestinian identity, and Palestinian desire to return home to what is now Israel, have been artificially kept alive because millions of Palestinians are recognized by the UN as refugees. And the UN Relief and Works Agency provides schooling, vocational training, and sometimes makeshift housing to these families that the Israelis forced into tents in the wilderness. So if you wanted to wipe Palestine off the map, you’d want to decertify the Palestinians as refugees and destroy UNRWA.

    Without that infrastructure, the spoiled rich bigot Kushner thinks, why the Palestinians will fade away and stop asking to go home.

    https://www.juancole.com/2018/08/millions-displaced-palestinians.html

  9. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    August 4, 2018, 1:04 pm

    @lenny
    “Why i ask is because i can trace my family surname back to king david and i wonder if i would be entitled to “ROR” not as a jew but as an israelite”

    So you are a descendant of King David Smith. Wow !

  10. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    August 4, 2018, 3:19 pm

    I don’t mean to complain, BUT that photo of Netanyahu and Trump amongst the glittering, gilded, faux, Louis IV interior of Trump’s ‘deluxe penthouse in the sky’ really makes me want to hurl!
    Now, where did I put that damn barf bag?

  11. Marnie
    Marnie
    August 6, 2018, 2:06 am

    THIS JUST IN (AS OF AUGUST 4, 2018)

    News in Brief

    Israel Passes Law Cementing Itself As Exclusive Nation-State Of Benjamin Netanyahu

    Thursday 12:06pm
    •SEE MORE: Benjamin Netanyahu

    “JERUSALEM—In what is being regarded internationally as a powerful declaration of national purpose, Israel passed a binding resolution Thursday cementing itself as the exclusive nation-state of Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel was created by and for Benjamin Netanyahu, and as a homeland for the Netanyahuan people,” said Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, noting that the land of Israel is regarded as the ancestral homeland of Netanyahu and thus should be administered solely at his discretion. “Today’s vote reaffirms our commitment to protecting Bibi’s privileged status as the preeminent population of Israel. We recognize that this country was formed to be a Netanyahu state and will remain so in perpetuity. Furthermore, as our very existence depends upon the establishment of one Netanyahu, undivided, a unified Jerusalem must always be the capital of Netanyahu.” Edelstein added that the resolution authorizes Israel to continue annexing Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank as well as the construction of Netanyahu-only settlements.”

    Next week, united states will be formally recognized as tRUMPWORLD.

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