In the discussion thread: Peter Beinart: Obama Betrayed Ideals on Israel (excellent read) [View all]
Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #42)
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:23 AM
shira (24,988 posts)
49. Those numbers are still vague due to a renewable right...
Now you've found a paper from Saeb Erekat during Netanyahu's term in December 2009, about a year after OCL and well after Olmert.
Ben Dror Yemini took this one on...
There are two problems with this document. Firstly, the document is directed at the Europeans, when Netanyahu was already in power, in order to present the Palestinians as moderates. And secondly, the document contains a land mine which deals with a renewable right. And thirdly, in all the documents, at the relevant time during the negotiations, it is made clear in no uncertain terms that the right of return is a personal right ‘which is not subject to any negotiation whatsoever’, and in other documents the Palestinians even try to define the ‘absorption ability’ of Israel in a scientific manner, reaching a number of 1,016,511 refugees. Some display of moderateness.”
Even if 150,000 was the number used, this renewable right leaves the door open for more. It's not a set number. All individual Palestinians have this right. Not just the first 150,000 who are lucky.
There's also this...
The memo then offered the following recommendation:
“Only specify the formula by which an agreed solution will be achieved in
the Treaty. This approach is obviously the best political strategic
option for the Palestinians, as it does not require relinquishing the
option of return for millions of Palestinians, but it is also the most
practical approach.” (Id.) (emphasis added).
This vagueness with regard to the actual number of refugees that would “return” to Israel under a
final status agreement appears to have been operative in a March 24, 2009 “President Abbas Meeting
with the Negotiations Support Unit.” In the memo memorializing that meeting, Abbas is shown to
have held the Arab Peace Initiative (“API”) up as the basis for the solution for refugees. He explains
that with regard to refugees, the API does not specify a number:
Also, many people either understate or exaggerate the article on
refugees: either say it is not enough, or interpret it to mean that 5
million refugees will return. Neither is correct. The language is correct
in stating “just and agreed upon.”
Abbas leaves the door wide open. The numbers are still vague.
President Abbas goes on to explain that in his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
“on refugees” he did not specify a number, but rather:
we said some but not all would return to what is now Israel. (Id.)
Again, this is in March 2009, from Abbas, months into Obama and Netanyahu's term.
Abbas is then quoted as explaining to the NSU that any agreement would be subject to a referendum
that would include all Palestinians in the diaspora, “not only those in the West Bank and Gaza” (id.)
On numbers of refugees, it is illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million, or
indeed 1 million that would mean the end of Israel. (Id.)
Given the Palestinian interpretation of the API (see Section I(B), supra), this seems consistent with
the strategy outlined in the March 19, 2008 memo of “Only specifying the formula by which an
agreed solution will be achieved . . . . while not require relinquishing the option of return for
millions of Palestinians” http://transparency.aljazeera.net/en/document/2364.
The PLO is playing games.
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|Ken Burch||Mar 2012||#51|
|Ken Burch||Mar 2012||#53|
|Ken Burch||Mar 2012||#54|
|Ken Burch||Mar 2012||#52|
Those numbers are still vague due to a renewable right...
|Ken Burch||Mar 2012||#55|
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