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Reply #29: Legally, there's no answer to this one. [View All]

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Shaktimaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-02-08 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Legally, there's no answer to this one.
There are two sides, one which you outlined. The opposing view holds that Art. 13 applies to those returning to their own country, not necessarily those who lived or owned land in an area before the country was established. The Palestinians were never citizens of Israel, thus they do not have the right to return.

There are other complications as well. Take Arafat for example. He was born and raised in Cairo to Palestinian parents. He lived in Palestine for a total of four years during his youth, with his mother's family, before returning to Egypt, many years before the nakba. Clearly Arafat identified himself as Palestinian. But he was an egyptian citizen and didn't spend much time in Palestine himself. Should those four years he spent there, or his Palestinian lineage qualify him as able to claim a right of return under article 13, whereby Palestine, and not Egypt, is "his country?"

Regardless of how we might interpret this article, or other similar ones, I think the strongest legal evidence against right of return would be precedent. There are no examples of refugees having acted previously on any universal right of return. If it would apply to the Palestinians then it would certainly also have to apply to the Jews expelled from Arab states, which no one is arguing for. It would have to apply universally, not just to Palestinians. I think it becomes difficult to argue in favor of a right's existence when no precedent exists of a people having ever exercised it beforehand... or are seen as having that right today, excepting this single group.
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