The ‘Right of Return’ Is No Bargaining Chip

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And in what position would Israel then find itself, confronted with this bleak reality after having signed an “historic” peace agreement with the Palestinians—ceding land in exchange for the Palestinian willingness to forgo the ephemeral and politically concocted “right of return”?

The indefensible 1967 borders.

There is only one answer to the Palestinian “refugee” problem: to explain to the world—and especially to the Palestinians themselves—that there is no such thing as a Palestinian refugee; that the title refugee is not hereditary, and, as such, does not apply to fourth-generation Palestinian descendants.

And what of the need to resettle these pseudo-refugees? The fact of the matter is that they do not need to be resettled at all, but rather accepted into their existing societies—their home countries—the likes of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Furthermore, in the context of a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, which will purportedly bring peace to the Middle East, a country like Saudi Arabia, for example, with its vast oil wealth, should be made to contribute to the emerging ‘utopia’ by extending citizenship to the approximately 500,000 Palestinians residing therein, and not continue to hold them “hostage,” utilizing them as political weapons against the Jewish State. Then, in the not-so-distant future, once “Palestine” develops into the flourishing democracy the West alleges it will become, “displaced” Palestinians could be given the option to “return” to Palestine in well-coordinated, orderly waves of immigration. This would not be unlike the process that allowed for some one million Jewish refugees to be successfully integrated into nascent Israel following their expulsion from nearly every Middle-Eastern Arab country.

This proposition constitutes a practical solution to an unfortunate and seemingly impossible situation. However, until such time that this truth is overtly conveyed by the Israeli government, and subsequently widely internalized, Israel might as well begin constructing a real Iron Dome to surround the country, in order to protect the Jewish State against future assaults on its territorial sovereignty carried out by those whose aim is to “return” to a land to which they have absolutely no claim.

Charles Bybelezer is publications chairman at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. He can be reached at www.isranet.org.

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  • Yitzhak Moshe

    A more sensible proposal would be the "return" of the "refugees" to those portions of Israel which might be transferred to palestine for portions of the west bank that are transferred to Israel. In that way, they would be able to say that they returned.
    The west bank could in fact make a viable country, if only the citizens would concentrate on nation building rather than revenge. In any case the "refugees" would be a greater danger inside Israel than outside.

  • Brian GC

    Excellent analysis, but only to friends of Israel.
    To those who have been taught to hate Israel it will have no effect except to increase hatred for all who support the Jews.
    For those in the west who hate Israel it will be counted, not as truth, but Zionist propaganda.
    Israel will never do anything right in the eyes of these people unless she lies down and dies.
    That is not going to happen, so it is inevitable we will see MAJOR conflict there sometime soon. I would suggest keeping an eye on the rise of Muslim Brotherhood power politics.

  • Philippe

    A very good analysis,indeed. If at least Dr Salam Fayyad or other people like him were in charge there – intelligent, pragmatic, and not filled with hatred.
    Perhaps, another possibility for Palestinians might be to consider a West Bank – Jordan federation, since very many Palestinians now live in Jordan. Obviously, the king would not like this, but Palestinian majority may decide it's time for him to go too.