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Right of return - an idea that can’t be implemented

Right of return - an idea that can't be implemented

"It is patently obvious that uprooting the descendents of the refugees from their current homes in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and other countries, and returning them to Israel, to the West Bank, and to Gaza is a utopian ideal and [a recipe for] anarchy. More than that - it is an idea that cannot be implemented, not only because it will upset the demographic [balance] in a dangerous and destructive manner, and will have [far-reaching] political, economic and social ramifications in such a small and constrained geographical area, but [mainly] because the return [of the refugees] stands in blatant contradiction to Israel's right as a sovereign [state], while the Palestinian Authority lacks the infrastructure to absorb such a large number of immigrants as long as the peace process... is not at its peak..."

The Refugee Problem is the Result of Mistakes By the Host Countries

"Clearly, the refugee problem is mainly the result of cumulative mistakes made by the countries where [the refugees] live... such as Syria and Lebanon, which have isolated the refugees in poor and shabby camps lacking the most basic conditions for a dignified human existence. Instead of helping them to become fully integrated in their new society, they let them become victims of isolation and suffering... Later, the worst of all happened when Arab intelligence agencies used the Palestinian organizations as a tool for settling scores in internal Arab conflicts that probably have nothing to do with the Palestinians...

"The Israelis, on the other hand, were civilized and humane in their treatment of the thousands of Jewish refugees who had lost their property, homes and businesses in the Arab countries, and who were forced to emigrate to Israel after the 1948 war. The Israeli government received them, helped them, and provided them with all the conditions [they needed] to become integrated in their new society...

"The lies of the Syrian Ba'th regime, and its trading in slogans like 'right of return,' 'steadfastness,' 'resistance,' 'national struggle,' and all the other ridiculous [slogans], are evident from the fact that, to this day, dozens of Palestinian families [remain] stranded in the desert on the Syrian-Iraqi border, because the Syrian regime refuses to let them enter its horrifying Ba'th republic and return to the Yarmouk [refugee] camp.

"The Arab countries where the Palestinians live in refugee camps must pass the laws necessary to integrate the inhabitants of these camps into society. [In addition, they must] provide them with education and health services, and allow them freedom of occupation and movement and the right to own real estate, instead of [continuing] their policy of excluding [the refugees] and leaving the responsibility [of caring for them] to others, while marketing the impossible illusion of return [to Palestine]..." [1]

The Refugees Don't Need Another 60 Years of Misery

In the second article, published March 16, 2007 and titled "Naturalization is the Solution," Al-Sweidan wrote: "There is no doubt that the Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon - who have for many long years been fed by their Arab hosts on impossible dreams and on shiny promises that were soon broken - do not need another 60 years of misery, wretchedness and suffering... in order to figure out for the thousandth time that all the talk about the 'bridge of return' is [nothing but] nonsense and deceit - a fairytale that exists only in the old, worn-out demagogy of the Arab propaganda...

"In reality, there is no 'bridge [of return]'... except for the bridge that we now must pass... called the peace process and normalization of relations between the Arabs and Israel. Undoubtedly, the Arabs cannot continue to avoid the implementation [of the peace process], which brooks no further delay. [Any delay] will have a heavy price for the Arab societies in the present and in the future, considering the sharp strategic changes [occurring] in the Middle East. [These changes] demand an immediate and final solution to the Arab-Israeli conflicts, and [require] the two sides to direct their joint energies and efforts towards confronting the Iranian nuclear threat which imperils us all."


The Inevitable Solution is to Naturalize the Refugees in the Host Countries

"As the Middle East peace process gains momentum, and as the regional and international forces remain committed to the need to resolve this [conflict]... there is a growing necessity for a realistic, unavoidable and bold decision that will provide a just solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees by naturalizing them in the host countries, such as Syria, Lebanon, and other countries.

"Even though this is a humanitarian [project], it requires intensive efforts on the legislative, economic, logistic, and administrative levels, in order to integrate the Palestinians organically into the social, economic and political fabric of the Arab societies...

"By every conceivable and accepted criterion, naturalizing the refugees [in the Arab countries] is the inevitable solution to [this] chronic humanitarian problem. The fact that [this solution] constitutes an important part of the overall peace process and of the historic reconciliation between the Arabs and the Israelis will help to reinforce [the naturalization process] and to perpetuate it." [2]

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Tahira, I can excuse you your spelling but not your distortion of the history of the tiny piece of land now known as Israel. I wonder how you feel about the 800,000 Jews forced out of many arab countries after 1948. They had lived in these countries for centuries and left behind businesses and homes synagogues and cemetries. They went to Israel and other places and got on with their lives. They educated themselves and their children, got new homes, made new businesses etc. They too are entitled to compensation. The palestinians on the other hand have lived for the past 60 years in a fantasy world of victimhood, dependent on world contributions for support, plotting how to get rid of the Jews and dreaming and whingeing about returning to their "homes" which they may or may not ever have had. If they had invested the 60 years of money time and energy in useful and productive pursuits, imagine how much better their lives would now be. Their arab brother countries must also take responsibility for keeping this false fantasy alive and festering.

Posted by franita on 2007-04-30 08:38:16 GMT

Artical is actually spelt article...and the story you tell is also inaccurate Tahira...look for facts not propaganda and you will find that history belies your version of reality!

Posted by Ronit on 2007-04-29 22:25:01 GMT

While i agree that not all the Palestinians can go back nothing is said in the artical bout compensation for the homes and propety stolen from them by the terroist zionist who stole their homes and property. It is quite amazing that a peoples which had known persecution and ghettos should then go another country and inflict the same treatment on to people who had nothing to do with it. As for his history he has it back to front It was the Arabs that let the jews in only to be pushed out by them. the Jewish propaganda machine grindes on

Posted by Tahira on 2007-04-29 19:38:51 GMT

As a part of an ''over all' Palestinian /Israelie settlement the Arab world could give citizenship too all Palestinians living in the Arab world? Or could it be no body wants them?

Posted by Michael on 2007-04-29 11:07:20 GMT

Isn't it a shame that wise words emanating from the few brave souls in the Arab world don't have the same backing and popular appeal as the spread of fundamentalism and jihad.

Posted by franita on 2007-04-28 01:20:46 GMT

The Right of return is not a right to either Arabs or Jews who left the Arab world. The only right that we must encourage is a two state solution and Israel's right to to live in peace as a Jewish State. Those who speak about the right of return are not serious about peace with Israel.

Posted by Nonie Darwish on 2007-04-27 16:07:45 GMT

The article you have sent is known to me. IT is certianly outstanding in its refreshing tone and innovation in the Arab world. It is also very courageous, because in Syria or in Jordan it could not be published, and elsewhere in the Arab world it could cause the assassination of the author. I do recommend to use it and disseminate it as a lone, courageous statement that would hopefully be followed by others.

Posted by RI on 2007-04-27 04:25:07 GMT

amazing.who is this guy and his paper.has this view any official bacikng in kuwait or saudi this part of the saudi peace plan option

Posted by michael k on 2007-04-27 03:32:54 GMT

Good common sense really isn't it?

Posted by Ronit on 2007-04-27 03:30:49 GMT