[Marxism] No right of return [the case of the invisible Zionists]

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au
Thu Apr 15 02:32:31 MDT 2004

>From Al-Jazeerah. Do left-Zionists accept this UN resolution that is
reaffirmed every year?

The right of return

By Abdul-Ilah As-Saadi

Tuesday 09 December 2003, 14:32 Makka Time, 11:32 GMT

The question of Palestinian refugees has been one of the core issues facing
negotiators in the Middle East peace process.

Back in 1948 the UN passed a now famous resolution, Resolution 194, which

"The 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."

It went on in detail to confirm the basic rights of these refugees - to
receive compensation for the loss of their property and assistance in
resettling in a host country should they choose to do so.

The first UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, said in one of his
reports that homes and villages had been destroyed "without apparent
military necessity". He went on to add: "No settlement can be just and
complete if recognition is not accorded to the right of the Arab refugee to
return to the home from which he has been dislodged."

But it was Bernadotte's account that led largely to the UN adopting
resolution 194. Bernadotte was assassinated by the Haganah in 1948 in
revenge for his work.

The rights of those Palestinians seeking refuge from later conflicts have
also been enshrined in further UN resolutions (Security Council resolution
237, in 1967, and in UNGA resolution 3236, in 1974).

Palestinians can find their right of return enshrined in international law,
too (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva
Convention). Refugees have the right to return to their homes, receive
property restitution and compensation for losses and damage.

It has become traditional and symbolic as a powerful message to Israel that
every year the UN reaffirms Resolution 194.

As far back as 1948 Israel made a promise to repatriate 100,000
Palestinians - but it was a broken promise. Though admitted into the UN on
the condition that it implemented the resolution, Israel continues to refuse
to allow refugees back. Even in the face of compelling historical evidence
from Arab and Israeli historians, Tel Aviv still denies its responsibility
for them.


It has been argued that Resolution 194 is ambiguous, but subsequent
resolutions affirm that Palestinian repatriation is a matter of right.
Resolution 3236 refers to the: "Inalienable right of the Palestinians to
return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and


However, research shows that 77% of Israel's Jews live in only 15% of
Israel's area.


Including the refugees in finding a mechanism to implement their basic
rights, as part of the peace process, is crucial yet has been avoided in the
countless round tables on the Middle East. An imposed settlement that does
not deal with the right of return will not end the conflict or lead to a
durable peace.

Refugee representatives maintain that their community accepts the right of
Israel to exist and its desire to live in peace with its neighbours and does
not wish to destroy them.


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