"Right of Return" returned to sender

NY Times:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in interviews published Friday that Israel would not allow a single Palestinian refugee to return to what is now Israel, and that the country bore no responsibility for the refugees because their plight resulted from an attack by Arab nations on Israel when it was a fledgling state.

Of all the issues coloring Israel’s relationship with its neighbors, the fate of scattered Palestinians who lost their homes is among the most contentious.

This week, the nations of the Arab League revived a 2002 initiative offering Israel peace and acceptance as long as it withdraws to pre-1967 territorial boundaries, accepts an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, and agrees to a solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war and their descendants.

To most Palestinians, that means the right to return to their original homes inside Israel, but most Israelis fear that admitting large numbers of Palestinians would undermine the Jewish nature of the state.

Israeli officials say some Arab leaders acknowledge that their peace proposal can only be the basis for negotiation, and that a final peace will involve some flexibility on boundaries and refugees.

But while Mr. Olmert said there were positive elements in the Arab proposal, on the issue of refugees he suggested there was little room for compromise, the first time his government has made such an unequivocal statement on the issue. Unlike one of his predecessors, Ehud Barak, who negotiated with the Clinton administration about the possibility of even a symbolic return of some refugees to their prewar homes, Mr. Olmert said that he could not accept the return of even a single Palestinian refugee to Israel.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Mr. Olmert seemed to rule out any negotiation on refugees. He would not accept any notional Palestinian “right of return” to their homes, telling the newspaper: “I’ll never accept a solution that is based on their return to Israel, any number.”

The Arab states have never accepted responsibility for creating the refugees that they encouraged. They compounded this problem by making them dependent on the charity of others for nearly 60 years. These Arab states have created a beggar society of the Palestinians instead of assimilating them into their culture after encouraging them to leave. They now want to use the "right of return" as a conquest by stealth since they have been complete failures militarily. That is part of the population explosion strategy that has been subsidized by the UN.


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