Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Right of Return

Reuters reports that the top candidate for Chairman of the PA insists the "right of return" is not negotiable.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian presidential favorite Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Tuesday never to give up the late Yasser Arafat's bedrock demand that Israel recognize a "right of return" of Palestinian refugees.

The issue was a key factor in the collapse of peace talks in 2000. President Bush last April publicly embraced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's position that refugees be allowed into any new Palestinian state but not into Israel.

"We promise that we will not rest until the right of return of our people is achieved and the tragedy of our diaspora ends," Abbas told a session of parliament held to mourn Arafat, who died of an undisclosed illness in France on Nov. 11.
I guess this means eternal war. Or as long as they can keep it going. There is not going to be peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis for a very long time. In fact such a stance is almost official.
In Beirut on Tuesday, Farouk Kaddoumi, a senior hard-liner who co-founded Fatah with Arafat in 1959 and has replaced him as its secretary-general, said Palestinians could not realize their aspirations unless they kept fighting Israel.

"We cannot achieve goals except through continued resistance by all routes and means," said Kaddoumi in remarks at an Arafat memorial rite in Beirut likely to please militant groups.

Kaddoumi rejected 1993 interim peace deals with Israel co-authored by Abbas and Qurie that gave Palestinians limited self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza, and he did not return with them and Arafat from exile a year later.
The war will grind on. Mostly grinding the Palestinians.

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