UN Did Not Guarantee the Palestinians an Unconditional Right of Return

(Myths and Facts) Eli E. Hertz - Resolution 194, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 11, 1948, at the time of Israel's birth, certainly did not guarantee an unconditional "right of return" - that is, the right of Palestinian Arab refugees to return to Israel. Nor did it specifically mention Arab refugees, thereby indicating that the resolution was aimed at all refugees, both Jewish and Arab. Instead, Resolution 194 recommended that refugees be allowed to return to their homeland if they met two important conditions: 1. That they be willing to live in peace with their neighbors. 2. That the return takes place "at the earliest practicable date." The resolution also recommended that for those who did not wish to return, "Compensation should be paid for the property...and for loss of or damage to property" by the "governments or authorities responsible." It is important to note that the Arab states: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen, voted against Resolution 194. In addition, the fact that plural wording is used - "governments or authorities" - suggests that the burden of compensation does not fall solely upon one side of the conflict. Because seven Arab armies invaded Israel, Israel was not responsible for creating the refugee problem. When hundreds of thousands of Jews, under threat of death, attack and other forms of persecution, were forced to flee Arab communities, the State of Israel absorbed the overwhelming majority of them into the then-fledgling nation.

2010-09-24 09:38:25

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