This morning I noticed an interesting article on ZNet, entitled ‘Palestinian Diaspora Is Cause of Conflict’ by Gary Olson, ‘chair of the Political Science Department at
The plight of the refugees, some of whom have been living in squalid refugee camps for 58 years, is central to the issue of
Dear Professor Olson,
Thank you for raising the little discussed issue of the Nakba and the Palestinian diaspora, which I found at http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-07/30olson.cfm
In this context, it was a little surprising to read, ‘There are courageous and highly principled dissenters in
You go on to write, ‘The solution is to end the Israeli occupation and face up to the fundemental 1948 issues’. As I think the earlier paragraphs make abundantly clear, foremost among the fundamental 1948 issues is the refugees’ right of return. Israel has insisted that it can never countenance implementation of UN General Assembly resolution 194, much less just redress for the refugees, as it would eventuate in ‘national suicide’. I believe they intend this to be interpreted in terms of their mantra, widely internalized and assumed by the media, that ‘the Arabs want to drive all the Jews into the sea’. But at a more mundane level, what it means is that an influx of returning refugees and their descendants would undermine the project of establishing a Jewish majority, and this is one of the few areas where I concur with their view. I depart from them, however, in evaluating this prospect. Specifically, if justice for the refugees spells the end of a sectarian Jewish colonial settler state intended to act and in reality acting as a bastion of European imperialism in the
Clearly, among the steps that will inevitably form part of a lasting solution are those you specify, ‘Palestinian land occupied in 1967 must be relinquished, the Apartheid Wall dismantled, some 9,800 kidnapped Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails released, Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah must be freed’.
But you go on to write, ‘a fair division of
Regarding Jerusalem itself, even the 1947 partition resolution, a poorly thought out concept in principle and a downright atrocity in light of the disastrous partition of India just three months earlier, provided, ‘The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations.’ http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm That has always struck me as the most sensible aspect of 181 and probably remains a fairly good idea.In light of the consistent failure of international conferences, including the UNGA and the UNSC, to guarantee anything resembling equal rights for all, it’s not clear that the one proposed in your piece will contribute to a resolution.