Sunday, February 13, 2005


Primer on the Right of Return

There are many documents on Internet about the Right of Return, and while looking for a comprehensive primer that would be helpful to the general public, I found this very valid document by MADRE, a human rights organisation which has its focus on women's and family issues. It sums up the major points and is highly recommended.
Overview on the Right of Return. Here are the topic headers, under which can be found very well articulated responses.

Some Common Questions About Palestinian Refugees:
What are the origins of the refugee crisis?
Who are the Palestinian refugees? How many are there?
What is the legal basis for the right of return?
Hasn’t the Middle East peace process supplanted old laws and resolutions?
Why can’t the refugees settle in the countries where they now reside?
Why can’t the refugees settle in a newly independent Palestinian state?
Are refugees willing to live under Israeli sovereignty?
Would all the refugees return if they were able?
Are Palestinian and Israeli needs irreconcilable?
Refugees in the Host Countries
International Instruments Supporting the Right of Return and Compensation
International instruments supporting the right of return
International instruments that support the right to compensation
Cases in which the return of refugees and restitution have been granted
Israeli and Palestinian Negotiating Positions Regarding Refugees
What is Israel willing to offer the refugees?
What is the position of the Palestinian leadership?
What does the international community say about the right of return?
What does the international community say about the right to compensation?
Why are Palestinians being treated differently than other refugees?
A Definition of Zionism
The Jewish debate over Zionism
A Look at Israel's Opposition to the Palestinian Right of Return
What are the main Israeli arguments against the right of return?
Is Israel responsible for the refugees?
What is the "population exchange" argument?
Is it physically possible for the refugees to be absorbed by Israel?
Would a Palestinian return lead to attacks on Israelis?
Would absorbing the refugees endanger the existence of Israel?
Some "Big Picture" Solutions
The two-state solution
Is the two-state solution a viable option?
The Israeli doctrine of "separation"
What alternatives are proposed by progressives who criticize the two-state and separation models?
How much currency do these ideas have?
What is MADRE's Position?
Thawing the impasse over the right of return
On implementing the right of return
MADRE’s support for local activists


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