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Forum Post: Palestinians have the legal right to return to their homes.

Posted 8 years ago on March 14, 2012, 3:25 p.m. EST by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY
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Article 11 - Palestinian Refugees

The main Article of Resolution 194, for the purpose of this article, is Article 11 which deals with the return of refugees.

Article 11 of the resolution reads:

(The General Assembly) Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

Supporters of the right of return assert it partly based on the following sources:

Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. -Article 13(2), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948).[4][51]

The Geneva Conventions of 1949.[51]

The General Assembly, Having considered further the situation in Palestine ... Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." -UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (11 December 1948)[52]

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236 which "reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return".[53]

Resolution 242 from the UN affirms the necessity for "achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem."[54][55]

Supporters of the Palestinian right of return maintain that "the right of return for the 1948 Palestinian refugees still exists according to international law. It exists despite the language of the Oslo agreements, insufficient as they are in this regard, and despite the position of the current Israeli government. Palestinian refugees should be free to seek their right to repatriation, regardless of what the PLO acquiesces to, so long as UN Resolution 194 remains in force".[56]

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country. -Article 12, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (23 March 1976).[57]

According to Akram[58] although the status of Palestinian nationals/citizens after the creation of the State of Israel has been much debated, established principles of state succession,[59] human rights and humanitarian law confirm that the denationalization of Palestinians was illegal and that they retain the right to return to their places of origin.

The author states that denationalization of Palestinians was illegal, because when denationalization is based on race or ethnic origin, it is a violation of the general principles of nondiscrimination in customary international law, as well as of Articles 1 and 16 of the ICCPR, 999 UNTS 173, 19 December 1966, and Article 5.d.ii of the CERD, 660 UNTS 221, 7 March 1966. According to Akram, humanitarian law is breached because its principles prohibit transferring civilian populations under the control of an occupier and require return of those expelled. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, have explicit provisions affirming the right of return to persons forced from their homes by hostilities. For example the "Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva IV) of 1949," 75 UNTS 31, 12 August 1949.

Akram states that since 1948, the principles of the internationally binding right of return have been strengthened by their inclusion in numerous treaties, many of which bind Israel as a signatory. The right of return is expressly recognized in most international human rights instruments, including, Article 13.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); Article 12.4 of the ICCPR; Article 5.d.ii of the CERD, 7 March 1966; Article VIII of the American Declaration of the Rights of Man, Organization of American States (OAS), Res. XXX, OAS Official Records, OEA ser. L/w/I.4 (1965), Article 22.5 of the American Convention on Human Rights, 1144 UNTS 123, 22 November 1969; Article 12.2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1981, 21 ILM 59, 1982; and Article 3.2 of Protocol 4 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 213 UNTS 221, 1950.

Akram claims that after 1969, the UN General Assembly, partly in response to new Arab and PLO priorities, shifted its perspective to acknowledge the Palestinians as a people having rights under the UN charter (see, for example, the first paragraph of UNGA Res. 2535B of 10 December 1969, UN GAOR, 24th Sess., Supp. No. 30 at 25, UN Doc. A/8730 (1970). The author considers that recognition of the Palestinians' juridical status has been affirmed by all subsequent UN resolutions on the subject (see, for example, UNGA Res. 2672C, UN GAOR, 25th Sess., Supp. No. 28 at 36, UN Doc. A/8028; UNGA Res. 3210, UN GAOR, 24th Sess., Supp. No. 30 at 25, UN Doc. A/8730, 1970; UNGA Res. 3236, UN GAOR, 29th Sess., Supp. No. 31 at 4, UN Doc. A/9631).

Many Palestinians argue that they have an inherent right of return to land which they or their ancestors had owned or resided in previous to the establishment of the state of Israel, and that they must therefore be given full Israeli citizenship under the terms of any future peace agreement. They question the legality of Israeli control over these lands, and point out the necessity of said lands for their proper livelihood. UN General Assembly Resolution 194 supports this argument, and resolved that Israel should permit "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors" to do so. Israel agreed under the terms of its admittance into the UN to abide by the terms of this resolution. Therefore, some have made the case that Israel is bound under international law to accept a full Palestinian right of return.[60] On March 15, 2000, a group of 100 prominent Palestinians from around the world expressed their opinion that the right of return is individual, rather than collective, and that it cannot therefore be reduced or forfeited by any representation on behalf of the Palestinians in any agreement or treaty. They argued that the right to property "cannot be extinguished by new sovereignty or occupation and does not have a statute of limitation," and asserted that "it is according to this principle that the European Jews claimed successfully the restitution of their lost property in World War II."



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[-] 3 points by gmxusa (274) 8 years ago

Lee Whitnum, Senate candidate for Connecticut, wants to stop this madness against the Palestinians and prosecute dual citizen American/Israeli settlers that promote violence.


[-] 3 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

I have read the link you have here, http://www.leewhitnum.com/Contact.html While I don't agree with some of Lee Whitnum's positions, it's good to see a candidate who challenges the Israel Lobby. Thanks.

[-] 2 points by nikilister (109) 8 years ago

It's amazing that in US if you go to someone's home without permission and get shot and die it's your mistake while in Palestine a Jew can go and shoot a Palestinian and his family in his home and be rewarded with land that belongs to the Palestinian.

American justice at work.

[-] -2 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 8 years ago

Uhhhh...what does American justice have to do with this?

[-] 1 points by nikilister (109) 8 years ago

you tell me

[-] 1 points by jordankratz (33) from Portland, ME 8 years ago

Palestinian People do not exist.They are a lie.And they also support terrorism and suicide bomb them self on Israelis & on tourists killing tourists from the USA. They have been shooting rockets off into Israel and they should consider themselves lucky Israel shows restraint.Israel could bomb their whole Gaza into desert sand and turn their Gaza into a giant parking lot but Israel is not like the scumbag terrorists.Israel is a foreign Nation surrounded by Enemies.They are also the only Country that has Western Roots surrounded by Islamic Nations that this thread supports.Nations where women are routinely abused.Islamic Nations where you have no Rights. I do not support any terrorists.And I do not agree with this story.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

The people of Gaza live in the world's largest open air prison and are bombed and murdered by Israeli drone aircraft. In that situation you'd try to respond too, even though the home made rockets the Gazans have are quite feeble.


Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in the summer of 2005, ending a nearly 40-year presence in a territory its forces occupied in the 1967 Middle East War. In 2006 Hamas gunmen captured the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit just outside Gaza’s fortified boundary, and since then, Israel has stepped up military operations and aerial surveillance in the strip.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights says 825 people have been killed by drones in Gaza since the capture of Shalit, who was released in October. Most of those killed, according to the organization, have been civilians mistakenly targeted or caught in the deadly shrapnel shower of a drone strike. By comparison, the New America Foundation says U.S. drones have killed at least 1,807 militants and civilians in Pakistan since 2006.

In Gaza, lives shaped by drones

View Photo Gallery —  Israel’s close-quarters conflict with Palestinians in the relatively accessible Gaza Strip offers a vivid view of the remote-controlled combat, and of the lives of those affected by these tools of modern war.

Text Size PrintE-mailReprints The Israeli military says it works hard to distinguish between militants and civilians, but that the task is made harder because many of those who fire rockets from Gaza operate amid the fields and houses of residential neighborhoods.

Since 2006, Palestinian rocket fire has killed 16 Israelis, the vast majority of them civilians, including 56-year-old Moshe Ami, who died in a late October rocket strike on the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon. As the Palestinian rocket arsenal improves, more Israeli cities, from the border town of Sderot to the southern suburbs of Tel Aviv, are sharing Gazans’ everyday fear of attack from the sky.



[-] 0 points by Secretariat (33) 8 years ago

""NATO is staging "Massacre of Christians in Syria by Muslims", by bringing Al Qaida and other radical Islamists to Syria, in order to initiate a war, where they can nuke Iran, give a lesson to rising China, control Middle East oil resources, and allow some people to print as much money as they wish by using petrodollars, so they can control the society and the world through their wealth and power. This will also allow capitalism to continue by breaking the Eastern and the Socialist spirituality which is growing around the world and which is the biggest threat to capitalist ruling elite. ""

[-] -1 points by bensdad (8977) 8 years ago

The Palestinian people do not exist

A provocative headline? It’s more than that. It is the truth. Truth does not change. Truth is truth. If something was true 50 years ago, 40 years ago, 30 years ago, it is still true today.And the truth is that only 30 years ago, there was very little confusion on this issue of Palestine.
You might remember the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir making the bold political statement:
“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people.” She also said ”When they love their children more than they hate us, we will all have peace”. The statement has been a source of ridicule and derision by Arab propagandists ever since. They love to talk about Golda Meir’s “racism.” They love to suggest she was in historical denial. They love to say her statement is patently false – an intentional lie, a strategic deception. What they don’t like to talk about, however, are the very similar statements made by Yasser Arafat and his inner circle of political leadership years after Meir had told the truth –
that there is no distinct Palestinian cultural or national identity.
So, despite the fact that “conventional wisdom” has now proclaimed that there is such a thing as the Palestinian people, I’m going to raise those uncomfortable quotations made by Arafat and his henchmen when their public-relations guard was down.
On March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with
Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein.

”The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.
Muhsein continued “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? It’s even more specific than Golda Meir’s statement. It reaffirms what others have written on this subject. And it is hardly the only such statement of its kind. Arafat himself made a very definitive and unequivocal statement along these lines as late as 1993.
It proved conclusively that the Palestinian nationhood argument is the real strategic deception – one geared to set up the destruction of Israel.

On the same day Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn in 1993, Arafat said:
“Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.”

No matter how many people delude themselves that the aspirations for Palestinian statehood are genuine and the key to peace in the Middle East, they are still deceiving themselves. In the history of the world,
Palestine has never existed as a nation.
The region known as Palestine was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their ancestral homeland.
It was never ruled by Arabs as a separate nation.
Why now has it become such a critical priority?
The answer is because of a massive deception campaign and relentless terrorism over 40 years.
Golda Meir was telling the truth.
Her statement is validated by the truth of history and by the candid, but not widely circulated, pronouncements of Arafat and his lieutenants.
Israel and the West must not surrender to terrorism by granting the killers just what they want – a public relations triumph and a strategic victory. It’s not too late to say no to terrorism. It’s not too late to say no to another Arab terror state. It’s not too late to tell the truth about Palestine.
by Joseph Farah

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Keep dreaming, zionist chump.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 8 years ago

no dreams - just statements by the PLO or were they lying?

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Thanks, Newt - but get back on the election hustings, you're trailing again!


[-] -1 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 8 years ago

So why don't they return?

[-] -1 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 8 years ago

Ever consider that not everyone takes the U.N. seriously?

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Sure, rogue nations like Israel and the US only take international law seriously when it serves their interests, and of course "might makes right." Right?

[-] -2 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 8 years ago

International law is a joke. The UN is a joke. They are a toothless, wasteful bureaucracy. The only international law are treaties.

[-] 2 points by GildasSapiens (266) 8 years ago

Only mobsters, smugglers, pirates & terrorists regard International Law as a joke - which are you?

[-] -2 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 8 years ago

I'm none of those and I oppose everything about the UN but disaster relief.

[-] 2 points by GildasSapiens (266) 8 years ago

In other words, you just want aggressors like Israel & the USA to be free to wage wars & black ops that create catastrophes, then leave everybody else to clean up afterwards!

I.e. you're a terrorist!

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 8 years ago

And the UN stops those thing? Really? Are you that deluded?

[-] 0 points by po6059 (72) 8 years ago

the UN is about one world govt.

[-] -2 points by Dumpthechump (96) 8 years ago

Thank you for this vital and informative posting, 5440!

The question of Right of Return for Palestinians is somewhat different for those dispossessed in the West Bank and Gaza and those pushed out or killed by the Zionist Einsatzgrueppen in 1948.

Subsequent to 1948 - and also part of deliberate Zionist policy - there were major disturbances between Jewish inhabitants of Arab countries and the non-Jewish minority. For example, you had Saddam Hussein executing essentially innocent non-Zionist Jews, triggering a further exodus of Jews from Iraq following the many earlier disturbances that led to Jews fleeing from Iraq to Israel or elsewhere.

These innocent Middle Eastern Jews were not Zionists before 1948 - but they sure were and are afterwards, due both to Arab outrage misdirected at their own Jewish population and the deliberate Zionist policy.

This has been the major backward outcome of Western modernity - i.e. the affectation of the West (especially outside the USA) as being non-religious.

That is, the revival of religious bigotry, particularly through Judaeo-Christianity, an unprincipled and fundamentally hypocritical combination of two separate religions with the latter backing the former uncritically despite their own New Testament disparaging the Jews in the severest of terms!

Hence Palestinians do have to accept the right of ex-Arabic world Jews to live in Israel since they were turned into refugees like so many Palestinians.

Conversely, present-day Israel, i.e. Zionist State, refuses any right of Palestinian return, hence the continual worsening of conditions there. More importantly (apart from a very few limited issues) there are no local solutions for Palestinians - as the Chomsky Chumps would fantasize - unless by "local solutions" one includes starving to death!