The part of UNGA 194 that the Arabs ignore

October 23, 2011

…to not mention the Jewish refugees from Arab lands that were never economically reimbursed for their financial loss, is bad enough: but there is another layer of deceit: The Arabs obviously are ignoring the part that says some may be resettled in Arab countries. Obviously UNGA 194 has become a conceptual buffet to take what bullshit you want out of the context of an agreement. Few people have the time to looks up the UNGA 194 to see if the reference is relevant or not. Some denied correlatives look like an onion of lies.

(EOZ)Palestinian Arabs and their supporters never cease to point to UN General Assembly Resolution 194 as proof that there is a legal “right to return” for Palestinian Arab refugees of 1948 and their descendants. There are lots of arguments proving that this is invalid – not the least being that UNGA resolutions are not legally binding as well as the conditional nature of the text.
But, astoundingly,  the very same paragraph in UNGA 194 also demands the resettlement of Arab refugees in Arab states!
The part of 194 that is always quoted is this one:

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;

But the second clause of the same paragraph says this:

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;

The Conciliation Commission definitely interpreted this clause as meaning resettlement in Arab countries.
During the Paris Conference in 1951 (UN document A/1985), the Commission emphasized that taking the “return” portion of UNGA 194 in isolation is not what the resolution intended:

In the Chairman’s statement it was noted that experience had shown that concentration on one or the other isolated paragraph of the resolution out of context had not helped in the promotion of peace in Palestine. All the elements were necessary, but they were useful only if linked together according to an over-all plan. For example, the resolution instructed the Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and rehabilitation of refugees, and that instruction had not been forgotten by the Commission when it drafted the proposals for the conference.

And what was meant by “resettlement”?

The solution of the refugee problem proposed by the Commission envisaged the repatriation and integration of some of the refugees in Israel and the resettlement of others in Arab countries.

Keep in mind that Israel offered to accept a portion of the refugees at the time, in full compliance with the resolution, but in context of the other parts of the resolution that were necessary to ensure a full peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
So while it is true that UNGA 194 has no relevance today, those who insist that it is still the basis for the “right of return” need to explain why Arab states have been ignoring its other requirement, that Palestinian Arab refugees who desire to live in Arab countries be allowed to be resettled there.
Their failure to do so is yet another example of Arab hypocrisy.


Attorneys to Ban: Halt unilateral Palestinian statehood

May 27, 2011

Media_httpwwwjpostcom_zqbwxInt’l group of some 60 lawyers say UN resolution on statehood would be a violation of all past agreements between Israel, the Palestinians.

According to the attorneys, the legal basis for the establishment of the state by the League of Nations in 1922 affirmed its presence on territories that included Judea, Samaria, and what is now east Jerusalem. “This was subsequently affirmed by both houses of US Congress,” the attorneys stated. According to Article 80 of the UN Charter, the attorneys said, rights granted to all states or people by already existing international instruments – including those adopted by the League of Nations – remain valid. As a result, the attorneys said, the “650,000 Jews [who] presently reside in the areas of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, reside there legitimately.” The 1949 Armistice Agreement stated that these lines “are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines, or to claims of either Party relating thereto,” the attorneys said. Therefore, they said, “the 1967 borders” do not exist, and have never existed. Past resolutions have called for a negotiated solution to the conflict, the attorneys affirmed. Additionally, attempts to unilaterally change the status of the territory would be a breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the attorneys said. When the Palestinians agreed to the Oslo Accords, they knew that the settlements existed and would be one of the issues that would be negotiated during talks for a permanent-status arrangement, the attorneys said. The Olso Accords did not limit settlement activity, they added. via jpost.com


Obama wants to return Jews to Arab countries: Complete Ignorance of Resolution 194

May 26, 2011

How tone deaf can he get? President Obama has decided to take on the cause of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. He wants to give them a ‘right of return.’ Does he really think there will be any takers?

Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for communications and President Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter on foreign policy, talked about what’s known as the “Jewish right of return” during an off-the-record conference call with Jewish community leaders on May 20, only one day after Obama’s major speech on the Middle East. A recording of the call was provided to The Cable.
In response to a question asking why there is a great deal of focus on the Palestinian refugee issue but almost no focus on the Jews who departed Arab lands, Rhodes declared that the Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate on the Jewish right of return to Arab and Muslim countries and that the United States could play in role in mediating that issue.
Here’s the full exchange:
“While Palestinian refugees have concerns that are understandable and need to be dealt with in the peace process, there was no reference in the president’s speech to the approximately one million Jewish refugees that emerged from the same Middle East conflict. I’m talking about Jews from Arab and Muslim countries who were forced out of their homelands where they had lived for centuries,” said B’nai B’rith International Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Fusfield.
“The international community has never acknowledged their rights and their grievances,” Fusfield continued, “[C]an the U.S., as the peace process move forward, play a role in advancing the rights and concerns of these Jewish refugee groups and help ensure that as refugee issues are dealt with… that the focus will not just be on one refugee group but on all refugee groups emerging from the same conflict?”
Rhodes responded: “Certainly the U.S., in our role, is attuned to all the concerns on both sides to include interests among Israel and others in Jewish refugees, so it is something that would come up in the context of negotiations. And certainly, we believe that ultimately the parties themselves should negotiate this. We can introduce ideas, we can introduce parameters for potential negotiation.”
“We believe those types of issues that you alluded to could certainly be a part of that discussion and put on the table and it’s something that we would obviously be involved in.”

The extent to which the Obami don’t get it is truly appalling.
The issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries is raised for two reasons: First, in the hope of getting the descendants some compensation for having fled with only the clothes on their backs. And second, to show that what took place in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s was an exchange of populations that ought to be left alone.
But you can’t expect Obama to understand that. He just doesn’t care. via israelmatzav.blogspot.com

…A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948… Abu Mazen AKA Abbas

…here is the truth about Resolution 194

[Count Bernadotte‘s]  report also considered the possibility of resettlement outside Palestine, with those who chose not to return being adequately compensated for their lost property. “It must not… be supposed that the establishment of the right of refugees to return to their former homes provides a solution to the problem” the report read.

The Drafting History of 242 Shows it Pertains to all Refugees – Jewish and Arab

Resolution 242 speaks of “a just settlement of the refugee problem,” not ‘the Palestinian or Arab refugee problem.’ The history of the resolution shows that it was intentional and reflected recognition that the Arab-Israeli conflict created two refugee populations, not one. Parallel to the estimated 600,000 Arabs who left Israel, more than 899,000(12) Jews fled from Arab countries in the aftermath of the 1948 war – 650,000 of them finding asylum in Israel.
A history of the behind-the-scenes work drafting the resolution shows that the former Soviet Union Ambassador Vasiliy Vasilyevich Kuznetsov sought to restrict the term ‘just settlement’ to Palestinian refugees only. But former U.S. Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, the American Ambassador to the UN who played a key role in the ultimate language adopted, pointed out:

“A notable omission in 242 is any reference to Palestinians, a Palestinian state on the West Bank or the PLO. The resolution addresses the objective of ‘achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.’ This language presumably refers both to Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their homes as a result of the several wars.” via crethiplethi.com via Obama shows his ignorance of Resolution 194.

The point is not that Jews in the democratic state of Israel want to return to the repressive regimes inMuslim countries where they have the status of dhimmis. The point is that if the children and grandchildren of Arabs who left then-Palestine retain rights, then so too do the Jewish refugees as well. There are close to a million such refugees from Arab countries–and they deserve compensation for the land and property they lost.

In 2004, Jack Epstein wrote an article about what Jews forced out of their homes in Arab countries wanted:

Hat tip: JW via daledamos.blogspot.com

Last year, House Resolution 311 called on the international community to recognize Jewish refugees who “fled Arab countries because they faced a campaign of ethnic cleansing and were forced to leave behind land, private homes, personal effects, businesses, community assets and thousands of years of their Jewish heritage and history. [full text of HR 311 here]”

The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, a group affiliated with Urman’s coalition, estimates the value of the confiscated property at more than $100 billion.

If the descendants of those Arabs want to insist that they have rights, then the rights of the similar number of Jews, all of whom were repopulated in Israel if that was their wish, must be upheld as well.


Mahmoud Abbas AKA Abu Mazen Writes his Naqba in the NYTimes.com

May 17, 2011

…Nakba Historiography…

Abu Mazen AKA Mahmoud Abbas is the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the president of the Palestinian National Authority via nytimes.com…

…It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued. – Abu Mazen AKA Abbas

compare that to the account from Barry Rubin:
based on German and U.S. intelligence materials:

The international community offered to make Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian Arabs’ leader, head of a state despite the fact that he and his closest colleagues were the subject of a 1938 British arrest warrant for terrorist activities (not mythical but for killing lots of people), and had spent World War Two in Berlin doing pro-Nazi propaganda, recruiting for SS units, and planning a Holocaust of Jews in the Middle East.

But al-Husseini rejected partition and so did all of the Arab states. While Jordan wanted to make a deal and Egypt’s government wasn’t enthusiastic, they all had to go along with al-Husseini’s intransigence, their hysterical public opinion, and the other Arab states’ pressure. The Arab League’s leader, a Nazi agent during World War Two, bragged that the Jews would be massacred. The Muslim Brotherhood, which collaborated with the Nazis during the war and were subsidized by them before the war, sent volunteers to fight the Jews. And so a Palestinian Arab army, whose three chief commanders had all fought for the Nazis during World War Two, went to war against the Jews using Nazi-supplied weapons (provided for the Palestinian Arab revolt in 1939 and for an Egyptian revolt that never happened in 1942). They lost. via A Brief Guide to Why 1948 Was a Palestinian Arab and Arab Disaster by Barry Rubin via docstalk.blogspot.com

Indeed, it was the descendants of these expelled Palestinians who were shot and wounded by Israeli forces on Sunday as they tried to symbolically exercise their right to return to their families’ homes.  Abu Mazen AKA Abbas

NO…The Syrian government, with the encouragement of anti-Israel Palestinian groups, Hezbollah and the Iranians, has sent hundreds of supposed “Palestinian refugess” surging across the Israeli border in the Golan in an attempt to provoke a confrontation.


…A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948… Abu Mazen AKA Abbas

…here is the truth about Resolution 194

[Count Bernadotte‘s]  report also considered the possibility of resettlement outside Palestine, with those who chose not to return being adequately compensated for their lost property. “It must not… be supposed that the establishment of the right of refugees to return to their former homes provides a solution to the problem” the report read.

The Drafting History of 242 Shows it Pertains to all Refugees – Jewish and Arab

Resolution 242 speaks of “a just settlement of the refugee problem,” not ‘the Palestinian or Arab refugee problem.’ The history of the resolution shows that it was intentional and reflected recognition that the Arab-Israeli conflict created two refugee populations, not one. Parallel to the estimated 600,000 Arabs who left Israel, more than 899,000(12) Jews fled from Arab countries in the aftermath of the 1948 war – 650,000 of them finding asylum in Israel.
A history of the behind-the-scenes work drafting the resolution shows that the former Soviet Union Ambassador Vasiliy Vasilyevich Kuznetsov sought to restrict the term ‘just settlement’ to Palestinian refugees only. But former U.S. Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, the American Ambassador to the UN who played a key role in the ultimate language adopted, pointed out:

“A notable omission in 242 is any reference to Palestinians, a Palestinian state on the West Bank or the PLO. The resolution addresses the objective of ‘achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.’ This language presumably refers both to Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their homes as a result of the several wars.” via crethiplethi.com

…We call on all friendly, peace-loving nations to join us in realizing our national aspirations by recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and by supporting its admission to the United Nations. Only if the international community keeps the promise it made to us six decades ago, and ensures that a just resolution for Palestinian refugees is put into effect, can there be a future of hope and dignity for our people. Abu Mazen AKA Abbas

the 1949 Armistice Line never was a border.
there is no such thing as pre-1967 borders.
Jordan repeatedly clarified this through history. Example days before the Six-Day War Jordan clarified that for any claiming parties the the old armistice agreement “did not fix boundaries”.
Article II of the 1949 Armistice Agreement with the Jordanians explicitly specified that the line that was designated did not compromise any future territorial claims of the two parties, since it had been “dictated by exclusively by military considerations.

Danny Ayalon: Israel’s Right in the ‘Disputed’ Territories

April 7, 2011
The recent statements by the European Union’s new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel’s rights to what are generally called the “occupied territories” but what really are “disputed territories.”


That’s because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered “occupied” in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel’s conquest. Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.

The name “West Bank” was first used in 1950 by the Jordanians when they annexed the land to differentiate it from the rest of the country, which is on the east bank of the river Jordan. The boundaries of this territory were set only one year before during the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan that ended the war that began in 1948 when five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish State. It was at Jordan’s insistence that the 1949 armistice line became not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: “No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.” (Italics added.) This boundary became the famous “Green Line,” so named because the military officials during the armistice talks used a green pen to draw the line on the map.

After the Six Day War, when once again Arab armies sought to destroy Israel and the Jewish state subsequently captured the West Bank and other territory, the United Nations sought to create an enduring solution to the conflict. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 is probably one of the most misunderstood documents in the international arena. While many, especially the Palestinians, push the idea that the document demands that Israel return everything captured over the Green Line, nothing could be further from the truth. The resolution calls for “peace within secure and recognized boundaries,” but nowhere does it mention where those boundaries should be.

It is best to understand the intentions of the drafters of the resolution before considering other interpretations. Eugene V. Rostow, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in 1967 and a drafter of the resolution, stated in 1990: “Security Council Resolution 242 and (subsequent U.N. Security Council Resolution) 338… rest on two principles, Israel may administer the territory until its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is made, Israel should withdraw to “secure and recognized borders,” which need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 194.”

Lord Caradon, the British U.N. Ambassador at the time and the resolution’s main drafter who introduced it to the Council, said in 1974 unequivocally that, “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.”

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. at the time, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, made the issue even clearer when he stated in 1973 that, “the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.” This would encompass “less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proven to be notably insecure.”

Even the Soviet delegate to the U.N., Vasily Kuznetsov, who fought against the final text, conceded that the resolution gave Israel the right to “withdraw its forces only to those lines it considers appropriate.”

After the war in 1967, when Jews started returning to their historic heartland in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, as the territory had been known around the world for 2,000 years until the Jordanians renamed it, the issue of settlements arose. However, Rostow found no legal impediment to Jewish settlement in these territories. He maintained that the original British Mandate of Palestine still applies to the West Bank. He said “the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors.” There is no internationally binding document pertaining to this territory that has nullified this right of Jewish settlement since.

And yet, there is this perception that Israel is occupying stolen land and that the Palestinians are the only party with national, legal and historic rights to it. Not only is this morally and factually incorrect, but the more this narrative is being accepted, the less likely the Palestinians feel the need to come to the negotiating table. Statements like those of Lady Ashton’s are not only incorrect; they push a negotiated solution further away.

Mr. Ayalon is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.



Resolution 194

May 22, 2010

To give an idea of how Efraim Karsh uses real facts to turn  Arab propaganda that has become conventional wisdom on its head in his book Palestine Betrayed, here is what he writes about UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which the Arabs always insist provides for a “right of return”:

While underscoring “the right of the Arab refugees to return to their homes in Jewish-controlled territory at the earliest possible date,” [Count Bernadotte’s]  report also considered the possibility of resettlement outside Palestine, with those who chose not to return being adequately compensated for their lost property. “It must not… be supposed that the establishment of the right of refugees to return to their former homes provides a solution to the problent,” the report read. “The vast majority of the refugees may no longer have homes to return to and their resettlement in the State of lsrael presents an economic and social problem of special complexity. Whether the refugees are resettled in the State of Israel or in one or other of the Arab States, a major question to he faced is that of placing them in an environment in which they can find employment and the means of livelihood. But in any case their unconditional right to make a free choice should be fully respected.”

This principle was duly incorporated into General Assembly Resolution 194, passed on December 11 after a three month deliberation of the mediator’s report, which placed repatriation on a par with resettlement elsewhere. It advocated, in its own words, that “the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should he permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date,” but also that efforts should be made to facilitate the “resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees.”

In tacit acceptance of the Israeli position, the resolution did not treat the refugee problem as an isolated issue but as part of a comprehensive settlement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. All of its fifteen paragraphs deal with the facilitation of peace, including the single paragraph that alludes to refugees in general – not “Arab refugees” – in language that could as readily apply to the thousands of Jews driven from their homes in the prospective Arab state and Jerusalem by the invading Arab armies. Moreover, the resolution expressly stipulated that compensation for the property of those refugees choosing not to return “should he made good by the governments or the authorities responsible,” indicating that the Arab states, as well as Israel, were seen as instigators of the refugee problem. be it Arab or Jewish.

It was just these clauses in Resolution 194 that made it anathema to the Arabs, who opposed it vehemently and voted unanimously against it. Equating return and resettlement as possible solutions to the refugee problem; placing on the Arab states some of the burden for resolving it; and, above all, linking the resolution of this issue to Arab acquiescence in the existence of the state of Israel and the achievement of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peaoe were seen, correctly, as rather less than useful to Arab purposes.

During 1940’s through 1950’s nearly ALL the Jews had to flee from Arab countries to avoid persecution and pogroms. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries is estimated to be a million. This number is greater than the number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948, estimated as 343,000 (see Peters’ book cited below).
Most of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries rapidly integrated into the modern society of Israel. This, despite the fact that Israel is a tiny country (about size of New Jersey) without any of the world’s richest resources of petroleum in Arab countries. Today, the majority of the people in Israel are the descendants of Jews from Arab countries. (European Jews and their descendants constitute less than half the population of Israel).