The author looks at the reluctance of negotiators to adhere to the standards of international law with regard to established refugee regimes. In particular he discusses the role of referenda in conflict resolution discourse both popular and political as a means of obviating the inherent moral and legal duty of Palestinian return. The article puts the case that political resolution cannot be at the expense of international norms and that effecting the Return is part of the process of peace: sustainable peace can only be effected in turn by a recognition that international norms trump the politically unequal negotiations between the Israeli state and the PLO.
Volume 1 – Issue 1
The author argues that an effective strategy to implement the Right of Return depends on the success of anti-racist campaigners to expose and defeat the racist basis of opposition to Palestinian return by removing the ‘demographic’ issue from current discourse. Israeli opposition to the Right of Return based on so-called ‘demographic problems’ is in fact a code for racialised and racist policy. This article argues, that by doing so, the central obstacle to effecting the Right of Return will be excised, and the prospect of an egalitarian, bi-national state can become a realistic prospect.
This article conveys a Torah approach to the Palestinian struggle and a belief in the Right of Return as a basic moral obligation as well as an international legal necessity. It responds to Zionist criticism of the theological standpoint on Palestinian sovereignty and expounds a theory of cross-confessional solidarity. The author also looks at the Jewish notion of return to the Holy Land through a theological lens and discusses the implications and requirements for such a return based on a Torah viewpoint. Key to this view is the idea of commonality rather than coercion and co-citizenship rather than conquest.
The author looks at the particularities and precedent set by the resolution of other conflicts and the primacy and effectiveness of the principle of refugee return in all namely: Bosnia, East Timor, Tajikistan and Kosovo. In all cases international norms were respected and implemented, even when conflicts were fought over and resolved on the right of self-determination. Refugee return is not only a moral imperative but one that can be practically implemented and have long reaching pragmatic results in terms of nation-building and creating cohesive and potentially egalitarian societies.
The Right of Return is too crucial an issue for any activist, academic concerned with Palestine and justice or indeed any person of conscience, to ignore. Sadly, however, a combination of the steady onslaught of Israeli violations of international law, atrocious human rights violations and