Monday, 28 July 2014
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Israeli academia joins war on Gaza

Academic institutions in Israel have enthusiastically and voluntarily joined Israel's campaign of massacres and destruction in the Gaza Strip. From disciplining students and staff who express "offensive" opinions, establishing hasbara teams and offering tuition assistance to soldiers: Israel's.....

Hebron Left condemns PA suppression of West Bank protests

The leftist forces* in the Palestinian city of Hebron hereby express their strong disapproval of the...

ACT! David Cameron: end collective punishment of Gaza!

We, the undersigned, call on Prime Minister David Cameron urgently to use all available diplomatic m...

VIDEO: Message from Gaza - stop the killing!

This video is a short message from Bloggers For Palestine - Gaza to the world. It describes the...

ACT! Sign statement in support of Jews against genocide

We, the undersigned, endorse the principles of  "Jews Against Genocide" (below) and support its...
aicafe-22-7-gaza
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 22 July from 7.30 p.m. for a movie screening about Gaza - To Shoot an Elephant.
act-david-cameron-end-collective-punishment-of-gaza
We, the undersigned, call on Prime Minister David Cameron urgently to use all available diplomatic means to end the collective punishment of the people of...

Jerusalem

Massive demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza...

Some 10,000 Palestinians marched from Ramallah towards Qalandia checkpoint in northern East Jerusalem to protest the Israeli offensive against Gaza. T...

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Massive demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza

Hebron

Hebron: a hostage city...

Since June 12, when three Israeli teenage settlers went missing north of Hebron, Israeli authorities have placed and kept the Hebron district under cl...

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Hebron: a hostage city

Opinions

Renewed slaughter in Gaza ghetto ...

Another round of fighting, another massacre larger than its predecessor, another genocidal war and another failure. This is the future that the state...

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Renewed slaughter in Gaza ghetto

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Palestinian right of return: Abu Mazen gave up? So what?

Created on 05 November 2012

In the colonial context of the Israeli mind, every Palestinian step backwards strengthens the position of those, who today represent the majority in Israel, who aspire to destroy Palestine. The history of the past three decades of negotiations demonstrates beyond any doubt that in the present relation of forces, compromises lead to additional pressures and to even more compromises. The only efficient counter-strategy should be: no compromise at all on our rights, even if it may take years to achieve freedom and return. Change the relation of forces and then negotiate, otherwise it is not a negotiation but a mere diktat.

 

 Palestinian_refugeesPalestinian_refugees 

The right of Palestinian refugees to return is an individual right guaranteed in international law (Photo: Fred Csasznik) 


In an interview to Israeli Chanel 2, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas declared that he renounces his right to return back to the city of Safed, where he was born and from where he was expelled and became a refugee. In fact, the Palestinian president expressed more than a personal declaration; as in several previous occasions, Abu Mazen attempted to calm Israeli public opinion on the central issue of Palestinian refugee rights, and to reduce the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a conflict over territory, borders and sovereignty.

 

While the Israeli right will not be seduced by Abbas’ statement, the left will attempt to use it to show that the Palestinian leadership takes into consideration the Israeli fear of a "demographic threat" and accepts Israel as a Jewish state. 

 

While Abu Mazen has the right to give up his dream to return to Safed and even to live in Tel Aviv (if and when Israeli laws will permit it), he cannot speak on behalf of millions of other refugees who have never abdicated this right. This is so for three main reasons: first, the right to return and to get back one's property is an individual right, and each and every Palestinian will decide what to do with his/her stolen property, as well as if s/he intends to live on that property, to rent it or to sell it. Second, the right of return is a fundamental human right. Third, the right of return of the Palestinian refugees is part of international law and recognized by several UN resolutions; one can renounce the implementation of a right, but not the right itself. Even the state of Israel was obliged to express support for UN resolution 194 in order to be accepted as a member state in the United Nations.

 

Abu Mazen’s statement may satisfy (although not completely, as always happen when one gives his finger in order to try and save the hand), but the price he is paying is extremely high: the great majority of Palestinian public opinion is angry, including within Abbas’ own party, and for many he has crossed the line of loyalty to his own people.

 

As an Israeli, I am not the one to decide what is loyalty to the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights. However, as an Israeli I can evaluate the miscalculation of the Palestinian president: in the colonial context of the Israeli mind, every Palestinian step backwards strengthens the position of those – and today they represent the majority in Israel – who aspire to destroy Palestine. "More pressure, more compromise" – this has been the Zionist strategy for decades already. The history of the past three decades of negotiations demonstrates beyond any doubt that in the present relation of forces, compromises lead to additional pressures and to even more compromises.

 

The only efficient counter-strategy should be: no compromise at all on our rights, even if it may take years to achieve freedom and return. This is not a maximalist strategy of "everything or nothing", but a matter of political realism, pragmatism even: change the relation of forces and then negotiate, otherwise it is not a negotiation but a mere diktat.