Harriet Sherwood inadvertently shows that a Palestinian state wouldn’t end the conflict

One of the reasons why most Israelis are skeptical that Palestinians don’t truly desire peace with Israel is their insistence that any agreement which results in “two states for two peoples” wouldn’t abrogate the “right of return” for millions of Palestinians whose parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents may have once lived within the borders of Israel.  

While, intuitively, you’d think that “Palestinians” living in Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere would be encouraged to emigrate to the new Palestinian state, or finally be given citizenship in their country of residence, even the most “moderate” Palestinian leaders insist that any final agreement allow for an influx of millions of Palestinian Arabs into Israel – thus destroying, demographically, the only Jewish state that exists, or will ever exist.

Harriet Sherwood’s most recent post, “Palestinian state could leave millions of refugees with no voice at the UN“, (curiously placed in the less frequented “Palestinian Territories” section of the Guardian site and not in the Israel section) is an exquisite example that Zionists who are skeptical that the creation of a Palestinian state wouldn’t necessarily end the conflict are justified in their concerns.  

Sherwood writes:                            

“If the bid [for Palestinian statehood] succeeds, UN representation of the Palestinian people would shift from the global Palestinian Liberation Organisation – currently recognised as the “sole and legitimate representative” of all Palestinians around the world – to the envoy of a state based in the West Bank and Gaza. Millions of Palestinian refugees who live in the diaspora could be “accidentally disenfranchised”, according to a seven-page legal opinion by Guy Goodwin-Gill. [emphasis mine]

So, Arabs who claim Palestinian lineage currently living in “refugee camps” in countries like Syria and Lebanon, who, for some reason, have never been granted citizenship in those countries, would no longer be deemed “refugees” and thus would lose their moral and legal claims against Israel.  

But, it gets better:

“Goodwin-Gill, a professor of international law at Oxford, concludes “the interests of the Palestinian people are at risk of prejudice and fragmentation”. Palestinians in the diaspora risk losing “their entitlement to equal representation … their ability to vocalise their views, to participate in matters of national governance, including the formation and political identity of the state, and to exercise the right of return.” [emphasis mine]

Thus, the creation of a Palestinian state wouldn’t empower such Palestinian Arabs to emigrate to, and become citizens of, the new independent state of Palestine – thus granting them the “ability to vocalise their views, to participate in…national governance, including the formation and political identity of the [Palestinian] state” – but would deny them their status as victims of Israeli expulsion.

Of note,  Goodwin Gill’s opinion “was commissioned by Karma Nabulsi, a former PLO representative and now an Oxford professor” and CiF commentator.

Sherwood continues:

“[Nabulsi] called for clarity from the PLO in its response to the legal opinion and for reassurances to Palestinian refugees in the diaspora that their “core rights” of representation and the right of return would remain untouched. [emphasis mine]

If you needed any more proof that a two-state solution wouldn’t necessarily end the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, this is it.  

Unlike hundreds of millions of refugees throughout the world since the end of WWII (including roughly 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands) who have emigrated and been assimilated into other countries, Palestinians still insist on an immutable status of “refugee” – and the “right” to “return” to a country which most have never stepped foot in and whose influx would mean the end of Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East.

What Goodwin-Gill and Nablusi are saying is that the conflict will never cease to exist until Israel ceases to exist.

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