I've mentioned how an outgoing UNRWA official, Andrew Whitley, caused a storm of protest by stating an obvious truth: that most Palestinian Arab "refugees" will never end up in Israel and that it is cruel to keep feeding them that fantasy - a fantasy that has already ruined three generations of families.
Now, that oh-so-"moderate" PA spokesman and serial liar Saeb Erekat has added his voice to the complaints, writing a letter of complaint to the UN and happy that UNRWA distanced itself from the speech Whitley gave.
An additional lie that Erekat added to his stellar record is that UN General Assembly Resolution 194 calls for the "right of return" for Palestinian Arab refugees from 1948. Of course, it doesn't - it calls for "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." That clause about living at peace with their neighbors limits its applicability by quite a bit, besides the simple fact that it was a General Assembly resolution that is not binding (it also called for the internationalization of Jerusalem and a huge chunk of the West Bank, including Bethlehem - something that Jordan certainly didn't do and that Palestinian Arabs today are not contemplating.)
And, I would add, the definition of "refugee" used at that time did not include descendants of refugees, a unique interpretation that was made up only for Palestinian Arabs by UNRWA, an agency that didn't exist at the time this resolution passed.
So, no, UN 194 does not give any "right of return" and those who say it does, like Erekat, are liars. They are placing the well-being of millions of people behind their own petty politica and hatred of Israel. Erekat doesn't give a damn about the descendants of the refugees - he just wants them to fester in misery forever, rather than have them become full citizens of the host countries that the vast majority of them were born in.
And while we are talking about Erekat's and the PA's intransigence, he also said that the "secret plan" supposedly floated by the US to Israel where Israel would lease parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank from the PA for a number of decades is a non-starter, saying that "Palestine is not for rent." A Fatah leader also said that Abu Mazen (Abbas) would never agree to that.
So no matter what possible compromises anyone comes up with, rest assured that the Palestinian Arabs will not accept them - secure in their knowledge that their consistent rejectionism will not be noticed by the West, who will continue to label only Israeli leaders "hardline" and "intransigent" and Palestinian Arab leaders as "moderate" and "pragmatic."
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