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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Palestinian Arabs might lose "right to return" in UN September stunt

Fascinating:

The Palestinian team responsible for preparing the United Nations initiative in September has been given an independent legal opinion that reveals a high risk involved with its plan to join the UN.

An initiative to transfer the Palestinians' representation from the PLO to a state will terminate the legal status held by the PLO in the UN since 1975 that it is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, according to the document.

Crucially, there will no longer be an institution that can represent the inalienable rights of the entire Palestinian people in the UN and related international institutions, according to the brief.

Representation for the right to self-determination will be gravely affected, as it is a right of all Palestinians, both inside and outside the homeland, the legal opinion says. This change in status will severely disenfranchise the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties from which they were displaced.

The seven-page legal opinion, obtained by Ma'an, was submitted to the Palestinian side by Guy Goodwin-Gill, a professor of public international law at Oxford University and a member of the team that won the 2004 non-binding judgement by the International Court of Justice that the route of Israel's wall was illegal.

The Palestinian team, headed by Saeb Erekat, has been preparing an initiative that involves the replacement of the PLO at the UN, substituting it with the State of Palestine as the representative of the Palestinian people.

...Particularly crucial is the scholar's conclusions about the implications of the plan to substitute PLO representation in the UN with the Palestinian state for the Palestinians in the Diaspora. The majority of the Palestinian people are refugees, and all of them are represented by the PLO through Palestinian National Council.

"They constitute more than half of the people of Palestine, and if they are 'disenfranchised' and lose their representation in the UN, it will not only prejudice their entitlement to equal representation, contrary to the will of the General Assembly, but also 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," the legal briefing says.
Which means that the September stunt will have to either be modified so that the PLO remains the "sole representative of the Palestinian people" - making the declaration of a state even more meaningless than it is - or the fake state will further erode the rights of the Palestinian Arabs who live outside the land.

The part that is left unsaid: The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas and previously by Yasir Arafat, has done literally nothing to advance the rights of Palestinian Arabs living in Arab nations. In fact, they have acted to further disenfranchise them in order to use them as pawns to pressure Israel. The idea that the PLO actually represents average Palestinian Arabs, many of whom want to move on with their lives with dignity in their host countries, is a joke.

The legal opinion and the lawyer that Ma'an quotes afterwards know quite well that their goal is to destroy Israel demographically, and this stunt can make that less likely in their minds.

That's their real concern, not the "rights" of the Palestinian Arabs who have been stepped on in the name of "Palestinian unity" for decades.

(h/t T34)