Even though every single speech given by Palestinian leaders in Arabic that demand a state also invokes "right to return" along with "1967 borders" and "capital in Jerusalem"?
Indeed, only yesterday Mahmoud Abbas told the Lebanese president that Palestinians living in horrendous conditions in Lebanon were honored "guests" until they can "return to their homeland Palestine." Back in 2005 Abbas said that allowing Palestinians to become citizens would not compromise their "right to return" and the Lebanese leaders scolded him in no uncertain terms so he reversed his position and now tells Lebanese Palestinians that they should remain in misery indefinitely.
Now there is even more evidence that "return" is a central strategy of the Palestinians, and not a peripheral negotiating point that they are prepared to forego in order to get a state.
The PLO website published an article where they say that they started an initiative to present this "right," mentioned in paragraph 11 of UN General Assembly Resolution 194, to the International Court of Justice for a ruling.
I really hope they do.
It would expose that their claim has no legal weight as a General Assembly resolution (despite the hypocritical and contra-legal claims of HRW and Amnesty.)
It would expose the hypocrisy of emphasizing part of Paragraph 11 but ignoring the part that insists that Arab nations should resettle the refugees as well.
It would expose the fact that the Arab nations were against Resolution 194 because it also granted rights to Jewish refugees who were expelled from Arab areas besides their obligation to resettle the Palestinian Arabs.
It would expose the fact that the entire issue is kept alive for the purpose of destroying Israel, putting a lie to their claims that they support a two-state solution.
It would expose the fact that the UN itself did not interpret 194 as a blanket right to return to begin with! In a 1950 document it interpreted its own words very narrowly only for the refugees themselves and only to the physical homes that they left, not a general return to the areas they came from.
So yes, please, bring the "right to return" to the ICJ. It would be a very enlightening experience - for the entire world.
(It appears that this initiative is really meant to assert PLO control over the Palestinians who live outside PA areas, as a result of this conference I noted recently.)