Friday, February 14, 2014

6 Palestinian Demands

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Palestinian demands before there can be peace with Israel have now been made public. There are more demands and more problematic demands than I had originally expected.

The demands became public in the form of an interview given by one of Abbas' aides to Al Ayyam, a Palestinian paper published in Ramallah.

The Six Palestinian demands are:
# 1: End of the conflict based on the Arab peace plan and relevant UN resolutions
# 2: Borders based on 1967
# 3: Israel must gradually withdraw from all Palestinian areas within 3 to 4 years
# 4: East Jerusalem is the Palestinian capital
# 5: Resolve the Palestinian refugee issue with Arab peace plan international legitimacy and UN Resolution 194
# 6: All Palestinian prisoners must be freed with the total withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian land

These are very problematic demands.

Let's just focus on #5 and UN Resolution 194. The resolution was passed on December 11, 1948. At the time there were 58 members of the United Nations. Six of them were Arab countries and every single one voted against it. The vote was 35 - 15 and 8 abstentions.

There are 15 clauses in the resolution and some are totally irrelevant. The first 6 clauses deal with recognizing Count Bernadotte and a reconciliation committee.

It is the 11th clause that most interests the Palestinians - it is the clause that deals with the refugee issue. It is a small paragraph of about 120 words and included in those words amorphous and vague terms like "should be permitted," "earliest practical date" and "wishing to live at peace with their neighbors." Also included are the words "compensation should be paid" for damages and property.

This will not be an easy issue to resolve. Palestinians and their supporters read this resolution very differently than the way Israel reads it. 

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