PALESTINE: 'No return, no justice, no peace'

January 31, 2001


WASHINGTON, DC — The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) upholds the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return home as an integral component of a just and viable peace. No agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away the right of return or any other inalienable rights can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to accept it.

PRRC strongly condemns the statement published in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (January 2) by Peace Now and others in the self-proclaimed Israeli "peace camp" which calls for Palestinians to abandon their inalienable right of return. The call by the so-called Israeli "peace" movement for the abrogation of the Palestinian refugees' right to return home is a clear manifestation that racism is an integral part of most Israeli organisations that uphold Zionism.

These Zionist groups acknowledge the creation of Israel as the instigator of the expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people, but their proposed solution is to transfer the Palestinian refugees to whatever land the Israeli administration allocates as the Palestinian state. In the name of a Zionist-defined "peace", these groups support the racist and oppressive Israeli occupying power in denying Palestinians their rightful ownership of the land from which they were expelled. These "peace" advocates call for a "positive conclusion" that maintains the formula of an exclusive racist Jewish state.

The statement made by the so-called Israeli "peace" movement exposes their racist position and represents the imbalance of power that allows them to coopt and monopolise the term "peace" and define it within an oppressive and racist framework. Their paramount concern for "maintaining the demographic balance" and "Jewish supremacy" [amounts to support for] apartheid and contradicts international law and moral imperatives, including countless United Nations resolutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Strict adherence, de facto and de jure, to international human rights law and international law is the prerequisite for creating trust and strengthening security.

The right to return is an essential and inseparable part of the realisation of the Palestinians' right of self-determination, and is an essential condition for the guarantee and observance of individual human and collective rights. The right of self determination is terminated if the majority of the people concerned are unable to return to their homes from which they were either expelled or forced to flee.

Human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The Palestinian human right to live freely is interdependent with the Palestinian right to return.

For the Israeli "peace" movement to be what it professes, it is insufficient to merely come to a historical realisation of the injustices committed against the Palestinian people, but it must also own up to its responsibility for a struggle for justice that dares to include Palestinian inalienable rights in their entirety.

PRRC strongly believes that the struggle for peace and justice must be democratic and reflect the Palestinians' desire and right to return. PRRC appeals to people of conscience and peace advocates to seize the opportunity now to help raise Palestinian voices that have been silenced for 52 years for a just and sustainable peace rooted in granting the Palestinian people their legitimate right to freedom and return.

[Al-Awda — Palestine Right to Return Coalition, PO Box 401 Hummelstown, Pa, USA 17036. Email: <>. Web: <>].

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.