Hamas deputy leader Abu Marzouk: "We reject any deal that does not recognize the right of return... The Palestinian people will never give up this sacred right. Our people have been fighting for 58 years to achieve the right of return for all those who were expelled from their homeland."
Hamas spokesman Razi Hamad: "(Olmert) is trying to bypass the core of the Palestinian cause, namely the right of return for the refugees."
Statements like these show clearly why one cannot trust the Palestinians.
The claimed 'right of return', if applied equitably across the board, would destroy Israel, and reduce and return Jews to second-class status in the Arab countries they were forced to flee - without improving the conditions of the average Palestinian living in Lebanon, Syria, or Jordan. It would solve nothing, but merely give the Arabs back the first class status they assumed in the countries they conquered.
It is, truth be told, naught more than a demand for Israel's destruction.If the Arabs do not give up the demand of a 'return', there can never be an independent Palestine.
[There actually already is an independent Palestinian state - it's called Jordan, but the government there wants no part of the Palestinian movements. They've had more than enough guff from those folks already, and effectively told the Pals to go fly a kite. Like all Arab governments, they also pay the Pals to keep them at a distance.]
You will undoubtedly note several things:
1. Expelled. The problem with that word is that hardly any Arabs were expelled from the mandate territory - most were encouraged to leave by the Arab states so that they would not get in the way of the victorious Arab armies exterminating the Jews. They were promised that in a few months they would return to take possession of the property of the defeated Jews. There were a number who fled ahead of Zionist forces. And some of them were encouraged forcefully to do so. Which is regrettable, yes, but a very minor issue. The overwhelmingly vast majority of the Arabs who left the mandate territory left because their brother Arabs asked them to do so.
2. Expelled. The problem with that word is that most of the Sephardim who left the Arab lands were expelled. They were forced to leave Arab countries, by Arab leaders, who supported the Arab attempt to loot and despoil the Holy Land and exterminate the Jews. This in contrast to the alleged refugees, who voluntarily left the Holy Land as their brethren suggested, to wait out the war with their relatives in Cairo, Amman, and Beirut.
3 Expelled. The problem with that word is that huge numbers of the 'Palestinians' were expelled from Jordan during Black September, when their attempt to take over the country failed and King Hussein triumphed over Yasser Arafat's forces. Several years later, Yasser Arafat's forces were expelled from Beirut, because once again they had attempted to take over a country - and in that attempt slaughtered several thousand Christian Arabs, and wrecked Lebanon. Several years afterwards the Kuweitis also expelled Palestinians, after their Palestinian guests had enthusiastically supported Saddam Hussein's occupation.
Oslo was, in that regard, a godsend for the Tunisians - who were also mighty relieved to see the last of the Palestinians.The Palestinian cause seems to be largely loot, murder, and take over.
PALESTINIANS: BETTER THAN THE JEWS
It is not that they are more believable than Israelis, or more like everybody else, or more admirable, or more truthful - the problem is that the Israeli cause is identified with Jews. And anyone who believes that Jews will get a fair shake may not have been paying strict attention these last few centuries.
Jews keep pointing out inconvenient truths.
Whereas Palestinians playing the poor little victim card are just so much more lovable.
No wonder you just want to hug them.
Unless it is recognized that the population transfer implied by the division of the mandate territories has already taken place, there cannot ever be peace between the Israelis and the Arabs.
Most Jews left the Muslim world - let us ignore for the moment that they were forced to leave.
Most non-Jews left the part of the mandate assigned to the Jews - let us ignore for the moment that they did so voluntarily because they were promised a share in the eventual loot.
The net effect is actually remarkably one-sided. Hardly any Jews left in Alexandria, Aden, or Tetouan. Isolated pockets surrounded here and there elsewhere, scattered and defiant.
On the other hand, there are still tons of Arabs left in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Galilea, and Samaria. Nothing but Arabs in Gaza. If the Golan is dense with anything, it is Arabs. Bethelehem is filled with them. So is Nazareth. And Hebron. And Shechem. And.....