Teenage girls in Dheishe Refugee Camp
in front of the key, powerful symbol of the inalienable right of return.
Danny Rubenstein writes in Haaretz
: "The vast majority of Palestinians are clearly aware that it is impossible for millions of refugees to return to their homes and land in Jaffa, Ramle, and Haifa."
Not according to Dr. Salman Abu Sitta
who has figured out the Zionist propensity for speaking on behalf of Palestinians: "Who then undermines the right of return?" he asks. "Israel, of course, and its supporters."
But we know this.
We also know Rubenstein is disingenuous when he proffers "practical return to the geographic domain of the State of Israel is not feasible. "
"The Palestinians dispossession cannot be realistically tolerated or continue to be ignored with any degree of realism . . . Gaza Strip is packed with refugees (2500 persons/km2, or 4,200 persons/km2, if net area is used) while the refugees see, across the barbed wire, their land to the east, in which only 6 persons/km2 live. This striking contrast in demography is the root cause of the conflict."
Rubenstein is not alone. All manner of Zionists, even charitable ones, insist upon what Joseph Massad terms Israel's right to be racist
when it comes to Palestinians:
"We embrace Muslim kids here, wherever they come from, but I cannot come up with any positive statement in terms of the 'right of return' for Palestinian refugees," says Israeli Dr. Chaim Peri, of Yemin Orde in Israel, a place whose purpose "has been to provide a home and a future to abandoned and at-risk children from around the world."
How touching. In the wake of such magnaminity one can surely excuse the well meaning and big hearted Zionists for refusing to implement the Palestinians' inalienable right to return to their property.
I mean it is perfectly understandable that a nice Jewish boy or girl from New Jersey, who has never set foot in Palestine, has every right to immigrate to Haifa while one born there may not enter the place of his/her birth. Why can we not wrap our heads around that? But according to Rubenstein, the "vast majority" of us do. And once again Palestinians must dig themselves out of holes dug for them by Zionists speaking on their behalf.
Zionists also would like to dig a hole for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2: "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
But it won't be so easy for the proponents of Zionism to bury an inalienable right as it has been for them to dispossess a people. After all, in the long run thieves are not rewarded but ultimately pay for their crimes. And as long as there is one remaining Palestinian refugee out of an estimated seven million
who chooses to exercise this right, it's not going to an early grave.
You see, the right to return to Palestine is a matter of "human dignity."
And I believe that's it is counter to human nature to willingly relinquish one's dignity or to acknowledge that one's dignity is lesser than that of one's Jewish counterpart from London or the Ukraine.
"It is truly amazing," Dr. Abu Sitta wrote recently
, "that Zionists publicly advocate a racist and immoral objective, namely ridding Palestine/Israel of its Palestinian inhabitants so that the Jewish immigrants would maintain their Jewish purity and majority."
Perhaps Danny Rubenstein hasn't fully scaled the "vast majority" of Palestinian opinion or he might just get this:
"There is a reality
that the refugees have never given up, nor will they give up, their right to return home. There is a reality that 97% of them are within 100 km of their homes, 50% within 40 km and many are within sight of their homes. The reality is, in spite of wars, raids, occupation and Israeli brutal policies, they have not surrendered or given up, all three generations of them."