Hypocrisy, stemming from the same well that ensured that no Palestinian Arab would be crying about “occupation” or demanding a state in the West Bank and Gaza while they were occupied by Jordan and Egypt between 1948 and 1967. “Interview: Refugees will not be citizens of new state,” by Annie Slemrod for The Daily Star, September 15 (thanks to Wimpy):
BEIRUT: Palestinian refugees will not become citizens of a new Palestinian state, according to Palestine’s ambassador to Lebanon.
From behind a desk topped by a miniature model of Palestine’s hoped-for blue United Nations chair, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah spoke to The Daily Star Wednesday about Palestine’s upcoming bid for U.N. statehood.
The ambassador unequivocally says that Palestinian refugees would not become citizens of the sought for U.N.-recognized Palestinian state, an issue that has been much discussed. “They are Palestinians, that’s their identity,” he says. “But “¦ they are not automatically citizens.”
This would not only apply to refugees in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Jordan or the other 132 countries where Abdullah says Palestinians reside. Abdullah said that “even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”
Abdullah said that the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” be issuing Palestinian passports to refugees.
Neither this definitional status nor U.N. statehood, Abdullah says, would affect the eventual return of refugees to Palestine. “How the issue of the right of return will be solved I don’t know, it’s too early [to say], but it is a sacred right that has to be dealt with and solved [with] the acceptance of all.” He says statehood “will never affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees.”
The right of return that Abdullah says is to be negotiated would not only apply to those Palestinians whose origins are within the 1967 borders of the state, he adds. “The state is the 1967 borders, but the refugees are not only from the 1967 borders. The refugees are from all over Palestine. When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”
The Palestinian Liberation Organization would remain responsible for refugees, and Abdullah says that UNRWA would continue its work as usual….
A U.S. veto in the Security Council, Abdullah says, would only harm the great power. “The United States is propagating that it is the champion of freedom and democracy around the world, and if it denies the Palestinians the right to be free, to be democratic, and to live in dignity, it is not a good sign for the U.S. It leaves a dark stain “¦ It’s not good for America,” he says. “America deserves better.”
He says the U.S. should be mindful of “signals in the region “¦ that are ringing a bell.” He mentions the tension between Turkey and Israel and the recent eruption of protests at the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
“If wrong policies are adopted in the U.S., it will only give a freer hand to extremism. It only empowers negative forces. And this will make it more difficult and complicated for rational forces to prevail.”…