Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Abbas: Let Palestinians Die in Syria Rather than Give Up ‘Right of Return’

January 11, 2013 2:19 am 15 comments

Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has said he has rejected a United Nations’ brokered deal with Israel to allow Palestinian refugees living in Syria to resettle in the West Bank and Gaza.

Speaking to a group of journalists in Cairo, Abbas told them that in December he reached out to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to contact Israel on his behalf to resolve the status of Palestinians caught in the Syrian civil war.

Abbas, however, said that Israel conditionally agreed as long as the Palestinian refugees forfeit claims to “return” to Israel, which he rejected.

“So we rejected that and said it’s better they die in Syria than give up their right of return,” Abbas reportedly told Egyptian journalists, the Associated Press reported.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry declined to a comment to the Associated Press.

As part of the 1948 War of Independence, more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees as a result of the conflict they initiated. Today, the refugees and their descendants (estimated to be around 5 million) remain largely stateless in refugee camps throughout the Arab world.

The UN’s typical policy is that only those who flee their countries themselves are considered “refugees,” not their descendants. However, the UN makes an exception for descendants of Arabs who fled Israel.

In Syria, it is estimated that about 150,000 Palestinians have fled the country as a result of the civil war.

Israel has called for the Palestinian refugee situation to be resolved as part of a comprehensive regional peace deal, while Palestinian leaders have maintained calls for the unconditional return of all refugees to the pre-1948 homes inside of Israel.

15 Comments

  • Audrey Williams

    IsraelI govt are war criminals ! The whole world knows it now and we are all passed. #freepalestine

    • I feel so sorry for you. It is very sad to see what has happened. I can only hope that you get through the day peacefully.

  • what about the 900,000 Jews from Arab countries that were made refugees – where is their “right of return”?

  • Otto Waldmann

    What a lovely national leader who prefers to have his people dead against a “principle” which will NEVER be implemented.
    Who are we to object !!!

  • In a sane society the 700,000 Arabs who left Israel in 1948 would have been absorbed into the 20+ Arab countries. Many were absorbed into the Kingdom of Jordan which occupies 77% of Mandatory Palestine. In Ottoman times Palestine was also known as Southern Syria. THere was no country called Palestine. In 1948 800,000 Jews were pushed out of Arab countries where Jews had lived since Bible times, a thousand year or more before the Arabs and Islam arrived. Israel accepted any Jews who came and the UK and France accepted many Jewish refugees.Jews did not allow fellow Jews to remain in displaced persons or refugee camps. The UN created a permanent UN department to look after Arab refugees inside Arab countries. Palestinian refugees have been sinned against by the Arab countries and the UN who have supported permanent refugee status and refuseed to integrate them.

  • גולדה מאיר: שלום יבוא כאשר הפלסטינים יאהבו את ילדיהם יותר משהם שונאים אותנו.

    • בדיוק. אבל ברור שלא אוהבים את ילדיהם. הם מרעילים את מוחם מלידה, ולא רוצים שיגדלו באושר, ואין שאיפה להשכלה, או לתרום משהו לעולם. הם רוצים שיהיו שהידים!! והאידיוטים במערב חושבים ואומרים שכל הורה רוצה אותו דבר בשביל ילדיהם. באמת? יש עוד אמהות בעולם שרוצות לחגור את ילדיהם בפצצות? מספיק עם השטויות

  • I think Israel is insane to offer these “Palestinians” the opportunity to live in Judea and Samaria.
    There are already too many Arab occupiers there.

  • howard henick

    More proof that Abbas is not really interested in peace as “the right of return” is an absolute non starter for if Israel agreed to it that basically terminates the Jewish state.

  • About the same time as these Arabs, or at least their ancestors as there are very few of the original refugees, became refugees several million Germans from the Sudetenland, East Prussia and Silesia became refugees, they were absorbed by Germany. At about the same time several million Hindu and Moslems became refugees during the partition of India, they were absorbed by either India or Pakistan. About the same time over 700,000 Jewish refugees from Arab nations were absorbed by Israel. It is only the Arabs who have allowed their fellow Arabs to fester in refugees camps. If the UN stopped supporting these camps with much of the money coming from the US, these camps would have vanished long ago.

  • Important to know about Abbas

  • “Palestinian leaders have maintained calls for the unconditional return of all refugees to the pre-1948 homes inside of Israel.”

    Pre-1948…67+ years ago. How many 70 years old people remember where they lived when they were 2 or 3. How many 70 years old people want to move back there from back when.

    This tells me the Palestinian leaders could care less about the people. It may be a sensitive issue, but to whom and based on what? It is strictly political and does nothing for the people.

    What is the leadership doing about anything that is truly good for the people today. Have they eradicated poverty? Have they stopped teaching hate? Would a simple uncomplicated peace work for the Palestinian people. You bet it would.

    Check out the Mid-East Peace Plan on facebook.

  • Could you site this AP story, please? I cannot find it.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    The Huffington Post is facing backlash after joking about a Jewish comedian’s  appearance at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday night. Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky took part in Nick Jonas’ performance of his song “Bacon,” staged in a New York diner — in a cameo role as a waiter throwing a handful of bacon in the air. Commenting on the show, the Huffington Post tweeted, “not thrilled at the fat jew [he] wasted all that perfectly good bacon!!!!!!” The message angered many Twitter users, who thought the joke […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli basketball fans mobbed Hapoel Jerusalem’s newest player, American pro Amar’e Stoudemire, dancing around with him during a practice open to the public. On Friday, the team posted a video on Twitter of the happy romp with fans jumping around Stoudemire, while chanting in Hebrew. Unfamiliar with the lyrics, Stoudemire pumps his fist in the air. The basketball player, who has Jewish roots on his mother’s side, also waved a flag emblazoned with Hapoel Jerusalem’s logo. The former New York Knicks forward retired from the NBA earlier […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    The Israeli version of the famed American Burning Man music festival is the “ultimate revenge on Hitler,” according to a column in Playboy magazine on Thursday. In his column, Jeff Weiss also took note of the fact that Midburn — a five-day bacchanal in the Negev Desert, self-described as an event celebrating “a communal life style, creativity, art and radical self-expression” — began on June 8, the day of the Sarona Market terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which left four people dead. Weiss asked rhetorically, “What could needle the mustached […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →