Palestinian Right of Return

 

Less than two weeks ago Palestinian protestors in Gaza gathered along portions of the security border-fence which separates Gaza from Israel. Hamas and the mainstream media touted the gatherings as “peaceful demonstrations” for the Palestinian “Right of Return” but facts on the ground proved otherwise as rioting broke out and violence escalated turning deadly.  

Israel forewarned the protestors and demonstrators participating in the “March of Return” not to approach or attempt to breach the border-fence stating that there would be consequences however their warnings went largely unheeded.  Brandishing weapons and shouting vulgarities against Israel and her people, many Palestinian protestors engaged in actions designed to provoke the IDF into taking action. They burned tires and threw rocks and fire bombs at IDF soldiers and Israeli Border Police.  In advance of the demonstrations, Israeli security personnel did a sweep of the area and discovered weapons had been secretly hidden along the border-fence. From the onset the Palestinian “March of Return” was not meant to be peaceful but rather provoking.  

Members of Hamas’ military wing were present in civilian clothes doing what terrorists do best; hiding among innocent civilians.  Women and children were forced to serve as human shields moving closer and closer to the border-fence with terrorists and so-called “peaceful” demonstrators in close tow.  Hamas even unveiled a new way to harass and threaten the people of Israel using kites with burning rags trailing behind.  The idea was for these kites to fly over the border-fence landing in Israeli fields and vineyards lighting them on fire.  A lot of noise was made about the IDF shooting and killing a Palestinian journalist.  Turns out this “journalist” was flying a drone over the entire site mapping positions of the IDF and Israeli Border Police.  It was further discovered that this journalist was a longtime member of Hamas working in its security wing.  

The ruse of peaceful protests resulted in deaths and injuries but this was Hamas’s plan in order to play into the hands of mainstream media to demonize and delegitimize Israel. The Palestinians know very well how to manipulate the media. They are equally adept at placing Israel in precarious positions of having to sort out the provocateurs from innocent people. Israel is mostly successful but accidents do occasionally occur. 

Israel has a realist approach to their national defense based on the opposition’s history. There is no place for utopian philosophic thought.  Israel has already given peace a chance and came out, time and again, on the losing end.  Israel’s Islamic neighbors continually call for her destruction. The eyes of Israel’s detractors should focus on this reality. The issue of the Palestinian “Right of Return” is part of the plan to destroy Israel and part of the reason every round of peace talks ends in a stalemate. 

What is this “Right of Return” and what does it mean for Israel?

In 1948 Israel’s Arab neighbors joined together to attack the newly born state of Israel. Arabs living in the area were urged by their leaders to leave with a promise that they could return to their homes and their land once the war was won and the Jews were defeated.  No one counted on Israel emerging as the victor since they had only a few guns, no organized or trained army and no support from the United States or any other country. But thanks to God Israel won.  In 1948 there was an estimated 750,000 Palestinians who voluntarily left their homes.  After the war, they became refugees because no Arab country would accept them and by claiming refugee status they gained monetary support from the U.N.  Many landed in refugee camps in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Today there are approximately five million “Palestinian refugees.”  How did their numbers grow more than fivefold?  Unique only to the Palestinians, the U.N. designates second, third and subsequent generations of descendants of Palestinians who used to live in what is now Israel as “refugees.”  They are the only people group in the world whose descendants are classified by the U.N. as refugees. An influx of five million Palestinians to Israel would mean an end to the Jewish state but this is the intended purpose.   

Do these displaced Arabs have a “right” to return? Do their children and their children’s children have a right to return to a land they never occupied? The eminent Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz recently wrote, “In life as in law there are statutes of limitations that recognize that history changes the status quo. The time has come — indeed it is long overdue — for the world to stop treating these Palestinians as refugees.”