Skip to comments.Baker panel's mention of Palestinian "right of return" raises eyebrows
Posted on 12/06/2006 1:00:35 PM PST by West Coast Conservative
A reference to Palestinians' "right of return" in the report issued by the high-level Iraq Study Group broke a diplomatic taboo which sparked immediate concern in Israel and surprise among Middle East policy experts.
The reference was buried deep inside a 160-page report that urged US President George W. Bush to renew efforts to revive Israel-Palestinian peace talks as part of a region-wide bid to end the chaos in Iraq.
"This report is worrisome for Israel particularly because, for the first time, it mentions the question of the 'right of return' for the Palestinian refugees of 1948," said a senior Israeli official, who was reacting to the US policy report on condition he not be identified.
A Middle East analyst who was involved in the Iraq Study Group discussions but did not participate in drafting the report expressed surprise when the reference was pointed out to him by a reporter.
"It's hard to know whether that language got in there because of carelessness -- I know there were many revisions up to the very last minute -- or whether it was a deliberate attempt to fuse something to the Bush rhetoric which wasn't there before," the analyst said.
The 1993 Oslo peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians calls for a resolution of the issue of Israeli and Palestinian "refugees" as part of a final status agreement that would include the creation of a Palestinian state.
But they do not use the term "right of return", which is a long-standing Palestinian demand -- rejected by Israel -- that Palestinians who fled or were driven out of what was to become the Jewish state in 1948, as well as their descendants, be allowed to return home.
Bush, in a 2002 speech in the White House Rose Garden, became the first US president to formally back the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, but he also did not mention a right of Palestinian 'return'.
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group's co-chairman is former secretary of state James Baker, who as the top diplomat for Bush's father in the early 1990s clashed with Israel over its handling of the Palestinian issue.
Among his group's 79 recommendations for a policy shift on Iraq, number 17 concerned five points it said should be included in a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The final point in the list was: "Sustainable negotiations leading to a final peace settlement along the lines of President Bush's two-state solution, which would address the key final status issues of borders, settlements, Jerusalem, the right of return and the end of conflict."
"'Right of return' is not in Oslo I or Oslo II, it's not in the Bush Rose Garden speech, it's not even in UN 181, the original partition resolution -- it's part of the Palestinian discourse," said the US analyst.
James Baker, an American Quisling. I am sickened.
Let's just feed Israel to the crocodile.
Maybe then he'll leave us alone.
Baker just achieved a "political compromise" with the kookiest and most wrong headed thinking of the modern left.
An Arabist to the core.
Do Jews have a right of return to the following countries they've been kicked out of?
Did the ethnic cleansing by your Arab buddies ever cross your mind, or is it only Jews who must be demographically integrated?
Don't leave it at Baker. Incoming SecDef Gates was on the commission and helped write the report. Who do you think is now setting US Middle East policy?
(Don't answer that.)
This undertone in the report that Israel is at the heart of the Middle East problem and specifically Iraq, is an intensely kooky view of the World. Israel is not the motivation for Al Queda, or the factions in Iraq. This report is left wing and anti-semitic wishful thinking.
Who appointed the study group? Is this another one of "W's" blunders?
This group sounds more like U.N. antisemitic idiots who run despotic regimes yet refuse to admit that Israel is a democratically elected government that is hated and despised by each and every one of it's neighbors.
How totally disgusting, depraved and worthless this bunch of has beens this bunch is. We need each and every dollar spent on them given back to the American taxpayers!
James Baker is an ass. This was the Iraq study group and they throw gasoline on the fire by diverting to Israel as the problem.
Funny the commision couldn't stay focused on Iraq.
What did they think they were there to do?
Next they will be talking about "right of return" for Mexicans...
James Baker has ALWAYS been against Israel. This is no suprise. What a disaster this President has turned into...Shame on GW Bush....
A "report" is not law, it is not policy, it is not even necessarily worth the paper it is written on. It is a report.
President Bush (and the executive branch) makes policy and has the authority to enforce it.
I sure hope he does not cave to the leftist media.
James Baker and Brent Scowcroft have been on the Saudi payroll for years. Do not forget that Baker's firm is representing the Saudi Regime AGAINST the families of victims of 9/11 in their lawsuit. Baker is determined to see the State of Israel eviscerated. It has been his goal for 20 years.
Why did Bush just appoint one of its lead authors to be America's next Secretary of Defense?
I'm so depressed by this whole show that I hardly know what to do. No, forget that - I simply DO NOT know what to do.
How can you be a refugee since 1948?
If you havent found another place to live by now you are just a bum.
I don't care about Baker. What I care about is Baker's colleague, Mr. Gates. He helped write the report. Does he agree with it? Is he on the Saudi payroll too?
Who was on this panel besides Baker?
I doubt that they will leave us alone - in that case - they will merely eat us last.
James Baker - Riyadh's Man in Washington.
The Fraudis and others of their ilk sure get their money's worth from this guy, don't they?
Incoming Secretary of Defense Gates... and Sandra Day O'Connor, among others. Great bunch!
What Jew-haters like Baker forget is that by demanding Israel "give back" annexed territory and permit a "right of return" for one-time inhabitants, they are setting a precedent by which others in the future can legitimately demand that the United States "give back" Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to Mexico, and permit a "right of return" for perhaps 100 million Mexicans, and the removal of millions of Americans from their "settlements". In their zeal to destroy the land of the Jews, these bastards threaten to undermine the foundations of this nation.
Kindly note that Mr. Gates has the unanimous support of Senate Democrats behind his confirmation.
Sounds like a bunch of intellectual lightweights.
Why the hell did Bush just appoint Gates? Why not just go with Secretary of Defense Mahmoud Abbas?
Prince Abdullah Saud.
James Baker, co-chairman, Secretary of State under President Bush Sr
Lee Hamilton, co-chairman, ex-congressman (Democratic) who co-led 9/11 inquiry
Lawrence Eagleberger, Secretary of State under President Bush Sr
Vernon Jordan, adviser to President Clinton
Edwin Meese, Attorney General under President Reagan
Sandra Day O'Connor former Supreme Court justice
Leon Pannetta, Chief of Staff for President Clinton
William Perry, Defence Secretary under President Clinton
Charles Robb, former Senator (Democratic)
Alan Simpson, former Senator (Republican)
Yes, but 70% of them voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980.
F'ing Has-Beens, to a man.
And I mean you, Sandra.
Just globalists being globalists.
Egads. No wonder the report is nothing but rambling. Instead of appointing politicians, they should have appointed someone who's got a brain.
Actually it was 38% -- but a record nonetheless.
Leon Panetta, Vernon Jordan, Lee Hamilton, Sandra Day O'Connor, and a bunch of other septuagenarians.
Or to his daily workspace, under Prince Abdullah's desk.
That report leaves out Gates, who resigned for purposes of political expediency (aka his pending nomination) just ten days ago.
Because he is showing his true colors. Israel is being sold out by a Republican president.
All of the things the left said about the President were just a smoke screen. He is a spineless leftist through and through and we fell for it twice.
Welcome to one party rule.
Anybody still wanting Condi as president? She is just "W" house gofer.
from the article:
"'Right of return' is not in Oslo I or Oslo II, it's not in the Bush Rose Garden speech, it's not even in UN 181, the original partition resolution -- it's part of the Palestinian discourse," said the US analyst."
WHOOPS!!!! It IS in UN Res 194 date 11 December 1948.
Here is the text of section 11:
11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;
Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;
(Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)