July 16, 2018
- Pushing the Palestinian “Right of Return” Doesn’t Help Peace – Tzipi Livni
In the past few months, I’ve heard voices in the UK, including senior members of the Labour shadow cabinet, calling for the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel. As a supporter of peace based on the principle of two-states-for-two-peoples, the demand that Palestinian refugees “return” to Israel is not only at odds with the very rationale of a two-nation-states solution, but, if accepted, would lead to a continuation of the conflict long after the establishment of a Palestinian state. Such a scenario should be rejected by anyone who truly seeks peace in our lifetime.
Unfortunately, Palestinian refugees have been used as a political playing card for far too long since 1948. Palestinians are the only group since the end of the Second World War to have kept their refugee status and to have passed this status down to over four generations, creating a problem of millions of “refugees” that are kept as pawns in a political game instead of solving their humanitarian situation.
Attempts to derail the two-nation-states solution by pushing or supporting the idea of a “right of return” will only exacerbate the conflict and is the antithesis of peace. The writer, co-leader of Israel’s opposition Zionist Union party, served as Israel’s foreign minister and chief peace negotiator with the Palestinians. (Guardian-UK)