Margaret Scott

The Return of 1948

The restitution of lands occupied in 1967 will obviously continue to be indispensable to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it is the legacy of the 1948 war that both parties to the conflict have now put at the center of the debate. Only an acceptable deal on the Palestinian refugees can definitely close the 1948 file – and only then can the conflict in Palestine end.

TEL AVIV – The forthcoming United Nation’s conference commemorating the 60th anniversary of UNRWA (The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) could not come at a better moment. The restitution of lands occupied in 1967 will obviously continue to be indispensable to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it is the legacy of the 1948 war that both parties to the conflict have now put at the center of the debate.

Oddly, it was Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who, by requesting that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, reopened the 1948 file. That demand brought the quest for peace back to its fundamentals, where the question of the refugees is bound to play a central role.

Netanyahu’s intention was essentially to force the Palestinians into admitting that the right of return of refugees applies only to the Palestinian state, not Israel. But the true significance of his demand lies in that it’s being pronounced at a time when Prime Minister Salam Fayaad’s policies are posing a genuine challenge to the Palestinian national movement to choose between an ethos of vindication and one of state building.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/3m6OqtP;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.