We the undersigned, Palestinians and Palestinian refugees in search of a just peace in our country, are particularly concerned about all efforts, Israeli and international, at dismissing Palestinian refugee rights, even before Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the refugee question have actually begun. We wish to emphasize here, that the attempt to push the Palestinian negotiators into signing an agreement which does not provide for our right of return endangers the current effort for peace in the region. Five million Palestinian refugees continue to struggle for their right to return to their homes and property taken away from them in 1948.
We are particularly concerned about the stand in respect to our right of return taken by progressive Israelis and the Israeli peace forces – among them Peace Now - who have shared our struggle against the illegal Israeli settlements, for human rights, and for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital shared by the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples.
Based on the above, we completely reject the recent statement of Peace Now saying that, “The right of return exists. They [Palestinians] have the right of return. But they don’t have the right to realize that right. Basically, those who want to return to Jaffa are exactly like the Jew who wants to return to Hebron. Both the Jew who wishes to return to Hebron and the Palestinian who wants to return to Jaffa are extremists who will have to forego their desires.” (Mossy Raz, General Secretary of Peace Now, on Clinton's Comments, interview with Aaron Lerner, 2 July 1999).
The above statement represents just another version of the well-known Israeli propaganda aimed at negating Palestinian rights. As common for Israeli propaganda, this argument,
Based on the above, we call on Israeli and Jewish peace forces in general, and Peace Now in particular, to take serious the challenge presented by the Palestinian right of return and to work for creating a vision among Israeli society and Jewish communities world wide that can facilitate the construction of a framework of peace and coexistence which includes the internationally recognized right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and regain access to their properties taken away from them in the past. The “Peace of the Brave” must not remain an empty phrase!
Signed for the BADIL Friends Forum by:
“Message from the Original Jewish Community of Hebron:
Seek Peace of Hebron
Peace for the City of Hebron, Peace for Israel
Hebron Will Decided for Good or Evil
Amnon Bierman; Rachel Grundland (Zarfati family); Ronen Doron (Slonim family); Etty Horn (Franco family); Chaim Hazan (Avishar family); Ovadya Hassun (Hassun family); Tamar Hassun (Hassun family); Ofra Yerushalmi-Seidof (Zarfati family); Dafne Mendelowitz (Zarfati family); Yaakov Meshorer (Mani family); Meir Slonim (Slonim family); Yonah Rochlin (Mani, Hassun); Sima Schneider (Slonim family); Moshe Gelmor (Hassun family); Ahuva Donivksy (Zarfati family); Yael Doron (Slonim family); Chaim Hanegbi (Bajaio family); Michal Hassun (Hassun family); Rami Hassun (Hassun family); Orit Hassun-Walder (Hassun family); Yair Kidan (Schneierson family); Asher Meshorer (Mani family); Orah Slonim (Slonim family);
For further information contact: BADIL Resource Center, PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine; tel/fax. 02-2747346; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.