Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tells Haaretz about his position on the right of return:
There are today five million Palestinian refugees whose forefathers were expelled from the area of Israel, not from the West Bank and Gaza. We understand that if we demand of you that all five million return to Israel, the State of Israel would be destroyed. But we must talk about compromise and see to what numbers you can agree.
“We have to talk about Israeli recognition of its responsibility for the refugee problem, and then discuss the right of return in practice. The Palestinians who don’t return to Israel can return to Palestine. If they decide to remain in the countries where they are living, they will receive compensation, as will the countries that absorb them. There is a central issue that Israel tends to ignore: the assets of the absentees. That is a very important issue, almost the basis of the problem.
“We intend to hold talks with Israel about the number of refugees who will return to its area. I am criticized for not demanding the return of all five million, but I say that we will demand the return of a reasonable number of refugees to Israel. The Arab peace initiative also discusses that – a solution to the refugee problem has to be agreed upon with Israel, according to UN General Assembly resolution 194 [from 1948].”
Read the whole interview.
Abbas is the perfect Palestinian leader for the Israelis and Americans. Tasked to “control” resistance in the West Bank, as the occupation enlarges every day, he allows the world to convince itself that negotiations with the Israelis are continuing, even when Israel has no intention of giving up illegally occupied territory.
Soon Palestinians will outnumber Jews in Palestine and the world will have a stark choice. Support an apartheid state, where a minority Jewish population rules over a majority Palestinian one, or pressure both sides to find a compromise.