Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Restitution from Arab Countries: Who Gains?

Israeli political specialist Benny Mercury (Ben Caspit) has decided that that a recent Shas promoted and preliminarily-approved legislation, stating that any future political agreement that addresses compensation or relocation for "Palestinian refugees" must be accompanied by a parallel agreement providing compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries,-- will deadlock any future peace agreement.

Mercury believes that Netanyahu approved the legislation on purpose, to ensure he won't have to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The legislation states:
"The government of Israel with not sign, either directly or through a representative, any treaty or agreement with any country, party, or authority, that is a political middle east agreement, without ensuring the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries according to the Refugee Charter of the United Nations.

Any discussion in the matter of Palestinian refugees within the framework of peace negotiations in the Middle East, will require the government of Israel to discuss the issue of financial compensation for lost property, and equal compensation to that of Arab refugees that left their properties from the day of the founding of the State, and those of Jewish refugees from Arab countries." [NRG, Hebrew]
Mercury abhors anything to the right of Kadima, and is hardly a fan of Netanyahu, yet I think he missed the point completely.

PM Netanyahu supports this initiative not because it will deadlock future peace agreements, but it will actually give Shas and its voters a very clear reason to support a peace agreement which provides monetary compensation to Jews from Arab countries.

Unfortunately, choosing compensation money over destroying the settlements won't be that hard a choice for Shas.

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Elaz said...

I don't think anyone is naive enough to believe the "Arab countries" would consider compensating their Jewish refugees. The legislation was drafted simply to give the world some perspective on the notion of Arab refugees from Palestine. I like how turned turned that one around on Shas, though.

N said...

i think it's pretty funny, we're making a totally unreasonable demand in response to theirs.

Shmilda said...

It's an interesting idea, but if/when the final peace agreement is reached it will be irrelevant.

As I understand the separation of powers, in practice the Israeli government signing the deal will freely ignore this legislation. (Similar to Rabin's crowd ignoring the criminal penalties for meeting with the enemy.)

Should it go before Bagatz, they would opine that the legislation merely insists on regular refugee rights on the Jewish refugees, such as the right of the actual refugee to return, whereas the Arab refugees and their descendants are granted special everlasting rights to return and more. (And anyone can "discuss the issue of financial compensation for lost property," without exacting a settlement.)

Anonymous said...

why do you say this is not reasonable!

Gary said...

Are there real records of the property we're dealing with here? Why can't the Palestians just take that and we'll call it even?

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