Public Statement by Palestinian Popular and National Organizations

In the wake of recent media statements made by Palestinian intellectual Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, Israeli and international media and politicians continue to welcome and herald a so-called "new Palestinian flexibility" on core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His old-new proposals, however, are deeply resented and rejected by the large majority of the Palestinian people, especially Palestinian refugees, who feel that Dr. Nusseibeh has been abusing his official position (PLO Jerusalem portfolio) and his connection to western media in order to deal yet another blow to international support for basic Palestinian rights, especially Palestinian refugees' right of return, restitution and compensation.

Below is a sample of the numerous public statements issued in response by Palestinian popular committees and national institutions in Palestine and in exile:

PUBLIC STATEMENT ISSUED BY PALESTINIAN POPULAR INSTITUTIONS, ORGANIZATIONS AND UNIONS

On October 17, 2001, the New York Times newspaper published an article on a lecture given by Dr. Sari Nusseibeh at Jerusalem's Hebrew University on October 15. In that article, Dr. Nusseibeh is said to have "criticized the Palestinian uprising as hopelessly mired in bloodshed and argued that a peace agreement incorporating a Palestinian state could only be reached if the Palestinians abandoned a longstanding demand for the return of refugees dislocated in war more than 50 years ago to their former homes in Israel." "The Palestinians have to realize," the article quotes Dr. Nusseibeh as saying, "that if we are to reach an agreement on two states, then those two states will have to be one for the Israelis and one for the Palestinians, not one for the Palestinians and the other also for the Palestinians" (Source: Joel Greenberg, "Palestinian Offers Idea: Get Israelis On Our Side", The New York Times, October 17, 2001). Dr. Nusseibeh has also made those statements to a number of media outlets, including Al-Jazeera TV, and to Israel's Channel One Television, on November 7, 2001.

Based on the above mentioned article, and on other statements made by Dr. Nusseibeh to various Western, Israeli and Arab media - statements which are much more loaded than the above-mentioned quote, and are against the Intifada, and ridicule the Palestinian mentality, and marginalize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people - we as popular refugee institutions, unions and organizations would like to stress the following:

First: Dr. Nusseibeh represents only himself. We deem his speech at the Hebrew University, and his subsequent statements in general as a flagrant violation of our national rights, particularly of our brave Intifada, and of our right of return to our homes from which we were forcibly displaced by Zionist terrorism. Our right of return can neither be abrogated nor cancelled by Dr. Nusseibeh and the like.

Second: Mr. Nusseibeh's call for the establishment of two ethnic states contradicts the right of every individual refugee to return to his/her homeland. It also goes in contradiction with the struggle of our people inside the Green Line who bitterly suffer every day and every moment from ethnic racism practiced against them. It is worth reminding Dr. Nusseibeh and others that there are 1.3 million Palestinian citizens inside "Israel," among them some 250,000 internally displaced who live as refugees in their homeland, often a very short distance from their original homes and properties. These refugees are denied the right to return to their homes and lands by the ethnic racist state, and they are prevented from practicing their natural right to live on their properties and reap their fruits. This is their fate solely because they are Palestinians. Does Nusseibeh therefore advocate the establishment of an ethnically pure and racist Jewish Zionist state, as do the extreme racist Zionists?

Third: There are international resolutions and laws, and there are human rights laws that guarantee the refugees' right to return to their homes, irrespective of who holds the power or has the authority. Do we surrender our individual and collective rights to an abhorrent ethnic excuse and to the law of the jungle!? What is it that Dr. Nusseibeh wants us to "realize!?" We fully understand that no people in the world except our own has had to accept an unjust UN resolution like Resolution 181 (UN Partition Plan for Palestine), which was a violation of international law, as well as consequent UN resolutions, such as 194, 242, in order to establish their state on the remaining part of Palestine, and for the return of the refugees to their homes. We as a people, along with our leadership, fully understand that the rights of refugees are guaranteed in resolution 194, specifically in its explicit text on their right to return to their homes, and to practice the freedom of choice. מחפש נערות ליווי? לחץ כאן למידע

Fourth: What Dr. Nusseibeh is stating can not be considered within the freedom of expression or personal opinion. The rights of nations and of individuals can not be subjected to intellectual or academic exercise. These are rights with clear interpretations, and with clear basic rules.

Fifth: We demand that Dr. Nusseibeh stop damaging our rights and that he stop abusing the freedom of opinion and expression. We also demand that he follow the Palestinian National Program to which we have all agreed, as a people along with our leadership. Unless Dr. Nusseibeh has his own national or political agenda, there is no reason why he should not follow this program. If however he does have his own agenda, then we demand that he spell it out publicly. We urge him to read various statements made by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Arab, international and Islamic forums, wherein Mr. Arafat repeatedly affirms that the basis for solving the Palestinian refugee question lies in UN General Assembly Resolution 194, with international law and international legitimacy serving as terms of reference.

Signatories:

Popular Committees - Gaza Strip
Union of Community Youth Centers in the Refugee Camps – Palestine
National Society for the Defense of the Displaced Inside Israel - 1948 Palestine
Union of Women Activity Centers - West Bank Refugee Camps
BADIL Resource Center, Bethlehem, Palestine
Committee for the Defense of Refugee Rights - Balata Camp, Palestine
Jafa Cultural Center - Balata Camp, Palestine
Higher National Committee for the Return of the Refugees - Sana'oud - Nablus Governorate, Palestine
Office of National Institutions - Tubas Governorate, Palestine
Students Council - Jerusalem Open University - Nablus, Palestine
Handicapped Rehabilitation Committee - West Bank Refugee Camps, Palestine
The Coordinating Committee of Political Factions - Nablus Governorate
The Coordinating Committee of Political Factions - Tubas Governorate
All-Party Coordinating Committee-Jerusalem, Palestine
Aidun Group, Syria
High Committee for the Defense of the Right of Return, Jordan
Al-Awda Network, UK
Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition-Steering Committee, North America
Palestinian Right of Return Coalition-Europe