Olmert To Arabs: You Broke It, You Own It

Ehud Olmert has made it clear to the Arabs pushing the 2002 Saudi peace initiative that Israel will not accept even a single Palestinian refugee under a notion of “right of return”. Olmert stated yesterday that the Arab nations created the refugee problem with their multinational war of annihilation against Israel, and they can deal with its consequences now:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in interviews published Friday that Israel would not allow a single Palestinian refugee to return to what is now Israel, and that the country bore no responsibility for the refugees because their plight resulted from an attack by Arab nations on Israel when it was a fledgling state. …
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Mr. Olmert seemed to rule out any negotiation on refugees. He would not accept any notional Palestinian “right of return” to their homes, telling the newspaper: “I’ll never accept a solution that is based on their return to Israel, any number.”
Mr. Olmert said that the refugee problem was caused by the Arab attack on Israel in 1948 and called it “a moral issue of the highest standard.” He said: “I will not agree to accept any kind of Israeli responsibility for the refugees. Full stop.”
Then he added: “I don’t think we should accept any kind of responsibility for the creation of this problem. Full stop.” He said the return of even one Palestinian refugee to Israel was “out of the question.”

Olmert went farther than Ehud Barak did during his negotiations with Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat. In those talks, Barak agreed to a suymbolic return of a small number of refugees if the Palestinians would then agree to a compensation system for the rest of the original refugees. Arafat later rejected the settlement that Barak offered, calling for an intifada instead that claimed thousands of lives in the years since.
Israel understands that the right of return means the end of Israel. The Palestinians would flood into Israel with full voting rights, and they would overthrow the Israeli government and send Jews fleeing for their lives — again. Any national security system would be destroyed within hours of the return, and Palestinian terrorist groups would have a field day targeting Israelis. It would be preferable for Israel to annex the West Bank instead, although it would eventually produce the same results.
The Arabs know this, too, which is why any initiative that includes a right of return cannot be taken seriously. If the Arabs want to insist on this, they are just posing for domestic consumption. If they seriously want peace, then they have to acknowledge their own complicity in keeping the Palestinians as refugees for their own political purposes rather tham just insisting on a return of the West Bank to Jordan, to which it belonged prior to the 1967 war. Jordan then could declare it a free state on its own.
The entire sad history of Arab futility feeds this demand that Israel grant in peace what the Arabs could not win in war. Even a rather weak leader like Ehud Olmert understands that Israel cannot survive a massive migration of their sworn enemies into their country, and no nation could. If that means the Arab nations want to remain in a state of cold war with Israel, then so be it — but we will take them seriously only when Saudi Arabia allows a massive migration of Jews and Christians into Mecca.

17 thoughts on “Olmert To Arabs: You Broke It, You Own It”

  1. For Israel, “right of return” would be a slow suicide. Better to have a war. At least war is quick.

  2. Actually, one might find the situation much more ironic if one studied the history of the “foundation” of Israel. Nothing more need be said than suggesting Ilan Papes’s recent book. He’s Israeli and still lives there. A real different picture emerges.

  3. ¿Por qué usted no piensa ninguna nación puede sobrevivir una inmigración masiva de sus enemigos?

  4. Marty, since you appear only too happy to take advantage of Ed’s comment section to flog bile from a self-loathing Jew like Pape, I’m wondering why you closed off comments on this little number from your own “blog”?
    http://oristo.com/wordpress/?p=147 “Noam Chomsky gave this this interview. I don’t really need to read it to post it and endorse it. Anybody who’s been tracking the conquest of Iraqi oil by the United States government knows that what he’s going to say. But he said it. I’ll read it now.”
    Got double standards or something?

  5. At least Olmert is aware of the reality in the region to a greater degree than many other diplomats.
    Just to put a final touch on this Hamas leader Haniyeh said the following;
    “In Friday’s speech, Haniyeh said Hamas will never recognize Israel or compromise on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in what is now Israel.
    Haniyeh made clear Hamas was willing “in this stage” to accept a state in the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    But Hamas remains committed to establishment of a Muslim state in all of British-mandated Palestine, including what is now Israel.”

  6. Oh boy, Olmert has really stuck his foot in it this time.
    Claiming that the displacement was a result of other nations’ attack on Israel brings the Geneva Conventions into play. In particular, a right of return for civilian noncombatants is enshrined under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.
    This diplomatic blunder is equivalent to Lincoln’s statement to Britain and France that he was blockading the southern ports; this gave the South the status of an independent state, since only the ports of another sovereign state may be blockaded; a state is permitted to close its own ports (including using military force technically equivalent to a blockade) but never to blockade them. As a result of Lincoln’s misstep, Confederate ambassadors were admitted, and the European nations adopted a stance of neutrality.

  7. Olmert KNOWS his popularity is in the single-digits.
    He also knows that he’s not gonna head any party that goes to elections, soon.
    While Israel does own the biggest soap opera on the world’s stage in their knesset. It hardly speaks to most Israelis!
    Livni? Give me a break. She’s a tool of the left. So she gets “good press.” In a meaningless world.
    Olmert, however, is clever. He’s only been in office ONE YEAR. He was given a 4-year run. And, he’s not resigning.
    I also think that he saw what went on in Riyadh as a GIANT BUST.
    Bush? Keeps his agenda out of sight. Since, all you’ll probably hear are loud BOOMS. And, stories about how things could be turned around. Not just at sea. In the Gulf. But for Iraq, too.
    Iraq has “some” sunnis present. But no friends. They’ve also shed half their sunni population. Because arabs tend to pack and run. So? Egypt, jordan, and syria, are now packed full of sunnis. (While Libya is choking on 4.5 million “palistinians,” that they intend to “remove.” How? By cancelling out their Libyan passports.
    You think despots play fair? Think, again.
    Condi got rebuffed on all fronts.
    The success of thousands of Jews going to Homesh; one of the 21 settler’s locations the IDF stripped of Israelis … was ONE BLOW.
    Condi learned that what had once transpired in Israel; where the LEFT was on a roll, couldn’t find traction.
    So? Olmert’s “give away” is now without traction.
    As to damascus, they are a weak player. But they are also AGAINST the HOUSE OF SAUD. Syria really only affects the Lebanese. And, they haven’t quite digested their victory from last summer. Though they do hold the bones of the two hostages, taken.
    Gazoo? When they had the cesspool overrunning the village, it became apparent that the idiots would steal the sand to sell. Without even knowing that the sands held back the shit. These people deserve a state? How so?
    Bush? I think by now he’s gotten enough “lessons” from the Saud’s that his best approach would be to ditch them, someplace. NOT give them real estate!
    What happens when the BOOM comes along?
    The other thing to guess? How long Olmert can keep his prime minister’s chair? His first year was awful! You mean he didn’t learn a thing? That’s odd.
    At least Olmert’s ELECTED! Hosni in egypt? Just changed the constitution. So he remains in charge. ANd, egypt is a “family business.”
    You don’t think condi noticed all these failures?
    While Israel? It seems they don’t want to be involved in an arab’s civil war. Olmert is actually good at ducking that one!
    Though, like here, its hard to get the news to come by. Unless you go to the Internet. And, sift the propaganda through your own psyche. Ain’t much else.
    But for Bush to finally make the next move. Oh, boy. Or cowboy? Check back next week.

  8. The original and latest manifestations of the Saudi proposal does not specify the ‘right to return’ which the Palestinians cling to. It calls for a ‘just’ and ‘final’ settlement for those refugees who were dislocated by the foundation of Israel and subsequent wars. Olmert is staking out Israel’s postion ahead of serious negotiations… this is the Middle East… The Arabs and the Israelis are more than a little skilled in the art of the haggle.
    I don’t expect any comprehensive agreement to lead to an end to terrorism overnight but it would unlock much of the economic potential of Israel and its neighbors having trade partners instead of bitter enemies nearby. It is in Israel’s long term interest to become integrated into the region and a cessation of hostilities between the parties and full mutual recognition and all that goes with it is worth approaching with some seriousness.
    The choice is not merely limited to ‘right of return’ or war as RBMN suggests.

  9. “It is in Israel’s long term interest to become integrated into the region…”
    Perhaps I’m reading more into your comment than I should, but why exactly should the only democracy in the region have to “integrate” into the wretched hive of scum and villainy that surrounds it, rather than the other way ’round?

  10. unclesmrgol,
    I can’t see why the Fourth Geneva Convention should apply. It didn’t exist at the time. Even if it did, it refers to refugees, not their grandchildren.

  11. As long as the Palestinians refuse to settle down and insist on blowing everything up all around them, isn’t this all a moot discussion?
    Does Saudi Arabia think they can get the Palestinian gunmen and bomb-makers to quit plying their trade, or is Israel (and America) just supposed to ignore the fact that innocents are being murdered and proceed down the Arab-decreed road to “peace”?

  12. Bill’s Nibbles // Open Post — 2007.03.31

    Please feel free to use this post for comments and trackbacks not related to other posts on the site. If you leave a trackback your post must include a link to this one and, as always, comments claiming the sun

  13. Olmert To Arabs: You Broke It, You Own It

    Olmert To Arabs: You Broke It, You Own It Ed Morrissey Ehud Olmert has made it clear to the Arabs pushing the 2002 Saudi peace initiative that Israel will not accept even a single Palestinian refugee under a notion of

  14. Oh, boy. An Israeli wrote a book. And, has an opinion. Who knew that people would have opinions that differed, drastically, from the people who get elected to office?
    And, what do we see when we look around?
    It seems in every democracy you’ve got someone whose popularity TANKS. It seems to go with “getting elected.”
    At first? I was furious.
    But ya know what? The best way to get the “least government” is to tolerate a bit of inneptness in your leaders.
    Do you know why?
    Because they can’t do as much harm as someone who garners a following. In our world.
    No. It wasn’t always like this.
    But it is how things are NOW.
    Weak leaders can’t give away the store. They can’t even change the prices to “drastic discounts.” Instead? They get the pomp. WIthout the circumstance.
    And, you’ll also observe; by not doing very much, the arabs seem to manager to flounder. If not outright drown in excrement.
    So, you could diagram it this way: Weak leaders have allowed the worst crap to flow among the arabs. Where things are going to hell in a handbasket.
    Yes. The women are still outcasts. And, with what seems like “religious fervor” … but probably is not. You’ve got waves of insane I-Mam’s. Trying to lead the world leaders around by their noses. Whatever. Nobody seems to be making any contact with a ball reaching a goal. While i sports? You couldn’t run a game without such things.
    Weak leaders. And, special interests. We’re practically surrounded.
    On the other hand?
    What influences do you think are taking hold?
    Anyway. One of the gambits of democracy is that no one individual’s opinions is worth more than another’s. One man. One vote.
    But there’s a common denominator. It seems that in our vast wisdom, after the votes are counted, what pleases the most number of people … And, this could fall at a low of 50% + 1, becomes the rule.
    In a weak environment, where day to day you don’t see much change.
    It’s WHY we have the politicians that we do.
    The world’s not ready, yet, for an all-out confrontation.
    In the meantime? Consider it dry powder.
    Israel isn’t in dire straits. No matter how often Condi ships out to go there; the fact remains that her influence, peddled, is practically nil.
    You’re just assuming there are new elections just over the horizon. Why? Because Olmert’s popularity digits have gone down the toilet.
    But. That. May. Be. Just. What. The. People. WANT!
    Too bad Barnum’s dead. Because we could have asked him. He knew what it took to make a circus successful. (First? You must make a profit.)
    And, there may be reasons for Olmert’s silence? what if he thinks Bush moves. What if he thinks this “movement” is bigger than a weather pattern?
    Meanwhile, all we can do is try to guess.
    But at least I see “weak” as being a choice made by so many people, on such a large scale; that the “star system” for government leaders has undergone basic change.
    Nope. There never will be another Lincoln.

  15. The Holocaust began this day, 1933

    No April Fool today, just a reminder that 74 years ago on April 1, 1933 the Holocaust began. Months earlier, the National Socialist German Workers Party became the largest parliamentary faction and on January 30th, Adolf Hitler was appointed to the c…

  16. BTW Captain, Jordan never “owned” the West Bank. Between 48 and 67 it was under Jordanian occupation, but other than Great Britain and Pakistan no one recognized Jordan’s sovereignity

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