Saudi Columnist On Right of Return & Refugees

Memri has a couple of interesting excerpts from a Saudi columnist. I’ll borrow their introduction:

In two recent articles in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, Saudi columnist Yousef Nasser Al-Sweidan argued that the Palestinian refugees’ right of return is an idea that cannot be implemented, and that the only solution is for the refugees to be naturalized in the countries where they currently reside.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

The Right of Return – An Idea that Cannot Be Implemented

In the first article, published March 5, 2007 and titled “On the Impossible [Idea] of the Right of Return,” Al-Sweidan wrote: “…The slogan ‘right of return’… which is brandished by Palestinian organizations, is perceived as one of the greatest difficulties and as the main obstacle to renewing and advancing the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians based on the Road Map and a two-state solution.

“It is patently obvious that uprooting the descendents of the refugees from their current homes in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and other countries, and returning them to Israel, to the West Bank, and to Gaza is a utopian ideal and [a recipe for] anarchy. More than that – it is an idea that cannot be implemented,


The Inevitable Solution is to Naturalize the Refugees in the Host Countries

“As the Middle East peace process gains momentum, and as the regional and international forces remain committed to the need to resolve this [conflict]… there is a growing necessity for a realistic, unavoidable and bold decision that will provide a just solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees by naturalizing them in the host countries, such as Syria, Lebanon, and other countries.

“Even though this is a humanitarian [project], it requires intensive efforts on the legislative, economic, logistic, and administrative levels, in order to integrate the Palestinians organically into the social, economic and political fabric of the Arab societies…

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  1. RR April 15, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Uh, what everyone else said. 🙂

    No way will the refugee problem ever be solved- the Arab world needs that problem to stick around forever in order to take attention away from their own horrid, totalitarian regimes.

    Also, it keeps Israel looking bad in the eyes of the largely anti-Semitic world.

  2. Jack's Shack April 15, 2007 at 4:53 am


    You said it.


    If this were a cartoon you’d see the undertaker measuring him for a casket.


    George Will wrote a great essay about refugees. He has a whole bit where he compares how many refugees there were after WWII and how long it took to take care of them.

  3. Shira Salamone April 13, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I’m of three minds on this. 🙂

    1) “Finally, a reasonable idea.” Paula, you’re certainly right. My question has always been, “Why the heck weren’t the refugees naturalized years ago? The State of Israel has taken in thousands of refugees. It’s not easy, but, obviously, it can be done.

    2) Assuming that anyone really cares, as you were saying: “Fat chance in hell it has of getting anywhere.”

    3) “This guy’s days are numbered.” That’s no joke, Mark. [Shudder.]

  4. PsychoToddler April 13, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    This guy’s days are numbered.

  5. Paula April 13, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Finally, a reasonable idea. Fat chance in hell it has of getting anywhere.

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