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,

and

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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