ADL Says Arab League Statement on Refugees Slams Door on the Peace Process
New York, NY, January 4, 2001 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
called an Arab League statement on the right of return of Palestinian refugees,
"anathema to the larger goals of the peace process."
Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National
Director, issued the following statement:
In calling the Palestinian right of return "sacred" and
fundamentally non-negotiable, the Arab League foreign ministers are
effectively slamming the door on peace negotiations with Israel. To reject
out of hand the various alternative proposals for compensating refugees that
have been discussed is anathema to the larger goals of the peace process.
At Camp David and in recent talks with U.S. officials, Israel has made it
clear that it is ready to make very difficult compromises in the pursuit of
peace with the Palestinians on the issues of Jerusalem, borders and
settlements. It is becoming unmistakably obvious that the Palestinian
Authority and the leadership of the Arab world are unwilling to make the
same difficult compromises in the pursuit of peace with Israel.
The return of potentially millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel is
an unrealistic demand. The right of return would create an untenable
situation for Israel, with an increase in risks to national security and
irreversible changes to the dynamics of a Jewish democratic state.
The government of Israel is ready to cooperate toward a solution of the
problem, including the resettlement of many refugees in a Palestinian state,
consider cases of family reunification, and contribute to an international
fund to compensate the refugees. For more than 50 years, the Arab world has
used these refugees as pawns in their battle to deny Israel’s existence.
From its origins to this very day, the refugee issue has been tied to this
goal and thus no effort has ever been made by the Arab states to ameliorate
the refugees’ conditions or resolve their situation.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.