Palestinian Mini-State

Globe and Mail: No right of return, Bush tells Palestinian refugees

U.S. President George W. Bush told Palestinian refugees Wednesday that they can forget about ever returning to their ancestral homes.

Leaving Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon beaming at a joint press conference in Washington, Mr. Bush appeared to negate any right of return for Palestinian uprooted from what is now Israel.

Their future lies only in “the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than in Israel,” he said.

The U.S. President twice referred to Israel as a Jewish state, alluding to arguments that allowing millions of Palestinian refugees to return there would alter the fundamental character of the country.

The AP/NYT version of the story is somewhat less in-your-face in its assessment of the speech. Clearly, though, the 1948 borders are non-starters at this point.

And this characterization is amusing:

Mr. Bush did not explicitly say that the United States supported Israel’s keeping some of its large settlements on the West Bank — home to about a quarter million Israelis — but he endorsed Mr. Sharon’s unilateral plan to withdraw the few thousand settlers from the Gaza Strip.

What’s “unilateral” about Israel bringing its own people from disputed territories back home? Whose permission was he supposed to get?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. He needs the UN’s permission, for one. He has deprived the terrorists of thousands of potential targets of “inner striving for enlightenment” (aka Jihad). Hundreds of Egyptians are now without any hope of their 72 raisins.

    Of course, since the UN probably wouldn’t give Israel permission to EXIST today, it might be difficult.

  2. BigFire says:

    Re: Gary & Samoyeds

    My thought exactly.

  3. The Arab League, of course.

    Oh wait. Did I say Arab League? I mean UNSC.