News Briefs

  Nissan 11, 5767 , 30/03/07

Olmert: No to “Right of Return”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday that he completely rejects the idea of a “right of return” for Arabs whose families left Israel in 1948. The “right of return” is a key demand in the Saudi Initiative, on which Palestinian Authority leaders have repeatedly expressed no willingness to compromise. The Saudi Initiative calls for any Arab who ever lived in Israel and all of his or her descendants to be granted Israeli citizenship, a rule that could apply to millions of Arabs.

Olmert rejected not only the Saudi plan, but a more moderate plan proposed by former American President Bill Clinton as well. Clinton’s plan called for Israel to recognize the right of return in theory, but to avoid granting citizenship to all Arab descendants of former residents. “It’s a moral issue,” said Olmert, who explained that Israel is not responsible for problems faced by Arabs who left before or during Israel’s many wars, and should not agree to accept responsibility even as a gesture.
Other archived news briefs:Mar 30 2007, 09:44 AM, 3/30/2007