New initiative would allow Palestinian refugees the right of return to ‘a state of all its citizens.’

New initiative would allow Palestinian refugees the right of return to ‘a state of all its citizens.’

By  | May.17, 2013 | 1:29 AM |  8
bi-national state

Calling the two-state solution unrealistic, senior Fatah members issued a document Wednesday calling for the establishment of one democratic country in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

The initiative, which was the culmination of two years of discussion, coincided with the 65th anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic) − the forced exile of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 and after and the dispersal of the Palestinian people between different countries and regimes.

While the Palestinian Liberation Organization held a small procession in Ramallah to mark the Nakba on Wednesday, some 20 men and two women congregated in a hall in the El Bireh municipality to sign the document called “the popular movement project for one democratic state in historic Palestine.”

It states that “the racist Israeli policy of separation and segregation” has made the two-state solution (based on pre-1967 borders) unrealistic. Therefore, the most desirable option left for the Palestinian people and the one which will allow the right of return is: “a democratic state for all its citizens, which will be based on a democratic constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and will guarantee freedom and equal rights, without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, skin color, language, nationality, political opinion, social origin and place of birth.”

Most of the participants behind the initiative are identified with Fatah; a minority are members of other organizations in the PLO. They include Fatah member Radi Jarai, the former deputy director for prisoner affairs; Munir Abushi, the former governor of Salfit; and Prof. Uri Davis from the department of Israel studies at Al Quds University. When asked by Haaretz whether the intention was for “one state of the Palestinian people and members of the Jewish religion and others,” Davis responded that members were still discussing different concepts and definitions, and that he personally supports “one state for two peoples.”

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