Friday, January 31, 2014

A Just Resolution To The Palestinian Refugee Crisis

UN General Assembly and Security resolutions have continuously called for a just resolution to the Palestinian Refugee Crisis. Here is my own thoughts on  how this could be done while preserving the integrity and Jewish character of the State of Israel.

1. Symbolic Repatriation. In exchange for waving a full right of return, 48,000 individuals and their immediate family would be given the opportunity to become Israeli citizens.The number 48,000 would be symbolic of the year 1948, that Palestinians refer to as al Nakba (the Catastrophe).  These refugees would have to be registered with the UNRWA, and not have been involved in a terrorist attack of any kind. The names would be chosen by lottery and then an extensive background check would take place. Once they pass the background check the individual will be included as one of the 48,000. Immediate family would be defined as an individual their spouse and their underage children. Underage means any unmarried child below the age of 18. Elderly Parents or Grandparents would also be included if under care, as well as any underage children that the individual is the guardian of as of the day they receive notice of being chosen. These individuals would have to undergo one year of Ulpan about Israeli society and culture.This would include learning basic Hebrew.
At the end of this period, they will be given the opportunity to reject moving to the State of Israel. Israel will be under no obligation to accept any other individuals to make up for those individuals who turn down the opportunity. Once the lottery has picked 48,000 Palestinian adult Individuals who can pass a background check, then it is up to those individuals to decide. The repatriation process would begin within 1 year of the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at rate of 9600 per year. The actual repatriation of individuals would begin within 3 years of signing an agreement based on those of the 9600 chosen who wish to immigrate to Israel each year. The process of immigration should end no later than 5 years after its beginning.

2. Universal compensation. In exchange for waving a full right of return, all Palestinians registered as refugees with UNRWA will be given financial compensation of 14,800 dollars. This includes all individuals who are living on the date of the signing of the peace agreement. Israel will be required to pay 1/10 of the costs, with the International community providing the of the rest of the funds. To receive compensation, one must be 18 years if age or older. All minors will have their funds held in trust until they come of age. Payments will begin within 3 years of the signing of a peace agreement. The disbursement of funds should be completed no later than 10 years after the initial payments. Any funds that are not claimed  will be sent to the next of kin.

3. Resettlement. Those refugees not allowed to return to Israel should be given the option to either immigrate abroad, or become  full citizens of the States in which they reside. The resettlement process should conclude no later than 10 years after the signing of a peace agreement.

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