December 03, 2006

The challenge of the present absentees

A present absentee is a uniquely Israeli thing. The present absentees are Palestinian refugees who fled their villages but didn't get beyond the boundaries of what became Israel in 1948. They are still denied the right to return to the homes they were forced to flee. Well now they are campaigning for the right of return
:"Our goal is to achieve a historic compromise with the Jewish community in Israel," Mossawa Center director Jafar Farah told the conference. "The move by refugees of 1948 to their villages will not change the demographic balance or endanger the Jews. Unlike the refugees in Arab states, we are [already] here," Farah said. "The internal refugees [residents forced to leave their villages in 1948 who moved to other Arab communities within Israel] represent about one-fourth of the Arab population in Israel today."
Check the whole thing in Ha'aretz. They are seeking more reforms than just the right of return.

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