It's Board of Directors includes H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Honorary Chair, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Rita E. Hauser, Esquire, Chair of the IPI Board of Directors, President of the Hauser Foundation; and its President is Mr. Terje Rød-Larsen.
Terje? Of Oslo Accords infamy? Oiy vey.
Anyway, at the meeting, Meridor said the future of Palestinian refugees is the most crucial issue for Israel.
"It's more important than even the exact delineation of the border, which is a problem but we can agree on this: It's more important even than the security arrangements that are very important," he said.
Meridor said Erekat's statement that the Palestinian Authority has no right to negotiate the right of return of the refugees — that the refugees themselves will have to make the choice and they have the right both to return and to compensation — raised major problems.
Any peace agreement that did not settle the refugee issue would mean "there is no end to the conflict."
From information I have, the most potent argument that Israelis across-the-divide believe is a good reason for keeping Judea and Samaria under Israel's control is the fear that if Arab refugees flood the "territories", it is just a matter of time before the pressure to let them "return" to Lod, Jaffa, Beer Sheva and Haifa builds up.
And this is interesting about Jerusalem and religion:-
Meridor nonetheless quoted the late Pope John Paul II saying that Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, but was promised only to the Jews. The remark drew audible gasps from the audience. Erakat threw his hand to his forehead in desperation.
Er, Saeb, how come the Koran doesn't mention the city at all?
In another story covering the debate, we read:
“If by the end of this year we have no two-state solution, you will sweat,” Erakat told Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Meridor
Truth told, I think it is Erekat who is sweating.