White House: Jewish “refugees” right of return should be “on the table”
which informs us that
Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for communications and President Barack Obama's chief speechwriter on foreign policy, talked about what's known as the "Jewish right of return" during an off-the-record conference call with Jewish community leaders on May 20...
In response to a question asking why there is a great deal of focus on the Palestinian refugee issue but almost no focus on the Jews who departed Arab lands, Rhodes declared that the Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate on the Jewish right of return to Arab and Muslim countries and that the United States could play in role in mediating that issue.
Here's the full exchange:
(the questioner was B'nai B'rith International Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Fusfield) "[C]an the U.S., as the peace process move forward, play a role in advancing the rights and concerns of these Jewish refugee groups and help ensure that as refugee issues are dealt with... that the focus will not just be on one refugee group but on all refugee groups emerging from the same conflict?"
Rhodes responded: "Certainly the U.S., in our role, is attuned to all the concerns on both sides to include interests among Israel and others in Jewish refugees, so it is something that would come up in the context of negotiations. And certainly, we believe that ultimately the parties themselves should negotiate this. We can introduce ideas, we can introduce parameters for potential negotiation."
"We believe those types of issues that you alluded to could certainly be a part of that discussion and put on the table and it's something that we would obviously be involved in."
Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, responded and said
the Jewish right of return is actually not an issue that's part of the peace negotiations, largely due to the fact that a) there are no Jewish refugees, and b) they don't have any desire to claim lands in Arab states.
I am astounded. For anyone, either a Bnai Brith official or a senior White House advisor, to fail to make clear that the issue of "Jewish refugees" is only a reference to their financial demands for compensation for having been kicked out of many Arab countries and that they are not seeking to "go home" as part of a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Isael conflict is to err to a high degree.
Sending Jews once more into Exile is ridiculous and that is what should be emphasized.
Reviewing the exchange, though, I am more inclined to think that the editor of that post was either sick, tired and just plain anti-Zionist and hyped what wasn't really there but was not strictly not there.