“Palestine Papers” continued (5/2008)

Posted: February 9, 2011 by Rex Brynen in Palestine papers, peace process

OK, so we’ve been a bit busy at PRRN following the news from Egypt these past two weeks, and haven’t had much chance to continue our tour of refugee references in the leaked Palestine Papers. However, for those of you who have been waiting, here’s another tranche:


3 May 2008: NSU Memo Re: Two States for Two Peoples

  • A NSU memo (including edits) to Saeb Erekat highlighting problems with the formulation of “Two states for two peoples.”
  • The memo argues “reference to the right of the two peoples to self-determination in two states may have an adverse impact on refugee rights, namely the right of return, as it suggests that the Palestinian refugees will only be able to exercise their right of return in conjunction with their right to self determination. Further, a recognition of the principle of two states for two peoples as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confirms that the PLO no longer envisages Palestinian self-determination within the territory of the state of Israel. Accordingly, the implementation of the right of return of the Palestinian refugees is likely to be realized only in the context of the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. This risk is exaggerated in light of the Israeli refusal to recognize responsibility for the creation of the refugee problem or the right of return for Palestinian refugees as an individual legal right.”


5 May 2008: Salam Fayyad Speech to Israelis on 60th Anniversary of Israel

  • Incomplete draft of speech, with most refugee references missing.


6 May 2008: NSU Email Re: Office of President Morning Meeting Summary

  • NSU staff discuss the need for President Abbas to “make something extra ordinary during that [Nakba] day, especially in form of interacting with people- refugees.”


7 May 2008: NSU E-mail Re: “Absorption Capacity” for Refugees

  • A summary of a demographic report prepared for the NSU on Israel’s ability to absorb returning Palestinian refugees. It suggests two feasible scenarios: 41,000 returnees per year (based on past rates of Jewish immigration), or an overall total of 2 million returnees.


8 May 2008: Palestinian Talking Points Re: Refugees since Nakba

  • A summary of the main Palestinian positions on various aspects of the refugee issue.


8 May 2008: Salam Fayyad Speech on Nakba 60th Anniversary

  • Text of a speech to be delivered by PM Salam Fayyad to PLO and PNC members on May 13 in Ramallah.


11 May 2008: Draft of Annapolis Joint Document on Refugees (#1)

  • Original date not clear.
  • First draft of a joint Israeli-Palestinian statement on refugees developed in preparation for the start of the Annapolis negotiations. The draft highlights Israeli [I] and Palestinian [P] positions.
  • Other later, more detailed drafts and subsequent commentary on drafts are available here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


20 May 2008: NSU Letter to Saeb Bamya of AIX Group

  • A letter from the NSU to Saeb Bamya expresses concern that a 2007 Aix Group report on the economics of the refugee issue “have the potential of undermining the PLO position and/or Palestinian interests in an agreed solution.”


22 May 2008: NSU E-mail Re: Draft Provisions

  • Internal NSU discussion of efforts to continue drafting of earlier joint language on the refugee issue developed up to February 2008.


23 May 2008: Matrix of Palestinian – Israeli Positions – May 2008

  • Summary of major positions held by each side, including on the refugee issue.


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