Right of Return
by Joel Finkel

In response to an appeal by Ali Abunimah, the following letter was sent to the White House (and others) on January 3, 2001.

Mr. Clinton,

As an third generation American Jew, I am outraged to think that the so called "Clinton Peace Plan" will deny the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland, while granting ME, based on some biblical MYTH, the right to move to Palestine and confiscate the land of the indigenous population.

I hereby renounce all personal claims to a "homeland" in Palestine.  I deny and refute all myth that makes this claim on my behalf.  My homeland is the United States of America.

May I also remind you that the Palestinian right of return is an inalienable right, guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Geneva Conventions, and UN Resolution 194.

May I also point out that according to international law, no agreements, negotiations, or parties that purport to trade away the right of return—or any other inalienable right—can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to end the struggle for the fulfillment of their rights.

Therefore, I object, in the strongest possible terms, to this "Plan" and to all attempts of ethnic cleansing on the part of the State of Israel.  I cannot sit quietly aside as a South African-style apartheid regime is constructed with MY tax dollars and, supposedly, in MY name!

May I remind you that history has shown that without justice there will be no peace.  The "Plan" being forced down the throats of the Palestinian people is not just, and, therefore, it will not lead to peace.  Far from it.  To think otherwise is, I believe, a sign of pure insanity.

I am very truly yours,
Joel Finkel