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Documents: Israel, US reject 194

Ahram Online publishes excerpts from minutes taken in three different meetings in 2008 which illustrate Israeli and US recalcitrance to recognise UN Resolution 194, calling for the return of Palestinian refugees to their home

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Jan 2011

Date: March 24, 2008
Meeting: Ahmed Qurei and Tzipi Livni


Qurei: “Israel became a member of the UN once it recognized 194 and 181.”

Tal Becker (Livni adviser) : “We would disagree with this.”


Livni :“UNRWA is part of the problem, not the solution.”


Livni: “What about the people who suffered from terror attacks, are you going to apologize?”

Erekat: “We do. We condemn each one.”

Livni:“People suffer during war. People suffer with their lives. They die. We can relate both of us to the suffering.”


Livni: “Compensating refugees is an international matter and that is why reference to responsibility would be wrong. [The reason for this is] because it was a problem for all Arab states, then it became a Palestinian Israeli conflict, with the Arabs on the sidelines asking for a resolution.”


Livni: “I feel like we can’t refer to the past.”

Qurei: “I do not want to go back to the past to become its slave but to pave the way for the future.”


Date: June 21, 2008

Meeting: Post-Annapolis Plenary Session
Ahmed Qurei, Tzipi Livni

Livni : “Instead of responsibility we can talk of suffering of both our people. By the way on responsibility – whose responsibility is it for keeping them in the camps? The Arab world! Responsibility is not just about the war, but what happened after. For creating false hope. [We need to address also] the Jewish refugees. Maybe as part of the international fund.”

Erekat : But we never caused anything to the Jews. This will not be in an agreement.

(Later, in response to a request for “compensation for occupation.”)

Livni:“The answer is a dramatic NO. We don’t want to put in [findings] for all the terrorism. The Israelis killed.”

Erekat: “You will [pay compensation].”

Livni:“I’m sure we’ll do it, not under the headline of 'compensation for occupation.'”

Date: July 16, 2008

Meeting: US-Palestinian bilateral

Condoleezza Rice: If you want to talk about responsibility it is the responsibility of the international community, not Israel. They created Israel.”

[National Support Unit (part of PLO’s negotiation’s department) member Zeinah Salahi argues that Israeli actions post-statehood are clearly their responsibility. This is dismissed by Rice.]

Rice: Responsibility is a loaded term. [Notes the example of reparations for slavery in the US.] I’ve always objected to it. It’s not forward looking. Would I personally be better off? I don’t know. But I do support affirmative action.[…] Bad things happen to people all around the world all the time. You need to look forward.


Rice: On the narrative – you need to move to try to imply responsibility without using that word/saying it directly.


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