November 29, 1950 Arab Refugees


Arab RefugeesIn the debate held on the subject in the Ad Hoc Political Committee of the Fifth General Assembly of the UN on November 29th, 1950, Lord Macdonald, the United Kingdom delegate, pointed out the resettlement in Arab lands with the payment of compensation was in their best interests.  He said:

“It was questionable whether the refugees fully appreciated the conditions to which they would return and the implications of their return.  Were they aware that they must be prepared to live as peaceful citizens of Israel, accepting all the obligations of citizenship.  There was a grave danger that the legacy of mistrust and bitterness would make the task of mutual adjustment of populations extremely difficult.  Moreover, it was probable that the Arabs of Palestine would have great difficulty in adjusting to the very highly economic structure of Israel, which ran counter to the economic outlook of the Arabs.  It was unlikely that an Arab would wholeheartedly accept the regime of austerity, directed toward the achievement of goals for which at the best he had no enthusiasm and which might well arouse his active resentment.  In the circumstances it was the considered view of the United Kingdom delegation that the Arab refugees would have a happier and more stable future if the bulk of them were resettled in Arab countries.  A corollary was that non-returning refugees should as a matter of right receive early and adequate compensation for the property they had abandoned in Israel.”

Source:  73; Arab Refugees (p. 27)

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