AJIRI #54: The UN General Assembly as Sponsor of the One-State Solution

February 2, 2016

The United States is committed to a two-state solution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is clear that a majority of Israelis would agree to such a solution if they can be assured of provisions for security in keeping with UN Security Council Resolution 242.

What is not well known is that Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority (PA), has the same ultimate objective: the liquidation of Israel and creation of an Arab State “from the River to the Sea.”

That Hamas rejects that solution and seeks to destroy the State of Israel is well known. What is not well known is that Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority (PA), has the same ultimate objective: the liquidation of Israel and creation of an Arab State “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” Rather than engaging in warfare against Israel to attain that result, Fatah is engaged in major efforts to maintain the support of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for its claim. As UNGA resolutions are advisory only, the PA expects ultimately to succeed with the next step: having the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) order Israel to recognize the “right of return”, with the United States not exercising its veto power to prevent this destructive action.

To be sure, Fatah does assert its agreement to an initial two-state solution “based on the 1967 lines.” (Israel’s indefensible borders prior to the 1967 war.) But it calls for that solution as only a first step, to be followed by the mass migration of more than five million “Palestinian refugees” (99% of whom are descendants of refugees) to Israel, which would reduce the Jewish population of Israel to a minority. The next step in Fatah’s plan would be the merger of Israel with the State of Palestine and thus the creation of an Arab state “from the River to the Sea.”

Obscure footnotes in UNGA resolutions mask the demand for the “right of return”

Many UN member states simply do not realize that when the annual UNGA resolution to extend the mandate and the funding authorization of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) comes up for a vote, a “yes” vote is a vote for a text that expresses support for a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that would end with the liquidation of the State of Israel. The true meaning of the resolutions is deliberately obscured, as the words that constitute UNGA approval of the claim of the “right of return” are cleverly sneaked into footnotes in a manner that would not be understood without further research of earlier documents.

Only by tracing the footnotes to the documents mentioned in them is it possible to gain a full understanding of the meaning of the most recent extension of the mandate of CEIRPP as adopted by the UNGA on November 24, 2015, A/Res/70/12. The fifth introductory paragraph of A/Res/70/12 reads as follows:

[The General Assembly]… Affirming its support for a comprehensive, just, lasting and peaceful settlement to the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session2 and the Quartet road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict, endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003³”

Special note should be made of the emphasis placed on the Arab Peace Initiative, which is generally assumed as offering, in return for a two-state solution, peace between Israel and all the members of the Arab League. But let us look carefully at the footnotes.

Footnote 2 simply refers without explanation to “A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.” Only by tracking that footnote does the reader discover what the resolution’s reference to the Arab Peace Initiative (a nice-sounding term) really means. The Initiative, adopted by the Summit-level Council of the League of Arab States on March 28, 2002, approved the peace proposal initiated in January 2002 by then Crown Prince (later King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. But at the insistence of the Lebanese and Syrian delegations to the Summit, the resolution provided that

“The Summit-level Council of the League of Arab States…. (4) Guarantees the rejection of all forms of Palestinian resettlement, which is incompatible with the special situation in the Arab Host countries;” (Emphasis supplied.)

In other words, the Arab Peace Initiative would lead to a peace agreement that would preserve the “right of return.”

Similarly, footnote 3 simply refers without explanation to “S/2003/529, annex.” This footnote, too, leads us back to “the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah – endorsed by the Beirut Arab League Summit.” So we have two footnotes that, if tracked, lead to the same demand: rejection of all forms of Palestinian resettlement.

Thus, the CEIRPP resolution does not mentions a “right of return” in either the text or the footnotes but disguises that demand in hidden texts underlying the footnotes. These footnotes, if tracked to their origin, lead to the same point “rejection of all forms of Palestinian resettlement.” The term “resettlement “ means settlement in a country other than Israel. The resolution’s call for “just resolution of all final status issues” is a call for the migration of the more than five million so-called “Palestinian refugees” to Israel.

A Clear Statement on the UN Website

While the claim of a “right of return” is carefully hidden behind footnotes of the CEIRPP resolution, it is set forth quite bluntly in the “Information Note” for the CEIRPP and the Division for Palestinian Rights on the UN website. Under the heading “Palestine refugees” the Information Note clearly states the claim for “the right of return”:

“The question of Palestine refugees is a critical element of the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict. Its fair and just resolution on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 will be an essential prerequisite for Palestinian-Israel as well as regional peace. The Committee considers that a durable solution to the Palestinian refugee problem can only be achieved in the context of the inalienable right of return to the homes and property from which the Palestinians have been displaced over the past decades. The Committee is of the view that justice for Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian people as a whole also encompasses fair recompense and recourse for the wrongs inflicted upon them under occupation.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Thus, the drafters of the resolutions that extend the mandate of CEIRPP from year to year carefully hide their endorsement of the “right of return” in the text of the resolution that is adopted by vote of the UNGA. But once it has received its mandate, CEIRPP does not consider itself equally restrained. As it needs no votes to approve its Information Note, it states its commitment to implementing the “right of return” most bluntly.


There is no doubt that Israel will not agree to an immigration wave that would liquidate the Jewish state. There is also no doubt that the United States will not agree to a Security Council resolution that would mandate the admission of these millions of immigrants. As noted earlier, there is good reason to believe that a large number of states that do not vote against the resolutions that contain the claim of a “right of return” in a hidden fashion would vote against them if the meaning of the resolution were made clear.

These realities have, however, not stopped the Fatah leadership from telling its following that the UN will ultimately deliver the prize of an Arab state “from the River to the Sea.” UNGA’s action of maintaining the office of a High Commissioner for Refugees who has responsibility for assisting and resettling refugees all over the world, except for Palestinian refugees, and the UN’s maintaining and funding a separate agency for Palestinians only, an agency which is not allowed to resettle refugees, have left the Fatah leadership convinced that the UN Security Council will ultimately deliver that prize.

In effect, the UNGA, proceeding clearly against the basic principles of the UN Charter, has encouraged the PA to refuse to negotiate a complete peace agreement, an agreement that would end all further claims on either side. Given this encouragement, the PA continues to call for a temporary two-state solution, with the “right of return” reserved for further action.

As for the resolution of the refugee issue: it is worth noting President Clinton’s proposal in the Clinton Parameters at Camp David in the year 2000. As set forth in “The Missing Peace” by Dennis Ross, the Parameters provided that

“On refugees, the solution had to be consistent with the two-state approach. The formulation on ‘right of return’ had to ‘make clear that there is no specific right of return to Israel itself’ while not negating ‘the aspiration of the Palestinian people to return to the area… Five possible homes for refugees were identified: the state of Palestine, areas in Israel being transferred to Palestine in a land swap, rehabilitation in a host country, resettlement in a third country (like the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, etc.); and admission to Israel.

The right of return would pertain only to the first two homes – meaning the new State of Palestine. Admission into Israel would be Israel’s sovereign decision. (Emphasis supplied.)