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Ask Arafat To Dismiss Nusseibeh (IV), answer from Dr. Sari Nusseibeh



[source :]

[Voir aussi : Editorial du Fatah contre l'article de Nusseibeh sur le 'Droit au Retour' des]

The following is an explanation Al-Awda received from Dr. Sari Nusseibeh following publication of Al-Awda's alert on 17 October 2001 requesting that he be dismissed as the Palestinian Authority's political representative in Jerusalem. We are publishing Dr. Nusseibeh's comments per his request. Below that, are links to important comments kindly provided by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta and Terry Rempel of BADIL refuting Nusseibeh's.

To read and respond to Al-Awda's call that Dr. Sari Nusseibeh be dismissed, please visit:

From: " Prof.Sari Nusseibeh"
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 10:40 PM
Subject: Appeal against Nusseibeh

Dear Sirs,
I read your appeal to ask President Arafat to dismiss me from my new post (actually, it is an assignment). I would like you to add my name to the list of those signing the appeal since, amongst other reasons, this assignment seems to undermine my ability to express myself freely.

However, I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. Firstly, the idea of the establishment of a Palestinian State along the '67 borders is one that is understood by most people to mean that it is primarily within the borders of this State that the problem of resettling the refugees will be addressed. This understanding is in no way inconsistent with UN resolution 194, although of course that resolution does not necessarily imply such an understanding. Ever since the establishment of the State of Israel (but right up to the negotiations at Camp David), Israel's position has been that it is in theory prepared to accept a partial repatriation, the bulk of the rest of the problem having to be addressed through material and political compensation. My second point is to say that the acceptance by the Palestinian people and/or leadership of this point is clearly painful. Therefore, the demand for a Palestinian State clearly involves a painful compromise.

Speaking in terms of history, Palestinians could have adopted one of two strategies: one based on individual rights, and the other on collective or national rights. A strategy based on the basis of the first approach might have been formulated in terms of the struggle for the rights of return and equality (I have long ago espoused such a strategy, only to find almost total opposition to it in the mid-eighties). A strategy predicated on the basis of the second approach can be, and eventually was formulated in terms of the struggle for the rights of self-determination and statehood. My contention is that these are two incompatible strategies, at least in terms of the practicable international framework. In terms of personal preferences, I would support the adoption of the first strategy, but I realize it has far less support, both among Israelis and Palestinians.

One final word: as a rational self-respecting human being, I demand my right of being made fully cognizant of political choices made by my leadership. I do not accept it for myself, or for my fellow Palestinians, to be misled in matters that affect my own destiny. I take it that my leadership has clearly opted for a "collective" rather than an "individual" strategy (notwithstanding material and political compensation, humanitarian repatriation, etc., as a means of implementing UN resolution 194). If the leadership has been engaged in its negotiating history with Israel so far in an effort both to establish a State as well as to repatriate in excess of 4 million refugees into pre-'67 Israel, then I would very much like to know this (at least so as not to bank on a successful fruition of the present negotiations). If, conversely, this turns out not to be the case, then I believe your contention is not with me, and your appeal is clearly misaddressed.

Sari Nusseibeh
P.S. I would respectfully ask for the right that my response be e-mailed to all those addressed in your initial list.

Related Links:
Open letter from Dr. Salman Abu Sitta to President Arafat
Badil Remarks Concerning Comments by Sari Nusseibeh on Palestinian Refugee Rights