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A BIRTHRIGHT IS NOT A RIGHT OF RETURN | 2002-04-06

Israel and the United States have a theological concept called "right of return," based on the official United States doctrine that God personally gave Palestine to the Jews.

Britain and almost every country that was once in its Empire has a concept called "birthright." Anyone born in England, no matter what his citizenship, has a right to go back to the United Kingdom and live there.

Even though every respectable American agrees that God personally says any Jew has the right to throw out anyone born in Palestine, we could at least get the words right.

Arabs have been arguing that Palestinians who were actually born inside what is now Israel should be allowed to go back there and settle. Both Christian and Moslem Arabs have asked for this birthright.

When they discuss this demand the media call it "a right of return." It is not a right of return, and the difference is so profound that the media are not even allowed to mention it.

The "right of return" means that any Jew anywhere on earth can "return" to Israel to live. The right of return means that any Jew whose family has lived anywhere for centuries has the right to Palestinian land.