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Even if the statement made by US President Bill Clinton last week that millions of Palestinian refugees “should be given the freedom to settle wherever they want to” was a “slip of the tongue”, as the new Israeli government would like to believe, it was a Freudian slip that may have revealed more than Clinton intended. Any objective mind would agree that the Palestinians are entitled to enjoy rights equal to those of other human beings. All human beings are “chosen people” — one ethnic or religious group alone cannot claim that title for itself.

If the US led NATO in a long war to force Slobodan Milosevic to accept the return of nearly one million Albanian refugees to their homes in Kosovo, why is the world’s sole superpower not moving at all to help more than four million Palestinian refugees dispersed worldwide by the “pioneering” Zionists, the builders of modern Israel, return to their homes? President Clinton was apparently taken by surprise when the question was put to him by an Egyptian writer who accompanied President Hosni Mubarak on his visit to Washington.

Although it has been 51 years since Zionist gangs systematically terrorised and massacred thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians to empty the land of its real owners, many of the million Palestinians expelled in 1948 continue to hold the keys to their houses. The names of their villages and towns have been changed in an effort to rewrite history, but they can still remember every street and alley, and continue to feed that information to their children and grandchildren. If any Palestinian refugee was given the “freedom” to choose where he or she would like to settle, the answer would definitely be: Palestine, my home, my land.

If the new government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak recognises this important fact before starting negotiations with the Palestinians, the outcome of these talks must necessarily be a just and comprehensive peace. Without justice, peace will never exist. And justice will be served only when the Palestinian refugees are allowed to return to their homes.

Article researched, located and shared by IMRA, “Independent Media Review and Analysis”.