H.R.5734: “Right of Return Act”
More Like The “Never Return Act”
Congressman Steve Stockman has introduced new legislation, as stated, to stabilize the Middle East region by ending United States funding to named Palestinian and United Nations groups. Mr. Stockman introduced the bill, known as, “Right of Return Act” H.R.5734, which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. It’s likely that the bill would stabilize the Middle East region and increase the economic wealth and civil rights of Palestinians, if the bill was based on the U.N. resolution it’s named after — but it’s not.
The Important Stuff
The full title of H.R.5734 is, “To achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East and improve the economic situation for its people.”
Section 1. Short title, states:
This Act may be cited as the Right of Return Act.
The purpose of this bill is to increase the economic wealth and civil rights of Palestinian Arabs.
The Devil Is In The Details
After reading this 4-page bill, it becomes evident that the title and short title are categorically misleading. This is not the first time that this deceptive strategy has been attempted to stealthily pass by under the public radar unnoticed. The Patriot Act, also known as, “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001,” and the longer title, “An Act to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.” In hindsight, the act should have been named, “Repeal the 4th Amendment Act.”
The Real “Right of Return”
The term “Right of Return” is largely used in one context; this is especially true in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The term refers to the most important United Nations Resolution for the Palestinians: UN GA RESOLUTION 194—RIGHT OF RETURN. UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (Right of return or compensation for the Palestinians) was adopted on December 11, 1948. It remains crucial for the existence of the Palestinians for two main reasons. First of all, it lays down the Palestinians’ right of return or compensation. Furthermore, its implementation was accepted by Israel as a condition for membership to the United Nations (see Resolution 273). The fact that Israel has not observed it has been used by Arab countries repeatedly as an argument requesting the expulsion of Israel.
As stated in UN GA RESOLUTION 194—RIGHT OF RETURN:
The United Nations General Assembly,
Having considered further the situation in Palestine,
…Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours [sic] should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for the loss or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments and authorities responsible…”
Beyond The Title Of The “Right Of Return Act”
The intention of the bill is stated to help stabilize the Middle East by ending funding from the United States to the Palestinian National Authority, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Let us not forget, these are the same facilities that were bombed repeatedly by the Israeli air force, killing dozens of civilians. They are the same UN schools that provided shelter and food for orphans and amputee survivors of previous Israeli bombardments.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for an investigation, and stated the U.S. was “appalled” at the “disgraceful shelling” and “urged Israel to do more” to prevent civilian casualties.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon called the attack “criminal” and “a moral outrage.”
In a statement, Ban called on those responsible for the “gross violation of international humanitarian law” to be held accountable. He said the “Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites.”
In no way does this malicious bill seek to complete its stated purpose “to increase the economic wealth and civil rights of Palestinian Arabs.” In fact, the bill supports more Israeli control, over already illegally occupied Palestinian land.
According to the act, the United States would cease funding the United Nations facilities that have been used to allegedly “launch rocket attacks” on Israel. The “Right of Return Act” seems to have ignored the simplest facts provided by the U.N. investigative committees, which stated that no rockets were ever fired from any of their facilities.
Watch the U.N. official response below:
Nothing more shameful than attacking sleeping Children.
The Top U.N officials letting the world know that no weapons were found in U.N. Facilities and that Israel is attacking innocent sleeping Children.
In addition, the act states that the State Department would somehow have the authority to disregard international laws, and thereby “allow” Israel to extend its sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and for the Arab residents currently residing in those areas to be granted citizenship in Jordan. Perhaps the Republican Congressman has confused Palestine with Jordan; maybe he should be made aware that Palestinians are indigenous to Palestine and have their own culture, customs, and history in Palestine, which is why U.N. G.A. Res. 194 specifies that “The Right of Return” for displaced Palestinian refugees is their return back to the place they were displaced from, Palestine.
The Bigger Picture
The U.S. role as mediator and arbitrator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace-talks has led to decades of failure. The long U.S. track record of failures should be an indicator that the U.S. should step back and let new players from the international community weigh in on solution proposals. The U.S. should be focusing on rebuilding America’s future, regaining public trust, providing better education and employment opportunities for taxpayers, fixing a broken justice system, and investing tax-dollars at home to benefit Americans; congress should not be using American tax-dollars to destroy the future and steal the right of self-determination from an entire people, violating international law in the process.
Remember, this is America, and foreign policy that violates international laws and U.N. conventions should not be prioritized over domestic policy, depriving American taxpayers of a brighter future. U.S. representatives are elected by the people to uphold America’s constitutional rights and pursue the best interests of U.S. citizens, not the best interests of foreign nations.