US Proposed Resettling 'Palestinians' in South America

01/28/2011 19:47

From Israel National News:  The United States proposed giving 'Palestinian' refugees land in South America to settle in, during a June 2008 meeting with Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators in Berlin, the British paper Guardian reported Thursday.

Condoleezza Rice, who was U.S. secretary of state under President George W. Bush, offered the idea as a way to bypass the PA's demand for the "return" of displaced Arabs and their progeny to the Land of Israel. During a discussion about international funding to compensate refugees, Rice said: "Maybe we will be able to find countries that can contribute in kind. Chile, Argentina, etc.."

"In kind" refers to land, according to the newspaper, which says that the proposal "seems based on the fact that Chile has a large Palestinian community dating back a century and, like Argentina, has large tracts of sparsely populated land." Next to the quotes, which were "not verbatim," appeared the initials CR. No one else in the meeting had those initials, exept for Rice.

The Guardian explained that the idea "flew in the face of Palestinian insistence that the refugees have the right to return to their ancestral land – a demand Israel has resisted since its foundation in 1948. Carving out a new Palestinian homeland 8,000 miles away in the Andes could theoretically reduce pressure on Israel to return land."

The paper noted that the proposal "appears to have been influenced by the transfer of 117 Palestinian refugees to Chile between March and April 2008, a few months before the Berlin meeting" and that it is "a twist on suggestions made in the last century to settle Jews in Madagascar and what is present-day Kenya."

Jewish colonies were also established in Argentina in the 19th century by the Jewish Colonization Association founded by Baron Maurice Hirsch, in an attempt to solve the "Jewish problem" that eventually failed. By 1930, at the peak of ICA settlement in Argentina, over 20,000 Jewiah colonists farmed approximately 500,000 hectares of land.

Chile has Latin America's largest Palestinian population – estimated at more than 200,000 – and  previously accepted refugees from war-torn Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.

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