Palestinian Right of Return: EI co-founder in Doha Debates on BBC

EI co-founder in BBC World debate on Right of Return on April 14/15

The Palestinian right of return was overwhelmingly supported at the latest Doha Debate on March 28. The debate will be broadcast on BBC World on April 14 and 15. The issue is seen by many as the most intractable barrier to a Middle East peace settlement.

The vote came as Arab League ministers discussed the topic at a meeting in Saudi Arabia. A final draft resolution called for a “just solution” to the problem but avoided any mention of the phrase “right of return.”

Many Palestinians claim the right to return to lands and property that once belonged to them in what is now Israel. Israelis say that opening the door to an estimated five million registered refugees would destroy the Jewish state.

Yossi Beilin, a Knesset member and Chairman of the Meretz-Yachad party, and Bassem Eid, a long-time Palestinian human rights campaigner, argued for the motion. They were challenged by Israeli academic Ilan Pappe and Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada.

In a final vote almost 82 percent of the audience rejected the motion: ‘This House believes the Palestinians should give up their full right of return.’

Watch the latest Doha Debate: ‘This House believes the Palestinians should give up their full right of return’ on BBC World on April 14th and 15th at the following times.

Doha Time:
Saturday April 14th, 15:10 and repeated at 22:10
Sunday April 15th, 04:10 and repeated at 10:10 and 20:10

Saturday April 14th, 12:10 and repeated at 19:10
Sunday April 15th, 01:10 and repeated at 07:10 and 17:10

The Doha Debates, a public forum for dialogue and freedom of speech in Qatar, have been broadcast on BBC World since January 2005. BBC World is the BBC’s international, 24 hour news channel, broadcasting by satellite to nearly 270 million people in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The debate will be available online after broadcast, and a link will be added here.

Related Links

  • Bassem Eid v Ali Abunimah, Comment is free (6 April 2007)
  • Doha Debates backs Palestinian refugees’ right to return, The Peninsula (29 March 2007)
  • Prominent Jews to speak at Doha Debates, The Peninsula (25 March 2007)