News Release

Former Legal Adviser to Palestinians Blasts Bush

FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle is author of Palestine, Palestinians and International Law. He said today: “Contrary to what many are saying — that Bush has not accomplished much in his trip to the Mideast — he has accomplished a great deal of harm.

“Bush called for ‘new international mechanisms, including compensation, to resolve the [Palestinian] refugee issue.’ This is an attempt to dismantle UN Resolution 194, which calls for the return of Palestinian refugees. When I was at the Middle East Peace Negotiations in 1991 as legal adviser to the Palestinian delegation, [then Secretary of State James] Baker instructed [his assistant Margaret] Tutwiler to publicly invoke Resolution 194, which she did. Bush’s attempt to dismantle it is a major change in U.S. policy.

“Bush also said: ‘The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people.’ Israel could use such an agreement to strip its Palestinian, non-Jewish citizens of Israeli citizenship, let them live in Israel, but say that now they can become citizens of Palestine. This is exactly what the South African Afrikaners did to blacks with their bantustans during the apartheid era. Even worse, it could set the stage for the mass expulsion of Palestinians from Israel to a Palestinian bantustan.

“Bush’s statements that the Palestinian state should be ‘viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent’ and that ‘Swiss cheese isn’t going to work when it comes to the outline of a state,’ sound substantial, but are rendered rather meaningless since he only said the U.S. is opposing ‘settlement expansion’ — meaning that current settlements, which effectively cut up the West Bank into apartheid-style bantustans, will remain and be annexed by Israel.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167