For some time now, we have been corresponding with Rami Abdel Rahim, a Palestinian residing in London. Rami categorically rejects the notion of a "right of return" for reasons grounded in practicality. Ynet news has published an interview with him that is well worth reading. An excerpt:
May Rami's views be widely heard and influence others.
"Most Palestinian refugees who live in Lebanon are not concerned about returning to Palestine or to Israel because we have been outside of Palestine for 60 years," Rami Abdel Rahim, a 26 year-old Palestinian living in London, said.
"If we returned to the Palestinian territories, we would feel like second class citizens," he added. "We have different accents. We don't have any homes in West Bank and Gaza. For us, it will be more desirable to live in Arab countries and Europe," he explained.
"No one wants to live there, not because we don't like our country Palestine, but because we can't live there," Rahim added. "If we all went, it would destroy the Palestinian economy. If we got an opportunity to live in Europe, we would enjoy a good standard of life. We can visit Palestine," he said.
"I'm Muslim and I practice my religion and pray every day. I don't feel that talking about where refugees prefer to live will make me a traitor or that I'm working against the Palestinian case," Rahim said. "We want to have an independent Palestinian state, but a lot of refugees will prefer to live in the West if they got that opportunity. Actually, all of the second generation Palestinians born in Lebanese refugee camps don't think about returning to Palestine or living there permanently... from a religious point of view, we have the right to choose what we want if that will make our life better, including living outside of Palestine," he added.