13 April '15..
"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to aid the besieged Palestinians by creating secure escape routes from the camp," a Haaretz editorial last week praised the Palestinian leader for supposedly trying to assist Palestinian refugees residing in the Syrian Yarmouk refugee camp ("Politics aside: Israel must help Yarmouk's Palestinian refugees"). Haaretz simultaneously called upon Israel:
Israel must do its part in this international effort. It should sit down with Abbas to evaluate ways and means of helping these refugees, some of whom are related, very closely in some cases, to Arabs in Israel.
Among other things, Israel could offer Abbas the possibility of absorbing some of the refugees into the Palestinian Authority, defray some of the costs involved and provide medical services to those who manage to come. Political considerations and disputes with the PA should be set aside at this time. This is a humanitarian task of the first order that Israel cannot shirk.
Haaretz contributor Oudeh Basharat today echoes the sentiment that Israel must make an effort to assist the Palestinians of Yarmouk ("Why Doesn't Israel Help Palestinians in Yarmouk?"):
Why doesn’t Israel coordinate with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Arab leadership to absorb Yarmouk refugees in the PA-controlled territories and among Israeli Arabs, as was suggested in the Haaretz editorial on Thursday (“Help Yarmouk’s refugees,” April 9)?
Instead of running to the end of the world to show the beautiful face of Israel, extend a hand to your neighbor. Learn something from Jordan, a country that has no moral or political obligation to Syria yet has already absorbed more than a million refugees from there.
Newsflash to Haaretz: Over a year ago, it was the Palestinian leader, Abbas, who refused to put politics aside and agree to Israel's conditional acceptance of 150,000 Palestinians refugees from Syria into West Bank and Gaza so long as they gave up the "right of return" to Israel. As the Associated Press reported on Jan. 28, 2013:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon last month to seek Israeli permission to bring Palestinians caught in Syria's civil war to their homeland. Last week, he said that Israel agreed to allow 150,000 Palestinians refugees from Syrian into the West Bank and Gaza as long as they relinquished the right of return to what is now Israel. Abbas said he refused.
AP's Mohammed Daraghmeh reported on Jan. 10, 2013:
Abbas said Ban was told Israel "agreed to the return of those refugees to Gaza and the West Bank, but on condition that each refugee ... sign a statement that he doesn't have the right of return (to Israel)."
"So we rejected that and said it's better they die in Syria than give up their right of return," Abbas told the group. Some of his comments were published Thursday by the Palestinian news website Sama.
Does Haaretz have any words to spare on Abbas' death wish for his own people, whose entrance into the West Bank and Gaza he has rejected? Or was all of its righteous indignation about the welfare of the Yarmouk refugees spent on exhorting Israel to put aside politics to try to help the refugees, meanwhile ignoring that Israel had tried to do just that? Far from "creating secure escape routes from the camp," Abbas has blocked them.