Thursday, October 22, 2009

The State of the Refugees

Honest Reporting/Backspin
22 October 09

The Independent takes an amazing look at the tragedy of Palestinian refugees. This piece slams Arab governments, the UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority for doing far more harm than good:

The bottom line:

Instead, failed peace plans and shifting political priorities have resulted in a second Palestinian "Nakba", or catastrophe – this one at hands of the Arab governments.

On the UNRWA:

The inclusion of the descendants of Palestinian refugees as refugees in UNRWA's mandate has no parallel in international humanitarian law and is responsible for the growth of the official numbers of Palestinian refugees in foreign countries from 711,000 to 4.6 million during decades when the number of ageing refugees from the 1948 Israeli war of independence in was in fact declining.

On the return of refugees:

Even under the best of circumstances, an influx of refugees would further destabilise a Palestinian economy that is kept afloat by the world's highest per capita receipts of foreign aid.


On the status of the refugees in host countries:

While Saudi Arabia may not wish to host Israeli tourists, it can easily afford to integrate the estimated 240,000 Palestinian refugees who already live in the kingdom – just as Egypt, which has received close to $60bn in US aid, and has a population of 81 million, can grant legal rights to an estimated 70,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants. One can only imagine the outrage that the world community would rightly visit upon Israel if Israeli Arabs were subject to the vile discriminatory laws applied to Palestinians living in Arab countries.

On the PA:

Still, the record of Arafat's Palestinian Authority in its territories during the 1990s attests to the truth of Ben Ami's observation, which applies both to Arafat's Fatah and to Hamas. Despite $10bn in foreign aid, not one refugee camp in the West Bank or Gaza has been replaced by modern housing.

This report also takes a hard look at the status of refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

In short,Lebanese camps have become hotbeds of radical jihad, Syria is more interested in manipulating the refugees to increase its regional leverage, and Jordanian officials fear the consequences of integrating many of their refugees.

Read it all.


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