Sunday, September 22, 2019

Question. Do Palestinian Leaders Want a Better Life for Their People? - by Khaled Abu Toameh

In this longstanding and deadly game, Palestinian leaders use their people as sacrificial pawns for the sake of prolonging the conflict with Israel and forcing the international community, including the UN, to go on funding millions of refugees – apparently, forever.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
20 September '19..

Are the Lebanese seeking to get rid of the Palestinians living in Lebanon? Many Palestinians seem to think that the Arab country they have been living in for decades has plans to throw them out.

Palestinian factions, meanwhile, are working in precisely the opposite direction, trying to stop the Palestinians from leaving their refugee camps. The factions want the refugees to continue living in misery and poverty so that they can continue to use them as pawns in the conflict with Israel.

They are hoping that the continued presence of refugee camps will keep the issue of the refugees at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In recent weeks, many Palestinians have been flocking the embassies of several Western countries in Lebanon asking to be granted asylum for humanitarian reasons.

In an unprecedented move, hundreds of Palestinians last month staged a sit-in strike outside the Canadian Embassy in Beirut. The protesters demanded that the Canadian authorities allow mass emigration of Palestinians to Canada.

The protest coincided with an online campaign launched by Palestinians in Lebanon to demand that Western countries grant them asylum for humanitarian reasons.

The campaign is being held under the title "Emigration is not Treason" -- a reference to allegations (by some Palestinians) that those who are seeking to resettle in Western states are betraying their people and relinquishing their alleged "right of return" for refugees and their descendants to their former homes in Israel.

"Yes to emigration to any country where we Palestinians can live in dignity, and thanks to our brothers in Lebanon for hosting us," wrote Hussam, one of the Palestinians behind the campaign.

The Palestinians have been joined by some Lebanese citizens who say they, too, want to emigrate to Western countries.

Ahmed Fawwal, one of the organizers of the protest outside the Canadian Embassy, said that similar demonstrations will be held in the coming days in front of the Australian and German embassies in the Lebanese capital. The father of six, who works as a cab driver, said that young people were seeking to emigrate from Lebanon because they are being denied basic rights.

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