- Dec 6, 2009
- Reaction score
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0smWKg4ZrE&feature=related]Ali Abunima and David Cronin Q&A at Leeds University [Israeli Apartheid Week] - YouTube[/ame]
As Israelis and Palestinians prepare to visit Washington next week to begin direct peace talks, it's worth recalling what refugees the Palestinians arein Arab countries.
Last week, Lebanon's parliament amended a clause in a 1946 law that had been used to bar the 400,000 Palestinians living in the country from taking any but the most menial jobs. "I was born in Lebanon and I have never known Palestine," the AP quoted one 45-year-old Palestinian who works as a cab driver. "We want to live like Lebanese. We are human beings and we need civil rights."
The dirty little secret of the Arab world is that it has consistently treated Palestinians living in its midst with contempt and often violence. In 1970, Jordan expelled thousands of Palestinian militants after Yasser Arafat attempted a coup against King Hussein. In 1991, Kuwait expelled some 400,000 Palestinians working in the country as punishment for Arafat's support for Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War.
For six decades, Palestinians have been forced by Arab governments to live in often squalid conditions so that they could serve as propaganda tools against Israel, even as millions of refugees elsewhere have been repatriated and absorbed by their host countries. This month's vote still falls short of giving Palestinian Lebanese the rights they deserve, including citizenship. But it's a reminder of the cynicism of so much Arab pro-Palestinian propaganda, and the credulity of those who fall for it.
The Huffington Riposte: WHO ARE THE GREATEST PERSECUTORS OF THE PALESTINIANS? NOT ISRAEL, IT IS THE REST OF THE ARAB WORLD
Here at BMFI, we do not believe the Arab-Israeli conflict is a war over land or religion, but it is a clash of ideas. Israel, as a Western liberal democracy, extends equal rights to all of its citizens, regardless of religion or race. Muslims have more rights in Israel than in any other country in the Middle East.
While Egypt guns down Sudanese refugees fleeing the murderous oppression of their government, Israel gives them home and shelter; while Lebanon denies Palestinian refugees access to healthcare, Israel provides emergency treatment for the residents of the West Bank and Gaza strip; while Syria keeps the Palestinians in refugee camps and sporadically slaughters them, Israel offered full citizenship to all its Palestinians after the Arab states attempted to destroy Israel and slaughter its Holocaust survivors in 1948.
British Muslims for Israel
One of the givens of the Middle East peace process is that Palestinians are eager to be free of rule by Israel and to live in a state of their own. That's why a new poll of the Arabs of East Jerusalem is striking: It shows that more of those people actually would prefer to be citizens of Israel than of a Palestinian state.
The awkward fact is that the 270,000 Arabs who live in East Jerusalem may not be very enthusiastic about joining Palestine. The survey, which was designed and supervised by former State Department Middle East researcher David Pollock, found that only 30 percent said they would prefer to be citizens of Palestine in a two-state solution, while 35 percent said they would choose Israeli citizenship. (The rest said they didn't know or refused to answer.) Forty percent said they would consider moving to another neighborhood in order to become a citizen of Israel rather than Palestine, and 54 percent said that if their neighborhood were assigned to Israel, they would not move to Palestine.
The reasons for these attitudes are pretty understandable, even healthy. Arabs say they prefer Israel's jobs, schools, health care and welfare benefits to those of a Palestinian state -- and their nationalism is not strong enough for them to set aside these advantages in order to live in an Arab country.
PostPartisan - Why Palestinians want to be Israeli citizens