Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arab refugees

Today is the eve of Israel’s Independence Day. The eve of this joyous day is a day of mourning to remember all of our fallen that lost their lives in the fight to remain a state despite constant and continuing threats from our neighbors, including those with peace treaties with us. Even today, Jordan’s King Abdullah keeps  belligerency alive when talking to the press and threatening Israel, probably to appease his constituents. And the longest treaty, with Egypt, at risk, because the weak American president allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to take control over Egypt and now American tax-payer’s money is actively supporting the puppet government there, despite a veto by the Senate, against American law.

The declaration of Israeli statehood on the 14th May 1948, was considered a catastrophe by the Arabs, albeit only decades later when it became fashionable to do so. It was not the first time that there was complete Jewish sovereignty in Israel. It was Jewish for thousands of years, long before the first Arab ever set foot here and long before Arab massacres of the Jews living here began. Every town that the Arabs proclaim as their own has a Jewish name.

The Arabs already had their state; Transjordan was established for Arab Palestine and was even known as the Arab Government of the East. As King Hussein of Jordan said in 1981, “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”

Any person who can think for himself knows that, if the so-called Palestinians wanted a state, they could have had one years ago, in addition to Jordan. As an example, if you are without a job for a long time, you will take any job offered, despite that it is less than what you expect. To this day, I am still baffled by the misguided individuals who insist on boycotting Israel and Israeli goods. You should be boycotting Arab innovations and goods. Wait a moment are there any?

According to the Arab narrative, during the War of Independence, Israel expelled Arabs from their homes and they now want them back. The refugees' “right of return” has been at the top of the agenda of every generation of so-called "peace talks". Their story began as early as 1947. Whether the Arabs were expelled as their current propaganda claims, or whether they left of their own accord, based on the urging of Arab leaders who expected a swift victory, is not at issue here. What matters is that the United Nations endorsed a carefully prescribed right, but only for “Palestinian refugees”. Between 1947 and 1949 hundreds of thousands of Arabs, (reliable estimates range from 500,000 to 750,000), left Israel and poured into neighboring Arab countries. No one cares much about the much larger number of Jews expelled from Muslim lands as a result of the war. They are of course Jews. The world is blinded by the excellent Arab propaganda machine and oil.

The number of refugees was bloated by Arab propaganda to a million. The Arabs were put into makeshift camps and were not welcomed by their cousins. The Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, visited the camps and saw men, women and children living in tents. They were poor, hungry and living on handouts which were often not forthcoming. No country seemed to want them.

The newly-created government of Israel extended citizenship to those who had remained. On December 11, 1948, the United Nations convened. Resolution 194 was passed, declaring that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbours should be allow to do so at the earliest practical date, and compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." The decision was rejected by Arab states because it did not mention an unconditional right of return. It did not say that Muslim countries would need to compensate expelled Jews. On the other hand, if you massacre a family and take their home, is it still yours? The Arabs in Israel did this very well, but then again, so did the Nazis in Europe.

The United Nations General Assembly convened on 8 December 1949 and announced Resolution 302, which established the UNRWA organization, dealing exclusively with Palestinian Arab refugees. To this day, it remains the only agency dedicated to helping the refugees from a specific region or conflict. It is not a part of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which is dedicated to aiding all the millions of other refugees in the world.

UNRWA began operating in 1950, and its mandate was to provide relief, education, health-care, social services and emergency aid to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Under the operational definition of UNRWA, Palestinian refugees are people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. But uniquely, the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees were also eligible for registration.
UNRWA-managed refugee camps were established in Arab countries such as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and in Jordanian occupied Judea, mainly near Hebron and Jenin, and in the Egyptian-occupied Gaza strip. Why were these refugees not rehabilitated into their own society, even after over six decades? Why do they still need the UN? It cannot be emergency aid after six decades? Is there some other reason to keep these Arabs in camps where they are indoctrinated in hatred? Could this money not be spent by making the world a better place?

World Refugee Year was officially launched on 28 June 1959. Although UNRWA was not a part of the UNHCR, many Arab states decided to adopt this as part of their propaganda. It was used on the stamps of several Arab countries, starting from 1960. Often, they added the wording, "UNRWA for Palestine Refugees".

The definition of a Palestinian refugee, according to the United Nations, included all descendants of the original refugees, most of them now dead. Descendants? Today about 5 million Palestinians are defined as refugees and eligible for UNRWA services. Some can only claim one grandparent who may have lived a couple of years in Palestine. Unless this problem is resolved, one day there may be a knock at my door and someone will say, "this used to belong to my great-great-great grandfather. Please leave!" But did it really ever belong to him? If you buy something that is stolen, is it really yours? By the same token, I will knock on the door of a nice house in Berlin and say, “this used to belong to my great-great-great grandfather. Please leave!”

Wake up everyone! Stop the Arab whitewash of history.