Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted Wednesday as rejecting the naturalization of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. "We would never accept any settlement that leads to naturalizing Palestinians in Lebanon," Abbas told pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.What a great leader the Palestinian Arabs have! He cares about Lebanon so much - the country that keeps his people in camps, restricts their movement and what kinds of jobs they can have, doesn't let them buy land, restricts their travel, and even limits the amount of building material they can have inside the camps. But rather than fight for the rights of Palestinian Arabs who have lived for generations in Lebanon to become naturalized citizens, Abbas wants to keep them in misery - and the reason he gives is because he cares more about Lebanese demographics than about his own people!
"We would not accept any settlements that would lead to a demographic change in Lebanon. This is totally unacceptable ... We won't accept a settlement that obliges Lebanon to naturalize even one Palestinian. We will find a settlement that satisfies Palestinians in Lebanon and satisfies Lebanon ... I'm sure of this and time will prove it," Abbas added.
An interesting vignette: in 1994, Lebanon quietly allowed some Palestinian Arabs to become citizens, but it didn't publicize it . Even so, some 20,000 PalArabs took advantage of the new law, desperately trying to improve their lives. Then, in 2003, right before the Lebanese law that grants full rights afer ten years of citizenship, Lebanon started revoking the citizenships of these same Palestinian Arabs.
(Another interesting fact: some 50,000 Palestinian Arabs did successfully manage to get citizenship in Lebanon in the 1950s and 1960s - and the way they did it was by proving that their parents and grandparents had moved to Palestine from Lebanon and weren't in Palestine for centuries. Imagine that!)
How many Lebanese Palestinian Arabs would similarly jump at the opportunity to become full Lebanese citizens if given the chance? We'll never know, because the topic is forbidden to even be brought up among Arabs - they will facetiously claim that Palestinian Arabs of course prefer to self-identify as Palestinian and remain in stateless limbo for the foreseeable future. Even so-called "civil rights" organizations for Palestinian Arab "refugees" refuse to consider the possibility of resettlement - even they prefer that the Palestinian Arabs remain in limbo, with some more human rights but not the full rights of citizens.
But has anyone actually polled the people stuck in camps for sixty years? Is there any doubt that if Lebanon would offer citizenship to its 250,000 PalArabs languishing there that most of them would jump at the chance?
No, the self-appointed leaders of the Palestinian Arabs know that if they would give their people these choices there would be no "Palestinians" left. The only people who benefit from Palestinian Arabs staying in miserable conditions are their so-called "leaders" and the leaders of the Arab world who use the "Palestinian" issue as a means to keep pressure on Israel and avoid addressing internal problems.
See also An Arab almost admits the truth about PalArabs and Very interesting Arabic editorial in "Falasteen" for other postings that elaborate on this Arab pathology against making Palestinian Arabs happy.