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Friday, April 19, 2013

Palestinian Arab "leaders" again reject solving "refugee" issue

I had missed this story from last week. From the anti-Israel Middle East Monitor:

Israel's President Shimon Peres has said that Canada could play a significant role in the peace process, especially with regards to the Palestinian refugee issue. Mr Peres made his remarks after meeting Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird in Tel Aviv.
Ain Hilweh  "refugee"camp - really, prison - in Lebanon

Peres pointed out that Canada has shown willingness in the past to absorb about 120,000 Palestinian refugees and grant them full Canadian citizenship so that they can live there forever. According to Peres this is an important offer as it would "save" the refugees from the "terrible suffering" they face in the refugee camps. As far as the Israeli president is concerned, "Instead of returning to what is now Israel, they can choose between compensation and migration to a country like Canada or moving within the borders of an independent state of Palestine."

Baird did not address the refugee issue openly, but Israeli sources confirmed that following Canada's offer to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in 2010 to allow Palestinians to migrate to the North American country, around 5,000 Palestinians holding travel documents issued by the UN agency had made the move. This was done ostensibly to reunite Palestinian families in the diaspora.
Then comes the blatant lies:
Commentators have warned that this does not make the refugee issue disappear; it merely switches it to another country as the Palestinians' right to return to their land is enshrined in international law. "Canada's offer would simply get Israel off the hook," said MEMO's senior editor Ibrahim Hewitt. "If Peres is serious about doing something to save refugees from such terrible conditions in the refugee camps, why doesn't he implement UN Resolution 194? After all, allowing Palestinian refugees to return to their land was one of the conditions of Israel's membership of the UN which has never been fulfilled."
There is no "right to return," in international law or otherwise, and that goes doubly so for descendants of refugees. UNGA 194 is not international law and its other paragraphs have been roundly ignored for over six decades.

The idea that Israel's admission to the UN was conditional on solving the refugee problem is another lie that Palestinian Arab leaders like to throw around.

Another major PalArab group, of course, rejects the idea that Palestinian Arabs should move out of camps and become full functioning citizens of a Western country:
Hamas movement renewed its affirmation that the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homeland from where they were forcibly evicted is a sacred right.

It said in a press release on Friday that no power on Earth could revoke that right, adding that the Palestinians were forced to live in other countries on temporary basis and would never relinquish the right of return.

Hamas was responding to statements attributed to Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird that his country was ready to absorb 120,000 Palestinian refugees where they would be granted Canadian citizenship and live there forever.

Hamas said that it absolutely rejects all solutions tabled by Israel and other international parties to dissolve the Palestinian refugees’ rights and asks all international parties to stop such “suspicious attempts” that only serve Israel and its schemes and deepen the Palestinian people’s suffering.
This has been true for years, and was especially evident when Western nations offered to relocate homeless Iraqis of Palestinian origin who were real refugees - and Arab leaders denounced the attempts to help these people out.

Naturally, the idea of making these people citizens in the Arab countries they were born in - which really does have a basis in international agreements - is utterly rejected by the Arab states as well as the "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas.

So who cares about the descendants of Arab refugees from Palestine? Certainly not the Arabs.

(h/t YM)