(January 25, 2011)
Here's the latest from The Guardian:
In a crowded room in Aida refugee camp, Abu Khalil sipped sweet tea before listing reasons why he will never give up his right to return to his family's pre-1948 home.
"My home, my land, my mosque, my identity, my dreams. Everything I live for. You want me to give up all these things for a state?" All Palestinians agree, he said; there can be no compromise.
Certainly in this refugee camp at the edge of Bethlehem, where boys today played football in the shadow of the huge concrete wall which cuts it off from Jerusalem, it was hard to find any dissent.
The collective memory of the Palestinian homeland, before the State of Israel was born amid anguish and bloodshed in 1948, is bequeathed like a treasured heirloom through generations. The disclosure that Palestinian negotiators were prepared to make big concessions on this, the most visceral of issues, was greeted with disgust among the refugee population.
For Amar al-Masaid, 28, history was something he lived with every day. "Our country was taken by force," he said, amid jumbo boxes of cornflakes, tins of spam and chocolate Santa Clauses in his family's shop. "They invaded us. They are a colonial power. We will never make any compromise. We will never sell our land. It would be better to stay with the Jews under occupation that give up our rights."
His family had fled from Deir Aban in 1948; his father still has the deeds to the land they lost. "If you ask a little baby in these camps where their home is, they will answer you," he said.
On cue, seven-year-old Dahoud and his sister Ranim, five, arrived to buy dried coconut, sent by their mother. Where did they come from? "Palestine," said the boy; his sister whispered "Al-Maliha," an Arab village south of Jerusalem until 1948, now home to a huge Israeli shopping mall and sports stadium.
Here is a family that insists on going back to their ancestors' home.
Their ancestors' home is gone.
But they want to "return" anyway.
But they live in an area that is slated to be "Palestine" already. They live in their own country, under the rule of their own people. Refugees, by definition, are no longer in their own country. (We will ignore for now that the descendants of refugees are not considered refugees for anyone else besides Palestinian Arabs.)
According al-Masaid, the refugees live in a prison. Look around you, he said gesturing at the wall looming a couple of hundred yards away.
They live in a "refugee" camp, a "prison.".
But is anyone forcing them to live there? Could they move to a part of the PA-controlled areas and buy a house?
Well, yes. They can. But then they would lose their free housing and medical care courtesy of UNRWA.
They are in their own land. They are free to find jobs, buy land, build houses, and raise their families, like the majority of Arabs who live under PA rule. They choose to stay in the camp.
They are not refugees by any definition. If your hometown demolishes your house to build a highway and you are forced to move to another town a few miles away, you are not a "refugee."
But the Guardian promotes this lie of a "refugee" population who are anything but.
Has the PA ever made a move to demolish the camps? Is the Palestinian Authority embarrassed that so many of its citizens are still in camps? No and no. On the contrary, the camps have three purposes: they keep the myth of the "refugees" alive; they keep financial pressure off of the PA; and - most importantly - they provide a great place for journalists to incite hatred against Israel by continuously pointing to "refugee camps" as examples of Israeli cruelty.
They are, in fact, great examples of Arab cruelty.
It is worth noting that Israel demolished all of its Arab refugee camps in the early 1950s and gave their Arab refugees full rights as citizens of the new state.
The PA has had control of most of the areas of the "refugee" camps for over 15 years now, and it has not demolished a single camp. Why not?
The "right to return" is not a human right. And it is also a non-starter - Israel cannot and will not absorb all the descendants of refugees, and everyone knows it. The only solution is to have these people become citizens of other countries, the way that every other refugee population in history has.
Their misery is the direct consequence of the Arab world's desire to keep the Palestinian Arabs as pawns to pressure Israel.
To give these people hope that they will one day "return" is an act of cruelty. They have been in limbo for six decades holding on to this false hope that is fed to them by cynical Arab leaders looking to destroy Israel demographically.
This article makes it clear that The Guardian wants them to remain in perpetual misery as well.
This article has a single purpose - to keep the lie that they will one day "return" alive. The Guardian is using these people as pawns, exactly the same way that the Arab leaders have for generations: keeping them in camps as poster children for Israel's supposed cruelty, with never a mention of the Arab responsibility for maintaining this situation for decades. Their continued misery today translates into a new generation of terrorists tomorrow.
As has been clear for a while, the Guardian wants Israel to disappear. This article is simply one more bullet in their arsenal of lies.
The problem of the refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza can be solved within a couple of years. There is no legal or moral reason to keep them there. All the billions of dollars that now go towards UNRWA to perpetuate their misery could go to build them houses and neighborhoods and new suburbs.
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