Thursday, December 08, 2022

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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I Get To Reclaim My Ancestors' Home Because They Sided With A Failed Genocide

by Issa Awad, Palestine Refugee

Haifa houseTulkarm, December 8 - The morality is of the situation is clear: my forebears fled Haifa in anticipation of Arab liberators slaughtering the Jews of the city and making ample plunder available, but when that didn't happen, and the Jews actually won and took over the place, my great-grandparents set up here among the Iraqi soldiers who failed to push further west and the Jews into the sea as promised. Had the promised massacres of Jews taken place, my family would probably be running a fishing operation, while enjoying some swag looted from the Jews. But it didn't, and now the only fair thing is for their descendants to return to Haifa as if nothing had happened.

Why else would UNRWA exist? All refugees other than "Palestine Refugees" as defined by UNRWA follow a simple, if challenging, path: the UN Commissioner for Refugees cares for people fleeing conflict or persecution, and arranges for their permanent resettlement in some other country. Tens of millions of refugees have followed that route, but Palestine Refugees are special. We get to remain in perpetual statelessness until the war our people lost can be fought again and again, and maybe one day the result will be different. Until then, we live in dependence and squalor, because... I guess because pride and honor? That sounded better in my head.

In any case the legal and moral issue demands that my family and I get to go where my great-grandparents left so they could avoid all the unpleasantness of seeing Jewish body parts strewn about the place. It's somehow different from every other refugee story in history. Those other refugees were forced out, living in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught in an unfortunate situation. My family, on the other hand, maybe was, maybe wasn't forced out, and really wanted to come back, unlike all those other refugees who had no attachment to where they'd been living. It's a Palestinian thing? Even though the only people who identified as "Palestinian" at the time were Jews? I'm unclear on that part, but not on the morality.

The point is we get to flood Israel with "refugees" and win by demographics what we failed to do with bullets, because they had no right to defend themselves from the manifestly just pillaging we wanted to enjoy at their expense. It's about justice. Yes. That's what I meant to say.




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