Palestine to Deny Citizenship to Palestinian Refugees

 

Yes, you read that right.

Evelyn Gordon has a jaw-dropping piece up on the Contentions blog at Commentary this morning in which she quotes Abdullah Abdullah, the PLO’s ambassador to Lebanon, who gave an interview last week with the Lebanese paper The Daily Star:

The ambassador unequivocally says that Palestinian refugees would not become citizens of the sought for U.N.-recognized Palestinian state…

This would not only apply to refugees in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Jordan or the other 132 countries where Abdullah says Palestinians reside. Abdullah said that “even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”

Abdullah said that the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” be issuing Palestinian passports to refugees…

He makes the logic of this choice admirably clear (emphasis added):

“When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization would remain responsible for refugees, and Abdullah says that UNRWA would continue its work as usual.

The only Palestinians who will be entitled to citizenship are those residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who are not classified as refugees. They collectively represent a little more than half the population. To sum up, then: the entire refugee population of the diaspora, plus 45% of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza, will be refused citizenship of Palestine. That amounts to 4.69 million people (2.9 million in the diaspora, 689,000 in the West Bank and 1.1 million in Gaza).

Let me interject a personal note here. I have spent the past three months watching with admiration and gratitude as Arab workers built the structure of my new house. Some of them came from the territories. They were, to the last man, eminently professional, dependable, gracious, responsible, and fantastic with my kids.  

It enrages me that Palestinian leaders — the supposed “peacemaking” crew, I mean; not the unapologetic, no-compromise freakshow that runs Gaza — would sell out not just my future, but the futures of men like these. And it enrages me still further that the disgusting choices those leaders make create an assumption abroad that all Palestinians, all Muslims indeed, are their mirror images. An entire population, the decent majority together with the indecent minority, is being stamped into the gutter of history by its own leadership. I can’t speak for the Muslim populations of Marseilles or Flanders or London or Ankara, and I am the last to gainsay our long struggle with Muslim violence here in Israel. But I am convinced that given a chance, the Palestinians could live beside us peacefully, were it not for a pathologically weak-minded leadership. What a tragic disgrace. 

Lest anyone remain in doubt as to the true purpose of the statehood gambit in the minds of that leadership — a truncation of Israel as a step toward its eventual erasure — the woman Abbas has chosen to launch the bid at the UN, Latifa Abu Hmeid, is the mother of five terrorists. And not just garden-variety, small-time terrorists, either. Four of them are serving a combined total of eighteen life sentences for heinous attacks. (The fifth one — the “martyr” — is dead. Read more about them here.)

Hmeid might seem a curious choice as representative of Palestinian national aspiration, but from the point of view of Abbas et al, she couldn’t be better. As disastrous as Abbas’s embrace of the dark side might be for Israel, it is calamitous beyond measure for stateless Palestinians. Evelyn Gordon puts it well:

[T]he new state won’t provide these residents with any services: It expects UNRWA – or, more accurately, the American and European taxpayers who provide the bulk of that organization’s funding – to continue providing their schooling, healthcare, welfare allowances, etc….Thus, aside from the 2.9 million Diaspora refugees, a whopping 45  percent of the new state’s residents will also remain stateless, deprived of both citizenship and services by the country the world fondly imagines is being created to serve their needs.

But of course, the PA doesn’t want a state to serve its people’s needs; it wants a state to further its goal of destroying Israel. Hence the refugees can’t be given citizenship; that would undermine its demand to resettle them in Israel, thereby destroying the Jewish state demographically.

And if the price is leaving half its people in stateless squalor for the next several decades or centuries, it’s a perfectly acceptable one to pay for the goal of killing the Jewish state. Just like Latifa Abu Hmeid thinks one son dead and four in jail is an acceptable price to pay for the goal of killing Jews.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @IsraelP
    Judith Levy: Yes, you read that right.

    Evelyn Gordon has a jaw-dropping piece up on the Contentions blog at Commentary

    “Jaw-dropping,” Judith? Something here surprises you?

    By the way, I assume – though I may be wrong – that when a refugee marries a non-refugee, the offspring are awarded the classification “refugee.” I don’t think they could have gotten to 45% had it been the other way round.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Contributor
    @judithlevy
    Israel P.: “Jaw-dropping,” Judith? Something here surprises you?

    I’m still capable of being astounded by them, even after all these years.

    • #2
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    @jonorose

    It IS amazing that they can be so flagrant. I mean, their attitudes are not surprising, but you just end up shocked that they have the cojones to actually just come out and say it, and confirm your worst fears (over, and over again, ad nauseam).

    i know that personally I WANT to think that maybe there is a chance, maybe they have finally gone the way of Gandhi, blah, blah, blah. But they just don’t let you forget who they are. The problem is, they tend to say this stuff in places where if you dig deep enough you find it, but most people just aren’t interested enough to dig.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @IsraelP
    jonorose: The problem is, they tend to say this stuff in places where if you dig deep enough you find it, but most people just aren’t interested enough to dig. · Sep 22 at 5:51am

    No. The problem is that some people say this will happen and “most people” laugh and call them names.

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    @Charlotte

    Several years ago Mary Steyn called the Palestinians a “wrecked people”. How apt.

    • #5
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    @DeniseMoss

    Just to sound like a broken record…none of this will be mentioned in liberal synagogs across America in the upcoming High Holidays; for many American Jews, the only time they’ll actually be sitting in temple. No, it will still be Israel’s fault, or partly Israel’s fault. When will my brethren wake up. Thank you, Judith, for one more enlightening (and yes, enraging) statistic to throw at them over the break fast.

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    @CandE

    Can there be any better proof that the “Right of Return” was nothing more than an Alinskyite tactic to beat civil rights hand-wringers into submission?

    -E

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @Goldgeller

    I read about this. A few times. I did so because it sounds so ghastly that I thought “maybe it isn’t true– maybe a blogger is taking it out of context to make Palestine look bad.” But the posted article rings so true, and it’s a shame. I can’t think of anything good that will come out of this.

    I hate to go “left vs right” so quickly, since the issue is far bigger and far more important than that; but what will it take to open the eyes of the anti-Israel, pro-palestinian left? How many more excuses can be made for Palestine’s leadership at Israel’s expense after this? This won’t lead to peace. This will inflame a group of people who are already used to using grievance, at home and abroad, as political weapon.

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    @DocJay

    I am curious if it is time to give the phrase “peace process” a rest. Can we come up with a new catch phrase that is actually accurate.

    The visual of Allbright breaking her heel running after that scum Arafat who was walking out on a meaningful agreement comes to mind. When everything that would be good and actually doable for your people is put forth yet being a terrorist is more profitable you reject it…..then there is no hope……ever.

    Sorry Judith, I cannot see anything good coming from this expanding political football in my lifetime. Islam has yet to take any meaningful steps to cleansing its radicals and its corruption in general. When the women get equality then maybe you have a chance.

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  10. Profile Photo Member
    @Goldgeller
    Joseph Stanko: I wonder, though, could statehood backfire as a PR move? It seems to me that a lot of the sympathy for the Palestinian cause among college students and the like comes from the narrative that they are an “occupied” nation whose only goal is freedom and self-determination. If they achieve statehood and de facto independence and yet continue to attack Israel, perhaps more people will wake up and begin to question this narrative. “Wait a minute, you got what you always said you wanted, why are you still fighting? What’s your hidden agenda?” · Sep 22 at 12:15pm

    I don’t think it will backfire. Even if they attack Israel, it will be spun. As long as Israel has an army and performs border patrols, the press will always wonder “who shot first? “Was Israel’s response proportional?” Israel will be more successful at defending itself, so of the course the headlines will read “IDF kill X along border.”

    And of course, the press will often lie. And photoshop knives and blood out of pictures (as with the gaza flotilla…)

    Many people won’t even get the full story.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @IsraelP
    Joseph Stanko: “Wait a minute, you got what you always said you wanted, why are you still fighting? What’s your hidden agenda?” · Sep 22 at 12:15pm

    There is no hidden agenda. It is all out in the open and always has been.

    • #11
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    @Claire
    Joseph Stanko: I wonder, though, could statehood backfire as a PR move? It seems to me that a lot of the sympathy for the Palestinian cause among college students and the like comes from the narrative that they are an “occupied” nation whose only goal is freedom and self-determination. If they achieve statehood and de facto independence and yet continue to attack Israel, perhaps more people will wake up and begin to question this narrative. “Wait a minute, you got what you always said you wanted, why are you still fighting? What’s your hidden agenda?” · Sep 22 at 12:15pm

    I remember only too vividly this logic being advanced for the withdrawal from Gaza. “Okay, we’ll withdraw. Then they can’t bludgeon us with this ‘occupation’ business if we hit back. They’ll see it had nothing to do with that.'”

    It didn’t change a thing. People still talk about “Occupied Gaza.” My jaw drops every time I hear that. When I point out that Israel withdrew–dragging weeping settlers away from the homes they’d built, nearly sparking civil war–they just switch the subject. “Well, they’re still building illegal settlements!”

    • #12
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    @Pseudodionysius

    According to Drudge, Clinton says Bibi is to blame for everything.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko

    I wonder, though, could statehood backfire as a PR move? It seems to me that a lot of the sympathy for the Palestinian cause among college students and the like comes from the narrative that they are an “occupied” nation whose only goal is freedom and self-determination. If they achieve statehood and de facto independence and yet continue to attack Israel, perhaps more people will wake up and begin to question this narrative. “Wait a minute, you got what you always said you wanted, why are you still fighting? What’s your hidden agenda?”

    • #14
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