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Refugees

AP reports the following:

Palestinians flee refugee camp

Palestinians were fleeing homes in this refugee camp today, as Israeli tanks cut off the area from the rest of the Gaza Strip in preparation for what is expected to be a major Israeli military offensive.

Fleeing from a refugee camp? Maybe they should establish more refugee camps for those that are fleeing!

Pardon me for my ostensible insensitivity, but have you ever wondered why there are still PLO Arab refugee camps after over 50 years, and despite the ability of the Arab states to absorb them? If the truth be known, I do feel for those innocent PLO Arabs who are being used by their leaders, as well as by the other Arab states, who have an interest in maintaining the status quo.

During the years that Israel controlled the Gaza Strip, a consistent effort was made to get the Palestinians into permanent housing. The Palestinians opposed the idea because the frustrated and bitter inhabitants of the camps provided the various terrorist factions with their manpower. Moreover, the Arab states routinely pushed for the adoption of UN resolutions demanding that Israel desist from the removal of Palestinian refugees from camps in Gaza and the West Bank. They preferred to keep the Palestinians as symbols of Israeli “oppression.”

Now the camps are in the hands of the Palestinian Authority (PA), but little is being done to improve the lot of the Palestinians living in them. Netty Gross of the Jerusalem Report (July 6, 1998) visited Gaza and asked an official why the camps there hadn’t been dismantled. She was told the Palestinian Authority had made a “political decision” not to do anything for the nearly half a million Palestinians living in the camps until the final-status talks with Israel took place. In fact, between June 2000 and June 2003, the number of Palestinians living in camps in the PA has increased by nearly 50,000 (8 percent) and the overall number of refugees has grown by 11 percent.

For decades the refugees have held the UN responsible for ameliorating their condition. Though many Palestinians are unhappy with the treatment they have received from their Arab brothers, most refugees focus their discontentment on “the Zionists,” whom they blame for their predicament rather than the vanquished Arab armies.

In contrast, the tiny state of Israel has absorbed millions of Jews fleeing Arab and non-Arab countries.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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