Must-Read Thoughts Of a Palestinian
Well, he’s back, this time publishing a post on the shoddy treatment of palestinians throughout the Arab world, especially when compared to their treatment by Israel.
Considering the success of my last post, I thought of doing a new post about how Palestinians have been treated throughout the Arab world. I’m sure most of this information is new to you considering the considerable lack of media reporting on the issue. FYI, I’m a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon. Here’s the proof.
Let me start with a couple of countries:
Around half of the 400,000 refugees live in camps, deprived of many rights. Refugees don’t have any property rights, no access to the Lebanese healthcare system and there are certain restrictions on jobs we are allowed to do. We are issued handwritten [travel documents](www.passport-collector.com/2011/08/10/lebanon-refugee-passport-for-palestine/) of appalling quality (large size, cheap paper). The travel documents don’t even have a full date of birth, just the birth year. You probably know about the Sabra and Chatila massacre (from the movie Waltz with Bashir, perhaps my favorite animated movie) were 3000 Palestinian civilians were killed in cold blood. These are at the top of my head, I’m sure there’s more. This is what a British MP Gerald Kaufman said in 2011 when he visited the camps:
When I went to Gaza in 2010 I thought I had seen the worst that could be seen of the appalling predicament of Palestinians living in conditions which no human being should be expected to endure. But what I saw in the camps in Lebanon is far worse and far more hopeless. The conditions are unspeakable, but for over 400,000 of our fellow human beings this is their life: today, tomorrow and for a future that cannot even be foreseen. At least in Gaza, frightful though the situation is, the people are free within the confines of their blockaded prison. In the camps of Lebanon they are not free.
Surprisingly, refugees there are treated quite well, almost like a citizen. Although this is changing and the Palestinians are being forced to choose sides in the Syrian uprising.
It’s the only country that naturalized Palestinians after the annexation of the West Bank, perhaps because they needed the population back then. From what I know from my family members living there, there’s some discrimination between the natives and Palestinians, but it’s minimal compared to other Arab countries.
Kuwait expelled more than 450,000 Palestinians when Arafat declared his support for Saddam during the Gulf war.
Palestinians enjoyed full rights under Saddam’s reign, however after the 2003 war they were severely targeted with discrimination or killings and the majority fled the country.
You can read this report here. Not only are they discriminated against (no free education) but they receive no UN assistance whatsoever. If they go out of the country for more than 6 months, their residency permit might be revoked. Imagine being born and living in a country your whole life and needing to renew your residency permit every couple of years. Also, a little bit about the occupation of the Gaza strip by Egypt, one observer (a member of UN) noted that “For all practical purposes it would be true to say that for the last six years in Gaza over 300,000 poverty stricken people have been physically confined to an area the size of a large city park.”
I’m sure there’s more but these are off the top of my head. Also, for a Palestinian refugee it’s very hard nowadays to get a work visa to Gulf countries. I was accepted for an internship in Dubai for an American bank but I waited for the visa for 1 and a half months and it never came. I had to relocate to another office. This isn’t anecdotal evidence, many complain about this.
Moral of the story: Israel naturalized over 1.5 million Palestinians. They enjoy full citizen rights and many of them would remain in Israel even if a Palestinian state is established. Palestinians in the Arab world on the other hand suffer from discernible and vile discrimination. If a non-Palestinian Arab speaks of the maltreatment of Palestinians by Israelis, tell them to STFU and demand rights for Palestinians in their countries before they complain about Israel. People living glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
EDIT: Don’t downvote the truth.