The Refugees That Never Were

One of the central issues of the palestinian mentality of victim-hood is the claim they are refugees. It’s also been in the news lately with some reports saying the US is seeking that the universal definition of what a refugee is should apply to the palestinians as well.
So what exactly is that definition?
It goes back to 1951, when the UN signed a convention of refugees. It defined a refugee as someone “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”
But guess what? The palestinians came up with their own separate definition under UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) which defined a refugee as a person “whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict” including their descendants!
So that means that a palestinian refugee was anyone who lived in pre-state Israel for less than 2 years! This ridiculous definition was insisted upon by the Arab states, and supported by the world in general not for any moralistic reasons, but because the refugees were considered a destabilising force, and at that time, the world wanted a good supply of oil as Europe began to rebuild itself after world war 2. In other words, the Arabs were appeased so that the flow of oil could be secured.
Practically, the palestinian definition is nonsensical, because what it means is that under that definition, if I go on a working holiday to say… France for two years, and for some reason I get displaced, then me, my kids, my grand-kids, their grand-kids and so forth until the end of time will be considered a French refugee.
It is unfortunate that genuine refugees, people who have escaped persecution and war and terror, do not get the same benefits as this fake creation of an entire class of so-called palestinian refugees who in the vast majority of cases left of their own free will or at the behest of their fellow Arabs.
But it also reinforces the fact that the palestinians, who insist their refugees should be able to ‘return’, do not seek peace at all, but rather the destruction of the Jewish state through the flooding of people who were never part of the country in the first place.
The onus of solving the fictitious palestinian refugee problem does not lie with Israel, but with the 22 Arab states who share that great Arab brotherhood and concern – a concern so heartfelt that in most of those countries they deny the palestinians citizenship, the ability to work and also keep them in refugee camps.
But as usual, the groups who tell us they are so concerned about the rights of palestinians fail to actually… well… address the rights of palestinians and prefer to bash Israel instead.
So once again, the hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see and the sooner the fictitious definition of palestinian refugee is removed, the sooner real justice can prevail.
About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
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