Archive for the ‘Nakba and The Right of Return’ Category

Nakba Day 2: An Obstacle for Peace!

May 18, 2012

Earlier this week, on Nakba Day, I wrote about my feelings towards the “Palestinian disaster”. In short, while I don’t take away from the devastating outcome of the Arab / Palestinian refusal to the partiotion plan (the two states for two people which the Jewish Community accepted and founded Israel upon, and which the Palestinians rejected and started a war which they’ve lost).

Did you know? The term Nakba was first set to describe the outcme by Syrian author Constantin Zureiq, who refered to the disaster as the “shameful” lost of Seven Arab nations against one entity (Israel, or in his words “Zionism“).

I also mentioned, but more on the sidelines, the many issues this issue raises. Some of them are essential to why peace is so hard in this conflict. I’d like to summarize it in short:

  1. The Palestinians demand a fictional right they call “The Right of Return”. Basically, they’re demanding a return to their old homes from before the war. This so-called “right” has never been granted in any conflict!
    (moreover, many Jewish people were either forced by the government or were treated horribly to basically having no choice but to leave their possesions and homes in the Arab nations where they lived at the same time).
  2. The Palestinian “Refugees” are handled in a seperate special and unique agency, that doesn’t help them but works to keep them refugees in grave and dire situations.
  3. To that extend, Palestinians refugees are the only refugees around the world whose offsprings recieve refugee status.
  4. A Palestinian coming to money or success, granted citizenship and so on are still called refugees (as do their offsprings).
  5. There are many Palestinian refugees who have been living in camps in Syria and Lebanon (Egypt’s camps are now called The Gaza Strip). No one is helping them improve their lives, even when 64 years have passed since the war. They’re only concerned with keeping them poor and in poor condition to demand a fictional right from Israel.
  6. Granting the “Right of Return” would mean to demographically extinct the state of Israel (especially with refugee offspring status).
  7. Each year the Palestinians organize marches and have themselves and kids walk around with keys, symbolizing this fictional right. With that kind of education, how can you really teach your children peace and not violence (especially when its’ rooted in half-truths to complete lies)?

At the end of the day, the 67-borders is not the main issue of this conflict.

Israel has made many territorial compromises throughout the years (including Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu):

  1. To achieve peace with Egypt, Israel gave Egypt the entire Sinai Peninsula, whose size is more than twice the size of Israel (Egypt refused to take back the Gaza Strip territory, rending it belonging to no state but de-facto under Israel’s military rule, due to Egypt’s refusal to accept the Palestinians and their territory back to its’ own territory as it was before the war).
  2. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.
  3. The establishment of Territory A, most of which is in complete civilian control of the Palestinian Authority (originally included military and security control as well, but when the Palestinian were unable or unwilling to stop suicide bombings, Israel reclaims military control).

And there’s more. Israel can, has and will make territorial compromises. But territory is not the issue!

This is! The hatred, the educations to hatred and lies, the thought of a fictional right that asks to abolish Israel completely, and the endless lies ensuing, this is the real issue. This is the real reason peace cannot be made.

This is the key issue in which Palestinian leaderships are still speaking out and saying they will never make compromises. This is the key issue in which Palestinian leadership organizes marches and instills false beliefs and lies, starting from the very early ages, against Israel and against peace. The false stories of the “evil Jews who came to steal our land when we were all innocnet in all of this” is a lie! And In his article last year in the New York Times, Palestinian Authority President, told the world this false narrative.

If you don’t know the truth, you might believe he was telling the truth! But he’s not!!! And these lies are what children on the other side are taught to believe is the truth!

So while it might be easy to blame Israel for everything, and while it may be super-easy to see this is as nothing more than a territorial dispute, IT IS NOT A TERRITORIAL DISPUTE!

This Nakba, this education of lies and hatred – that is!

Yaser Arafat said “no” to Bill Clinton’s peace proposal because of this very issue! Not territory, not security… Because he couldn’t have ended the conflict. Because to end the conflict is to admit the lies. To admit, at the very least, that like in any other conflict around the world, no return right will been given.

But in the meantime, peace won’t come. And refugees around the world can only envy the kind of conditions the Palestinians receive…


Nakba Day 1: My Grandparents are Refugees too!

May 15, 2012

Today, the Palestinians (and in turn the Arab world) mention Nakba Day. Because 64 years ago today (by the Gregorian calendar), the state of Israel was formed. So they’re mentioning the catastrophe and disaster of Israel’s establishment.

The truth is, that while this day is used mainly for incitment and perpetuation of distortions and half-truths, Israel was the side that accepted the UN’s resolution of two states for two people, while it was the Arab world that rejected it and started offenses and war. The outcome of which was one state and the so-called refugee issue.

Here’s the thing though – The only issue here is why has the Arab world made cynical use of these refugees in the war against Israel? The Palestinians themselves, I can understand how it’s easy for them to not blame themselves for anything, and assume Israel is 100% at fault. But here’s the thing – you have refugees living in Syria, Lebanon and all over the region, and these countries that host them refuse to give them any kind of rights, even after 64 years of living on their territory, because their status is good for the war on Israel.

Did you know? Every real refugee in the world is treated by a UN agency called UNHCR. However, the Palestinians and only the Palestinians are treated by a seperate agency called UNRWA, which is a slap and a repeated spit in the face of real refugees.

You see, UNHCR helps people find a new home and rebuild their lives. That’s what it did after World War II, after the Yugoslvia war, and many other locations around the world. UNRWA, on the other hand, only tries to get them by on a daily basis, helping them stay in worse conditions, in order for them to remain refugees and incite against Israel.

In fact, unlike UNHCR, UNRWA gives offsprings the status of refugee as well. So pradocially enough, 64 years after the war, the 750,000 refugees became over 11 million! Have you ever heard of such atrocity?

And the thing is, the status is never lifted! If a Palestinian has been granted citizenship anywhere around the world – UNRWA still considers him a refugee! Bashar al-Masri, is a successful businessman around the world, wealthy, living in a big mansion and UNRWA calls him a refugee!! And he’s not the only one.

Now i’m not going to say most Palestinians live in great conditions. But the duplicity of the issue is that UNRWA keeps them in that situation and the Arab world gives them absolutely no right, even though they’ve been “hosting” them for over 60 years now!

The truth is, during the 1948 war, both sides hurt each other, and you might even go as far as saying both sides comitted atrocities towards each other. But the Palestinians (mostly their leadership and dependance on the Arab world) refuses to better their situation, or help them.

On the other side of the equation, while 750,000 Palestinian refugees was the result of the war, nearly 800,000 Jews where left with no choice but to leave their homes and posessions in Arab Countries.

64 years ago, my grandmother was living with her family in Syria. They were quiet wealthy. The day Israel declared independance, with according to the UN’s partition plan, they rounded all the men and put them in prison. Took their possesion. Her father’s shop was nationalized. When life became unbearable and her family was practically left with no choice but to leave, they had to escape overnight, pay Druzes to help them cross the border from Syria to Lebanon and from Lebanon to Israel. Their entire possesion was left behind. Everything they owned, except for the clothes on their backs, was nationalized as well. Today, many refugees from Sudan, Eritrea and many other African refugees, are doing the same on a daily basis. But nobody calls my grandmother a refugee. Not once. Not ever. And my grandmother is only one of over 800,000 who had to leave their homes.

My grandparents of my dad’s side, like many non-Jewish European, were left without homes or shelter after the end of World War II. From 1945 to this day, not on them, my grandparents (R.I.P), or the Europeans dealing with the outcome of war, are called refugees today. UNHCR helped them rebuild their lives and have new homes. My grandparents received a life here in Israel. Their entire posession and life from before the war was gone. Yet from 1948 to this day, all Palestinian refugees are still refugees.

Why is that? Why are the Palestinians the only people around the world the UN doesn’t help to rebuild their lives? Or at the very least, to lift the status of “refugee” from them and their children when they have? Why is the UN doing nothing for the Palestinian refugees living in camps in Syria and Lebanon? And why are the Palestinians receiving such special treatment, even in this matter.

Because, you see, until they’ll be treated equally by the world, until this conflict will get the proportion it truly has and not the blown-up kind it has gotten, maybe… maybe the Palestinian could acknowledge their part, their fault, in the conflict. And maybe they can acknowledge that they’d have to make concessions too for peace. And then maybe… maybe peace will finally be possible. But until that’ll happen – peace will never be acheived. Calm will never come. Not until the intertional bodies start treating this conflict as they do any other. No special treatment.

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