Posts Tagged ‘UNHCR’

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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