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Palestinian refugees from Syria: political fodder for their leaders

 Palestinian leaders show true intent: destroy Israel at the expense of their people

By Lee Kaplan, senior analyst, communications director

8 January 2013: The civil war in Syria has shown the true motives of the Palestinian leaders regarding their people. About 350,000 Palestinians seeking refuge from the killing in Syria, wanting to settle in Gaza or the West Bank, have been refused entry by both governments in the region.


The right of return has always been the Catch 22 utilized by the Palestinians in order to assure that no peace can be had with the Jewish state.  It stipulates that any Arab who claims to have ancestors who lived within Israel prior to 1948 and considers them “refugees” has the inalienable right to live inside Israel’s borders. In the United States, one of the largest anti-Israel groups, Al-Awda (which means the Return) is also one of the most active in organizing events and fundraising centered around bringing the so-called refugees “home.” The Students for Justice in Palestine with chapters on college campuses across the U.S. and that leads the Boycott and Divestment movement from Israel along with Al-Awda membership, also calls for a non-negotiable right of return.  In fact, they explain:

“Most SJP groups believe that while the Palestinian people must ultimately be able to decide their future in Palestine, certain key principles, grounded in international law, human rights, and basic standards of justice, are fundamental to a just resolution of the plight of the Palestinians. These include the full evacuation of Jewish occupants from areas that are illegally held (e.g. various neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem) the right of the Palestinian people to defend their territories with a stable militia, the end of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza strip (sic) and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the implementation of the right of return and repatriation of Palestinian refugees to their previous homes circa 1948, or those of their ancestors, as well as their properties, an end to Israel’s system of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as a system of discrimination against the Palestinian population within its own borders.”

The above is considered just rhetoric by pro-Israel advocates as experts on apartheid have affirmed Israel does not practice such discrimination against the Palestinian population. The passage more than makes clear the right of return is about displacing Israel’s Jewish population, not about resettling or helping Palestinian refugees. What’s more Gaza is not occupied by Israel since 2005 when Israel forcibly deported its own Jewish population from the area.

The Palestinian movement always insists there are huge numbers of “refugees” scattered around the world and even reports that there are as many as ten million when the Palestinian authority puts the number at five million, nearly half the amount. Most are in Lebanon and scattered throughout the Arab world, including Syria. The numbers in refugee camps in Lebanon are estimated at about three million. One and a half million Palestinians live in Gaza under the Hamas regime there, and another 3 million in the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria.

Part of the insistence on the right of return as a blockage to a peaceful settlement or two state solution is the idea that Palestinians are an unsettled people who must be allowed to go “home.”  Palestinian leadership in Hamas and the PLO always insist they want to help their own people as the world falls all over itself to give them foreign aid and training in return.

But now, those Palestinians, 350,000 strong in Syria, who wish to escape the fighting are being denied entry to both Gaza and the West Bank.

Ismail Haniyah, the head of Hamas has refused to allow any to immigrate to Gaza, claiming if he does so and they decide to live there he cannot continue to claim they must live inside the Jewish state of Israel to displace the Jewish population.  The PLO and Fatah leadership have refused to accept them, claiming they cannot afford to pay for them. Since this is a life and death issue for the Palestinians in Syria, these reasons belie the philanthropic image the Palestinian “revolution” likes to convey to the rest of the world and shows that Palestinian nationalism and terrorism are more of a business than anything. The Palestinian Authority and Gaza were each recently given 450 million U.S. dollars each in U.S. Taxpayer dollars and the PLO is one of the richest entities in the world, having enormous assets at its disposal to pay for such refugees who ultimately might meet their deaths in Syria. In addition, UNWRA refugee camps in both Gaza and the West Bank have ample funds to take such numbers in.  In fact, the PLO has more than ample funds it can access to help their own people, but refuses to do so.

The refusal by both Palestinian entities to help their own people illustrates more than ever before the folly of the U.S., Israel and the world continuing to fund a movement that is really just a business for its terrorist leadership who were all armed cutthroats before the UN and the world gave them the respectability of being recognized as just another state- in- the- making.