web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


US State Dept. Balks at Providing the Number of Palestinian ‘Refugees’

UNRWA aid

Photo Credit: Thair Al hassany/Flash90

Senator Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) has offered an amendment to the FY 2013 funding bill for the State Department that would require the Department to provide two numbers to Congress: 1) the number of Palestinians physically displaced from their homes in what became Israel in 1948, and 2) the number of their descendants administered by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA). [1]

Palestinians are the only people for whom refugee status passes along through the generations (a condition adopted by the UN in 1965 over the objection of the United States), so they are also the only refugee population that grows exponentially over generations rather than declining as the original refugees pass away and their descendants become citizens of other places. Sen. Kirk seems to think the numbers would provide insight into whether the billions of U.S. tax dollars that have been provided to UNRWA over the years are making the problem better – or worse.

The State Department, naturally, is appalled, believing getting a handle on the numbers is prelude to cutting off the dollars. And further, it appears to believe that how our money is spent is not our business. Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides wrote to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “This proposed amendment would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue.” As if the world’s view of the problem is more important than transparency with the American people.

In any event, the U.S. would not be prejudging anything, but only be determining how many people live off our dole.

The possible outcomes of the Palestinian refugee issue are three: to allow them to go to Israel (the so-called “right of return”); to formulate their resettlement (and compensation) in the new State of Palestine; or formulate their resettlement (and compensation) somewhere else. The first means the dissolution of the State of Israel – which cannot possibly be among the State Department’s acceptable outcomes (Can it?). In either of the other two scenarios, counting would be a prerequisite to resettlement.

The problem for the State Department is that the Palestinians have rejected the second and third outcomes.

In a little noticed interview in the Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, said even if the UN established a Palestinian State, the refugees would not become citizens of it. “They are Palestinians, that’s their identity. But … they are not automatically citizens. Even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [then-Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”

Why? Because to become a citizen of “Palestine” if Palestine is less than the entire territory west of the Jordan River would obviate the so-called “right of return,” which postulates that Palestinians who left the territory that became Israel – and their descendants – are entitled to go to where they claim to have come from, namely pre-1967 Israel. That is to say, Abdullah Abdullah is choosing the first option – the dissolution of Israel and explicitly rejecting the others.

Abdullah told the paper that U.N. statehood would not affect the planned return of refugees to “Palestine.” “How the issue of the right of return will be solved I don’t know, it’s too early [to say], but it is a sacred right that has to be dealt with and solved [with] the acceptance of all.” Statehood “will never affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees… The refugees are from all over Palestine. When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”

The creation of a Palestinian state in territories bordering Israel then would only be a way-station to the establishment of “Palestine” in place of Israel. Abdullah said the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” issue Palestinian passports to refugees, lest they be understood to be citizens of Palestine.

UNRWA, he said, would continue to be responsible for the “refugees” after the creation of the Palestinian state, at least until the “right of return” is enacted.[2]

About the Author: Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center. She was previously Senior Director of JINSA and author of JINSA Reports form 1995-2011.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “US State Dept. Balks at Providing the Number of Palestinian ‘Refugees’”

  1. Lenny Wolman says:

    Important for all to read .

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arab attackers smashed these windows on an Egged bus in Jerusalem's Old City.
Egged Bus Attacked Traveling to Western Wall in Jerusalem
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Shoshana Bryen
Gaza

Proportionality Doctrine:The greater the military gain the greater the justifiable collateral damage

International Security Assistance Force Commander Gen. John R. Allen.

It appears not to have occurred to Condoleezza Rice that Palestinian statehood was incompatible with Israeli security.

The 686 men who expressed their desire to run in Iran’s presidential election were whittled down to 8.

Does Kerry think it would be better for Israel to approach negotiations from a position of precarious poverty?

Neither Secretary of State Kerry nor the president he serves seem to understand Russia’s goals in the Middle East.

The fourth Great War is less ‘Islam against the West’ than it is Sunni expansionists vs. Shiite expansionists.

This is the functional equivalent of agreeing not to swing the wrecking ball after you’ve set the house on fire.

President Obama, perhaps inadvertently, made the case for U.S.-Israel relations grounded in the most fundamental shared values.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/counting-palestinians/2012/05/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: