web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Counting Palestinian Refugees

For too long, Palestinian claims concerning the number of Arabs displaced from their homes in the course of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence have been accepted with little or no attempt at verification.

Today there are nearly five million official refugees served by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, though according to Daniel Pipes, only about one percent fit the definition of “people 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.”

The other 99 percent, says Dr. Pipes, are descendants of those refugees, or what he calls “fake” refugees. Yet the so-called right of return is widely portrayed in terms of the five million figure and provides the Palestinians with great leverage in any negotiations. Language proposed by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) for insertion in the 2013 foreign appropriations bill would bring a breath of fresh air on the issue by requiring the U.S. government to confirm just how many Palestinians currently served by UNRWA are actually refugees.

As Pipes notes in an article in National Review, the Kirk amendment requires the State Department to inform Congress about the use of the annual $240 million U.S. donation to UNRWA for servicing Palestinian “refugees.” Sen. Kirk has said that Congress has to be told how many Palestinians qualify as “refugees” and how many are merely descendants of those refugees.

It should be noted that by UNRWA’s own count, the number of Palestinians who describe themselves as refugees has climbed from 750,000 in 1950 to five million today. And as one commentator has observed, “the refugee issue has been an immovable obstacle in round after round of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Predictably, the State Department has been less than supportive of the Kirk initiative, with a spokesman confirming that “the U.S. government supports” the principle of recognition of “descendants of refugees as refugees.”

Anyone who can count recognizes the implications of the refugee issue. Even Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas had admitted that asking the Jewish state to repatriate five million Palestinians “would mean the end of Israel.”

The Kirk amendment will not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But by addressing a significant shibboleth it will diminish important ill-gotten Palestinian leverage, and in that sense represents an important step in the right direction.

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Counting Palestinian Refugees”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UN Human Rights Council
UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes
Latest Indepth Stories
Jelgava Synagogue, Latvia

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

More Articles from Editorial Board

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/counting-palestinian-refugees/2012/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: