To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
The Palestinian Authority is resisting demands by Arabs in foreign countries, called “refugees” by the United Nations, to have voting rights for PA elections, offering further proof that its only interest in the refugees is to use them as a tool for Israel to lose its Jewish majority.
Ironically, the demographic issue is the favorite reason used by the West and left-wing Israelis to back their claim that ceding Judea and Samaria is the only way to keep Israel a Jewish state. If Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gets his way, approximately 5 million Arabs in foreign countries would flood Israel and join the other 1.5 million to create a Muslim Arab majority and make obsolete the concept of a “Jewish state.”
The PA argues that the foreign Arabs have a right to live in Israel because they are offspring of approximately 750,000 Arabs who left during the War for Independence and the Six-Day War in 1967. Most of them fled at the behest of Arab countries who promised them they would return quickly after the expected victory over Israel, but a sizable minority fled from victorious Jewish fighters.
The “refugees’ now live on four continents, and the “Right of Return Coalition” has called for national unity by making them eligible to vote in PA elections.
“The most critical issue is the re-activation and revitalization of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the need to hold direct elections to the Palestinian National Council where all eligible Palestinians, inside and outside the homeland, can vote,” according to a Coalition statement.
Several PA leaders have ruled the idea of allowing foreign Arabs to vote, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
The United Nations created the “refugees” by making an exception to its rule that the term only applies to first-generation people who have fled their countries. As result, future generations of Arabs in foreign countries have been denied citizenship in their host countries.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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