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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘camps’

HRW Says “Refugee Camps Should Be demolished, Refugees Integrated”

Monday, May 16th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Elder of Ziyon}

Kenneth Roth: Far more humane to let refugees integrate in society than to confine them in dead-end camps.

The article says:

David Miliband, the former UK foreign secretary, has called for an end to the refugee camp system and the reform of humanitarian institutions “that were designed for yesterday’s problems, not tomorrow’s”.

Wealthy nations should accept the most vulnerable 10% of the world’s 19.5 million refugees, Miliband said, and provide economic support to less wealthy countries to integrate new arrivals as full-time residents.

Referring to the case of Dadaab in Kenya, the world’s biggest refugee camp, which houses 330,000 Somalis across the border from their home country, Miliband, who is the president of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), said there should be a “new deal” for poorer countries that host refugees.

Why is the cost of hosting refugees falling on the world’s poorest states?
Lucy Hovil
Read more
“The new bargain is that a small number of people – probably up to 10% of refugees, the most vulnerable – are relocated to the richer countries, to the west and elsewhere, because of their medical needs, because they’re orphans etc,” he said.

“But then, [for] the large majority of people, the only real hope for them is to become productive residents of the countries that they’ve fled to.

“That’s a massive call on the countries concerned, but if we can ensure they get international financial support and build up their economies, then it becomes a chance to avoid the kind of Dadaab situation of long-term housing [of] people in places that become magnets for criminality, never mind for terrorism.”

Yet HRW has not once called for Arab countries to permanently integrate second, third and fourth generation Palestinian “refugees” whose numbers keep increasing every day.

HRW has a fact sheet listing all the ways Arab countries discriminate against Palestinians. In one “legacy” document that was written in the 1990s, HRW does admit

All nations should assist in finding durable solutions to refugee problems. Ideally, this consists of giving each displaced person three options: local integration, third-country resettlement, and voluntary repatriation. In the Middle East context, countries where Palestinians now reside should offer them the option of full local integration. Palestinian families, many having lived in these countries for more than fifty years, have built lives there which they should be granted the option of continuing to lead. Similarly, the international community should be generous in offering the possibility of third-country resettlement to those who might desire it, and in providing aid to assist the permanent settlement of those who choose to remain in the region as well as those who choose to exercise their right to return.

But then adds:

Neither the options of local integration and third-country resettlement, nor their absence, should extinguish the right to return.

So even in HRW lukewarmly allows that Arab countries should, ideally, offer this option, they are vehemently against the idea that fully integrated Palestinians ever abandon their wish to destroy Israel by telling them that they alone have a permanent and everlasting “right to return” to lands they never lived in.

Yet even though HRW claims that every refugee has a right of return forever, in fact only Palestinians are associated with this right. HRW doesn’t call for refugees from the same time period in Pakistan and India to have the “right of return.”

In the 20 years or so since writing that, HRW has been utterly silent about demanding Arab countries integrate Palestinians into the societies where they have been treated like second-class aliens for nearly 70 years.

But now with a brand new refugee crisis, of people who have been forced out of their homes in only the past few years, return isn’t even mentioned and resettlement is pushed as the number one option.

2003 HRW fact sheet about the “right to return” in Croatia shows HRW’s hypocrisy:

When displaced persons are unable to return to their homes because their property has been destroyed or claims against a current occupant are unsuccessful, they are entitled to compensation.

Meaning that the “right to return” is only the right to return to one’s specific family home, not to have descendants have the right to move to a country en masse.

Yet this idea that the right to return only exists when the specific property is still there is completely missing from any discussion about the Palestinian “right to return,” which is considered a blanket right as well as an individual right, with no limitations on circumstances.

Ken Roth is once again proven to be a hypocrite, who only supports “return” for one set of people and who is all but silent on giving them the right to nationality in the countries in which they were born.

 

Elder of Ziyon

Jewish Australian Politician Apologizes for ‘Concentration Camps’ Comment

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Dr Mike Freelander, a Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia pediatrician who is running for the key Western Sydney seat of Macarthur for the Labor party, has apologized for remarks he made describing Australia’s detention centers on Manus as “concentration camps,” J-Wire reported Thursday.

Freelander needs only a 3.3% swing in the July 2 vote to take it from the Liberals, which explains why he’d rather say I’m sorry than stick to his guns on this one.

The Manus Regional Processing Center is an immigration detention and offshore asylum facility located on Los Negros Island in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, operated by a company named Broadspectrum on behalf of the Australian government. The center was closed in 2007, but in 2012, with the significant rise in the number of irregular maritime arrivals seeking asylum in Australia, the facility was reopened, with 936 asylum seekers being held there.

Freelander made his comments following a tweet from union organizer Corey Rabaut that said the German neo-Nazi party had endorsed Australia’s refugee policy.

Dr Freelander then told The Daily Telegraph, “I would hate to think we would be torturing children in a place like Manus Island – in a concentration camp and I could never support that.” He added that “sometimes you have to make decisions that go against the grain but support the greater good.”

And sometimes you don’t, apparently. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, campaigning with incumbent Liberal MP Russell Matheson, said: “I call on the Labor candidate for Macarthur to apologize to the government officials, to the people who are caring for those in detention facilities. For a candidate to try to draw a parallel between any action of an Australian government and the Holocaust and Nazi Germany is quite frankly shocking. He should apologize.”

And so Dr Freelander told J-Wire: “As a member of the Jewish community I’m deeply aware that I chose poor words yesterday. I’m sorry for the offence I caused to my community.”

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has welcomed Dr Freelander’s apology.

David Israel

A Call to Action: Shut Down the Claims Conference

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

By Naomi Vilko, MD

Many Jewish Americans are unaware not only of the sordid behavior of the Claims Conference (Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany); they are also unaware of its existence and mission. Established in 1951, the Claims Conference has the tasks of negotiating for compensation and restitution for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution and of distributing payments from the German government to individual Jewish Holocaust survivors and the social services agencies that serve them.

Shamefully, $57.3 million intended for survivors was stolen from the Claims Conference by 31 people – 11 of them employees – over 16 years. [For more information, please read Isi Leibler’s numerous articles covering the Claims Conference scandal on his blog.] Now, influential Jews including Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress and Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel have insisted upon an independent investigation into the Claims Conference fraud as well as a change in its leadership and governance. I am grateful to Rabbi Mark Golub of Shalom TV, Isi Leibler of The Jerusalem Post and staff writers from The Jewish Daily Forward and The Jewish Week who have been following the Claims Conference scandal and pressing for justice for the survivors. I hope that we can mobilize the Jewish community to quickly close this corrupt agency and transfer the funds to another agency who will distribute them in time to help those in need.

Many Holocaust survivors have not received compensation for their suffering and losses because for some of these aging victims, the process is simply too painful; others have not received compensation because the Claims Conference is at best, difficult and obstructionist, and at worst, corrupt. Claims Conference officials have also continued to expand the definition of “Jewish victim of Nazi persecution”. Today, it administers programs providing funds not just to those who survived ghettos, concentration camps, forced labor battalions and death marches, but to anyone who fled Nazi invasion, lived in hiding, or lived under curfew. As a Psychiatrist specializing in trauma, I am well aware that it is difficult to tease out the quantitative and qualitative differences between different traumatic experiences – but I am certain that those who survived concentration camps (the youngest of whom are in their 80s) should receive assistance immediately and without the frustration of dealing with the uncaring staff of the Claims Conference and its various agencies.

My mother and I have dealt with the issue of reparations since my father, a survivor of 5 concentration camps, death marches, Hungarian forced labor and a ghetto, died suddenly in 1962. My father was denied any compensation. As his widow and a survivor herself, my mother appealed, but the appeals were denied. Recently, I again contacted several Jewish agencies in a futile attempt to assist my now 92-year-old mother with paying for her home-care. I was astounded to learn that if she only needed assistance 20 hours/week, she would receive funds, but since she requires 24-hour assistance (which she pays for herself) she will receive nothing to defray the expense. We were advised that she could go on Medicaid and/or be sent to a nursing home.

Jewish social agencies are doing the best they can to help survivors, but they say that they have limited funds. After helping themselves to large salaries and allowing fraud to persist under their noses for over a decade, is it any surprise that the Claims Conference does not have enough funds for the survivors it “claims” to serve? Furthermore, while it is commendable in theory for the Claims Conference to work to expand eligibility for these funds, I must ask: if there is not enough money available to help the survivors who have already been identified, what is the result of such efforts beyond making the bread lines longer?

It is an outrage and an embarrassment that the Claims Conference has continued to operate without oversight, even after failing in its responsibility to adequately investigate and prosecute the fraud for so many years. We must shut down the Claims Conference and transfer the funds to an existing agency, such as the Jewish Federation or the World Jewish Congress that can quickly prioritize the way funds are distributed to survivors. We have an obligation to take care of those who have been tortured and enslaved because they are Jewish – before it’s too late.

There are many survivors who have no children to care for or advocate for them and who live isolated lives in apartments with no services and little human contact. My hope is that raising awareness of the additional psychological trauma survivors experience as a result of the reparations and compensation processes and, specifically, the New York based Claims Conference itself, may lead the Jewish people to take action. Let’s face it: The Jewish people have not adequately taken care of the survivors, who are now extremely elderly and dying. They are entitled to live the last years of their lives with dignity.

Guest Author

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-call-to-action-shut-down-the-claims-conference/2013/08/01/

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