The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Thursday issued a warning that it is “extremely alarmed by the rapid deterioration of the situation in Lebanon and its effects on Palestine refugees.”
For the sake of clarity, the “Palestine refugees” the agency is referring to have never set foot in “Palestine,” unless they are 73 or older. This is because, unlike any other effort to help war or natural disaster refugees that focuses on integrating the victims in new countries where they can recover and thrive, UNRWA is in charge of preserving the miserable conditions of its “5.7 million registered Palestine refugees,” as second-and third-class citizens in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and even the Palestinian Authority. UNRWA’s purpose is to keep alive the challenge to the legitimacy of the Jewish State of Israel by keeping alive the dream of someday flooding it with millions of Arab claimants.
This combination of cynicism and nastiness has been driving those poor people—the offspring of the half-million or so Arabs who fled Israel in 1948—deeper and deeper into poverty, sickness, violence, and malaise. After a ten-year civil war has annihilated thousands of them in their refugee camps in Syria, now it’s time for their brethren in the refugee camps in Lebanon to sink to a new level of suffering.
“Between the economic and financial meltdown, COVID-19, the disastrous impact of the Beirut Port explosion, and as the country plunges deeper into multiple crises, Palestine refugees, one of Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities, struggle ever harder to survive,” declared the UNRWA’s Thursday press release.
Naturally, there’s the bottom line, as UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini put it: “While the international community and aid agencies struggle to fill the unprecedented needs in Lebanon, which is now witnessing an acute shortage of fuel and goods, it is crucial to give adequate attention to the extremely dire conditions that most Palestine refugees in Lebanon live in, including Palestine refugees who have escaped the armed conflict in Syria.”
But don’t expect Lazzarini to suggest helping these downtrodden people—all of whom were born in Lebanon and Syria—by arranging for their absorption by countries in Western Europe and North or South America. That option is reserved for refugees from all other places in the world. “Palestinians” must remain in their camps, ready for the call to be repatriated in Jaffa, Ramleh, Haifa, and Acco.
“UNRWA remains the main provider of basic services, such as health, education and camp improvement to over 210,000 Palestine refugees present in Lebanon,” Lazzarini lays out his plan in its entirety, adding that, of course, “these include about 28,000 Palestine refugees from Syria.”
There’s also this: according to Lazzarini, “the situation in Palestine refugee camps is highly volatile and young people in particular report a level hopelessness that leaves few prospects for a dignified life.”
Because living for 73 years as beggars off the UNRWA programs was a shining example of “a dignified life.”