Stephen Eisenberg of Montreal wrote that the Palestinians, especially second and third generation Palestinians are not refugees. His assessment is based upon internationally accepted definitions of what constitutes a legitimate refugee.
STEPHEN EISENBERG WROTE:
The so-called Palestinians* are the only multi-generational refugees on the planet, or in mankind’s history.
Refugees have always remained as the first generation. The next generation is no longer called “refugee”. This has always been the UN’s convention, that is with the exception of the Palestinians.
If the same standards were applied universally, the 970,000 Jews forced from Arab lands between 1948 and 1959, and their descendants, would be called “refugees” today, this, including the 320,000 Jews originally forced out of what are now called the West Bank and Gaza in 1948.
There has never been a demand for a “Right of Return” for those Jews, especially those of the Middle East, nor has compensation been asked for on their behalf. Yet here is an “official” Jewish organization including a statement suggesting “compensation” rather than granting the Arabs a “Right of Return” as a solution in its newsletter.
Perhaps they believe that “Jews have all the money”, and that this would buy peace.
It should be remembered that most of the Arabs who left what is now Israel had done so at the recommendation of various Arab political and religious leaders.
Those same leaders also – as proven time and time again by audio recordings and transcriptions of speeches and radio broadcasts – used inflammatory accusations (rape, murder, massacre) against the Jews to rally Arabs against Israel; the opposite effect occurred.
Instead of coming to fight the Jews, many left in fear of the Jews. Yet, here we go again, expecting Israel to compensate and solve a problem the Arabs created for themselves, and falling into the “its Israel’s fault” mentality.
*Until recently, most Arab leaders referred to them as “Arabs”, and “no different than any other Arabs”. Only since Israel’s control of lands originally taken by force by Egypt and Jordan in 1948 have they become “Palestinian”.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY HOWARD GALGANOV:
Stephen Eisenberg was right-on-the-money in his assessment of the illegitimacy of Palestinian refugee status. But; what he didn’t include, deals with the recognition not just of the progeny of refugees, but rather with the primary so-called Palestinian refugee claimants.
The United Nations has a relatively clear set of criteria which they use to establish refugee status. But; for some “unexplained” reason, the so-called Palestinians have been given their very own criteria.
According to the UN, a refugee must have lived in an area for a specific period of time; either as a recognized national (citizen) or “habitual resident” (who is someone without citizenship, but nonetheless makes a specific territory his/her home within a defined boundary). A perfect example of “habitual residents” are the Bedouins who have always lived in the land that is Israel, before and after Israel was recognized as a nation in 1948.
Many of the original so-called Palestinians claiming refugee status do not qualify as legitimate refugees based upon citizenship or habitual resident status according to the UN, since many who left in and around 1948 were mostly “transient” Arabs looking for better opportunities as a result of Jewish immigration to what was at that time a predominantly undeveloped and underpopulated region.
Yasser Arafat, who calls himself a Palestinian, was in fact born on August 24, 1929 in Cairo Egypt. He lived in Palestine with his uncle for 4 years from the time he was 5 years old. At 9 years old he returned to Egypt. What part of this makes Arafat a Palestinian?
The other issue that is never mentioned, is one of recognized statehood. Was the region referred to as Palestine ever a legitimately recognized country? If so, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are Palestinian states as well, since these three countries were all part of the same recognized region of Palestine long ruled by the Ottoman Empire until 1918.
Since there is no history of a Palestinian State. Upon what criteria does the UN and the rest of the world define the so-called refugees as Palestinians?
There is also the question of “Right of Return” for children born to so-called Palestinians. But, the UN makes no reference concerning children born to refugees away from their home state.
Therefore; one would have to agree that all so-called Palestinians born outside the land of their parents, have no status or claim of status to the land their parents left.
Also; according to the UN definition, people who willingly leave the state where they are either citizens, or have habitually lived, can not later claim refugee status.
Stephen makes that point very articulately about the so-called Palestinians who willingly left their homes at the behest of their Arab leaders in 1948.
The proof that there was no imminent threat from the Jews of Israel before and during the Israeli War of Independence to the Arabs who chose to willingly leave on their own accord, are the million plus Arabs who continue to live in Israel as full Israeli citizens.
It is clear that the UN has twisted its own definition of what is a legitimate refugee, in order to accommodate Palestinian Arabs who want to destroy Israel.
As Stephen Eisenberg pointed out; there are hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern Jews who were in fact driven out of their Arab homelands at the same time, and after many of the Arabs fled Palestine.
But, unlike the so-called Palestinians, these Middle eastern Jews were not accorded refugee status. Why not?
To use the convoluted standards the World Body bestows upon the so-called Palestinians; it is not really a stretch to ask why the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren (and so-on) of displaced and murdered Jews throughout history should not have the same rights that are accorded to the children of so-called Palestinians?
Shouldn’t all the progeny of Europe’s Holocaust victims have the same Right of Return to the homes of their ancestors?
And to really stretch the logic of the UN.
If there is no statute of limitations on the “Right of Return” for so-called Palestinians and their progeny, then there must be no statute on the limitations on the “Right of Return” for Jews to the Middle East, and the land(s) they ruled until the sacking of Solomon’s Temple almost 3,000 years ago.
If this UN standard was equally applied, there would be no question whatsoever about any part of what the so-called Palestinians claim territorially as their own, since Samaria and Judea were indeed part of historical Israel, it would be: Goodbye Gaza. Goodbye West Bank.
You don’t have to take my word for any of the preceding. And you shouldn’t. The complete UN definition on the “Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons” can be found at: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/o_c_ref.htm.
Read it as I have, and then draw your own conclusions.
I wish to thank Stephen Eisenberg for his poignant observations.