Why the world loves Palestinians

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, described the special situation of Palestinian refugees on the recent World Refugee Day:

Unlike other refugees, the Palestinians have their own set of rules, their own funding and even their own international agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA. To paraphrase George Orwell, all refugees are equal, but some refugees are more equal than others.

In 2012, the United Nations spent six times more on every Palestinian refugee as compared to all other refugees. Like a favored child, the Palestinians have been on the UN’s permanent payroll for over 60 years and are entitled to every service from healthcare to housing and from food rations to education. When it comes to refugees from Syria or Somalia, responsibility falls to the host country to provide basic assistance.

While UNHCR’s approach teaches independence, UNRWA’s approach prepares the Palestinians to be lifelong dependents. Under UNRWA’s framework, Palestinians can continue to be called refugees long after they acquire citizenship and find permanent housing.

UNRWA’s humanitarian mission is undoubtedly important. However, it is being marred by its unspoken political motto of “once a refugee, always a refugee.” By allowing refugee status to pass to Palestinian children and grandchildren, the number of Palestinian refugees has ballooned from a few hundred thousand in 1948 to over five million today. Left unchecked, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will continue to be added to the UN’s permanent payroll every year.

Let’s apply some simple arithmetic. If about 650,000 Arabs fled Palestine in 1948 (I’m ignoring the smaller number of 1967 refugees in the interest of simplicity) and there are 5 million today, that represents a truly remarkable growth rate of 3.2% per year (the population of India, by contrast, is growing at about 1.7% per year, and that of the US, including immigration, at about 1.1%). If the current trend continues, then, in ten years there will be 6.8 million. The 10 million mark will be reached in 2035, when a Palestinian child born today will be 22 years old. And in 100 years, there will be 116 million Palestinian refugees!

This is clearly unsustainable, but the only ‘solution’ acceptable to the Arabs, to supporters of BDS, to a majority of UN members, and even to our local “Peace Fresno” organization is that all of these Arabs will ‘return to their homes’ in what is today Israel. In the meantime, their ‘oppression’ qualifies them to engage in violent actions.

Prosor continued,

Instead of extending their hand in friendship, the Arab states employed the NIMBY strategy – Not In My Back Yard. Believing that the creation of UNRWA absolved them of any responsibility to their Palestinian brothers, the Arab states passed discriminatory laws. In Lebanon for example, Palestinian refugees are barred from working as doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers or accountants.

By making the Palestinians the poster children for international victimhood, the Arab states believe they hold a permanent trump card to defame and pressure Israel. While the Arab states are saturated in petrol dollars, the funds mysteriously dry up when it comes to assisting Palestinians and subsidizing UNRWA.

Scan the list of UNRWA’s top contributors and you’ll find it’s exclusively North American and West European countries.

To put it more bluntly: the US and the Europeans are contributing more than $650 million a year (2011 figure) to help the Arab nations build a weapon to use against the Jewish state. And the Arabs pay almost nothing! What a deal.

And it is more than simply a demographic weapon. UNRWA in Gaza supports Hamas in several important ways, particularly by way of its educational system. Teachers — who are all Gaza Palestinians — use books and materials supplied by the Hamas regime. Many Hamas leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh, are graduates of UNRWA schools, and teachers sometimes moonlight as terrorists.

The question of refugees is just one area in which the UN (and its budget) is grotesquely deformed in the direction of the Palestinians. Everyone knows about the imbalance in General Assembly resolutions, and the biased Human Rights Commission. But don’t forget the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People (SCIIHRP), not to mention the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), which is responsible for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, held every year on November 29, the anniversary of the Partition Resolution of 1947.

This is strange since, at the time, the Arabs opposed the resolution, which would have created an Arab state. Of course it also called for a Jewish state, so maybe they are mourning a loss rather than celebrating an offer.

The unique outpouring of love and money for the Palestinians can’t be because the other Arab nations care for them. If they did, they wouldn’t treat them so badly whenever they come in contact with actual Palestinian Arabs. And it certainly can’t be because they are such exemplary world citizens: Palestinian Arabs popularized airline hijacking and suicide bombing (the main ingredients of the worst terrorist attack ever), and have been responsible for several wars in Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, etc., not to mention terrorism against Israel. How many people are dead that would be alive were it not for Palestinians and their Cause?

I think the explanation is simple: the world loves the Palestinians because of their choice of enemies!

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4 Responses to “Why the world loves Palestinians”

  1. Robman says:

    Ok, let’s back up a bit here.

    Your conclusion above points the finger squarely at Jew hatred. I would say that is a factor, but only a factor, and I don’t think that it is even the most important factor.

    True, the Arab oil sheikdoms don’t give the Palis any money directly, and they treat the Palis like crap in their own countries. But that does not in any way diminish the centrality of the role the Gulf sheikdoms play in promoting all of this nonsense.

    First, they may not give money to the Palis…but they sure do spend of a lot of money on Western media and academia to ensure that the Pali narrative crowds out all others. We all know that is true.

    We also know what a huge role “pride” and “honor” play in Arab culture. To them, the Palis are a segment of the Arab world ruled by – – the Joos! Within the Arab “famiily”, this is like the daughter who got raped. Not an object of pity, but rather, a source of shame and contempt for the rest, and as such deserves nothing but derision.

    And this is calculated derision. It is very much designed to make the Palis feel compelled to regain their “honor” among their Arab cohorts by destroying Israel. They are thus put, to use military terms, on “death ground”; like troops dumped on a beach to face an entrenched enemy, they can only survive by winning. Their backs are to the wall.

    So, it naturally follows that the Gulf Arabs and other Arabs CANNOT “help” the Palis in any genuine sense as we would understand this. If the other Arabs accepted the Palis into their own societies, then the Palis would no longer be effective in their intended role: CANNON FODDER.

    Jew hatred? Sure, it plays a role. But the mechanism at work here is analogous to a passive night vision device. These work by taking in ambient light – e.g., starlight, moonlight, etc. – and using an “image intensifier” to magnify this so that the human eye can see.

    The Arabs take existing Jew hatred and, using their money to influence anybody who can influence mass opinion, who also has their hands out – e.g., financially insecure media enterprises, universities, even churches – they magnify Jew hatred and then modify it into what they want: Israel hatred.

    How do I know this?

    I’ve seen examples of establishment media – e.g., old issues of Time Magazine, etc. – from the late 60s, that were very pro-Israel. Look at them today…

    During the ’67 war, living in a midwestern town with only two Jewish families, my late mum told me of how Gentile neighbors would come over, asking if there was anything they could do to help. Could hardly imagine that happening today.

    I’ve read accounts about how during the ’67 war, U.S. military personnel at bases in the U.S. were taking time out to watch the TV coverage, cheering Israel on. Would this happen today? With the likes of CoS Dempsey and SecDef Hagel representing our military? Hard to picture this. Now remember also, up to 1967, France – not the U.S. – was Israel’s main arms supplier and major power ally.

    Consider my three anecdotal examples above. Is there more Jew hatred today than there was then? Has Western culture shifted to become more anti-Semitic in its own right than it was four decades ago? To me, that is not a realistic proposition.

    So, what is the variable at work here? And, after all, do “people” – in a rank and file sense – the world over really “hate” Israel? Israeli friends of mine who travel a lot would say that is not true at all.

    As I’ve said before many times, when the checks stop coming from places like Riyadh, Qatar, the UAE, and even Iran (they play this game, too), an awful lot of the b.s. is going to stop.

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    This article brilliantly exposes the strategy behind the very strange discriminatory policy of the U.N. and in fact much of the world favoring the Palestinian Arabs. Other refugee groups somehow are absorbed in new communities in time, but the Palestinians add refugees to the list all the time. Those people in favor of a two-state solution should see that is those who seemingly aid the Palestinian Arabs who most ensure their never moving toward the kind of transformation which would mean , recognition of Israel.

  3. Robby says:

    Palestinians are born, live and die in Arab countries yet they can’t become citizens, are denied property ownership, can’t vote, not allowed to hold some jobs, etc. Palestinian children have died waiting for medical care in Lebanon, because, well, they were Palestinian (reported by Angry Arab). In some of the “refugee camps” in Lebanon construction materials are banned!

    And how many have been killed and injured in Yarmouk over the last two years thanks to Syria’s civil war?

    Great column, but why not call it what it is? Arab Apartheid.

  4. shalom-hillel says:

    The focus should be on the European and US media, which do not cover the hateful anti-Semitic incitement in the media of the Muslim-majority countries. The western media refuse to cover it because it does not fit their political agenda. It would create sympathy for Israel by showing that the Arab world is hostile and hateful in its public media. Instead they choose the lie of the even-handed approach.

    Our media need to be questioned repeatedly as to why they do not cover this, just as they do not cover attacks on Christian communities in the Middle East. All of it is simply omitted. It’s an unspoken coverup.