The only places in the world that won’t accept Palestinians as citizens with equal rights are the Arab countries.
Some Palestinians have migrated to America, where they’ve became US citizens. Other Palestinians have found homes elsewhere in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Why won’t their fellow Arabs accept them, too? Let’s review the history.
Last century, tens of millions across the world were uprooted in the aftermath of World War II and the end of colonialism. Most have since resettled. Not so the 750,000 Arabs who left their homes (some willingly, some not) during the 1948 war that Arab states launched to quash the fledgling Jewish state.
A similar number of Jews fled Arab lands in that war. But Israel absorbed those and many other Jewish refugees, while Arab rulers proceeded to use their uprooted brethren — some of whom had emigrated to Palestine just a generation or two before the 1948 war — as a political tool.
Six decades ago they were settled in “temporary” camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and what is known now as the Palestinian territories. The camps — many now simply towns — are run by a special UN agency established in 1950 to deal exclusively with Palestinians. Like all welfare bodies, that UN Relief and Work Agency soon settled on maintaining dependency.
UNRWA camps now hold nearly 5 million people. Arabs shed tons of crocodile tears over their misery, but America is by far the largest UNRWA donor — $267 million last year. The Arab countries together supply a mere 1.5 percent of the agency’s budget, and they’re hundreds of millions in arrears.
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