Here, from Dalit Halevi’s fascinating article at israelnationalnews.com, is a story about Palestinian Arabs seeking out better lives…and the accusation that their doing so is the result of an Israeli plot (huh???).
The number of “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon has decreased significantly over the past few years and many are leaving for other countries to try to improve their situation.
In an interview with the Hamas newspaper Palestine on Thursday, Hamas’s representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka said that some 260,000 “Palestinian refugees” had left the refugee camps in Lebanon to various countries in recent years because of the difficult security and economic conditions.
According to him, the figures he cited are based on a poll conducted by the Lebanese authorities and which indicates that there is a deliberate action to bring about the emigration of Palestinian refugees from countries bordering Israel.
“The Zionist enemy is working in this way to empty the refugee camps and to destroy the foundation for the right of return,” Baraka claimed.
Uh…let’s think about this.
First of all, let’s consider basic self-interest.
Suppose you are an Arab whose family was originally from Palestine (the land area, of course – there has never been a country of that name), and at some point in the past your family either left, or was driven from Israel to Lebanon.
Now, suppose you are unhappy with your life in one of Lebanon’s “refugee camps” – understandable, given that Palestinian Arabs are afforded third-class status in Lebanon and every other Arab state except Jordan (which, itself, is a Palestinian State, as one look at a map will tell you).
What do you do? Wait for hamas to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea? Well, that hasn’t happened in almost 70 years and prospects don’t look especially good for the near future.
So, if the opportunity arises to go somewhere else where you can forge a better life for your family and yourself, is it a surprise that you will go there?
It’s that simple.
Is the fact that hamas – a terrorist organization committed, in writing, to the obliteration of Israel and death to all Jews everywhere (not just in Israel) – thinks you should stay in one of the camps going to keep you there? Well, if that 260,000 number is anywhere near accurate, the answer is more and more likely to be “no”.
Let’s remember that most of the Palestinian Arabs in question have never lived in what is now Israel. Most of their parents never lived there. And a good many of their grandparents never did. So whether or not they believe there is a “right of return”, the prospect of doing so becomes less and less meaningful over time.
“Return” to what? A place they’ve never been to? A place they will not be welcome – just like in almost all Arab countries? It’s not hard to see why this a less than appealing proposition.
No one knows for sure, but I would not at all be surprised if Palestinian Arab emigration to the (non-Arab) countries that will take them, is going to accelerate over time. Why? Because they might live a better life than they currently do.
I hope so. For their sake as well as Israel’s.