Out of all the tens of millions of refugee populations in the world, the Palestinian Arabs are the only ones that can bequeath that status to their descendants. In 1948, the Arab countries refused to absorb their brethren into their enormous territories, in contrast to Israel who absorbed an equal number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries into the Jewish state’s tiny land mass.
The “Palestinian refugee problem” was created and perpetuated to be used as a weapon against Israel. And the civilized world acquiesced in this cruel and inhumane abuse of civilians by creating entities such as UNRWA which inculcates the refugee community with a culture of violence and antisemitism to be turned on Israel as seen in the atrocities of Oct. 7th.
Hence, the Palestinian refugee community has been radicalized and infiltrated by Iran terror proxies. These refugees have been permanently designated as an underclass, consigned to overcrowded and unsafe refugee camps.
So, let’s try to apply a little logic. If the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza are refugees as the world insists, they have no homes to return to. That’s the definition of a refugee: homeless. No one confuses the prison of a refugee camp with home. And anyway, those horrible camps have now been destroyed in response to Hamas’ embedding of terror tunnels and weaponry into their schools and hospitals.
The humanitarian response would be to finally resolve the Palestinian Arab refugee problem in Gaza by relocating these poor and abused civilians to places where they can rebuild their lives. The Arab refugees are desperate to get out of Gaza to resettle in homes, not in refugee camps. The Jewish Israelis are desperate to get into Gaza to rebuild homes.
Sounds like a “win-win.” Relocate Gaza’s Palestinian Arab civilians out of harm’s way (as was done in Ukraine, Syria and other war-torn regions), destroy the remaining Hamas terrorists and allow Jewish Israelis to rebuild Gaza into the productive, peaceful, ecologically safe place that existed before its tragic destruction in 2005.
Why is the civilized world opposed to such a simple logical solution?
What currently masquerades as humanitarian aid is quite the opposite. Rather than reaching innocent civilians and hostages, Hamas thugs steal the aid for their own use.
Gaza has a long coast line. A Gaza refugee boat rescue could be mobilized to allow civilians, if they so choose, to board, receive food, water and financial help to resettle in other places. This is not unprecedented. Indeed, it is quite common.
Turkey has resettled millions of Syrian refugees.
Tunisia resettled Palestinian refugees.
Europe has taken in millions of refugees.
Why not the Palestinian Arab refugees? Why do all Western progressives demonstrating “in support of the Palestinian Arabs” oppose the one policy that would help them?
Palestinian Arab civilians have been abused by their own brethren and by the civilized world alike…all of whom want to keep them oppressed and weaponized against Israel. It is time to speak out to let the refugees go.
Linda Allenholds the William F. Aldinger Chair in Finance at Baruch College, City University of New York