'Palestinian refugee' rips Arab treatment of 'Palestinians'
A 'Palestinian refugee' has a lot to say about the Arab world's treatment of 'Palestinians' (Hat Tip: Raquel R).
I posted this on r/worldpolitics, and somebody told me I should do an AMA, not sure if you'd be interested. I'm sure most of this information is new to you considering the considerable lack of media reporting on the issue. FYI, I'm a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon. Here's the proof.
Let me start with a couple of countries:
Around half of the 400,000 refugees live in camps, deprived of many rights. Refugees don't have any property rights, no access to the Lebanese healthcare system and there are certain restrictions on jobs we are allowed to do. We are issued handwritten [travel documents](www.passport-collector.com/2011/08/10/lebanon-refugee-passport-for-palestine/) of appalling quality (large size, cheap paper). The travel documents don't even have a full date of birth, just the birth year. You probably know about the Sabra and Chatila massacre (from the movie Waltz with Bashir, perhaps my favorite animated movie) were 3000 Palestinian civilians were killed in cold blood. These are at the top of my head, I'm sure there's more. This is what a British MP Gerald Kaufman said in 2011 when he visited the camps:
When I went to Gaza in 2010 I thought I had seen the worst that could be seen of the appalling predicament of Palestinians living in conditions which no human being should be expected to endure. But what I saw in the camps in Lebanon is far worse and far more hopeless. The conditions are unspeakable, but for over 400,000 of our fellow human beings this is their life: today, tomorrow and for a future that cannot even be foreseen. At least in Gaza, frightful though the situation is, the people are free within the confines of their blockaded prison. In the camps of Lebanon they are not free.UPDATE1: Since many here are blaming the PLO and its involvement in the civil war. That's definitely true to a large extent, however you're missing a few points. Most Palestinians refugees were placed in camps in south Lebanon when they arrived. These camps were gradually militarized and became the grounds for operations against Israel and because the PLO had so much power back then, they started making trouble and trying to control part of the country. So had the Lebanon absorbed it's Palestinian population properly, this wouldn't have happened. Look at the Palestinians of Syria, they didn't make any trouble and didn't start any wars, why? Because they were treated like equal citizens. Also, FYI, Lebanon naturalized more than 100,000 Palestinian Christians and Shiites. Second, who do you think was funding the militarization of the PLO? THE ARAB GOVERNMENTS, whether it's Saudi Arabia or Iraq or some other Arab country.
What do I want from Lebanon as a Palestinian refugee? Some of you say that naturalizing 450,000 Palestinians would be a strain on the country. You think that much Palestinian refugees aren't already a strain? Everyone knows if Lebanon naturalizes Palestinians the whole debt Lebanon has would disappear. I'm not exactly fond of naturalization myself though. However, so many laws can be quickly enacted that will significantly improve the life of a refugee, like property law or proper ID and passports formats that aren't from the 1950's. Also, you say that refugees put a strain on Lebanon. Mind you that a large number of Palestinians work abroad and they all send money to their families in Lebanon so they contribute a lot to the Lebanese economy. Hell, I've been told the Lebanese lira dropped significantly when the PLO left the country in 1982. One more thing, all Lebanese factions and leaders involved in the civil war are now reigning free in the country many of them ministers or MPs, the same people that committed massacres towards their fellow Lebanese. Nobody was punished for the civil war, except for the Palestinians. Why? Because they're not Lebanese, so it's perfectly fine to discriminate against them.Read the whole thing.
UPDATE FRIDAY 12:36 AM
I just want to make sure that none of you missed this part:
Moral of the story: Israel naturalized over 1.5 million Palestinians. They enjoy full citizen rights and many of them would remain in Israel even if a Palestinian state is established. Palestinians in the Arab world on the other hand suffer from discernible and vile discrimination. If a non-Palestinian Arab speaks of the maltreatment of Palestinians by Israelis, tell them to STFU and demand rights for Palestinians in their countries before they complain about Israel. People living glass houses shouldn't throw stones.