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Sunday, May 15, 2016

In 1961, they knew how to solve the 'Palestinian problem'

Here's an amazing 1961 Atlantic piece (would the Atlantic even publish something like this today @JeffreyGoldberg) written by a woman I am told is Ernest Hemmingway's ex-wife (thanks @soccerdhg) who took a tour of eight 'Palestinian refugee camps' in 1961.

Here's the money quote (in more ways than one) (Hat Tip: @zlando).
On this warlike note, we left. My guide had seemed a sober contented fellow until our little meeting, whereupon he sounded like a politician running recklessly for office. He then astonished me again.
"It can all be solved with money," he said. "Now the people have nothing in their mouths but words, so they talk. Money fills the mouth too. If every man got a thousand dollars for each member of his family, for compensation to have lost his country, and he could be a citizen in any Arab country he likes, he would not think of Palestine any more. Then he could start a new life and be rich and happy. And those who really do own something in Palestine must be paid for what they had there. But those are not many. Most had nothing, only work."
It could - and probably still can - all be solved with money (although probably more today than 55 years ago). But of course no one - especially UNRWA - has any interest in solving it with money. And so, unlike any other refugees in the world, the 'Palestinians' continue to fester in camps... except for the ones who have escaped to the West.

Read the whole thing (I'm still reading it myself). And keep in mind that it was written six years BEFORE Israel 'occupied' the 'West Bank' and Gaza, so obviously that's not the problem.

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At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... no one ... has any interest in solving it"

Not quite.

Many have a vested interest in keeping it unsolved.

For example, if Israel and the Jews suddenly vaporized, a majority of the Brotherhood's political rice bowl would vanish. Then it would be more difficult to motivate ordinary anti-regime demonstrators in the Arab/Egyptian streets. What one might call, Morsi's "we must cultivate the hatred" tool describes a terribly convenient, multi-purpose kindling, presently readily-available to Islamist demagogues across the planet.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

There is no palestinian problem and no refugee problem. There is an unwillingness and inability to culturally deal with the Arab mindset problem. There is an inability to deal with the ethics or lack of ethics of the bazaar and the shouk where nothing is ever concluded and the goal is nothing less than endless haggling for better terms in and of themselves. There are no palestinians because it could just as easily be some other made up identity in some other place. The particulars don't matter. The western tradition of making a deal, concluding it and going away to proceed with that deal is utterly foreign to the Arab mind. The Arab never ends the fight for a better deal. Even if he gets everything he demanded he'll turn right around to demand more and better terms.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger NancyB said...

Oh my goodness! This is another historical jewel! (you've posted some others) Thank-you so much for posting this. Truly amazing...


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