Sharansky on how the UN and Western nations perpetuate the “refugee” problem

Natan Sharansky, ex-Soviet dissident, ex-Israeli government minister, and continuing perceptive commentator, has an excellent column in the Wall Street Journal today on the Palestinian problem we’ve written about so frequently.

It’s well worth reading the whole thing.┬áHere are some important excerpts:

On the current clash:

On one side, there is the Israeli army. Technologically and militarily superior, its soldiers are motivated by a powerful commitment to their country’s security. On the other, there are Palestinian terrorists whose aim is to kill as many innocent Israelis as possible by unleashing missiles and suicide bombers on civilian centers. Then, when Israel retaliates, they appeal to the world with gruesome images of Palestinian suffering as part of a global campaign to prevent Israel from defending itself.

Sooner or later, the tactics of the Palestinian terrorists work. The voices of protest in response to Palestinian suffering grow louder until international pressure stays Israel’s hand.

On the Palestinian leaders’ policies of using their civilians, especially children, as a weapon against Israel — and the connection with their policies on their “refugees”:

Of course, it is easy to blame Hamas. It is they, after all, who deliberately put their weapons caches in mosques, their rocket launchers in schoolyards, and their command centers in hospitals — all with the explicit goal of maximizing the tragedy of an Israeli response.

Yet Hamas is not the only Palestinian group at fault. In 2005, shortly after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, I met with the chief of staff to the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. My question to him: Now that we have uprooted thousands of Jews and empowered Gazans to be masters of their own fate, can we hope that within a year’s time there will be fewer refugees in the camps? “Absolutely not,” he said. “The refugees will be relocated only in the context of the final status [agreement]. How can we move them if we do not know where they will live? Maybe they will live in Israel.”

…the Palestinian Authority, the most moderate among Palestinian political groups, would not consider easing their own people’s plight in the wake of Israel’s compromise. This is because the suffering of the refugees is essential to their broader political struggle.

And this strategy is very successful in much of the West:

Soon after my meeting with Mr. Abbas’s chief of staff, I met with the ambassador of one of the West’s most enlightened countries. I asked: Why are the Palestinians not willing to help their own refugees? “I can understand them,” he answered. “After all, they don’t want the refugee problem to be taken off the agenda.”

This reflexive “understanding” for the Palestinian leaders’ abuse of their own people is the heart of the problem. For decades, the international community has actively assisted in building the terrorists’ unique system of control — over where Palestinians live and in what conditions, and over what they think — by allowing terrorists to turn the refugee camps into the center of the Palestinian war machine. Instead of working to relieve the refugees’ misery, the United Nations has dedicated an entire agency, UNRWA, to perpetuating it. For the rest of the world’s refugees, the U.N. works tirelessly to improve their conditions, to relocate them, and to help them rebuild their lives as quickly as possible. With the Palestinians, the U.N. does exactly the opposite, granting refugee status to the great-grandchildren of people displaced in 1948, doing nothing to dismantle the camps, and acting as facilitators for the terrorists’ goal of grinding an entire civilian population under their thumb. Nowhere on earth do terrorists get so much help from the Free World.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply