Why does everybody lie to the Palestinian refugees???
Some hard truths from Khaled Abu Toameh...
Palestinian Authority leaders are now saying that they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state because that would mean that they would have to give up the "right of return" for millions of Palestinians to their original homes inside Israel.
These leaders are actually continuing to deceive the refugees into believing that one day they will be permitted to move into Israel.
The Palestinian Authority, like the rest of the Arab governments, has been lying to the refugees for decades, telling them that one day their dream of returning to their villages and towns, many of which no longer exist, would be fulfilled.
Meanwhile, the refugees are continuing to live in harsh conditions in their UNRWA-administered camps in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
No Arab or Palestinian leader has ever dared to confront the refugees with the truth, namely that they are not going to move into Israel. On the contrary, Palestinian and Arab leaders continue to tell these people that they will go back to their former villages and towns.
Arab and Palestinian governments are lying to the refugees because they want to avoid any responsibility toward their plight. The Arab governments hosting the refugees have done almost nothing to improve the living conditions of the refugees.
On the contrary, Palestinian refugees living in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan have long been subjected the victims of racism and other repressive and unjust measures and laws that deprive them even of basic rights. Governments such as Jordan receive a payment for each refugee, turning the refugees into nothing more than property, like stocks on Wall Street.
Since its establishment in 1994, the Palestinian Authority has also done very little to help the refugees. In the West Bank, most of the international aid is being invested in major cities such as Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem and Jenin, as well as scores of villages.
UNRWA is also not offering a solution to the refugees. Instead, the UN agency is perpetuating the problem by creating new generations of refugees. UNRWA is in fact encouraging the refugees to stay where they are. For UNRWA, refugees are a gigantic UN jobs program, providing over 30,000 of them, costing over $1 billion USD a-year, or, according to separate sources, a third of all other UN regugee services combined.
The case of the Palestinian refugees is one of the most important issues in the Israeli-Arab conflict. It needs to be solved for once and for all -- and immediately. The refugees have the legitimate and moral right to continue dreaming about their original villages and towns. But the Arab and Palestinian governments do not have the right to continue lying to these people.