One of the worst things in Arab eyes is being cheated, fooled or taken advantage of. When someone attempts to cheat an Arab – and even more so, if that person succeeds – an Arab is overcome by furious anger, even if the person involved is his cousin. He will call on his brother to take revenge on that cousin, in line with the Arab adage: “My brother and I against my cousin – and my brother, my cousin and I against a stranger.”
Regarding the Palestinian Arabs, first of all, many are not originally Palestinians at all. They are immigrants who came to the Land of Israel from all over the Arab world during the British Mandate in order to find employment in the cities and on the farms the Jews had built. These immigrants still have names such as “Al Hurani (from Huran in southern Syria)”, “Al Tzurani (from Tyre in Southern Lebanon)”, “Al Zrakawi (from Mazraka in Jordan),” “Al Matzri (the Egyptian)” and many other names that point to the actual, geographically varied origins of the so-called Palestinians. Why, ask the other Arabs, should they get preferential treatment compared to those who remained in their original countries?
Starting with the end of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the politics in the Arab world began to center on Israel and the “Palestinian problem” whose solution was to be achieved only by eliminating Israel. In order to help succeed in that mission, the Arab refugees were kept in camps, with explicit instructions from the Arab League to keep them there and not to absorb them in other Arab countries.
UNRWA ensured that they were provided with food, education and medical care without charge – that is to say, the nations of the world footed the bill, while the Arab neighbors of these eternal “refugees” had to work and provide food, education and medical care for their families by the sweat of their brow. Refugees who were supplied with free foodstuffs, such as rice, flour, sugar and oil, for the use of their families, would often sell some of it to their non-refugee neighbors and make a tidy profit.
Those living in the refugee camps do not pay municipal taxes, leading to a significant number of “refugees” who rent their homes to others and collect exorbitant sums in comparison with those renting apartments in nearby cities, thanks to this tax exemption. In other words, the world subsidizes the taxes and the refugees line their own pockets .
In Lebanon, several refugee camps were built near Beirut, but were incorporated into the expanding city, then turned into high class neighborhoods with imposing high rise apartment buildings. Someone has profited from this change, and it is not the man in the street, who has every reason to feel cheated.
The Palestinian “refugee” camps located in Lebanon have been taken over by armed organizations, from the PLO to ISIS, including Hamas, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front and organizations of Salafist Jihadists. These organizations act viciously towards surrounding Lebanese citizens and in 1975 brought on a civil war that lasted for 14 long years of bloodshed, destruction and saw the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese from their villages to lives of horrible suffering in tent camps all over the country’ Many took refuge in Palestinian “refugee” camps, but the Lebanese refugees received less than 10 per cent of what Palestinian Arabs received, causing much internecine jealousy and hatred.
Palestinians are not always innocent victims. They bring tragedy on themselves and then want to blame everyone else but themselves.
In Jordan, in 1970, the Palestinian Arabs, led by PLO head Yassir Arafat, attempted to take over the country by establishing autonomous regions of their own, complete with roadblocks and armed Palestinian Arabs in the country’s north that challenged the monarchy. In September 1970, known as “Black September”, King Hussein decided he had had enough and would show them who is boss in Jordan. The war resulted in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians and ended with the expulsion of the PLO to Lebanon.
In Syria, a Palestinian terrorist group called Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, which is headed by Ahmed Jibril, had been helping the Syrian regime in its attempts to suppress the opposition. Jibril’s terrorists are reported to have kidnapped, tortured and murdered hundreds of anti-regime Syrians.
Thousands Palestinians have been killed by Syrians, and had to flee to Lebanon since the crisis in Syria started. Lebanon politicians and cabinet ministers even called for closing the border to stop the influx of Palestinians into their country.
On a political level, the Palestinians have managed to arouse the hatred of many of their Arab brethren: In 1990, Arafat supported Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. In revenge, Kuwait, once it was freed of Iraqi conquest, expelled tens of thousands of Palestinians, most of whom had been employed in its oil fields, leaving them destitute overnight. This led to an economic crisis for their families in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, who had been receiving regular stipends from their sons in Kuwait.
As well they supported Hussein regime against Iraqis. After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003, Palestinians in Iraq were subject to discrimination, sectarian violence and killing by the Iraqi government and various militia groups. Palestinian neighborhoods such as al-Doura, al-Hurriyya and al-Baladiyyat in Baghdad were also bombarded and attacked.A report by the UNHCR in 2007 provided details of the violence and persecution perpetrated against Palestinians in Iraq, which included abductions, attacks, torture by both unknown militia groups and the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior and the deaths of many Palestinian women, men and children.
Palestinians were stripped of their residency permits and made to register at the Ministry of the Interior each month. This has proven extremely dangerous, and the fear of being shot upon entering or leaving the ministry has deterred many Palestinians from obtaining their right to residency in Iraq. In addition, Human Rights Watch reported that Ministry of Interior officials have arbitrarily arrested, beaten, tortured, and in a few cases, forcibly disappeared Palestinian refugees.[
In the 70s and 80s, Palestinians played a major role in the Lebanon civil war, which claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people.
Despite the 1989 Taaf agreement that ended the civil war in Lebanon and was supposed to lead to the de-weaponization and dissolution of all the Lebanese militias, Syria allowed Hezbollah to keep its arms and to develop its military power unrestrainedly. The repeated excuse was that the weapons were meant to “liberate Palestine” and would not be aimed at the Lebanese. To anyone with a modicum of brains, it was clear that the Palestine story was a fig leaf covering the sad truth that the weapons were going to be aimed at Hezbollah’s Syrian and Lebanese enemies. “Palestine” was simply an excuse for the Shiite takeover of Lebanon.
In 2007, the Lebanese army destroyed most of the Nahr al-Bared camp after another terrorist group, Fatah al-Islam set up bases there and attacked army checkpoints, killing several soldiers.
Meanwhile, in Israel, 20% of the citizenry within the pre-1967 borders is made up of “Palestinian” Arabs who do not rebel or fight against the state. In other words, the “Palestinians” living in pre-1967 Israel enjoy life in the only democracy in the Middle East, while the Arab countries sacrifice their soldiers’ blood to liberate “Palestine.” Is there a worse case of feeling that you are being exploited than that of an Arab soldier putting his life in danger for this meaningless cause?
Worse still is what every Arab knows: Palestinian Arabs have been selling land to Jews for at least a century, profit immensely from the deals and then go wailing to their Arab brothers to come and free “Palestine” from the “Zionist occupation.”
Over the years, the Palestinian Arabs were given many billions of euros and dollars by the nations of the world, so that the yearly per capita income in the PA is several times greater than that of the Egyptian, Sudanese or Algerian man in the street. His life is many, many times better than that of Arabs living in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen over the past years.
Worst of all is the Palestinian demand that Arab countries refrain from any relations with Israel until the Palestinian problem is solved to the satisfaction of the PLO and Hamas leaders. However, a good portion of the Arab world cannot find any commonalities that could unite the PLO and Hamas. They have given up on achieving an internal Palestinian reconciliation, watching the endless squabbles ruin any chances of progress regarding Israel. To sum up the situation, the Arab world – that part of it which sees Israel as the only hope in dealing with Iran – is not happy at the expectation that it must mortgage its future and its very existence to the internal fighting between the PLO and Hamas.
And let us not forget that Egypt and Jordan have signed peace agreements with Israel, have moved outside the circle of war for the “liberation of Palestine” and have forsaken their Palestinian Arab “brothers,” leaving them to deal with the problem on their own.
Much of the Arab and Muslim world is convinced that the “Palestinians” do not want a state of their own. After all, if that state is established, the world will cease to donate those enormous sums, there will be no more “refugees” and the Palestinian Arabs will have to work like everyone else. How can they do that when they are all addicted to receiving handouts without any strings attacked?
One can say with assurance, that 70 years after the creation of the “Palestinian problem,” the Arab world has realized that there is no solution that will satisfy those who have turned “refugee-ism” into a profession, so that the “Palestinian problem” has become an emotional and financial scam that only serves to enrich the corrupt leaders of Ramallah and Gaza.
Via Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Arutz 7) & Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)