Monday, November 28, 2016

Palestinians: The 'Wall of Shame'

By Khaled Abu Toameh

  • "The equation facing the Palestinian factions is clear: Hand over the terrorists and there will be no wall. The Palestinians have proven that they are unable to take security matters into their own hands in this camp." — Lebanese security official.
  • These anti-Palestinian practices are regularly ignored by the international community, including mainstream media and human rights organizations, whose obsession with Israel blinds them to Arab injustice. A story without an anti-Israel angle is not a story, as far as they are concerned
  • Typically, Western journalists and human rights activists do not even bother to report or document cases of Arab mistreatment of Arabs. This abandonment of professional standards is why apartheid laws targeting Palestinians in several Arab countries are still unknown to the international community.
  • The Lebanese authorities also say that they decided to build the wall after discovering several tunnels in the vicinity of Ain al-Hilweh, used to smuggle weapons and terrorists into and out of the camp.
  • The new wall will not solve the real problem -- namely the failure to absorb the refugees and grant them citizenship. Palestinians living in Arab countries are denied citizenship (with the exception of Jordan) and a host of basic rights.
  • Now is the time for the international community to apply pressure to the Arab countries to start helping their Palestinian brothers by improving their living conditions and incorporating them into these countries.
  • The refugee problem will end the day their leaders stop lying to them and confront them with the truth, basically that there will be no "right of return" and that the time has come for them to move on with their lives.
A street celebration in Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh camp, July 2015. (Image source: Geneva Call/Flickr)
It is no secret that Arab countries have long mistreated their Palestinian brothers and sisters, governing them with inhumane laws and imposing severe restrictions on their public freedoms and basic rights. Building a wall around a Palestinian community to prevent terrorists from entering or leaving, however, has raised the bar on such infringements.
This is precisely what is happening in Lebanon these days. The construction of a security wall around Ain al-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp (with a population of nearly 120,000), has drawn sharp criticism from Palestinians and revived memories of the abuse they regularly receive at the hands of their Arab brethren.

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