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Despite this criminal treatment of their brethren by Arab states, Israel succeeded in repatriating many. Between 1949 and June, 2005, Israel repatriated more than 127,000 Arabs who claimed refugee status, in the context of programs for family re-unification and spousal accommodation, or in programs where refugees sought asylum in Israel due to persecution in their host countries (usually Christian Arabs or homosexuals). Israel ended this policy in 2005 when it was discovered that Palestinian terrorists were using this policy to enter the country and gain Israeli citizenship, and with that the ID cards and automobile license plates which allowed them to travel freely around the country and perpetrate acts of terror.
While Israel was seeking resolution to the problem, Arab host countries exploited their refugees, keeping them as prisoners in refugee camps. Yasir Arafat describes, in his authorized biography, the brutal treatment of refugees in the Gaza Strip by the Egyptians. The Arab host countries did this in order to perpetuate the problem and use it as a moral bludgeon against Israel and Europe and the USA. Were it not for this unconscionable Machiavellian use of their own people’s suffering for political gain, there might have been resolution to the problem decades ago.
International law weighs in on Israel’s behalf. There is no refugee status for the second and following generations. There is no international law which accommodates demands of second or third generation children born of refugees who have relocated and resettled. Per international law, the status of refugee does not extend to the children and later generations of refugees once they are resettled elsewhere. Children and grandchildren of refugees have no legal or moral claims to property which they may claim to be ancestral. A relocated and resettled family is no longer a refugee family, and that family’s children are not refugees. See “Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees,” for a detailed discussion of this issue, with citations to international conventions and legal sources relating to refugees.
A further complexity is that the war has not ended! There is no sovereign nation in the world, and across all of world history, which could ever be expected to accommodate the influx of civilians from the population of a belligerent and hostile enemy WHILE THAT ENEMY IS STILL, DE IURE AND DE FACTO, AT WAR with that nation.
So Israel, as all sovereign states, accrues to itself the right to make whatever immigration laws it feels will most benefit the state and its citizens. It decided to decree a “right of return” to all Jews world-wide. Those laws offer special privileges for Jews. That is bias, indeed. But it is the same kind of bias that American minorities have enjoyed thanks to an accommodating, forward-looking and sensitive American society and government which declared that Affirmative Action was a moral enterprise worth pursuing to assist in righting the wrongs of slavery and Jim Crow and anti-Asian sentiments and misogyny.
Israel offers the same immigration options to non-Jews that Denmark offers to non-Danes; and it offers more generous and accommodating immigration options to Jews who wish to live there in order to right the wrongs of European and Islamic societies’ millennia of oppression and repression and mass murder and pogroms and exiles and genocide of Jews. These laws inconvenience native-born Israelis of all religions – and that is unfortunate; but it is the price that they have agreed to pay in order to help the oppressed and disadvantaged and threatened Jews world-wide.
The Israeli “right of return” does indeed allow any “Moishe Pipik” from Brooklyn to enjoy the benefits that these laws offer to Jews even though this Moishe Pipik and most of his friends and family are not oppressed. The reason for this is because Israel has decided, for good reason, that in order for Israel to continue to exist and to serve as the Affirmative Action state for all Jews everywhere and anywhere any time and forever, it needs all the help it can get from Jews everywhere. So not-oppressed Jews are encouraged to come and live in Israel so that they can strengthen the state and contribute to its society, so that that state and society are there to help other Jews….for as long as Jews are oppressed elsewhere.
And for those who chaff at the idea of a “Jewish” state, it seems appropriate to ask: do you have the same problem with a Christian state such as Ireland, or an Islamic state such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Muslim states of Pakistan and Afghanistan and Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, not to mention the most Muslim of all: Saudi Arabia.
Since there is no problem with states self-defining as Islamic, why is there a problem with a state which self-defines as Jewish?
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