Exposing the Palestinian ‘Refugee’ Charade

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On May 24th, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a resolution virtually certain to create a controversy in Washington, D.C. The Kirk Amendment, named after its drafter, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), authorizes the State Department to submit a report “detailing the number of people currently receiving United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) services.” At issue is whether there are 30,000 Palestinian “refugees,” the actual number of living people “personally displaced” during Israel’s 1948 war of independence — or the nearly 5 million Palestinians who comprise their descendants. The distinction centers around two critical issues: Palestinian “right of return” demands and funding for UNRWA.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who either chose to leave or were forced out of Israel. UNRWA has essentially operated as a promoter of the Palestinian cause because it funds all 5 million “refugees.” That support amounts to $1.23 billion annually, $250 million of which is underwritten by the United States, UNRWA’s largest single donor. The larger number assuages progressive sensibilities among the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Israeli politicians, all with a vested interest in maintaining what amounts to permanent victimhood status for Palestinians, as well as enabling constant criticism of Jewish settlements.

The first Palestinian census was completed 15 years ago. At the time, the head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) admitted it was “a civil intifada,” aimed Jewish settlements. Last December, the Bureau attempted to reprise its demographic misrepresentation, claiming 2.6 million Palestinian Arabs inhabit Judea and Samaria, considered the biblical homeland of the Jewish people. More than 300,000 Israelis currently reside in the area.

Israeli demographer Yoram Ettinger challenged those numbers, characterizing them as “demographic misrepresentations” that overstate the number of West Bank Arabs by 66 percent. He notes that the PCBS’s total is arrived at by counting 400,000 overseas residents, a method that violates international demographic standards, double-counting 240,000 Jerusalem Arabs, and under-reporting Palestinian emigration.

Mr. Ettinger further concluded that Jews now make up 17 percent of the total population of the West Bank, while Arabs make up 20 percent of the Israeli population. Between the Jordan river and Mediterranean, 66 percent of the population is Jewish. And for the last 17 years, Arab birth rates have stabilized while Jewish births have risen significantly on an annual basis. “There is a demographic problem,” Mr. Ettinger concedes, “but there is no demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish state.”

The “machete” to which Mr. Ettinger refers is the claim by Palestinians that demographics, no matter how skewed, is destiny: if Israelis do not accede to their demands, they will soon be a minority between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean. By exposing both the fraudulent Palestinian population totals and the disparate birthrates, Mr. Ettinger undercuts that argument.

The Kirk Amendment also attempts to add further clarification to the issue. For years, the State Department has been willing to go along with the dubious status quo, and were taken aback by Kirk’s efforts to separate the 30,000 “displaced persons” from their 4,970,000 heirs. The original language in Kirk’s resolution read as follows:

“It shall be the policy of the United States with regard to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that a Palestinian refugee is defined as a person whose place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who was personally displaced as a result of the 1948 or 1967 Arab-Israeli conflicts, who currently does not reside in the West Bank or Gaza and who is not a citizen of any other state.”

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  • truebearing

    Jews and Christians are constantly reminded of their apparently unique obligation of extreme toleration, while the homocidally intolerant Muslims are cast as victims. Their entire religion is based on intolerance, yet that is the one group that escapes condemnation for it. If a Christian or a Jew is bent over backwards trying to accommodate a Muslim, the champions of tolerance aren't happy unless his back is broken by the effort..

    Freedom means nothing without the context of what you are free from. Tolerance is no different. No one should tolerate evil, yet we've made a foreign policy out of doing just that.

    Tolerance is the precursor of dhimmitude.

    • MikeWood

      I agree, the whole issue of tolerance has become very problematic. We are tolerating extreme intolerance and therefore undermining tolerance. This is not what a tolerant civilisation should be doing. At the same time, we do not want to be intolerant. This is our dilemma. The time has come to really clarify what can and what cannot be tolerated, otherwise tolerance will one day be be a thing of the past.

      • truebearing

        We are in a trap laid by political correctness, where discrimination has been turned into something evil, even on a subconcious level. Discrimination between good tolerance and bad tolerance is a good and necessary thing, but has been thoroughly obscured by the linguistic tyranny of political correctness. It has resulted in people being frozen between two values systems, one which is truth based and one which is false and calculated to generate confusing false equivalency.

        Political correctness is heavily invested in creating paralyzing guilt. Right action, based on careful consideration, discrimination, and decisiveness is neutralized by the linguistic tyranny of this PC guilt. As a result, we end up in tautological conundrums like the one you posed about tolerance. The easy way out of that conundrum is to ask: "tolerance of what?" Tolerance is NOT automatically good or virtuous. Is tolerating murder good simply because it is a form of tolerance? Obviously not, and neither is tolerance of Islam because it endorses murder for the sake of power.

    • Tiberius Welldone

      FREE CONSTANTINOPLE! Then we'll talk.

      • truebearing

        We'll need your help.

  • pennylane

    Zionism is an aggressive ideology.. Millions displaced to make room for millions of immigrants. Fixing the mess Zionism has created will take decades if not centuries.

    • rachaelamb

      Zionism is the right of Jewish people for selfdetermination in their ancient homeland. Only a Jewish nation of Israel ever existed in the land. The Roman Emporer Hadrian changed the name of Israel to Palestine,the name of ancient Israelites arch enemies. After Jews were expelled,different Empires ruled over the centuries. But there was never an Arab nation called Palestine ruled by a group of Arabs named Palestinians in the history of the world. The so called long lost country of Palestine ruled by Arabs named Palestinians is one of the biggest frauds ever perpertrated on the world,that fraud is what will take decades if not centuries to fix.

      • Drakken

        If you love the fakestinians so much? Move there with a hearty good riddance!

      • http://henrymakow.com Required

        It is absolutely getting absurd watching you little Gomer, inbred Khazars believe your own fictions.
        The "Diaspora" took place centuries before Jesus Christ walked the earth, the proof is that "The Tribes" had already returned and built The Second Temple in which He Preached.
        Usurping the Talmudic "traditions" and proclaiming to be of a "Tribe" that ye are not of shall be your end!

    • Ken

      Anti-Semites lurk everywhere!! Even here!!

      • aspacia

        Just wait, there are another four nightmares waiting to crawl out of the sewer.

      • http://henrymakow.com Required

        @ Ken… you do know that Arabic is a SEMITE language and Yiddish is a Germanic language, correct? of course a brilliant on as you knew that…….

    • aspacia

      Zionism means a Jewish homeland and two millennia of Diaspora. Jews have been severely persecuted for their faith for too long and some actually argue Jesus was not a Jew, when he was from the tribe of David.

    • MikeWood

      Hatred of Israel proves the necessity of Israel.

      • http://henrymakow.com Required

        """""MikeWood · 4 days ago
        Hatred of Israel proves the necessity of Israel.""""""
        One of the DUMBEST things I've ever read on Al Gore's internet!

    • Zionista

      typical nonsense from another Jew hater (yawn) Israel is here to stay – get used to it.

      • http://henrymakow.com Required

        Zionista, I bet you all the Rothschild's GOLD that you are in for a RUDE awakening ;)

    • ziontruth

      Islam is an aggressive ideology. It has a doctrinal call to displace millions of people to make room for millions of immigrants (Muslims). Fixing the mess Islam has created will take decades if not centuries.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      Penny Lane, move to Gaza.

    • truebearing

      Your stupidity is aggressive…apparently even facts flee its approach.

  • Anamah

    The refugee creation was a successful scam of Arab marketing to pocketing big donation funds from all over the world "to alleviate the suffering of a non-existent refugee mass". The corrupted and imaginative Arafat and company and their ambition for it made an incredible cheating of anti Israel marketing and global corruption with the UN as a main warrant, and engine. The business went fine and the invention is still running.

  • guest

    Those are Palestinians are in Dearborn. Look at the mess we have there now. That area is NOT under the US constitution ant more. That is a NO GO welfare ghetto zone like many in Europe. Obama brought them at OUR expense, and Obama promised the Egyptian President he was going to make America a muslim nation, which was his promise to the saudis he ass lifted to in the photos. The UN picks our refugees, and actively excludes Christians, as part of the Muslim controlled UN. We are one exec. order from bringing 100 million of these car burners here. Refugee? That means terrorist/seditionist now

  • Diann

    Where is the UN support of Jewish refugees who have had to flee the Muslim Middle East countries? and… after 60 plus years, why have the Palestinians refused to allow their brothers to integrate into their own society? Can you imagine a refugee camp for Americans, within the land populated by Americans? It would not happen because our society is founded on values such as 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Not that we're perfect – but our way sure beats that of the Islamists.

  • Linda Rivera

    An inferior, IMMORAL health care plan that NO ONE wants and CANNOT afford to pay. The threat to jail and/or fine those who don't purchase the government enforced plan.

    Massive spending as if there is no tomorrow. Fighting wars we have no money for. Massive borrowing.

    The Massive giving away of Billions of dollars every year to other countries, including the OIL-WEALTHY Middle East, Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority organization who fill their WAR chests, build mansions and LAUGH all the way to the bank with FREE infidel money. Whilst in America, homeless shelters are filled to capacity; tent cities have sprung up all over the U.S. filled with desperate, jobless, homeless Americans.

    Massive debt. The massive printing of paper money out of thin air to DELIBERATELY create out-of-control inflation. There is no question that the total DESTRUCTION of America's economy is planned. The results will be horrifying. In the once wealthy and great nation of America, millions of Americans will become destitute, hungry and homeless with no money or resources to help them.

    • Vermont Yid

      Can you think of a better reason to vote that a$$hole Obama out of office in November?

  • Drakken

    Quit messing around with those savages Israel, they will never give you any peace unless it is a peace of the grave.

  • Charity Clayton

    How strange some people are! Jews have a right of return to their ancient homeland, Palestinians do not! . Jews are noble defenders, Palestinians, who have suffered six times the number of deaths at the hands of Israel are murderous scum!

    • JoJoJams

      Charity – learn some history and critical thinking skills, please. The "palestinians" can return to their ancestral homelands! In Arabia, Syria, Jordon, etc., where their ancestors came from prior to invading Israel and taking it from Christiandom – which "invaded" it themselves…. And as for your number of deaths due to the conflict, that has no bearing on who is "in the right". If the arabic invaders stopped launching missiles from schools and hospitals and stopped hiding behind their women and children, the casualties wouldn't be as bad. Not to mention all the faked b.s. on the arabic invaders side. You really should look at history in all its complexity – not just from one side. I could go on – but don't have the time.

  • Larry A. Singleton

    I STRONGLY suggest if you want those who are uninformed about the whole "right of return" mess you steer them over to a book by Leon Uris. THE HAJ. Hell, even if you THINK you know about this subject this is a GREAT historical novel. As a matter of fact I use it as a reference along with my other important reference books. Another one I would recommend is Slavery, Terrorism and Islam by Peter Hammond. This is another book for those who call themselves well informed. It's one of those that if you're big on notes and hi-liting you have to watch yourself….from hi-liting every word in the book!!! From information on William Wilberforce and Christian Missionary David Livingstone ,(whom I didn't know survived numerous confrontations with slave traders! The only thing I knew was "Dr. Livingstone I presume?") to the total sham that was the movie "Kingdom of Heaven and the REAL story on the Crusades, this book has it ALL.