The Power of the Victim: Palestinian Refugees

Category: World Affairs Topics: Occupation, Palestine Views: 749

Instead of finding a just solution to the Palestinian catastrophe and all the hardships which were a result of that catastrophe, for decades many have resorted to eliminating the problem all together, even if that meant denying the existence of the victim.

As preposterous as it may sound, Israel insisted for a long time that no such thing as Palestinians truly existed. Israel claimed that the term descended from a mythical history and those living in the "land of Israel" were nomads who follow the track of water in Arabia's never-ending desert.

When that approach didn't prove fruitful, Israel initiated a process of uprooting Palestinians from their land, sending them into exile where Israel thought they would integrate and dissolve into the local populations of their host countries. Another Israeli attempt was doomed to failure when Palestinian refugees retained their national identity and insisted on their right of return.

Two things served as leading factors of why 51 years of dispossession didn't hinder the determined Palestinian quest for the occupied homeland.

First, conceptual factors. The violent and tragic detaching of Palestinians from their land, left them with deep emotional scars that even years and distance failed to treat.

Secondly, tangible factors. The truth that none of the host countries have succeeded in subsidizing the loss of Paradise for the dispossessed Palestinians served as an incentive for those refugees not to abandon the hope of regaining that which they once lost.

Some countries provided Palestinians with material comfort, but excluded them socially and politically due to strong Israeli/Jewish influence and propaganda.

Other countries granted them poetic yet empty promises, but grossly violated their civil rights and denied them dignified living.

And now Palestinian refugees counted at nearly 3.2 million scattered in many spots over the map, are once again a target for elimination, exclusion, and denial. Israel insists on keeping the Palestinian refugees in Diaspora, out of any final status negotiations and the peace arrangements that are expected to follow.

Leaked information suggests that the United States, France and other western countries are introducing a plan to permanently settle Palestinian refugees in exile. Other proposals hinted on offering Iraq a gradual lifting of the sanctions in exchange for permanently settling 2 million Palestinians.

United Nation resolution 194, which was reconfirmed every year since it was approved over 50 years ago, is becoming an overlooked segment of history that no one makes mention of but Palestinians and their sympathizers.

Although the bittersweet destiny of Palestinian refugees and their neglected story looks dimmer than it ever has, their plight will remain a haunting story for the consciousness of the world until it is justly resolved.

What made the Palestinian refugee crisis the longest in recent history is not only the fact that it was treated with apathy and indifference, but also for the fact that it was accompanied by an enduring nation that refused to compromise with its God given rights.

Recent attempts to exchange the return to Palestine with a few dollars, a small house and passport will eventually be counted as another failure, for Palestine was never a question of either housing or foreign aid.

Many offers were introduced to the refugees in the past, sometimes with civility and other times with force, yet most of it didn't even reach the point of initial acceptance.

Two facts must be clear regarding this topic, especially when the final status negotiations are expediently approaching.

First, many methods were used to eliminate the Palestinian refugee problem, including massacres, mass deportations, denial of simple human needs. None of them have worked yet.

Therefore, it is pointless and futile to force new political realities on the refugees. Scare tactics and threats that the "wheel of history is rolling" and "if they don't join others they will be left behind", will cultivate nothing but fruitless results.

Secondly, if the whole Palestinian cause can be summed up into two phrases, they will be "occupied land" and "uprooted refugee".

If the solution of such a cause completely ignores the two main factors of why Palestinians struggled for over 50 years, the struggle shall continue. No one can deny the changing political atmosphere all over the globe. Yet these quickly changing realties shouldn't occur at the expense of the weak, defenseless and dispossessed.

Perhaps the victim lacks the power to efficiently defend himself sometimes, or to hold his victimizer accountable for his wicked actions, but his power of patience, persistence and endurance shall always keep him alive.

  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Occupation, Palestine
Views: 749

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