Taking in Palestinian refugees is not straightforward

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has its effect on American public opinion. Most recently the issue of accepting Palestinian refugees from Gaza has caused infighingt among Republicans, with some like Nikki Haley saying America should take in refugees, and others such as her rival in the presidential primary Ron Desantis, opposing it. Other opinion leaders on the American right have also opposed the idea of letting refugees from Gaza in and letting American citizens who support Hamas continue to live in the States, sometimes calling for their deportation.

But what really stirred up many was the quick announcement by King Abdullah II of Jordan, that his kingdom will not take any Palestinian refugees, calling it “a red line”. He spoke not only on the behalf of his kingdom but also on behalf of Egypt, Israel and Gaza’s neighbor to the south. This announcement caused a great deal of anger among Republicans and conservatives. “Wall Street Silver”, an X account followed and very popular with Elon Musk, tweeted in response: “If Egypt and Jordan refuse to take refugees, why should anyone else? Why are certain members of Congress demanding that the USA accept 50,000 to 100,000 Gaza refugees? Why do we always fall for this and become the dumping ground for the problems of every other country?”. Donald Trump Jr. was equally frustrated, saying: “I’m shocked that their neighbors have no interest taking Palestinian refugees? I wonder why that is?”

There are two answers as to why Arab countries refuse to take Palestinian refugees. The first is that they are the ones who prolong the existence of the Palestinian refugee issue, using the refugees of 1948 as an instrument to criticize Israel. Incidentally, Palestinian refugee status is inherited by the next generation, so children born last year in the camps are considered refugees by the U.N relief agency which is holy specific to Palestinians – UNRWA. In their book “The War of Return”, doctors Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz exposed that UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian refugee crisis, by denying Palestinians citizenship from the country in which they live, and uses text books from the Palestinian authority for its schools, which incite antisemitism.

The second reason Arab leaders refuse to take Palestinian refugees from Gaza, is much more practical. They know who they’re dealing with. When King Abdullah says he won’t take Palestinians in, he is speaking from bitter experience with the Palestinians, shared with many other Arab countries: any country who took them in was soon thrown into chaos. In 1967, after Israel defeated the Arab world in the six-days war, Jordan took many refugees into its land, and harbored the PLO, providing them with a base of operations. But as soon as the PLO landed in Jordan, they began to set up a state within a state, extorting protection and closing off sections of the capital. In 1970, things came to a head in what would be known as “black September“, as the PLO attempted to overthrow Abdullah’s father, King Hussein. They were driven out to Lebanon, where they immediately did much of the same: extorting protection, abusing locals, and turning the south of the country into their base of operations against Israel. Not only that, their presence had caused the already fragile ethnic balance of Lebanon to break down, and in 1975 a brutal civil war broke out. In 1982, following continued rocket fire from south Lebanon, what was called ” Fatah-land” and eventually drove the Palestinians out to Tunisia.

Later in 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the PLO and the Palestinians rushed to his side, chanting his name as the next leader of the Arabs. When his Scud missiles were fired at Israel, Palestinians in the west bank celebrated, singing “onward, onward to Tel-Aviv”. After Saddam Hussein was driven out of Kuwait, the Kuwaitis expelled more than 150 thousand Palestinians from the country.

Over the years, many Palestinians have done nothing to improve their situation. Their ingenuity was spent on finding and creating means of destruction and terrorism, from suicide bombers, to rockets made of tin cans, to Incendiary kites and balloons made out of condoms to burn Israeli fields. It’s no wonder groups with similar ideologies gravitated towards the Palestinian cause, like “Black Lives Matter”, and the now growing fringes of the ultra-progressives. Just like Patrisse Cullors used donations money to buy herself a mansion, so do all the leaders the Palestinians elect end up choosing their own self-interest and taking the millions poured on their people to enrich themselves.

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