Articles & Features

The Scheme to Define Away Palestinian Refugees

The Scheme to Define Away Palestinian Refugees

In May 2012, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) made an outstanding discovery, which had escaped scores of politicians, diplomats and experts for six decades. He discovered that the number of Palestinian refugees is not five million as United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) records show, but merely 30,000. The credit for this discovery goes to AIPAC and Israel as they had advanced this “discovery” for the last four months. Kirk “took the signal” and proposed a motion to the Congress which was passed after a mild amendment. Within a week, dozens of pro-Israel and Jewish sites in the USA, Canada and Australia reported the “discovery.” For them, defining away refugees is akin to an end-run on conflict and war. Dispossessed Palestinians will remain dispossessed Palestinians with no recourse. This interpretation is nothing more than a gimmick, which, if anything, will prolong the conflict and increase the suffering of millions of refugees.

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Thank you, Jess (Ghannam), for your kind introduction. I have just landed after a 10 hour flight from London, crossing an 8 hour time zone. I had plenty of time to reflect on our situation. Today, terrible news from Gaza and Lebanon, describing the death and destruction sown by Israel, gives us an eerie sense of dejas-vu. Al Nakba is re-enacted everyday of our lives.