22 States of the Arab League (in green)
Photo Credit: Wiki
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has estimated that there were 711,000 Arab refugees (1) who fled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War. After decades of misery, hunger and disease that number has now dwindled to a paltry 4.62 million.
Presently there are still 1,396,368 registered refugees living in squalid camps. As for those who found ways to leave the camps, most do not have citizenship in their host countries, even after 62 years of residence, because their hosts do not want them.
In the Jordan, tens of thousands of refugees had their Jordanian citizenship revoked to make sure they don't stay in the country. (2)
In Lebanon there are over 400,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom live like sewer rats (350,000 are not citizens). A 2007 study by Amnesty International denounced the "appalling social and economic condition" of Palestinians in Lebanon. (3) Why won't Lebanon grant them citizenship? Because the mostly Muslim refugees are perceived as a threat to Lebanon.
The Arab League (member states in green in map above) has instructed its members to deny citizenship to Palestinian Arab refugees (or their descendants) "to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland" (4).
If the Arab League had simply accepted refugees, as every country in the world has accepted refugees, then Palestinians would not be the longest running unsettled refugees in modern history.
Look at the map above. The green denotes Arab lands covering 5,382,910 square miles and a population of 360 million. Arab readers who have arithmetic skills will quickly compute that this comes to a density of about 67 people per square mile. How crowded is that? 17 times less dense than New Jersey (1,138 humans/sq. mi).
You might think that the Arab states could easily accept 5 million more fellow Arabs as citizens somewhere. But you would be wrong. The Arab states want all the refugees to go live in that little white spot in the map. See the white spot?
Not only that, they want the Jews living in that little white spot to leave.
Can those Jews at least go to the Arab countries to live if they have to leave Israel? Sadly, no, the Arab states already evicted 95% of their Jews. If the Arab states do not have room for Arab refugees, there is certainly no room for Jews in all of North Africa and the Middle East.
Millions of Palestinians and not one square foot available for them to live in the 150 trillion square feet of Arab land.
This article available in Danish here.
General Progress Report and Supplementary Report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, Covering the Period from 11 December 1949 to 23 October 1950". United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine. 1950. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
Australians for Palestine, 21 Jul 2009, Amman revoking Palestinians’ citizenship
Jordanian authorities have started revoking the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan to avoid a situation in which they would be “resettled” permanently in the kingdom, Jordanian and Palestinian officials revealed on Monday.
The new measure has increased tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians, who make up around 70 percent of the kingdom’s population.
“Our goal is to prevent Israel from emptying the Palestinian territories of their original inhabitants,” the minister [Jordan’s Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi], explained, confirming that the kingdom had begun revoking the citizenship of Palestinians.
“We should be thanked for taking this measure,” he said. “We are fulfilling our national duty because Israel wants to expel the Palestinians from their homeland.”
Amnesty International, Lebanon: Exiled and suffering: Palestinian refugees in Lebanon
This report deals with the appalling social and economic conditions of these refugees, most of whom live in war-torn camps. The discrimination and marginalization suffered by the Palestinian refugees contribute to high levels of unemployment, low wages and poor working conditions. The resultant poverty is exacerbated by restrictions placed on their access to state education and social services. Much of the discriminatory treatment Palestinians face is rooted in their statelessness, which has been used by the Lebanese authorities to deny them equal rights.
Arab News, 21 Oct 2004, A Million Expatriates to Benefit From New Citizenship Law
Shubaily ibn Majdoue Al-Qarni, chairman of the security committee which supervised amendments to the law, said Saudi citizenship would be open for all nationals working in the Kingdom. “The law does not aim at a particular nationality. On the other hand, it covers all expatriates in the country,” he told Al-Madinah.
But Al-Watan Arabic daily reported that the naturalization law would not be applicable to Palestinians living in the Kingdom as the Arab League has instructed that Palestinians living in Arab countries should not be given citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland.
Diplomatic sources have estimated the number of Palestinians in the Kingdom at about 500,000.