Senior US lawmakers review plan linking Gaza refugee resettlement to US aid to Arab countries

The proposal, which reportedly has support from senior officials in both parties, calls on the US to condition foreign aid to Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, and Turkey on those countries accepting a certain number of refugees.  

By Ariel Kahana, ISRAEL HAYOM  29 Nov 2023

A new initiative submitted to the US Congress calls for conditioning American aid to Arab countries on their willingness to receive refugees from Gaza, Israel Hayom has learned.

The proposal was shown to key figures in the House and Senate from both parties. Longtime lawmaker, Rep. Joe Wilson, has even expressed open support for it while others who were privy to the details of the text have so far kept a low profile, saying that publicly coming out in favor of the program could derail it.

“Israel is trying to keep civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip as low as possible, but Hamas is not allowing the refugees to leave and Egypt is unwilling to open its borders,”  the plan’s authors write in the opening paragraph. They later go on to explain that “the only moral solution is to ensure that Egypt opens its borders and allows for the refugees to flee from the tyrant control of Hamas. The US Government provides Egypt with approximately $1.3 billion in foreign aid, and these funds can be allocated to the refugees from Gaza who will be allowed into Egypt.”

They continue: “The neighboring borders have been closed for too long, but it is now clear that in order to free the Gazan population from the tyrannical oppression of Hamas and to allow them to live free of war and bloodshed, Israel must encourage the international community to find the correct, moral and humane avenues for the relocation of the Gazan population.”

The plan notes that Egypt should not shoulder the entire burden, but other regional countries should chip in. “Iraq and Yemen receive an approximate $1 billion in US foreign aid, and Turkey receives more than $150 million. Each of these countries receive enough foreign aid and have a large enough population to be able to accept refugees adding up to less than 1% of their population,” the stress.

The plan also calls on the US to condition foreign aid to Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, and Turkey on those countries accepting a certain number of refugees.

The plan even goes so far as to envision how many Gazan residents each of these countries will receive: one million in Egypt (constituting 0.9% of the population there), half a million for Turkey (0.6% of the population in Turkey), 250,000 for Iraq (0.6% of the Iraqi population), and another 250,000 for Yemen (0.75% of the overall population there currently). Each of these countries receives generous financial aid from the US and under the plan, it should continue to be handed out only under the condition that they accept Gazans. It should be noted that the Biden administration opposes the forced removal of Gaza residents from the Strip but has not ruled out voluntary migration for those who choose to do so.

“This would not be the first time other countries accepted refugees,” the text says. “According to the UNHCR database, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, for example, over 6 million Ukrainians have fled the country. Poland has accepted nearly 1.2 million Ukrainian refugees, Germany received almost 1 million and the Czech Republic close to half a million.” It continues: “Likewise, since 2011 and the ongoing Syrian civil war, 6.7 million Syrians have fled Syria to be dispersed throughout the surrounding countries. 3.2 million Syrian refugees relocated to Turkey, 789,000 found refuge in Lebanon, 653,000 in Jordan, and 150,000 in Egypt while other Middle Eastern and European countries have accepted hundreds of thousands.”

The document’s authors note that UNRWA is a problematic factor perpetuating the conflict, unlike the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which resettles refugees worldwide.” UNRWA is renewed by a UN mandate every 3 years and receives funding predominantly from the United States, Canada, Britain, and the European Union, all of whom are strong supporters of Israel.” They blame the agency for “propagating the refugee narrative” and “inhibiting the rehabilitation of Palestinian refugees for over seventy years and has in fact deepened the refugee crisis.” Therefore, they claim, “it must be shut down.”

November 30, 2023 | 10 Comments »

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  1. “In a speech broadcast on Egyptian Al-Helma TV on 23 March 2012, Hamad condemned Egypt over the fuel shortage in the Gaza Strip, and stated, “Half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.”[14]

    “In July 2019, Hamad urged members of the Palestinian diaspora to kill “Jews everywhere”.

    – Fathi Ahmad Hamad – Wikipedia

  2. FRANK ADAM_

    Actually I made an error. I’d forgotten. The Gazans are mainly of Egyptian extraction, not from Syria or Jordan as are many of the YESH Arabs.

    Many years ago a well known writer whose name I forget, did a survey and found “more than 26 large families in one small area alone, (presumably including all the many relatives produced by polygamy) whose name was “Al Misri” “…..or something like that, which showed they were from Egypt..

    The amounted to several thousands of people when the total population was very small.

    And of course we know that after the 1948 War, Egypt retained possession of Gaza……….until 1967.

    When Israel captured Gaza in 1967 their census showed a total population including so called “refugees” of less than 400,000

  3. FRANK aDAM-

    Not only the Gaza group but also the PA mamzerim.
    British Colonial records show, for example that in 1933 alone, over 33,000 Arabs entered Palestine legally, and they stated that more than twice that number entered illegally.
    I myself knew an Arab family, who had told me they’d been there since the Crusades, but who later, in front of Israeli Land officials admitted that they had illegally infiltrated from Syria just 5years before.

    In that ONE year alone. There are records showing the Arab Population massive increases around areas where Jewish industry was going, and static ot negative population growth in places where there was no Jewish industry.

    All can be found. I got me info from books, Arutz 7 Jerusalem Post, when it was a paper edition and conservative, as well as the Internet.

  4. Lovely because the refugees of 1948 in the Gaza Strip are families of economic migrants who went to British Palestine because Economics 101 labour moves to capital investment but in 1948 were trying to return home when Kink Farouk the Crook slammed the frontier on them – his own people.

  5. Another point I didn’t mention is that there are plenty of refugees in other ME countries including Israel that need some assistance too. Alleviating their plight has been on the books for about 75 years now with no vector in that direction, because the ME countries don’t want the Palestinians.

  6. None of the mentioned countries are interested in alleviating Israel’s troubles, and that includes the US, the EU, Canada and the ME. Keeping this in mind, it is easy to reach the conclusion that they will prefer to get “aid” from Gulf countries like Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait than lift a finger to help Israel. They are quite happy to take the money they are so generously given but they don’t really depend on it.

  7. This is very encouraging news. It will quicken the outcome of the war while also preparing the necessary outcome of what comes afterwards. Very encouraging indeed.

  8. Brilliant commentary by Amb, Ettinger. I am particularly happy to hear him raise the issue of the alarming activity by Iran which has been taking place in South America for a very long time, but with an ever increasing impact, something which is rarely ever discussed. The implications of this aspect of Iran’s war against America has been greatly advanced by the Liberal agenda which has purposefully defenestrated the American border and is actively importing millions from this region without inspection, consideration or alarm of the impact.

    Regarding Israel’s association with the US, Ettinger posits that the State Dept has a hostile posture towards Israel and that Israel must, in effect, do a better job of advancing the relationship between the US and Israel by more or less educating the US on the many benefits which the US gains from this relationship.

    I question whether this will have much of an effect upon the Arabist outlook of the State Dept which does not actually act with the best interests of America in the first place. Indeed, for Ettinger’s argument to gain purchase it assumes that the American State Dept is actually inclined in advancing American interests over those of the Liberal World Order, ie Globalism, which is hardly supportable by the facts.

    I believe that the Left-Islamist union has fully overtaken the State Dept and if we assume that this is true, then having Israel maintain its dependency upon the faithless US would fail to be altered even by making a better argument to the Globalist aligned State Dept which might serve the interests of America because, in fact, their interests are viewed with globalist tinted glasses, and Ettinger’s argument is based around a MAGA type agenda.

    Failing to recognize that US interests are not focally based on the US will fail to impress those US administrators who make policy in the Globalist-aligned, administratively led US govt. Indeed, a strong Israel does make for a strong US as Ettinger argues, but the US is focused not on running the US better, but rather upon running the US into the ground to make way for their globalist aligned world order.

    Destabilizing the dollar, actively erasing the borders, undermining the US military, subjugating the US public, these are all just part of the Globalist aligned American agenda which has also come to openly support the Liberal-Islamist alliance which is holding Israel at bay with the largest fleet ever assembled in modern times.

    Liberalism and Islamism walk hand in hand, and sink or swim, their alliance will not be persuaded by Ettinger’s arguments, persuasive as they might be to a US dominant viewpoint. America has fallen to the totalitarians, the globalists and the Islamists, and this is what must be reckoned when addressing the glaring and growing daylight which exist between US policy and Israeli security.

    Hence, if we can agree that the dogmatic ideology which supports the Globalist Liberal World Order is well rooted in the US govt and State Dept in particular, should we not form an argument which would address that reality instead. Sadly, failing to address this reality will, I would argue, be seen to be a fatal flaw within Ettinger’s argument, with an equally fatal outcome.

    Still, Ettinger’s arguments are powerfully persuasive if presented to the proper people, but I would argue that the people who would be persuaded are not likely to be found in the State Dept, or in much of the current US govt, regretfully.