The Anti-Palestinian Arab Nations

Elder of Ziyon, the algemeiner

In 1959, the Arab League resolution 1547 confirmed earlier resolutions calling on Arab countries to treat Palestinian Arabs well – but recommends that they “retain their Palestinian nationality.” Meaning that Palestinian Arabs should not be allowed to obtain citizenship in their host countries.

While the Arab League supports the right of any Arab to become citizens of any Arab country, they have a single exception: Palestinians.

Today, over fifty years later, if you are a Palestinian and you want to become a citizen of an Arab country, you are almost certainly out of luck. And the reason being given is the same as in 1959: Arabs say they are doing it to preserve Palestinian nationality, which they evidently believe is so fragile that if they were allowed to become citizens they would forget all about their history.

This is, of course, cynical. There are a few reasons why Arab countries do not want Palestinians to become citizens, but they have nothing to do with helping Palestinian nationhood. Lebanon is afraid of an influx of Sunni Muslims tipping the demographic balance in that country; Jordan (which took away the citizenship of all West Bank Palestinians in 1988) wants to make sure that the “Jordan is Palestine” idea is buried deeply away; and other Arab countries just want to keep the Palestinian refugee problem alive to be used as a weapon against Israel.

No one has really asked the Palestinians themselves what they want.

While Palestinian leaders since the 1950s have been adamant when speaking to Westerners how they will not accept any solution besides return to Israel, in reality average Palestinians have acted in quite the opposite way. Every single time a crack in the system has allowed for a limited numbers of Palestinians to become citizens, they jumped at the opportunity.

In the 1950s and 1960s, about 50,000 Palestinian Christians managed to gain Lebanese citizenship. About 20,000 more managed to become citizens when a loophole opened in the 1990s.

Also in the 1950s, many Gazans sneaked across Israel to make it to the West Bank where they could become Jordanian citizens.

Last year, tens of thousands of Gazans hired lawyers to prove that they really had Egyptian ancestry to try to become Egyptian citizens. A few hundred Palestinians with Egyptian mothers managed to become citizens after public protests.

Meanwhile, Jordan has been stripping much of its Palestinian population of their citizenship if they can prove that they have ties to the West Bank. Again, this is being done, they say, for their own good.

It is obvious that most ordinary Palestinians who have lived their whole lives in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and the Gulf would love to become full citizens if they were given the chance, and those in Jordan want to remain citizens. Arab nations are denying them that right.

How come nobody is demanding that Arab nations allow Palestinian Arabs to become citizens if they want to? Why do people who describe themselves as “pro-Palestinian” ignore this institutionalized discrimination against an entire population?

Beyond that, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and even the Covenant for the Rights of the Child in Islam, all encourage or demand that children born in a state should become citizens of that state. Why are no human rights organizations demanding that the basic right of citizenship be applied to Palestinians born in Arab countries if they desire it?

There are a lot of people who say that they are “pro-Palestinian.” But if you ask them whether Palestinians should be given the right of citizenship in their host countries, almost none of them would support it.

Perhaps they aren’t as “pro-Palestinian” as they claim to be.

February 24, 2012 | 7 Comments »

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7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. I think it is time that a correction is made to all of our submissions.

    I doubt, after 63 years, that many of the original Palestinian refugees are still living.

    Their descendants and the multitudes of Arabs from other Muslim lands that subsequently swelled the camps can not, despite Arafat’s fictitious creation of a new nation, lay claim to being Palestinians nor to any interest or part of the former British mandate called Palestine.
    They are phonies, pretenders, pseudo Palestinians.
    If they can at all be classified as a group it would probably have to be UNWRAites.

    Let us stop perpetuating their false claim and false name and call them something more appropriate.

    I will suggest a name after the organization that still supports their squalid existence, UNians. (Pronounced like the vegetable – the one that grows with its head in the ground and its feet in the air.)
    I am sure others can do much better.

  2. ANd the UN UNRWA camps still exist with many thousands of Palestinain held prisoner there on purpose so the arabs could still say “Poor palestinians” in camps, Israels fault. That is only one excample of how the UN fails in Human Rights.

  3. Read, at the end, Article 13 (2) and 15 (2).
    The United Nation Universal Declaration of Human RightsPREAMBLE

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

    Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

    Article 13(2) ” Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own …”
    Article 15(2) “(2) No one shall be arbitrarily . . . . .denied the right to change his nationality.

    Someone should complain to the UN. Maybe the Palestinians don’t qualify as they are an “invented people” and not a real “people” as required.

  4. “There are a lot of people who say that they are “pro-Palestinian.” But if you ask them whether Palestinians should be given the right of citizenship in their host countries, almost none of them would support it.

    Perhaps they aren’t as “pro-Palestinian” as they claim to be.”

    Or could it be that they are more anti Israel than they claim to be?

  5. Ah, yes, the crux of the matter.

    Curious, how easily it’s overlooked

    — and by virtually everybody on all sides of the issue.

    Yet it’s a point that needs and deserves the widest possible play.