The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem, and Mahmoud Abbas’s Indifference

April 19 2021

Of the millions of so-called Palestinian refugees the world over, most are in fact not refugees by any standard definition, but are properly speaking the descendants of refugees, often kept in a permanent state of segregation and dependency by Arab regimes. But as a consequence of the Syrian civil war, numerous Palestinians living in Syria have become actual refugees, fleeing to countries like Lebanon. Khaled Abu Toameh explains their current discontent with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas:

The number of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon is estimated at 27,000. . . . These refugees suffer from harsh living conditions as a result of the scarcity of relief aid and lack of stable financial resources. About 87 percent of the Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria to Lebanon suffer from absolute poverty.

On April 12, members of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction in Lebanon used force to disperse dozens of Palestinians who were demonstrating outside the PA embassy in Beirut. The protest was organized by Palestinian refugees who fled from Syria to Lebanon . . . to ask for help in solving their humanitarian and economic crises. They also demanded that the embassy issue them Palestinian passports or travel documents so that they could leave Lebanon to start a new life in other countries, including the European Union and Canada.

These Palestinian officials, in other words, would rather see their people continue living in devastating poverty as refugees than improve their living conditions and search for new opportunities in Western countries. They want millions of Palestinians to remain stuck in refugee camps so that the Palestinian leadership can continue milking the world for money.

The U.S. recently announced that it has designated over $200 million in aid to the Palestinians for this year.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Joseph Biden, Lebanon, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian refugees, Syrian civil war

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform