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

 

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank