Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Who is a "Refugee from Palestine"?

Please note the uniqueness of the time period that allows for one to be termed a refugee from Palestine:

Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”  

Only two years of residency.

If we recall that during World War II there was a large influx of Arab workers from neighboring countries required for the British economy based on troops and related areas, from clothing, to camps construction, to food, etc. as well as the oil-refineries near Haifa and more,* then we can suspect that many Arabs who had no specific connection to "Palestine", as they were Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese and TransJordanians and others, became, poof!, "refugees from Palestine".

And if one was a doctor, dentist or engineer, could it be said that the person "lost the means of his livelihood"?

One more point: "Palestine refugees", not "Palestinian refugees".


The Second World War begin in 1939. The Palestinian economy was safe from recession and stimulated to play a major role in the British Middle Eastern military effort. Palestine was developed as a large British base and its people were also moblised to reduce dependence on outside sources of supply and to enhance Palestine’ s industrial base so that it could facilitate British military needs and also provide a whole array of consumer and other goods for a regional market. This was a major encouragement for both the Arab and Jewish sectors of the economy. There was a considerable enhancement in income and a speedy acceleration in the process of social changes....In the industrial sector, the major expansion took place with an enormous increase in capacity and output required to meet demand in three large markets: The British military, Palestine itself and the rest of the Middle East, including Turkey. Unfortunately, the government was unable to retain precise figures to prove this process, but according to one estimate, output in Jewish-owned factories increased by 200 percent between 1939 and 1942 and that in Arab-owned enterprises by 77 percent... between 1939 and 1945, average industrial earnings were estimated to have grown by 200 percent for Arabs and 258 percent for Jews during the same period. Unskilled construction workers increased by 405 percent and 329 percent respectively. Conditions in the rural areas was somewhat better. Prices of locally grown agricultural products were said to have increased seven fold during the war and agricultural wages by the same amount by mid1943. In these circumstances it was not surprising to find that the official government figures indicated that total agricultural income quadrupled between 1939 and 1944/5 (in money terms). It provided the Arab peasant with ‘a large measures of prosperity’ and leading to a dramatic decline in the need to borrow essential items from money lenders in many districts...perhaps the most important developments in the period were the huge mobilization of labor. It took many hundreds of thousands away from their villages on either a daily or a more permanent basis and the stimulus was given to Arab industry. According to Taqqu’s estimate, about one-third of the male Arab work force was employed in wage labor by 1945, most of them by the government and military but with some 13,000 in some aspect of manufacturing.


Anonymous said...

Did you catch this in the UNRWA description:

The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration

Someone should tell the intersectional snowflakes that they are promoting the patriarchy.

YMedad said...


Anonymous said...

I had read sometime ago that another issue concerns the due diligence (or really lack thereof) conducted in the registering of Palestine refugees at the outset. This UN program was widely viewed as a welfare program open to all neighboring Arab poor and, as placing many of their own poor on the dole, it also relieved the surrounding Arab states of the responsibility of caring for their own. Then, of course, there is the issue of UNWRA’s failure to keep track of deaths etc.
Of course, it wasn’t until the end of the 1950s that UNWRA changed from a temporary program to a quasi-permanent international welfare system entirely divorced from any responsibility to see that Palestine refugees be integrated in the countries in which they found themselves. Today, scarce refugee funds are fought over by UNHRC and UNWRA - sacrificing the needs of real refugees for those of the artificial refugee that are the Palestine variety.

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