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Why Lebanon?

Reader comment on item: [UNRWA:] The Refugee Curse

Submitted by A H (United States), Aug 20, 2003 at 18:50

I have to say it...this is an excellent article. It seems that refugee status is a generational one only with Palestinians! I'd like to add that Palestinian refugees exist also in Jordan and Syria (some children are 4th generation refugees as noted above). There is no obvious reason for Syria and Jordan not to absorb them. However, in Lebanon, Palestinians started coming there only in early 1970's, particularly from Jordan after Jordanian authorities forced them out due to a failed coup attempt against King Hussein. Any attempt to "absorb" 400,000 refugees will have a significant impact on demographics of a small country like Lebanon (population 3-4 million). Furthermore, Christians who once were the majority there oppose this idea, which could potentially eradicate them, same way is happening to many other Christian minorities in the M.E. I think Syria and Jordan should naturalize these refugees gradually to become their own citizens. Arabs think that a continuous refugee status builds pressure against Israel, showing the world all this "suffer" and "misery" that Palestinians deal with, a game Arabs have played for a long time. Keep up with good work, Dr. Pipes.
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