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Palestinian Refugees and the "Right of Return

Reader comment on item: Zionism's Bleak Present
in response to reader comment: "Inconvenient lies?

Submitted by Gene C. Sproul (United States), Oct 19, 2007 at 18:23

Dr. RJP,

Gosh, I didn't realize that the Palestinian refugee camps were, in effect, internment camps. I haven't seen any other reports of Palestinians being kept in those camps against their will, nor have the few pictures I've seen shown any fences of guard towers such as surrounded the Japanese Interment camps during during WW II. It has been my impression that refugees from what ever country are usually given sanctuary and shelter in hastily constructed "camps" and that assimilation into the host country takes years if it occurs at all.. Are you suggesting that other Arab countries are rounding up Palestinians and forcing them into the Gaza and West Bank camps? Why haven't any of the human rights groups made noise about such a practice if it is occuring?

I have heard stories of 1948 Palistinian Israeli farm and home owners being denied return to their properties because they couldn't produce "documentation" proving ownership (while written property ownership records were non-existent; their ownership being previously recognized by their family occupation. Are those stories false? And what about families who were tenents?

Just what kind of "evidence" were the returning Palestinians required to produce in order to "legitimize" their return? Are you saying that thousands of returnies were not returning to residences they were occupying pre-1948? How could a family who had lived in Israel for years, even generations, "prove" they had "permanent" "ties" to their land? And prove to whom? Were there any international agencies to whom the refugee Palestinians appeal?

Who were the other 98 percent of Jerusalem residents in 1948?

How can you (with a straight face, that is) claim that Jimmy Carter is delusional? No one else has made such a claim, and his observations in other countries are accepted as valid. He sure doesn't sound delusional to me or anyone else I know. And I'm still waiting for a Congress person to even hint at criticism of Israel.

I once heard George Will make statements which indicated that the Palestinians were not "ejected" form Israel, but I've heard nothing further from him on that topic since. But he is the only "neutral" commentator I've heard on the topic, and even he did not mention the refusal (no matter how "justified") to allow return of the refugees. I have heard reporters talk about their being denied access to the area; and when all of the reports I have read give an entirely different picture of the refugees from yours. And while I am certainly not an independant scholar on the topic, I find it peculiar that I'm not reading any who are supporting any of your claims about the treatment of the Palestinians. They seem content to let the "false" stories stand. I really find it hard to believe that other Arab countries are "dumping" their Palestinians into West Bank camps, although I can immagine them moving their Israeli Palestinian refugees back into Palestine (whatever that is).

If not Zionists, just who are the people pushing so hard for a "greater Israel"? Are all those Iaraeli settlements in the West Bank located on lands allocated to the Jews by Great Britian?

Can you cite me to any neutral works on this topic? Everything I've read so far seems to deny your version of the facts.. Are they they all wrong?

I might add that I'm having equal difficulty accepting the plethora of current "works" "proving" that it was the Bush administration who engineered the 9/11 attacks. I do wish I had access to a Straight Dope source, but I feel like Diogenies in my efforts to find one so far. It really bothers me to be, along with millions of others, so misinformed, if that's what I am.

Anyhow, I again want to thank you for letting me voice my views, such as they are.



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