Tag Archives: Palestine refugees

Prime Minister Olmert-No Refugee Discussion

Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert once again made clear his nation’s decision not to engage in any discussions regarding the return of refugees who left Palestine during the 1948 war. “I join in expressing sorrow for what happened to the Palestinians and also for what happened to the Jews who were expelled from Arab states. But, he emphasized, “under absolutely no circumstances will there be a right of return.” However, he agreed his nation would is “prepared to be part of an international mechanism that will work to solve the problem.” The refugee issue from the perspective of Palestinians, concerns what they allege were forced expulsion of people from Palestine during the Israel war for independence in 1948. The Israel government also charges over 700,000 Jews were forced to flee from Arab nations during the same time period.

There is no question it is impossible for any Israel government to agree to the return of millions of Palestinians to former lands. However, there might well be room for compromise. At present, over 200,000 Israelis are occupying homes and land on the West Bank which belongs to the state of Palestine. Perhaps, there could be an exchange of that land for peace. I suspect, Olmert would not agree to that exchange of land for peace.

Palestinians In Limbo On Iraq Border

There are so many examples of how humans were forced into horrible situations due to the American invasion of Iraq, it is sometimes difficult to know how to begin this story of desperation. Saddam Hussein was a cruel, vicious and dictatorial ruler who ruthlessly killed thousands, but, for some reason, he offered refuge to Palestinians. About 34,000 were living in Iraq when the US invasion overthrew the dictator. Palestinian refugees did not receive a warm welcome from the new rulers of Iraq and have been subjected to abuse and violence. About 2,000 are now trapped in refugee camps on the border of Iraq-Syria without any prospect of securing refuge. Fortunately, the people of Iceland and Sweden have offered a few hundred refuge in their nations.

The plight of the refugees is merely indicative of failure on the part of wealthy Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia to actually do something to aid Palestinians. If someone in the Israel government had some idea about public relations, its government might offer refuge to these Palestinians and gain respect in the Arab world. Then again, where is the United States in offering assistance to these people?