Hypocrisy about the Palestinians’ plight has lasted too long

Are there more lost leaders, imams and mujahideen than the current ones, who can fight only by using big high-flying rhetoric?
Sunday 02/06/2019
Posters of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat plastered on a wall in the Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp, a southern suburb of Beirut. (AFP)
Left to their fate. Posters of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat plastered on a wall in the Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp, a southern suburb of Beirut. (AFP)

Before I continue with this column, let me ask: Are the Palestinian refugees today happy or miserable in their refugee camps? Have they reached the commonsensical and realistic conviction that any serious and implementable proposal that would deliver them from the squalid camps has become closer to their acquiescence than at any other time after they have been dreaming of returning to their homes and refusing any other type of settlement for 70 years?

And, now, on with the column.

The great militant leader Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s general-secretary, is refusing to have the Palestinian refugees settle in the countries that host their camps surrounded with barbed wire. He is asking them to wait for Israel to be wiped out and for the Palestinian territories to be liberated from the river to the sea.

In his view, they should wait for the establishment of the great Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its religious, political and economic capital and with Tel Aviv as its other touristic and fun capital. This, of course, is going to happen after a very long time, with God’s help and mercy.

Surely, the Palestinians, especially those prisoners of the refugee camps, must have woken up to realise that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his heir, velayat-e faqih, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not to mention Nasrallah and his companion al-Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, Bashar Assad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hamas and the leaders of the Palestinian factions born in the capitals of steadfastness and refusal, have all been laughing at them and take them for fools.

It is time for the Palestinians to tell this whole gang: Enough, you hypocrites.

Those who experienced life in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan for just a few days — not even months or years — would quickly conclude that every Palestinian child born in these camps must be cursing the hour when their cause was turned into the goose that’s been laying golden eggs for all those Arab and Muslim brokers who, for 70 years, have been peddling the rights of the people of Palestine for fat salaries, padded positions and other material gains from the United States and Israel, provided they do not use their gains, in whole or in part, to support Palestine, not even in words.

It is difficult for the Palestinian refugees, their children and their grandchildren to forget the tragedy of Black September in Jordan, with its causes and consequences, or the massacres of the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp in Lebanon or the cemeteries at their camps in Syria or the continuous displacement and humiliation campaigns in the countries that had been forced to accept hosting them but with funds coming from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

There hasn’t been one single year that UNRWA did not complain of lack of resources and apologised for failing to provide more than only the necessary services to keep the refugees alive, not even in a dignified manner worthy of human beings.

These poor Palestinians cannot simply erase from their memory 70 years of dreams about returning to their farms and homes. They have been patient, steadfast and refused to settle in the Arab countries where they have been displaced since the early days of the famous “three Nos” invented by the Arab leaders at their summit in Khartoum in 1964: “No peace, no negotiation and no recognition of Israel.”

The great resistance and liberation leader Nasrallah says recent developments in the Gulf region, which are targeting Iran, are linked to the Trump administrations’ yet-to-be-unveiled “Deal of the Century.” Nasrallah did not fail to praise the positions of his fellow Bahraini Mujahideen, who are opposed to having their country host the first phase of the US peace plan.

While celebrating the “Day of Resistance and Liberation,” Nasrallah declared that the Lebanese and Palestinians reject the American step and believe in the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their land.

Are there any more desperate times than these days? Are there more lost leaders, imams and mujahideen than the current ones, who can fight only by using big high-flying rhetoric about resistance and steadfastness and nothing else?

So, OK, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” but when will you make good on your promises, you hypocrites?

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