Palestinian refugee claimants

07.20.03

This would be funny if it wasn’t so stupid. Palestinian protesters are urging the Canadian government not to deport Palestinian refugee claimants on the grounds that they face persecution back in Israel:

“Those who are victims of repression in refugee camps have the right to humane treatment when they come to Canada,” said Amir Khadir, a prominent social activist and an unsuccessful candidate for the left-wing Union des forces progressistes in last April’s provincial election.

Refugee claimants who come to Canada from Palestinian camps ought to be given asylum here, the coalition said.

Opponents of the deportations say the refugees would be sent back to what they contend is Israel’s “illegal and deadly” military occupation.

It of course fits the propaganda of these groups to claim that Israeli rule is so oppressive that Canada should grant refugee status to people facing deportation there. And of course it’s a ridiculously backward argument. Israel is a modern democracy with a justice system guaranteeing rights and protections to all, defending itself against terrorism trying to suck out its lifeblood.

The irony is that the people facing deportion are more likely to be dangerous to Israeli society than the other way around. And Canada, officially one of Israel’s allies, has been so morally blind lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if the government bought the argument. But then, Ernst Zundel claimed refugee status here too.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Advanced Calculus 07.21.03 at 3:30 AM

The problem starts with the Palestinians being a “lost” people: in 1948, they were put in refugee camps, instead of being allowed to settle in the Arab-controlled part of the Middle East (which is over 90% of it). They are desparate – that’s how you get suicide bombers.

With the US having their evangelists waiting for an Israel with its biblical borders and Jews to die or become Christians in the “Second Coming”, means that there is no incentive for the US to push for some kind of compromise.

On the other hand, you have Palestinians (most of them born since 1948), who are brought up with the same kind of ant-Jewish propaganda as the Nazis used to have. Despite the fact that they are undoubtably being made to suffer by the IDF for the extremists in their midst, they are probably not going to be persecuted by the Israelis unless they are extremists.

Letting these people in as refugees is a mistake. If they have skills that Canada can use or otherwise meet the criteria for immigration, let them apply as regular immigrants and go through the normal security checks.

Refugee status should be reserved for situations like people fleeing the death squads in Guatemala or the Rwandan genocide. That’s what refugee status is for.

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2 Advanced Calculus 07.21.03 at 3:30 AM

Should be “1948”.

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3 Nanook 07.21.03 at 8:46 AM

Palestinian protestors are urging the Canadian government not to deport Palestinian refugee claimants on the grounds that they face persecution back in Israel.

I can see how you’d think that: the Gazoo’s reporter — and not just theirs, few of the media outlets seem to have really tracked it down — doesn’t seem to know exactly where these folks are refugees from>.

None of them come from Israel, according to media reports. I’d thought they were from refugee camps in Lebanon; most media (via CP) say “camps located in Lebanon and nearby Palestinian territories”, which is a bit different; Rabble.ca, who interviews a SPHR guy, has it as “mostly from the refugee camps of Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, so the ayes have it. In all cases, not Israel.

I really don’t see why they shouldn’t be accepted as refugees. Lebanon, as I’ve said before, practices a very clear apartheid regime which should violate international treaties on refugees but don’t, because and only because the Arab League managed successfully to create a special category for Palestinian refugees such that they shouldn’t have “regular” refugee rights.

And the camps in Gaza and the West Bank aren’t exactly places where someone can exercise too many rights, either, given the ongoing military occupation and unresolved conflict between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the various other parties to the dispute.

Our willingness to accept and settle people from countries at conflict or that violate basic human rights is one of the positive things about Canada. That seems to apply to the refugees at hand; our government should act accordingly.

In theory, our government should also act internationally to ensure that these places no longer produce refugees by getting involved diplomatically. But, in the Arab-Israeli conflict, they’d be little more than another cook spoiling the soup; haven’t done much good so far. And in Lebanon, it’s hard to see the Canadian government saying anything about refugee rights without causing a major diplomatic flap — although surely accepting said refugees will send some kind of signal.

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4 jerms 07.22.03 at 3:29 PM

The irony is that the people facing deportion are more likely to be dangerous to Israeli society than the other way around.

You’re a racist segacs because assuming that all the people facing deportation are willing terrorists. The reason they run away is not to get involved in all that commossion to begin with. Yet you have to find a way to make them look like they want kill Israelis.. you’re disgsuting. All they want is half a chance to get a decent life where they can raise families and go on with their lives without being threatened with collective punishment and ethnic cleansing. But your blood thursty attitude to demonize anyone who’s Palestinian just proves who disgustingly racist you are.

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