I was reminded, by Einat Wilf (Jewish People Policy Institute) and Jonathan Schanzer (Foundation for Defense of Democracies), of the sheer hypocrisy of European parliaments who, while they vote for recognition of a Palestine state, also fund the United Nations Relief & Works Agency. UNRWA is an organization that keeps Palestinian Arabs shackled into permanent refugee status, with growing numbers.
There is a massive elephant in the room in recognizing a Palestinian state and, at the same time, paying huge sums of money supporting a UN agency for Palestinians who are not refugees from Palestine but are, in fact, living in their desired homeland, namely Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza and the West Bank.
How can someone be a refugee and yet live in the “homeland” he or she desires?
This is the question that taxpayers in Sweden, Britain, Ireland, Spain, France, who have voted on recognition of a “Palestine,” should be asking of their politicians. Surely, such a vote, once made, must come with consequences?
It’s bad enough that these parliaments pass an unconditional vote for “Palestine” without including the demand that such as state must recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to live in peace and security, which they don’t.
It’s bad enough that they pass these votes without conditioning their approval on the nature of what this “Palestine” would be. Will it be a liberal democracy, or yet another troublesome radical Islamic regime? Is this not important?
Does it not concern European lawmakers that they may be voting into reality another Islamic monster that will disrespect its own people and its neighbors in pursuit of an overriding ambition to eliminate Israel that is clearly stated in both the Hamas and the PLO anti-Semitic, threatening, charters?
The point I opened with shows the shallow-minded approach these left-wing parliaments have employed when it comes to “symbolically” voting their support for “Palestine” unconditionally.
Take Sweden, for example. Wilf and Schanzer mentioned that Sweden is the fifth largest donor country to UNRWA with a massive $54.4 million last year.
Sweden reckons that “Palestine” fulfills the criteria of statehood under international law of territory, a people, and a government. Putting aside that it actually fails on all three counts; let’s assume that Sweden is correct. If this is the case, why do they need to fund a refugee agency that caters for millions of Palestinians, not distant refugees, but actually living under the auspices and governance of Palestinian leadership in either the Gaza Strip under the rule of Palestinian Hamas, or in the West Bank under the administration of the Palestinian Authority? Many, if not most, are the third and fourth generation of original refugees, a status that does not apply to any of the sixty million refugees in the world today.
I am tempted to use the analogy of not being able to be “almost pregnant.” Either you are, or you aren't, a refugee. In this case, how can you be a refugee while living in the country you yearn for?
Or maybe the Swedish, Irish, British, French, Belgium politicians are more devious than we thought. Maybe they are not the altruistic peace-makers they pretend to be, but are deliberately helping to perpetrate the “refugee” issue in support of a Palestinian narrative that demands these millions be “returned” to Israel as part of their further aim to eliminate the “Zionist invasion,” i.e., the death of Israel.
That is a cornerstone of both the PLO and Hamas Charters that have been supported by left-wing activists, some of whom sit in European parliaments, for decades.
This question still lingers. Are European politicians ignorant of the facts? Or do they share a dangerous Palestinian Arab agenda to reduce and eventually eliminate the Jewish State of Israel?
Barry Shaw is the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.” www.israelnarrative.com He is also the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College, Israel.