When refugees are mentioned, Israel rightfully assumes that Jewish refugees will be included in the talks.
Besides, these Arabs are mostly comprised of relatives to immigrants drawn to the area Palestine due to Jewish development of the land. I always find it amusing when Arabs and their very vocal supporters point to Jewish immigration as the culprit that upset the balance in the region, while all along Arab immigration to (then) Palestine far outweighed that of the Jews.
The UNRWA (the Palestinians are the only group given its own personal refugee agency, the rest of the world gets to share the UNHCR) should be dismantled, and the Arabs (wrongly classified as refugees) wherever they exist, given citizenship. Any real real refugee, by now over 60 years old, should be allowed to live within Arab areas of the Palestinian Authority or in Hamastan.
NOTE: I wonder how many of these keys typically shown in the many photo ops arranged between the Arabs and the willing media, have actually opened anything at all?
According to Prosor, the ration of staff to refugees at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which covers non-Palestinian refugees, is 1 to 4,400. UNRWA has a ratio of 1 to 172.
Envoys work to end UN’s Palestinian refugee status
Prosor: Real obstacle to peace is right of return for Palestinian refugees, not settlements; adds transfer of status “misguided.”
NEW YORK – At a small conference at the Harvard Club in Manhattan on Thursday, a host of dignitaries and experts, including Israel’s envoy to the UN Ron Prosor, addressed the UN’s classification of Palestinian refugees as the principal stumbling block to a peace agreement between Israel and the PLO.
The conference was the opening salvo in the direction of drafting of US legislation meant to end the automatic transmission of refugee status to the descendents of Palestinians that has been taking place since 1948, just as Filippo Grandi, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), prepared to hold a press conference on Monday on Palestinian refugees becoming a “forgotten population” in an increasingly turbulent region.
Dr. Daniel Pipes, a leading international expert on the Middle East, opened the conference, declaring that the Palestinian refugee situation is broken, sick, and detrimental to all involved. The current approach by UNRWA “creates a narrative of victimhood and leads to extremism,” said Pipes.
The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank where Pipes serves as president, organized the conference, titled Changing US Policy on UNRWA and the “Palestine Refugees.”
“No one will admit it… the real obstacle [to a two-state solution] is the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees,” Prosor said. The “refugees problem is the main obstacle to peace, not settlements.”
The return of Palestinian refugees “would cause Israel’s destruction,” Prosor said.
In 1950, there were some 700,000 Palestinian refugees. The current figure stands at more than 5.1 million, though that depends on who is counting.
Historically, refugees who become citizens of another country lose their status as refugees; a large percentage of Palestinians live in Jordan or Syria, though those in Syria are now experiencing an entirely new refugee crisis.
Many participants at the event asserted that double standards applied to Palestinian refugees, in sharp contrast to this general rule of thumb.