Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for February, 2010

Michigan county to decide if they will do health screening for refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 28, 2010

This is a local issue, but it caught my attention because obviously this county government, Washtenaw County where Ann Arbor is located,  isn’t even fully aware that refugees are being resettled in their county—until now anyway.   A Michigan state office and a resettlement agency want the county to take on refugee health screening and the state is offering a measly $7,800 as payment for what is going to amount to ultimately tens of thousands of dollars in expenses. 

Just ask the Allen County Health Department located in Ft. Wayne, IN how much all this will cost in the end!  Seriously, County Commissioners, call Ft. Wayne!

Here is the full story from the Ann Arbor Chronicle:

Commissioners voiced several concerns over a new refugee health program, funded with $7,800 from the state Dept. of Community Health’s Office of Refugee Services. The program would pay for health screenings at the county health department’s clinic at 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti.

In briefing the commissioners, Joanna Bidlack of the county administrator’s office reported that about 50-100 refugees settle in Washtenaw County each year, primarily in the Ypsilanti area. Currently they get health screenings from a clinic in Dearborn. The county was approached about this program by the state and the Jewish Family Services nonprofit, which serves as a refugee resettlement agency.

According to a cover memo on the resolution, the proposed medical screenings are designed to identify people with communicable diseases, or whose health conditions may impact resettlement – by affecting their ability to get a job or attend school, for example. The screenings would also identify conditions that might be grounds for exclusion (affecting their refugee status) or that would be significant enough to alert authorities at the relevant consulate.

The county health department currently provides some services to refugees – including tuberculosis screening and immunizations – without reimbursement.

In discussing the program, Wes Prater asked if these refugees are illegal immigrants. “I think we need to know if they’re illegals,” he said. Ken Schwartz said the status of “refugee” was a legal designation. His concern was whether they’d be bringing communicable diseases into the county.

Barbara Bergman raised another issue – if the screenings turned up a medical condition that needed treatment, then what? Who would pay for treatment?

Bidlack said she’d follow up, prior to their March 3 meeting, on the issues raised by commissioners.

The Commissioners have some good questions, but again I am struck by the fact that resettlement is going on in their county and they have apparently not been briefed (as required by law!) by the State refugee coordinator about what refugee resettlement means for them—costs of medical care, welfare payments, school expenses and the list goes on.  We had the same problem in the county where Judy and I live—the local government had no idea in 2007 what refugee resettlement meant for the community.

Reforms needed!

I’ll bet the supposed “reform” of the refugee program going on at the White House isn’t addressing the transparency issue for local governments.

Posted in health issues, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program | 11 Comments »

NC Rep. Sue Myrick tries to have a dialogue with her growing Muslim constituency

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 28, 2010

Update March 1st:  Charlotte Islamic leader and Myrick critic connected to terror-funding group, here!

We have mentioned Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) on a couple of occasions at RRW (here and here), and Judy and I heard her speak in Washington a few years ago.  We were glad that someone in Washington was speaking as forcefully as she was about Islamic supremacism. 

However, this week she held a townhall meeting in her hometown of Charlotte, NC that turned contentious at times.   There are dozens of stories about this meeting you can find with a search on the internet, but here is just one I chose from the local paper, the Charlotte Observer.   I understand her desire to try to build bridges, but she will be attacked and continue to be attacked whenever she links terrorism to Islam no matter how truthful a point she makes.   This whole initiative, urging a public meeting, demonstrates a clever Muslim community (likely with Far Left backers) has targeted her for defeat in her re-election bid.  I don’t see where doing a public meeting benefited her at all and it looks to me that she was politically out-maneuvered. 

In a testy two-hour town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick argued Thursday night that the threat of homegrown Islamist terrorism is real and defended herself against charges by local Muslims that she was spreading fear about their religion

Using charts, maps, handouts and even a video slamming a Charlotte TV station, the Charlotte Republican told the crowd of about 175 people, most of them Muslims, that she has never condemned Islam or linked moderate Muslims with terrorism.

“I’m talking about the sympathizers and supporters of a radical agenda,” she said. “It’s not that all Muslims are bad or all Muslims are trying to do this.”

Hoping to repair her relations with a Muslim community that has taken her comments over the years as inflaming hatred, Myrick said she agreed to the town hall meeting to “build bridges” with her Muslim constituents. She invited them to join her in opposing those who she said were “trying to hijack” Islam.

Several Muslim speakers at the Government Center in uptown Charlotte commended Myrick for sponsoring the beginning of a dialogue, and invited her to follow-up sessions at mosques around town.

Still, many of the questions and comments from Muslims showed an anger that has simmered for years over often-provocative comments by Myrick, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

In 2003, for instance, she seemed to suggest that convenience stores run by Muslims might be havens for homegrown terrorists.

Read the whole article and note how this convenience store statement in 2003 was used against her.

On this point about convenience stores, Myrick’s staff needs to do some research so that she can answer this criticism more thoroughly because she is correct as we have reported many times on these pages (search ‘food stamp fraud’).  The federal government is raiding mostly Muslim-run or owned convenience stores in many states because of widespread food stamp fraud and in many of those cases the charges involve sending money overseas.   Here is one in her home state of North Carolina.  It doesn’t say the money is going to terrorist activity but you can bet the seed money to start these stores in many immigrant cities isn’t the result of some poor immigrant schlub scraping his few dollars together.  This scam is obviously a well-orchestrated and funded strategy to rip off American dhimmis initiated abroad.

I hope she had a comeback on the Timothy McVeigh comment as well, but the Charlotte Observer doesn’t mention one.

She would have also been wise to mention that one of 5 states where the 270 Illegal Somalis (possibly linked to the terror group Al-Shabaab) have been reportedly dispersed is North Carolina.  Why North Carolina?  It’s my guess that since North Carolina is being flooded with refugees by the US State Department (NC is in the top ten refugee receiving states), it becomes a good state in which to hide illegal aliens.  And, for some reason North Carolina is growing a large Muslim population and this is not happening by chance.  They need to get rid of Myrick (make sure she is not re-elected)  in order to move forward with their plans for a stealth jihad in North Carolina.

Posted in diversity's dark side, Refugee Resettlement Program, Stealth Jihad | 3 Comments »

Catholic Charities criticised for treatment of gay Iraqi refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 28, 2010

It is not clear which Catholic Charities neglected this gay couple, but it looks like Nashville Catholic Charities is one of the agencies that did not follow the Operational Guidance required by the US State Department as part of their contract with the government.   Here is the gist of the story from the Dallas Voice:

Two gay Iraqi refugees who are living in Houston came to Dallas for the Creating Change conference earlier this month seeking assistance.

After being kidnapped, raped, robbed and stabbed in Baghdad, Yousif Ali and Nawfal Muhamed escaped to Syria and were given refugee status by the United Nations. The United States granted them asylum.

But after arriving in the United States, Catholic Charities, which administers many of the federally funded programs for refugees, provided only limited assistance.

Other refugees are given furnished apartments. Ali and Muhamed were sent to different cities.

On his own, Muhamed made it to Houston from Nashville where Ali had been given a bare apartment and left to sleep on the floor. [This is a State Department no-no but we keep hearing the same story—bare apartment, no beds—from many cities in the US.]

They were housed near other Iraqis where they remained in danger and continued to be abused because of their sexual orientation.*

The Unitarian Universalist office at the United Nations, the only faith-based U.N. office with an LGBT refugee program, brought the pair to the Dallas conference hoping to find some help.

* In some Muslim countries homosexuals are even killed because of their sexual orientation.  Coincidentally we only last month heard a professor from Vanderbilt Univ. in Nashville confirm the Islamic prohibition about homosexuality.  When choosing a neighborhood in which to place refugees, Catholic Charities in Nashville should have been more knowledgeable about that Muslim prejudice and the Islamic (Shariah law) requirement that gays be killed.   Watch the film from Vanderbilt, here, at Jihad Watch.

Posted in Iraqi refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | Comments Off on Catholic Charities criticised for treatment of gay Iraqi refugees

That tired old epithet “Racist!” doesn’t work anymore

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 27, 2010

We’ve said it a lot around here, to call someone a “racist” has no meaning anymore. We know that for decades Liberals have called anyone who questions immigration policies and programs “racists” only to silence any serious intellectual discussion, so when I saw this article by Adam Baldwin at Big Hollywood tonight, I decided to post some excerpts from it.

‘Racist!’, the political epithet, has rapidly lost credibility and political sting recently thanks to clumsy overuse by grievance-mongering thugs. The slur is a tactical viewpoint discrimination launched as a means to stifle intellectual diversity, rational discussion, and to shame people that diverge from race-hustling orthodoxy.

‘Race hustlers’ are commonly known as shakedown artists and/or smear merchants who expertly deploy the “R-word”, and it has somehow garnered them credibility to preach the gospel of social justice — and reap the ill-gotten gains of equality-of-outcome Statism — to the intellectual wreckage left below them.

The words bigot, homophobe, xenophobe and islamophobe have all gone the same way as racist and have lost their power to hurt.  In truth the hurler of those invectives makes himself look weak and mean.

Rhetorically speaking, thank God that from now on when thought-terminating clichés such as “racist!,” “sexist!,” “bigot!,” “xenophobe!,” “homophobe!,” “hypocrite!,” “chicken-hawk!,” “Uncle Tom!,” “white supremacist!” etc. are hastily concocted (Max Blumenthal call your office), Americans are no longer intimidated by these divisive, intellectually-stifling smears.

Fearless rhetorical engagement in the modern cultural/political arena of ideas is a good and necessary component of our vigorous and successful Republic.

Turning Saul Alinsky* back on the Left!

Too often Modern Liberal arguments amount to nothing more than self-anointed moral rulings that certain people don’t at all have standing on various issues, especially race. These rulings are never ideologically neutral but, rather, are the notorious political weaponry of Saul Alinsky.

Once exclusively reserved for very effective use against unarmed conservatives, Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is now self-defeating his radical ideological progeny. Now those are ‘chickens come home to roost’ that can benefit America!

Ridicule is, according to Alinsky, man’s most potent weapon.

Highly effective also is Andrew Breitbart’s approach of keeping the pressure on by freezing the target and making them live up to their own book of rules:

It’s time to hit back at these people — that these people keep calling you a racist… Instead of slinking into the corner and crying or saying ‘I don’t like that,’ you walk straight towards them and confront them; and they’re bullies, they’re just bullies and bullies crumble when you hit them back.

We’ve written a lot about Saul Alinsky and his tactics, see our category community destablization for background, or it might be easier just to search ‘Saul Alinsky.’

Posted in Community destabilization, free speech | 3 Comments »

Another federal raid in Lewiston, ME, so what else is new!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 27, 2010

My first thought when I saw yet another federal raid (here is one last June) of a Somali business in Lewiston, ME is that I can’t wait for the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence to bring their everything-is-wonderful-in-Lewiston dog and pony show to Frederick, MD!  

For readers not familiar with that story, go here, where we learned that the ‘Hate Violence’ gang from Portland, ME got a federal grant to come and lecture citizens of Frederick, MD  (Manchester, NH, Boise, ID and Ft. Wayne, IN too) about how Lewiston was a showcase for immigrant assimilation!

Here then is the latest sensational story in the Sun Journal from ‘little Mogadishu’ Lewiston.  You will see it isn’t clear why agents raided the store, but it’s likely related to money transfer to Africa (to terrorists?).

LEWISTON — Federal agents raided a local grocer Friday, apparently serving the owner with a search warrant.

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement converged on the Bartlett Street store and stayed for about four hours, arriving shortly before 10 a.m. and leaving shortly before 2 p.m.

Agents packed up about eight boxes of evidence from A & R Halal Market and hauled them out to the back seat of an unmarked car, a black Chevrolet Impala with Massachusetts license plates.

An agent whose windbreaker identified him as a member of the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury said he had driven to Lewiston on Thursday night and stayed overnight at a local hotel.

An unidentified federal agent carried a computer hard drive and printer to his unmarked Impala police car, also with Massachusetts plates, and drove away.

[….]

A woman who said she was planning to open an Ethiopian restaurant next door said the apparent owner of the market, identified by acquaintances as Ali Hassan Haji, had owned the business for about eight years. Calls to Haji’s phone were not returned.

Haji arrived at the store late morning and met with agents there before leaving for a local mosque. He returned to the store later in the day. The vehicle he drove, a black Nissan Xterra, was registered to Roda Abdi of Lewiston.

Abdi was referenced in Sun Journal stories as the owner of the market in 2003.

One of the many interesting comments was this one from Jo—a question I’ve been wondering about too!

I find it odd there are so many African stores, one right after the other, up and down Lisbon St, and other parts of the city. They all appear to sell the same things, as evidenced by the displays of cloth blocking the windows. How do they remain viable with so many of the same type of stores? Especially when WalMart appears to be the shopping place of choice. They all advertise the ability to wire money, though. It doesn’t make sense…at all.

Raids occured in Muslim wire transfer stores in Portland, home of the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence gang, yesterday as well.

 To citizens of Maine:  If I lived in Maine I would be hounding Senator Susan Collins about all these money transfer businesses sending money to Africa. She sits on the Senate Homeland Security Committee and she should be concerned about this practice.

While you are at it, ask her how this Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence can get a federal grant to lecture other cities in the US about their immigrant populations using untruths about Lewiston as an example for other cities.

One more thing!  Ask her if IDA’s (federal grants/microloans for refugees) are being used to open these storefront Somali money transfer stores in Maine.  And, LOL!, tell her to thank Obama for the stepped up raids.  I think we are seeing more under the Obama Administration then we did under Bush!

Posted in Africa, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 3 Comments »

Lucky Nashville labeled “Little Kurdistan”

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 27, 2010

Here is a long article entitled, ‘Nashville Tennessee: Kurdish Capital of America’ at The Comment Factory.  I’ve selected a few paragraphs that interested me in this gooey, everything is just lovely story, but please read the whole article.

Thank Catholic Charities!

Kurds have struggled to build a new haven in Nashville, and director of refugee and immigration services at Catholic Charities of Tennessee Holly Johnson says “they have changed Nashville.”

Kurds are arriving in Nashville from all over America looking for jobs!

NPT’s (Nashville Public Television*) portrayal of the Kurdish community has contributed to a growing awareness of Kurdish-Americans in the U.S., especially those who live in Nashville. “Little Kurdistan” represents the close-knit community and culture among the Kurds, a presence that is confirmed by the many Kurdish-owned businesses in Nashville. A large number of Kurds have therefore moved to Nashville from within the U.S. to be with friends and family, or just to be a part of the growing society. This phenomenon is ongoing, and the peace of mind in knowing that there are other Kurds in Nashville is crucial for those Kurds who choose to move there. Nick Aref is one of many Kurds who have moved, in his case from Arizona, to open a business in Nashville. The key reasons that led many Kurds to Nashville in the 1970s were, as Drew Jubera points out, the fact that “Nashville was viewed as a manageable, relatively affordable place to live, full of entry-level jobs for people who didn’t speak much English.”

Lucky Nashville has the only known Kurdish Pride gang in the Nation!

Another unfortunate event for Nashville’s Kurds is the breakthrough of the Kurdish Pride Gang in the recent years. KPG is thought to be America’s only Kurdish street gang, and has been linked to a series of high-profile crimes. The number of members is not accurately estimated, but they are believed to be made up of 20 to 30 teens and young adults (Emery:2007). The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department are uncertain of the gang’s foundation, but believes the gang is supposed to function as a Kurdish show-off to other ethnic gangs such as the Hispanic gangs Sureños 13 (Sur-13) and Mara Salvatrucha 13. The Metropolitan also point out that the KPG members’ backgrounds are surprising to everyone, because “they come from two-parent homes, […] from middle-class families with a strong work ethic, where education is important” (Emery:2007). [Darn! There goes the theory right out the window again that crime is a product of poverty-ed.]  Members of the Kurdish community [mostly Sunni Muslims] have expressed concern and some have said that they are ashamed of the reputation these few associates have given the rest of the thousands of Kurds in the country.

Yippee!  They were involved in “civic engagement” by organizing for Obama!

In recent years, various Kurdish organizations have propped up in and outside of Nashville and have regularly organized events that have been aimed to bring the Kurdish-American community together. A primary goal of these organizations has been to promote the interests of Kurdish-Americans and cultivate support among both Kurdish and non-Kurdish-Americans. “Next Door Neighbors” also illustrates how Kurdish-Americans have opted to take part in the American democratic process. Kurdish organizations have played a role in introducing the democratic process to newly naturalized Kurdish-Americans by initiating programs that are aimed at stimulating their involvement. The Nashville chapter of Kurdish American Youth Organization (KAYO) was awarded by the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition for promoting civic engagement in 2008. Furthermore, Kurds in Nashville took part in organizing a movement entitled “Kurds for Obama”, which was aimed at gathering support for then-candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden. As refugees of former dictator-controlled states where they had no permission to partake in anything, Kurds have displayed a desire to participate in the growth of their new country.

Multicultural Nashville has been the subject of many posts here at RRW, please use our search function for those stories.  And, by the way, keep your eyes peeled in Nashville for some of those 270 illegal Somalis that we hear have headed to Nashville (among other cities where diversity is strength). 

* We learned some time ago that Nashville Public Television was in cahoots with the Nashville Open Borders lobby made up of big business types looking for cheap labor.  Too bad their quest for cheap labor now threatens the security of Nashville.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program | 4 Comments »

Boise, ID: Burundian refugee wants her kids back!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 27, 2010

Here is a long and convoluted story about a Burundian woman in Boise, ID resettled there in 2006 by World Relief (one of nine federal refugee contractors) and now wishing she had never come to America.

This is how the story in the Boise Weekly begins:

Sitting on a couch in her sparsely decorated Meridian apartment, Christiana Niyonzima clutches a Christmas photo of her six kids and a drawing her youngest daughter sent her through an Idaho Department of Health and Welfare caseworker.

The drawing depicts a stick figure of a girl flying in the clouds with the inscription, written by an adult: “[Girl’s name] pretending to fly. Mommy watching.”

“I think … I am not sure if they are safe or not,” Niyonzima said through an interpreter. “But I know they think of me sometimes.”

Niyonzima, who came to Boise in late 2006 with five children and pregnant with her sixth, had already led a difficult life, growing up in refugee camps in Tanzania. Originally from Burundi, Niyonzima, 32, said that her family was killed in the fighting there, forcing her to flee to Tanzania at a young age.

She later fled an abusive partner in one refugee camp, landing with her children in another camp. She did not have electric lights or flushing toilets and only had very basic schooling.

But no matter the difficulty of life in the refugee camps, Niyonzima says now she never would have left if she had known what would happen to her children in the United States.

About a year after arriving in Boise, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare took Niyonzima’s children away from her and placed them in foster care. And in July 2009, a judge terminated her parental rights, placing her six kids into adoption proceedings. She has not seen them since then.

“I’m very sad,” Niyonzima said in English. “I’m not dead, and I’m not crazy,” she continued in Kirundi, the national language of Burundi and the only language in which she is fluent. “I don’t know why they did that.”

This is apparently a complicated case with far-reaching implications regarding such issues as legal requirements for proper interpreters.  Read the whole article. 

Note that the Idaho office of World Relief was criticised here just recently by a young woman claiming there was a religious litmus test for those wishing to volunteer and work with refugees.

Update:  I see that Friends of Refugees has additional comments on this story, here.

Posted in Africa, Christian refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Boise, ID: Burundian refugee wants her kids back!

Comment worth noting: Somali says they are here to stay

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 27, 2010

A post that is among the most visited every day is this one about how many Somalis have arrived in the US through the Refugee Resettlement program of the US State Department.  We also now have proof that other Somalis are entering the US illegally possibly with motives other than just finding a job (as we learned here a few days ago). 

So this is what commenter “Somali” has posted at the first post above.

I am Somali; Black, Immigrant, Muslim and my IQ is 136. My people will stay here forever as your grandparents did, and they will thrive in this wonderful land. The faith of my people will flourish to all corners in this country and you will be watching as a hag dog from the streets. To those who hate new immigrants, I will say to you to go back into history books and read how America rolled to be America – with the exception of my Indian brothers/sister, we are all on the same boat (immigrants!) although our time of arrival varies. The issue here as I read it is not about fraudulent immigration but rather deeply rooted hatred against black immigrants and muslims. One more wisdom, All Christians are not Crusaders, and all Jews are not associated with Isreal.
Peace…… I am proud to be a Muslim American!

I wonder if the State Department officials who have allowed this to happen and all the leftwing do-gooders who support immigration from parts of the world where we are hated think this guy is kidding about the stealth jihad to make Islam the dominant religion in the world.

From an interview with Al-shabaab leaders translated by Memri, here, in January 2009:

“We want to inform Bush and our rivals about our real intentions. We will establish Islamic rule from Alaska and Chile to South Africa, and from Japan to Russia. Beware, we are coming.”

[….]

“Our objectives, by the grace of God, are to see the return of the Islamic Caliphate, the last of which was the Ottoman empire that collapsed in the 1920s. We want to bring that system back and govern the world with God’s law.

Posted in Africa, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Comment worth noting: Somali says they are here to stay

UK Somali woman’s case demonstrates that the end of Europe as we know it is near

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 26, 2010

Thanks to Baron at  Gates of Vienna for this incredible story.  A Somali woman with 4 children and no husband (where is he?) is given permission by European Union judges to be provided a new home by the British government.    From the Daily Mail:

Standing proudly with her arm draped over her 36in television, this is the Somali woman who must be given a council house even though she has no right to live in Britain.

Nimco Hassan Ibrahim – who lives with her four children on benefit handouts – was granted the right to the home by EU judges yesterday because she was once married to a Danish citizen who briefly worked in this country.

The landmark judgment means the 34-year-old migrant and her children will soon be packing up their impressive collection of furniture and electrical equipment when they are given a new house. 

[….]

The landmark EU judgment opens the door for hundreds of thousands of unemployed foreigners to claim both state benefits and council or housing association homes.

Read this whole article and weep!  As I read it I wondered, so where is the husband and father of 4 kids?  Off in Somali fighting for al-Shabaab perhaps?

The story reminds me that we live in incredible times—witnessing the end of Western Civilization in Europe.   This is of course why Mark Steyn entitled his book that everyone should read—America Alone!  And, then get to work saving ourselves!

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, Europe | 4 Comments »

Solution to the Palestinian “refugees” problem: show they are not refugees

Posted by Judy K. Warner on February 26, 2010

Nitzia Nachmias, a senior researcher at the Jewish-Arab Center who also teaches in Asheklon College and the University of Maryland, has a new approach to the Palestinian “refugee” problem that is probably the correct one.  In a recent interview she  explained to Arutz Sheva:

“there’s no such thing as Palestinian refugees. If people would stop calling the places in which they live ‘refugee camps,’ then they would see that these places are just like villages and towns anywhere else, and the inhabitants are totally rehabilitated… Refugee camps are like the maabarot [in which Israel housed its hundreds of thousands of new immigrants from North Africa and elsewhere] in the 1950’s or the camps now in Haiti – not the villages with streets and stone houses in what is known as Palestinian refugee camps of today.”

She also noted that most of those Palestinians living abroad who claim to be refugees have been fully integrated into their host countries, meaning they are technically no longer refugees.  There has been a lot of fuss lately about Palestinians in Lebanon who are barred from certain professions, making it seem as if this situation is widespread.  Lebanon should be pressured to change that, but as Nachmias said: “Only in Lebanon are there refugees who are not allowed to work in certain professions; they are a small fraction of the total.”

Professor Nachmias also pointed out that the Palestinian “refugees” do not fit the definition under international law. That law defines a refugee as “an individual or family that was forced to run away – but this definition does not extend to children, a community or a group.”  And certainly not to the descendants of these people in perpetuity.

Her recommendations are these. First:

“We can’t simply push it off to the ‘final status talks’ and say, ‘We don’t accept the demand for the right-of-return because it will destroy the Jewish character of our state;’ what do they care about our Jewish character? If they deserve to be here, then it’s tough luck on us! Rather, Israel should take a pro-active approach, basing itself on international law and precedents, and declare that the Palestinian refugee issue no longer exists. They are no longer refugees!”

And second:

“Israel must nullify the status of Palestinian refugee camps; there is no other place where the UN controls territory. We must send the UNRWA out and transfer the control of these places to the Palestinian Authority, and then when the status of each individual resident there is reviewed, we will see that none of them match the legal definition of a refugee, and they are established citizens.”

This is brilliant and it’s true. If her recommendations were followed, Israel might be able to solve the seemingly intractible problem of the “refugees” in a fully legal way. I don’t know how the countries where Palestinians live would be forced to give them citizenship, but that would be necessary. Such a solution would greatly benefit the Palestinians. Almost anything the UN runs messes up the lives of the people it controls, and UNRWA, the agency for these “refugees,” has been a force for great misery and evil. Where Palestinians have gained some autonomy and stopped depending on UNRWA for their existence they have built up an economy and thrived, as is the case in some of the West Bank towns.  

I can’t find any reaction from the Israeli government or anyone else in the more than two weeks since this interview, but to my mind this is an important development.

Posted in Israel and refugees, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed | 1 Comment »

 
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