SNAPSHOTS-TOP.jpg

« Christian Century Editor: Wall Will Stay on Masthead | Main | Mass Resignation at Al Jazeera? »

July 04, 2013

Where's the Coverage? Lebanon's Apartheid Laws

question-mark1.jpg

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is on a three-day trip to Lebanon. In addition to the approximately 70,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon from the fighting in Syria, there are over 450,000 Palestinians living permanently in refugee camps there. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Following a meeting with [Lebanese] President Michel Suleiman, Abbas announced that the Palestinians were guests in Lebanon and would not meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

“The presence of Palestinians is temporary until they return to their homeland,” Abbas said.

(Of course, for a homeland Abbas means all of Israel since he even told The New York Times two years ago that “as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years.” That’s not since 1967… but that’s a separate little-covered story.)

One often hears of Arab hospitality, but for guests in Lebanon, the Palestinians are getting less that welcoming treatment. Khaled Abu Toameh recently wrote for the Gatestone Institute:

Palestinians have, in fact, long been treated as third-class citizens in most of the Arab countries, where they are denied not only basic rights such as employment and health care, but also citizenship.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees [UNRWA], Lebanon’s 450,000 Palestinian refugees have long been subject to many employment restrictions.

For example, Palestinians in Lebanon are banned from working as doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers or accountants.

By contrast, anyone visiting an Israeli hospital or medical center would quickly notice the presence of a significant number of Arab doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

The United States State Department country report on Lebanon announces:

• Palestinian refugees were subject to arbitrary arrest and detention by state security forces.

• Property laws directly and effectively exclude Palestinians […] from owning land and property.

• Palestinian refugees, including children, had limited social and civil rights and no access to public health, education, or other social services.

Yet there has been little media coverage of this shameful situation. As Khaled Abu Toameh writes:

What is disturbing about the Apartheid laws in Lebanon and the mistreatment of Palestinians by Arab countries is the silence of the international community and media.

Even UNRWA, which is supposed to look after the well-being of Palestinian refugees, continues to turn a blind eye to Lebanon’s Apartheid laws.

[…]

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas governments are also continuing to bury their heads in the sand with regards to the mistreatment of Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab countries. The two governments are too busy fighting each other while at the same time inciting Palestinians against Israel.

Is it possible that the media and even organizations tasked with protecting Palestinian rights like UNRWA don't actually care about oppression of Palestinians? Is it possible that it only becomes a story if it can be used as a cudgel to beat Israel? Well, systematic, legal and state-sanctioned discrimination against Palestinians exists in Lebanon and yet… Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SC at July 4, 2013 08:59 PM

Comments

They loathe Palestinians. Same way they don't care about Palestinian rights in Gaza, for women, children, gays, christians. If that's what they think of Palestinians, imagine what they think of Jews. They are the Nazis of our time.

Posted by: shira at July 5, 2013 05:11 AM

Congratulations on bringing up a story that needs to be told. The media has a blind eye on Moslem intolerance towards their own. Lets hear more about what the Israelis are doing for the refugees.

Posted by: Doris Guttentag at July 5, 2013 11:28 AM

Congratulations on bringing up a story that needs to be told. The media has a blind eye on Moslem intolerance towards their own. Lets hear more about what the Israelis are doing for the refugees.

Posted by: Doris Guttentag at July 5, 2013 11:30 AM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)