Monday, June 25, 2012

Palestinians in Lebanon

"Over the course of the past three decades, the Palestinian refugees have been turned into Lebanon’s whipping boys. That was the case after the army launched its campaign against them in the Saida region after the exile of General Michel Aoun – those in charge at the time thought that would appease the dejected Christians. It was also the case in the insane campaign against Nahr al-Bared a few years ago, an abominable military assault launched under the banner of going after terrorists and criminals.  The outcome, in both cases, was to subject the residents of the camps and their environs to further killing, persecution and displacement and to unending humiliation, in the name of security and the law. The Palestinian Authority has never stood by its people. It has always treated the refugees in the camps as second-class subjects, if not commodities to be bought and sold as part of the political game. It regularly tries to keep them quiet by dispensing cash to a few big shots, which is quickly spent on turf wars in the already ravaged alleyways.  The “civilized” world, for its part, is only interested in dismantling the Palestinians’ social structures in the diaspora, as in historic Palestine."