Menu
FM Ashkenazi meets with Cypriot FM Nikos Christodoulides

FM Ashkenazi meets with Cypriot FM …

FM Ashkenazi: Israel and ...

MFA hosts virtual conference on digital diplomacy during the corona crisis

MFA hosts virtual conference on dig…

Some 150 participants wil...

PM Netanyahu chairs Corona Cabinet meeting

PM Netanyahu chairs Corona Cabinet …

The goal of the policy is...

Israel marks Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism

Israel marks Memorial Day for the f…

Remembrance Day, Yom Hazi...

President Rivlin and FM Katz host reception for the diplomatic and consular corps in Israel

President Rivlin and FM Katz host r…

President Rivlin: Althoug...

Special Holy Fire ceremony held during the coronavirus outbreak

Special Holy Fire ceremony held dur…

The traditional Holy Fire...

PM Netanyahu addresses the ceremony marking Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day

PM Netanyahu addresses the ceremony…

Prime Minister Benjamin N...

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 20-21 April 2020

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Reme…

The official Opening Cere...

Briefing for foreign ambassadors on Coronavirus management and cooperation with the Palestinians

Briefing for foreign ambassadors on…

During the briefing, the ...

Yad L'Achim Opens Hotline for Assistance from Experienced Psychologists, Social Workers

Yad L'Achim Opens Hotline for Assis…

Confused? Under Pressure?...

Prev Next
A+ A A-
Booking.com

Opinion - The Refugee Problem: Is it Resolvable? Featured

By Arkady Mamaysky, 

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have started once again. Hopefully, despite the many problems which must be resolved, they will end with better results than previous ones.

One of the main problems is that of Palestinian refugees, as they are commonly called. To say it correctly, the people we now call refugees are the descendants of Palestinian Arabs who left Palestine in 1948 during the Arab countries’ aggression against the infant Jewish state of Israel.

Around 700,000 Arabs left, mainly encouraged by the propaganda of Arab countries, which essentially told the Arabs to get out of the way and come back to share the spoil after the Jews are thrown into the sea. During the same time, around 800,000 to 1,000,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries. They were accepted by their Jewish brethren and became citizens of Israel.

Today, there are close to 5,000,000 descendants of the original Arab refugees. They were denied citizenship in Arab countries by a decision of the Arab League, supposedly to “protect their right of return.” In reality, they were denied citizenship as a ploy for the Arab countries to have one more strategy to destroy Israel.

Putting aside what caused the problem, the problem exists. Here are the approximate numbers of descendants of Palestinian refugees by their places of residence:

Gaza: 1,100,000
West Bank: 780,000
Lebanon: 426,000
Syria: 472,000
Jordan: 2,000,000

So what are the options to resolve the refugee problem with Israel remaining a Jewish state?

Option #1

Syria and Lebanon can and should give citizenship to their Arab brethren. Jordanian descendants of Palestinian refugees are already Jordanian citizens and, in reality, Jordan is a Palestinian state. So if negotiations succeed, there will actually be two Palestinian states – the West Bank/Gaza being the second.

The descendants of the original refugees belong to these two Palestinian states. Since Gaza is extremely densely populated, Jordan and the West Bank should offer resettlement to some of Gaza’s residents.


Option #2

The Arab league should change its “no citizenship” policy so that other Arab countries accept their brethren and offer them citizenship.

Arab countries possess huge masses of land (consider Saudi Arabia, for example) and an influx of people could be beneficial by allowing them to develop vast amounts of presently-underdeveloped land.

Option #3

Countries of emigration like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and other European countries should accept some number of Arab refugees. By doing so, these countries will help their ally, Israel, resolve a problem for which it is unjustifiably blamed, and help Jews preserve Israel as a country of their own.

These countries owe it to the Jewish people in return for our great contributions to these countries, and because of their past persecution of the Jews. One should not forget that, before the Holocaust, none of these countries agreed to accept Jewish refugees and, during the war, the allied countries refused to spend ammunition to bomb gas chambers and railroads to death camps – “non-military targets.” Bombing these targets would have saved at least some of our people.

Russia, with its vast Asian lands, can also accept some Arab refugees and benefit from having more people to develop these lands. Jewish people can expect this from Russia in return for the great contributions we made to Russia and remembering the pogroms and anti-Semitism of the past.

Option #4

The final option is some combination of the other three.

* * *

For all of the reasons discussed above, any solution to the refugee problem should be financed by the United Nations, Arab countries, the United States, Germany, other European countries, and Jewish/Israeli contributions.

Maybe the above suggestions are naïve, but there is no doubt that experts can offer more and better ideas to solve the problem while preserving Israel as a Jewish state. Resolving the problem in such a way that Israel remains Jewish is possible if there is good will, which is sometimes not a readily available commodity. If not by good will, these problems must be resolved using common sense, for everybody’s sake.

Arkady Mamaysky is a mechanical engineer who emigrated directly to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1979. He has visited Israel once, and often twice, during every year since then.

Last modified onWednesday, 28 August 2013 07:28

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

back to top

Sections

Jewish Traditions

About Us

Community

Cooperations

Follow Us