Liberman: Palestinians oppress their own refugees

Foreign Minister says Palestinians use their refugees as a tool, not let them integrate in society.

By
November 18, 2013 16:31
1 minute read.
A Palestinian refugee camp in Syria [file photo]

A Palestinian refugee camp in Syria 370 (R). (photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)

The Palestinians use their refugees as a tool and don’t allow them to settle in society, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the relaunch of the Knesset Caucus for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries on Monday.

“Jews from Arab countries came to Israel as refugees, but unlike the Palestinians, they integrated and became citizens,” Liberman told MKs from Yisrael Beytenu, Yesh Atid and Shas. “Palestinians entrenched their refugee status in order to build an ethos.

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They do everything to prevent refugees from integrating in the countries they live in.”

The foreign minister pointed out that thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants have been killed during the Syrian civil war, but the Palestinian Authority did not condemn it.

The government is committed to Jewish refugees from Arab countries and will not give up on their rights and possessions, Liberman added.

“We will bring this up in every international forum.

There is a broad Zionist consensus [on the issue] and we cannot turn it into a political argument,” he said.

MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu), leader of the caucus in the 19th Knesset, said that “the denial of the story of Jews’ expulsion from Arab countries led us to ignore the rights of and compensation for these 850,000 Jews.”

Earlier this year, a bill Ohayon submitted to have a national day in honor of Jewish refugees from Arab countries passed a preliminary reading.

Daniel Meron, head of the UN department at the Foreign Ministry, said “the Arab world is afraid that we are taking over the narrative on the issue of refugees. They’re not used to hearing our story, and we’re going to keep telling it to parliaments and international organizations.”


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