Long, Long Ago, Part II

This is a continuation of JINSA Report #667 “Long, Long Ago, Part I”.

This is a continuation of JINSA Report #667 “Long, Long Ago, Part I”.

We are surprised journalists were surprised to find Palestinians fighting the Lebanese Army (LAF) instead of Israel, and “foreign fighters” and Syrian influence in Palestinian camps. This is not news. The Palestinians were active participants in the 1976-1990 Lebanese Civil War – WITH the Syrians AGAINST the Lebanese government. This accounts for some of the Lebanese animus for the Palestinians on their soil, and their determination to make the Palestinians as miserable as possible – even to their own detriment. (Which is why the 1990 Taif Accords prevented the LAF from entering camps – an anomaly no real country would have accepted.) A hundred thousand years ago – no, in November 2005, less than two years ago – JINSA pointed out:

Hezbollah and Palestinian military units prevented the Lebanese Army from moving south… (and) along the Syrian border across which weapons have been flowing to Palestinian guerilla factions in Lebanon. With the Syrian uniformed forces and the bulk of its intelligence forces having withdrawn their protective cover from the Palestinians, Beirut is beginning to insist that the Palestinians can have arms inside the refugee camps, but not control Lebanese territory… On the other hand… the 56-year Palestinian presence in Lebanon is a human nightmare owing to the combination of unremitting Lebanese hostility and an UNRWA mandate that does not permit the resettlement of refugees… (this is) a political nightmare for Lebanon as well as for Israel. Unless the international community helps the Palestinians get a handle on the reality that they will not dissolve Israel through uncontrolled immigration, Lebanon will suffer too.

A thousand years ago – no, less than one year ago – JINSA held a forum on Capitol Hill and heard Rep. Mark Kirk call for an international audit of UNRWA. Congressman Kirk admitted he was unsuccessful in generating demand among his colleagues despite such accounting anomalies as a $13 million entry for “un-earmarked expenses” in an audit conducted by UNRWA’s own board. An amendment to the 2006 Foreign Assistance Act called for $2 million in additional funds for UNRWA specifically for an investigation of finances, but the amendment was withdrawn at the request of the State Department.

So now it is 2007 and here we are: Palestinians are killing and helping others kill, dug in among their own people – who wail with predictable regularity that they are the victims of someone else. They are, in fact, victims of UNRWA and intrepid journalists might usefully begin their investigations there.

The JINSA meeting last year opened with the comment, “As long as Palestinians do not have to face the hard choice of resettling somewhere, anywhere that will have them – the fate of all other refugees – they can cling to the belief that the establishment of Israel was a ‘mistake’ by the international community, and the international community can be made to correct it. Israel is not a mistake to be corrected.”

All other things, including fourth-generation Palestinian “refugees,” “foreign fighters” and Syrian influence, flow from this.