We’ve been beating up on the Associated Press lately, and rightly so, but let’s not forget those miscreants at AFP, the French news service. Today they had a brief picture story on a visit by actress Angelina Jolie and her young son to “Palestinian orphans living in refugee camps in Lebanon.” AFP explains that Jolie “wanted to meet refugee children and introduce her Cambodian-born son, Maddox, to those less advantaged than himself.” Fair enough. But the AFP’s account ends with this history lesson:
About 400,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon deprived of basic rights in squalid camps — a legacy of the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel that caused a mass exodus of Palestinians to neighbouring countries.
What a contemptible rewriting of history! The Israeli Jews had a vision of a multicultural society that would include Arabs, and they provided for full civil rights for Arabs in their new country, as they do today. It was not the “establishment of the state of Israel” that caused an exodus of “Palestinians,” but rather, the fact that on the day following the establishment of Israel, her Arab neighbors launched a genocidal attack with the intention of destroying the nation of Israel and murdering all of her Jewish citizens. The invading Arab armies broadcast instructions to Arab residents of Israel to flee the country, with the intention of returning later, after the Jews were all killed. Oops–the war didn’t go so well for the Arabs. Hence the difficulty encountered by those who obeyed the call to vacate their homes.
As for why the grandchildren of these “refugees” are still living in “squalid” camps, deprived of their “basic rights” more than a half-century later, that is a story of corruption and fecklessness rarely, if ever, rivalled in world history. But it is not difficult to identify the single individual most responsible for their plight–Yasser Arafat, whose career as a terrorist and kleptocrat left him a billionaire.
Somehow, however, I doubt that Ms. Jolie has a very clear understanding of why those Palestinian children are so underprivileged, compared to her own.
DEACON adds: Reader Paul Kotik has this to say about the “camps:”
The so-called ‘squalid refugee camps’ in Lebanon, of which I have some modest personal experience, are virtually indistinguishable in terms of physical infrastructure from what are, in Israel, called ‘slums’. Camps, they may have been in the beginning, and the Arabs love to keep calling them ‘camps’ because it evokes images of raggedy tents and so on. Now, they are neighborhoods. Houses. Electricity, Satellite dishes. The comparable areas in Israel, such as Kfar Shalem where my wife grew up, were also refugee camps – the refugees being Jews who fled the Arab countries in the ’40′s as the Nazi-inspired massacres got a little too troublesome.
The difference today is that the Jewish refugee camps in Israel are transforming themselves into solid middle-class and even luxury communities. The reason, in my view, is that nobody has any interest in keeping these people in squalor. Angry slum-dwellers are a real pain in the ass to democratic governments, whereas they are a key item in a dictator’s toolbox. The Israeli poor, in their infinite wisdom, never got fooled by the socialist Labor Party claptrap.