Discrimination Against Palestinians in Lebanon – Opinion

I have always felt that it is weird that one of our main political force in Lebanon is Pro-Palestine, and with the right of their Return, which is guaranteed by the fourth Geneva convention.  Yet Palestinians in Lebanon live in Ghettos, have zero access to good work, because they are…Palestinians. Why this restriction on Palestinians ? Why this constant conscious impoverishment by the Lebanese Authorities ? Why can’t they access to more than 70 professions ? Because they are…Palestinians.

Palestinian Labor force in Lebanon. Restricted Professions. Courtesy of Visualize Palestine

Here’s a sentence from an excellent Electronic Intifada article written by Moe Ali Nayel and with infographics by Visualizing Palestine .

Palestinians, alienated by the Lebanese political and official discourse, are treated either as a burden, a threat, or potential agents provocateurs plotting to ruin Lebanon from inside their sunless refugee camps.

This is sadly true. I have often heard that Palestinians are the cause of the civil war, that “they’re bad people” and provocateurs.

But are we keeping them in ghettos because they acted in the very complicated civil war ? Who did not fight in the Lebanese Civil War ? No one! But we are not confining this sect or this sect in a ghetto.

I have often heard that we are keeping them without jobs so that “they can’t get too much happy here so that they can return to Palestine”. I am deeply sure that Palestinians, if they had the possibility to return tomorrow, they would ! A good job here, or a decent life won’t make them stay,  it is very hypocrite to claim that. But maybe Lebanese people are comparing themselves to Palestinians. We have 12 Millions Lebanese living abroad, installed in many countries like in Brazil, and they won’t come back. But who wants to come back in a country like Lebanon ??

Armenians here in Lebanon, have their rights, nationalities, jobs.  Yet they are still engaged to Armenia, claiming their rights, like the recognition of the genocide. They speak their language, their culture is still attached to them. They live here, not because they don’t want to return to Armenia, because a lot of them can’t return because of poverty.  Yet there are Armenians, fully installed here, with jobs, good income, that go back to Armenia.

I can understand people that say, “if we give them nationalities, Israel will win, because they will claim that they have not the right to come back because Palestinians are attached to the Lebanese authorities, and they are now under the responsibility of Lebanon and only Lebanon and no more considered as real refugees”

Alright, let’s say no nationality, but no rights at all ?

Imagine yourself dear Lebanese people, Israel expels you out of the country, or force you to leave because of massacres and fear. You installed yourself in Syria ( which is not very good with the Palestinians refugees either ), after generations, you still cannot return to Lebanon, so what will you do instinctively ? Expand, have a good job and a good home, you will want to live with decency, with dignity. Not in a ghetto.

And please, tell me not that us Lebanese have enough problems to deal with others. I am not very proud that my state act shamefully with Arabs, people that asked for nothing expect dignity.

Me, young Lebanese adult, advice the Lebanon authorities to reform the laws against the freedom of profession for Palestinians in Lebanon. More jobs, more competition will do good for our bad economy.

And for our morality.

Palestinian Labor Force in Lebanon. Courtesy of Visualize Palestine

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One thought on “Discrimination Against Palestinians in Lebanon – Opinion

  1. Pingback: Solidarity with Gaza Palestine from Beirut. | Thoughts of a Young Lebanese Adult

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