November 10, 2008
Today Bloggers Unite For Refugees!
I am not proficient in international affairs. I know very little about the world and all its pieces. My general feeling tends to minimize world conflicts. I have a very hard time grasping ideological and religious wars. Thankfully the internet is at our fingertips and the in depth views of the world are just a few clicks away.
I am so happy to be sharing with everyone on "Refugees Unite".
Our recent election made me so curious as to what is really the state of our global relations.
I know that America is bound to Israel due to some sort of pact, but the human side distresses me.
My limited research finds me with, yet again, something simplistic in my view. I suppose that is what makes this country so great. Yes, we have our issues, but I can be one religion, my son another, my mother another and we could conceivably live in the same house, city, county, state, country with many others of different beliefs.
In our fellow neighboring worlds, they find that they must war, many times over the same piece of land, because it houses a religious or cultural significance.
I think back to the warring in Ireland, the Bosnian war, the Kurds, Shiites, Sunni and in the Palestinian/Israeli conflicts, all within my life-time, many stemming from long before any of us were born. WOW.
For the Jews and Palestinians, from what I can surmise, is a fight to preserve access to the same lands due to Abraham and Muhammad having walked the same streets and worshipped, descended, ascended or potentially slain their offspring in similar sites.
That is all valid and beautiful but killing and maiming, displacing, and massacring your neighbor for things that happened centuries ago seems so inflamed.
Some of the proposals I read about promote a bi-national state. Would it be so horrific to just allow everyone access and co-existence while establishing that there are differences and all should be able to worship and reside as they see fit?
I just don't understand how some of the Palestinians have been displaced for decades. Still living in camps that are tents. It just seems archaic in today's sophisticated society.
The second part to my idea today is that I am still bothered by Gayle Quinnell's statement at that McCain rally where she referred to President Obama as an Arab.
My search uncovered that the Arab nations are highlighted. Neither Kenya, Iran, or Afghanistan are members of the Arab League. I found that very interesting. Where does our bias come from??
According to some of my sources, such as Israeli-Palestinian ProCon.org there are many complicated pieces that surround this delicate issue.
Some of the Palestinians of the region are Christians. Some Palestinians are Muslim.
Some Israelis are also Oriental/Arab Jews. From most accounts I read, the region is just too multi-ethnic-racial-religious to be attempting such defined living arrangements.Which brings us to the refugee.
Here are the countries listed in the Arab League alongside the year they joined per ProCon.org
1. Egypt (1945) 9. Sudan (1956) 16. Oman (1971)
2. Iraq (1945) 10. Morocco (1958) 17. Qatar (1971)
3. Jordan (1945) 11. Tunisia (1958) 18. Mauritania (1973)
4. Lebanon (1945) 12. Kuwait (1961) 19. Somalia (1974)
5. Saudi Arabia (1945) 13. Algeria (1962) 20. Palestine (1976)
6. Syria (1945) 14. Bahrain (1971) 21. Djibouti (1977)
7. Yemen (1945) 15. U.A.E. (1971) 22. Comoros (1993)
8. Libya (1953)
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is vastly effective and has been for decades in feeding, educating and providing medical assistance for the Palestinian refugee.
The Palestinian Refugee has been in transition since the conflict of 1948. That is a long time to be without country or without home.
There is an amazing site called "The Road To Refuge" where you can trace the tracks of many of today's refugees.
Palestinians are the world's largest refugee population according to this BBC NEWS World service.
Many of those who fled Palestine in 1948 once Israel was created, continue living in the squalid camps of Jordan, Gaza, and the West Bank. This is so mindboggling to me that these people are now second or third generation refugees. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their homes in 1948 once the Israel conflict ended and again in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
These unfortunate souls have spread all over the world, but are concentrated in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the West Bank. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) remain responsible for providing assistance to these people.
Check out these staggering statistics provided by the UNRWA:
Number of Palestinian refugees: 3.7m
1.6m in Jordan
824,622 in Gaza
583,009 in West Bank
383,199 in Syria
376,472 in Lebanon
Source: UNRWA 2000
This made me wonder, as questioned in an earlier piece by our friend Tom Brennan, how I can we be so afraid of people who are so destitute and desperate?
Any acts of violence are such that they are merely reaching out to the world for assistance and a swift end to inhumanity.
I learned all of this in less than an hour. My thoughts are what if we began teaching truth in our schools. Educated societies are better societies.
I pledge to spread my knowledge today and ask you to spread as well by educating me as to what you know. I so enjoy it, and as you know, would love to post what you have to say.
Send what you know to me and everyone who will listen. No one should have to raise their entire family, from generation to generation, in a tent. OR if you have other views, they are also welcome here. We should all be open to learning.
This has nothing to do with who is right or wrong or whether rights to this or that are maintained. This has everything to do with basic human rights and doing what we can for the refugees of the world. Especially the children.
Whose God would allow a child to hurt in his name?
No one's, so lets eliminate children's pain beginning with today ~