Lebanon's Apartheid Laws
Translations of this item:
Lebanon is not the only Arab country that openly enforces Apartheid laws against Palestinians. What is disturbing about the Apartheid laws in Lebanon and the mistreatment of Palestinians by Arab countries is the silence of the media, the international community and human rights groups -- even UNRWA, which is supposed to look after the well-being of Palestinian refugees.
About three years ago, the Lebanese government decided to amend its Apartheid law that denies Palestinians the right to work in as many as 20 professions.
Then, Palestinians were told that from then on they would be able to work in many professions and even own property in Lebanon. But now Palestinians have discovered that the Lebanese government, like most Arab countries, has lied to them.
Although Palestinians have lived in Lebanon for more than six decades, they are still treated as foreigners when it comes to obtaining a work permit, according to Lebanon's The Daily Star newspaper.
Lebanon is not the only Arab country that openly enforces Apartheid laws against Palestinians.
Palestinians have, in fact, long been treated as third-class citizens in most of the Arab countries, where they are denied not only basic rights such as employment and health care, but also citizenship.
According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees [UNRWA], Lebanon's 450,000 Palestinian refugees have long been subject to many employment restrictions.
For example, Palestinians in Lebanon are banned from working as doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers or accountants.
By contrast, anyone visiting an Israeli hospital or medical center would quickly notice the presence of a significant number of Arab doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
Yet, although three years have passed since the law was amended, nothing has changed for the Palestinians in Lebanon. And there is no indication whatsoever that the Lebanese authorities intend to ease restrictions imposed on Palestinians in the forseeable future.
Human rights activists say the Lebanese government is now using the war in Syria and its impact on Lebanon to avoid abolishing the Apartheid laws. This, of course, is a weak excuse: the anti-Palestinian Apartheid laws have been in effect long before the crisis in Syria erupted.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled to Lebanon from neighboring Syria over the past two years, providing the Lebanese government with an excuse to avoid implementing the amendment to the Apartheid law.
The Lebanese, who have always despised Palestinians, are afraid of incorporating them into their economy and workforce. Many Lebanese hold the Palestinians and the PLO responsible for destroying their country, especially during the civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people during the 1970's and 1980's.
What is disturbing about the Apartheid laws in Lebanon and the mistreatment of Palestinians by Arab countries is the silence of the international community and media.
Even UNRWA, which is supposed to look after the well-being of Palestinian refugees, continues to turn a blind eye to Lebanon's Apartheid laws.
When contacted by The Daily Star for comment on the plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon, UNRWA's public information officer Hoda Samra said she had "no public statement to make regarding this particular issue."
This is the same UNRWA whose spokesmen regularly condemn Israeli military operations and house demolitions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas governments are also continuing to bury their heads in the sand with regards to the mistreatment of Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab countries. The two governments are too busy fighting each other while at the same time inciting Palestinians against Israel.
Reader comments on this item
|So what about... [19 words]||Rafael Manory||Jul 5, 2013 19:23|
|Always has been...always will be... [201 words]||George||Jun 25, 2013 18:05|
|Lebanese apartheid [20 words]||Grantman||Jun 21, 2013 12:44|
Comment on this item
by Louis René Beres
The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.
by Samuel Westrop
Over 800 Iranians were executed during President Rouhani's first year in office.
Leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen nevertheless seemed happy to attend and speak at the Europe-Iran Forum.