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The ‘Slow Death’ of Palestinians in Lebanon by Khaled Abu Toameh, (Gatestone Inst.)

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July 19, 2019

  • The Lebanese authorities’ measures against Palestinians again highlight the discrimination Palestinians have long been facing in this Arab country. “Palestinians in Lebanon,” according to a 2017 report by the Associated Press, “suffer discrimination in nearly every aspect of daily life…” Lebanese law restricts Palestinians’ ability to work in several professions, including law, medicine and engineering, and bars them from receiving social security benefits. In 2001, the Lebanese parliament also passed a law prohibiting Palestinians from owning property.
  • Yet, somehow, Lebanon’s discriminatory and racist measures against Palestinians do not seem to bother pro-Palestinian groups around the world. These groups regularly turn a blind eye to the misery of Palestinians living in Arab countries. Instead, they set their sights on Israel, scrutinizing it for imagined abuses against Palestinians.
  • It is high time for the pro-Palestinian groups on university campuses in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia to organize an “Arab Apartheid Week” instead of accusing Israel of “discriminating” against Palestinians. It is also high time for the international media to take notice of anti-Palestinian measures taken by Lebanon against the Palestinians at a time when Israel is increasing the number of Palestinian workers allowed to enter Israel for work.
  • Who will address the following question: Why are the UN and other international institutions remaining silent as Palestinians are being thrown out of their jobs in an Arab country while more than 100,000 Palestinians enter Israel on a daily basis for work? Will we see an emergency meeting of the Arab League or the UN Security Council to denounce Lebanese apartheid and racism? Or are they too busy drafting resolutions condemning Israel, which has opened its doors wide open to Palestinian workers?

More than 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank have permits to work in Israel, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. In addition, the sources said, thousands of Palestinians enter Israel every day without permits.

On July 15, the number of Palestinian workers who entered Israel, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry, was estimated at more than 80,000.

Last week, as part of efforts to reach a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, Israel was reported to have agreed to increase the number of Palestinian merchants and businessmen allowed to go from the Gaza Strip to Israel from 3,500 to 5,000.

Reports said that the latest Israeli gesture were the outcome of attempts by Egypt and the United Nations to prevent an all-out military confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

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