To remain refugees for ever

In the refugee camp next to Damascus, people are concerned about the disappearance of the Palestinian refugee narrative.  The refugees of 1948 who are gradually disappearing are troubled by the fact that the third generation in the refugee camp struggles to identify with the refugee experience sanctified in the Palestinian national narrative.  In order to prevent them from, G-d forbid, developing new lives, as part of the strategy of perpetuating the refugeedom, in the Dannoun refugee camp in Syria, an association is collecting exhibits and documents from prior to the War of Independence  in order to bequeath them to the next generation.  We read about this in an Abu Dhabi newspaper which describes how members of the third generation feel more Syrian than Palestinian – and rightly so.

In actual fact, the sole reason that they are not Syrian is because Syria, like the rest of the Arab countries, has not granted the refugees real civilian status but preferred to leave them permanently under the protection of UNRWA, as second-class residents on the outskirts of Damascus.  And why do they preserve the refugee heritage?  In order to use it as a weapon in the fight against Israel – the fight that has already made the Palestinian refugees miserable for tens of years – a fight in which the terror organizations are the sole winners.

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