The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: The Evidence

  evidence-based reports | authored and compiled by
constantine kaniklidis
scholars for peace in the middle east (spme) | director, progressive voices for peace in the middle east (pvpme)

the arab betrayal of palestinians

►The Facts

All Arab governments betray the Palestinians. Lebanon officially subjects Palestinians to state Apartheid laws and denies them core human and civil rights, with no right to own property, nor receive proper medical treatment, as the tragic tale of the death of 11-year old Palestinian Mohammed Nabil Taha, denied treatment at the entrance of a Lebanese hospital (2011), decried by courageous activists and journalists (including notably, Palestinian journalist Klaled Abu Toameh: “What About The Arab Apartheid?”; “The Palestinian Refugees: Why Is Everyone Lying To Them?”; and “Where Is The Outcry Against Arab Apartheid?”; Stonegate Institute, 2011). This while hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in brutal conditions in UNRWA-administered and perpetuated camps in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon - including Hamas controlled Gaza and the PLO controlled West Bank - rightless victims of racism and officially sanctioned repression.

Horrific persecution in Arabian lands has a long and disgraceful history, from the callous expulsion of over 400,000 Palestinians in a single week (March 1991) from Kuwait, and in other Gulf countries, without a single UN resolution in protest. Persecutions continued through to the infamous Jordanian massacre of thousands of Palestinians in the early 1970s (commemorated as “Black September”), again without UN condemnation, sustained up to today in the 400,000+ Palestinians living in Lebanon in twelve refugee camps under living conditions judged "catastrophic" by relief agencies, with refugees assigned the status of "foreigners” systemically depriving them of health care, social services, property ownership and education (testimony of Mahmoud al-Jomaa, Director of the Burj Al-Shamali children's relief center in Lebanon; also, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/CJPME, and innumerable other in-field reports). These same Lebanese laws ban Palestinians from working in numerous jobs, public services and all government-run institutions (including all schools and hospitals), and in contrast to Israeli policy, Lebanese public hospitals do not admit Palestinians for medical treatment or surgery.

In Arab countries Palestinians are barred from obtaining citizenship, and even Jordan has in this past year (2011) begun to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of thousands of citizens of Palestinian descent, steadily reversing its role as the only Arab country ever to grant Palestinian Jordanian citizenship (Jordan receives payment for each of the Palestinian refugees, seen through this lens as commercial commodities). And only after 60+ years of comparable denial of rights has the new Egyptian government amended the Nationality Law which hereto denied Egyptian citizenship to children of mixed Palestinian-Egyptian marriages. And in The Territories, despite over $10 billion dollars in foreign aid, no refugee camp in the West Bank or Gaza has been replaced or retired.

►The Lessons
As I have already documented in my exposure of UNRWA (on this site), multiple Lebanese officials have admitted the deliberate perpetuation of these conditions as political lawfare against Israel: Lebanese parliament member Ghassan Moukheiber's admission that "our official policy is to maintain Palestinians in a vulnerable, precarious situation to diminish prospects for their naturalization or permanent settlement (interview with International Crisis Group (ICG), 10/2009), also extensively documented in official ICG reports, and in Judith Miller's and David Samuel's Special Report (No Way Home: The tragedy of the Palestinian Diaspora, 22 Oct 2009) for The Independent which concluded such policy as a new and willful second "Nakba" (in the correct sense of “catastrophe”) at the hands of Arab governments ruthlessly exploiting Palestinian as faceless political pawns. The malicious intent has been multiply exposed (Mahmoud Abbas’ admission that "On numbers of refugees, it is illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million, or indeed 1 million – that would mean the end of Israel; Report of Mahmoud Abbas-NSU (Palestinian Negotiation Support Unit) meeting, March 24, 2009); Al Jazeera TV; also elsewhere on this site).

As I have already argued, these conditions of structural marginalization and legal discrimination will not be resolved by a mythical right of return (I have demonstrated that no such right exists in international law; “Non-Right of Return”, 8/25/11), and the claim has been rejected by international law experts for juridical incoherence (under international law neither refugee status nor refugee rights are heritable) and lack of warrant: despite claims to the contrary, neither General Assembly Resolution 194 III, nor Security Council resolutions 237 and 242, nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, grant any such right, nor even mention a “right of return”, only a mutually negotiable element as part of “just settlement” between parties to the conflict.

Time for Arab governments to finally "do the right thing" - for Palestinians. And for Peace.

evidence-based reports: our reporting

Imperative in this context is a new equity in geopolitics that eschews disproportionate approbation of one actor to the exclusion of all others while also acknowledging the competitive narratives of national ambition and identity in the Middle East, with the need for new engagement and negotiation. 

This misplaced and uncritical reliance on ideological and prejudicial sources has evolved to be a formidable obstacle to peace in the Middle East. It has led to what others have termed a new “soft powerlessness” for Israel whose legitimacy has been successively eroded and who stands accused and convicted in the international arena. And it helps account for the current moribund state of peace negotiation. We therefore realized that what is needed to overcome these barriers to peace is effective confrontation through the exposure and refutation of lawfare as practiced by anti-peace NGOs and obstructionist initiatives like BDS. This will in turn require a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land, in order to achieve a fair and durable peace in the Middle East for Israel, and for the Palestinians.

To that end, I as Director of Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME) and a member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), have authored and compiled a series of evidence-based reports (EBRs) on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict which are founded on an objective critical systemic review of the core issues and a critical appraisal of the relevant arguments, sustained by scrupulous attention to and respect for principles of international and human rights law.  This demands (1) systematic review of all credible sources on an issue, (2) critical appraisal of all sources extracted for factual basis, (3) cross-confirmation of accuracy wherever viable, and (4) use of the highest caliber of sources available, with preference to peer-reviewed literature.

These evidence-based reports hone to the principles of the evidence-based paradigm and methodology as it has evolved from initial domain of application (medicine) into a broad spectrum of evidence-based practice and research
, in the form of evidence-based sociology, evidence-based education and evidence-based teaching, evidence-based psychology, evidence-based crime policy / policing, evidence-based  decision making /policy, evidence-based social work, among many others. We  also commit to industry-standards promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their SPJ Code of Ethics, and also those of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) in their 5 Principles of Ethical Journalism, as well as the principles articulated in The Poynter Institute's The New Ethics of Journalism: A Guide for the 21st Century.    

progressive voices for peace (PVPME)

Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME), a Brooklyn based initiative, grew out of the recognition that these next-generation obstacles to peace require effective confrontation through counter-lawfare initiatives and the need for a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land.

Director, Constantine Kaniklidis

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Constantine Kaniklidis | Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East | 2018.  All rights reserved.