donderdag 13 januari 2011

Refugees from Reality

Aida "vluchtelingenkamp"

The Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem consists of massive houses and is more like a neighborhood than a camp – not even a slum. For Khouloud Al Ajarma, 23, who according to her business card is the “Arts & Media Center Coordinator” of the Lajee community center, “to remain a refugee is a political decision.”
Hence, for her and the other residents of Aida, it is out of the question to start a new life elsewhere, or to even become ordinary citizens of Bethlehem – because then they lose their refugee status conferred on them by UNRWA.
“We want no normalization,” says Khouloud. “We want to remain refugees to exercise our right of return one day.” “Our people do not want a two-state solution. Our leadership is not acting in our name.”

I get a little queasy. Before me is a young woman with a Western education that speaks with a quiet and serene voice of blood and soil as if she were discussing an upcoming business meeting. She speaks of a single state from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, in which all Palestinians can return to live.
Today there are 4-5 million people who hold the status of “Palestine refugees.” If it were up to her, they would all be allowed to settle in Israel. “We can all live together in a democratic state of Palestine” which would, she says, of course, have a “Palestinian majority.”
(Ingo Way – Cicero-Germany-ElderofZiyon)
Translated from the German magazine Cicero.