Posts Tagged ‘al-Shabaka’

At the al-Shabaka policy network website, Fateh Azzam (Director of the newly established Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University in Beirut) has a “bold proposal”: that Palestine should give all Palestinian refugees Palestinian citizenship:

Now that Palestine is recognized as a state, the next bold step for Palestine is to confer citizenship on its stateless refugees and enter into bilateral agreements with other states regarding the status of Palestinian citizens in each country. In making the case for such a move, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Fateh Azzam is well aware of the treacherous political waters that this proposal entails. However, he argues that it is worth considering from all its aspects, including the potential problems, as it could be a long over-due move to strengthen the legal status of Palestinian refugees – in particular the stateless refugees – and to improve their situation in their countries of current residence. It would also create facts on the ground, which may become the building blocks for national liberation.

His excellent analysis is sensitive to the difficulties such an initiative would encounter: Arab opposition to dual citizenship (and the possible erosion of their legal rights in Jordan); the risks it might pose the Palestinian claims of a right of return; possible retaliatory measures by Israel or the US; the practical difficulties of implementation. However, he argues, the benefits would be much greater, reinforcing the legal linkage between Palestine and refugees in the diaspora, and possibly improving the treatment of Palestinians in some countries. The right of return, he argues, is an individual right, and cannot and would not be diminished by acts of the state of Palestine.

All-in-all, a very important piece that is well worth reading.

Oroub El-Abed, author of the seminal study Unprotected: Palestinians in Egypt Since 1948, has just released a briefing paper on the current situation of Palestinians in Egypt:

Little has been written about Palestinians in Egypt. The few thousand who sought refuge in Egypt after the 1948 Nakba were not welcomed by King Farouq’s government. However, with Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rise to power, Palestinians came to be treated on par with citizens of Egypt, enjoying basic rights, employment in the public sector, and property rights. After 1978 they were denied the rights once afforded to them by the Egyptian state as well as their rights as refugees. In this policy brief, Oroub El-Abed examines the legal status of Palestinians in Egypt, including positive signs of change in the wake of the Egyptian revolution. She argues that the Egyptian government must do more in order to live up to its responsibilities to this “invisible community,” whose numbers are unknown but who may be as many as 80,000.

You’ll find the full brief on the al-Shabaka (The Palestinian Policy Network) here.