Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How's the campaign for Palestinian equality going?

Last May I noted a Daily Star article, which included the following:
Palestinians in Lebanon are barred from working in 70 professional vocations. They cannot work as lawyers and doctors, and cannot own or inherit property.
Despite the large number of UN Resolutions which are essentially expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians, the whole issue of their rights in Lebanon doesn't seem to surface very often. An article from Al-Jazeera a few months ago, however, contains the following:
As recently as 2005, Palestinian refugees were banned from taking up employment in 70 professions. Today, the number of restricted professions stands at 20 and includes senior medical, legal and engineering careers . . .

While these restrictions were recently eased, applicants must have a valid work permit and membership of the appropriate professional representative body. Both are beyond the financial means of most Palestinian refugees.
The indispensable Elder of Ziyon has just flagged an important series of articles, published last month in Al-Hayat and translated and excerpted at MEMRI, calling for "Resettlement of Palestinian Refugees" in Arab countries. It includes the following:
"[My] passion for [refugee] resettlement is not a rejection of the Right of Return, but rather of the inhuman treatment of the Palestinians in the 'countries of the refugee camps.' Foremost among these countries is Lebanon, which bars the Palestinians from 72 professions, so as to prevent them from living in dignity - despite the fact that you wouldn't find such a long list of professions even on Mars …
The Al Jazeera article also noted:
The Sabra Shatila Foundation, after consultation with human rights organisations including International Lawyers Sans Frontieres and members of Lebanon's legislature, will table a draft law in parliament which promises, in the words of the foundation, to: "erase, in one vote, decades of illegal and immoral treatment of more than 10 per cent of Lebanon's population".
Whatever became of that law? If there are any further developments in this story, they aren't making the headlines, are they?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

No comments: