The Arab world has tolerated Palestinian refugees for decades but often treated them with contempt; this must change and soon. Here’s a possible shift:
Despite some contentious rhetoric in Parliament on Tuesday, a turning point appears to have arrived in a decades-long battle to secure sufficient political backing to approve key civil rights for Palestinians here, a number of officials and analysts told The Daily Star on Wednesday.
Parliament on Tuesday debated bills that would allow Palestinians to own property, get work permits in any profession and receive social-security payments; deputies decided to send the draft laws to a committee for further discussion, but MPs from across the political spectrum expressed their support for Palestinians’ human rights, although some Christian legislators warned against the naturalization of the refugees.
In spite of the undying bogeyman of naturalization fears, Parliament will likely soon ratify an expansion of Palestinians’ civil rights, said Hilal Khashan, who teaches political studies at the American University of Beirut and is of Palestinian descent.
“We’re witnessing a period where a breakthrough is in the making,” he said. “The time has arrived now for such an action. They might water it down, but the momentum is there.”