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Palestinian Concentration Camp Burj Al-Barajneh: Will it Survive Jared Kushner & Donald Trump?

posted on: Aug 15, 2018

By: Michael Springmann/ Arab America Contributing Writer

On July 29, 2018, I was fortunately invited to attend the “Arab International Forum For Justice To [sic] Palestine.” Held in Beirut, the program included a visit to the Palestinian “refugee” camp Burj al-Barajneh, located near the city’s Rafik Hariri International Airport. There, this writer saw Israeli apartheid in action.

Palestinian Concentration Camp Burj Al-Barajneh: Will it Survive Jared Kushner & Donald Trump?
Entrance to Camp Author Photo

Established in 1948 by the League of Red Cross Societies, the camp, in reality, is a small town filled with Palestinians ethnically-cleansed from the Galilee area.  Burj suffered heavily during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) and Israel’s vicious 2006 attack. Constructed on about one square kilometer of land (ca. less than half a square mile), people must build up, not out. Consequently, the structural style is multi-story ramshackle.

Palestinian Concentration Camp Burj Al-Barajneh: Will it Survive Jared Kushner & Donald Trump?
Main Road, Camp Interior Author Photo

The camp accommodates a remarkably overcrowded population.  Estimates of its inmates range from 30,000 to 50,000 souls, whose living conditions are extremely poor. How poor? The “roads,” really alleys, for the most part, are exceptionally narrow.  Often, the author could extend his arms and touch both walls simultaneously.

Palestinian Concentration Camp Burj Al-Barajneh: Will it Survive Jared Kushner & Donald Trump?
Author Photo

The sewage system is old and leaky. The water of indeterminate origin, mixed with mud, trickles through the uneven lanes.  

Additionally, the passageways flood in winter and the rat’s nest of wires, slung throughout the encampment, is often wrapped around water pipes.  Consequently, this author was told, people turning on a tap occasionally get an electric shock.

Men in the camp work outside as casual laborers in construction.  Women are employed as cleaners or in sewing factories. Lebanon grants no rights to them, neither citizenship nor work permits. They are, in fact, banned from employment in most fields and may not own real property.

Since this writer’s visit, the remarkably bad situation in Burj will likely get worse, rather than better.  

According to Foreign Policy:

In internal emails, Jared Kushner, President Donald J.  Trump’s Zionist son-in-law, has advocated for a “sincere effort to disrupt” UNRWA, the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians. Established in 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency “has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades…It has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees…”

Yet now, Kushner, whose knowledge of the region is minuscule and likely derived from his good friends Bibi Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, wants to abolish the Palestinians’ refugee status. He requires the issue off the table during any future “negotiations” between apartheid Israel and the Palestinians. Charged with “solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Trump’s son-in-law wrote in a series of emails:  “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA…[in one] dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.  (Another Zionist.)…[Kushner said] This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace…

Israelis, Foreign Policy commented, “see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.” [And which is a violation of international law. “The Right of Return is a universally recognized right in international refugee law, human rights law, the law of nationality, and the law of state responsibility. It is also provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 13)…and consistently referred to in UN resolutions.” 

The Izzies (Israelis) are horrified that UNRWA grants refugee status, not only to that ethnically-cleansed in 1948, but to their descendants, also a matter of international law. (That total now is at least five million, spread over Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, “the West Bank”, and the Gaza prison camp). The U.S. State Department contradicts the Israeli entity:  “In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.”

The Donald is continuing his moves against the Palestinians, following his recognition of Al-Quds as the eternal capital of the Zios. He apparently intends to change the Palestinian issue, ensuring that it is in apartheid Israel’s favor. Kushner’s view fulfills this “…Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are…sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”

Certain members of the U.S. Congress seem to support this. They’ve introduced bills to implement Kushner’s lunacies. However, “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

And what will the other Arab states do about this? As the author told Al-Araby TV on August 4, 2018, they will do what they’ve always done–nothing.

Michael Springmann is an attorney, author, political commentator, and former diplomat. He has written Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World and a second book Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb. Both are available on Amazon. The books’ website is: www.michaelspringmann.com