(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
On Thursday (December 8, 2011), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon told an event at the United Nations that it is time to end the morally unacceptable and unequal treatment of refugees, whereby the Palestinian refugee problem is perpetuated without any possible resolution.
Ayalon is at the United Nations in Geneva where he addressed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ministerial-level event on the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The Deputy Foreign Minister also released a new video at a press conference at the United Nations in Geneva highlighting the hypocrisy inherent in the current two-tier refugee system.
"While the UNHCR has found durable solutions for tens of millions of refugees, the agency created specifically for the Palestinian context, UNRWA, has found durable solutions for no one," Ayalon told the high-level ministerial meeting at the UN.
"This has meant that a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians remains further away. This is morally and politically unacceptable."
In addition, Ayalon’s new video, titled ‘The Truth About the Refugees’, the third in a series that has been viewed by almost three quarters of a million viewers, was released at the UN during a press conference held today. In the video, Ayalon explains that the Palestinian refugee problem is an issue for which there remains no intention to resolve.
"Palestinian refugees are trapped between Arab leaders unwilling to accept their brothers and UN agencies who do not apply equal and universal principals to all refugees," Ayalon explains in the video.
"Why can’t the Palestinian refugees share an agency with the refugees of Bosnia, Congo or Darfur? The answer is, because while the United Nation’s central refugee agency helps refugees resettle, the United Nation’s Palestinian refugee agency helps perpetuate their status by applying unique criteria."
Ayalon also raised the issue of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands who were forced out of their homes over the last six decades. "The refugee issue is a core element towards finding a solution to our conflict and in its broader context would have to address both the Palestinians and the Jewish refugees from Arab lands," Ayalon told the United Nations ministerial-level event. "Jewish refugees also require redress."
The video produced in English, includes translations in numerous languages including Arabic, Spanish, French, Russian and German. The video will also be shown in hundreds of schools and educational centers worldwide as part of their curriculum on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The video was produced in cooperation with StandWithUs, an international organization dedicated to Israel education worldwide, by filmmaker Shlomo Blass of Rogatka Ltd.
The video is the third in a series that presents the truth about certain issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first video in the series was ‘The Truth About the West Bank’ followed by ‘The Truth About the Peace Process’.