Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Palestinian Illegal Immigrants

As it has been reported in news outlets throughout the world, palestinian militants blew up a large section of the border wall between Gaza and Egypt. Taking advantage of the situation, over 350,000 Palestinians crossed over in order to buy food and other supplies. Egyptian forces at first tried to halt this mass exodus, but where overwhelmed. In explaining the situation, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in a statement:

I told them to let them come in and eat and buy food and then return them later as long as they were not carrying weapons. … But today a great number of them came back because the Palestinians in Gaza are starving due to the Israeli siege. Egyptian troops accompanied them to buy food and then allowed them to return to the Gaza Strip.

I must say, it gladdens my heart to see Arabs going at each other for the entire world to see. It is important that the world understands that the problems in the Arab world have nothing to do with Israel.

What is so interesting to me about this whole affair is the fact that the Egyptians tried to keep the Palestinians from crossing the border and when they finally relented they still made sure that the Palestinians went home. Here in the United States, conservatives have been criticized for taking a hard line stance on illegal immigrants coming over the border from Mexico; these people are coming over for work and it is inhuman to deny them that. Not that the United States is against all immigrants or even all immigrants from Latin America. It is official government policy that anyone who manages to flee Castro’s Cuba can automatically stay. This has led to thousands of Cubans braving ninety miles of shark infested water in homemade rafts in hopes of making it to Florida and freedom. One has to wonder, why do the Egyptians not show the same humanitarian concern to their Arab brothers that the United States shows to illegal immigrants; clearly the Palestinian situation is a far graver humanitarian crisis. The Egyptians would not even have to give them citizenship. They could give all Palestinians the option of coming over to Egypt to live and work. Mubarak had his soldiers specifically escort Palestinians to make sure they did not stay in Egypt; what is he so afraid of? Surely those Palestinians who crossed should have been given the option of staying.

There should be a moratorium on anyone telling Israel to ease up on border restrictions and allow Palestinians to work in Israel and get food until the Arabs ease up on their borders and do their share to relieve the Palestinian humanitarian crisis.

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