|View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Friday, April 02, 2004
In today's corrections:
This has got to be one of the most-researched, most reported-on statistics in the entire Middle East. The Times has never, to the best of my knowledge, understated the number. Every time they get it wrong, they get it wrong to Israel's detriment.
But there are more subtle problems here, too. First, someone who is absorbed into another country, obtaining citizenship, is not, by definition, a refugee. It's also possible that many of those claiming to be refugees were local Arabs, looking for free handouts from the UN. While we'll never be sure of the actual total, 550,000 - 600,000 is probably a close estimate.
That last 300,000 have a sad story, to the extent that they remained "refugees." Rather than being able to take advantage of a system, they've instead been sucked into it, prisoners of camps that their fellow Arabs refuse to dismantle. If they had citizenship, if they gave that up for a few handouts from the Blue Helmets, that has to be one of the worst Faustian bargains of all time.
Still, don't count on the Times using the lower number any time soon.
Cross-Posted at Oh, That Liberal Media.