Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What about their Children?

In a discussion on Alex Stein's False Dichotomies, a poster (Gert) and I were discussing refugees. Gert assessed there were 4.3 million Palestinian refugees. I responded by showing the major 'issue' with that number. As per Wikipedia, a refugee is defined as:

The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention’s 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country.

In essence, this alone completely disproves Gert's assessment. Was he lying? Nope, he was using another valid law:

The major exception is the 4,300,000 Palestinian refugees under the authority of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who are the only group to be granted refugee status to the descendants of refugees according to the above definition.

The reasons for the above are up to debate, but the reason I introduced this blog with the above introduction was that this discussion about 'the children' and 'the children's children' bought along this question from the aforementioned Gert:

Do you not think the descendants of Holocaust survivors are entitled to compensation for the loss of property of their parents/grandparents?

Tough question only because I'd never really given it much thought. Should I be given any compensation for what my grandparents and their families endured, or lost, during the 1933-1945 period? My answer is no. The scars I carry due to what my family went through, or my nation for that matter, are insignificant compared to the scars they carry (or carried) throughout their lives. I didn't have to live in that world, nor deal with what the aftermath of the Holocaust. We, the survivors' families, will always carry that sorrow, in one way or another, but what happened in Germany, or Poland, or Rhodes happened to our families, not us. The real trauma was theirs, not ours.

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