To the editor:
Pity the poor Palestinians. They are pawns in an Arab game to destroy Israel. Nobody wants them. Lebanon keeps their Palestinians in refugee camps. To let them become Lebanese would disrupt the fragile parliamentary setup in that country. If the camps in Lebanon were closed, foreign aid into them would stop and the Palestinians would be dumped into the Lebanese economy.
When Jordan occupied the West Bank, the Palestinians there didn't become citizens. They were kept separate, for as long as they were not Jordanians, they could still be pawns in the Middle East scramble for territory. A Palestinian cannot move to Jordan.
As for the Gazans, Egypt doesn't want them, either. Egypt has 25 percent unemployment and its own major source of income (aside from foreign aid from the United States) is tourism. To let Gazans flood into Egypt would be a further burden on that economy. So Egypt keeps the Gazans penned in as pawns in the conflict against Israel.
Not wanting more rockets and other arms to flow into Gaza, Israel rightly blockades the coast. No wonder Gaza is frequently described as a prison, but it is a prison partly of its own making. There are four gates in the borders, three into Israel and one into Egypt. Until Hamas decided to bombard Israel with rockets, Gazans crossed the border regularly to jobs in Israel.
The Palestinians are divided into two areas: the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza, which is not occupied by Israel and is autonomous. The Palestinians on the West Bank wish to negotiate for a two-state solution that recognizes Israel as a Jewish homeland, and the Hamas Gazans want a single state and no Israel at all.