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Don't blame Israel for Palestinian misery at Yarmouk

To the editor: Jamal, a young Palestinian recently displaced from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria because of that country's civil war, says he wants "to return home, to Palestine." Instead of blaming "the West" for Palestinian refugees who are caught up in the Syrian war and are "not allowed home," Jamal should look to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. ("Inside Yarmouk: Islamic State deepens Palestinian misery," op-ed, April 17)

As reported in 2013 by the Associated Press, Israel agreed that Palestinians fleeing Syria could be admitted into the Palestinian territories so long as they relinquished any "right to return" to Israel. In response, Abbas reportedly said, "It's better to die in Syria than give up their right of return."

Flooding Israel with hostile Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants is tantamount to the elimination of the Jewish state.

In 1948, when it launched a failed war to destroy the nascent Jewish state, and in 2013, the Palestinian leadership prioritized rejectionism over the welfare of the Palestinian people.

Tamar Sternthal, Jerusalem

The writer is director of the Israel office of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

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To the editor: When the Jews were expelled from all of the Arab countries upon the creation of the state of Israel, the Jews in Israel welcomed the refugees with open arms. Yet, not one Arab country absorbed those Palestinians who left Israel, many of whom were told it was going to be temporary until the war with Israel was won.

Jamal even says, "No neighboring Arab country will open its doors to Palestinian refugees, even as they take in Syrians." Has anyone ever asked why?

Even now, with Islamic State killing those in the Yarmouk refugee camp, the Arab countries are not opening their doors to the Palestinians. They keep them as pawns in the battle with Israel.

Let's put the blame where it really lies: at the feet of the Arab countries that will not take in the Palestinian refugees.

Zach Samuels, Los Angeles

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