What are the Odds?
By FRANKLIN LAMB
Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp, Beirut
"As of mid-April 2010 there are no fewer than six draft laws, half of them ‘embargoed for now’ being circulated and debated in Lebanon, any one of which if adopted by Parliament, would grant Lebanon’s Palestinians, for the first time since their 1948 expulsion from Palestine, some elementary civil rights including the right to work, to have an ID, and to own a home....
Before the PLO administration left Lebanon in August of 1982, it created directly or indirectly more than 40,000 jobs or approximately 18 per cent of Lebanon’s GNP. The PLO budget may have been larger than that of the Lebanese state itself. Palestinians also contributed to “invigorating” the areas surrounding their camps by creating low-cost markets for low-income and other marginalized communities in Lebanon. The “Sabra, Ein el-Hilweh and Nahr al-Bared camp markets are recognized as major informal economic hubs for the poor,” said the report, adding that the destruction of Nahr al-Bared during the battles of 2007 had “resulted in a gap in the Akkar” region in northern Lebanon for such communities.
The debate continues.....the cause endures....."