I Want to Return to Palestine
By Wissam Ahmad

Everyday, the newspaper carries the scenario of our destiny (future) as Palestinians in Lebanon. The first scenario holds that the Palestinians in Lebanon would leave to Iraq which will need cheap labor after lifting the embargo imposed on it. The second scenario holds that the Palestinians in Lebanon would be deported to Jordan where they will live in camps without constituting a threat to the sectarian balance there. The third scenario holds that the Palestinians will be naturalized in Lebanon after receiving compensations for 50 years of suffering and homelessness, and that they will be given the Palestinian identity card stamped with "Permanent Residents in Lebanon" or they may dump us in some isolated place in Lebanon. The fourth scenario holds that after displacing big numbers of Palestinians to Canada and other foreign countries, the remaining ones would be nationalized in Lebanon.

Everyday, we receive new scenarios and varied news concerning our future from newspapers and radio-stations. Everyday we hear statements from the officials of the different countries declaring their country’s refusal of receiving the refugees. The Lebanese do not want us because we disturb the sectarian balance, Jordan does not want us because we cause problems, Israel wants our land for itself, and the Palestinian Authority abandoned us years ago. Every time I read and hear that others will decide our future for us, I feel that the refugees are like a herd of cattle lead wherever their shepherds, the USA, Israel, the Lebanese government and the Palestinian Authority, see appropriate. I feel that we are a herd of cattle that is incapable of expressing its view concerning its future. I then wonder: "Who has told our shepherds that we want to constitute cheap labor in Iraq or that we want to immigrate to Canada or some other country, or even that we want to stay in Lebanon? Don’t we have the right of self-determination or the right to chose what we want to be or where we want to be? Even the ones responsible for us and who negotiate on our behalf did not bother to ask us about what we want. Has the world become so determined to humiliate and look down at us? Where is the people’s right of self-determination? Where is our right to return to our land? Personally, I neither want to go to Jordan, Iraq, Canada nor to Norway. I have a land and a country and I have the right to return to it. I also have the right  of self-determination…. I, like many other Palestinians, want to return to Palestine.