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Who is Responsible for the Palestinian Refugees?
Contributed by www.IsraelForum.com
While Arab propaganda sources bemoan what they term the â€œNakba,â€ i.e., â€œcatastropheâ€ of 1948, they seldom lay blame for their troubles on their own Arab leaders who are responsible for the lionâ€™s share of Arab misery. Historically speaking, the self-inflicted problem of Palestinian refugees began with a massive voluntary departure of an Arab population of squatters who were present in Israel in 1948. Letâ€™s briefly turn back the clock to understand the reasons that Palestinians chose to leave Israel and now prefer to wallow in misguided self-pity as so-called refugees in their own homelands.
Since the decline of the Ottoman Empire â€“ a conquering Muslim force much resembling the brutal and corrupt dictatorship of present-day Arab states, the composition of the Middle East was changed forever. The Colonial British Empire was viewed by the UN as a perfect candidate to rule and â€œadministerâ€ the land of Palestine, which was the name assigned to the Jewish homeland.
While the Ottoman rulers of the land were more than happy to sell land to Jewish residents at exorbitant prices, the new British rulers made a concerted effort with their Arab allies to discriminate against Jews in land allocation.
Still, the growing Jewish population thrived and surpassed the Arab lifestyle by leaps and bounds. The Jews combined hard work with advanced scientific and agricultural innovation, while the Arab population was simmering with racial hatred. The Arabs, who originally arrived from the deserts of Saudi Arabia and settled in the Jewish homeland, began to realize that not only was there growth among the Jewish population which continuously lived in the Land of Israel for thousands of years, but a new reality was at hand, as well. A new group of Jewish refugees escaping from Hitlerâ€™s concentration camps, was returning to its historical homeland, only to find Arab squatters occupying the Jewish land.
The Arab squatters were full of animosity and belligerence, as they began to dedicate their efforts to spreading Islamic extremist Anti-Semitism, and they proceeded to set a new Jihad-genocide plan in motion. The Arabs quickly began to launch terrorist massacres of the residents of Jewish towns, in places like Kfar Etzion, Jerusalem, Haifa, and many more. The goal of the Arabs was quite clear, as it was proudly made public by their leaders â€“ to ethnically cleanse the Middle East of its Jewish presence through extermination of the Jewish population. And so, following the passage of UN Resolution 181, which provided for a sharing of the land between a Jewish state and an Arab state, the Arabs immediately rejected all principles of international law and refused a peaceful settlement. Instead, on May 15, 1948, as the British were leaving the area, the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas in a war to extinguish all Jewish life in the Jewish homeland.
To more conveniently slaughter large numbers of Jews, the Arab armies began to prepare the ground by issuing orders to all Arab residents of the Jewish state to immediately leave Israel and return to their Arab homelands to make room for the invading armies. Indeed, a large portion of the Arabs were pleased to assist with the ethnic cleansing of the Jews, and contributed to the Jihad effort by leaving Israel.
Although the Arab Jihad of 1948 failed, the invading Arab armies did, in fact, massacre scores of innocent Israeli citizens. At the same time, the Arabs who left Israel to facilitate the mass murder of Jews, were now again residents of their original Arab countries. To advance the upcoming Arab battle for world sympathy, their Arab brothers dubbed the new arrivals as â€œrefugees,â€ although it can be hardly said that one who returns to his historical homeland and reunites with his brothers, is a refugee at all. Nonetheless, the Arabs who voluntary left Israel were forced to live as outcasts in their own Arab lands to better play to the cameras and to the sympathies of misguided Westerners. In Arab countries, yet another use was made of these cosmetic â€œrefugees,â€ which was to fan the flames of hatred in Arab society in an effort to divert the hatred of the Arab masses towards Israel and away from the true cause of their misery â€“ their brutal and corrupt Arab dictators.
The following is a collection of historical quotations relating to the Arab refugees, collected by Moshe Kohn. With these quotes, the Arabs tell the story of the origin of the Palestinian refugees in their own words:
ON APRIL 23, 1948 Jamal Husseini, acting chairman of the Palestine ArabHigher Committee (AHC), told the UN Security Council: "The Arabs did notwant to submit to a truce ... They preferred to abandon their homes,belongings and everything they possessed."
ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1948, the Beirut Daily Telegraph quoted Emil Ghory, secretary of the AHC, as saying: "The fact that there are those refugees isthe direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposingpartition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously..."
ON JUNE 8, 1951, Habib Issa, secretary-general of the Arab League, wrote in the New York Lebanese daily al-Hoda that in 1948, Azzam Pasha, then League secretary, had "assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade ... Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property, and to stay temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states."
IN THE MARCH 1976 issue of Falastin a-Thaura, then the official journal of the Beirut-based PLO, Mahmud Abbas ("Abu Mazen"), PLO spokesman, wrote: "The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live."
ON APRIL 9, 1953, the Jordanian daily al-Urdun quoted a refugee, Yunes Ahmed Assad, formerly of Deir Yassin, as saying: "For the flight and fall of the other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... they instilled fear and terror into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their homes and property to the enemy."
ANOTHER refugee told the Jordanian daily a-Difaa on September 6, 1954: "The Arab governments told us, 'Get out so that we can get in.' So we got out, but they did not get in."
THE JORDANIAN daily Falastin wrote on February 19, 1949: "The Arab states... encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies."
ON OCTOBER 2, 1948, the London Economist reported, in an eyewitness account of the flight of Haifa's Arabs: "There is little doubt that the most potent of the factors [in the flight] were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Executive urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit ... And it was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades."
THE PRIME Minister of Syria in 1948, Khaled al-Azem, in his memoirs, published in 1973, listed what he thought were the reasons for the Arabfailure in 1948: " ... the fifth factor was the call by the Arab governments to theinhabitants of Palestine to evacuate it and leave for the bordering Arab countries ... We brought destruction upon a million Arab refugees bycalling on them and pleading with them to leave their land."
"FOLLOWING a visit to refugees in Gaza, a British diplomat reported the following: 'But while they express no bitterness against theJews...they speak with the utmost bitterness of the Egyptians and other Arab states: 'We know who our enemies are,' they will say, and they are referring to their Arab brothers who, they declare, persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their homes." -
British Foreign Office Document #371/75342/XC/A/4991 [From "Revising or Devising Israel's History" by Prof. Shlomo Slonim in Jewish Action, Summer 5760/2000, Vol. 60 #4]