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Thread: Free Content: Who is Responsible for the Palestinian Refugees?

  1. #1
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    Free Content: Who is Responsible for the Palestinian Refugees?

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    Who is Responsible for the Palestinian Refugees?
    Contributed by

    While Arab propaganda sources bemoan what they term the “Nakba,” i.e., “catastrophe” of 1948, they seldom lay blame for their troubles on their own Arab leaders who are responsible for the lion’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. Let’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 – 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 “administer” 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 Hitler’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 – 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 “refugees,” 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 “refugees,” 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 – 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]

  2. #2
    I would like to add this article:

    Why Arabs love Israel

    By Joseph Farah

    Over the last quarter century, the Hispanic population of the United States
    has exploded. Immigration laws have been ignored. The huge border
    separating the U.S. and Mexico is virtually unpatrolled. And the illegal
    population of recent immigrants has been offered a series of amnesties
    forgiving past trespasses.

    Some within that community and it is certainly a small minority of the
    population are resentful about life in America. Some are even promoting the
    idea of creating a separate Spanish-speaking state of Aztlan in the
    southwestern United States .

    All this raises an obvious question: If life in America is so bad for
    Spanish-speaking immigrants, why do they continue to flock to the United
    States? Why do I ask this question today? Not because I am writing about
    immigration in America, but because I want to make a point about
    immigration in the Middle East.

    Conventional wisdom suggests a huge Arab population was displaced by the
    creation of Israel in 1948. It suggests the remaining Arab population in
    Israel has been mistreated. And it further suggests the solution to this
    problem is the creation of an Arab Palestinian state on Israeli land.

    There are several glaring misconceptions in this view: * The Arab
    population displaced by the 1948 war has been greatly exaggerated. The
    actual figure is no more than 500,000. Even more important is the cause of
    that displacement. The 1948 war was declared against Israel by all of its
    Arab neighbors. The refugees left Israel at the urging of those Arab
    states. They were told to leave because their homeland was about to be
    liberated by Arab forces. Of course, we all know Israel survived. Who is
    morally and legally culpable for creating those refugees? I would suggest
    it is the Arab states, not Israel.

    * Far from being mistreated, the Arab population in Israel and in the
    territories administered by Israel has been freer than the population in
    any Arab state. Arabs in Israel vote. They elect leaders to the Knesset.
    They have their own political parties. They have their own newspapers. They
    have full rights to citizenship. They are free to speak their minds. As an
    Arab-American journalist who has spent a good deal of time covering the
    region, I can tell you there is more freedom for Arabs in Israel than in
    any Arab state.

    * Land cannot possibly be the contentious issue as the Arab and Muslim
    states in the region already have 800 times as much territory as Israel.
    The Arabs have 50 times the population of Israel. The Arabs have all of the
    oil reserves of the region. They have 21 states of their own all varying
    shades of police states. It's difficult to imagine how one more will bring
    peace to a region that has known some of the most devastating and costly
    wars of the last century.

    But, to top it all off, I seem to be the only observer asking pointed
    questions about the Arab-Israeli conflict: If conditions for Arabs are so
    bad in Israel, why is the Arab population exploding? Why do Arabs continue
    to flock to the tiny Jewish state from virtually every Arab and Muslim land
    in the world?

    In 1949, the Arab population of Israel was about 160,000. Today, it is over
    1.2 million.
    This is hardly attributable to higher birth rates. Most of the growth in
    Arab population is due to migration. In other words, Arabs are picking up
    stakes in Arab lands and choosing to live in Israel.

    This trend, of course, doesn't include Arab Jewish migration to Israel. No
    one talks about the staggering number of Arab Jewish refugees as many as 1
    million who fled the Muslim world with little more than the clothes on
    their backs to reach the safety and security of the Jewish state in the
    last 50 years.

    We're led to believe Arabs hate Israel and, indeed, it's true there is an
    irrational, inexplicable form of virulent anti-Semitism growing in the Arab
    and Muslim world. But when they vote with their feet, Arabs seem to love
    Israel. They continue to choose it as a place to live over life in their
    native countries as they have for the last half-century.

    I'd love to hear one of the Arab nationalists explain this phenomenon.

  3. #3

    Re: Free Content: Who is Responsible for the Palestinian Refugees?

    Originally posted by NewsGuy
    While the Ottoman rules of the land were more than happy to sell land to Jewish residents at exorbitant prices
    Two concerns:
    1. Typo: it probably should read "Ottoman rulers"
    2. AFAIR, the Turks limited the amount of land sold to the Jews. I can't recall exactly where I read about it.

  4. #4
    The world's collective amnesia
    Posted: September 19, 2002

    Yasser Arafat may have lost some of his personal political clout of late, but the political movement he began - demanding justice for Palestinian Arabs expelled from their homes in 1948 - remains as strong as ever.

    There's just one problem. There's not the slightest historical evidence to suggest Arabs were expelled in significant numbers - certainly not by Jews.

    I know this statement is going to be met with gasps, guffaws and gnashing of teeth. Nevertheless, let me defend it, not with my own words, not with the words of Jews and Israelis, but with the words of Arabs closer to the time of the events.

    "The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agree upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem."
    - Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph Sept. 6, 1948.

    "The Arab state which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees."
    - The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, Feb. 19, 1949.

    "Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honor? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it."
    - The Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, Aug. 19, 1951.

    "The 15th May, 1948, arrived ... On that day the mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead."
    - The Cairo daily Akhbar el Yom, Oct. 12, 1963.

    "For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumors exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... By spreading rumors of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes and properties to the enemy."
    - The Jordanian daily newspaper Al Urdun, April 9, 1953.

    I could go on and on and on with this forgotten - or deliberately obscured - history. But you get the point. There was no Jewish conspiracy to chase Arabs out of their homes in 1948. It never happened. There are, instead, plenty of historical records showing the Jews pleading with their Arab neighbors to stay and live in peace and harmony. Yet, despite the clear, unambiguous words of the Arab observers at the time, history has been successfully rewritten to turn the Jews into the bad guys.

    The truth is that 68 percent of the Arab Palestinians who left in 1948 - perhaps 300,000 to 400,000 of them - never saw an Israeli soldier.

    Even more importantly, the revised history has given the guilty a free ride. The Arab states that initiated the hostilities have never accepted responsibility - despite their enormous wealth and their ability to assimilate tens of millions of refugees in their largely under-populated nations. And other states have failed to hold them accountable.

    It's bad enough the Arab states created a small nation of refugees by their actions. It's worse that they have successfully blamed that international crime on the Jews.

    Today, of course, this cruel charade continues. The suffering of millions of Arabs is perpetuated only for political purposes by the Arab states. They are merely pawns in the war to destroy Israel.

    There were some 100 million refugees around the world following World War II. The Palestinian Arab group is the only one in the world not absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Since then, millions of Jewish refugees from around the world have been absorbed in the tiny nation of Israel.

    It makes no sense to expect that same tiny Jewish state to solve a refugee crisis it did not create.

  5. #5
    Just to inform you, the article has gotten published at:

  6. #6

    a slight clarification

    May I suggest one change to your excellent article? Someone critical of Israel may pick up on your statement that "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 Hitler’s concentration camps, was returning to its historical homeland, only to find Arab squatters occupying the Jewish land." To be more accurate, Jewish immigration began in earnest in the late 1800s, and someone hostile to Israel could take you out of context to say that it was this earlier immigration that displaced the Arabs and "stole their land " and other nonsense. Perhaps also noting that the Arab population grew along with the Jewish popualtion, and that for the most part Arabs prospered from Jewish immigration economically might be helpful. I know it wasn't the central theme of your article, but it nails down some loose ends.

  7. #7
    The Oldtimer

    Why Arabs love Israel

    Joseph Farah mentions that the 1948 displaced arabs could be no more than 500.000. That estimate is still too high. Based on the British census conducted 1947 and comparing it with the israeli from late 1948 my calculations tells me that it very vell could be more than 300.000 but no more than 350.000 at the most, which I find kind of verified by the fact that the UN drew the map with the intent not to involve more arabs than nessesary with the result that three quarter of the land given to the jews was desserts mainly occupied by beduins and the rest was selected from where the jews were thought to be most concentrated, which obvious put a limit to how many arabs there could have been living within the given borders. Logically 400.000 would be close to a possible limit and with 70.000 arabs still left, no more than those 350.000 would have been displaced. I'm pretty sure that this number is close to reality.

  8. #8
    The Oldtimer

    a slight clarification

    A little late I noticed the reply from Vikingstar about the first jewish immigrants arriving in Palestine around 1880. He is right about the derelict land that met them there. We know for sure because Mark Twain as a witness described the land in his travelogue "Innocents Abroad" from 1868, I belive.

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