1st part of 3
The Arab version of the tragic fate of Arab refugees who fled from British Mandatory Palestine before and during the 1948 war, and from Israel immediately after the war, has so thoroughly dominated the thinking of even well-educated historians, commentators, journalists and politicians, that it is almost a given that the creation of the State of Israel caused the flight of almost a million hapless, helpless and hopeless Arab refugees.
This assertion, although viscerally engaging and all but canonized by the anti-Israel left (including the Arab-dominated UN) which makes it the core of its narratives of the
Origins of the Problem
The details of the process whereby the approximately 725,000 Arab residents of British Mandatory Palestine in Cis-Jordan achieved refugee status and endured brutal oppression and unmitigated suffering at the hands of their host Arab countries are described in Part II below ("the Eight Stages of Creation"). The bottom line itself is very straightforward and simple:
The State of Israel was created in a peaceful and legal process by the United Nations. The UN partition plan (resolution #181, November 29, 1947) created two states: the State of Israel for the Jews, and the State of Palestine for the Arabs.
The Arab refugees were people who fled because of the war that the Arab states started. The rulers of eight Arab countries whose populations vastly outnumbered the Jews initiated the war with simultaneous invasions of the newly created State of Israel on three fronts. Nascent
Had there been no Arab aggression, no war, no invasion by Arab armies whose intent was avowedly genocidal, not only would there have been no Arab refugees, but there would have been a state of
It should be completely obvious to any reasonable and fair-minded observer of this history, therefore, that it was not the creation of the State of Israel that caused the Arab refugee problem, nor was it Israel that obstructed its solution.
On the contrary, the Arab refugee problem was the direct result of the aggression of the Arab states, and their refusal after failing to obliterate
The Jewish Refugees
There were other refugees from the Arab-Israeli conflict that everyone on the Arab side of the argument chooses conveniently to forget. Between 1949 and 1954 about 800,000 Jews were forced to flee from the Arab and Muslim lands where they had lived for hundreds and even thousands of years – from Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Iran. These Jews were peaceful citizens of their Arab countries and in no way a hostile population. Nonetheless, they were forced at gun-point to flee with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The only reason for their expulsion was revenge against the Jewish citizenry of Arab countries for the shame of the Arab defeat in their war of aggression.
Most of these Jewish refugees came to
Some observers have suggested that this turn of events could be understood as a "population exchange" – Arabs fled to Arab countries as Jews fled to the Jewish country, both as a result of the 1948 war, both under conditions which their side regards as forced evacuations. On the other hand, no one on the Arab side has suggested the obvious: if Jewish refugees were resettled on land vacated by fleeing Arabs, why not resettle Arab refugees on the lands of Jews who were forced to flee the Arab countries. One reason no one has suggested this is that no Arab state with the exception of
The property and belongings of the Jewish refugees, confiscated by the Arab governments, has been conservatively estimated at about $2.5 billion in 1948 dollars. Invest that money at a modest 6.5% over 57 years and you have today a sum of $80 billion, which the Arab and Muslim governments of the lands from which the Jews were expelled could apply to the benefit of the Arab refugees. That sum is quite sufficient for reparations to Arab refugees. There is no way of accurately assessing the value of Arab property left in
The Arab Refugee Problem
Another irony must be considered in the context of the refugee issue.
The fate of the Arab refugees has been the diametric opposite of this obvious positive solution to their problem. Arab leadership has purposely kept their Palestinian brethren in the equivalent of concentration camps, maintained at a subsistence level, with their misery perpetuated by Machiavellian rulers to be used as a propaganda weapon against
This brutal repression of Arab refugees by their Arab host countries is especially significant when one recalls that during the many wars of the 20th century, tens of millions of refugees were created in Europe and
All such refugee issues have been resolved, except the 725,000 who fled
Senior Fatah Central Committee member Sakher Habash succinctly explained the reason for the calculated refusal of the Arab rulers including the Palestinian rulers to help the Palestinian refugees to return to normal lives. During a 1998 lecture at Shechem's
In other words, war, terrorism, diplomatic isolation of Israel, world-wide PR campaigns to demonize Israel…..all may fail (and most have, so far); but as long as this last trump card is still alive, hope for the destruction of Israel still pulses in the hearts of Arab revanchists.
In reality, Palestinians who fled
Of course the present Palestinian claim of a "Right of Return" is accompanied by the claim that there are not 725,000 refugees (minus those who have died in the interim) but 5 million. This number serves many political agendas but from the point of view of international law later generations born into a refugee population that has been resettled and living in exile do not have the legal status of refugees. That means that legal refugee status today applies only to those few surviving Arabs who fled in 1948, among whom most are advanced in age.
A Summary of The Salient Facts
The protracted Arab refugee crisis is an artificial crisis maintained for 57 years by Arab rulers in order to exploit their own people's suffering -- to create a "poster child" for Palestinian victim-hood; a staging ground for anti-Israel propaganda; a training center for Arab terrorists; and a trump card for the anti-Israel jihad (per Sakher Habash) if/when all else (war, terrorism, international diplomacy) fails.
"Haq el-Auda," the "law of return," for Palestinian Arabs to their own homes and farms and orchards that have been part of
Sixty years ago there were nearly a million Jews in the Arab states of the
The Arab rulers caused the Arab refugee problem in 1948 by their war of aggression against the infant state of Israel, a legal creation of the United Nations; the Arab rulers have since maintained the Arab refugee population and denied it any possibility of normal life in Arab countries in order to use the suffering they themselves have caused it as a weapon in their unending war against Israel.
During all these decades the refugee camps and their Arab exploiters have been funded by billions of dollars from the United Nations, the
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