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May 29, 2016 2:44 pm

The Truth About the Palestinians and 1948

avatar by Yoram Ettinger

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The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

The truth about the circumstances and numbers of the 1948 Arab refugees has been sacrificed on the altar of Arab-appeasement and Israel-bashing by the UN, Arab regimes, the “elite” Western media, and most Western foreign offices.

For instance, the Palestinian Arab leadership collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, seeking Nazi support to settle “the Jewish problem” in British Mandate Palestine in accordance with the practice used in Europe. Thus, the top Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, incited his people in a March 1, 1944, Arabic broadcast on Nazi Berlin Radio to “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. It would please God, history and religion.”

On January 9, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas honored this Nazi collaborator: “We pledge to continue on the path of the martyrs [suicide bombers]…. We must remember the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin Al-Husseini….” And in 2016, Hitler’s Mein Kemp and the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion feature prominently in Mahmoud Abbas’ hate-education and incitement systems.

On October 11, 1947, Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, the first Secretary General of the Arab League told the Egyptian daily Akhbar al Yom: “…This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacres, or the Crusaders’ wars…. Each fighter deems death on behalf of Palestine as the shortest road to paradise….The war will be an opportunity for vast plunder…. ” On August 2, 1948, the New York Times reported that Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the largest Islamic terror organization — the Muslim Brotherhood — said“Drive the Jews into the sea… and never accept the Jewish State.”

The Arab incitement led the CIA and the Department of State (which vehemently opposed the establishment of a Jewish State) to warn David Ben Gurion, Israel’s Founding Father, that “a declaration of independence would lead to a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years.”

In spite of the Arab military assault on the newly-born Jewish state, the wave of terrorism and subversion by Israeli Arabs, and their collaboration with the Arab invasion, the Commander-in-Chief of the “Arab Liberation Army,” Ismayil Safwat, admitted on March 23, 1948: “The Jews have not attacked any Arab village, unless attacked first.”

The Arabs egregiously violated the November 29, 1947, UN General Assembly Resolution 181; Article 80 of the UNCharter (that includes the “Mandate of Palestine,” and stipulated a Jewish state in the entire area west of the Jordan River); the July 24, 1922 League of Nations’ “Mandate for Palestine”; the April 1920 San Remo Conference of the First World War Allied Powers, which resolved to establish a Jewish national home on both sides of the Jordan River; and the November 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was the basis for San Remo.

How many refugees resulted from the 1948/49 Arab attempt to annihilate the “infidel” Jewish state, which was established, supposedly, in the abode of Islam?  According to inflated British Mandate numbers, before the 1948/9 war, there were 800,000 Arabs in “pre-1967 Israel.” 170,000 Arabs remained at the end of the war.  Of the 630,000 Arabs who left, 100,000 were absorbed by Israel’s family reunification gesture; 100,000 middle and upper class Arabs left before the war, absorbed by neighboring Arab countries; 50,000 migrant laborers returned to their Arab countries of origin; 50,000 Bedouins joined their brethren-tribes in Jordan and Sinai, from whence their forefathers migrated during the 18-19 centuries; and 10,000 were war fatalities (compared with 6,000 Jewish fatalities). Thus, the total number of Palestinian Arab refugees — resulting from a war launched by Arabs — could not exceed 320,000, in the context of more than 100 million global refugees.

According to Elfan Rees, Advisor on Refugees Affairs to the World Council of Churches, during the 1950s there were 36 million refugees in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Less than 1% were Arabs. All, but the Arabs, have been integrated into their new societies.  Moreover, 100 million refugees were created by wars since World War II and 79 million were created during 1933-1945, yet all were integrated.

In addition, there were 90 million Chinese refugees during the 1937-1945 war against Japan; 15 million Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim refugees during the 1947 creation of India and Pakistan; 12 million German refugees from Poland and Czechoslovakia following World War II; 9 million Korean refugees during the 1950-1953 war; 7 million Syrian refugees caused by the current civil war; 5 million Sudanese refugees;  3 million Polish refugees following the 1939 USSR occupation; 3 million refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia following the 1975 US withdrawal; 3 million refugees from Afghanistan; 2 million Greek and Turkish refugees from the 1919-1922 war; 1 million Libyan refugees since 2011; 800,000 Yemenite refugees from Saudi Arabia in 1990; and more 500,000 Christian refugees from Lebanon.

The UN has highlighted/twisted the story of the 320,000 1948/49 Palestinian Arab refugees, singling them out for perpetuity unlike all other refugees, as a means to de-legitimize Israel. But, the UN has ignored the 300,000 Palestinian refugees from Kuwait, the 200,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria, and the 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Iraq.

In 1948, expecting an Arab assault on the reconstructed Jewish state, the British High Commissioner, Alan Cunningham, urged Arab and Jewish minorities to evacuate mixed towns. The Arabs complied — many of them returned to their countries of origin — but the Jews remained.

The London Economist wrote on October 2, 1948: “The most potent factor [triggering the Arab flight] was the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit…and [saying] that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades….”  It was reaffirmed by Syrian Prime Minister Khaled al-Azam, who admitted, in his 1973 memoirs: “We brought destruction upon the [1948] refugees, by calling on them to leave their homes.”

The goal of promoting the myth of the 1948 Arab refugees — which fails the reality test — was disclosed by Egyptian Foreign Minister Muhammad Salah al-Din Bey in the Egyptian daily Al Misri on October 11, 1949: “In demanding the return of the Palestinian refugees, the intention is to exterminate the Jewish State.”

Should the US taxpayer fund UN agencies – such as UNRAW – that aim to de-legitimize Israel, and sacrifice truth on the altar of lethal mythology?

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Danielle

    Highly unfactual article lacking credible referencing with a very clear one-sided approach.
    Will get back with a comment tackling point by point

    • first contact with truth? must sting. it seems as if you feel bereft, lost, confused, wounded. but, you still have your opinions, your slogans, your hate. that’s enough for any of the bds lemmings.

      we’ll all be waiting for your detailed, well-sourced, point-by-point rebuttals. what we’ll get, if we get anything, will be usual, general, slanders.

    • the photo a lie, also?

  • M McL

    Ben Gurion solicited Jamaal Pasha for a place in his army to fight the British, Feb 9 1915. He was arrested and sent to Egypt.

  • The Arab Palestinians do not belong in Israel.
    They have Jordan and they have the homes and 75,000 sq. mi. the Arab countries confiscated when they terrorized and expelled a million Jewish families who majority now live in Israel. International law allocated over 5 million sq. mi. to the Arabs after WWI and Palestine to the Jewish people as their historical land.

    The Arabs do not own any land in Palestine aka Israel. If you check going back in history, you will find out that they are illegal occupiers of Jewish land. They also terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families from Arab countries (who lived there for over 2,500 years) and confiscated all their assets including Businesses, homes and over 75,000 sq. mi. of Jewish owned land. Most of the million expelled families from Arab countries were resettled in Israel and now comprise over half the population. Mouhamed their prophet killed all the Jews in Medinah, raped the women and confiscated all their assets. The Muslims also occupied Spain from about 700 to 1490; how come they do not claim Spain.

    • Ross

      Please come to Rosh Pina, Upper Galilee and see the town council’s map mingark the property boundaries as laid out pre-1948 including Jaune’s, the neighboring Arab village; all land registered as Tabu (Ottoman land title).
      Thank you.

  • Yaakov

    That many Arabs who were legitimate landowners lost their property is not a myth. That many who fled did not do so voluntarily is not a myth. What the Arab leadership did is irrelevant. What goes on in other countries is irrelevant.

    People who lost their property must be compensated. Legitimate grievances must be addressed. If Israel were a Jewish state, the current situation would never have developed. Avodat hashem has been replaced with the avodah zarah of secular ideologies.

    • judorebbe

      The consequences of a war which was thrust upon Israel by Muslim leaders who sought to drive every Jew into the sea.