Video #14: Palestinian Arab refugees – who are they?
YouTube on-line-seminar on US-Israel and the Mideast http://bit.ly/1ze66dS , June 05, 2016
Video #14: http://bit.ly/1sgCCAV ; the entire video-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS
1. Contrary to so-called “conventional wisdom,” most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine – and most of the 320,000 Arab refugees - were migrant workers and descendants of the 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, North Africa, Bosnia, India, Afghanistan, etc.. Britain enticed Arab immigration and blocked Jewish immigration.
2. Between 1880 and 1919, Haifa’s Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers. The eruption of WW2 accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate’s military and civilian authorities.
3. Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire and then by the British Mandate to work in major civilian and military infrastructure projects. Legal and illegal Arab migrants were, also, attracted by economic growth, generated by the Jewish community since 1882.
4. According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (featured in Palestine Betrayed, written by Prof. Efraim Karsh), “during 1922 through 1931, the increase of Arab population in the mixed-towns of Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem was 86%, 62% and 37% respectively, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7% and a decrease of 2 percent in Gaza.”
5. Irrespective of Arab emigration caused by intra-Arab terrorism, the substantial wave of Arab immigration during 1831-1947 triggered dramatic growth of the Arab populations of Jaffa (17 times), Haifa (12 times) and Ramle (5 times).
6. According to Joan Peters’ momentous book, From Time Immemorial (Harper & Row, 1984), which was written in consultation with top authorities on Middle East history and politics, “The 1931 census [documented] at least 23 different languages in use by Muslims [in British Mandate Palestine] plus additional 28 in use by Christian Arabs – a total of 51 languages. The non-Jews in Palestine listed as their birthplaces at least 24 different countries….”
7. In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, mostly Egyptians, but also Syrians, Yemenites, Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Baluchis. The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented a proliferation of Egyptian neighborhoods in the Jaffa area: Abu Kebir, Sumeil, Sheikh Munis, Salame', Fejja, etc. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in the inland, in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.
8. The (1831-1840) conquest of the Land of Israel, by Egypt's Mohammed Ali, was solidified by a flow of Egyptian and Sudanese migrants settling between Gaza and Tul-Karem, up to the Hula Valley. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. In 1865, the British traveler, H.B. Tristram, documented, inThe Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine, Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.
9. In 1878, groups of Circassians, Algerians, Egyptians, Druses, Turks, Kurds and Bosnians immigrated to the area. In 1882, at least 25% of the 141,000 Muslims in the Land of Israel were immigrants or descendants of those who arrived after the 1831 Egyptian conquest…. In 1858, according to British Consul General, James Finn: “The Moslems of Jerusalem were scarcely exceeding one quarter of the whole population.”
10. According to the August 12, 1934 issue of the Syrian daily, La Syrie, "30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants, from the Hauran region, entered Palestine during the last few months alone." The role-model of Hamas terrorism, Az-ed-Din el-Qassam, who terrorized Jews in British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as was Kaukji, the chief Arab terrorist in British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s.
11. Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis) escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed (alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins), Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Moslems from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) further diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.
12. Arieh Avneri , a ground-breaking historian of Arab and Jewish migration, documented (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980) 205,000 Moslems, Christian and Jews in 1554, 275,000 in 1800 and 532,000 in 1890, resulting from accelerated immigration.
13. In 1869, Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad: “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. The hills are barren.... The valleys are unsightly deserts…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.”
14. Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; there is no basis for an Arab “claim of return;” the 320,000 Arab refugees were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and Israeli Arab collaboration with the invasion. The hypocrisy and immorality of the “Palestinian refugee phantom” – which was created as a tool to delegitimize Israel - is highlighted by the one million Syrian refugees in Jordan, the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Kuwait, Syria and Iraq, and 100 million refugees since the end of the Second World War, who have not received Palestinian-style attention by the international community.
15. The next 6-minute-video will highlight the 820,000 forgotten Jewish refugees from Arab lands.