Palestinian Refugees – The Global Context

Jerusalem Cloakroom #217, August 15, 2008

1.  Over 100 million refugees have been created by wars since the end of WW2.


2.  79 million refugees were created during 1933-1945.


3.  15 Million Hindus, Sikhs (8.5MN) and Muslims (6.5MN) were displaced, in 1947, in order to reshape British India into India and Pakistan.


4.  A Greek-Turk population exchange of 2 million refugees was codified by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, following the1919-22 Greco-Turkish War.


5.  Millions became refugees in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia – as a result of ruthless regimes - following US withdrawal.


6.   A population transfer of millions occurred among USSR and Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, Greece-Bulgaria, Denmark-Germany, etc.

 

NO CLAIM – LET ALONE NO RIGHT - OF RETURN ENSHRINED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

 

7.  300,000 Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait, due to PLO’s collaboration with the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.


8.  800,000 Yemenites were expelled from Saudi Arabia, due to Yemen’s support of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.


9.  Over 500,000 Christians fled Lebanon as a result of a series of civil war ignited by PLO and Syrian occupation.


10. 10,000 PLO members were killed and thousands of Palestinians expelled from Jordan, due to PLO terrorism and attempts to topple the Hashemite regime.

 

NO CLAIM – LET ALONE NO RIGHT - OF RETURN ENSHRINED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

FOR NON-ISRAEL-RELATED ARAB REFUGEES

 

11. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) handles all refugees, except Israeli-related Palestinians…


12.  UNRWA – the largest UN agency (25,000 employees) - handles only Israel-related Palestinian refugees.


13.  Unlike global refugees, Palestinian refugees are defined as any Arab who was in Palestine two years before the 1948/9 War…


14.  Unlike UNHCR, UNRWA covers all descendants, without generational limitation.


15.  Unlike UNHCR, UNRWA perpetuates – and does not resettle - Palestinian refugees.

 

While UNHCR is rewarded for sharply reducing the number of global refugees, UNRWA has been rewarded for perpetuating the status – and significantly inflating the number - of Israel-related Palestinian refugees.

 

16.  In contrast with the mega-million myth, the total number of 1948/9 Palestinian refugees was 320,000.  800,000 Arabs resided within the “Green Line” before the 1948/9 War. 170,000 Arabs remained in Israel following the war. Additional 100,000 were absorbed by Israel. Moreover, 100,000 middle and upper class Arabs were absorbed by neighboring Arab states.  Also, 50,000 migrant laborers returned to their states.  50,000 Bedouins joined Jordan and Sinai tribes.  10,000-15,000 were war fatalities. Total refugees = 320,000.

 

17.  820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries, following the establishment of the Jewish State.  600,000 were absorbed by Israel and the rest resettled in other non-Arab countries.

 

For further data, please read “The Claim of Dispossessionby Arieh Avneri, Herzl Press, NY, 1980 and “From Time Immemorialby Joan Peters, Harper & Row, NY, 1984.