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Video #14: Palestinian Arab refugees – who are they?

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.



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The Palestinian Issue – a Land-for-Peace Proposition?

Conventional wisdom assumes that the Palestinian Authority is amenable to peaceful-coexistence with Israel; that peaceful-coexistence is advanced by financial support of the Palestinian Authority; that a core concern for the Palestinian Authority is the land acquired by Israel in the 1967 War; and that land-for-peace (Israel’s retreat to the pre-1967 lines) is a prerequisite for Israel-Palestinian peaceful-coexistence.

Are these assumptions consistent with the Palestinian reality?

While the Palestinian ethos features religious, political, ideological, demographic and legal components, its core ingredient is a specific parcel of land, which pulls the rug out from under the “land-for-peace” assumption.

The centrality of the “1948 land” in the Palestinian ethos is underscored by the late Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna, who was the head of the Mossad’s Palestinian research division and a ground-breaking researcher of the Palestinian issue (Line of Furrow and Fire). This is documented by pivotal Palestinian books, such as the six-volume Al Nakbah (“The 1948 Catastrophe”), as well as the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants – which are the ideological and strategic core of the Palestinian Authority – and the Palestinian educational curriculum.

These foundational documents have served as a most effective generator of Palestinian terrorism since 1948, and especially since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.  They focus on the outcome of the failed 1948 Arab military invasion – by five Arab countries and the local Arabs – of the Jewish State.

This Arab offensive was expected by the CIA, which assessed that it would be successful, yielding the destruction of the Jewish State and a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years!

According to Dr. Arnon-Ohanna, the aforementioned Palestinian documents shed light on the fragmentation of the Arab society west of the Jordan River.  Thus, the mountain Arabs in Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and the Galilee have demonstrated a relative cohesion, socially, ethnically, culturally, politically and historically.  On the other hand, the coastal plains Arabs have exhibited a relatively feeble social structure, recently immigrating from Muslim areas, as evidenced by the names of major clans.

For example, the al Mughrabi clan immigrated from North Africa (Algeria), al Turki from Turkey, al Ajami from Iran, al Kurdi from Kurdistan, al Iraqi from Iraq, al Hindi from India, al Masri from Egypt, Masrawi from Egypt, Abu Kishk from Egypt, Haurani from Syria, Bushnak from Bosnia, Habash from Ethiopia, Yamani from Yemen, Turkmen from Turkmenistan and the Caucasus, Hawari from north Sudan, etc.

While most of the mountain Arabs remained in their homes during the 1948/49 war, most coastal plains Arabs – the lion share of whom migrated to the area during the 19th and early 20th centuries – left their homes. In fact, many of the coastal Arabs left their homes before the eruption of the war and during its initial stage, when the invading Arab military forces and the local Arabs had the upper hand.

The (mostly coastal plains) Arabs who left their homes are referred to as al-Kharj (“Outside”) and the (mostly mountain) Arabs who stayed intact are referred to as al-Dakhil (“Inside”).

The coastal/outside 1948 Arabs constitute the leadership and most of the rank and file of the PLO, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. They claim “the right of return” to the 1948 territory, which is the pre-1967 area of Israel.  “Cleansing the 1948 land of the Zionist presence” is the focal point of the Palestinian ethos, as highlighted by the Palestinian school curriculum, media, religious sermons and the 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO covenants (eight years and three years before the 1967 war).

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the core concern of the Palestinians is not the 1967 – but the 1948 – “occupation;” not peaceful coexistence with – but without – Israel; not the size – but the elimination – of Israel.

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