The Guardian asks if 4.9 million Palestinian “refugees” will “return” to cities…where they never lived.


Those who get their news from the mainstream media (or the Guardian) could be forgiven for believing that there are nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees from the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli War.

So often is that figure bandied around that most don’t understand that it only reflects the number of Palestinians qualifying for “refugee” benefits under the bizarre formula of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency by which the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (ad infinitum) of actual refugees continue to inherit this status.  This designation is even bestowed upon those Palestinians who are already citizens of other countries.  

Mural in Dheishe refugee camp

Mural in Dheishe “refugee” camp

(Using such demographic calculus, one could argue that – based on the number of Israelis whose ancestors fled Europe during the Holocaust, or fled Arab countries due to antisemitic persecution – the majority of Israeli citizens are “refugees”.)

Indeed, the number of actual Palestinian refugees from the Arab-Israeli War, out of the initial 750,000 or so after the war, is estimated to be closer to 30,000.

This data is important to remember as we follow media reports on recently renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians – specifically the issue of how to deal with Palestinian demands that some or all of the “refugees” be allowed to “return” to Israel. 

Unsurprisingly, Harriet Sherwood’s two recent reports on negotiations in Washington both included passages with characteristically misleading information on the issue.

A July 29th story by Sherwood titled Middle East peace talks rebooted as Netanyahu and Abbas mull legacies‘ included the following:

the issue of borders is relatively simple compared with what seem to be unbridgeable gaps concerning Jerusalem, which both sides want as a capital, but whose division or sharing is adamantly rejected by Israel, and the matter of whether at least some of the 4.9 million Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the diaspora will be allowed to return to their pre-1948 homes, as the Palestinians insist.

Additionally, her July 30th report, Middle East Peace Talks Under Way‘, included this:

Other, even more difficult, issues – such as the future of Jerusalem, which both sides want as a capital, and whether any of the 4.9m Palestinian refugees can return to their former homes, now in Israel – would have to be addressed over the coming months.

Of course, both passages would leave the average reader with the false impression that there are 4.9 million Palestinians who had homes in Israel, when, in reality, the overwhelming majority of them were obviously born after 1949 and never set one foot within the boundaries of the Jewish state.  

Whatever the outcome of current negotiations between the two parties, and regardless of any diplomatic comprises proposed by either side to achieve a symbolic settlement of the “refugee” issue, Israel naturally won’t let Palestinian Arabs “return” to homes that they never actually owned, in cities where they never once lived. 

Finally, it’s interesting to note that the Guardian has, on two recent occasions, completely whitewashed the historically undisputed ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arab rulers in the years following the 1948 war, yet parrots a Palestinian narrative falsely imputing such a victim status onto millions of Palestinians who never during the course of their lives were actual refugees.

The Guardian narrative is at times as ahistorical as it is ideological.

76 comments on “The Guardian asks if 4.9 million Palestinian “refugees” will “return” to cities…where they never lived.

  1. I hear some Palestinians returned after 2000 years. What is wrong with returning after 60 years.

    • The problem is that we changed the lock and the door bell doesn’t work only for people who are citizens of an other country or Jews who are seeking refugee from your kind of (shit)heap.

  2. The Arabs can never, ever relent. All of “Palestine” belongs to Allah. We are about to watch a grown up form of playing “It”. There will be a moment in the game when one or the other, having trapped the other, will be able to shout “You’re it!” and walk away smilingly having heaped all the blame on the other. There’s nothing to negotiate about. It’s just a public relations game all in the name of Allah!

  3. Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is mental patient on the run

  4. And some people claim He gave it to them for ever – but the bell is ringing is it not? Or why the hurry to get to that dining table even if you have no intention of eating the dinner.

  5. Is the figure of 5 million Palestinians altogether, let alone refugees, credible? It represents an 600% increase in population in 65 years. This is a genuine question.

    • Adam, you see how wily those Israelis are? They’re committing genocide, but so slowly the population being genocided actually INCREASES! Is there no end to the horror??!

  6. How can the Zionists complain about grand children of those expelled from Palestine when they themselves claimed the right of return after being expelled 2000 years ago. Be fair at least.

    • Each and every one of your posts is a misrepresentation. And you want us to be fair? The fact of you still being here is a testament to CiF Watch bending over backwards to be more than fair in upholding the free speech principle of open and free debate – which you continually abuse with your bad faith arguments.

    • Sheety you are committing a fatal mistake. We are not complaining about the grandchildren of the Arabs who left or have been expelled at all. We are laughing at their lethal stupidity and despise those who are exploiting their pathetic shows with their rusty keys (made of plastic in China). Naturally a whole lot of otherwise unemployable nobody makes a comfortable living out of them (like the UNRWA employees) and your like of dirt use their miserable lives for antisemitic propaganda.
      I hope I succeeded to settle your mistake once for all.

  7. Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is mental patient on the run, but withut meds.
    Poor moron.

  8. Jeff be fair if the Zionists can come back after being expelled 2000 years ago how come it is fair not to let Palestinians return after a mere 60 years. Be fair Jeff. Stop saying hoe civilized you are. Civilization requires you treat everybody the same. Not treat your own kith and kin differently than others. What is the difference between that and fascism.

    • “Sharon,”
      Civilized people don’t make bad faith arguments as you do.

      Now that I’ve read another one of your blathering and factually ridiculous posts, I’d like to apologize for mistaking you for an adult.
      Perhaps you’ll consider “Baby Jane” for one of your future monikers.

  9. Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is a poor moron, dumber than bread.

  10. Peter so what if the Palestinian keys are made of plastic yours was made of Stainless Steel and it lasted 2000 years – be fair man – Besides all the Palestinian keys I have seen I have never seen one made of plastic

  11. Peter you are racist who thinks Palestinians are pathetic and they need others to tell them they are deprived of their own homes.

    They know their situation better than most. They do not need others to tell them anything.

    • They know their situation better than most. They do not need others to tell them anything.
      Probably their perfect cognizance of their situation makes them so successful and happy…And obviously nobody should tell them anything, enough giving them some money…

  12. Fritz what is the basis of the settlement in the West Bank with over 500,000 Jews living in settlements in the West Bank

  13. When was the last time the Zionists ever gave them any money – all you do is steal and now you are stealing from the 30,000 Bedouins their lands and homes on the pretext that God told them to do it.

    • Yes sheety it is in our blood us juices you know…
      I never thought that an antisemitic piece of shit like you could be this funny…

      • “I never thought that an antisemitic piece of shit like you could be this funny”

        peter what adds to the humour is that He/She/It is being unintentionally funny.
        Our resident clown, and briefly this morning ‘porn star’, posts such puerile crap and transparent nonsense that the hoots of derision that greet He/She/It’s posts must be heard everywhere.

    • How come those Bedouine can;t really show anything to prove that it was their land and lose so many trails because of that.

    • Sharon Sweetheart:

      “…and now you are stealing from the 30,000 Bedouins their lands and homes…”

      I think you’ll find that the Bedouins never owned an acre let alone the generous offer they’ve squeezed out of the commission with violent threats.

  14. That Peter is one explanation but I do not buy it – many with the same blood are such nice people so what makes you so nasty and particularly against the weak. It is your own greed nothing to do with your blood stop making excuses for your own weaknesses

    • You are exaggerating sweetie. You simply doesn’t exist. Your turbo version of malevolent stupidity can’t be real, you must be the phantom of a hero of a New Age style surrealist psychodrama.

  15. They say Palestinians do not exist – take it from me who knows they do – and so do I – and you are an extreme racist to deny my existence or the Palestinian rights in their own homes.

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  17. The reason why Palestinians cannot be allowed to return to Israel is because a greater number of Jews have been permanently locked out of their homes and communities in Arab countries. Any attempt to return would put their lives at risk.

  18. Bataween perfect fascist argument for the sake of my race other races and their interests must be subordinated. Fascists also have to tell big lies. The Holocaust was in Europe not in the Arab world. The pogroms were in Europe not in the Arab world. Today many Arabs find themselves under attack in their own homes. Many have been made refugees. All because of European colonialists over the last two hundred years. Make peace with the Arab world stop oppressing the Palestinians and you will be welcome as a friend but never as a master. That is not open to any negotiations.

    • The pogroms were in Europe not in the Arab world
      But of course sheety. The pogroms in Damascus and Aleppo, the Farhud in Bagdad and the Hebron massacre – all of them happened in Europe.
      BTW sheety if you are a Palestinian then they are really doomed. Luckily you are only lying as usual.

    • Do I get to go back to Lebanon? and keep my families land? Will you guarantee my safety? Since my family were forced out and others as well with AK’s to their heads…what about the res of the Jews in Lebanon? what happened to them..why are you not talking about them.

      • Benzi, Sharon the sweet heart will guarantee your safety and a million dollar.
        Just use the name Sharon Sweety for any complaints..

  19. If, as the Palestinians claim, the West Bank and Gaza are Palestinian lands, then there should be no problem with Palestinians returning from the other couple dozen Arab Muslim states to live in the West Bank and Gaza, once they form the independent state of Palestine in those territories.
    But the real point is that supposedly pro-Palestinian people do not seek the “right of return” to allow these tired people to establish new homes for themselves, even if these new homes are in a future state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza. No, the real goal of people like Sharon Sweety is to destroy Israel, to eliminate the one and only Jewish state on the face of the earth.

  20. Peter did you return from Hungary – was it because of the fact that you were so loved in that part of Europe or was it because of the holocaust and East European Pogroms.or was it because of the pogroms in Aleppo and you wanted to be where the pogroms were you are sadistic. Stop reading that History of the World as Zionist would like it.

    You have not said anything about the Pogroms in Dier Yassin?

    Dan those who support justice want the Palestinians to have the right to return to their homes. Now you can read whatever you want to in that support that your imaginative and racist mind would allow.

    • “..those who support justice want the Palestinians to have the right to return to their homes.”

      I support justice, but that does not mean that I want nor believe in the existence of this mythical right to return for Palestinians.
      Indeed it is because I believe in justice, as well as historical fact, truth and logic, that I do not believe the mythical right to return for Palestinians exists.

      To put it in simple terms, so that even ‘Sharon’ can understand, the ‘right to return for Palestinians’ is the same as the various names you use manufactured and false.

    • yOu have said nothing about the Pogrom of Hebron. Why do you ignore the pogroms who took place in muslim countries long before anyone heard about zionism

  21. Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is a poor moron, due to his/her obsessive hate of Jews as demonstrated since years at this website.

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  23. Gerald are right of return based on race than? Some races have them and others do not. Which moral precept your right of return is than based on? Perhaps the legacy of the Third Reich, I think.

    Once again, Gerald, European colonialist spreading their filthy racist theories.

    • “Gerald are right of return based on race than?” No
      Next question.

      “Some races have them and others do not. Which moral precept your right of return is than based on?” I wasn’t aware that I had a ‘right of return’, but thanks for the offer. Of course there will be some people in Devon who will be pretty pissed off when I demand parts of it back.
      Next,

      “Perhaps the legacy of the Third Reich, I think. ” No you and your kind your anti-Semitism pre-dates the Third Reich. ‘You think’, No I’ve seen no evidence that you do.
      Next,

      “Once again, Gerald, European colonialist spreading their filthy racist theories.”
      Really knobhead are you claiming to be European now?
      Or do you just want to colonise part, or all, of Israel and use the mythical ‘right of return for Palestinians’ as your smoke screen to cover up your warped agenda?

    • You mean like Al-Husseini,Hitlers confidante and ally,Arafats Uncle,spiritual Godfather of the Palestinians,you know,the one who planned to spread the Holocaust to the Middle East,once his racist,fascist,mass murdering friend had finished his work in Europe?
      That legacy?
      That filthy racist theory?
      Of course,Israel’s multi-racial,multi-cultural,multi-religious population cannot possibly fit your description,(unlike,sadly,so many Arab countries).

  24. Nazi Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is a poor moron.

  25. There is someone else by the name of “Sharon” who is more likely to give a sensible opinion on anything to do with the Middle East – despite the fact he’s been in a coma for the last 7 years.

  26. Labenal, Yes, of course you would much rather the Palestinian do not say anything as that other Sharon is unable to say anything – get real we are looking for a solution in this world not in the twilight zone. In the other world the Zionist explanation that God gave me your house might just be acceptable, in this world that is not the answer we are seeking. Justice will prevail in this world get used to it.

    • Oh Sweetie, your efforts at constructing straw men are becoming legendary. I would ask you to point out to me where I have suggested, said, implied or otherwise indicated any desire to stop “the Palestinian” (any particular Palestinian you have in mind?) from having his say, but I know any such request is fruitless.

      Having said that, I do hope you are right and that “justice will prevail”. I suspect, however, that our views of what might constitute “justice” will differ somewhat.

      My version of justice doesn’t involve the dismantling of the only Jewish state, the only true democracy in the region, the only place in the region where you can freely live according to your sexual, political or religious conscience.

    • Sharon Sweety (should be sweaty):

      “…get real we are looking for a solution…”

      You mean a solution to the “Jewish problem”?
      A final solution?

  27. Nazisse Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is poor bread.

  28. Labenal My version of justice is an end to racism and fascism where everybody’s rights are respected irrespective of their faith or perceived race. unlike you, I am opposed to any justice based on racism. I was all for dismantling Apartheid South Africa and still remain opposed to any apartheid state despite how democratic it is for the given race. Any democracy based on race is not a democracy I would want to preserve. I suppose we have to disagree. You will continue to support racist democracy and I will remain opposed to Apartheid whatever its pretensions.

    • I am delighted to hear that you “remain opposed to any apartheid state despite how democratic it is for the given race.” Me too. I assume that, by this, you are refering to states such as Saudi Arabia, where even Shia Muslims are persecuted, where no faith other than Islam is permitted to be practiced, although there are nearly a million Christians – nearly all foreign workers – in Saudi Arabia. There are no churches or other non-Muslim houses of worship permitted in the country. Even private prayer services are forbidden in practice and the Saudi religious police reportedly regularly search the homes of Christians. Foreign workers have to observe Ramadan but are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter.

      I assume you are NOT refering to Israel, where people of all faiths and none have equal voting, employment, rights etc, equal access to health care, representation in all levels of administratrion and government etc etc/

  29. I am delighted you will be joining me in the campaign to democratize Saudi Arabia and the rest of Emirates in the Middle East. In the meantime, please ensure that the 30,000 Bedouins are not driven out of their homes in that only Jewish democracy in the world where rights are sanctioned according to race. I do not want to assume anything contrary to the facts even if the facts are Jewish like its democracy. I suppose you are totally confused about democracy and equality. Apartheid South Africa used to proud of the only democracy in Africa until somebody pointed it out to them that it is not a democracy where it is limited to whites only and the blacks can vote to live in their ghettos. It is a no brainer. No such thing as a Jewish only democracy. or a white only democracy. Yes, it can be racist but not democratic.

    • “I do not want to assume anything contrary to the facts even if the facts are Jewish like its democracy …”

      “Jewish facts”? And you call other posters fascists?!?!

    • “I am delighted you will be joining me in the campaign to democratize Saudi Arabia and the rest of Emirates in the Middle East.”

      Interestiing, ‘Sharon’ perhaps you could post a link to this campaign?
      That is of course IF it exists. Because if you cannot then obviously it is another of your lies and fantasies that you post far too regularly on this website. And another clear demonstration of why you have no credibility whatsoever.

    • Bedoine are not limited to thier own ghettos becuase there are none. Do you even know anything about Bedouine beside what you read in Al Guardain

  30. So pretzel you are not for preserving the Jewish and democratic Israel. Glad to hear it. I am not arguing for a Jewish state you are. I am not saying the 30,000 Bedouins need to be chucked out of their houses to maintain the Jewish nature of the only democracy in the Middle East. You are and Labenal.

    • You and your straw men again. You should set up a business making guys for November 5th – you’d make a fortune! (Talking of “racism”, how’s that for racist… families around the UK burn effigies of a Catholic who dared to challenge the Protestant rule of the country, while setting off fireworks and partying to celebrate his capture and pexecution). Whee is your campaing against “apartheid Britain”?

    • Person 1: “wool comes from sheep”.

      Sharon: “why do you hate goats? You said that all goats should be exterminated because they do not produce wool! You are a goatist, and all those who disagree with me are fascist goatists too.”

  31. Labenal you are getting more racist by the minute if you want to talk about Guy Fawkes sure it is an offensive feature of the British society but how do you think it offensiveness as children signing missiles destined for Lebanon? You still have not told us how are you going to defend the rights of the Bedouins being threatened with eviction. There are some 30,000 of them. I suggest that is a lot more harmful than the burning of an effigy based on a historical event several centuries ago. You are only interested in point scoring because you know you cannot defend the indefensible.

    I have had enough of racist abuse from you for a day so bye.

    • Really? You have gone? Thank the L-rd in heaven for that!

      If only all “racist abuse” was as mild and … erm … not racist as that you have “suffered”. For the record, it is hard to know how I can abuse you racially, as I hae no idea what race you are – and neither do I care. I abuse you because you are a pathetic troll, not because of your ethnic background, whattever that is.

    • “I have had enough of racist abuse from you for a day so bye.”

      How much would you need to Sod Off PERMANENTLY?

    • “You still have not told us how are you going to defend the rights of the Bedouins being threatened with eviction.”

      No one is evicting them from their main residence. only from the 2nd one.
      Time for benefit fraud to end!

  32. Nazisse Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha aka HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton aka Nazisse aka NS-
    Ismail/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek is mentally sick, as every Antisemite.

  33. Sharon Sweety.

    http://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/38025-nazis-arabs-planned-final-solution-for-pre-state-israel/

    Nazis, Arabs planned Final Solution for pre-state Israel
    New study: Special SS squad formed for Jews of ‘Palestine’
    Stan Goodenough
    April 11th, 2006

    The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Husseini
    Chuck Morse (Author)

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/12/the-muslim-hitler-haj-amin-al-husseini-was-promised-leadership-of-israel-palestine-after-annihilatio.html

    December 15, 2010
    THE MUSLIM HITLER, HAJ AMIN AL-HUSSEINI, WAS PROMISED LEADERSHIP OF ISRAEL [PALESTINE] AFTER ANNIHILATION OF THE JEWS

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4165965,00.html

    UNESCO says won’t fund Palestinian magazine praising Hitler
    After children’s magazine publishes article on girl’s dream in which Hitler tells her ‘Jews spread destruction all over the world.
    Yitzhak Benhorin
    12.23.11

    http://www.freeman.org/m_online/oct99/meinkampf.htm

    ADOLF HITLER’S MEIN KAMPF IS BEST-SELLER AMONG THE PALESTINIAN ARABS

  34. When people deliberately ignore “significant details” they deserve to be up the creek without a paddle. Why the Jews religiously wanted to return is a motive logic point. The fact that they bought every patch in the country is a separate pertinent legal logic point. The crass Arab rejection of all attempts to reasonably partition the country is a third logic point which by their claim to the 1949 cease fire lines concedes they were wrong to reject Peel 1937, UN 181 and the Israeli June 67 offer to return to the Green Line for a peace treaty ending the conflict and its claims. The situation can not be understood if you deliberately ignore that Arab losses in 1948 and since – there is a price for keeping people waiting – are results of Arab refusals to compromise, Arab insistence on the battlefield in a romance with violence they have to explain – Arab persistence in maintaining the war the Arabs started, and a certain Arab imperialist ambition to regain their medieval supremacy in the Mediterranean and Levant in which Israel is a sideshow to a nastier greed which the end of the oi era will do for.

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