Telegraph’s Mid-East reporter grossly inflates the number of Palestinian refugees


The Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49 produced around 711,000 Palestinian Arab refugees, according to official records.  (To provide some context to this figure, there were roughly 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries between 1948 and the early 1970s.)

The relevant UN General Assembly document from Oct. 23, 1950 states the following about the Palestinian refugee problem:

The estimate of the statistical expert, which the Committee believes to be as accurate as circumstances permit, indicates that the refugees from Israel-controlled territory amount to approximately 711,000.

While it is estimated that somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 Palestinian Arabs, out of this original refugee population, are still alive today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) allows the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (ad infinitum) of actual refugees to continue to inherit their ancestor’s status.  So, based on this bizarre formula, there are officially 4.9 million Palestinians who are eligible for “refugee” benefits.

Robert Tait is the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent, and you’d therefore expect him to have some familiarity with such statistical and historical details.  However, his latest report about the current round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks contains a passage indicating he is either unfamiliar with the numbers, or unwilling to contradict the official Palestinian narrative on the “right of return” for millions Palestinians who were never actually refugees and never set foot within the boundaries of Israel. 

His Aug. 18 story, ‘While Egypt burns, Israel talks peace‘, includes the following:

On the table are the familiar sticking points that have defied several previous peace-making attempts — namely borders, Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian lands, the fate of almost five million Arab refugees expelled to neighbouring countries during Israel’s 1948 war of independence, and the status of Jerusalem, which both sides claim as their capital.

Whilst the unwillingness of the mainstream media to critically scrutinize the broader refugee narrative is itself a topic worthy of debate, the part of the sentence we underlined is not merely misleading, but a flat-out falsehood – and we intend to hold the paper accountable. 

85 comments on “Telegraph’s Mid-East reporter grossly inflates the number of Palestinian refugees

    • True BBC got reprimanded for Biased reporting. In switzerland there is body called UN Watch. I pray in the name of Yeshua that group of most talented young Jewish journalist find a key to communicate truth to the wider world without sounding propaganda or be overly defensive. Repackaging Israel info in a meaningful way to a wider audience and encaging dialogue is what we need. And we need God and His Son to do this Job Amen

  1. “almost five million Arab refugees expelled to neighbouring countries during Israel’s 1948 war of independence”

    Whatever the reason for this, Robert Tait should not be the “correspondent” for any region east of Dover.

    Although similar to the low-minded logic that says “if the Arabs are Semites, anti-Semitic also means anti-Arab”, the likes of Tate probably imagine that Europe, being even closer than the Middle East, must therefore be the …

  2. Whatever the reason for this, Robert Tait should not be the “correspondent” for any region east of Dover.
    Maybe the permanent correspondent in Tunbridge Wells or East-Grinstead?

  3. ” children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren..(ad infinitum) ”

    I am surprised you use such verbiage. As you know ancestry is very important. You will know that there are Israelis from many areas of central Europe whose ancestors left the ME area dozens of generations ago that were welcomed back as though they had gone on a camping trip rather than a thousand year tour of Europe .

    It is obvious that the ancestors must be included. If anyone had said the great great great great great etc etc grandchildren of those expelled from Israel so long ago could not come back you would be calling them anti semites

    • Jasper, Jasper, Jasper. You really should learn to pick your battles. This is not a good one for you, darling.

      • ” They hate you just as much as they do me Pretzelberg. You think you have some special status as a the token Liberal .

        • “They hate you just as much as they do me Pretzelberg”
          Wrong, not quite as much as we hate you.

          “You think you have some special status as a the token Liberal”
          Wrong again, pretzelberg has special status as our resident grumpy old git.

        • ” They hate you just as much as they do me Pretzelberg. ”

          Wrong again! You don’t seem to understand the difference between sometimes disagreeing with someone you like, and…well, you.

        • Excuse me, Jassper, but I’m a Liberal. A flaming one, actually, according to some posters who go about these parts.

          Stop comparing yourself to Liberalism. You are not a Liberal just because you think Israel shouldn’t exist. In fact, you are a Klansman with that type of talk. A Ron Paul Libertarian who thinks the world should just get off his lawn with its Rules and Other People types.

          That’s not Liberal and Obama is not a Socialist. So there.

    • Good point Jasper. Now quantify the damage that your ancestors have done to the Jews, by calculating how many offspring six million murdered Jews would have produced by now. That’s your murderous legacy Jasper, but feel free to come here and berate the Jews for not living up to your morally superior European standards.

  4. Labenal – both you and the blogger are on a very dodgy wicket on all accounts. Let us do this one by one.

    1. The blogger claims children of Palestinians born to refugees are not refugees. You have to tell us who they are because they are.
    2. You claim children of Palestinian refugees are not Palestinians yet those whose ancestors left Palestine a couple of thousand years ago remain Israelis and have a right of return. Now how do you explain the contradiction in you identifying one group by parentage going back thousands of years and in another group you want to wipe their identity in merely 60 years.

    3. As for the 5 Million Israeli nationals of Arab origin linving in Israel wanting to return to their countries of origin I would support them and their right of return. Would you support the rights of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes?

    4. Why would the blogger or your interpretation of the refugee status take precedence over the one taken by the UNRWA? After all it is the UN that gave brong about the existence of Israel. This is like being selective with the Justice system. I will accept all the decisions that go in my favour and ones that are detrimental well the court is wrong. Perhaps you will explain the contradiction.

    • Hi Jim. Against my better judgment, I will respond substantively.

      1. In the whole of recorded history, a “refugee” has been considered as someone uprooted from their home as a result of conflict or natural disaster. I agree that the original 700,000 or so Palestinians who left the new state of Israel in 1947-8 (for whatever motives) were refugees, and any children born to them shortly thereafter too.

      2. However, throughout recorded history, refugees have not retained this status beyond a few years, as in all cases (other than the blessed Palestinians) their plight has been resolved in that time. The usual (an UN-approved) objectives are EITHER a) repatriation, b) resettlement or c) integration into their host community. Of the tens of millions of people displaced in WWII (a few short years before the creation of the Palestinian refugees), are any still refugees? No. They have ALL (even their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) managed to make lives for themselves – wherever in the world that may be.

      3. In all of recorded history, ONLY the Palestinian people claim refugee status after 65 years, and are herded mercilessly into “refugee camps” by their Arab brethren and, most appallingly, by the UN, which thinks this is somehow in their interests. A similar (if not larger) number of Jewish refugees from Arab persecution were created at about the same time. NOT ONE of these is still a “refugee”. EVERY ONE has found a new life – many in Israel, but others in Europe, America, Australia etc.etc.

      4. I have no problem if a child (or grandchild) of a refugee of Palestinian origin wishes to call him or herself Palestinian. I DO have a problem if they insist on calling themselves a “refugee” for the reasons given above. If that status has been put upon them, it is almost entirely because of the heartless political and racist motivation of their leaders, the leaders of the Arab states that “host” these refugees, refusing them citizenship and equal rights despite decades of residence, who think that a tool to attack Israel with is more important thant the welfare of these poor subjugated people.

      5. “As for the 5 million Israeli nationals of Arab origin linving in Israel wanting to return to their countries of origin” … I have no idea what you are talking about here. What 5 million?

      6. As for the UN being selective, I quite agree with you. Only ONE group of “refugees” is defined in the way Palestinian “refugees” are defined by the UN. There is no shortage of other, far more numerous and (dare I say it) deserving groups over the past 65 years, yet not one has had its own, lavishly funded agency created for it.

      7. The UN has passed countless resolutions critical of Israel, while virtually ignoring many other, far more greivous conflicts such as Congo, Sudan, Rwanda etc and many other, far more outrageous abusers of human rights such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela etc..

      8. Finally as to your question about the contrast between Israel’s attitude towards those whose ancestors left 2,000 years ago to those whose ancestors left 65 … It may have escaped your attention, and you may not like it, but Israel is a JEWISH state. It therefore prioritises people of JEWISH origin. When (and I genuinely hope it is a when) the Palestinians have a state, they will no doubt pass laws ensuring that anyone of Palestinian origin who wishes to “return” may do so. I am pretty confident they won’t give the same priority to anyone of Jewish origin. That’s fine. That’s how it goes.

    • JC (not Christ):

      ” As for the 5 Million Israeli nationals of Arab origin linving in Israel wanting to return to their countries of origin I would support them and their right of return.”

      How kind of you to volunteer other nations to absorb people they’ve initialy removed.
      What do you think it is? A game?

  5. I guess he already used Jim Chance, our resident terror troll with the aliases Mirza, Friedrich, Richard, Walsh, Ismail, ismael, …

  6. So, Jews have their right of return honoured by the UN resolution after 2000 years and now the UN is doing the same for the Palestinians you seem to have a problem. Why is that? Or are you just being racist?

    It seems you do not understand you can only return to your place of origin.

    • Thanks for obviously NOT reading my response, Jim. Next time I won’t bother with all the detailed arguments, and just resort to calling you a racist. Oh no, sorry, that’s YOUR modus operandi.

    • Most of them were immigrants from other Osman provinces, as the Ottoman and the mandate statistics indicate,so no right

    • I’m all in favour of an equivalent “Right of Return” for Palestinians. Jews have the Right of Return to the State of Israel, Palestinians have the Right of Return to the State of Palestine (once the time comes that the Palestinian leadership decide having their own state is more important to them than destroying Israel).

  7. I sent this to The Telegraph:
    “18/08/2013 ROBERT TAIT: “WHILE EGYPT BURNS, ISRAEL TALKS PEACE”

    Mr Tait makes the statement “..almost 5 million Arab refugees expelled….during Israels’ 1948 war of independence”.
    This is such a blatant error and needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
    Is it possible that your reporter and your editors were unaware that the figure of 5 million refers to the refugees AND THEIR DESCENDANTS, due to the fact that the UN decided to grant refugee status to descendants, uniquely in history?

  8. Well you actually did not answer the questions and instead invented this idea it was ours in the first place. If you had answered the questions I would have bothered replying apporpriately. Once you say why Palestinian ancestory is no longer valid after 60 years yet the Jewish one remains valid after 2000 years we might get somewhere.

    It seems this argument about how the UN has got the refugee numbers wrong after every few weeks. Perhaps an explanation is required not assertions.

    • In my post, I said:

      “I have no problem if a child (or grandchild) of a refugee of Palestinian origin wishes to call him or herself Palestinian. I DO have a problem if they insist on calling themselves a “refugee” for the reasons given above.”

      Yet you continue to allege that I say “Palestinian ancestry is no longer valid after 60 years”. I do NOT argue that at all.

      Next question?

    • Before you accuse me of “not answering the questions, I will spell it out for you point by point:

      Para 1 (your post): Not sure there’s a question there, but I set out above exactly why the descendants (or even the original “refugees”) can NOT be called refugees after all this time. NOBODY ELSE EVER has retained refugee status for even a fraction of this time.

      Para 2 (your post): I specifically addressed the question of the apparent “contradiction” in para 8 of my response above.

      Para 3 (your post): I specifically addressed this in para 5 of my response above.

      Para 4 (your post): I specifically addressed the point about UN inconsistency in paras 6 and 7 of my post above.

      I have clearly answered every one of your questions, and you have simply come back and called me a racist. Well done.

    • JC:

      ” If you had answered the questions I would have bothered replying apporpriately. ”

      Boy, Pinocchio, you can’t stop lying!
      Careful, your nose will soon reach Sri Lanka…

  9. QUESTION Why are the Jews allowed to return to the lands their ancestors left 2000 years ago and the Palestinians are not allowed to after a mere 60 years. It is the same question I have now repeated several times. Perhaps my English is difficult for you to understand. I hope this time it is clear.

    • Jim – for the third time, now. See para 8 of my response above. That is my answer. You may not like it, but tough doo-doo.

    • Jim, it’s also a matter of territory, with three-quarters of mandated Palestine – Jordan, already given away by the perfidious British to a regime that upholds racist policies to effectively make it Judenrein – in contravention of the League of Nations. The remaining quarter is what the Jews and Palestinians are at loggerheads over – with the Arabs violently rejecting the 51%(Jewish) 49%(Arab) UN partition plan of 1947. But don’t worry your progressive little head about apartheid and racist practices that are detrimental to Jews – that after all, is not, and never has been, a European concern.

    • QUESTION: Why does Jim Chance come back to a discussion he greatly has mis-characterized even though he himself is a member of said discussion? It is the same question I have repeated when Jim Chance goes by some other bland yet anonymous handle spouting hysterical anti-Israel screeds. Simply amazing, Jim, that you never look in the mirror when it comes to your questions of why nobody gives a goofdamn shit about anything you have to say.

      Please waste more energy here. Do you think it will get you into Heaven? Do you think you will one day defeat the State of Israel? Do you think those cute Arab girls now consider you a hero?

      Jim, Jim, Jim…. It’s all in your head, Fella. Take the meds.

      • Kouf:
        “Do you think it will get you into Heaven?”

        No, he thinks it will get him a pay cheque.

    • “QUESTION Why are the Jews allowed to return to the lands their ancestors left 2000 years ago and the Palestinians are not allowed to after a mere 60 years.”

      Firstly, Jerusalem (all of it) and Judea and Samaria are the lands of our ancestors. According to you and many a ‘peace processor’ Jews are not allowed to return to those lands (this is what you all keep screaming about, isn’t it?).
      Secondly, Israel is a Jewish state, not a “Palestinian” state, as you and they use that term. Palestinians will be able to ‘return’ to a Palestinian state whenever one exists, and when Mahmoud Abbas changes his mind about allowing Palestinian ‘refugees’ citizenship in his state of Palestine.

    • No one stood here with a red carpet for Jews who returned here. There was no independent country here, it was an occupied area by many occupier the latest one being the Ottoman and the British. Jews had to buy the land no one gave it to them. and than they had to fight for it because some people didn;t think they had a right to live here.

  10. Pingback: Telegraph grossly inflates Palestinian refugee numbers | Trending Central

  11. Not what was asked again. Why should the Jewish right of return be respected after 2000 years and the Palestinian one rejected after merely 60 years. The only difference I can see is either because Palestinians are percieved to be a different race or faith either way It is racist and not to most peoples liking. The UN reflects that international view. You are right I do not like your racist interpretation of the refugee status and of the right of return.

    • Jim. I’ll try again. I have no problem at all if anyone (be they one of those who originally fled during the 1947-8 war, one of their descendants, or someone called “Jim Chance”) wishes to identify themselves as a Palestinian.

      Similarly, I have no problem if those people wish to proclaim a desire to live in a state in which Palestinian national identity is recognised and valued – let’s (for arguments’ sake) call this state Palestine, whether they have ever lived in the physical territory of that state or not.

      When (and I repeat that I hope very much it is a when, not an if) such a state of Palestine exists, I hope the rulers of said state opens their doors to as many of those people as the state can absorb without bankrupting itself.

      Good luck to them. Gezundeheit.

      However, it is not for Palestinians (or anyone else for that matter) to demand a RIGHT to return to a country whose very existence they wish to obliterate and whose citizens they wish to mureder, and to expect said country to welcome them with open arms. They can express this DESIRE all they like. But it is NOT a right, and to dress it up as such for over 6 decades is simply (as I have said above) putting the need to bash Israel over the very real welfare needs of those people stuck in “refugee camps” in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan …

      Have I made myself clear enough to you now?

      • You will note that this is directly the OPPOSITE of a “racist” interpretation of refugee status. I suggest that Palestinians should have the SAME rights as everyone else who has ever had the misfortune to be at some stage a refugee – i.e. the right to get on with life – wherever in the world they happen to end up – just as Jews, Germans, Italians, Somalis, Vietnamese, Tibetans, Greeks … who were at one point refugees have done.

        On that point, what happened to the Greeks who were chased out of Northern Cyprus by the Turks? Do they languish in refugee camps in Southern Cyprus? Er no. The Greek government absorbed those who wished to remain in Southern Cyprus or other parts of Greece. They were “Greek”, you see. Others chose to go and live in other parts of the world (there is a substantial community of Greek Cypriots in North London for example). Do they yearn to have the Turks kicked out of North Cyprus? Of course they do. If that happened and Greece took control of the whole island, would some of them “return” there? Probably. Do they have a “right” to return to Northern Cyprus in the meantime, irrespective of the Turkish governance of that place? Of course not.

        It is you, not me, who is demanding some racist sort of unique nature of Palesitinians – that they are somehow totally different from every other refugee that has ever existed.

  12. Tough doo-doo is a two way street – As they say every dog has its day – They also say to every climb there is a fall and it is better to treat those you meet on your climb just so that might come to your help in the fall.

    • Aaah. So now we have it. So what you are saying is Israel (i.e. the only Jewish state in the world) is doomed (unlike any other – non-Jewish – state in the world). So we’d better get used to that idea and hasten our own destruction.

      Nice.

      And I’M the racist, apparently!

      • “Aaah. So now we have it.”
        Yes, Labenal. There always comes a point where they can no longer hold back. It always starts with the old “I’m an even-handed bloke” and ends with “get the Jews.”

    • You’ve gotten your fact-starved rump pretty soundly kicked here Jim; in the future when you fail to make your Palsabra talking points stick (which is inevitable because you can’t accept how reality on this issue is rarely your friend), please do everyone a favor and find a better fallback position than “Israel is DOOMED DOOMED DOOME Mwah-hah-hah-hah!”

  13. Why should the Jewish right of return be respected after 2000 years and the Palestinian one rejected after merely 60 years. The only difference I can see is either because Palestinians are percieved to be a different race or faith either way
    Simple Mr. Unchance. Because the Jews were oppressed, murdered, exploited, abused and persecuted by your kind and after WWI and after the Holocaust they said enough. And yes the Palestinians are a different race and a different faith according to themselves. Just ask them about the descendants of pigs and monkeys…

  14. Robert Tait should stop with his Pallywood lies.
    Here is the truth.

    Research reported by the Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut, stated “the majority of the Arab refugees in 1948 were not expelled, but that 68% left without seeing an Israeli soldier.”

    “The Arab exodus from the villages was not caused by the actual battle, but by the exaggerated description spread by Arab leaders to incite them to fight the Jews”
    – Yunes Ahmed Assad, refugee from the town of Deir Yassin, in Al Urdun, April 9, 1953

    The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.
    – Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949

    “It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees’ flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem.”
    – Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station, Cyprus, April 3, 1949

    “Since 1948 it is we who demanded the return of the refugees… while it is we who made them to leave… We brought disaster upon Arab refugees, by inviting them and bringing pressure to bear upon them to leave… We have rendered them dispossessed… We have accustomed them to begging… We have participated in lowering their moral and social level… Then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson, and throwing bombs upon… men, women and children – all this in service of political purposes…”
    – Khaled al Azm, Syria’s Prime Minister after the 1948 war

    “The refugees were confident that their absence would not last long and that they would return within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the Arab armies would crush the ‘Zionist gangs’ very quickly and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile.”
    – Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, in the Beirut newspaper Sada al Janub, August 16, 1948

    “The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce they rather preferred to abandon their homes, their belongings and everything they possessed in the world and leave the town. This is in fact what they did.”
    amal Husseini, Acting Chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, speaking to the United Nations Security Council. Quoted in the UNSC Official Records (N. 62), April 23,1948,p.14

    “As early as the first months of 1948 the Arab League issued orders exhorting the [Arab Palestinian] people to seek a temporary refuge in neighboring countries, later to return to their abodes in the wake of the victorious Arab armies and obtain their share of abandoned Jewish property.” – bulletin of The Research Group for European Migration Problems, 1957

    “This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boasting of an unrealistic Arab press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of some weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re-enter and retake possession of their country.”
    – Edward Atiyah (then Secretary of the Arab League Office in London) in The Arabs (London, 1955), p. 183

    “The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by order of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city…By withdrawing Arab workers, their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.”.
    – Time Magazine, May 3, 1948, p. 25

    “The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab States in opposing Partition and the Jewish State. The Arab States agreed upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem,
    – Emil Ghoury, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, the official leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, in the Beirut newspaper, Daily Telegraph, September 6, 1948

    “The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in.”
    – from the Jordan daily Ad Difaa, September 6, 1954

    “The Arab civilians panicked and fled ignominiously. Villages were frequently abandoned before they were threatened by the progress of war.”
    – General Glubb Pasha, in the London Daily Mail on August 12, 1948

    “[The Arabs of Haifa] fled in spite of the fact that the Jewish authorities guaranteed their safety and rights as citizens of Israel.”
    – Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, according to Rev. Karl Baehr, Executive Secretary of the American Christian Palestine Committee, New York Herald Tribune, June 30, 1949

    “Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe. [However] …A large road convoy, escorted by [British] military . . . left Haifa for Beirut yesterday. . . . Evacuation by sea goes on steadily. …[Two days later, the Jews were] still making every effort to persuade the Arab populace to remain and to settle back into their normal lives in the towns… [as for the Arabs,] another convoy left Tireh for Transjordan, and the evacuation by sea continues. The quays and harbor are still crowded with refugees and their household effects, all omitting no opportunity to get a place an one of the boats leaving Haifa.””
    – Haifa District HQ of the British Police, April 26, 1948, quoted in Battleground by Samuel Katz

    “the military and civil authorities and the Jewish representative expressed their profound regret at this grave decision [to evacuate]. The [Jewish] Mayor of Haifa made a passionate appeal to the delegation to reconsider its decision”
    – The Arab National Committee of Haifa, told to the Arab League, quoted in The Refugee in the World, by Joseph B. Schechtman, 1963

    “The Arab exodus, initially at least, was encouraged by many Arab leaders, such as Haj Amin el Husseini, the exiled pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem, and by the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine. They viewed the first wave of Arab setbacks as merely transitory. Let the Palestine Arabs flee into neighboring countries. It would serve to arouse the other Arab peoples to greater effort, and when the Arab invasion struck, the Palestinians could return to their homes and be compensated with the property of Jews driven into the sea.”
    – Kenneth Bilby, in New Star in the Near East (New York, 1950), pp. 30-31

    “We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.”
    – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said, quoted in Sir Am Nakbah (“The Secret Behind the Disaster”) by Nimr el Hawari, Nazareth, 1952

    “The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade… He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean. . . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.”
    – Habib Issa, Secretary General of the Arab League (Azzam Pasha’s successor), in the newspaper Al Hoda, June 8, 1951

    “Some of the Arab leaders and their ministers in Arab capitals . . . declared that they welcomed the immigration of Palestinian Arabs into the Arab countries until they saved Palestine. Many of the Palestinian Arabs were misled by their declarations…. It was natural for those Palestinian Arabs who felt impelled to leave their country to take refuge in Arab lands . . . and to stay in such adjacent places in order to maintain contact with their country so that to return to it would be easy when, according to the promises of many of those responsible in the Arab countries (promises which were given wastefully), the time was ripe. Many were of the opinion that such an opportunity would come in the hours between sunset and sunrise.”
    – Arab Higher Committee, in a memorandum to the Arab League, Cairo, 1952, quoted in The Refugee in the World, by Joseph B. Schechtman, 1963

    “…our city flourished and developed for the good of both Jewish and Arab residents … Do not destroy your homes with your own hands; do not bring tragedy upon yourselves by unnecessary evacuation and self-imposed burdens. By moving out you will be overtaken by poverty and humiliation. But in this city, yours and ours, Haifa, the gates are open for work, for life, and for peace, for you and your families.”
    The Haifa Workers’ Council bulletin, 28 April 1948

    “…the Jewish hagana asked (using loudspeakers) Arabs to remain at their homes but the most of the Arab population followed their leaders who asked them to leave the country.”
    The TIMES of London, reporting events of 22.4.48

    “The existence of these refugees is a direct result of the Arab States’ opposition to the partition plan and the reconstitution of the State of Israel. The Arab states adopted this policy unanimously and the responsibility of its results, therefore is theirs.”
    …The flight of Arabs from the territory allotted by the UN for the Jewish state began immediately after the General Assembly decision at the end of November 1947. This wave of emigration, which lasted several weeks, comprised some thirty thousand people, chiefly well-to-do-families.”
    – Emil Ghory, secretary of the Arab High Council, Lebanese daily Al-Telegraph, 6 Sept 1948

    “One morning in April 1948, Dr. Jamal woke us to say that the Arab Higher Committee (AHC), led by the Husseinis, had warned Arab residents of Talbieh to leave immediately. The understanding was that the residents would be able to return as conquerors as soon as the Arab forces had thrown the Jews out. Dr. Jamal made the point repeatedly that he was leaving because of the AHC’s threats, not because of the Jews, and that he and his frail wife had no alternative but to go.”

    “The Arab streets are curiously deserted and, ardently following the poor example of the more moneyed class there has been an exodus from Jerusalem too, though not to the same extent as in Jaffa and Haifa.”
    – London Times, May 5, 1948

    “Even amidst the violent attacks launched against us for months past, we call upon the sons of the Arab people dwelling in Israel to keep the peace and to play their part in building the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its institutions, provisional and permanent.
    “We extend the hand of peace and good-neighborliness to all the States around us and to their people, and we call upon them to cooperate in mutual helpfulness with the independent Jewish nation in its Land. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution in a concerted effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”
    – David Ben-Gurion, in Israel’s Proclamation of Independence, read on May 14, 1948, moments before the 6 surrounding Arab armies, trained and armed by the British, invaded the day-old Jewish micro-state, with the stated goal of extermination.

    “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, THEY ABANDONED THEM, FORCED THEM TO EMIGRATE AND TO LEAVE THEIR HOMELAND, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe, as if we were condemmed to change places with them; they moved out of their ghettos and we occupied similar ones. The Arab States succeeded in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity. They did not recognize them as a unified people until the States of the world did so, and this is regrettable”.
    – by Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), from the article titled: “What We Have Learned and What We Should Do”, published in Falastin el Thawra, the official journal of the PLO, of Beirut, in March 1976

    “The first group of our fifth column consists of those who abandon their houses and businesses and go to live elsewhere. . . . At the first sign of trouble they take to their heels to escape sharing the burden of struggle.”
    – Ash Shalab (Jaffa newspaper), January 30, 1948

    “The Arab streets are curiously deserted and, ardently following the poor example of the more moneyed class there has been an exodus from Jerusalem too, though not to the same extent as in Jaffa and Haifa.”
    – London Times, May 5, 1948

    “Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the -Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit.. . . It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”
    – The London weekly Economist, October 2, 1948

  15. Just as Benny Morris mentions

    According to your new findings, how many cases of Israeli rape were there in 1948?

    “About a dozen. In Acre four soldiers raped a girl and murdered her and her father. In Jaffa, soldiers of the Kiryati Brigade raped one girl and tried to rape several more. At Hunin, which is in the Galilee, two girls were raped and then murdered. There were one or two cases of rape at Tantura, south of Haifa. There was one case of rape at Qula, in the center of the country. At the village of Abu Shusha, near Kibbutz Gezer [in the Ramle area] there were four female prisoners, one of whom was raped a number of times. And there were other cases. Usually more than one soldier was involved. Usually there were one or two Palestinian girls. In a large proportion of the cases the event ended with murder. Because neither the victims nor the rapists liked to report these events, we have to assume that the dozen cases of rape that were reported, which I found, are not the whole story. They are just the tip of the iceberg.”

    According to your findings, how many acts of Israeli massacre were perpetrated in 1948?

    “Twenty-four. In some cases four or five people were executed, in others the numbers were 70, 80, 100. There was also a great deal of arbitrary killing. Two old men are spotted walking in a field – they are shot. A woman is found in an abandoned village – she is shot. There are cases such as the village of Dawayima [in the Hebron region], in which a column entered the village with all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.

    • Benny Morris :The decisive majority in the Arab world saw the war first and foremost as a holy war, but until today historians have not examined the documentation that proves this. In my view, they have also ignored Arab rhetoric of the day, which universally included religious hatred against the Jews, because they thought the Arabs adopted this as normal speech that did not emanate from deep mental resources. They thought this was something superficial, that everyone talked like this. But I am positive the Arab spokesmen in 1948 did go beyond this and clearly and explicitly talked about jihad.

      Lamm: Where did you find this exactly?

      Morris: During my research I found a British document that described a fatwa [religious edict] by the ulema at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University calling for jihad. The ulema are religious sages, who represent one of the highest authorities in the Sunni Islamic world. The Al-Azhar ulema declared a worldwide jihad involving every believing Muslim: There is a need to mobilize for a holy war, to return Palestine to the bosom of Islam and annihilate the Zionists.

  16. Jim Chance, because Israel is the homeland for the Jews.
    Saudi Arabia is the Homeland for the Arabs.
    Nothing is stopping the Palestinians from going back to where all Arabs come from, which is Saudi Arabia.

    Its very important Israel never allow itself to become ruled by Palestinian fascists.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171079#.UhN135K1Eng
    PA Radio: One Day Israel ‘Will be Palestine Again’
    Is there any hope for peace when the Palestinian Authority continues to strive towards the destruction of the Jewish state?
    Ari Soffer
    8/19/2013

    As “peace talks” continue apace, prompted on by the ever-optimistic John Kerry, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an NGO dedicated to monitoring hate speech, anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement to violence in the Palestinian Arab media, has highlighted yet another inflammatory statement by official PA organs.

    During a special “holiday broadcast” on 8th August in honor of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Fitr, the PA’s official radio station expressed its hope and certainty that the State of Israel, referred to as “occupied Palestine”, would eventually cease to exist.

    The statement, made by a Voice of Palestine radio broadcaster, was directed towards Israel’s Arab population (see below to hear the recording):

    “Greetings to all our listeners and happy holiday to you, our people in occupied Palestine [i.e. Israel], 1948 Palestine, the 1948 territories [i.e. Israel, created in 1948]… Greetings to our people in Acre, Nazareth, Tiberias, Haifa and Jaffa [all Israeli cities - ed.]… May your Palestinian identity be rooted in your hearts and minds. Allah willing, one day Palestine will be Palestine again!”

    Palestinian Media Watch has repeatedly exposed how – despite the PA’s commitments and claims to the international community that it recognizes Israel – official PA media regularly denies Israel’s right to exist and very often denies Israel’s very existence. By calling Israel “occupied Palestine,” PA radio implicitly recognizes Israel’s existence, while explicitly denying Israel’s right to exist, the organization said in a statement.

    Despite the start of much-lauded “peace talks” between Israel and the PA, Arutz Sheva has reported on a string of PMW exposes of the continued campaign of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda and incitement to violence by the PA via its official organs.

    Last week, the official Facebook page of the Presidential Guard of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas denied the Jewish connection to the Kotel (Western Wall).

    A week before, the PA’s official TV station broadcast a crudely anti-Semitic program which legitimized violence against Jews in Judea and Samaria, who were stereotyped as violent thieves. The end of the program glorified the humiliation of a religious Jew by cutting off his peyot side-curls, in a scene chillingly reminiscent of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda.

    Other Ramadan broadcasts include a re-run of a music video encouraging violence against Israelis, and the glorification of the murderer of 61 Israeli civilians on the official Facebook page of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

    Recently, an anchor on the PA’s official news station declared that a future “Palestinian state” would extend from Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel to Eilat in the south – effectively wiping Israel off the map.

    These incidents and others led to Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu complaining directly to US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been pushing the Israeli government to enter into talks with the PA.

    Many Israelis will be asking themselves how constructive such talks can be with a partner that continues to declare its intention to eventually wipe Israel off the map.

    But in spite of Netanyahu’s complaints, and the concerns of ordinary Israelis, and even as world leaders criticize Israeli plans to build in Jerusalem as hindering talks, there has been little-to-no mention of continued PA incitement. Indeed, Israeli and Jewish commentators have pointed out in the past few weeks that whilst the Israeli government is subject to widespread pressure to make concessions to encourage “good will,” no such requirements are made of the Palestinian Authority.

    Last month, following a wave of pressure against Israel from the EU and US, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman claimed that the international community was giving the PA a “free pass,” and called on the EU in particular to end its “long-standing habit of not holding the Palestinian Authority responsible for its actions and inactions that are unequivocally obstacles to peace.”

    The continued silence of the international community only strengthens that impression.

  17. YOu are right Civil War is a dirty business – the only problem is still continuing. Palestinians are unlikely to accept defeat any time soon. The only answer seems to be a just peace. The choice is yours. As I said, be nice to people on your way up as you might meet them on your way down.

    • Exactly as you said. The civil wars are continuing in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and just started in Egypt, but probably will restart in Palestine between Fatah and Hamas. In all of these civil wars I wish for every party the biggest possible success.
      As I said, be nice to people on your way up as you might meet them on your way down.
      Are you threatening us you sick asshole?! Be careful you are to open a door without knowing what is waiting for you behind it…

    • JC:

      “YOu are right Civil War is a dirty business…”

      You say this on the same day opposition reports in Syria display unproven photos of one of the worst chemical attacks.

      Sick bastard you are.

  18. According to your findings, how many acts of Israeli massacre were perpetrated in 1948?

    “Twenty-four. In some cases four or five people were executed, in others the numbers were 70, 80, 100. There was also a great deal of arbitrary killing. Two old men are spotted walking in a field – they are shot. A woman is found in an abandoned village – she is shot. There are cases such as the village of Dawayima [in the Hebron region], in which a column entered the village with all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.

    “The worst cases were Saliha (70-80 killed), Deir Yassin (100-110), Lod (250), Dawayima (hundreds) and perhaps Abu Shusha (70). There is no unequivocal proof of a large-scale massacre at Tantura, but war crimes were perpetrated there. At Jaffa there was a massacre about which nothing had been known until now. The same at Arab al Muwassi, in the north. About half of the acts of massacre were part of Operation Hiram [in the north, in October 1948]: at Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Eilaboun, Arab al Muwasi, Deir al Asad, Majdal Krum, Sasa. In Operation Hiram there was a unusually high concentration of executions of people against a wall or next to a well in an orderly fashion.

    And of course Benny goes on to say we should have done completed the job – and it seems trying to evict Beduins from their homes is part of this ethnic cleansing

    I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying that Ben-Gurion erred in expelling too few Arabs?

    “If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country – the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.”

    I find it hard to believe what I am hearing.

    “If the end of the story turns out to be a gloomy one for the Jews, it will be because Ben-Gurion did not complete the transfer in 1948. Because he left a large and volatile demographic reserve in the West Bank and Gaza and within Israel itself.”

    • If you’re going to quote somebody, Jim, then you need to attribute the quote to the person. And while you’re at it, include the source.

      I find it hard to believe you actually know what you’re doing. Actually, that’s not true. I find it hard to believe that anybody thinks you know what you’re doing. That’s more accurate.

  19. Jim: “be nice to people on your way up as you might meet them on your way down”.

    Well, we could say that Jewish people were already at the bottom post 1945, and I don’t see anyone treating them nicely at this time. Your advice should have been saved for the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the leaders of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan who thought it was a perfect opportunity to strangle Israel at birth. Caring and sharing wasn’t on the agenda was it? But ‘Nice’ seems to be something you only demand from the Jews, so I’m with Labenal on this one.

  20. Best of all I like the rebuttal “Racist bastard” I am sure it is the most convincing rebuttal I have seen for a long time at this blog -

    • Thanks Jim. I am particularly proud of it!

      If you care to look back, I made at least half a dozen attempts to reason with you, giving careful consideration to your questions and answering each and every one – usually backed up by empirical evidence and independent sources.

      You responded by repeatedly calling me a racist, and impliedly threatening the end of the only Jewish state, which would necessarily entail massive ethnic cleansing and probably masssacres.

      If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.

  21. Jim Chance
    I’m a bit late to the dogfight but if you are still around , Jews are granted automatic RoR because that is enshrined in Israel laws and constitution . It is the very DNA of Israel . It’s essence so to speak . It represents a coming home for the masses who for two millennia were subject to the whims of both Christian and Muslim worlds .

    Israel can do that because it is an independent nation state and as with all nation states it has laws in place which represent the ethos of the state . As a Jewish state RoR is that very ethos , drive and direction .

    Many Jewish refugees from the Arab pogroms chose not to live in Israel . They no longer see themselves as refugees but as fully intergrated citizens . The same holds true for all other refugees who have through war or famine , been forced to live elsewhere as migrant populations .

    As far as I know the second and third refugee status bestowed on so called Palestinian refugees does not exist anywhere else .

    It’s not possible to reverse the outcome of the 1948 war of independence . Had the Arabs won that war they started there would be no Israel and no Jews living there . The few survivors and their descendants would not be afforded a RoR by the Arabs and there would be no one to fight their corner to reverse that outcome .

    The Arabs made their belligerent choice and lost . You reap what you sow

    • You see, this is just another example of Israel’s predicament or problem as regards world public opinion. The Arab cause dictates that 65 years ago the Jews stole their sacred lands and the Palestinians want it back for eternity.
      You can explain forever that Israel’s case is justified but Jim Chance and Muslim world, impervious to fact or reason, ain’t listening.

      • You are right – for any chance of peace, it is true that the “Muslim world” will need to be persuaded to at least be neutral towards Israel, and for me it is the rest of the world that needs to open its eyes and ears.

        I don’t give a toss whether Jim Chance or any of his pseudonymns are listening, though. They can wallow in their own fllth.

        • Sad to see you agreeing with the bigoted comment about the Muslim world being “impervious to fact or reason”.

          Imagine if someone said that about Jews?

  22. Further to my post on 20th at 10.44:
    I received a phone call within the last hour from an “Editorial Information Executive” at the Telegraph. He passed on to me Robert Tait’s apologies for the error in his report i.e. that the words “and their descendants” was missing. He also promised that the text would be altered to include the missing words.
    I asked for a correction notice, saying that an alteration to the text was insufficient for such a gross error. My request was noted, but no promise was made.
    I received an email soon after stating “Thank you for taking the time and trouble to bring the error to our attention. This has now been corrected online and shall appear shortly.”

  23. Pingback: “Rifugiati” palestinesi: quelle cifre sempre più gonfiate | Focus On Israel

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