Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Arabs who didn't leave

As Nakba celebrations get underway, nobody is talking about the 160,000 Arabs who didn't flee Palestine in 1948.

This group of people put a lie to the "ethnic cleansing" calumny that will be tossed about like confetti over the next month. While it is undeniably true that they were not treated equally in the wake of a bruising war, they were hardly treated as subhuman. In fact, Arabs who left were jealous of their brethren who stayed to become citizens of Israel.

Contemporaneous accounts by Jews about those Arabs show that no one intended for them to move, either.

From the Palestine Post, August 5, 1948:

If Jews had wanted to get rid of all the Arabs of Palestine, some of that hate would filter through to articles like these. We see that the facts are quite the contrary - while Jews were not interested in the return of Arabs who fought to kill them all, they had no problem with those who only wanted to live in peace with them.

This is why UN Resolution 194, which the PalArabs even today erroneously claim gives them a "right to return," specifically states "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date." That clause is what Israeli Jews have wanted for sixty years, and the Arab side has been the one that has been full of hate and incitement for those same six decades.