Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The 1947 Refugees - Jewish

The issue of refugees, of displaced persons due to military activity, is a constant theme in the Israel-Arab conflict.

Here's a newspaper report and the outlined-in-red section informs us that by December 4th (the issue date is December 5), over 800 Jews, yes, Jews, had been forced to flee the battle zone * of southern Tel Aviv and find alternate housing in synagogues and other temporary locations including an open field:

That was from Davar.

The accompanying photograph:


and if someone suggests that 'battle zone' means, well, it's the Jews' fault, let me remind you: the Arabs started an aggressive war against the Jewish community in Mandate Palestine in opposition to the UN recommendation of November 29, 1947.  The fault lies with the Arab side that was violent from the outset.


On December 15th, 1949 the Michigan Arab newspaper As Sabah (literally the Morning Tribune) published an editorial on the question of the Palestine Arab refugees:

“What is the crime of the refugees in the eyes of the lords of Arabia who stand by and watch the misery of the refugees, and who suck the blood of the poor and needy-without shame before God and the world? Yes the poor refugees committed the crime of listening to those deceivers, they believed the liars, and went to the extreme foolishness of leaving their homes, counting on their deceitful leaders to bring them back! And because of what is happening to the Palestine refugees, Arab public opinion is changing little by little to support the Jews in Israel where not a single Arab dies from starvation and cold! And if there should be another war, it should be against the Arab leaders, the princes and kings who brought this catastrophe upon the poor people of Palestine.”

The editorial’s analysis regarding Arab public opinion favoring Israel was incorrect, to say the least. But the claim that Palestinians fled their homes in response to Arab leaders has been controversial since the events occurred. The Palestinians of Michigan in 1949 thought this was the case.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What about the 800,000 Jewish refugees driven from their homes in Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli and other Arab cities between 1948 and 1967? Where is their "Right of Return?"

Rather than throw them into squalid refugee camps, as Egypt, Lebanon and Syria did, Israel accepted those refugees as full citizens. Both classes of refugees must be treated symmetrically: compensation for lost homes for both and no "Right of Return" for either. All must adapt to their new homelands.