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Monday, October 08, 2007

The other refugees

Israel's inept political elites believe that their job in life is to bring about the creation of a 'Palestinian' state reichlet that will eventually - God forbid - take the place of the Jewish state. For example, in the Knesset last week, foreign minister Tzipi Feigele Livni said
"Clearly, a Palestinian state is the sole, complete solution for Palestinians everywhere, the integral national solution to the refugee problem."
What about the 'sole complete solution for Jews'?

Some 800,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in Arab countries during the late 1940's and early 1950's. The differences between those Jews and the 'Palestinian refugees' ought to be obvious, but let's review some of them:

1. Most of the Jewish refugees were forcibly expelled from their homes; most of the 'Palestinian refugees' left at their leaders' behest thinking they would return once the combined Arab armies finished driving the infidel Jews into the sea.

2. Sixty years later (in fact, a lot sooner), all of the Jewish refugees had been resettled in permanent homes in the State of Israel. Sixty years later, most of the 'Palestinian refugees' have been left as a festering sore in 'refugee camps' located in Arab countries and in Judea and Samaria, so that they will be able to one day return to 'their' land murder the infidel Jews when the opportunity presents itself.

3. 'Palestinian refugees' left no property behind in Israel other than real estate. Businesses worth hundreds of millions of dollars were confiscated from the Jewish refugees.

4. 'Palestinian refugees' would love to return to and overrun the Jewish state. Jewish refugees have no interest in returning to an Arab country.

The government may have no interest in the Jewish refugees, but other people do. One of them is Yossi Ben Aharon, a former director general of the Prime Minister's office. Here's some of what he has to say about the matter:
Over the years, Arab and Palestinian spokesmen have presented a strong case regarding the plight of the Palestinian refugees. They have argued that the Palestinians are the original owners of the land, the Jews were foreign invaders who took it by force, and as a result, the Palestinian refugees became the innocent victims of the Arab-Israel conflict. Hence, they insist on the "right of return" of the Palestinians to the land and properties they left in 1948.

This narrative ignores another aspect of the story. Shortly after the November 1947 Partition Plan was passed by the UN, a wave of anti-Jewish pogroms took place in several Arab countries. By May 1948, the situation of Jews in these countries became untenable. The Arab invasion of Israel triggered a massive movement of populations in opposite directions. Jews fled to Israel and Arabs fled to the countries bordering on Palestine. In making their case, the Arabs have consistently refrained from acknowledging the mass exodus of some 800,000 Jews from Arab countries. Jewish communities had lived in the Arab world long before the advent of Islam - and before the Arabs gained their identity as a people.

SUCCESSIVE governments of Israel have embraced a proposal to conduct a survey of Jewish property which was confiscated by Arab governments, or left behind by Jews who were expelled or who emigrated to Israel. The idea is to prepare a dossier for negotiations on the refugee issue and addressing possible claims for restitution by both sides.


Summing up the deliberations, Rep. Tom Lantos called on the Bush administration to ensure that from here on, any forum that addressed the problem of Palestinian refugees would be required to address equally the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab lands.

The Jewish refugees have all been absorbed in Israel, while the Arab refugees have been deliberately kept in limbo, pending the fulfillment of their "right of return."

Palestinian leaders have insisted that the "right of return" takes precedence even over the quest for a Palestinian state. The recognition of this right, so they insist, would be a vindication, at least in principle, of their historical claim to Palestine.
Read it all.


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