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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Abu Mazen: 'We left voluntarily'

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, whose public profile (in English) claims that he is a 'refugee' from Tzfat (Safed), told al-Palestina TV (in Arabic) on Monday that his family was not driven out of Tzfat, but left of its own volition (Hat Tip: Zion via Little Green Footballs).
In the words of Abbas:

“I am among those who were born in the city of Tzfat (Safed). We were a family of means. I studied in elementary school, and then came the naqba [calamity, namely, the founding of the State of Israel – ed.]. At night, we left by foot from Tzfat, to the Jordan River, where we remained for a month. Then we went to Damascus, and then to our relatives in Jordan, and then we settled in Damascus.

“My father had money, and he spent his money systematically, and after a year, the money ran out and we began to work.

“The people’s basic motives brought them to run away for their lives and with their property. These [motives] were very important, for they feared the violence of the Zionist terrorist organizations – and especially those of us from Tzfat felt that there was an old desire for revenge from the rebellion of 1929, and this was in the memory of our families and parents.”

The “rebellion” Abbas referred to was a series of brutal Arab attacks on Jewish towns in the summer of 1929. Nearly 70 Jews were slaughtered in their homes in Hevron, 20 in Tzfat, 17 in Jerusalem, and others were murdered in Motza, Kfar Uriah and Tel Aviv.

The memory of the slaughter, Abbas said, “brought [our families] to understand that the military balance had changed, and that [we] no longer had military forces in their real meaning. There were only young people who fought, and there was an initial action. They felt that the balance of power had collapsed and they therefore decided to leave. The entire city was abandoned based on this thought – the thought of their property and saving themselves.”
The article goes on to note that it is likely that Abu Mazen's family had arrived in Tzfat from Damascus in the 19th century, basing itself on Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial, a book I have discussed on several occasions on this blog.

If you are ever involved in debates about Israel, please don't accept as a given that the 'Palestinians' were indigenous to this land or that they were driven out during the 1948 War of Independence. It's just not so.


At 12:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Many Palestinians did leave voluntarily. Ironically enough, it was Israel who begged them to stay. Its not like Israel forced them out at gunpoint and I think Abbas' own story is quite typical of most of the 48' refugees.

Bottom line: it was never Israel's fault.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

forced out or left on their own voilition...whats the difference?

when israel was created, there was a population exchange

the arabs kicked out close to one million jews...without compensation for their lands...with no money in their pockets

800k arabs left the land of israel

even steven...just like pakistan and india

end of story


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