"Palestinians" = LIES
ABC Middle East Brief facts prior current conflict
ISRAEL or "palestine" Which is it?
'palestinians' in Israel, natives or ALIENS?
History & Meaning palestine, "palestinians"
THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE
Compiled by Ruth Moore
The Jewish people have had ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years. A national language and a distinct civilization have been maintained. For many years, until May 14, 1948, the land now known as Israel and Jordan was referred to as "Palestine." a name given to it by the conquering Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD It was not originally so. The first record of the land was in the Bible, in Genesis 12:5-8:
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh, and the Canaanite was then in the land.
7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.
From that time forward, it was called "Canaan land," or, "the Promised Land," referring to the promise made to Abram, in Genesis 15:18:
18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river Euphrates:
After Jacob's sons were in bondage in Egypt for 430 years, God delivered them through the leadership of Moses, then they returned to the land and divided it among the 12 tribes of Israel. Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses' minister, led the people over Jordan and into the land, as recorded in the book of Joshua 1:2-4:
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel..
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river
Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going
down of the sun, shall be your coast.
The exact borders of the land that the Lord gave to Israel is designated in Numbers 34:2-15, including the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh, which was on the eastern side of the Jordan River.
For many years, the people were governed by judges, the last being Samuel, the prophet, who anointed both Saul and David, the first two kings of Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel formed the first constitutional monarchy in the land of Israel about 1,000 BC The second king of Israel, David, first made Jerusalem the nation's capital. Although eventually, Israel was split into two separate kingdoms, Jewish independence there lasted for 212 years. This is almost as long as Americans have been independent in what is known as the United States of America.
ISRAEL AND JUDAH
When the kingdom split, it was known as Judah and Israel, each having separate monarchs, continuing for 19 generations. The kingdom of Israel was finally overtaken by the king of Assyria and his armies, in approximately 730 BC. About 130 years later, the kingdom of Judah was overtaken by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Solomon's Temple was destroyed and the people were taken captive to Babylon.
After seventy years of captivity in Babylon, King Cyrus of Persia allowed some of the leaders among the Jewish people to go back and begin rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Eventually, Nehemiah became the governor of the land of Judah, as it was called in those days. In the book of Nehemiah, the 7th chapter, it lists all the returnees from Babylon, to the land of Judah. They set up rulers and a priesthood to officiate in the restored Temple.
The land was eventually overtaken by the Greeks and then the Romans, who ruled by procurators, allowing them to have their own king, which was the sons of Herod, the Great, who continued to renovate and rebuild the Temple, insomuch that it was referred to as "Herod's Temple."
At the time of Jesus, the greater part of the inhabitants were Jewish. The Romans had overtaken the land of Judah and were cruel taskmasters. In 70 AD, Titus and his armies besieged Jerusalem, destroying the Temple once again and taking the Jews to Rome as slaves. Incidentally, the fall of both temples occurred on the 9th of the Jewish month Av. To this day, on that particular date annually, the entire Jewish community worldwide, have mourned the loss the Temple. The day is referred to as "Tisha BaAv."
In 73 AD, 960 Jews took their own lives in the desert mountain of
Massada, rather than to be taken captive by the Romans, recorded by the 1st Century historian, Josephus Flavius. After the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in Palestine continued and often flourished. Large communities were re-established in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth Century. In the 11th Century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea.
Many Jews in the Holy Land were massacred by the Crusaders during the 12th Century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries, as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years. By the early 19th Century, years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement, more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what was then called "Palestine." The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in the re-establishment of the Jewish State.
Palestine was never exclusively an Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most of the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh Century. The term "Palestine" is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 13th Century BC settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what is now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second Century AD, after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name "Palaestina" to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the "West Bank"") in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word "Filastin" is derived from this Latin name.
No independent Arab or Palestinian state has ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Professor Philip Hitti, testified against the partition of Palestine before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: "There is no such country as 'Palestine' in history, absolutely not." In fact, Palestine is never explicitly mentioned in the Koran, rather it is called "the holy land" (al-Arad Al-Muqaddash).
In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: "There is no such country [as Palestine]! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries a part of Syria."
The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the UN submitted a statement to the General Assembly, in May, 1947, that said, "politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity." Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel's capture of the West Bank.
THE BALFOUR DECLARATION
In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which states:
His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Mandate for Palestine's purpose was to put into effect the Balfour Declaration. It specifically referred to "the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine" and to the moral validity of "reconstituting their National Home in that country." The term "reconstituting" shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews' home. Furthermore, the British were instructed to "use their best endeavors to "facilitate" Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to "secure" the Jewish National Home. The word "Arab" does not appear in the Mandatory award.
The Mandate was formalized by the 52 governments at the League of Nations, on July 24, 1922. Herbert Samuel, a British Jew who served as the first High Commissioner of Palestine, placed restrictions on Jewish immigration "in the 'interests of the present population' and the 'absorptive capacity' of the country." The influx of Jewish settlers was said to be forcing the Arab fellahin (native peasants) from their land. this was at a time when less than a million people lived in an area that now supports more than six million.
PARTITIONING THE LAND
The British actually limited the absorptive capacity of Palestine by partitioning the country. In 1921, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill rewarded Sherif Hussein's son, Abdullah, for his contributions to the war against Turkey. As a consolation prize for the Hejaz and Arabia going to the Saud family, Churchill installed him as emir. Churchill severed nearly four-fifths of Palestine -- some 35,000 square miles -- to create a brand new Arab emirate, Transjordan.
The British went further and placed restrictions on Jewish land purchases in what remained of Palestine, contradicting the provision of the Mandate (Article 6) that states "the Administration of Palestine... shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency.... close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not acquired for public purposes." By 1949, however, the British had allotted 87,500 acres of 187,500 acres of cultivable land to Arabs and only 4,250 to Jews.
Ultimately, the British admitted the argument about the absorptive capacity of the country was specious. The Peel Commission said: "The heavy immigration in the years 1933-36 would seem to show that the Jews have been able to enlarge the absorptive capacity of the country for Jews."
The British response to Jewish immigration set a precedent of appeasing the Arabs, which was followed for the duration of the Mandate. The British placed restrictions on Jewish immigration while allowing Arabs to enter the country freely. Apparently, London did not feel that a flood of Arab immigrants would affect the country's absorptive capacity.
During World War I, the Jewish population declined because of the war, famine, disease and expulsion. In 1915, approximately 83,000 Jews lived in Palestine, among 590,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs. According to the 1922 census, the Jewish population was 84,000, while the Arabs numbered 643,000. Thus, the Arab population continued to grow exponentially even while that of the Jews stagnated.
The record number of immigrants in 1935, was a response to the growing persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. The British administration considered this number too large, however, so the Jewish Agency was informed that less than one-third of the quota it asked for would be approved in 1936.
ARAB IMMIGRATION TO PALESTINE
The great majority of the Arab population, in recent decades, were comparative newcomers - either late immigrants, or descendants of persons who had immigrated into Palestine in the previous 70 years before the new state of Israel was born.
The British gave in further to Arab demands, by announcing in the 1939 White Paper that an independent Arab state would be created within 10 years, and that Jewish immigration was to be limited to 75,000 for the next five years, after which it was to cease altogether. It also forbade land sales to Jews in 95 percent of the territory of Palestine. The Arabs, nevertheless, rejected the proposal.
By contrast, throughout the Mandatory period, Arab immigration was unrestricted. In 1930, the Hope Simpson Commission, sent from London to investigate the 1929 Arab riots, said the British practice of ignoring the uncontrolled illegal Arab immigration from Egypt, Transjordan and Syria had the effect of displacing the prospective Jewish immigrants.
The British Governor of the Sinai, from 1922-36, observed: "This illegal immigration was not only going on from the Sinai, but also from Transjordan and Syria, and it is very difficult to make a case out for the misery of the Arabs, if at the same time, their compatriots from adjoining states could not be kept from going in to share that misery."
The Peel Commission reported in 1937 that the "shortfall of land is, we consider, due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews, than to the increase in the Arab population.
Prior to the declaration by the new State of Israel, Arab leaders notified the Arabs living in Palestine, telling them that there would be a war. They left their homes for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to the Arab leaders' calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies; a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the crossfire of a battle.
Many Arabs claim that 800,000 to 1,000,000 Palestinians became refugees in 1947-49. The last census was taken in 1945. It found only 756,000 permanent Arab residents in Israel. On November 30, 1947, the date of the UN partition, the total was 809,100 Arabs. A 1949 Government of Israel census counted 160,000 Arabs living in the country after the war. This meant no more than 650,000 Palestinian Arabs could have become refugees. A report by the UN Mediator on Palestine arrived at an even lower figure, 472,000.
The contrast between the reception of Jewish refugees in Israel, with the reception of Palestinian refugees in Arab countries, is even more stark when one considers the difference in cultural and geographic dislocation experienced by the two groups. Most Jewish refugees traveled hundreds, some traveled thousands of miles, to a tiny country whose inhabitants spoke a different language. Most Arab refugees never left Palestine at all; they traveled a few miles to the other side of the truce line, remaining inside the vast Arab nation that they were part of linguistically, culturally and ethnically.
In numerous instances, Jewish leaders urged the Arabs to remain in Palestine and become citizens of Israel. The Assembly of Palestine Jewry issued this appeal on October 2, 1947:
We will do everything in our power to maintain peace, and establish a cooperation gainful to both (Jews and Arabs). It is now, here an now, from Jerusalem itself, that a call must go out to the Arab nations to join forces with Jewry and the destined Jewish State and work, shoulder to shoulder, for our common good, for the peace and progress of sovereign equals.
Israel's Proclamation of Independence, issued on May 14, 1948, declared:
In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions... We extend our hand in peace and neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation of the common good of all.
ENCOURAGED TO LEAVE
A great amount of evidence exists demonstrating that Palestinians were encouraged to leave their homes, to make way for the invading Arab armies. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said, for example, declared: "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."
Haled Azm, the Syrian Prime Minister, in 1948-49, admitted the Arab role in persuading the refugees to leave: "Since 1948, we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we, ourselves, are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call to them to leave, and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return."
As a panic spread throughout Palestine, the early trickle of refugees became a flood, numbering more than 200,000 by the time that the provisional government declared the independence of the State of Israel.
THE ARAB EXODUS
The exodus actually began immediately after the partition vote, with the departure of as many as 30,000 wealthy Arabs who preferred to wait out the war in Cairo or Beirut. By the end of January, 1948, the exodus was so alarming that the Palestine Arab Higher Committee asked neighboring Arab countries to refuse visas to these refugees and to refuse visas to these refugees and to seal the borders against them.
Contemporary press reports of major battles in which large numbers of Arabs fled conspicuously failed to mention any forcible expulsion by the Jewish forces. The Arabs were described as "fleeing" or "evacuating" their homes. Whereas Zionists were accused of "expelling and dispossessing" the Arab inhabitants of such towns as Tiberias and Haifa, the truth is much different. Both of those cities were within the boundaries of the Jewish State, under the UN partition scheme, and both were fought for by Jews and Arabs alike.
In early April, 20,000 Palestinians left the Haifa area, following an offensive by the irregular forces led by Fawzi al-Qawukji, and rumors that Arab air forces would soon bomb the Jewish areas around Mt. Carmel.
Jewish forces seized Tiberias on April 19, 1948, and the entire Arab population of 6,000 was evacuated under British military supervision. The Jewish Community Council issued a statement afterward: "We did not dispossess them ; they themselves chose this course... Let no citizen touch their property."
On April 23, the Haganah (the Jewish Defense Forces before the Declaration of Independence), captured Haifa. An estimated 25,000 Arabs fled as the fighting began, and more than 50,000 had left by the end of the battle. Tens of thousands of Arab men, women and children fled toward the eastern outskirts of the city in cars, trucks, carts and afoot, in a desperate attempt to reach Arab territory until the Jews captured Rushmiya Bridge, toward Samaria and Northern Palestine and cut them off. Thousands used every available craft, even rowboats, along the waterfront, to escape, by sea, toward Acre.
A British police report from Haifa, dated April 26, explained that "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." In fact, David Ben-Gurion sent Golda Meir to Haifa, to try to persuade the Arabs to stay, but she was unable to convince them because of their fear of being judged traitors to the Arab cause.
The Arabs of Palestine left their homes, were scattered, and lost everything. But there remained one solid hope: The Arab armies were on the eve of their entry into Palestine, to save the country and return things to their normal course, punish the aggressor, and throw oppressive Zionism with its dreams and dangers into the sea. On May 14, 1948, crowds of Arabs stood by the roads leading to the frontiers of Palestine, enthusiastically welcoming the advancing armies. Days and weeks passed, sufficient to accomplish the sacred mission, but the Arab armies did not save the country. They did nothing but let slip from their hands Acre, Sarafand, Lydda, Ramleh, Nazareth, most of the south and the rest of the north. Then hope fled.
Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 resolution, not a single Palestinian would have become a refugee. And independent Arab state would now exist beside Israel. The responsibility for the refugee problem rests with the Arabs.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
On May 14, 1948, the head of the Jewish Agency, David Ben Gurion, gathered with the leadership of the Jewish Agency in Tel Aviv and after reading a statement, declared the independence of the new State which was to be called "Israel." This being the first time in nearly two thousand years that a Jewish State existed, Jews all over the world rejoiced with them. President Harry Truman was the first world leader to acknowledge the existence of the new state, by calling from America and congratulating Mr. Ben Gurion, offering assistance in the long road of rebuilding. The Jewish citizens of Israel danced in the streets all night.
The first president of Israel was Chaim Weizmann. David Ben Gurion was the first Prime Minister. While the people rejoiced in the streets, those leaders worked, planning together the defense of the new nation against the invading forces of five Arab nations.
During the summer of 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte was sent by the UN to Palestine, to mediate a truce and to try to negotiate a settlement. Bernadotte's plan called for the Jewish State to relinquish the Negev and Jerusalem to Transjordan an to receive western Galilee. This was similar to the boundaries that had been proposed prior to the partition vote, and had been rejected by all sides. Now, the proposal was being offered after the Arabs had gone to war to prevent partition and a Jewish state had been declared. The Jews and Arabs both rejected the plan.
The United States, the Soviet Union and most other states immediately recognized Israel and indicted the Arabs. The United States urged a resolution charging the Arabs with breach of the peace.
Soviet delegate, Andrei Gromyko, told the Security Council, May 29, 1948:
"This is not the first time that the Arab states, which organized the invasion of Palestine, have ignored a decision of the Security Council or of the General Assembly. The USSR delegation deems it essential that the council should state its opinion more clearly and more firmly with regard to this attitude of the Arab states toward decisions of the Security Council."
The initial phase of the fighting ended after Security Council threatened, on July 15, to cite the Arab governments for aggression under the Charter.
CUSTODIAN OF ABANDONED PROPERTY
After the War of Liberation ended, the new government of Israel passed an ordinance creating a Custodian of Abandoned Property "to prevent unlawful occupation of empty houses and business premises, to administer ownerless property, and also to secure tilling of deserted fields and save the crops."
The Israeli position toward the Palestinian refugees was expressed by David Ben-Gurion, on August 1, 1948:
"When the Arab states are ready to conclude a peace treaty with Israel, this question will come up for construction solution, as part of the general settlement, and with due regard to our counter-claims in respect of the
destruction of Jewish life and property, the long-term interest of the Jewish and Arab populations, the stability of the State of Israel and the durability of the basis of peace between it and its neighbors, the actual position and fate of the Jewish communities in the Arab countries, the responsibilities of the Arab governments for their war of aggression and their liability for reparation, will all be relevant in the question whether, to what extend, and under what conditions, the former Arab residents of the territory of Israel should be allowed to return."
The implied danger of repatriation did not prevent Israel from allowing some refugees to return and offering to take back a substantial number as a condition for signing a peace treaty. In 1949, Israel offered to allow families that had been separated during the war to return; agreed to release refugee accounts frozen in Israeli banks (eventually released in 1953); offered to pay compensation for abandoned lands and, finally, agreed to repatriate 100,000 refugees.
The Arabs rejected all the Israeli compromises. They were unwilling to take any action that might be construed as recognition of Israel. They made repatriation a precondition for negotiations, something Israel rejected. The result was the confinement of the refugees in camps.
The UN took up the refugee issue and adopted Resolution 194, on December 11, 1948. This called upon the Arab states and Israel to resolve all outstanding issues through negotiations, either directly or with the help of the Palestine Conciliation Commission, established by this resolution. Furthermore, Point 11 resolves:
"that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors, should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which under the principles of international law, or in equity, should be made good by Governments or authorities responsible. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees and payment of compensation... (emphasis added)."
Despite the position taken by the Arab states, Israel did release the Arab refugees' blocked bank accounts, which totaled more than $10 million. In addition, through 1975, the Israeli government paid to over 11,000 claimants more than 23 million Israeli pounds in cash and granted more than 20,000 acres as alternative holdings. Payments made by land value between 1948 and 1953, plus 6 percent for every year following the claim submission.
Meanwhile, the Arab states have refused to pay any compensation to the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to abandon their properties before fleeing those countries.
The Israelis considered the settlement of the refugee issue a negotiable part of an overall peace settle-ment. As President Chaim Weizmann explained: "We are anxious to help such resettlement provided that real peace is established and the Arab states do their part of the job. The solution of the Arab problem can be achieved only through an all-around Middle East development scheme, toward which the United Nations, the Arab states and Israel, will make their respective contributions."
At the time, the Israelis did not expect the refugees to be a major issue; they thought the Arab states would resettle the majority and some compromise on the remainder could be worked out in the context of an overall settlement. The Arabs were no more willing to compromise in 1949, however, than they had been in 1947. In fact, they unanimously rejected the UN resolution.
RELIEF FOR PALESTINIANS (UNRPR)
The General Assembly voted, on November 19, 1948, to establish the United Nations Relief For Palestinian Refugees (UNRPR) to dispense aid to the refugees. The UNRPR was replaced by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) on December 8, 1949, and given a budget of $50 million.
UNRWA was designed to continue the relief program initiated by UNRPR, substitute public works for direct relief and promote economic development. The proponents of the plan envisioned that direct relief would be almost completely replaced by public works, with the remaining assistance provided by the Arab governments.
UNRWA had little chance of success, however, because of the "unresponsiveness to an economic approach of a problem exclusively political in origin." By the mid-50s, it was evident neither the refugees nor the Arab states were prepared to cooperate on the large-scale development projects originally foreseen by the Agency as a means of alleviating the Palestinians' situation. The Arab governments and the refugees themselves were unwilling to contribute to any plan that could be interpreted as fostering resettlement. They preferred to cling to their interpretation of Resolution 194, which they believed would eventually result in repatriation.
REINTEGRATION OF REFUGEES
The callous disregard for the lives of the refugees was typified by the minimal level of funding contributed by the Arab states, to the fund established by the United Nations in 1952, to help re-integrate the refugees into the economic life of the Middle East, by repatriation or resettlement. The total Arab pledges amounted to approximately $600,000 (Egypt $390,000, Saudi Arabia $115,000, Syria $60,000 and Lebanon $35,000). Israel contributed almost $3 million, while the United States pledged $25 million.
The UNRWA's total income, from 1950 to 1969, was $696 million. Of this total, the United States provided over 68 percent ($456 million) and Britain gave 16 percent ($110 million). By 12972, the 19 Arab states had contributed $23 million, less than 5 percent of the United States' contribution. The five richest Arab oil-producing states had provided a total of only $8.5 million.
Israel donated more funds to UNRWA than most Arab states. The Saudis did not match Israel's contribution until 1973; Kuwait and Libya, not until 1980. In 1989, the most recent year for which data is available, Israel contributed twice as much money as Iran, Bahrain and Turkey; seven times as much as Egypt and nearly two hundred times as much as Lebanon. No Arab states was among the top 16 donors to UNRWA.
REFUGEE CAMPS AN OPEN SORE
The treatment of the refugees in the decade following their displacement, was best summed up by a former director of UNRWA, Ralph Garroway, in August, 1958:
"The Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die."
Little has changed in succeeding years. Arab governments have frequently offered jobs, housing, land and other benefits to Arabs and non-Arabs, excluding Palestinians. For example, Saudi Arabia chose not to use unemployed Palestinian refugees to alleviate its labor shortage in the late 1970[s and early 1980's. Instead, thousands of South Koreans and other Asians were recruited to fill the jobs.
The Palestinian refugees held the UN responsible for ameliorating their condition; nevertheless, many Palestinians were unhappy with the treatment they were receiving from the Arab brothers. Some, like Palestinian nationalist leader Musa Alami, were incredulous: "It is shameful that the Arab governments should prevent the Arab refugees from working in these countries and shut the doors in their faces and imprison them in camps." Most refugees, however, focused their discontentment on "the Zionists," whom they blamed for their predicament rather than the vanquished Arab armies.
Out of the filth, squalor and inconveniences of the refugee camps, was born a generation full of dissatisfaction. They did not belong to a nation, so they wanted a nationality. They had never had a home outside of the pitiful shacks of the refugee camps, so they wanted a home. They had never known respect because, as refugees, they were constantly on the receiving end of UN charity, coming from various nations who supported the UNRWA, so they wanted to dignify their existence.
Since their leaders continually pointed back to Israel, as the reason for them being where they were, they were more and more embittered against Israel. If the Jews would go back where they came from, then they would have a nation of their own. The never considered that the Jews, many times over the centuries, had suffered the same plight that they had, only they (the Jews) began to help themselves, educating themselves and making such contributions to the host nation that they became a "necessary evil." So that, though they received no love nor care from those nations, they had what they needed. It would have been easy for the Jews to have assimilated into those nations where they wandered but for the high principles of Judaism and the Bible. This kept them distinct from all others.
After ignoring warnings to stay out of the war, in 1967, King Hussein launched an attack on Jerusalem, Israel's capital. UNRWA estimated that during the fighting, 175,000 of its registrants had fled for the second time and approximately 350,000 fled for the first time. About 200,000 moved to Jordan, 115,000 to Syria and approximately 35,000 left Sinai for Egypt. Most of the Arabs who left had come from the West Bank.
Israel allowed some West Bank Arabs to return in 1967, more than 9,000 families were reunited and, by 1971, Israel had re-admitted 40,000 refugees. By contrast, in July, 1968, Jordan prohibited persons intending to remain in the East Bank from emigrating from the West Bank and Gaza.
The PLO was founded in 1964, when the West Bank and Gaza were under Arab rule. The "Palestine" it sought to "liberate" then, as now, was Israel, within its pre-1967 borders. In fact, the official PLO insignia is a map that includes all of Israel.
From the aforementioned refugee camps came what is now referred to as the "Palestinians." In truth, every person living in Palestine prior to May, 1948, should be included in that reference. That would include Palestinian Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Druse and the various Christians who held residence there.
True, the Jews automatically became citizens of the new state of Israel. Also, those Arabs who chose to remain in Israel after May 14, 1948, were considered citizens with every right that the Jews enjoyed, excluding carrying arms in the Israeli Army (IDF). This would force young Arab men to have to take up arms against their Arab brethren and Israel did not want that, also allow infiltration of Arab militia from nations at war with Israel.
As was stated previously, out of the filth and squalor of the refugee camps, was born many terrorist groups, since they found no satisfaction among the neighboring Arab nations, they decided to use terrorist tactics against Israel, to bring about their desires. They, they hoped, would cause enough sorrow and death in Israel that the Jews would leave. This has brought about five times in which Israel was forced to go to war with her Arab neighbors, plus a police action in Lebanon and the recent intifada.
THE ARAB LEAGUE
The Arab League was founded on March 22, 1945. Its original members were Egypt, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. The following nations joined later: Lybia, in 1953; Sudan, in 1956; Tunisia and Morocco, in 1958; Kuwait, in 1961; Algeria, in 1962 and South Yemen, in 1967.
The main reason for the formation of this League was "the political, propaganda, economic and military offensive against Israel."
The League was an attempt to unite the Arab world into one body. It declared Palestine "a vital part of the Arab homeland." It stated that "in Addendum 1 of the League's Charter, we find that "Palestine is an Arab country." In 1947, the League rejected the United Nation's partition plan. In 1950, the League refused to recognize the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, which was viewed by them as being "held in trust" until "the liberation of the whole of Palestine." It regarded the "liberation of Palestine" as a principal objective of Arab unity. However, it was never able to reach a united policy on its struggle with Israel. In January of 1964, the first Arab Summit Conference was held in Cairo and it called for a unification of Arab efforts on the behalf of Arab Palestine and paved the way for a Palestine Conference, which was held on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, in May of 1964.
It was at the Jerusalem Conference that the PLO was formed, with Ahmed Shukeiry as its head. The leaders of the PLO, in its initial stages, were appointed by the members of the Arab League and participation by the Palestinians was limited. The Palestinians, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, formed Al-Fatah, in 1965. They were no longer willing to accept Pan-Arab custodianship of Palestine Arab affairs.
During the Six Day War (1967), the leader of the Arab League, who was the above Ahmed Shukeiry, fled Jerusalem and was, thus, discredited as a courageous leader. He was forced to resign as head of the PLO and Yahya Hammuda took his place. When the Palestine National Conference convened in Cairo, in 1968, the Al-Fatah faction gained 38 of the 100 seats on the council. Not satisfied with this, Al-Fatah and its supporters won a majority at the 1969 Palestine National Conference and Arafat replaced Hammuda as its chairman.
In Cairo, 1968, the Palestine National Charter was drafted.
In the following pages is a diagram showing the growth of the PLO and its offshoots, including some of the activities which some of them perpetrated against Israel, in an effort to gain the leadership that it now claims in the Arab world. Also, there will accounts listed of the present, most powerful terrorist organizations in the Middle East, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.
THE PALESTINE NATIONAL CHARTER
U.S. NEW & WORLD REPORT
MYTHS AND FACTS: A CONCISE RECORD OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
THE JERUSALEM DIGEST
VOICES UNITED FOR ISRAEL
THE JERUSALEM REPORT