They Have No Right of Return

Published May 1, 2003
Revised May 1, 2007

Two main reasons have been advanced for the few hundred thousand Arabs who fled Palestine mostly ahead of the war against the tiny State of Israel which achieved statehood on May 14, 1948.

First was the fictional massacre of Arabs in Deir Yassin at the hands of the Irgun and Lehi. So frightening were the stories of the killing of ‘innocents’ by the allegedly ‘ferocious’ Jews, that huge numbers upped and fled. Such was their astonishing fear – if you want to believe it. How such news got around in a country without phones and few radios still needs to be explained.

The Arabs have never hesitated to shout ‘massacre’ to high heaven when dozens or scores are sometimes killed in battle. Yet have never had any shame or compunction in declaring their intention to exterminate ALL the Jews in Israel!

How base is their morality . . . how totally lacking in civilized decency. And how utterly unconcerned too were the many European nations which supported the Arabs in word and deed.

1948 War Aim of Arab Armies

The 1948 war aim of the six Arab armies was broadcast in advance and was certainly well known to the small Jewish community in Israel. Israelis already understood from the German example that genocide was a realizable objective. Many had been rescued from the death camps of Europe by the advancing allies.

Now, from the day of its birth, the new state of Israel faced a coalition of Arab nations which lusted for a walkover of killing, looting and rapine. Against Jews who had no army, no military culture for over 2,000 years. Extermination was to be the Arab punishment for Jewish temerity in accepting the United Nation’s resolution offering statehood to both Arabs and Jews.

“Like the Mongolian Massacres”

Azam Pasha, Arab League Secretary General, proudly proclaimed the war aim of the Arabs, May 15, 1948. (Quoted in “New Dimensions” Jan. ’91)

“This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the crusades.” (For additional relevant quotes see numbers 1 and 2 in Appendix below.)

The Arab threats were genuine enough to instill fear. So why didn’t the 650,000 Jews of the newborn state of Israel flee? By sea. By air. On foot? Why didn’t they hide in the hills, forests and caves? Why did they gird their loins to fight the invaders against overwhelming odds?

Arab Leaders Command Them to Get Out

The second reason for the flight of the Arabs was the call by their leaders to get out and allow the Arab armies to make short shrift of the Jews. This however, is still strongly denied by the Palestinians. To admit they fled voluntarily would have brought into question their attachment to Palestine. It would also have hurt their international strategy since they wanted to be seen as victims of Israel, not having been led up the garden path by their leaders.

Abu Mazen Tells Why Arabs Fled

Nevertheless, the historical record is replete with numerous references attesting the truth. Here is one from the then PLO Spokesman Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) Falastin aThaura, (March 1976). (The same Abu Mazen who was elected President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) January 9, 2005.)

“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.” (Additional relevant quotes are given in the Appendix below. See numbers 3 to 5.)

Why didn’t the Jews flee?

After 2,000 years of exile the Jews started returning home. Despite two millennia of persecution their nationhood and attachment to their homeland had remained intact. They were determined to hold on to their nascent state, achieved at last. The Arabs fled because, unlike the Jews, they had no genuine attachment to the land. The majority had entered as work seekers and were in any event merely returning to the welcome bosom of their compatriots in the surrounding Arab countries.

From time immemorial?

The spin given out by the Arabs was that they were one nation in their homeland ‘from time immemorial’. That having been “unfairly removed” from their ancient homeland, they were entitled to return. This is untrue on both accounts. Firstly because most had in fact illegally immigrated into Palestine – and not all that long ago either. Secondly, as the evidence clearly shows, the ‘refugees’ had left voluntarily, at the urging of their leaders. Moreover, when the war was over they made no immediate clamor to return.

The majority knew perfectly well they were not indigenous. That Palestine never was their ancient homeland. Moreover, many had fought with the pan-Arab military forces intending to exterminate the Jews. Those who made war for this purpose had no expectation of any right to return. That was to develop in later years when the Arabs understood the value of PR and indeed became highly successful in the art of spin.

Joan Peters Exposes Arab Demographic Fraud

In a 7 year monumental investigation, historian Joan Peters researched the origins of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. To her surprise she discovered that they had not in fact been in Palestine ‘from time immemorial’. She titled her book “From Time Immemorial”. [J.KAP Publishing, 1985 reprint.] She quoted an early statement by Churchill in 1939, that effectively challenged the false claim of the Arabs that they had been in Palestine for millennia.

“So far from being persecuted, the ARABS have CROWDED into the country till their population has INCREASED more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population.” (Palestine) (Emphasis mine. Additional relevant quotes are given in the Appendix below. Numbers 6 to 7.)

Did Palestine Arabs Speak So Many Foreign Languages?

Much evidentiary support for her conclusions came from the 1931 census. Peters noted that non-Jews in Palestine listed at least 24 different countries as their “birthplace”! And that 23 different languages were used by the Muslim community; 28 by Christian Arabs. So many foreign languages spoken by Arabs!

There was no secular education for Muslims in Palestine under Turkish rule. Study was mostly confined to the Koran, sages’ commentaries, and Islamic writings – in Arabic. If all the Arabs in Palestine had been there since time immemorial how come they spoke such a plethora of foreign languages!?

They Have No Right of Return

The Arabs had immigrated to Palestine in search of work. They fled Palestine because they had neither nationhood nor other attachment to a country the British named Palestine in 1917. When the Arab nations made war on the handful of Jews they confidently expected total victory. They were fixated on the extermination and expulsion of the Jews and on the confiscation of their individual and communal wealth.

The Arabs refer to their defeat by the handful of poorly armed Jews as their ‘Naqba’ (disaster). Their defeat has certainly not earned any of them the right to turn the clock back. They were the victims of their own making and they are entitled to the disappointment resulting from their well deserved defeat.

Their hatred of Israel and Israelis has been actively nurtured from the day they fled. Israel has no obligation to give them yet another opportunity to fulfill their murderous intent. They have no ‘right of return’.

The Jews stayed and fought for their homeland, to which they were indeed attached from time immemorial. And to reclaim their birthright 2,000 years of exile. Only diaspora Jews who so wish have the right of return to their ancient Jewish homeland.

APPENDIX

Quotes: War aims

  1. Citing Damascus radio, TIME (page 20, June 2, 1948) recorded Syria calling on all Arabs to “undertake the liberation battle that will tear the hearts from the bodies of the hateful Jews and trample them in the dust”.
  2. “Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united….I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” May 20, 1948. Syrian Defense Minister, Hafez Assad

Quotes: Leaders command Arabs to leave

  1. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said: “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.”
  2. Edward Atiyah, Secretary of the Arab League Office in London, wrote in his book, The Arabs: “This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boastings of an unrealistic Arabic press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re¬enter and retake possession of their country.”
  3. Habib Issa in the New York Lebanese paper, Al Hoda (June 8, 1951) quotes Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: “He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw the Jews into the Mediterranean …. Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.”

Quotes: Arab immigration into Palestine

  1. Tewfik Bey El-Hurani, Governor of the Hauran said August 12, 1935, as published in “La Syrie”: “in the last few months from 30,000 to 36,000 Hauranese (Syrians) had ENTERED Palestine and SETTLED there”.

  2. Massive Arab immigration from 1922 to 1936 into Palestine was confirmed by the British Governor of the Sinai, who observed that: “This illegal immigration was not only going on from SINAI, but also from Transjordan and Syria…..”

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