Of the 600,000 original Arab refugees, perhaps 75,000 are alive today. Yet the Palestinians claim 5 million refugees. They do this because alone among the refugee populations of the world, the U.N considers descendants of the original refugees, whether 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation, as refugees, even though they never even set foot in Israel in their lives. The Palestinians and Arab nations blame Israel for the plight of the refugees, but it is their cynical use of the refugee issue, that has kept alive a refugee population 63 years after a war, and embittered Palestinians from ever accepting a Jewish majority state of Israel.(1)
About 200 synagogues were damaged, and in many cases destroyed, (constituting nearly all Germany had), including Jewish cemeteries. More than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps. The treatment of prisoners in the camps was brutal, accounting for 2,000 to 2,500 hundred of the deaths, whereas less than one hundred died during the riots. Most were released during the following three months on condition that they leave Germany.
Lets skip the Holocaust and go back to the Middle East.
Seventy years ago, on June 1, 1941, the most dramatic and violent pogrom in the Arab Middle East during World War II took place in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Known in Arabic as the Farhūd, this devastating pogrom left approximately 150 Jews dead, hundreds more wounded, and led to the ransacking of nearly 600 Jewish businesses. The grim events of June 1-2, 1941 were the Iraqi Arab equivalent of the mass violence on Kristallnacht, which had taken place some two and a half years earlier across Nazi Germany.
The pogrom struck at what was the most prosperous, prominent and well-integrated Jewish community in the Middle East – one whose origins went back more than 2,500 years – long before there was any Arab presence in the country. The 90,000 Jews of Baghdad, it should be said, played a major role in the commercial and professional life of the city. However, in the 1930s they already found themselves confronted by an increasingly virulent anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda in the Iraqi press and among nationalist political groups. This agitation treated the intensely patriotic Iraqi Jews as an alien, hostile minority who had to be ejected from all the social, economic and political positions it held in the Iraqi state.
Iraqi Arab nationalists, like their counterparts in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt, had been much influenced in the 1930s by the rise of Nazi Germany. Hitler’s National Socialism attracted them as a spectacular, authoritarian model for achieving Iraqi national unity and a wider union of Arabs in the region.
Significantly, it was also in Baghdad that the first official Arabic translations of parts of Hitler’s Mein Kampf appeared in 1934. In order not to offend Arab sensibilities the final translation “edited” out Hitler’s racial theories about inferior “Semites” – making it clear that anti-Semitism related only to Jews, not to Arabs.
Ten years later, the government of Iraq under the pro-British Nuri es-Said, expropriated, dispossessed, disenfranchised and brought about the forced emigration of nearly 120,000 Iraqi Jews, thereby cruelly terminating the oldest of all Diaspora histories. This was not only a crime against humanity but an insufficiently acknowledged part of the history of the Holocaust. The Farhūd exposed with shocking clarity just how vulnerable the Jews in Arab lands really were and what their fate was likely to be under any decolonized Arab regime in the future, especially if there was a breakdown of law and order.
Despite the “Arab Spring” not much has changed for other minorities in the Middle East in the last 70 years. As for the Jews, from Morocco to Iraq and Iran they would be “ethnically cleansed” after 1945 by their Muslim rulers. The Farhūd already represented the writing on the wall for those willing to read it. The reinforcement of a strong Israel was and still remains the only viable long-term answer to the repetition of such horrific atrocities in the future.(3)
First Germany, then many Arab countries began a brutal campaign of mob violence including police and soldiers to drive out all Jews and seize their property. Even Jews who could trace their heritage back to 586 BC in Baghdad were expelled from Arab lands. So they fled to Israel and, when the UN announced the Jews would be granted their own land, the surrounding Arab’s said they would not allow it, and attacked. I don’t blame the Arabs living in Israel for leaving, as warned, before the fighting started. But it was the Arabs that displaced them, not Israel. But why were they not allowed to return after the fighting ended? At first, they were. I spoke with a Jewish, former USAF Captain who was serving at that time what he remembered about this, he said they allowed them to return until Hamas arrived, around 1950. But not to just take the word of any one person…..
Arab refugees from the 1948 War of Independence, located in camps in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, became a locusof anti-Israel activity. No Arab country would take them in and no Arab country would help them, so they became the responsibility of the United Nations. These angry Arabs began to make one-night raids against Israelis, killing one here, raping one there. They were encouraged by the Arab states to do so. In fact, Egypt’s military recruited and trained them and Egypt even offered a fixed price for Jewish heads.
This wave of attacks on Israel became more organized in the form of Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, called “fedayeen” (peasants who were deemed “Men of Sacrifice” or “Suicide Fighters”), who began to conduct raids against the Israeli civilian population by 1951. The fedayeen operated from bases in the territories surrounding Israel: Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. They were trained and equipped, primarily by Egyptian Intelligence, to engage in hostile action on the border and infiltrate Israel to commit acts of sabotage and murder. The fedayeen operated mainly from locations in Jordan, so that Jordan would bear the brunt of Israel’s retaliation, which inevitably followed.
In the period 1951-1956, hundreds of fedayeen attacks were carried out against Israel; over 400 Israelis were killed and 900 injured. The IDF reacted in a series of “Reprisal Operations” many of which were carried out by infantry units, paratroopers and the special anti-terrorism Unit 101.
The fedayeen acts of terror, supported by the Arab countries led, eventually, to the outbreak of the Sinai Campaign.(4)
My, that does sound familiar. The countries that attacked Israel, displaced the Arabs living there then urged them to embark a terrorist war against the Jews, offering training and support, but not allowing them any chance for a permanent home.
Ramallah, West Bank — It has surrounded the Jewish state on all sides for months, a roiling wave from Egypt to Jordan to Syria, but this week the Arab Spring came to Israel. The thousands of Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon who Sunday tried to surge across the border with Israel introduced a new tactic in the Palestinian struggle to reclaim what they see as their homeland. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he feared it is just the start of a new initiative that could present “far more complex challenges.” The would-be Palestinian invaders were not chanting for a two-state solution but rather for a return to the Galilee and to Jaffa. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out, they were carrying keys to “our homes in Jaffa, Acre, Haifa and Ramle,” not to their homes in Ramallah or Nablus, he said.
Entrance to UNWRA’s Aida Palestinian Refugee Camp near Bethlehem, with key representing the right of return that says “not for Sale”
photo by Rhonda Spivak
Whether Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas heard their chants is questionable because two days later he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he detailed his plans to ask the United Nations General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. “Until Sunday we thought this revolution of the youth of the Arab world was against Arab dictators and that we were out of the equation, that it was not about us,” said Morchechai Kedar, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. “That is correct when it comes to the people from those countries, but when it comes to the Palestinians who have been held in refugee camps there, they are demonstrating in Israel because of the repression of the Arab world.” The Palestinian longing for a return to their former homes in Israel is perhaps best exemplified by a 28-year-old Syrian man who managed to breach the Israeli border Sunday. He hitchhiked and took a bus 130 miles to Jaffa and later told police he was searching for the home of his parents before they and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven to neighboring Arab countries during Israel’s War of Independence. “This is something they will try again and again,” Kedar said. “This is today the modus operandi in the Arab world. The weaker you are, the stronger you are. If you don’t have weapons and exposed hands, you are the most powerful. The ones who shoot are illegitimate and are weaker than you. Israel will have to find a way to send them back without killing them, such as with the use of tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.” He said Syrian President Bashar Assad instigated the Palestinian demonstration to “divert the media from what he is doing” in various Syrian cities to forcibly crush a popular uprising in which more than 1,300 have been reportedly shot dead by Syrian forces.(5)
Does Israel have the “right” to claim that land and defend it against all attackers? I say yes, that the attackers “owe” the moral burden to those displaced. Will Baghdad return the property stolen and pay restitution to the Jews? And the same for all the other countries who did the same? The guilt and the burden belong to the countries that attacked Israel in 1948, and the thieves that expelled their Jewish citizens. We believe in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. The Arabs surrounding Israel seem to believe the Jews deserve life only if they are slaves. One out of those three is pretty bad.
(1)http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/chris_wallace_says_israel_kick.htmlThe Palestinians want to flood Israel with five million “non-refugee refugees” in order to become a majority in Israel and change the character of the state.
other sources not used