During the buildup to Israel’s Independence in 1948, Arab nations told Palestinian Arabs to get out of the country until after the Arab Victory when they would be able to return. But Israel won the war, and an estimated 750,000 Arabs left. When the United Nations Relief Works Agency was formed in 1950 as a body tasked solely to deal with the Palestinian refugee issue, it said there were 914,000 registered Palestinian refugees. Because their descendants uncles, friends, Good Humor Truck drivers and second cousins once removed are also classified as refugees, the number grew to more than 4.4 million by 2005. Israeli, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continues to sell his country down the river. His latest concession is to allow the Palestinians to begin to chip away at the Jewish character of Israel
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) The issue of “Arab refugees” has long been a matter of widespread consensus in Israel, with even left-wing parties declaring that allowing them into Israel would endanger its very existence as a Jewish state. Nevertheless, the subject does not appear to be going away. Reports are that Prime Minister Olmert has now agreed to allow 50,000 Arabs who left Israel in 1948 – or are descendants of those who did – to enter and live in Israel.
Channel Ten reported Thursday night that in a private meeting between Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen, the two agreed that in the final-status agreement, Israel would withdraw from 92% of Judea and Samaria, including all the non-Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. It was also agreed that 50,000 “refugees from 1948” would enter and live in the State of Israel. Staffers in Olmert’s office did not deny the report, and even hinted that it was at least partially accurate.Lebanon: Return, Not Money
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Seniora does not accept Bush’s position on the refugees. Seniora said that money alone is not enough, and that his country will continue to refuse to grant citizenship to the 400,000 refugees living within its borders. The number of Arabs who left Israel in 1948 has been estimated to be roughly a half-million, but millions now claim the ‘right to return.’Arabs Denied Refugee Problem
Oft-forgotten is the fact that the refugee problem was not caused by Israel, but by the Arab states. “The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies,” according to the Jordanian newspaper Filastin (February 19, 1949). Joan Peters, in her classic work “From Time Immemorial,” quotes (on page 13) an Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies finding that “the majority” of the Arab refugees in 1948 were not expelled, and that 68% left without seeing an Israeli soldier. On April 27, 1950, the Arab National Committee of Haifa informed the Arab States: “The removal of the Arab inhabitants… was voluntary and was carried out at our request… The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries.”Zuheir Muhsein, the late Military Department head of the PLO and member of its Executive Council, told the Dutch daily Trouw, March 1977, “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity… Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people… to oppose Zionism.”
And through it all Olmert continues to ignore that other refugee problem, the one where people were thrown out of their country in 1948–the Jews who were kicked out of Arab lands. Along with the Palestinian refugees who were begged to stay in Israel, there were the Jews in Arab nations some 850,000 of them that were thrown out of Arab countries (100,000 more than the Arab Palestinian refugees). Israel managed to absorb about 600,000 of them during the first years of its existence. As he goes about his task of destroying Israel’s security and giving away Judaism’s holiest sites Olmert continues to ignore the precedence which says the Jewish refugee issue is to be solved at the same time as the Arab refugees. On two occasions, in 1957 and again in 1967, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determined that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were refugees who fell within the mandate of the UNHCR.
“Another emergency problem is now arising: that of refugees from Egypt. There is no doubt in my mind that those refugees from Egypt who are not able,or not willing to avail themselves of the protection of the Government of their nationality fall under the mandate of my office.” Mr. Auguste Lindt, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Report of the UNREF Executive Committee, Fourth Session – Geneva 29 January to 4 February, 1957. “I refer to our recent discussion concerning Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries in consequence of recent events. I am now able to inform you that such persons may be considered prima facie within the mandate of this Office.” Dr. E. Jahn, Office of the UN High Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Document No. 7/2/3/Libya, July 6, 1967
Resolution 242 stipulates that a comprehensive peace settlement should necessarily include “a just settlement of the refugee problem.” No distinction is made between Arab refugees and Jewish refugees.
The international community’s intention to have Resolution 242 include the rights of Jewish refugees is evidenced by the fact that during the UN debate, the Soviet Union’s delegation attempted to restrict the “just settlement” mentioned in Resolution 242 solely to Palestinian refugees. (S/8236, discussed by the Security Council at its 1382nd meeting of November 22, 1967, notably at paragraph 117, in the words of Ambassador Kouznetsov of the Soviet Union). This attempt failed clearly signaling the intention of the international community not to restrict the “just settlement of the refugee problem” merely to Palestinian refugees.
Moreover, Justice Arthur Goldberg, the United States’ Chief Delegate to the United Nations, who was instrumental in drafting the unanimously adopted U.N. Resolution 242, has pointed out that:
“A notable omission in 242 is any reference to Palestinians, a Palestinian state on the West Bank or the PLO. The resolution addresses the objective of ‘achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.’ This language presumably refers both to Arab and Jewish refugees, for about an equal number of each abandoned their homes as a result of the several wars….”
But Jewish Refugees are not a concern to Prime Minister Olmert as he continues in his quest to destroy Israel as a Jewish State.