The Palestinian Refugees of 1948 Were not Innocent Peace Loving People / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The Palestinian campaign in the international media tries to portrait the Palestinian refugees as innocent peace loving people who were expelled from their homes by cruel, heartless Israelis in 1947/8.Israel is accused for "ethnic cleansing."

I was born in the so called Palestine under the British Mandate, and I can tell you from my own personal life experience as a child and as a young girl how innocent and peace loving people the Palestinians were.

A. Palestine is the JEWISH HOMELAND

The name of the country was Israel and later Judea and the Israelis/ Jews were the residents of that country. The name Palestinia was given to the country in 135 CE by the Roman emperor Adrianus, after he brutally crushed the Jewish revolt against the Roman occupation. 985 villages and towns were destroyed, at least 100,000 war prisoners were sold to slavery and about 500,000 were killed or murdered. Many more escaped. The sea ports of the Mediterranean were overcrowded by Jewish refugees, according to Roman sources.

Out of about 3,000,000 Jews in the First century CE only about 150,000 survived in the 4th century. But, the Jews never forgot or gave up their dream to return to their homeland and the 1917 Balfur Declaration made it possible.

Contrary to the Palestinian propaganda, there was never an Arabic – Palestinian state in the country called Palestine. From the 4th century until the 14th century most of the population was non- Arabic Christians. In the 16th century there were less than 100,000 Arabs in the country under Ottoman occupation. Most of the Arabs (now called Palestinians)immigrated to the country from about the middle of the 19TH century to 1948 from Arab and Muslim countries as work immigrants. Job opportunities became available because of Zionist – Jewish investments and the British Mandate.

B. The Jews returned to their homeland by International

The Jews started to resettle in the Land of Israel, with the approval and recognition of the League of Nations, after the First World War. Britain received the mandate on the land of Israel from the League of Nations in order to prepare the grounds for a national home to the Jewish People. The homeland for the Jews included both sides of the Jordan River. In 1922 the British government illegally tore the eastern part of the country from the Jewish homeland and gave it to the Hashamite family.
In 1947 the United Nation resolution tore from the Jewish homeland the so called Western Bank and decided to establish there another Arab state along a Jewish state on what remained from the Jewish homeland. The Zionist movement, the Jewish national movement, accepted the 1947 resolution on a small part of its homeland because the Zionist movement had the responsibility to give a home to the survivors of the Holocaust. No other country was willing to give them a home.

C. Jews were under constant attacks during British Mandate

The Arabs who lived in the country refused to recognize the Jews' right to settle in the country. The Jews became victims of constant harassment and pogroms. Hundreds of Jews were murdered and wounded in the pogroms of 1919/20, 1929, 1936- 1939.
As a child, I remember sleeping on a mattress under the window with my family because the Arabs of the village El – A- rish, situated on a hill used to shoot into our windows day and night. People were shot during day time.

The conflict forced the British Mandate to find a solution to the situation. The 1936 Peel Commission proposed to divide the country into 2 states: a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jews agreed – the Arabs rejected the offer. They claimed the whole country for themselves.

After the Second World War, in 1947 the United Nations decided to divide the country into 2 states in order to put an end to the Arab – Jewish conflict. The Jews agreed – The Palestinian - Arabs rejected the resolution and started a war against the Jews in November 1947. Volunteers from Arab countries came to help them and on May 1948, the day the Jewish state was declared, 7 Arab armies invaded the new state of Israel with the declaration "to throw the Jews into the Sea."

My home town was constantly under fire from the Arab village on the hill. The transportation from my home town to Tel Aviv was constantly under fire. I went to high school in Tel Aviv daily. After girl was killed
My parents decided to send me to stay with my uncle's family.

7 youngsters, who served under the British police, from my home town were brutally murdered trying to defend Jewish transportation to Jerusalem through the Arab village of Yazur, whose residents were mostly immigrant workers from Egypt. One of the boys lived a few houses from mine. He was 18 years old.

And these are only few stories on what the Arabs did in order "to throw us into the sea."

At first the Palestinian - Arabs offensive against the Jews succeeded, and Jews were attacked on the roads, their villages, towns and cities were attacked and the Jews had many casualties.

But, gradually, the Jews were able to start an offensive, and fight back, and as a result, many Arabs ran away. Some were afraid of revenge, and some left upon recommendation of their leaders, who called them to leave until "the Jews are thrown into the sea." Others who were involved in the war or massacres were expelled.

6,000 Jews, 1% of the Jewish population, were killed and thousands were wounded. Many of them were Holocaust survivors.

In short, the Palestinian refugees were not innocent victims of Jewish cruelty. They were responsible for what happened to them. But, they refuse to take responsibility and blames Israel.

There is not one precedent in which refugees were allowed to return to their homes, especially if they were hostile to that country.

The real victim of the conflict is Israel because the Arabs and the Palestinians have never gave up their dream "to throw the Jews into the sea" They attacked Israel in 1967 and in 1973, and by terror. Until today, more than 22,000 Israelis were killed in wars and by terror and thousands were wounded, by Arabs and Palestinians.

Palestinians rejected 6 opportunities to put an end to the conflict and get a state besides Israel. The last two were in 2000 and 2008. And now, they are trying to get a state from the UN, thus avoiding negotiations with Israel. They wish to continue the conflict until they will put an end to the Jewish state by settling the refugees in Israel.

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