Shaik Munnes' Residents were Mostly Recent Immigrants from Egypt / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Shaik Munnes was an Arabic village. The Northern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, including Tel Aviv University, were built on the site of this village.

The Village was established, according to the Nakba web site, sometime during the 18th century. The country was ruled, at that time, by the Ottomans (1516 – 1918). The borders were unprotected and Arabs and Muslims settled with no interruption. In 1831, Muhammad Ali's son, Ibrahim Pasha, from Egypt, conquered the country and settled about 100,000 Egyptian peasants in the country, including Shaik Munnes.

In 1879 the "British Research Foundation," studied the country's population, and published a survey, stating that the number of Shaik Munnes residents was 315. According to a census held in 1922, by the British Manate government (1917/8- 1948), there were 664 residents in the village. The Nakba web site reported that the village population grew from 664 in 1922 to 1,154 in 1931, to 1.930 in 1945 and to 2,160 in 1948. This information is based on figures published by the British government.

Analyzing these figures shows that between 1879 and 1922( 43 years) the population grew by 349.
From 1922 and 1931(9 years) its population grew by 490.
From 1931 to 1945(14 years) its population grew by 776.
From 1945 to 1948 (3 years) its population grew by 230.
In sum, the village's population grew from 1879 to 1948 (69 years) by 1,845 residents.

The population growth of Shaik Munnes cannot be attributed to natural growth. Taking into consideration the economic situation, health services available, the life expectancy and child mortality rates, it is impossible that these figures were the result of natural growth.

Prof. Moshe Brawer, from the Dept. of Geography at Tel Aviv university, a well known Geographer, published an article, titled, "Immigration as a Factor in the Growth of Arab villages in Eretz Israel." The research was based on a survey of Arab villages during the British rule of Palestine, conducted by the British government, in which Prof. Brawer participated. Another survey was conducted by the Israeli government between 1968 and 1978, in which Prof. Brawer participated, too.
The research dealt with the immigration of Arab and Muslim peasants and day workers from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Trans- Jordan during the British Mandate rule.

The research included the following information on the Egyptian immigration to Palestine:
Prof. Brawer found out, in his research, that between 1922 and 1944, the population of the villages along the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, between Jaffa and Raphah grew by such numbers that cannot be the result of natural growth:
Beith Dajan's population grew by 127%
Yazur's population grew by 214%
Salameh's population grew by 476%
Yavne's population grew by 203%
Kubeiba's population grew by 211%
Faja – by 630%, and Sawalamah- by 1,040%.

The Muktars (head of the village) of these villages told Prof. Brawer that Egyptian immigrant workers from Egypt settled in their villages. Since they owned no land, they settled in the outskirts of the village.

Prof. Brawer studied the population growth in the region of Genin and Nablus (today the Western Bank), where there were almost no immigrants, and found out that the population growth between 1922 and 1944 was between 50% to 80%. Concluding that the average growth in those areas was 70%, he came to the conclusion that at least 1/3 of the population growth along the southern shore villages came from immigration.

Prof. Brawer explained that immigrant workers settled along the shore and not in the Genin and Nablus areas, because the work opportunities along the shore were much better.

Prof. Brawer found out that Egyptian workers first arrived in 1917 as service workers of the British army who came to conquer Palestine. They kept coming to work in the new camps built by the British army, and
on different development projects initiated by the British government.

Another source of work opportunities were the development projects initiated by the Zionist movement, and the extensive building for Jewish new immigrants. Still, another source of work opportunities was created by Jewish investors who planted citrus plantations and other projects.

In short, the British Mandate, the Zionist movement and the Jews who immigrated to their old- new homeland created jobs for Egyptian workers.

But, the Egyptian immigration to Palestine started long before 1917. In 1814 the Egyptian tribe Nadi, ran away from Egypt and settled around Gaza, and between 1832 and 1840, when Ibrahim Pasha conquered the country from the Ottomans, he settled about 100,000 Egyptian farmers in the country.

Coclusion: a considerable portion of the Palestinian refugees from the Arabic villages along the shore, who live in Gaza Strip, are Egyptian immigrants and their descendants.

The Egyptian immigrants came in 4 waves: 1814, 1832- 1840, 1917, and 1922- 1948.

Other studies prove that the Palestinans emmigrated from Arab and Muslim countries to the Holy Land. Most of them came between the 18th and 20th centuries.

This information is very important in understanding the background of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict:
The Palestinians and Israeli Arabic organizations are trying to rewrite the history of this country, for political reasons, claiming that they are the "indigenous people" of this country, and the Jews are European Colonizers, with no roots, just like the whites of South Africa, and have robbed the Palestinians of their homeland.

The historical fact is that the Jews have very ancient roots in this country, which was called Eretz Israel or Judea, before the Romans changed its name in 135 CE to Philistine. The Jews have lived in this country from the 18th century BCE, and built their national life year. They lost their homeland as a result of Roman imperialism that put an end to their state, and eliminated their majority by killing hundred thousands of Jewish soldiers, enslaving hundred thousands of war prisoners, destroying almost 1000 villages and massacring thousands of civilians.

They destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and turned Jerusalem into a polis named Ellia Capitolina, in which no Jews were allowed to live. Many Jews ran away because of religious persecution, economic restrictions, land confiscation and the lack of personal safety. Only about 200,000 survived by the 6th century CE, out of about 3,000,000 in the First century BCE. In the 1870's, when Jews started coming back there were about 80,000 Jews in the country.

Jews became scattered around the glob, in Europe, the Middle East and America but never forgot their homeland. They began to return to their homeland in the 1870's, and the Balfur Declaration, The Leauge of Nation recognition of Palestine as their homeland, and the 1947 UN resolution gave the international confirmation to the Jews' right for a state in Eretz Israel.

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