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Terror kites, terror tunnels, suicide bombings, stabbings, rock-throwing, drive-by-shootings, and car-rammings

Only the Palestinians use displacement as an excuse for terror tactics, as if they are justifiable
File: Israeli firefighters battle a blaze in a field in southern Israel caused by kites flown by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip on June 5, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
File: Israeli firefighters battle a blaze in a field in southern Israel caused by kites flown by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip on June 5, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Credit: Wall in Palestine Territory (Flickr)

If only Israel would stop its senseless oppression of Gaza, then all of these forms of resistance would instantly stop, and there could finally be peace. Towards that end, the nations of the world must unite, boycott and pressure Israel to stop its racist behavior. 

Nazi politician and propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels once advised: “When one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. [One should] keep up the lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” No doubt Goebbels would approve of the widely propagated, Palestinian produced doctrine described above.

The obvious next question is: why is this obvious lie working so well to convince so many members of the press, international bodies, intellectuals, students and citizens of its truth? Why don’t they take the Palestinian declarations at face value when they state, as terrorist Abu Al-Majddid just this week, while launching flaming terror kites into Israel, “We want to set fire to Israel so that the Jews will be burned or forced to leave their country”?

To confute their lie, one must only recall that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, believing that its exit would herald peace. There are no Jews living in the Gaza Strip, and Gazans themselves proclaim that nothing will end their resistance other than the solution in which the Jews leave Israel, so that Palestinians can have the land “from the river to the sea.”

Despite such unequivocal Palestinian statements, the international community chooses to believe that the Palestinians seek only the “right to return” to lands they left when Israel became a state. But even if that were true, it would result in the expulsion of all Jews from their land.

To understand both the Palestinian and the international mindset, we must examine the definition of a Palestinian refugee — which is a different definition for the Palestinians than for any other refugee population in world history.

The Palestinians are unique among refugees in that they have an entire United Nations agency, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East (UNRWA), devoted only to them, and UNRWA is continually expanding the definition of a Palestinian refugee.

UNRWA defines a Palestinian refugee as anyone who lived in Palestine for as few as two years prior to the founding of Israel, as well as those people’s children. So, while 711,000 Palestinians claimed refugee status after 1948, there are more than 5 million claiming refugee status today. Such unprecedented, sweeping definitions have been established because it is the Palestinians themselves who run UNRWA, making it a totally captive agency.

The ridiculousness of UNRWA’s efforts to stretch this definition once included an (unsuccessful) argument in 1955, in which UNRWA’s commissioner-general suggested that the definition of refugee should also include Palestinian Arabs who had not been displaced at all in 1948 but who had lost some of their livelihoods, suggesting that:

There is only a difference of degree between, on the one hand, the situation of the man whose home was on the Jordan side of the demarcation line, but whose land is now cut off in Israel, or who worked in what is now Israel[i] Jerusalem, or who sold his produce in the coastal towns or exported it through Palestinian ports, and, on the other hand, the situation of the man who has lost his home as well as his means of livelihood. All of these have lost, in varying degrees, a place in which to work and a way of life… The family who continues to reside in its former home, but whose nearby fields are no longer in its possession, may be in a more serious plight. The very proximity of its former possessions — the situation in which the original inhabitants must watch newcomers till their former fields and harvest crops from their former groves — increases the tensions and the psychological strain.

There is no United Nations agency for any other group of refugees, including Syrians, Afghanis and South Sudanese, who today constitute the largest groups of refugees in the world. And there was no United Nations agency for the broken and displaced Jews who survived the Holocaust.

In the same breath as we speak about Palestinians who were displaced by the creation of Israel, so too should we speak of Jews who were forced to leave their homes in Arab countries. Massive exoduses of Jews took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, mostly from Iraq, Yemen and Libya. At least 90 percent of those Jewish populations had to flee, forced to leave all of their possessions behind.

Overall, more than 850,000 Jews were kicked out of Arab lands and exactly zero of them claim refugee status today. Just between the years 1948 and 1951, 260,000 Jews from Arab countries immigrated to Israel and a few years later, following the 1956 Suez Crisis, another 25,000 Jews were expelled from Egypt. Israel is largely a country made up of Jewish refugees and their children, and these are the very people that a refugee organization now seeks to displace — other refugees!

Jews do not refer to the slaughters, pogroms, property confiscation and deportations they endured in Arab countries as nakbas (the Arabic word for catastrophes). Instead of using these slaughters and expulsions to drive their narrative, Jewish Israelis have chosen to build a country. None of them, including the Holocaust survivors who (to put it mildly) had the right to be heart-wrenchingly furious after losing most of their families, have ever returned to their countries of origin to throw bombs, stab civilians, run down people with vans, and commit other acts of terror and revenge.

We should take to heart the suggestion of Professor Ada Aharoni, chairman of The World Congress of the Jews from Egypt, who stated in his Ynet article “What about the Jewish Nakba?” that publicizing the expulsion of Jews from Arab states could aid the peace process. It would show the world — and the Palestinians — that they are not unique in their experience of displacement and that instead of destroying, they could just as easily redefine themselves as a nation that builds itself up in the face of displacement. Not only would this be a productive way to channel their nakba, but it would also dispel their necessity to channel Joseph Goebbels by continuing to propagate their “big lie.”

About the Author
Karen Hurvitz is a Boston-based lawyer and on the board of American Friends of LIBI.
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