Irwin E. Blank

The Right of Return-In Truth

This past Independence Day several thousand Arab citizens of Israel (and probably others who were not citizens) held a demonstration led by Ahmad Tibi, a member of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) who never misses an opportunity to attack Israel  as a “fascist and racist regime” while having no trouble in accepting a salary whose currency is decorated with the images of Israeli leaders of the past. He has advised enemy terrorist organizations, demonstrated publicly against the state to which he has sworn allegiance. Furthermore, during the demonstration on Independence Day, he has advocated for the return of ALL so-called “Palestinian refugees” from all over the area to re-enter Israel in their masses. This move would bring about the end of the State of Israel by inundating it with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of unfriendly, if not openly hostile Arabs.

The historical evidence behind this flight of people from their homes is something that has happened throughout human history. Transfer of populations due to war, the relocation of millions of people due to the destruction of their homes and the civil and religious divisions that have created nations, are ancient practices throughout human history and geography.  There were 20 million refugees in the aftermath of World War Two in Europe, the dissolution of Britain’s suzerainty over the Indian sub-continent yielded a Hindu majority in India and a Moslem  dominated Pakistan. Centuries of religious strife created a Protestant Northern Ireland and a  Roman Catholic majority Irish Republic. The island of Cyprus is divided into a Turkish held north and a Greek held south and there are also two separate and distinct nations on the single Korean Peninsula. Borders in Europe have been changed, adjusted and re-aligned more often than most people change their underwear-all due to either warfare, the threat of warfare and  to religious and civil strife.

However, the issue of the supposed “Palestinian refugees” is unique in several aspects and its universally accepted mythology (an unfortunate accident and grave error) must be explained.

Most of these people are not refugees in the classic sense in that they have never left the lands that they consider their birthright. An Arab who fled his village in the Galilee in 1948 because of the fighting in the region and fled to “Trans-Jordan” occupied Nablus, has never left historic “Palestine.” A refugee is one who flees his native land and becomes stateless. Yet the government of the Hashemite Kingdom not only annexed this region illegally,( an act objected too and unrecognized by any nations other than Britain and Pakistan) but granted this individual citizenship upon request thereby removing the status of statelessness by choice.

In the period of the British Mandate, the Arab population increased by the hundreds of thousands-not by massive birth rates but by the unrestricted immigration of tens of thousands of Arabs from neighboring countries who came to take advantage of the better living conditions, wages and employment opportunities created by the burgeoning Zionist enterprises. They came to work in the fields, factories and shops where they were guaranteed a living wage, where they could feed their families and have doctors and dentists to tend to their children. British statistics bear out this influx as the number of Arabs who supposedly “fled” the creation of the State of Israel (numbers run from half to three-fourths of a million souls) outnumber the entire Arab population of the mandate at the time of its beginning less than 30 years previously.  Whereas the immigration of Jews was restricted and their purchases of land was also limited to only 5% of the mandate according the the Chamberlain White Paper of 1939 which also restricted Jewish immigration in the foreseeable future.

Jewish immigration was controlled, counted and, at times, considered illegal while Arabs flocked into the country without papers, passports or permission. Why? Picture this- you are a poor tenant farmer in Syria, (or Lebanon, etc) many of your children die before their first birthday, you are constantly in debt, hungry and perhaps sick. You hear about jobs in “Jewish” factories and shops. You can find work, get paid and no longer be beholden to an absentee landlord who dominates your existence and treats you as less than a slave. A better life beckons to you just a few miles over a border that isn’t patrolled and you can still speak the same language, practice the same faith and eat much better.

The Arab invasion of Israel on the day of its birth in May, 1948, with all its horror and danger  is not restricted to far away battlefields but in the lvalleys, on the hills and on the plains all over the landscape. For a myriad of reasons, either being warned by the Arab media to flee so that their armies can enter the land unencumbered with Arab civilians, or because the sounds and sights of combat frightens you and your family, you make for the safety (supposedly) of a friendly territory where you fall into the arms of fellow Arabs in areas under the control of Arab armed forces  and far from the scenes of battle. Having no actual ties to the land, but rather having taken advantage of the opportunities you sought, you now find yourself and family in a “refugee” camp under the auspices of the UNRWA.  The United Nations Refugee and Welfare Administration-The only UN organization in history dedicated for only one reason and for only one particular set of “refugees.”    Today it exists for the perpetuation of a massive welfare mission replete with anti-Semitic undertones. When there exists already a UN High Commissioner for Refugees whose position has been undermined by the political chicanery to propagate the myth of a “Palestinian refugee problem. The clerks who received the unfortunates  at these camps accepted all as “refugees” without any question or identity verification.

The neighboring Arab states which had sent their armies over the border to invade Israel, thereby becoming the progenitors of this flight felt, and still feel, no responsibility for these folks. Therefore it was only the UN and the International Red Cross that assumed the duties to feed, clothe, house and treat these people for their assorted issues. Therefore, ALL of those who fled the fighting, for whatever reason, automatically proclaimed themselves as “Palestinians” so they wou7ld receive and be beneficiaries of the system that was offered them. Why go back to a miserable existence in your own country when you can live without responsibility on the dole?

Sure, there were Arabs who could trace their ancestry in the land for generations, just as their were Jews who could do the same. The difference is that the Arabs lived in the land by virtue of conquest, where the Jews’ right to the land was one of history and practical evidence. Are there instances where Arabs where expelled by policy, either military or political, obviously. But those villages and parts of cities  that remained peaceful, whose population did not participate in the war against Israel, were left in peace. Israel does not need to apologize for it survival nor does it need to justify its self defense.

So, what about the right of return? Here is a suggested solution-trace the names and practices of these so-called refugees and return them to the lands from which they came. Send those descended from Syria, back to Syria, etc. They have no claim whatsoever of the title “Palestinian.” In reality, no one does as there was never a sovereign “Palestine” in the first place. Solve this problem through the return of these Arab nations’ citizens and their progeny. As for the Arabs who can show that they were in the land for generations, well, if they are anywhere in Yehudah, Shomron, Gaza, and even the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, they aren’t refugees at all! This mythology of the “Palestinian refugee” needs to be out in the perspective of where it belongs-in the realm of fantasy.

I know, this sounds impractical, but nothing is more ludicrous today than the calls for a “Palestinian State” on the “West Bank’, Gaza and the old city of Jerusalem by the UN and the Arab states themselves, who had the  opportunity for 19 years when all this aforementioned territory was in Arab hands and there were no moves to create this entity then.  This is an example of hypocrisy unchained. Why didn’t they? Because there was no need to kill Jews to do it.That is the bottom line-the fable of the “Palestinian refugee” is merely an excuse for the murder of Jews. I mean, in 1964, when the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed in Cairo, Egypt by an Egyptian named Yasser Arafat and a Syrian named Ahmed Shukeiry, what was it that they needed to liberate? They already had everything they say will satisfy them now.

The “Right of Return” is a call to exterminate Israel-nothing more, nothing less.

About the Author
Irwin was born in New York City and is now retired. He lives in Maaleh Adumim since making aliyah 7 years ago.