A look at the 1948 Palestinian exodus

May 2013
891
america
I have been snooping around, and I cant find a good late 1940's thread about Mandate Palestine. So, I thought that I would explore some of the event of that period. I have gladly provided my reference material.

The history of the Palestinian exodus is closely tied to the events of the war in Palestine, which lasted from 1947 to 1949, and to the political events preceding it. In September 1949, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine estimated 711,000 Palestinian refugees existed outside Israel, with about one-quarter of the estimated 160,000 Palestinian Arabs remaining in Israel as "internal refugees".


The Palestinians say they were evicted at bayonet-point and by panic deliberately incited by the Zionists.
Efraim Karsh believes that the Israeli government never took such a "simplistic, single-cause viewpoint".

Walid Khalidi and Ilan Pappé say that the expulsion was based on a deliberate policy. Based on the protocols of Israel's cabinet meetings, the Haganah Archive in Tel Aviv, and the IDF and Israel Defense Ministry Archive in Givatayim, a number of historians have concluded that around half the Palestinians who became refugees were evicted by the Israeli army but this was not an organized policy.


So, the first question should be thus. Did Israel honor its agreements and obligations, and were these obligations fair in their offering? Was it to much to expect, or was there malevolence involved at the highest level?


United Nations General Assembly (23 August 1951). "General Progress Report and Supplementary Report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine" (OpenDocument). Retrieved 3 May 2007.
^

Erskine Childers, "The Other Exodus", The Spectator, 12 May 1961, reprinted in Laqueur, Walter. (ed.) The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict,(1969) rev.ed. Pelican, 1970, pp. 179–188 p.183
 

Underlankers

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
6,724
Essentially it's difficult to argue that quite a bit of the historical expulsion *was* motivated by Israel, but there is an additional wrinkle in this issue: Jordan, Syria, and Egypt collectively ensured that these refugees became stateless, creating a ticking time bomb that continues to menace both Israel and the Arab states.
 

Belisarius

Forum Staff
Jun 2006
10,359
U.K.
...So, the first question should be thus. Did Israel honor its agreements and obligations, and were these obligations fair in their offering? Was it to much to expect, or was there malevolence involved at the highest level?...
What "agreements and obligations" are you referring to? 1945-1948 was effectively internecine strife combined with anti-British terrorism.
 
Jan 2013
5,835
Canberra, Australia
Jordan, Syria, and Egypt collectively ensured that these refugees became stateless
The historical reality is that the Emirate of Transjordan gave its citizenship to all the refugees who fled to its territory (the great majority).

It also unilaterally annexed the West Bank, ie those parts of Palestine that the Arab Legion had occupied and succesfully defended against the attempt of the Jewish forces to conquer them.

The Emir of Transjordan, Abdullah, then renamed the territory under his control, both the East Bank and the West Bank, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and upped his own status to king. All the inhabitants of that territory, the original population of Transjordan, the original population of the West Bank, and the refugees from the new Israel who had fled into both territories, were given citizenship of the new Kingdom.

The annexation of the West Bank had been secretly agreed to between Emir Abdullah and the Israeli emissary, Golda Meir. Israel agreed to the annexation, because its essential aim was to prevent the establishment of an independent Arab state in any part of the former Mandated Territory of Palestine; its preference was to conquer the whole of the area designated by the United States as a future Palestinian Arab state, but since it was not strong enough to dislodge the Arab Legion, a unilateral annexation by King Abdullah, not recognised internationally, was the best alternative, since it prevented an independent Palestinian Arab state, and also left the way open for Israel to conquer at some time in the future the one remaining part of Palestine that was not internationally recognised as being de jure part of a sovereign state.

Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip, but did not annex it, claiming to be a protecting power reserving the area for a future Palestinian state. Accordingly, it did not give Egyptian citizenship to either the original inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, nor to the much larger number of refugees who had fled there. Since there was no Palestinian state to confer citizenship, the inhabitants of Gaza remained stateless.

Thge refugees in Lebanon were denied citizenship, since the Christian-dominated Lebanese Government feared that to do so would upset the precarious denominational balance on which the political system was predicated, by adding to the size of the Muslim population.

The legal status of Palestinian Arab refugees in other Arab states varied. Those who fled directly to countries such as Syria, and then to Iraq, Kuwait etc, remained stateless since they were not granted citizenship. On the other hand, those who went to Jordan first, and then to other Arab states, had Jordanian citizenship. Thus, most of the formerly large numbers of Palestinians in Kuwait had Jordanian citizenship.

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Authority_passport]Palestinian Authority passport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


After the 1967 Six-Day War, during which Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan, Palestinian Arabs living there continued to have the right to apply for Jordanian passports and live in Jordan. Palestinian refugees actually living in Jordan were also considered full Jordanian citizens. In July 1988, Jordan severed all legal and administrative ties with the West Bank. Any Palestinian living in Jordan would remain a Jordanian citizen; but residents of the West Bank would not.

Jordan continued to issue passports to Palestinians in the West Bank, but they were for travel purposes only and not as indication of citizenship. Palestinians in the West Bank who had regular Jordanian passports were issued with temporary ones upon expiration of the old ones, and entry into Jordan by Palestinians became time-limited and considered for tourism purposes only. Any Jordanian citizen found carrying a Palestinian or Israeli passport had his/her Jordanian citizenship revoked.

On 2 April 1995, two years after the Oslo Accords of 1993, the Palestinian Authority started issuing Palestinian Authority passports to the public in the self-ruling areas of Gaza and Jericho. These passports retained the personal ID number of the Israeli Civil Administration.[5]
 
May 2013
891
america
What "agreements and obligations" are you referring to? 1945-1948 was effectively internecine strife combined with anti-British terrorism.
Part of the British mandate specified that native people's would not be relocated or harmed. This obligation was not met, as events like Deir Yassin demonstrate.
 
May 2013
891
america
Essentially it's difficult to argue that quite a bit of the historical expulsion *was* motivated by Israel, but there is an additional wrinkle in this issue: Jordan, Syria, and Egypt collectively ensured that these refugees became stateless, creating a ticking time bomb that continues to menace both Israel and the Arab states.
You should not forget that these "stateless" people have the same international recognition as the Vatican.

Calling them menacing is hardly scholarly dictation. How can these people be refugees to a nation that was created illicitly, when the IDF broke its international obligations, and forcibly removed those habitating desirable lands?


^ "The Beleaguered Christians of the Palestinian-Controlled Areas, by David Raab" . Jcpa.org. Retrieved 2010-02-21.

^ Walter Laqueur (2003) The History of Zionism Tauris Parke Paperbacks, ISBN 1-86064-932-7 p 40
 
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May 2013
891
america
Nur-eldeen Masalha writes that over 80 percent of the Arab inhabitants left their towns and villages in 1948, while Rashid Khalidi puts the percentage at 50. Factors involved in the flight include Jewish military advances, attacks against Arab villages and fears of massacre after Deir Yassin, :239–240 which caused many to leave out of panic; expulsion orders by Zionist authorities; the voluntary self-removal of the wealthier classes, the collapse in Palestinian leadership, and an unwillingness to live under Jewish control.

Later, a series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented them from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees.

Later in the war, Palestinians were expelled as part of Plan Dalet. The expulsion of the Palestinians has since been described by some historians as ethnic cleansing, while others dispute this charge.




Juergensmeyer, Mark, Terror in the mind of God: the global rise of religious violence, University of California Press, 2003

Pedahzur, Ami; Perliger, Arie, Jewish terrorism in Israel, Columbia University Press, 2009

Sprinzak, Ehud, Brother against brother: violence and extremism in Israeli politics from Altalena to the Rabin assassination, Simon and Schuster, 1999
 
Jun 2009
1,971
North Andover MA
Nur-eldeen Masalha writes that over 80 percent of the Arab inhabitants left their towns and villages in 1948, while Rashid Khalidi puts the percentage at 50. Factors involved in the flight include Jewish military advances, attacks against Arab villages and fears of massacre after Deir Yassin, :239–240 which caused many to leave out of panic; expulsion orders by Zionist authorities; the voluntary self-removal of the wealthier classes, the collapse in Palestinian leadership, and an unwillingness to live under Jewish control.

Later, a series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented them from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees.

Later in the war, Palestinians were expelled as part of Plan Dalet. The expulsion of the Palestinians has since been described by some historians as ethnic cleansing, while others dispute this charge.




Juergensmeyer, Mark, Terror in the mind of God: the global rise of religious violence, University of California Press, 2003

Pedahzur, Ami; Perliger, Arie, Jewish terrorism in Israel, Columbia University Press, 2009

Sprinzak, Ehud, Brother against brother: violence and extremism in Israeli politics from Altalena to the Rabin assassination, Simon and Schuster, 1999
This is revisionist history of the worst sort. The Arabs had made their intentions to go to war if Israel was granted a state prior to the UN mandate. On the day of the UN mandate the Arabs declared a protest strike and instigated riots that claimed the lives of 62 Jews and 32 Arabs.
The first large-scale assaults began on January 9, 1948, when approximately 1,000 Arabs attacked Jewish communities in northern Palestine. By February, the British said so many Arabs had infiltrated they lacked the forces to run them back. In the first phase of the war, lasting from November 29, 1947, until April 1, 1948, the Palestinian Arabs took the offensive, with help from volunteers from neighboring countries. The Jews suffered severe casualties and passage along most of their major roadways was disrupted.
On April 26, 1948, Transjordan’s King Abdullah said:
All our efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestine problem have failed. The only way left for us is war. I will have the pleasure and honor to save Palestine.
On May 4, 1948, the Arab Legion attacked Kfar Etzion. The defenders drove them back, but the Legion returned a week later. After two days, the ill-equipped and outnumbered settlers were overwhelmed. Many defenders were massacred after they had surrendered. This was prior to the invasion by the regular Arab armies that followed Israel’s declaration of independance.

At the time the UN blamed the Arabs for the violence, and the Arabs acknowledged that they were the aggressors and had announced to the world they would fight to make the territory Arab, and Arab alone.

The U.S., Soviet Union, and many other UN member states condemned the Arab aggression at that time.

On May 14, 1948, when the British left Palestine for good, five Arab nations (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan,Lebanon and Iraq) invaded the newly formed state of Israel. That is why the Arab population left, to get out of thw way while these five Arab nations destroyed any semblance of Israel. That Israel won this war, and all subsequent wars is a reason why such Arabs became refugees. That they are still refugees today is a crime against all Arab nations for not allowing them citizenship.
 

Underlankers

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
6,724
While it's true that other Arab states acted poorly, the reality is that the only claim a bunch of Central and Eastern Europeans had to the land of Palestine was a nationalist ideology that was a lie like all the others. Israel is nothing but Rhodesia with better PR.
 
Jun 2009
1,971
North Andover MA
While it's true that other Arab states acted poorly, the reality is that the only claim a bunch of Central and Eastern Europeans had to the land of Palestine was a nationalist ideology that was a lie like all the others. Israel is nothing but Rhodesia with better PR.
A claim on land is only as good as your ability to defend it. No culture resides where they started or we would all be in Africa.

There is no doubt that Judaism flourished in the region known as Palestine for a few thousand years. So did other Semitic peoples.

The Islamic claim to the Middle East derives from the Ottoman empire, specifically Turkish peoples, whose ancestral homes were in central Asia a thousand miles away. 'Claim' has very little to do with who lives on what land. There are no more Romans, no more ancient Greeks, no Ancient Egyptians, and no Babylonians. Conquest and displacement are archetypical of human history.

The Jews have Israel because they were able to flourish there and defend it, it's that simple.