Tongues Of Deceit - The Lies Regarding the Territory of 'Palestine'

Summary ... The nation of Israel is the only sovereign nation-state that ever existed in the territory known by the geographical designation of "Palestine". Peoples of many origins came into the land at one time, and left it at other times, while nomads wandered in and out. The Jews did not take any land away from Arabs, nor did they displace any Arabs. They went into areas long uninhabited and abandoned. If the Jews had not come, the Arabs would not have come either.

"[They] speak treachery, with tongues of deceit in their mouths." Micah 6:12

"They conceive mischief and bring forth evil and their heart prepares deceit." Job 15:35

There is a Hebrew term lashon ha-ra (the bad tongue). Since the Children of Israel came back to the land of their fathers, the bad tongue has been one of the sharpest weapons used against them. This tongue has three forks, that:

  • invent deceits to forward an ambition or a spite.
  • spread deceits because they are preferred to the truth.
  • spread deceits that in ignorance are mistaken for the truth.

    For instance: According to Pope John Paul II, "A sad condition was created for the Palestinian people who were excluded from their homeland. These were facts everyone can see." When this sentence is parsed by standards of evidence and logic, not one single "fact" can be seen in it.

Among the relentlessly repeated deceits:

  • There was a flourishing Arab nation in Arab-Palestine, subjugated and ruined by the intrusion of alien Jews who have no history or roots there.

The nation known at stages of its history as "Israel" "Judah" or "Judea" is the only sovereign nation-state that ever existed in the land now known by the Greco-Roman geographical designation of "Palestine". The Israelite-Jewish presence goes back some 3,500 years and has never been broken. The Jews were deprived of their ancient political independence by the Roman conquest in the year 70 ce, but never lost their attachment to the Land of Israel or their conviction that they would one day redeem it.

Both Jews and Christians dwelt in the land when it was seized by military forces from Arabia in the Seventh Century. There was no Arabic name for this region, so the conquerors adopted the Greco-Roman Palestina, that they pronounced Falastin. This region became the neglected province of one foreign empire after another.

  • The Arabs of Palestine had been a nation in the land since remote antiquity.

The Arab military invaders themselves left few descendants in the land, but some of the local population converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language. For 1,200 years thereafter, peoples of many origins came into the land at one time, and left it at other times, while nomads wandered in and out. These peoples came from throughout the Middle East, Egypt, North Africa, Turkey, the Balkans, Armenia, and Central Asia.

In a census of 1931, the non-Jewish population of Mandate Palestine named 24 different countries as their places of birth. They were never an indigenous or homogeneous population, and they never formed a distinct national identity, society or polity. The claim that there is a Palestinian people or Palestinian nation has a history of decades, not millennia. It was concocted only after the Six-Day War of 1967, avowedly as a device to forward the goal of the destruction of Israel.

"Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel." — PLO Military Department head, 1997

  • There was a flourishing Arab society in Palestine before the intrusion of the Jews.

At the start of the Jewish resettlement — in the 1870s-1880s — Palestine was a province of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, ruled by the Sultan in far-off Istanbul. The entire non-Jewish population west of the Jordan River was about 140,000, including nomads who moved in and out and even roving bandits. That population had been stagnant or in decline for centuries.

The land was depopulated, deserted, impoverished and barren. Western travelers, who knew from the Bible of the beauty, fertility and vitality of ancient Israel, came to visit and found not the Land of Milk and Honey but an empty wilderness of ruin and desolation.

A British consul reported in 1857 that the land was not cultivated, villages had disappeared, and that "The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore the greatest need is that of a body of population".

Mark Twain rode through just a few years before the start of Jewish resettlement and saw only ". . . the kind of solitude to make one dreary." The Galilee was "unpeopled deserts . . . rusty mounds of barrenness" where he "never saw a human being on the whole route". He concluded that "Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes . . . desolate and unlovely." — Innocents Abroad, 1867.

At about the same time, a British Christian clergyman came to the Holy Land and wrote: "But where are the inhabitants? This fertile [coastal] plain which might support an immense population is almost a solitude.... The denunciations of ancient prophecy have been fulfilled to the very letter - 'The land is left void and desolate and without inhabitants.'" - Reverend Samuel Manning, These Holy Fields, 1894.

By the early Nineteenth Century it was perceived, especially in the United States and Great Britain, that the only hope for the restoration of Palestine was in the return of the only people who loved it and would care for it. Those who seriously espoused the idea of the return of the Jews included U.S. President John Adams, British Prime Minister Disraeli, British Foreign Minister Lord Palmerston, and writer George Eliot.

This had indeed been the sustaining hope of the Jews themselves for two millennia, and it became an active movement by the 1870s-1880s, even before Theodor Herzl organized Zionism as a worldwide movement.

The Jews displaced and dispossessed the Arabs.

Jews had always "come up to the Land". Now pioneers began to come, perhaps a dozen or a score at a time, calling themselves Hovevei Tzion [Lovers of Zion}, or BILU - an acronym for the Hebrew Beth Ya'akov Lecha Venelecha [House of Jacob Let Us Rise Up and Go], that echoes The Lord's first command to Abraham: Lech lecha ... ["Rise up and go ... to a land that I will show you"].

They did not take any land away from Arabs, or displace any Arabs. They went into areas long uninhabited and abandoned. The Ottoman Turkish government sternly restricted purchase of land by Jews. An effendi who could claim or contrive ownership of a bit of wasteland would be paid an exorbitantly inflated price for it. On the wasteland, the pioneers drained swamps and irrigated deserts, tilled soil untilled for centuries and built where nothing had been built for centuries. Many died of malaria and other diseases, and many more were murdered by bandits.

They did not create the "sad condition" of the papal lament, Rather, they created conditions that attracted and drew Arabs from other countries and regions, who came to seek the work, wages and a better conditions found only in the vicinity of the new Jewish settlements. Within decades of the start of Jewish resettlement, the Arab population in those areas grew far beyond the limits of natural increase. If the Jews had not come, the Arabs would not have come either.

"Around 1910, my family was staying at a hotel in Switzerland, where we met a very rich Arab. One of the other guests said to him, 'You Arabs are making a mistake in letting Jews come into Palestine. You should throw them out while you can.' "The Arab laughed and said, 'Oh, no. Palestine is one of the poorest and most backward places in the world. There's nothing there. The Jews will come and fill it with farms and orchards and towns. They'll build factories and schools and hospitals and railways. Then we Arabs will throw them out and keep it all for ourselves.'" — Carrie Nora Isaac, New York

Malcolm MacDonald, a British Secretary of State hostile to the Jews, admitted in 1938: "The Arabs cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of their country. If not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1918, I believe that the Arab population of [Western] Palestine today would still have been around the ... it had been stable under Turkish rule."

  • The British Mandate to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine was a crime against the Arabs.

According to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the League of Nations Mandate of 1921, "Palestine" included all of the land east as well as west of the Jordan River in the Jewish National Home to be open for "close Jewish settlement".

In 1922, the British detached the entire region east of the river, depriving the Jewish National Home of a full 75 percent of Mandate Palestine. This they did in order to provide a puppet kingdom for their protégé Emir Abdullah, after he was driven out of Arabia. Since there was no historic name for such a kingdom, it was called after a biblical river. From that day to this, the Kingdom of Jordan has permitted no Jew within its borders, and when it seized control of Judea and Samaria (1948-1967) it killed or drove out every Jew there as well.

The British progressively limited the areas open to Jews west of the Jordan River. They slammed and bolted the gates of the Jewish National Home at the very time when Jews most desperately needed a haven. The British obsessively counted and recounted the number of Jews, with a view to barring their entry or deporting them. At the same time they permitted a massive influx of Arabs from other countries and regions, technically illegal but never hindered.

These newly arriving Arabs took the places meant for the Jews, and so charmed or intimidated the British that the Jews they displaced were consigned to the death camps of Europe, or left to drown on their way to the Promised Land. Shortly before the start of World War II, the British Foreign Office actually requested the government of Nazi Germany to prevent the escape of Jews, and a few years later admonished the U.S. State Department not to encourage the escape of Jews, because nobody wants them.

"So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied until their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population." — Winston Churchill, 1939

"If we must offend one side, let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs." — British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, 1937

"If we must have preferences, let me murmur in your ear that I prefer Arabs to Jews." — British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, 1943

The Jews who succeeded in reaching the Jewish National Home were confined to only 17 percent of Mandate Palestine, which became the State of Israel in 1948. That the Arabs were not granted 100 percent is what they ever since constantly proclaimed to be the Crime of the Century, to be undone by any means.

  • Jerusalem is a holy city of Islam, where Jews have no history, rights or claims.

Jerusalem has been the heart of Israel and of world Jewry for 3,000 years, and there has been a virtually unbroken Jewish presence there for all that time. When modern statistics are on record, they show Jews as the majority in the city:

  • 1860: 11,000 Jews, 6,500 Muslims, 4,500 Christians
  • 1906: 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Christians, 7,000 Muslims
  • 1999: 633,000 Jews, 200,000 Mulsims and Christians

Jews around the world turn toward Jerusalem when they pray. Muslims turn toward Mecca. Jews and Christians make religious pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Muslims make religious pilgrimages to Mecca.

Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the Koran. It does not appear on lists of Muslim holy cities. Caliphs and sultans ruling from afar paid little or no heed to Jerusalem; it dwindled to a dirty, dilapidated and poverty-stricken village — scarcely to be expected in any city that is loved or revered.

Arabs built little in Jerusalem, with the exception of the Dome of the Rock, that a caliph built in the Seventh Century — on the site of the First and Second biblical Temples. It is now being alleged that those Temples never existed, and while one might suppose this too preposterous to require rebuttal, the historically illiterate minions of the news media may repeat it with quite serious mien.

During the Jordanian occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jewish residents were killed or driven out. For 19 years, Jews of all nationalities were banned from their holy places and historical sites, while ancient synagogues and cemeteries were wrecked or crudely desecrated. Now, the Muslim religious authorities still permitted to administer Temple Mount are relentlessly unearthing and destroying every relic of the Temples they say never existed — a program dubbed "archaeological terrorism".

  • Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza are Palestinian territory, unlawfully occupied by Israel. Israeli settlements there are illegal under international law.

Israel is not occupying Palestinian territory because there is not and never has been any such thing. "Occupied Palestine", like "Arab East Jerusalem", as a diplomatic and journalistic stock epithet that melts away under analysis.

The status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza are still fixed by the Mandate for the Jewish National Home, while the other parts of the Mandate lands have become the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. In 1948, Jordan launched a war of destruction against Israel during which it seized control of these areas. In 1967 it launched another war of destruction against Israel during which it lost that control. Since then, the areas have been under Israeli administration, as is quite lawful. Israeli settlements in that land are also quite lawful, regardless of the juridical rulings of radio-TV broadcasters.

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Israel has turned over administration of some cities and areas to the PLO, but it was not a grant of sovereignty nor is it irrevocable. It is conditional on PA/PLO fulfillment of its own undertakings in those Accords — a fulfillment that it never began. Israel retains responsibility for security in those areas, and the right to take action against terrorism or any other threat to its security that emanates therefrom. The mantras of the news media notwithstanding, Israeli actions for security and/or self-defense are not attacks against or incursions into "Palestinian territory".

  • The Palestinians seek only to free themselves of occupation and regain the lands taken from them.

As noted above, lands were given to them by Israel, not taken from them. Since Israel's voluntary withdrawals after the Oslo Accords, some 98% of the Arabs resident in Judea, Samaria and Gaza now live under the rule of the PLO.

When the PLO was founded in 1964, it adopted a charter defining its purpose as the total destruction of Israel, to be achieved by terrorism and war. This was before the Six-Day War of 1967, when the lands the PLO now purports to liberate were still held by Jordan and not by Israel. It therefore cannot rationally be argued that the terrorism is caused by or excused by the "occupation".

The Oslo Accords demanded the cancellation of this Charter, but that has never been done. Despite public relations flimflam to the contrary, the goal of the destruction of Israel is still in effect. The pretense that the Palestinians yearn only for a state in these areas, side-by-side with Israel and at peace with it, is belied by PLO-officials themselves:

In 1974, the PLO adopted its Plan of Stages: First take control of any territory that it can trick Israel into yielding. Then use that territory as the springboard for the war to destroy Israel. That Plan of Stages is also still in effect.

After signing of the Oslo Accords, Yasser Arafat announced: "This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Muhammad and Koraish." [Note: Two years after Muhammad signed the treaty with the tribe of Koraish, he attacked and annihilated it.]

In a speech in Sweden, he promised to: ". . . eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews won't want to live among us Arabs."

Faisel al-Husseini, scion of one of the most powerful Arab families, and PLO "Minister for Jerusalem" defined the PLO program:

"[We will] continue to aspire to the strategic goal: namely, Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea. Whatever we get now, cannot make us forget this supreme truth." April 2001

"If we agree to declare our state over . . . the West Bank and Gaza, our ultimate goal is the liberation of all historic Palestine from the River [Jordan] to the Sea [Mediterranean]. We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure." June 2001

PLO Minister of Communications, 1999: "Our people have hope for the future, that the occupation state [Israel] ceases to exist."

  • Israel drove out the Arab population in 1947-48 and is responsible for the wretched conditions of the Arab refugees.

This next section takes up the topic of the Arab Refugees. Here the basic deceits are that:

  • The Arabs who left Israel are the original population of the land and its rightful owners.
  • The Jews forced them to leave.
  • Arab politicians are driven by solicitude for them.
  • They have a "right of return" to the nation they are trained to loath and lust to destroy.

    The motif of displaced persons and refugees runs through history. In the Twentieth Century alone, there has been massive displacements and/or exchanges of populations. Greeks in Turkish territory resettled in Greece, Turks in Greek territory resettled in Turkey. In 1947 the Indian subcontinent was divided into India and Pakistan, and millions of Muslims left India for Pakistan while millions of Hindus left Pakistan for India. After Word War II, a German community that had lived in Czechoslovakia for generations was expelled and returned to Germany. The Vietnamese "boat people" have become productive citizens in the countries that gave them refuge. The common principle is that they found some place willing to take them in and let them go on with their lives.

Jewish Refugees And How They Fare

No people have been refugees more often than the Jews, who for 2,000 years have been driven first from their own homeland and then from one city or state after another. They, too, usually found new homes elsewhere, and rebuilt their lives and their communities.

Never in these millennia were Jews in more desperate straits than in the years before and during the Holocaust, 1933-45. They were caught in the death trap because they had no place to go. The British in violation of the terms of the Mandate for Palestine slammed shut the gates of the Jewish National Home, for the avowed purpose of appeasing the Arabs set on usurping it. Some refugees, including survivors of concentration camps, crowded on unseaworthy craft did reach or come close to the shores of the Promised Land. In what Winston Churchill called a "squalid little war" against these survivors, the British authorities turned them back to Europe, or incarcerated them on the island of Mauritius or simply left them to drown.

The ship "The Saint Louis" carried hundreds of European Jews, highly-educated men and women of value to any society, who had entry visas for the United States. When it arrived in the New World it was refused entry there or anywhere else. When it sailed past the shores of Florida, the Coast Guard was ordered to keep watch lest anyone try to swim ashore. The ship returned to Europe, where most of the passengers ended their lives in the concentration camps.

Switzerland's border guards seized fleeing Jews and turned them over to the Nazis. The Prime Minister of the vast and under-populated Canada, asked how many Jewish refugees Canada might accept, replied "None is too many".

The 2,000-year-long "Jewish refugee problem" was solved in 1948. Under Israel's Law of Return, all descendants by blood or adoption of the exiles of Judea have hereditary citizenship. It embraced the survivors of the Holocaust each of them "a brand plucked from the burning". In Iraq, the government expelled the Jewish community that had been there for 2,600 years, long before any Arabs or Muslims. Israel brought in entire communities by airlifts from Yemen, from Ethiopia, from Albania and elsewhere.

The survivors from Europe were destitute and often broken in health. Immigrants from Arab countries were forced to leave their property and assets behind. A newly-reborn and very small nation, always under threat of destruction, managed to care for them. Financial assistance came from world Jewry and from the United States, but not from any international body. It was used to help the immigrants rebuild their lives in independence and dignity and take part in rebuilding their country.

Arab Refugees And How They Fare

The version most widely disseminated, incessantly repeated, widely believed, and totally false is: The Arabs in what is now Israel were the original population, since ancient times. Foreign Jews intruded into their homeland and violently evicted them.

At the start of Jewish resettlement around 1870, the entire population west of the Jordan River was barely 140,000. By 1948, there were some 700,000 Arabs just in the restricted area that became the State of Israel. The bulk of them were new or recent arrivals, who came from other regions and other countries because Jewish development here offered a chance for a better living and better living conditions than they could hope for in their original homes.

When Israel became an independent state in 1948, approximately 500,000-550,000 left, for reasons that will be discussed below. These became the "Arab Refugees" that the PLO and other Arab sources now count at 3,500,000. (Simultaneously, it is said that they are "victims of genocide". How victims of genocide increase their numbers by 700 percent in 50 years would baffle Malthus or any other demographer.)

When the United Nations took on responsibility for these refugees, it set the standard that any Arab who had been in that sector of Palestine for two years qualified for refugee status and benefits. The United Nations and the Red Cross also added an uncalculated number of persons to the registry of "refugees" who had never been in Palestine at all, but needed the shelter, food, medical care and education provided by the United Nations.

Now, Arabs make up at least 17 percent of the population of Israel. In contrast, Jordan also part of Mandate Palestine forbids any Jewish residence, and when it controlled Judea and Samaria in the years 1948-1967 they were also Judenrein.

When Did They Come?

Excerpts from Who Were the 1948 Refugees?, Ariel Center for Policy Research, 4 February 2001:

".... Many Palestinians are descendants of Egyptian, Sudanese, Syrian and Lebanese migrants, who settled in the current boundaries of Israel during 1830-1945... ... Migrant workers were imported by the Ottomans and (since 1919) by the British authorities .... . Illegal Arab laborers were also attracted by the relative boom, stimulated by Jewish immigration, which expanded labor-intensive enterprises (construction, agriculture, etc.).

".... . The (1831-1840) conquest, by Egypt's Mohammed Ali, was solidified by thousands of Egyptians settling empty spaces between Gaza and Tul-Karem up to the Hula Valley... ...30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants (Huranis) entered Palestine (in 1934) Syrian rulers have always considered the area as a southern province of Greater Syria. Az-ed-Din el-Qassam, the role-model of Hamas terrorism, who terrorized Jews in British Mandate Palestine, was a Syrian, as were Said el-A'az, a leader of the 1936-38 anti-Jewish pogroms and Kaukji, the commander-in-chief of the Arab mercenaries terrorizing Jews in the thirties and forties.

"[Western travelers] identified over 15 Arab nationalities who settled in Jaffa. Libyan migrants and refugees settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis), escaping the French conquest of 1830, settled in Safed, Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878), Moslems from Bosnia, Turkomans, Yemenite Arabs (1908) and Bedouin tribes from Jordan (escaping wars and famine) diversified Arab demography there."

Why Did They Leave?

"The Jews haven't attacked any Arab village, unless attacked first." — Ismayil Safwat, Commander of Palestinian Operations, March 1948

"We brought destruction upon the refugees, by calling on them to leave their homes." — Khaled al-Azam, Syrian Prime Minister in 1949

"The most potent of the factors were announcements made by the Palestinian-Arab Higher Committee, urging all Haifa Arabs to quit, intimating that those remaining would be regarded as renegades." — London Economist, October 1948

"The Arab States .... encouraged the Palestinians to leave their homes temporarily, in order to be out of the way of the invading Arab armies." — Filastin (Jordan) February 1949

Additional excerpts from "Who Were the 1948 Refugees?"

"In 1948, Azzam Pasha, the former Secretary General (of the Arab League), assured Arabs that the occupation of Palestine, including Tel Aviv, would be as simple as a military promenade .... . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land .... .

"Jamal Al-Husseini, acting Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee threatened on November 24, 1947 that "Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood," if the Jews get any part of it. The November 29, 1947 Partition Plan was violently rejected by the Palestinians and the Arabs as they did with the partition proposals of 1921 and 1937.... .

"Most 1948 Palestinian refugees were from the coastal plain and the valleys of Israel .... . their roots were tenuous, being descendants of Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese and Sudanese migrants, who arrived to the area during 1830-1944 Many felt more secure in their countries of origin. Most Palestinian political and financial leaders left, accelerating the refugee phenomenon."

This history has been transformed into the fabrication that the Jews drove out the Arabs.

An example of the contrast between events and fabrications is found in a study of what happened in the city of Haifa. This is examined in detail by Efraim Karsh, in "Were the Palestinians Expelled?".

He quotes the plaint of Fawaz Turki, who was born in Haifa: "You [Israelis] owe me. And you owe me big. You robbed me of my city and my property. You owe me reparations (which I know that you, or your children, will one day have to pay, and under duress if need be) for all the pain and unspeakable suffering you have put me, my family, and my fellow exiles through." Karsh's research in original documentation of events in Haifa, 1947-48, reveals that Mr. Turki is sending his bill to the wrong address.

Points based on his findings:

  1. Arab flight from Haifa began before the U.N. partition resolution and before the start of any hostilities in Haifa. In October 1947 British Intelligence reported that "leading Arab personalities .... already evacuated their families to neighboring Arab countries." By November, many Arabs of Haifa were leaving, and moving their financial assets abroad.

  2. In April 1948, the leaders of the Arabs still in Haifa asked General Stockwell, the British military commander, to arrange a meeting to obtain a truce with the Jews. Arab and Jewish leaders did work out terms of a truce, and the Jews even modified them to suit the local Arabs. When the Arabs made a telephone call to the Arab High Command in Beirut, they were ordered to reject the truce and evacuate Haifa, and told that within a few days there would be an Arab military assault on Haifa, and the Arab residents must leave to avoid casualties. [This conversation was recorded by the Haganah.]

The leaders of the Haifa Arabs then said they would not sign the truce and asked for British help in evacuating the Arabs from Haifa. Stockwell told them: "You have made a foolish decision. Think it over, as you'll regret it afterward. You must accept the conditions of the Jews. They are fair enough... ... After all, it was you who began the fighting, and the Jews have won."

  1. British and American witnesses attested the efforts of the Jews of Haifa, the Jewish mayor and of the Haganah to persuade the Arabs to stay. The Haganah, in both a radio broadcast and a leaflet, urged the fleeing Arabs to return to their homes, promising them freedom and security. The British District Superintendent of Police reported that "every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives". The Haifa rabbinate even gave special permission to Jewish bakers to bake bread during Passover, to distribute to the Arabs.

  2. The Arab Emergency Committee drove the Arabs out of Haifa with threats that the Jews would kill them all, and/or threats that if they did not leave they would be treated as traitors by the Arab command. They were offered transportation to a safe haven, free lodging, food and clothes. The U.S. Consulate reported that the Arab Higher Committee had ordered all Arabs to leave the city. The British High Commissioner for Palestine reported that the evacuation was urged from "higher Arab quarters". British Intelligence attributed the flight of the Haifa Arabs to "incitement and scaremongering" by their leaders.

How Have These Arabs Been Treated By Their Brothers And Sisters?

The United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA) set up camps in the neighboring Arab countries of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, as well as Judea and Samaria that were then under Jordanian occupation. These were at first meant to be temporary shelters, that have grown into villages and towns where several generations have now been consigned. Only Jordan has granted them citizenship. Lebanon has not, and has even restricted their rights and banned them from many trades and professions. Kuwait gave good jobs to the better qualified, but expelled them after the Gulf War.

Not UNWRA, not any host state, not any other Arab state has given them the chance to find new homes and start new lives. Even those states that cannot develop their territory and resources because of a dearth of population do not receive them. The deliberate choice has been to keep them for more than half a century in wretchedness and squalor. Even the most affluent of the Arab states and rulers have not been generous to them.

After the Six-Day War of 1967, when Jordan lost Judea and Samaria and Egypt lost Gaza, Israel for the first time became the administrative authority in regions that housed some of these refugee camps or towns. Israel made efforts to provide decent housing and healthier living conditions but the Arabs governments protested so vociferously that the United Nations intervened to prevent any improvements. It actually passed a resolution accusing Israel of violating the rule that the prospective inhabitants of the new housing must be kept only in "temporary refugee shelters". The houses that had already been built remain empty, and UNRWA guards them to prevent any Arab refugee from moving in.

The Arabs, with the support of the United Nations, strive not to improve life for their beloved kinsmen, but to prevent any alleviation of their misery. The greater their misery, the more sympathy they attract for the Arab cause, and the more blame can be heaped on Israel. Well-meaning but uninformed and gullible people around the world fall into this trap.

A decent person will feel compassion for the plight of the people so long confined to such sordid surroundings and denied the chance to improve their lot. When this inspires an unthinking and profoundly unjust anger against Israel, then those who created and perpetuated the plight of these hapless "refugees" are rewarded and encouraged to prolong the misery. Any one who genuinely wants to help these victims would do better to seek their release from such exploitation.

"The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die." — Ralph Galloway, former UNWRA director, 1958

"Since 1948, Arab leaders .... . have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal." — King Hussein of Jordan, 1960

Right Of Return?

"Let it be known and appreciated that, in demanding the restoration of the refugees to Palestine, the Arabs intend that they shall return as the masters of the homeland, and not as slaves. More explicitly, they intend to annihilate the state of Israel." — Muhammad Salah ed-Din, Foreign Minister of Egypt, 1951

This formula has not been altered in the past half-century.

Several generations have now been born and bred in the camps, deliberately denied any hope of normal development or a chance for a normal life. They have been relentlessly indoctrinated with the belief that they will one day "return" and drive the Jews into the sea. (In some version of the return, Jews whose fathers dwelt in Palestine before 1917 may be permitted to remain as subjects of the Arab rulers. There is of course no such cut-off date for Arabs whose fathers came to Palestine much later than that.)

In the wake of the Oslo Accords, some refugee towns came under the control of the PLO, which could thus intensify its program of mind-control under the auspices of UNRWA. Every thing is done to inculcate the belief in spurious grievances and ferocious hatred for those who allegedly caused them. The intent and the effect is to convert human beings into living weapons.

When the PLO demands "the right of return" as a condition for "peace" it is demanding the right to flood Israel with these human weapons. Acquiescence to this demand would be acquiescence to the destruction of Israel. When governments and officials and prominent individuals abroad advocate the "right of return" they are supporting the master plan for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter or expulsion of the Jews. Some advocates know this and approve of the goal, though they camouflage their approval with a pseudo-humanitarian gloss. Others may not understand the reality. If so, they are bereft of the knowledge and perception that should be required for their positions.

The Role Of UNRWA

The Jerusalem Times (Arab weekly), 7 September 2001, reports that UNRWA employees have offered to have two percent deducted from their salaries to go to bereaved Palestinian families. This presumably includes the families of suicide bombers.

Over the decades, the personnel of UNRWA have developed a vested interest in perpetuating the problem, and have become accomplices in the degradation of their hapless charges.

Some of this is explicated in excerpts from "What You Need to Know About UNRWA", by David Bedein of Israel Resource Review:

"By the mid-1990s, the UNRWA camps operated on a $320 million annual budget, providing services as incentives for Palestinian Arabs to remain in the camps — free education, free health services, free housing, free electricity and free water... ... UN Resolution 194 that established UNRWA was written in both contexts: to help Palestinian Arab refugees and to keep them there as refugees. No clause allowed for any permanent solution except for repatriation. These two tenets of 194, re-enacted every two years, remain very much alive.

".... . [When Israel tried to improve conditions] UNRWA officials issued weekly memos to the refugee residents that the Israeli government was making plans to "exile them once again." {The intifada riots of 1987 were] openly organized on UNRWA premises... ... Israeli security reports issued in 1989 and 1990 accused UNRWA personnel of using UNRWA vehicles to facilitate violence, by blocking roads, providing surveillance of IDF facilities, and actually instigating riots. Palestine Authority officials today openly acknowledge that the intifada leadership was made up almost entirely of UNRWA personnel.

"Indeed, it was [UN committees] who organized the Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to take over the UNRWA workers union that comprises more than 18,000 employees of UNRWA. It is therefore no surprise that UNRWA schools are decorated with Hamas and PFLP graffitti along with pictures of machine guns spread over a full map of Palestine."

Education UNRWA Style:

Children in the UNRWA schools are taught with textbooks issued by the Jordanians and then by the PLO, that would have been most gratifying to Goebbels. [On the contents, see "In Their Own Words," Issue I-5, May 2001.]

These schoolbooks are underwritten by the European Union. When a German member of the European Parliament questioned the propriety of teaching murderous hatred of all Jews, Peter Hansen, UNRWA Commissioner, responded: "That [would be] a bit much tolerance, We cannot expect a people under occupation fighting everyday to have textbooks which idealize, praise and express love for their occupiers."

What the textbooks do indeed teach is that Israelis and all Jews are subhuman, the embodiment and source of all evil, and fit only to be slaughtered preferably by the children themselves. These are the doctrines that are being subsidized by the United Nations and the European Union.

[ A Time To Speak :: Volume I: No. 8 / 15 August 2001 - 26 Av 5761 | Published: November 24, 2005 ]