Remember the refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israel war!

Tuvia Brodie,

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Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

This is a refugee story you may not have heard about. But it's a story you should remember.

This refugee story began on November 29, 1947. That's the day the United Nations passed UN Resolution 181. That Resolution created a 'two-state solution'. It called for the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab State.

The design of this 1947 'two-state' solution was that the new Jewish State and the new Arab State would live side-by-side in peace and security. It was the original 'two-state' solution. 

The Jews accepted this 'solution'. The Arabs rejected it. Immediately after rejecting it, they and their Arab friends attacked the Jews.

Between November, 1947-July, 1949, Arab armies came into 'the Jewish State' and attacked Jews (Netanel Lorch, "Israel's war of Independence 1947-1949",, no date). The Arab goal was to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. The Arab goal was then, as it is today, to make the land Judenrein--Jew-free.

This war for Israel's independence lasted, officially, about 19 months between late 1947 and July, 1949. Fortunately for us, the Arabs lost that war---and all subsequent wars against the Jewish state.

As with any war, both Arab and Jewish non-combatants tried to get away from the fighting, if only to protect their children and women. But after the war, the Arabs began to claim that Jews had deliberately set out to expel Arabs from the nascent Israel (Yehoshuah Porath, "War and Rembrance", azure, no. 13, summer 2002).  The Arabs created a narrative that the Jews had forced an exodus of millions of Arabs from their plots of land inhabited by them since time immemorial (Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial, 1984, p. 6).

The actual number of Arabs who fled Israel during this war does not range into 'the millions'. According to Arab estimates, the range is 800,000-950,000. According to Jewish estimates, the range is 380,000-500,000. 

Most estimates today (perhaps an accepted 'average'?) seem to focus on a range of 700,000-750,000. Arabs claim that most--if not all--of these refugees were brutally expelled by the 'Zionists'. 

Those refugees and their descendants have never been integrated into Arab countries. Their resettlement was denied by the Arab League (Peters, 19-24, ibid). Instead of resettling the refugees into the many Arab countries of the Middle East, the Arab League kept them penned up in 'refugee camps'. The Arabs have used these 'camps' as proof that Israel is a cruel and brutal nation even though Israelis have nothing to do with them. The cruelty and brutality you'll find in these camps are all Arab-made. The cruelty and brutality of those camps were created by Arabs and are now managed by the United Nations, through a Relief Agency called, UNRWA.

The 'Palestinian narrative' claimed (as it still does) that the continuing existence of those unsettled refugees is Israel's fault. That narrative claims that Israel built its so-called neo-Nazi Apartheid state on the ethnic cleansing of these poor, displaced Arabs. It is, the 'narrative' says, proof of the true nature of the 'Zionist' beast. 

Then, some 32 years ago, a journalist by the name of Joan Peters suggested that Arabs were not the only refugee victims of the 1947-9 war. She wrote that an equal (or greater) number ofJewish refugees was also created as a result of that war. Peters (ibid) claimed that "the total number of Arabs who reportedly left Israel is almost exactly equaled by the" number of Jews who were forced to leave Arab countries (ibid, p 25).

She claimed that, if some 700,000-900,000 Arabs (according to Arab numbers) became refugees because of Israel's war of independence, the same number of Jews also became refugees. But these Jews had not been 'expelled' by war events. They had been expelled by Arab countries as a retaliation against Israel for declaring its independence ( Matti Friedman, The Aleppo Codex, 2012, p 6).

Those Jews were completely resettled almost exclusively into Israel. Today, there is no 'Jewish refugee' problem. 

But there is still an 'Arab refugee' problem, called now the 'Palestinian refugee' problem. Today, the original 380,000-900,000 refugees (depending on whose numbers you believe) have become as many as 5+ million Arab ('Palestinian') refugees. These refugees have become part of the war to destroy Jewish Israel (see below). 

These Arab refugees have lost their humanity. They have been turned into a weapon of war. They have been held in squalid captivity by their own brothers in order to become the demographic tsunami that will, the Arabs hope, overrun and overwhelm Israel. 

Arabs believe that this tsunami will flood Israel because they demand there can be no peace with Israel until these refugees 'return home' to their land (Israel).

When, in theory, these 5+ million 'refugees' join their 2 million brothers and sisters already living in Israel, these 7+ million Arabs will instantly become the majority in Israel (Israel has 6 million Jews). Arabs could then take over Israel the way Hamas took over Gaza--through the ballot box. 

Through the ballot box, Jewish Israel would disappear. Put another way, those who wish to destroy Israel want to use Democracy to do what they could never do through war, intifada or boycott.

Unlike virtually all other refugee groups, the 'Palestinian refugees' have never moved on. They have never put their bad times behind them. Instead, they fester in Arab-controlled, UN-managed 'camps'. They live in truly Apartheid conditions (Khaled Abu Toameh, "Arab Apartheid against Palestinians,"gatestoneinstitute, June 27, 2012). 

One is reminded of this inhumane UN-managed story because there's yet another 'refugee' video making the rounds onyoutube. It's a short video--less than a minute. Perhaps you've seen it. It's noteworthy for two reasons.

First, it gives you a different view of the traditional 'Arab-Israel refugee problem'.

Second, it provides specific refugee numbers for specific locations, something most refugee reports do not do.

Take a look:   

(Warning: I can't control the size of the video. But I think you can read enough to understand it. The video describes how Jews were expelled, their land stolen, their possessions seized, etc):

Israel's war of Independence created two refugee groups, almost equal in number. One group, the Jews, came overwhelmingly to Israel, mostly between the late-1940's and the 1970's. They became Israel.They and their descendants have helped to make Israel one of history's greatest national success stories. 

The second group, the Arabs, became no more than pawns in an inhumanely cruel propaganda war. They are abused. Many have been kept virtually imprisoned in UN-run camps. They contribute little. They suffer. Some starve. They rot.

You should remember the refugees of that 1948 War. You should remember the cruelty which some Arabs--with the UN's help--have imposed upon other Arabs. You should remember this horrific (Arab) face of the real Apartheid of the Middle East.

You should remember how Israel has treated its Jewish refugees. You should remember how Arabs have treated their Arab refugees. 

If you want to understand the difference between Israelis and Arabs, remember the refugees. 

Remember the Jewish refugees. Remember their story. Then support Israel.

Israel embraces life.