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Palestinian Refugees - The Myth About Palestine

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The Palestinian:  Victim,  Genius or Victim of Genius?

<< Return to Part Two:  Inveracity

Part Three:  Indignation

by Mikael Knighton
Christians Standing with Israel

"Indeed, we are the owners of the land and the legal truth, theyasser arafat owners of the independent homeland and the independent state. Therefore, with you and by means of you, and by means of our noble Arab and Islamic nation, and by means of freedom-seeking people in the world, we will establish our independent Palestinian nation and its holy capital of Jerusalem." - Yasser Arafat/September, 2001

Of all the ministers of misinformation who made their way onto the world's stage in the post-Nazi era, none other was quite as cunning, conniving and, sadly, effective as Yasser Arafat. This was a man who, time and time again, would walk through the front door disguised as a "peacemaker" only to slip out the back, with his Nobel Peace Prize in tow, as a reputed mass murderer who slaughtered innocent people, including many women and children. As chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Arafat successfully fooled the world with a forked tongue. Although true Justice found Arafat after his death, his penchant for deception and treachery lived on through his successors. As such, the "big lie" remains in the open--alive and well-- as it continues its relentless pursuit of global deception.

"Palestinians": Victims Unleashed

The "Palestinians" pervasively and continually assert themselves as the rightful owners of the land of "Palestine". The "Palestinians" claim to be a "displaced" people, cast from an ancestral homeland that has been theirs "from time immemorial". On the wings of such deception, the "Palestinian" demand for an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital continues to soar and, in the eyes of an international community uber-sympathetic to their plight, sprout merit.

nakbaEven so, history tells an entirely different tale. However, not even history can address what has quickly become the "elephant in the room" regarding the "Palestinian" problem. By their own claim, the "Palestinians" were displaced and uprooted from their land by the creation of the sovereign state of Israel in May, 1948, thus relegating them to the status of "refugees". Here's the obvious problem: Why have the "Palestinians" carried this status for so long without being rehabilitated and absorbed? When Israel was declared a sovereign nation in 1948, nearly one million Jews were evicted from their homes in Arab lands -- countries in which they were born. Where are these "refugees"? Historical record shows that they weren't refugees for long. Israel absorbed them, and they were effectively assimilated into Israeli society. In fact, history shows that refugees from any ethnic group over the years were at some point absorbed into society, thus making their status as "refugees" quite temporary--EXCEPT for one group -- the "Palestinians". They are the only people who willfully choose to keep their refugee status, thus passing it on from generation to generation. Taking refuge under the label of "victim", the "Palestinians" continually assert that they were forced out of Israel in 1948 by the Israeli government. Their status as "refugees" ultimately rises and falls on the claim that "Jews forced the exodus of millions of Arabs from their plots of lands which they inhabited from time immemorial".

Once again, history tells a different story.

"The Palestine Myth": A Matter of Historical Record

Analysis has already been facilitated through this writer's discourse that thoroughly debunks a "Palestinian" presence in the Holy Land dating back over 4,000 years, during the time of the Canaanites. However, how does historical record portray the demographic layout of the Holy Land in the centuries just prior to it becoming the sovereign state of Israel in 1948. Well, it seems history has a great deal to say on the subject. In the time period prior to Israel's rebirth, this region was a complete wasteland consisting of barren deserts and swamps. Numerous eyewitness accounts during this time period tell of a land in which there were very few people. Perhaps the most famous account came from none other than Mark Twain who, at the end of the 19th century, wrote of what he saw, or did not see in a land in which a supposed Arab presence was plentiful:

There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent; notmark twain for thirty miles in either direction. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. Nazareth is forlorn. Jericho lies a mouldering ruin. Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation. untenanted by any living creature. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse. a desolation. We never saw a human being on the whole route. Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes, desolate and unlovely... - Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1867

If "Palestinians" truly inhabited this land just prior to the creation of the Jewish State of Israel, then why weren't they observed by visiting foreigners? Twain continues:

It is solitude, for birds and squirrels on the shore and fishes in the water are all the creatures that are near to make it otherwise, but it is not the sort of solitude to make one dreary. Come to Galilee for that. If these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness, that never, never, never do shake the glare from their harsh outlines, and fade and faint into vague perspective; that melancholy ruin of Capernaum; this stupid village of Tiberius, slumbering under its six funereal plumes of palms; yonder desolate declivity where the swine of the miracle ran down into the sea, and doubtless thought it was better to swallow a devil or two and get drowned into the bargain than have to live longer in such a place; this cloudless, blistering sky; this solemn, sailless, tintless lake, reposing within its rim of yellow hills and low, steep banks, and looking just as expressionless and unpoetical (when we leave its sublime history out of the question,) as any metropolitan reservoir in Christendom -- if these things are not food for rock me to sleep, mother, none exist, I think. --- Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1867

Other eyewitness accounts tend to lend merit to that of Twain's:

israel wasteland

"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride". - William Thackeray, From Jaffa To Jerusalem, 1844


"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to be seen but a little of the old walls, which is yet remaining and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weeds much like to a piece of rank or moist ground." - Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund


"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil" - British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700's


"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land". - Count Constantine Fran├žois Volney


"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it". - Christian observers of Arabs in the 1800's.


"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population." - James Finn, British Consul in Jerusalem, 1857


"Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extended over 1400 years. It was the Jews who implanted the culture and customs of the permanent settlement". - Ibn Khaldun, Arab historians, year 1377.


"The mosque is empty of worshippers..." - Arab writer Muqaddasi on Jerusalem in the year 985 A.D.


"During the first century after the Arab conquest [from 670-740 A.D.], the caliph and governors of Syria and the Land ruled entirely over Christian and Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the only Arabs west of the Jordan were the garrisons." - James Parker, historian


1948: Israel Announces its Independence

The time period surrounding the rebirth of Israel ushered in two historical changes in the Holy Land. First, the Jewish people facilitated an agricultural overhaul of the land that gave birth to lush vegetation and abundant crops. The desert literally began to bloom and, in so doing, directly fulfilled a prophecy found in Isaiah 35:

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. - Isaiah 35:1

israel-desert-bloomsSubsequently, this was followed by a mass influx of Arabs into Israel who saw an opportunity. History will show that on May 14, 1948, the day Israel became an independent and sovereign nation, the surrounding Arab countries of Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia launched an invasion of the Jewish state. This was an invasion that would become a costly one at the hands of defeat, and it was Israel, outnumbered at an unprecedented ratio, who would emerge as the victor. Even so, the Arab nations and leaders wasted little time in labeling their people as "victims" who were evicted by Israel from the Holy Land shortly after the resulting victory by the Israeli military.

Here, once again, lies a conflict with historical record.

The Arabs dwelling in Israel prior to Israel's War of Independence werepalestinian-israel not evicted from the region by Israel. They fled. They were told by the surrounding Arab nations, their very own leaders, that an invasion was looming and that they should leave to avoid suffering casualties at the hands of said conflict. Indisputable evidence from political officials and historians, Arabs and Israelis, support this fact. Nearly 80% of the Arab inhabitants fled Israel between 1947-1948, putting the number close to 750,000, with the objective of returning to and settling in their own lands. Their objective failed, and the result gave birth to the "Palestinian" refugee problem. Historical record shows that when their military initiatives failed, the surrounding Arab countries refused to absorb their own Arabs. They were turned away, and subsequently transformed into "refugees" at the behest of their own countries all for heeding their recommendations to flee a region soon to be engulfed in war-- a war that, with every logistical certainty, should have been completed in short order. In so doing, this newly-born class of people, the "Palestinian refugees", found themselves living in refugee camps in Jordan, Syrian, Lebanon, and Israel. It remains their current dwelling place.

International Community: United Nations:  Who qualifies as a "Palestinian Refugee?"

united-nations-israelThis analysis begets the question of what officially qualifies one as a "refugee"? A review of United Nations data in 1948 revealed some very interesting findings. According to the U.N., the general definition of refugee eligibility are those people who were forced to leave their "habitual" and "permanent" homes. However, as it pertains to the "Palestinians", the U.N. chose to revise their refugee eligibility requirements. According to the U.N., the definition of "Palestinian refugee" eligibility was revised to include any one who had been in "Palestine" for only two years prior to the state of Israel being declared in 1948. To the Arab world and an international community, including the United Nations, quick to unleash its sympathy toward the "Palestinian" side, Israel remains the catalyst to this problem. To the Arabs, there is only one solution: the "Palestinians" should be allowed to return to their purported "homeland". Such are the dynamics surrounding the elusive and unprocurable "Palestinian Right of Return". The Arabs are the only people in recorded history to willfully and emphatically pass on their "refugee" status from generation to generation. Make no mistake, this was a self-inflicted wound that certainly did not have to happen. Even so, where their soldiers failed, their lies have prevailed. Historical record and the "Palestinian people" exist as complete strangers unto each other. Recorded history clearly shows the Arabs as a people who did not emerge in this region until midway through the 7th century. To assert that the Arab people never had control of the land would be as false as the assertions claiming they inhabited it "from time immemorial".

Recorded history will show this region in the hands of the Arabs during the centuries leading up to the Crusades, when control of Jerusalem became a volley between Christian and Muslim alliances, as well as the brief season leading up to the establishment of the Ottoman empire. Nonetheless, despite these times in which different nations established their dominion over the Holy Land, it never knew a time in which it was devoid of a Jewish presence. The Jewish people can claim an ancestral presence in this region that dates back some 3,300 years, and they would be historically accurate in doing so. The "Palestinians" can accurately lay claim to an Arab presence in the land of Israel dating back no earlier than the 7th century. To erroneously purport that they--the "Palestinians"-- inhabited this region before or instead of the Jewish people would be an inveracity of not only a historical nature, but of a mathematical one, as well.

And what about Israel?

In conclusion, historical record is completely devoid of a "Palestinian" presence in the Holy Land while at the same time, effectively and accurately dates a Jewish presence exceeding 4,000 years. The "Palestinians" and their Arabs will never prosper as a people, nor will they ever look "home" in the face until they put down the lie, as did the former PLO terrorist Walid Shoebat, and embrace the truth. "Palestinians" cannot claim what they call "Palestine" as their own, because this was a land intended for the bloodline of Isaac, not Ishmael. Even so, the "Palestinian" myth will likely never lose traction, israel flagbecause it is consistently nurtured by the international community, universities, seminaries, mass media outlets, and presidential administrations. But what about Israel? Historical record shows that Israel is no stranger to the indignations of a world caustically aligned against her. Through the millennia, Israel, and not "Palestine", has flourished as a nation--forged by the tenacity of Saul, the faith and courage of David, and the wisdom and brilliance of Solomon. Unfortunately, her history and that of her people have become all too familiar with intense suffering and persecution. Throughout the vast span of history, the enemies of Israel have inevitably and undeniably come to know the exorbitant price of spilling Jewish blood. Among these were the Canaanites, the Amalekites and the Philistines. Israel lived on and thrived, yet where is the empire of the Assyrians, today? Israel lived on and flourished, yet what became of the Babylonian empire? Israel lived on and blossomed, but did the Roman empire manage to keep pace? Israel is as strong as ever, but can the empire that was the Third Reich say the same?

The Jewish people became all too familiar with bondage and death, from Babylon to Birkenau, on a level unseen by any other group of people. However, as is the nature of a God who never parts from His Promises, they would be restored to and flourish in their land each time. This was a truth foretold. Unlike the "Palestinian" myth that has been repeatedly and caustically advanced into the global "marketplace of ideas", it need not be said a thousand times to become "truth".  In fact, it needn't be said at all.


<< Return to Part Two:  Inveracity




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