Palestinian Columnist Admits Arab Leaders Responsible For The Flight Of Arabs From Israel In 1948
December 26, 2006

A columnist in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official television paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida , has admitted that it was Arab leaders who were responsible for the flight of Arabs from the new State of Israel in 1948. The columnist, Mahmud Al-Habbash, recently wrote that in 1948, Palestinian Arabs left their homes willingly under the instruction of their own Arab leaders and their false promises of a prompt return. “The leaders and the elites promised us at the beginning of the ‘Catastrophe’ [the establishment of Israel and the creation of refugee problem] in 1948, that the duration of the exile will not be long, and that it will not last more than a few days or months, and afterwards the refugees will return to their homes, which most of them did not leave only until they put their trust in those ‘Arkuvian’ [‘Arkuvian,’ after Arkuv — a figure from Arab tradition — who was known for breaking his promises and for his lies] promises made by the leaders and the political elites. Afterwards, days passed, months, years and decades, and the promises were lost with the strain of the succession of events” ( Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 13, 2006, courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch).

PA organs like Al-Hayat Al-Jadida generally demonize Israelis and are replete with viciously anti-Semitic articles. However, this is the most recent of a number of occasions in which the truth about the 1948 refugees, which is completely contrary to the official Palestinian version which holds that Israelis deliberately expelled peaceable Palestinians, has been admitted. Another recent example appeared in the newspaper, Al-Ayyam, in which Asmaa Jabir Balasimah Um Hasan, a Palestinian Arab women who fled Israel in 1948, stated, “We heard sounds of explosions and of gunfire at the beginning of the summer in the year of the ‘Catastrophe’ [the establishment of Israel and the expulsion from the land in 1948]. They told us: The Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return, after the battle is over. And indeed there were among us [who fled Israel] those who left a fire burning under the pot, those who left their flock [of sheep] and those who left their money and gold behind, based on the assumption that we would return after a few hours.” ( Al-Ayyam newspaper, May 16, 2006, courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “These admissions, like others before it, indicate not only that the official Palestinian version that Israel deliberately expelled Palestinian Arabs is simply a false propaganda claim calculated to delegitimize Israel, but that at least some Palestinian Arabs know this to be the case, even if the occasions on which they admit the truth are rare. The truth of the matter is that those responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem are those Arab leaders who insisted on going to war with Israel in an effort to abort her creation, not Israel, which fought to preserve her existence.”

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