Palestinian refugees after Zionist terrorists ethnically cleansed them from their homes in 1948.
But what about the so-called “Jewish refugees”?
One of the propaganda claims of Zionism is that hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Arab countries and, therefore, the Palestinian refugees should not be allowed back to their homes in Palestine (what is now “Israel”) and instead be absorbed in Arab countries as part of a “population swap” between Arabs and Jews.
This logic is so disgusting and twisted in its ability to dehumanize both Arabs and Jews and to reduce people’s lives and their attachment to their nation to nothing more than inanimate props to be swapped around a map in the name of Zionism.
According to Zionists, the Palestinians are quite unique: They not only have to make sacrifices with their lives and land for the crimes of the Nazis, but also for the crimes of Arab governments for the Jews who left after the Zionists already ethnically cleansed 800,000 Palestinians from their homes in Palestine to make way for an artificial Jewish majority and state.
But after they committed their crime, the Zionists sought to use the exodus of Jews from Arab land (which was done partly through encouragement by Zionists in occupied Palestine in order to increase ‘Jewish hands’ in the newly founded Jewish state) to retroactively justify the historical injustice against the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians have nothing to say about the crimes committed against Jews anywhere. Whatever crimes befell Jews in, say, Iraq; that it to be dealt with on its own terms and merits. The ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees stands on its own and not to be negated because of some lousily and after-the-fact crime elsewhere.
“This line of reasoning ignores the most fundamental facts. Namely, that unlike most Arab Jewish emigrants to Israel, Palestinian refugees had no choice in their dispossession and exile. They did not want to leave. In contrast, most Jewish “refugees” left at the behest of the state of Israel and other Zionist organizations urging them to do so. Moreover, their departure took place over many decades. Israel historically did not cite that as a reason for why it refuses to allow the Palestinians’ return. The idea of equivalence is only a recent phenomenon meant to counteract the growing sympathy that the Palestinians’ plight is generating.”
“As well as the fact that Jews in Arab countries were actively encouraged by the Zionist movement to move to Israel, there is another big problem with the ‘swap’ theory – timescale. Dr. Philip Mendes points out how “the Jewish exodus from Iraq and other Arab countries took place over many decades, before and after the Palestinian exodus” and “there is no evidence that the Israeli leadership anticipated a so-called population exchange when they made their arguably harsh decision to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees”. Mendes also concludes his analysis by affirming that “the two exoduses…should be considered separately”. But the ‘swap’ idea is anyway illogical. One refugee’s right – in the case of the Palestinians, a right affirmed by UN resolutions – can not be ‘cancelled out’ by another’s misfortune. Furthermore, “the Palestinians were not at all responsible for the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries” – while “the Palestinian refugee problem was caused by the Zionist refusal to allow the Palestinians to return to their homes”. Given the historical and logical flaws, the only way this analogy can be so tempting for some is its propaganda value. The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC), for example, claim on their website that their mission is simply “to document the assets Jewish refugees lost as they fled Arab countries”. Professor Shenhav, however, describes how WOJAC “was invented as a deterrent to block claims harbored by the Palestinian national movement, particularly claims related to compensation and the right of return”.”
And, as one Israeli historian who is one of those “refugees”, recently wrote in a book review published in the Financial Times of a pro-Zionist book that makes this case:
Nowhere is Gilbert more strikingly one-sided than in his account of the consequences of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the course of this war, the name Palestine was wiped off the map and 726,000 Palestinians became refugees. In its wake, around 850,000 Jews left the Arab world, mostly to start a new life in the newborn State of Israel. For Gilbert, these Jews are simply the other half of the “double exodus” and he persistently refers to them as “refugees”. With few exceptions, however, these Jews left their native lands not as a result of officially sanctioned policies of persecution but because they felt threatened by the rising tide of Arab nationalism. Zionist agents actively encouraged the Jews to leave their ancestral homes because the fledgling State of Israel was desperately short of manpower.
Iraq exemplified this trend. The Iraqi army participated in the War for Palestine, and the Arab defeat provoked a backlash against the Jews back home. Out of a population of 138,000, roughly 120,000 left in 1950-51 in an atmosphere of panic and peril.
I was five years old in 1950 when my family reluctantly moved from Baghdad to Ramat Gan. We were Arab Jews, we spoke Arabic, our roots went back to the Babylonian exile two and a half millennia ago and my parents did not have the slightest sympathy with Zionism. We were not persecuted but opted to leave because we felt insecure. So, unlike the Palestinians who were driven out of their homes, we were not refugees in the proper sense of the word. But we were truly victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This whole mantra of “Jewish refugees” is a Zionist lie and gimmick designed to distract from the historic crime of Zionism against Palestine and the Palestinians.