Demography and Geography in the Land of Israel/Yona Levy Grosman

Published in Kav-LeMoshav, a publication of Ma’ariv, October 7, 2008
The U.N.’s universal definition of a refugee :
“Any person who has been forced to abandon his permanent home in his natural habitat since time immemorial will be considered a refugee”.
In only one instance has this definition been expanded upon, through the pressure of the Arab League. The broadened definition is as follows: “Every Arab who left Palestine-the Land of Israel in 1948, who had lived there for two years , will also be considered a refugee he and his descendants “. Why did the Arab countries bother to expand this definition?
Because most of the Arabs calling themselves “Palestinians” immigrated to Palestine- Israel during the British mandate, particularly during WWII and following; the years in which the British government prevented Jews from reaching their homeland, from saving their lives.

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Arab propaganda has had an invested interest in establishing 1948 as Israel’s demographic turning point, in the collective memory both of the world and of Arab populations. Regretfully, due to laziness, ignorance, or both, Jews, as well, have not examined the demographic facts. Indeed, what the pioneers coined as “the Second Return to Zion”, began in 1882 with the aliyah of the first pioneers. That is not to say there were no individuals or even large groups of thousands of Jews who previously settled in Israel. In 1740, for instance, tens of thousands of Hassidim settled in Hebron, Jerusalem, Safed, and Tiberia. There was also an aliyah from Yemin and Spain. Jews have always been making aliyah to Israel, even often endangering their lives. Despite this, until the beginning of WWI in 1914, 80% of Jerusalem’s population was Jewish.
Arab propaganda has long extolled the fact that in1948, the year of the State of Israel’s independence and the year of the Nakba (Arabic for ‘catastrophe’) for them, there were three quarter Arabs and one third Jews in the expanse between the Jordan and the sea. In keeping with this polemic they always only emphasize the aliyah of Jews to Israel. According to the Arabs who adhere to this agenda, they have lived here since time immemorial and are only naturally increasing in population.
Historical evidence tells us another story.

Historically, the Jewish and Arab settlement in Israel neither began in 1882 nor in 1948. To establish my argument, I will not resort to referring back in time to the Byzantine period and the time of the Khalif Omar, the periods in which most of the dwellers in Israel were Jews. We have only to look at the past 150 years in order to learn that those people who call themselves “Palestinians” have been new settlers in the Land of Israel In order to have a reliable picture of Israel’s settlement map one need to look at all the waves of settlement, and not only those of the Jews.

I will begin with the international document defining a refugee .
The U.N. has a universal definition for a refugee. Every person who qualifies by this definition will be considered a refugee and, therefore, will receive the financial and legal support provided by the U.N. to refugees. The definition states: “Any person who has been forced to abandon his permanent home in his natural habitat since time immemorial will be considered a refugee”. In one specific instance, and under pressure from the Arab League, a sentence was added: “Every Arab who left Israel in 1948, and who lived there two years , will also be considered a refugee he and his descendants “. At the outbreak of war over Israel in 1948 there were two thirds Arabs and one third Jews in Israel, but not all the Arabs were here from time immemorial. There are those, though, who will claim (as in the addenda to the U.N. definition of a refugee) that an Arab in Israel for even two years is equal to time immemorial.

For those for whom truth is of cardinal importance, two year is two years. In that case, on what basis did the Arab League countries decide on two years? Why not five, or ten years? And, according to them, if all the refugees were whichever particular number of people born in Israel, why the great struggle to change the definition?

From here, in order to properly discuss the issue of Israel’s demography one must be knowledgeable about the Arab settlement process in the context of modern history.

The Ottoman Empire neglected the Land of Israel, which was for them a remote periphery. Most of the inhabitants were Jews and Christians who populated the major cities, which, in themselves were sparse and backward, revolving around pilgrims to the holy sites. Beyond the cities were Bedouin nomads for whom the land was a passage between Egypt and Arabia. Maps and data of Israel’s population at the time, recorded by the Pope’s emissaries, fill the Vatican archives and attest to this.

The year 1831 was a benchmark in Israel’s demography. Ibrahim Pasha, the son of an Egyptian ruler, captured the land almost until Kashta, and for political and logistical reasons, settled Egyptian peasants on the land. In establishing his rule he massacred Bedouins and other populations. In 1841 his army was repelled by the Ottomans and the remaining, Egyptian soldiers scattered among the neighborhoods, burned down places such as Hebron and murdered the inhabitants. This was the beginning of the Arab settlement in Israel. About half the population in Jaffa became Egyptian. Later, they would spread out to Tel Bahir and build Saknat Abu-Kabir and Saknat El-Mitzrieh, constructed from bricks confiscated from builders of Tel Aviv during the period of WWI. In time the district would be called Mansieh.

In 1857, when the Ottoman rulers realized that the periphery of the empire was empty of people, thereby vulnerable to enemy invasion, they invited the people of the world to settle there. That’s how Algerian refugees, such as the El-Husseini family, settled in Israel. They had fled from their homeland after a bloody political power struggle. As well, Chechens fleeing from their country because of the war with Russia arrived in Israel, so did Bosnians who had failed in their conflict with Austria. In addition, the Templers, Americans, and others also arrived in Israel.

These settlers were given the right to receive lands as well as financial support from the Ottoman government. This, in contrast to the difficulties the Jews met with at the time because they were the only group who had nationalist aspirations for the region. The Jews who successfully made it to Israel were forced to purchase lands at exorbitant prices; lands that were not fit to live on, among other reasons, because they were rife with malaria. Most of the lands the Jews managed to purchase were either not appropriate for inhabitation, or they were lands the Ottoman had given to the Algerians, who detested them and went to live in Damascus or Beirut.
There was another wave of Egyptian settlers to Israel after the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869. Egyptian peasants who had dug the canal were unable to return to their homes and lands which had been handed over to their brothers who had remained in Egypt. These workers then migrated north, reinforcing the Egyptian settlements that had preceded them.
But the most massive Arab settlement took place with the English conquest of Israel in 1917. On November 1, 1917 the British issued the Balfour Declaration; the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in British ruled Palestine. At the time Palestine included both banks of the Jordan.

Later, the area of Palestine east of the Jordan was given to Abdullah as a token of thanks for his help in the war against the Ottomans. The appreciation the Jews received for their help in the war came in the form of the first of the three laws of the White Paper in 1922. These laws were drawn up to placate the anger of the Arabs of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and others, who did not approve of the Jews, considered by them as Demie’s (inferior race), receiving sovereign rights.

They also served to placate the bitterness of the Arabs of Israel caused by the preference shown towards the Jews. The laws limited the number of Jews making aliyah; quotas depended upon Arab pressure on the British.

And so, at the very time when the White Paper prevented many Jews from coming to Israel before WWII, and even saving themselves from the Nazi claws during the war in Europe and Africa, there was nothing to prevent the Arabs form immigrating to Israel from their counties north, west, and south of it. And they did so in droves. Part of them came in search of livelihood, encouraged by the good treatment they received form their Jewish employers. They helped make the desert bloom and drained the swamps. Others worked in British army camps, and still others were brought in by the British. There were those who heeded the call of Haj Amin El-Husseini to settle in the country in order to prevent the Jews from doing so.
Let us return to the addendum in the definition of a refugee. Two years before 1948 is 1946. One year previous WWII had ended. Jewish survivors of the death camps try to reach their homeland through many means. In most cases the ships of illegal immigrants are caught by the British Navy and distanced from the homeland.

A new book named “MI6” or “The Secret History of MI6.”
The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, by Professor Keith Jeffery .
The book was published on Tuesday, September 21 2010.
Jeffery said he struck a “Faustian pact” when he agreed to write the book. He could look at
everything in the archives, but MI6 retained the power to censor what was published.
Although Mi6 censored parts of the book, it is our luck that the story of “Operation Embarrass” remain in the book for Jewish History. Prof’ Jeffery said: “Operation Embarrass” was one of the most amazing stories I found. These are astonishing operational stories. Uncovering them made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.”
In this book Professor Keith Jeffery give us new piece of history never known about British spies staged covert operations to sabotage Holocaust survivors’ attempts to reach Palestine between 1946 and early 1948.
Professor Keith Jeffery wrote in his new book that among the tactics used by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS and Mi6) in “Operation Embarrass” were the bombing of five Hagana ships and put the Hagana ship Exodus as a Target to be bomb with all Its 4500 Illegal immigrants. The Mi6 used intimidation and the creation of a fake Palestinian defence group.
Summarizing the above paragraph we can say that:- At the same time when the British fought against survivors of the Holocaust in order to prevent from them return to their homeland, they allowed Arabs from Arab countries to immigrate into the land of Israel. Even before the Second World War and during the war, the British prevented the Jews to immigrate to their homeland and save themselves from the Holocaust. Between eighty to ninety percent of those who call themselves Palestinians, they or their parents emigrated to Israel in the modern times. Many of them at the expense of European Jews. And today, those Arabs claim that they are the Holocaust victims. This is because the Jews came back to Israel and drove out the “Palestinians” from their “Home Land”.

The UNSCOP Committee (a special U.N. committee for matters concerning Israel), the continuation of the Peel Commission, tours Israel west of the Jordan and records and maps the population with the aim of dividing it between the Jews and the Arabs, according to a census of each and every area. The Jews are prevented from reaching their homeland, while the Arabs leave their homelands in throngs to Palestine. The result of all this is the 1947 division of the map of Israel.

The years 1946-1948, are the two years due to which Palestinian refugee camps are established and these are also the years that will determine the ratio of two thirds Arabs to one third Jews living in Israel at the outbreak of the 1948 War of Independence.
In conclusion, I herewith present two points which perplex me:

The first:
Where are the keys to the home of my family murdered in the Holocaust? Where are the keys to the homes of the Jews massacred in Hebron in 1928? Where are the keys to the 250 homes of Jewish families who lived hundreds of years in the city of Gaza and barely escaped with their lives in that same year?
The State of Israel has absorbed mainly refugees. Where are the keys to the homes of all the Jewish refugees who arrived from Arab and European countries? Did you ever ponder when it is that we hold the keys to our homes in our hands? When we are escaping for our lives? Or, maybe, when they enter our homes and murder us? In general, the key to my home is in my possession when I leave it on a normal, regular basis.

The second perplexity:
After WWII hundreds of millions people became refugees. Since then, the same refugees have built homes, planted vineyards, and raised children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And all of them invest their energies so that peace will reign amongst them and with their neighbors. All of this they achieved without the intervention and support of the U.N., as did millions of Jewish refugees who escaped with their lives from Arab countries. Among them, many communities who had lived there thousands of years, such as the Jews of Iraq, for example.

Only one community, alone, the community of “Palestinian refugees”, has received financial support. They, their children, grandchildren, and, today the generation of their great grandchildren; an ever increasing population, “sitting on the table” of the U.N. to the point of being “glued” to it. The refugee documents they attained have become an asset that transfers into market currency; even forged documents are usually welcome. In that way, a derelict house in a refugee camp is more equal in value than a penthouse apartment.

I ask why the U.N. invests so much money in cultivating this misery and neglect? The only answer I can come up with is: Because the U.N. and Arab countries have an interest in cultivating this focus of hate towards the State of Israel, the only homeland of the Jewish people. If this is true, my next question is: Is the U.N. a racist, anti-Semitic organization? I leave it to you to answer the question.

I highly recommend the following books:
“Middle East Diary “, 1917-1956, by Richard Meinertzhagen, Cresset Press: London. He was Allenby’s Chief Political Officer.

“From Time Immemorial “, by Joan Peters. Peters, known for her Palestinian sympathies, presents us with enlightening documents.

“The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ” by Prof’ Andrew Bostom.

“The Claim of Dispossession ” by Arie Avneri.

“Battleground ” by Samuel Katz.

The new book named “MI6 ” or “The Secret History of MI6 ”
The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, by Professor Keith Jeffery.
The book was published on Tuesday, September 21 2010.
The book is published in Britain by Bloomsbury as “MI6” and in the U.S. by Penguin as “The Secret History of MI6.”

And, of course, you are invited to surf the many web sites of people who have located the homes of their great-great grandfathers and mothers, now the property of Arabs as found in propaganda sites connected with “Palestinians”.
Listen to Allan Dershowitz at Durban conference 2011 about the UN role in the conflict
Or listen to this testimony about the Palestinian lie
Hamas leader from Gaza, explain to the Egyptian media about the source of the Palestinians
Very interesting interview about, Who Has a Right to Jerusalem?