Dec 30, 2006 5:18 am


This is tragic:

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).

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