Letter: Tlaib Lying About Nakba Being Root Cause

Dear editor:

I agree with Bruce Ticker. Rashida Tlaib was lying when she said that the Nakba is the root cause of issues that continue to divide Israel and the Palestinians today. (Multiple Nakbas Imposed on American Jews, Boulder Jewish News, May 24, 2023.) What Tlaib was trying to cover up is the fact that the Israel/Arab conflict was caused by the refusal of Arab states to countenance the existence of a modern Jewish state in the Jews’ ancestral homeland. Nor will she admit that the perpetuation of the Palestine refugee situation is a deliberate plan to see the nation-state of the Jews turned into a Muslim-majority state where Jews would be second-class citizens if they were tolerated at all.

Arab leaders threatened violence against the Jews in Palestine well before the UN Partition Plan for Palestine was approved by the UN General Assembly in 1947.  Two-thirds of the Arabs who fled Palestine in the 1940’s left the area before the fighting had started. Initially, they left on the heels of the elite Arabs who’d moved to their summer homes to avoid anticipated disruptions of their daily lives; later, Arabs left  Palestine at the behest of Arab leaders who urged them to free invading Arab armies of the need to fear collateral damage in the Arab population as the Jews were being slaughtered. Beirut Institute of Palestinian Studies: two-thirds of Arabs fled Palestine without seeing a Jewish soldier or hearing a shot fired – Search (bing.com)

The fleeing Arabs had been led to believe that Arab armies would crush the Yishuv (Zionist community in Palestine) quickly after which the Arabs who’d left could return and enjoy the spoils. But the Jews withstood the onslaught and the displaced Arabs found themselves and their descendants designated as Palestine refugees under the care of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency which didn’t find employment or new homes for them. Of the fewer than 700,000 Arabs who fled Palestine in the 1940s, no more than 30,000 are still alive. The Palestinian refugee hoax (jns.org) Yet, UNRWA has 6,000,000 Palestine refugees on its rolls as the UN abets their leaders in demanding that Israel give the “refugees” the homes that they claim their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, … lost when the modern State of Israel was declared. The sheer numbers of the Palestine refugees, and the fact that their leaders have taught them that killing Jews is a Muslim’s ticket to entering Heaven, ensure that Israel is not going to accede to a Right of Return for them.

In contrast to the deliberately unresolved situation of the Palestine refugees, tiny, poor, renascent Israel, absorbed 800,000 Mizrachi Jews driven from their homes in the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa in the first three decades following Israel’s rebirth, while also rehabilitating Holocaust survivors, recovering from damages inflicted by Arab armies, and dealing with terrorist incursions from areas illegally occupied by Egypt and Jordan until 1967. The majority of Israel’s current Jewish population descends from those 800,000 Mizrachi Jews. Every position in Israel’s governance has been filled, at one time or another by someone with roots in the Mizrachi communities. Surely Arab countries, with vast land holdings and oil wealth could have taken in the Palestine refugees. And Hamas and the Palestinian Authority should certainly be integrating the residents of UNRWA camps located in Gaza and Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria into the population of Palestinians living under their administration. Palestine refugees are said to have received excellent (although antisemitic) education from UNRWA; the refugees could provide valuable assistance if the Palestinian leaders would get serious about building the state they claim to want.

Toby F. Block
Atlanta, GA

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