The Arab ‘Right of Return’ to Israel

By Ted Belman

Rachel Neuwirth, my friend, wrote an article published by The American Thinker, that deals with some long forgotten facts pertaining to the “right of return”.

    [..]Thus many of the “Palestinians” not only have never lived in Palestine themselves, but are fairly distant descendants of people who lived their only briefly before 1948, having been born elsewhere in the Arab world — for the most part, in the Hauran region of Syria. Even more registration of phony refugees occurred because of the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNWRA) practice of relying solely on the claims of self-professed refugees to determine refugee status, without attempting to verify their claims.

    Equally dubious are the claims of so many of the refugees to be the heirs of former Palestinian landowners. All of the claims to ancestral land inheritances could not possibly be true. Very few Palestinian Arabs actually left behind valuable property when they left Israeli territory in 1948. Prior to Israel’s independence very few Arabs possessed clear and unencumbered legal title to land in Palestine. Vast areas of the country were the property of the “state” (originally the Turkish government). Other land was held in common by villages.

    Much of what land as was privately owned by Arabs prior to 1948 was included in vast latifundia owned by a few dozen wealthy “effendi” (aristocratic) families, some of whom did not even live in Palestine. Most Palestinian Arabs were tenant farmers, landless laborers, or Bedouin nomads. And such farms as were owned by Arab smallholders were usually hard-scrabble affairs on sandy, unproductive soil, which enabled their cultivators at most to eke out a bare living. Their owners were heavily indebted to money-lenders or large landlords.

    In addition, many Arabs who claim to have once owned land in Palestine were actually squatters on previously unoccupied and unclaimed “state” land, without a legal private owner. Although many of these individuals never possessed title deeds to the land they professed to own and did not pay any taxes on them, they or their descendants nonetheless demand that “their” land be “returned” to them.

    Claims of massive poverty, deprivation and suffering on the part of the Palestinian Arab refugees are largely false. For sixty years four generations of Palestinian refugees or alleged refugees have had all or most of their housing, food, education through college and graduate school, medical care and social services provided to them for free by UNWRA. No Americans or Europeans have benefited from such a generous and all-encompassing welfare state. [..]

January 6, 2008 | 2 Comments »

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  1. The real decision maker in the mideast is the U.S.- America deems the excessive deaths of Palestinian civilians as furthering the cause of Al Qaeda. Israel remains very constrained in its actions in Gaza because of this fact. All Israeli leaders both present and aspiring are very well aware of this reality. After 9/11, international terrorism rather than the Israel-Palestinian dispute is the U.S.’s main concern. That is why America is negotiating a behind the scene truce. And when America will eventually order a truce Israel will comply.

  2. Israel’s leaders appear to want a ceasefire. They should be honest with Israelis and tell them that a decisive victory is out of reach. But lying to the nation is not the way for Ehud Olmert to rebuild his tattered reputation or for Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak to strengthen themselves in advance of next month’s Israeli national elections. The Jewish nation deserves the truth from those who lead it so they know what lies ahead.