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Israel and its Jewish citizens have been subjected to numerous "objective" investigations by non-Jews and Jews alike both in and outside of the country. Academics constitute a large portion of the investigators, including these from Israel's own universities. The present article examines the main issues raised by these investigations which, in no small measure, reveal profound and far reaching distortions as well as sheer disregard for historical evidence that does not support their assertions. These investigations would be best ignored were it not for the fact that they exert some influence on public opinion and, more pointedly, on the views and ideas acquired by students in universities, including, as noted, universities in Israel. An alternative perspective is required to balance the record that, thus far, reflects the opinions of the vociferous, albeit minority of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel.
We must all remind ourselves that political views cannot be scientifically objective. Political Science, as a legitimate academic discipline, does not make the claim of being an objective science, whatever some of its practitioners might believe. True, it can be a challenge to distinguish the proper parameters of a given discourse. That challenge is inevitably present in every serious investigation of political affairs.
The term political is used here in its broadest sense, as was done by Aristotle when he called Man a zo-on politikon. (a social creature). The social views and legislation adopted by our citizenry and their representatives in government are a functio'n of their values, socio-economic-political opinions and perspectives, their lives and life histories and even of their age. Academics might seek to persuade the public differently to the effect that they, academically trained people, possess the disciplined, mental-scientifically sanctioned ability to comprehend given parts of our social-political reality which the ordinary non-academically trained person cannot comprehend. When the majority of a nation adopts political views based on that belief or assertion, we stand on the threshold of Dante's Inferno (Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto 3):"Abandon all hope, ye who enter these gates."
The Arab-Palestinian claim to a "right of Return" refers to the alleged "right" of hundreds of thousands of Arabs, and the descendants thereof, who fled from the territory that became Israel in 1948, to occupy and receive sovereignty over not only those parts of the Land of Israel called Judea and Samaria, but over what is today known as the State of Israel proper. That is the essence of the Arab-Palestinian position, supported by all Moslem nations of the Middle (and Far) East. Remarkably, there are Jewish academics (again, a distinct minority of Israel's academic personnel) in and outside of Israel who have also adopted that perspective and who, consequently, reject the Jewish-National or Zionist position regarding the historical and moral claim of the Jewish People to ownership of the Land of Israel.
The present article seeks to provide readers, students and writers
on this subject, a Jewish-National-Zionist perspective instead of the
competing anti-Zionist pro-Arab position expounded by some academics, Jews
and non-Jews alike.
Perusal of the publications that attack the legitimacy of Israel's Zionist foundations and condemn its alleged treatment of Arab "refugees," and their descendants, who fled Palestine in 1948, reveals a shocking and irresponsible disregard of well documen'ted events, as well as the arbitrary attribution of motives to the Jewish governments of Israel over the past 60 years. Anti Zionist publications treat readers to summaries of Arab views prepared by authors who are unable to read Arabic and who rely on English-language publications (or those in some other West-European language) that are translations of works by Arab authors. One such author went so far as to claim that the "research" he relied on as the basis for his article "was written in English by Palestinians...this discourse is not peripheral but rather central...(they) have no equivalents in Arabic " (Kuzar, 2008, p. 629). In view of the fact that the author of that quote does not read Arabic, one can only wonder on what grounds he presumes to make an assertion of that kind.
Academics the world over observe with only a few notable exceptions the premise that they have acquired expertise in the subjects about which they write and publish in professional/scientific journals. Otherwise, their work is one of journalism, not one of responsible systematic research. Editors of respectable academic journals are careful not to publish journalistic reports, a task they accomplish as best as they can through a system of peer reviews prepared by reputable colleagues. However, when editors fail to discharge their responsibility, perhaps even due to their own personal prejudices or their misguided opinion that a given article is scientifically defensible, the professional public is exposed to patent charlatanism. That appears to be what occurred in the case of the anti-Zionist publications.
We have only to recall how, a few decades ago, the illustrious, world-famous Orientalist, Professor Bernard Lewis, utterly discredited the anti-Israel claims made by the late Edward Said (of Columbia University) who was close to the governing board of the PLO terrorist organization (Bat Yeor, 2002, p. 310; Lewis, 1986, especially chapters 7,8, and 9). Of relevance here is the curious fact that Said was a professor of English literature, not a political scientist, and his book on Orientalism was found by Bernard Lewis to be riddled with errors of all kinds. Like others before and after, Said had his own agenda that he intended to propound whether his thoughts about Orientalist research in many universities coincided with reality or not. As a professor of English literature he may have thought that he was entitled to poetic license, just as the other anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic Jewish linguist, Noam Chomsky of MIT, considered historical objectivity to be totally subordinate to his agenda of Jewish self-hatred (Sharan, 2003; 2007).
A distinction was made (Kuzar, 2008) between two allegedly different approaches to the Arab "refugee" problem between Arabs who demand that "all refugees" return to their homes in Israel, and those Arabs who appear to accept a compromise and insist that refugees should return to the territory called (by Jews) Judea and Samaria. That territory was not officially incorporated into the States of Israel. Hence, the pragmatists are prepared to debate the question of Israel's borders and they appear to accept the existence of Israel. They do not feel comfortable with the suggestion that a nation and its citizens can be eliminated with impunity.
We are constrained to inquire of the anti-Zionist authors just how they arrived at the insight that there are maximalists and pragmatists among the Arab-Palestinians? It is abundantly clear that all Arab Palestinians without exception (who have expressed themselves in public) demand the return to Israel's territory (as delineated after the 1967 war) of all the "refugees," namely all of those still alive who left Israel in 1948-1949, and all of their descendants, or all those who proclaim themselves to be descendants. That demand, however felicitously formulated, implies the elimination of Israel as a Jewish nation, no less than the permission granted by England and France to Nazi Germany to enter the Sudetenland meant the destruction of Czechoslovakia.
The only non-imaginary distinction among the Arab-Palestinians is between those who seek to destroy Israel with one decisive blow, or those who project its demise in stages. Return to Israel of the Arab "refugees" is the means by which its destruction can be accomplished, as far as the Palestinians are concerned. Either way the goal is to eliminate Israel and its Jewish inhabitants. That goal retains its unequivocal meaning whatever euphemism one prefers, such as "a bi-national state," the "two-state solution," "a state for all its citizens," a "multi-cultural state," and so forth. All of the aforementioned terms, and others, have an equivalent meaning.
For those readers who may not be knowledgeable about the history of Palestine prior to, and following, WWII, permit us to note that up to 1948 the Arab population consisted of totally un-related tribes and groups that entered Palestine during the first half of the 20th century. They had no thought of establishing a new and independent Arab nation. Their explicit wish was to live under a Syrian regime in what was considered to be southern Syria, an integral part of "greater Syria."
The Koran, the holy book of Islam, (7th century A.D.), states that the Jews are a superior People entitled to an unchallengeable right to the Land of Israel (Chapter 7, verse 137; chapter 5, verse 21; chapter 17, verse 104). Mohammed called that territory "The Holy Land" and the children of Israel are the Chosen People (chapter 2, verse 47; chapter 44, verses 32-33).
It is worthwhile to examine the volume entitled The Arab
Awakening; the Story of the Arab National Movement (London, 1938)
by George Antonius, a Lebanese Greek Orthodox person (supported by
the anti-Semitic American millionaire Charles B. Crane who was later
nicknamed Harun al-Rashid. See Bat Yeor, 2002, p. 168, p. 448,
note 75). Antonius was a great admirer of Hitler and, obviously, an
extreme anti-Semite. In his book (page 314 or 312 in another edition)
he sets out the intention of the Arabic term Nakba (catastrophe). At
the time, that term could bear no possible relation whatsoever to the
Palestinian Arabs of 1948 (as is widely believed today). Rather, that
term dealt exclusively with the events of 1920 when the Arabs
perceived that the British Mandate potentially could scuttle their
political connection with Syria. This was a true "catastrophe" for
the Arab population of southern Syria, a reflection of their Syrian
nationalism, not for the Arab Palestinians (a name later invented by
Between the years 1948 and 1967 there was no problem associated with the "Palestinian People," with the "Palestinian refugees," or with a place called "Palestine." There were only "Arab refugees." Nor does the UN decision 242 of November 22, 1967 mention them. In 1948, Egypt and Jordan conquered territory in the western part of the Land of Israel and they summarily discontinued any reference to the subject by the local Arab population. Jordan annexed Samaria and Judea (renaming them the West Bank), which was recognized only by Great Britain and Pakistan, while Egypt retained the mandatory regime.
There is no Palestine, no Palestinian People, no Palestinian refugees. That is precisely the reason for Arafat's uprising and the establishment of the Fatah in October 1959. The PLO, set up in May 1964, was part of the Arab leaders' strategy to control the Palestinian. Arafat shrewdly took over the PLO in February 1969. The PLO is now headed by Arafat's assistant terrorist of 40 years, Mahmud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen. As is well known, Mr. Abbas by now is a figurehead with the real power in the hands of Hamas that exerts control over the Palestinian population. The "negotiations" for peace with Israel are unquestionably a charade and nothing more, not just because the entire political leadership (sic!) of Bush, Olmert and Abbas is hovering on the brink of departure, but because none of the Palestinian leaders, since long before Haj Amin Heusseini to this very day, ever intended to actually reach some agreement with Israel.
The entire history of agreements and "political" discussions with
the Arab Palestinians such as those conducted with Yasser
Arafat that led to the miserably naïve and misguided Norwegian
"deal" called the Oslo agreement have led to more bloodshed
caused by Arab terrorists than in the period that preceded the
agreement. Yet, Israel or more accurately Israel's pitiful and
corrupt "leaders" cling to these illusory contracts that were
never worth the price of the paper on which they were written. Arafat
brazenly lied to President Clinton and refused to agree to vastly
exaggerated compromises made by then Prime Minister Ehud Barack in
Clinton's presence. Arafat also put on a transparently mock
"election" in Ramallah when Clinton came to see if the PLO would vote
to uphold the Oslo agreement. Is it superfluous to add here the
obviously incomprehensible credulity of Bill Clinton? However, the
point of this discussion is not directed at the Americans (although
Jimmy Carter served as a precedent for Clinton, so that not one but
two US presidents fell into the same trap) but at the Arab
Palestinians and their relationship to Israel. As noted, their
ultimate goal was, is and, it seems, will be as far as we can tell
now, unaltered: to destroy Israel and kill the Jews to the extent
possible. No amount of propaganda by any source, be it a person,
group or nation, can avoid facing that fact. If history serves as an
indication of the present and future, the world and the nation of
Israel, have a long time to wait before any change will occur in the
Arab-Moslem world in terms of its attitude toward, and intentions
regarding, the Jews and Israel.
The return to Israel of Arabs who left 60 years ago, and of their extended families, means the complete and total destruction of Israel. Israel academics who support that scenario might be able to find employment in other countries. If they do they will surely enjoy higher salaries than paid here, as the present authors can attest. Since the anti-Zionist professors scattered in Israel's institutions of higher learning, are, in general (but not necessarily in particular for some few individuals who learned how to squeeze the money out of the pockets of the treasury) receiving a lower salary than they might receive in other countries, perhaps they can be induced to leave, as have several like minded colleagues. Perhaps Saudi Arabia or Pakistan would be willing to employ them, especially if they are professors of History, modern literature, Psychology, Sociology or Political Science subjects that are none-existent in most Arab/Moslem countries.
The Arab-Palestinian strategy, coordinated with their anti-Semitic Jews and other collaborators, is based on the awareness that it cannot destroy Israel on the battlefield, and that Israel gets stronger after every battle. Hence, the decision was made, and we have all the reasons to suspect that it was taken firstly by the anti-Semite Jews and adopted enthusiastically by Arafat, that the winning strategy is on the international stage of public opinion, namely: to de-legitimize and to de-humanize Israel. That is the primary and unfortunately indelible lesson taught the world by the genius of propaganda, who held the post of Minister of Propaganda, no less, Paul Joseph Geobbels: If you lie long enough and no one refutes it, eventually the lie will become accepted as truth. Adolph Hitler often said, in these and in other words:
By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people to believe that heaven is hell and hell is heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.
The model is South Africa. Compare Israel again and again to South Africa; de-humanize and de-legitimize it with sheer lies; isolate it from the international community and this will bring the demise of Israel. The right of return is one of their tactics to exhibit Israel as a cruel conqueror and colonialist nation. Arab commentators wrote that had Israel not been established in 1948, its territory would have been subdivided into spheres of influence, so that Egypt would dominate the south of what is now Israel (called the Negev), Jordan would control the central section of the country (where Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv are located), and Syria would control the north (known as the Galilee). So much for "Palestine." None of the Arabs residing at the time in The Land of Israel would have protested in any way whatsoever. The very same scenario would have taken place had Israel not been victorious in the 1967 war. Jordanian rule would have been retained in the area known as the West Bank, and the Palestinian Arabs would have been absorbed into Jordan and disappeared. According to Muhammad Hasanein Heikal and Abdul Nasser, Egypt would have taken control of the Negev, its long-term strategy being to bridge the western and the eastern territories.
No Palestinian state would have established, and the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians would not have made a sound. Furthermore, they would have assimilated into the Arab-Moslem societies in that area without any hesitation.
On that score we should recall here the treatment received by the Arab
Palestinians at the hands of their brother Palestinians when tens of
thousands were expelled from the countries of the Persian Gulf in 1991, in
the wake of Arafat's support for the Iraq of Saddam Hussein. They were
ordered to leave immediately without any "rights" whatsoever. Once again
Israel permitted them to return to their homes in Judea and Samaria.
Amazingly, they did not express any complaints. It became known through a
study conducted within the Arab community that the Arab Palestinians said
that their return to Israel was taken for granted: "We came to work in an
area ruled over by a tribe (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc.). When the tribe no
longer wanted us there we could not continue to remain under its
protection." Need it be pointed out that on that occasion as well as on all
others in regard to the Arabs' behavior toward one another, the Jewish
anti-Semites and their supporters made no complaints?
It is patently clear that the so-called Israeli "occupation" of Judea and Samaria is not at all what Israel's detractors claim. By comparison to the regime of terror imposed on their fellow Moslems in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Israel's rule has been benign and distinctly generous to the inhabitants, including the provision of municipal services, housing construction, jobs, freedom of worship, and so forth. Readers are invited to consider how Arab Palestinians are treated by their fellow Moslems in a number of Arab/Moslem countries. Recall the episode of "Black September" 1970 when 20 to 30 thousand Palestinians were massacred by their Jordanian "brothers" and thousands escaped to the much maligned State of Israel. The escapees or refugees, if you will knew they would be safe in Israel, they would receive dental care, complete their high school education, get health insurance, and so forth. Then they could confidently return to their terrorist activities to destroy Israel, with hopes of receiving generous sums of money for every Israeli killed from Saddam Hussein or from other bottomless barrels of Arab funding.
There was also "Black December" in 1983 when Syria trampled to death thousands of Palestinians in Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, and exiled the commanders of the PLO to Tunis, including Yasser Arafat, of course. European or American voices, or those of Israel's political "Left", are not raised in protest when Arab Palestinians slaughter other Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Hundreds have been burned to death, stoned, shot in the back of the head, thrown out of second story windows so they could be picked up again and thrown down again and again. Once again hundreds of Arabs from the Gaza strip ran away into Israel. Contrary to all the blood-curdling propaganda publicized by Arabs and by anti-Israel Jews in Israel, the escapees knew they would find sanctuary in Israel.
Anti-Zionists don't really take an interest in the aforementioned atrocities, similar to many prosecuting attorneys who ignore evidence incompatible with the presentations of their case against the defendant. Anti-Semitism either by non-Jews or by Jews can rarely be explained. It is perhaps the oldest form of hatred against an entire people who remain faceless, even when it is their own People. The criminal acts of terrorism inflicted on Israel's population by Moslem/Arab Palestinians, are, as noted, of no concern to the anti-Zionists. Indeed, Justice and the "rights" of the Palestinians are similarly of no concern to them. They are motivated by their hatred and contempt for Israel. Any act is justified that contributes to the eventual destruction of the Jewish People, Zionism, or the Jewish State. Millions of Arabs and Moslems have been slaughtered by other Arabs/Moslems over the past 60 years (since the establishment of Israel) but the anti-Zionists protested not one bit.
Readers are urged to re-examine decision 194 of the UN that deals with
reconciliation between Israel and the Arab nations. Only section 11 refers
in a general way to the return of refugees, NOT of Arab Palestinians
refugees, not of the Palestinian People, not of Palestine.
It is a fascinating document. From the point of view of the present
authors, the UN decision deals with Jewish as well as with Arab refugees. A
million Jews left Arab countries after Israel was established, and left
behind a vast amount of property of far greater value than that left in
Israel by the Arabs who elected to flee.
The Palestinian declaration of a two-state solution includes the implementation of "the right of return" of the Palestinian refugees to The State of Israel. Palestinian demands are as follows: first, Israel's total retreat to the 1967 borders, and then to solve the refugee problem within those borders. That is tantamount to establishing an Arab Palestinian state inside Israel, and a bi-national state in place of the State of Israel. In the long run it means one big Arab Palestinian state from the Sea to the Jordan River. In all probability it also means an end to the Kingdom of Jordan. After all, Jordan is part of historic Palestine, and Palestinians constitute 70% of its population.
In regard to the Palestinian refugee problem, the following should be emphasized:
Every effort to achieve political compromises and arrangements with the Arab population was rejected. Even an anti-Zionist Jewish group called Brith-Shalom in 1930's, which offered far-reaching concessions to the Arabs, did not succeed in achieving an understanding with them. Moreover, during the period of the British mandate, the Arab-Palestinian leadership, with the encouragement of the Arab nations, was not ready for any compromise on the issue of Jewish immigration, Jewish settlement of the land, or in regard to various partition plans that were proposed, including the UN Partition Plan of November 29, 1947. The day after the UN vote, the Arab nations initiated a war against the Jewish population of Palestine to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel on any and all territory. After the Arabs were defeated in 1948, the frontiers of the Jewish state were determined in negotiations with the Arab states. They appropriated the Palestinian issue to themselves, and from that time on it was known only as a humanitarian problem.
Resolution 194 of the UN General Assembly on November 11, 1948, refers mainly to the conciliation between Israel and the Arab states. Only in Article 11 does it relate to the "refugee problem" in general terms. In that document, if the term refugees mean Palestinians, it refers to Jewish refugees from Arab states. From 1948 on, the Palestinians had no connection with regional political reality in general. They were not an active political player, they did not have any territorial assets, and, as noted, their problem was defined as humanitarian. UN Resolution 242 of November 1967 deals with the issue of the "refugees" and not with that of a Palestinian people. There was no mention whatsoever of a political problem referring to an exploited and occupied people.
In the 1967 war, Israel conquered and liberated areas of mandatory
Palestine which had been occupied by Arab states. Jordan annexed the
West Bank in April 1950, making it part of Jordanian territory. Egypt
continued to view the inhabitants of Gaza as subjects of the Mandate.
The Palestinians were not sovereign over any territory, and the State
of Israel never conquered any territory from them. The Palestinian
national movement, in contrast to Palestinian identity, was shaped
and organized only after the 1967 war. Its chief goal was, and
remains, to take possession of Palestine in its entirety through
indiscriminate terrorism and to control the territory of "Greater
Palestine," including Jordan, by totally demolishing the State of
Several different approaches were undertaken by different nations to the problem of refugees in various countries in the Western world: In April 2004, the UN General Assembly decided that it is impossible to implement the rights of the two hundred thousand Greeks and the fifty thousand Turks to return to their homes in partitioned Cyprus, because "the new reality which has been created" must be taken into consideration. This stand of the UN is also the position of the EU. However, in Palestine their view is totally different.
Following World War II, 11 million Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania and were absorbed in Germany, with no refugee procedure. Now a few are seeking to return to their homes in the Sudetenland, from which they were banished. They are not demanding to dissolve the country from which they were deported; they are not demanding to replace it; and they are not demanding monetary compensation. They just want to go back to their lands that belonged to their families for many generations. In August 2004, the German government determined that there is no right of return and even no reparations. However, the attitude of Germany towards the Palestinian refugee problem is different.
In 1968, the British Government exiled 5,000 of the Residents of
the Island of Diego Garci for the purpose of constructing an American
air base. In 2003, their demand to return to their homes was rejected
by the British High Court of Justice, that ruled that the residents
have neither the right to return nor to receive compensations. Again,
the Palestinian refugee case is much easier, but the British stand
toward the Palestinian refugee problem is different.
It is worthwhile to stress that the term Israeli occupation employed by
the Palestinians refers not to the 1967 occupation, but to the "occupation"
of 1948, and not to the borders of 1967 but to the 1947 borders. When Arab
terrorists murder and massacre Israelis, it is not because of the
"occupation", and not because of the so-called settlements, but because
Israel is a Jewish Zionist nation living on what the Arabs consider to be
their land. The occupied territories have no relevance to the resolution of
the war between the Jews of Israel and the Arab Palestinians. It is just
another problem in a large set of complex issues which first and foremost
must focus on the recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation.
The official Palestinian attitude toward Israel and the concept of "occupation" is expressed clearly " in the Palestinian National Covenant that states as follows:
Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinians assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle for the total liberation of Palestine (Article 9).
The liberation of Palestine means to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression, and aims at the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in its entirety (Article 15).
The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 are entirely illegal (Article 19).
The Balfour Declaration , the Mandate for Palestine , and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of the Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history. Judaism, being only a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own. They are only citizens of the states to which they belong (Article 20).
The Palestinian people, expressing himself by the armed revolution, reject all solutions which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine (Article 21). The liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace (Article 22).
This Charter shall not be amended save by [vote of] a majority of
two-thirds of the total membership of the National assembly of the PLO
[taken] at a special session convened for that purpose (Article 33).
Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it... [Hamas] strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine (Article 6).
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1930's, and it includes the struggle of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and all Jihad operations... The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the and kill the Jews, and when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say O Muslims, O the servants of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him (Article 7).
The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf (endowment) until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to deny that. Palestine in its entirety belongs only to the Palestinians. This is the law governing the Islamic Shari'ah (Article 11).
Nothing is more significant or deeper than Jihad against the Zionist enemy. Resisting and quelling the enemy become the individual duty of every Muslim, male or female. Abusing any part of Palestine is tantamount to abuse part of the religion [which means death]. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad to eliminate the Zionist invasion. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors (Article 13).
It is the utmost necessary to instill the spirit of jihad in the heart of the Muslim nation (Article 15)... jihad is the path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of all wishes...
The above documents do not mention any occupation of 1967 or its
borders, nor does it refer to peace with Israel, whatever may be the
borders. The town of Sderot is not in the 1967 occupied territories,
nor the town of Ashkelon or all the villages and Kibbutzim around
Gaza. Yet they are shelled and bombed on a daily basis. Kiryat
Shmonah and all of northern Israel are not in the 1967 occupied
territories, but they have been bombed and shot at for years. If the
problem with the Arabs is the 1967 borders, why do they continue
bombing Israeli cities, terrorize, shell, send homicide bombers
against Israeli citizens and dig tunnels into Israel inside the 1948
The Palestinian issue is not a problem of refugees since only a small minority of them live in camps, and the socioeconomic data and the living standards show clearly that their situation not only resembles hundreds of millions of inhabitants of Third World countries, but their economic and social conditions are far superior. The Palestinian issue is not the problem of a people uprooted from its land, since most of the people who call themselves Palestinians live in the land of mandatory Palestine. Nor is the Palestinian issue a problem of a society that was dispersed among foreign and antagonistic environments since almost all Palestinians live and reside in Moslem majority populations that speak Arabic as their primary language, as do the Arab Palestinians.
Anyone who wishes to obtain knowledge about the Arab-Palestinian
refugee problem can do so easily, beginning with the outline
presented here. The conclusion derived from this information is
unequivocal: there are no Palestinian refugees at all. Their
well-being; their way of life; their real social and economic
situation is superior to that of hundreds of millions of people,
among them many other Muslims, around the world. However, individuals
and nations can ignore objective historical or social-economic
information and prefer their own opinions about any and all topics of
human existence. That decision is up to them. People remain free to
change their internal reality when they do not wish to recognize what
exists in the world around them.
Bat Yeor (2002) Islam and dhimmitude: Where civilizations collide. Farleigh Dickenson University Press. Teaneck, New Jersey.
Kuzar, Ron (2008) "The term return in the Palestinian discourse on the Right of Return." Discourse and Society, 19, 629-644.
Lewis, Bernard (1986) Semites and anti-Semites. New York: W. W. Norton.
Sharan, Shlomo (Ed.) (2003) Israel and the post-Zionists: A nation at risk. Brighton, UK and Shaarie Tikvah: Ariel Center for Policy Research.
Sharan, Shlomo (2007) "Our inner scourge: The catastrophe of Israel academics." ACPR policy Paper 171. Shaarei Tikvah, The Ariel Center for Policy research.
This article was published Sept. 15, 2008 in Israel Academia
Shlomo Sharan is Professor Emeritus in Educational and Organizational Psychology, at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University, where he taught from 1966 to 2000.
This article was published Sept. 15, 2008 in Israel Academia
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