Originally posted by spruce112358 to sasquatch672
The Palestinians do feel wronged as a result of 1947. They were essentially a British colony at that time (British 'mandate'. Once the Brits made plans to leave, the Arabs figured to rule themselves.
But then came all these Russians and Poles fleeing war-torn Europe! What started as a trickle became a flood, and the Brits did nothing ...[text shortened]... camps. And there a lot of them still sit.
You are right, the Palestinians do feel wronged.
"You are right, the Palestinians do feel wronged."
I can recall meeting a Palestinian who still has his family's British legal documents
(from before the state of Israel) establishing title to their land and house in what
now has become a part of Israel. He still keeps that house's key as a reminder.
He said that he could begin to consider forgiving Israel *if* Israel would ever
sincerely acknowledge that Zionism was responsible for a profound injustice
against the Palestinians. But Israel's unwilling to admit that because that would
seem to undermine the moral legitimacy of the Zionist colonial enterprise.
What most Palestinians need, before all else, is simply for Israel to apologise
*sincerely* for its historical wronging of the Palestinians. Then negotiations
can begin about what should be done to address *in part* that wrongdoing.
There's an Israeli propaganda myth, which still seems to have some circulation
in the US media (which hardly ever questions any Israeli propaganda myths) that
Arab radio broadcasts encouraged, or even ordered, the Palestinians to leave
their homes 'voluntarily' and await the supposedly victorious Arab armies in 1948.
This Israeli propaganda myth has long been discredited except among the
ignorant and gullible (such as too many Americans). Around the time of the
1948 Arab-Israeli War, the British took care to monitor Arab radio broadcasts
and keep track of them. In the 1950s, Erskine Childers (an Irishman) looked
hard for any evidence of these Arab radio broadcasts and could find none,
even though some Israelis blithely promised to bring such evidence to him.
So Erskine Childers (and others) concluded that the 'Arab radio broadcasts'
excuse was another fabrication of Israeli propaganda. A fuller discussion
may be found in a chapter of Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and
the Palestinian Question (edited by Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens).
Even if it were true that most Palestinians 'voluntarily' had left their homes
*temporarily* in wartime, that should *not* mean under international law that
the Palestinians were 'voluntarily' forsaking their right to return to their homes
and to reclaim their land and property. In wartime, it's common for refugees
to leave their homes, usually out of their understandable fear of violence.
In this case, however, Israel and the Zionists long have claimed that, by leaving
at all, the Palestinian refugees have forever lost their right to return and their
rights to their land and property, which then could be 'rightfully' given to (largely)
Jews who had recently arrived from Europe.
An objection that I have against Zionism is this: On one hand, Zionists like to
claim that, simply because in Biblical times some Jews had lived there, in the
20th century other Jews should have the right to claim Palestine as a national
Jewish homeland. (As Shlomo Sand has pointed out, it's quite a stretch to
argue that the Jews of Biblical times are the 'same people' as the Jews of the
20th century.) But, on the other hand, if a Palestinian, who might still have the
British legal documents giving him title to his land, had left during the 1948 war,
he should have no right to return to his home after the war had ended, simply
because he's not a Jew. In contrast, someone who had converted to Judaism
yesterday could enjoy, by Israel's Law of Return, 'returning to his homeland'.