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Sent: Friday, December 29, 2000 12:04 AM
Subject: A collection of historical quotations relating to the Arab
Collected by Moshe Kohn
ON APRIL 23, 1948 Jamal Husseini, acting chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher
Committee (AHC), told the UN Security Council: "The Arabs did not want to
submit to a truce ... They preferred to abandon their homes, belongings and
everything they possessed."
ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1948, the Beirut Daily Telegraph quoted Emil Ghory, secretary
of the AHC, as saying: "The fact that there are those refugees is the direct
consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the
Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously..."
ON JUNE 8, 1951, Habib Issa, secretary-general of the Arab League, wrote
in the New York Lebanese daily al-Hoda that in 1948, Azzam Pasha, then League
secretary, had "assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine
and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade ... Brotherly
advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and
property, and to stay temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states." I
IN THE MARCH 1976 issue of Falastin a-Thaura, then the official journal of
the Beirut-based PLO, Mahmud Abbas ("Abu Mazen"), PLO spokesman, wrote: "The
Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist
tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to
leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos
in which the Jews used to live."
ON APRIL 9, 1953, the Jordanian daily al-Urdun quoted a refugee, Yunes Ahmed
Assad, formerly of Deir Yassin, as saying: "For the flight and fall of the
other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the
dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as
atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... they instilled fear and terror
into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their
homes and property to the enemy."
ANOTHER refugee told the Jordanian daily a-Difaa on September 6, 1954: "The
Arab governments told us, 'Get out so that we can get in.' So we got out,
but they did not get in."
THE JORDANIAN daily Falastin wrote on February 19, 1949: "The Arab states
... encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in
order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies."
ON OCTOBER 2, 1948, the London Economist reported, in an eyewitness account
of the flight of Haifa's Arabs: "There is little doubt that the most potent
of the factors [in the flight] were the announcements made over the air by
the Arab Higher Executive urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit ... And it was
clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish
protection would be regarded as renegades."
THE PRIME Minister of Syria in 1948, Khaled al-Azem, in his memoirs, published
in 1973, listed what he thought were the reasons for the Arab failure in
" ... the fifth factor was the call by the Arab governments to the inhabitants
of Palestine to evacuate it and leave for the bordering Arab countries ...
We brought destruction upon a million Arab refugees by calling on them and
pleading with them to leave their land."
"FOLLOWING a visit to refugees in Gaza, a British diplomat reported the
following: 'But while they express no bitterness against the Jews...they
speak with the utmost bitterness of the Egyptians and other Arab states:
'We know who our enemies are,' they will say, and they are referring to their
Arab brothers who, they declare, persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their
British Foreign Office Document #371/75342/XC/A/4991 [From "Revising or Devising
Israel's History" by Prof. Shlomo
Slonim in Jewish Action, Summer 5760/2000, Vol. 60 #4]