HONNESTVIEW, May 16, 2011.
The true nakba (catastrophe) is the failure of the Palestinian Arab community to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, and to make peace.
Over the past few years, the term nakba (also spelled naqba) has become the favorite nonsense word of the Anti-Israel Lobby. Meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic, it has been embraced by anti-Semites all over the planet to refer to Israel’s creation, which supposedly imposed a “catastrophe” upon the “disenfranchised Palestinian Arabs.” Of course, the real catastrophe that befell the Arabs in 1948-49 was that they failed in their attempt to annihilate Israel and exterminate its population, and for that they paid a price.
The term “Jewish Nakba” is sometimes used to refer to the persecution and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries in the years and decades following the creation of the State of Israel.
The Jewish Nakba was a long line of slaughters, of pogroms, of property confiscation and of deportations against Jews in Islamic countries.
This chapter of history has been left in the shadows.
Irwin Cotler, a Canadian MP and former justice minister in Canada, has said there is no legal or moral basis for the Palestinian demand that the Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to Israel.
Prof. Cotler contended that the Arab League rejection of the 1947 Partition Plan and its war against the new born state of Israel was responsible not only for the estimated 550,000 Palestinian refugees but also for the some 1,000,000 Jewish refugees who were driven out of Arab countries after their property and assets were sequestered.
Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, little is said about the Jews who fled from Arab states. In 1945, there were more than 870,000 Jews living in the various Arab states.
Many of their communities dated back 2,500 years. Throughout 1947 and 1948 these Jews were persecuted.
Their property and belongings were confiscated.
There were anti-Jewish riots in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Iraq.
In Iraq, Zionism was made a capital crime.
Approximately 600,000 Jews sought refuge in the State of Israel.
They arrived destitute, but they were absorbed into the society and became an integral part of the state. In effect, then, a veritable exchange of populations took place between Arab and Jewish refugees.
Thus, the Jewish refugees from Arab countries became full Israeli citizens whereas the Arab refugees who fled their homes in Palestine, remained “refugees”unaided by the neighboring Arab countries.
Little is heard about the Jewish refugees because they did not remain refugees for long.