Saturday 6 September 2008

Why one never thinks of the 870,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries

Source: Contra a corrente blog

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", George Santayana

"The 870,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries in the 1940s and 1950s similarly settled quietly in the United States, Europe and Israel. They aren’t out there blowing up Iraqi, Moroccan and Algerian embassies or airplanes, which is why you probably never think about them.

The list of people who were displaced by the events of World War II and decolonization is endless. The only group that anyone pays attention to is the Palestinians. If the Palestinians were to stop blowing up airplanes and pizza shops people would stop paying attention.

Arab leaders don’t care about non-violent Palestinians. As noted earlier, if you were an Arab leader there is no reason to care about your own subjects, much less members of very distant tribes. The only Arab nation that has offered Palestinians citizenship is Jordan; a Palestinian family that has lived in Egypt or Saudi Arabia for several generations will still be aliens with no right to permanent residence. Thus there are more than 4 million people officially classified as Palestinians refugees despite the fact that the final British census before the 1948 war found only about one million people of all religions living in Palestine. The primary agency for these stateless souls is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). If you visit their web site, you’ll see that the United States and European nations provide almost all of the funding. Historically in fact the western nations provided 100 percent of the funding for UNRWA, but in recent years Saudi Arabia has been shamed into chipping in. For 2002 the Saudis contributed $5.8 million, compared to a U.S. contribution of $120 million and Britain’s $30 million. Most Arab countries contribute less than the cost of a new Mercedes automobile.

Violent Palestinians, by contrast, have no trouble getting support from fellow Arabs. In April 2002 the Saudi state television network ran a telethon that raised more than $100 million to aid the families of the Palestinians suicide bombers. Iraqi, which contributes nothing to UNRWA, has been donating roughly $10 million per year to the families of suicide bombers. Iran, another state that contributes nothing to UNRWA, sends weapons and money to anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah and Yasser Arafat’s army, most notably a 50-ton shipment of rockets and plastic explosives in January 2002 (notable because it was in violation of the agreements that Arafat had signed and because it was discovered and intercepted by the Israel Navy)."

From Philip Greenspun's essay "Israel" in Those Who Forget The Past by Ron Rosenbaum (Random House 2004)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neither does one think of the many millions of Germans expelled from Silesia, Pomerania, or East Prussia; or the Poles expelled from Byelo-Russia, these people are not perpetual refugees nor are their childrens' children.