1948 War of Independence and Its Aftermath

Misleading: “In 1947, the U.N. Sought To Partition Palestine into Palestinian and Jewish States”

Talking about partitioning Palestine between “Palestinians” and anyone else begs the question of who are the natives and who the outsiders. The United Nations’ 1947 resolution did not seek to partition Palestine into “Palestinian” and Jewish states, but over and over exclusively used the terms “Arab and Jewish States.” In recognition that Palestine’s population at the time was about a million Arabs and 600,000 Jews, the U.N.’s partition resolution referred to Palestine’s Jews and its Arabs as “the two Palestinian peoples.” Indeed, during the League of Nations Palestine Mandate period following the end of World War I until 1948, the term “Palestinian” was more commonly used in reference to Palestine’s Jewish than Arab populations.

Misleading: “1948 Creation of Israel, 1948 Founding of Israel”

Israel was not “created” and “founded” in 1948, artificially and out-of-the-blue. What did happen in 1948 was that in declaring its independence the State of Israel became the land of Israel’s next native state after Roman-destroyed Jewish Judaea. Every ruler in between, from 70 CE through 1948, was a foreign empire invader, and mostly non-Arab – Romans-Byzantines, briefly Persians, Omayyad-Abbasid-Fatimid dynasties that began as Arab and faded to Turk, Mamluks, and Ottoman Turks. The homeland Jewish Yishuv remained physically present in the land of Israel all through these foreign rules. Twentieth century international treaties, including San Remo (1920) and League of Nations Mandate (1922) recognized the Jews’ historical homeland connection. Jerusalem again had a Jewish majority since pre-Zionist 19th century Turkish rule times. In Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence, the immediate multi-nation Arab invasion for Israel’s destruction was thrown back by a homeland army of homeland Jews. The Jewish State of Israel was re-established.

Misleading: “Israel was Created Because of the Holocaust”

This is a twist on artificially “created” and “founded” ending in “So if the Jews were mistreated in the 1940’s in Europe, why should the Palestinian Arabs suffer?” Throughout the long foreign-rule centuries between Judaea’s destruction by Rome and Israel’s independence in 1948, every device of ethnic cleansing – Pale of Settlement, ghetto, Holocaust, Inquisition, Pogrom – was invented in civilized Europe for Jews. But none of this brought the sovereign homeland Jewish state back into being. The always-present Yishuv (i.e. the community of Jews always present in Palestine), strengthened by aliyah (return home) of diaspora Jews all through the centuries, culminating in the 19th and 20th centuries Zionist movement, brought the dream of generations for Israel’s redemption, as Ben-Gurion put it, to final reality. Israel attained its independence three years after the end of the Holocaust, but that independence came as the fruition of a decades-long process spearheaded by the Zionist movement and grounded in international recognition of the historic Jewish homeland connection and right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in international documents including the San Remo Treaty in 1920 and Palestine Mandate in 1922.

Misleading: “The ‘Nakba’ [‘Catastrophe’] of Israel’s Creation”

Arabs refer to Israel’s attainment of independence (“Israel’s creation”) as their “Nakba” (catastrophe), but what they are really mourning is the failure of the partition-rejecting multi-nation Arab invasion, immediately upon Israel’s independence declaration, for the Jewish state’s utter extinction. This is a total rejection of Jewish homeland rights in their “Arab Middle East.”

Misleading: “The War that Followed Israel’s Creation”

“The-War-that-followed-Israel’s-creation” is mainstream media-speak for the multi-nation Arab invasion for Israel’s destruction after rejecting partition and Israel’s declaration of independence. It reverses responsibility for starting that war, and sets the stage for the canard that follows, “Palestinian refugees of the war that followed Israel’s creation.”

Misleading: “Palestinian Refugees of the War that Followed Israel’s Creation”

The invading Arab states not only precipitated that war, Israel’s War of Independence, but encouraged Arabs resident in western Palestine to flee their homes (temporarily) until these invading armies had rid the land of its Jews. And, btw, there’s an anachronism here. These Arabs didn’t have the mantle of “The Palestinians” bestowed upon them until more than a decade later.

Misleading: “The Palestinian Refugee Issue”

This suggests that an indigenous population of Arab “Palestinians” was unilaterally displaced by a war precipitated by “Israel’s 1948 creation.” That 1948 war was actually an Arab invasion for Israel’s destruction. Not only did the invading Arab states encourage and order local Arabs to leave, but more Jews were consequently expelled from vast Arab lands they had lived in for many centuries (850,000- 900,000) than Arabs left tiny Israel (500,000- 650,000). Israel absorbed these indigenously Middle-eastern Jews, whose descendants today form a major segment of Israel’s population without help from the United Nations or other international entities; while the Arab “host” nations, and Palestinian Arab authorities in western Palestine itself have isolated these Arab refugees in “refugee camps” under the continued auspices of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine), an agency established in 1950 dedicated uniquely to this one subset of refugees; moreover, it was not designed to administer to generations beyond the original refugees; the many millions of the rest of the world’s refugees is administered by the U.N. High Commission on Refugees. UNRWA was supposed to have settled the Palestinian Arab refugees within several years, but has been rebuffed by the Arabs). Israel’s absorption of the Jewish refugees does not convert a two-sided refugee issue into a one-sided one.

Misleading: “Palestinian Refugee Camp”

In a further mockery of the plain meaning of words, Arabs and the media refer to places where descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948 now live as “refugee camps,” conjuring images of newly-displaced freezing starving people huddled around makeshift fires in front of flimsy tents on windswept hills. Such camps do not house United Nations-supported second and later-generation descendants of 1948-era Arabs today. One mainstream media newspaper’s house world affairs columnist referred, doubtless unthinkingly, to one such descendant as living in “his family’s comfortable row house in a refugee camp” near Hebron.

Misleading by a Mile: “Millions of Palestinian Refugees and Their Descendants”

The media was fond of touting this mathematically monstrous misstatement a couple decades ago, until seemingly definitively debunked by CAMERA and others, but it still sometimes crops up. Palestine’s 1948 population was less than two million, over a third of it Jews. Not all of the million or so Arabs lived in the part that became Israel, and not all of them left. And they weren’t yet called “the Palestinians.” The half-million or so Arabs who left tiny Israel were exceeded by the number of mostly Israel-absorbed Jews who fled and were expelled from vast Muslim lands they had lived in for hundreds of years in the 1948 war and its aftermath.