The UN partition plan of 1947 was rejected by all the Arab countries. Arab leadership in Israel and in the countries surrounding Israel, planned a Jihad, holy war, against Israel and encouraged the Arabs to leave Israel promising their return after they purge the land of Jews. The great majority of Arabs left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier (see article and Arab sources that describe what happened during the war of 1948 that caused the Palestinian refugee problem).
During 1940's through 1950's nearly ALL the Jews had to flee from Arab countries to avoid persecution and pogroms. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries is estimated to be a million. This number is greater than the number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948, estimated as 343,000 (see Peters' book cited below).
Most of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries rapidly integrated into the modern society of Israel. This, despite the fact that Israel is a tiny country (about size of New Jersey) without any of the world's richest resources of petroleum in Arab countries. Today, the majority of the people in Israel are the descendants of Jews from Arab countries. (European Jews and their descendants constitute less than half the population of Israel).
The development of the Jewish community under British mandate led to economic growth in the region providing job opportunities for Arab workers. Consequently, the Arab population of Palestine swelled by the influx of Arab immigrants from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and other Arab countries until 1947 (The trend of Arab migration into Israel to find a job continues to the present day). While the British forces limited Jewish immigration, they allowed free entry of Arab migrants. The UN agency UNRWA defined a "Palestinian refugee", as any Arab who stayed in the country for two years prior to 1948. Thus, UNRWA included in their statistics migrant workers greatly swelling the ranks of so called "Palestinian refugees" (for best reference on the subject see: From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine by Joan Peters).
Arab refugee problem was created by the seven Arab countries that attacked Israel in 1948. Arab refugees were intentionally not integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the fact total territory of Arab countries is about 700 times greater than that of Israel. Out of about 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has not been absorbed into their own peoples' lands. Arab nations still maintain generations of the descendants of the refugees in so called "refugee camps" under squalid conditions with the hope that someday they will dislodge the Jews in Israel. The money spent by the Arab countries on armaments would be sufficient to build houses for all so called "refugees". Arab countries should be encouraged to care for their poor population instead of spending their richest resources in the world on armaments and development of terrorist groups such as Osama Bin Laden from Saudi Arabia.
Since 1948, after three generations the descendants of the Arab refugees are still called "refugees" and are supported by UN "refugee" funds! With the highest birth rate in Arab countries this population has now grown to about four million. In negotiations, Arab leadership requests the "right of return" of this mass of millions into the tiny land of Israel. The settlement of millions of Arabs in Israel would immediately eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. This is the real aim of the Arab countries, to achieve by supposedly "peaceful" means what they could not achieve by unceasing violence in whole scale wars and daily terrorism.
The responsibility for keeping the Arab population who are descendants of the Arab refugees, rests only on the shoulders of the Arab countries that created the problem by attacking Israel in 1948.
Quote from Ralph Galloway, a former head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in Amman, capital of Jordan, in August 1958:
"The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die."
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -