Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Exploding the Palestinian Narrative
Who Are Palestinian Arabs? - Yoram Ettinger
Contrary to conventional wisdom, most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine - and most of the 320,000 1948 Arab refugees - were migrant workers and descendants of 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from across the Arab world.
Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa's Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers.
The eruption of World War II accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate's military and its civilian authorities. Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire, and then by the British Mandate, to work on major civilian and military infrastructure projects.
Legal and illegal Arab migrants were also attracted by economic growth generated by the Jewish community starting in 1882.
Th[e] unusual Arab/Muslim demographic diversity is evidenced by popular Israeli Arab family names, which are a derivative of their countries of origin: Al-Masri (Egypt), Al-Obeidi (Sudan), Al-Lubnani (Lebanon), Halabi (Syria), Al-Mughrabi (Morocco), Al-Djazair (Algeria), Al-Yamani (Yemen), Al-Afghani (Afghanistan), Al-Hindi (India), Al-Hijazi (Saudi Arabia), Al-Baghdadi (Iraq), Bushnak (Bosnia), Khamis (Bahrain), Turki (Turkey), etc.
Thus, Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; and most of the initial Arab refugees were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and their own collaboration with the invasion.