Friday, November 18, 2016

Arabs Are From Arabia; Jews Are From Judea

  • PA President Mahmoud Abbas said earlier this year, "Our narrative says that we were in this land since before Abraham." To be sure, some Arabs in Mandatory Palestine are descendants of the indigenous occupants. But most of today's Arabic-speakers do not trace their roots back for centuries.
  • In 1938, William B. Ziff, cofounder of Ziff-Davis Publishing Co., wrote The Rape of Palestine, focusing on British policy in Palestine during the mandate period. But what is especially interesting today are his comments on the migration of Arabs.
  • "The Mamelukes imported legions of Georgians and Circassians....Saladin, hard-pressed by the Crusaders, received 150,000 Persians who were given lands in Galilee and the Sidon district....In the 14th century, drought caused the immigration into Palestine of 18,000 'tents' of Yurate Tartars from the Euphrates."
  • "In 1830 the Albanian conqueror Mehemet [Muhammad] Ali colonized Jaffa, Nablus, and Beisan with Egyptian soldiers and their Sudanese allies." In 1844, there were an estimated 13,000 inhabitants of Jaffa, composed of 8,000 Turco-Egyptians, 4,000 Greeks and Armenians, 1,000 Jews and Maronites, and no Arabs. In 1938, Jaffa had a population of "70,000, overwhelmingly Arab, who are largely descendants of the Egyptians and Ethiopians brought in by the conqueror Ibrahim Pasha [Muhammad Ali's son]."
  • "Not until the Zionists had arrived in numbers did the Arab population begin to augment itself. The introduction of European standards of wage and life acted like a magnet on the entire Near East. Abruptly, Palestine became an Arab center of attraction....It is precisely in the vicinity of these Jewish villages that Arab development is most marked."
  • "Whole villages in the Hauran [area of southwestern Syria] have been emptied of their people, who are drifting into Palestine. Count De Martel, French high commissioner for Syria, asserted in the summer of 1934 that
    Young Robert Kennedy
    even Arab merchants were moving from Damascus to Palestine because of the prosperity there....Such calculations as are available show an Arab immigration for the single year 1933 of at least 64,000 souls."
  • Robert Kennedy, reporting from Palestine for the Boston Post in 1948, also noted the influx of Arab immigration into Palestine: "The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944 came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state."
(Middle East Quarterly)

Egyptian Emigres in the Levant of the 19th and 20th Centuries
- Gideon Kressel and Reuven Aharoni

On March 23, 2012, the Hamas minister of the interior and of national security, Fathi Hammad,
stated that "half of the Palestinians are Egyptian and the other half are Saudis."  

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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