Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik of Palestinian Media Watch has done great service in collecting at "Arab responsibility for Palestinian refugees" six examples of "Palestinian leaders, writers and refugees [who] have spoken out in the Palestinian media, blaming the Arab leadership for the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem."

Contrary to the established Palestinian line that Israeli forces expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948-49, these voices agree that Arab emigration from the nascent Israel was done at the behest of orders from Arab leaders. Some snippets:

•         "The radio stations of the Arab regimes kept repeating to us: 'Get away from the battle lines. It's a matter of ten days or two weeks at the most, and we'll bring you back."

•         "The 'Arab Salvation Army' came and told the Palestinians: 'We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely. Leave them so we can fulfill our mission (destroy Israel) in the best way and so you won't be hurt'."

•         "The leaders and the elites promised us at the beginning of the 'Nakba' in 1948 that the duration of the exile would not be long, and that it would not last more than a few days or months, and afterwards the refugees would return to their homes."

•         The Arab leaders announced that "The Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return after the battle is over."

•         "Our District Officer issued an order that whoever stays in Palestine and in Majdel [near Ashkelon in southern Israel] is a traitor."

•         A letter from a Palestinian to the leaders gathered at an Arab summit in 2001: "The armies of your predecessors in the year of 1948, … forced us to leave [Israel] on the pretext of clearing the battlefields of civilians."


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