Arabs and Israel’s Independence Day

May 4, 2008 at 10:58 am 7 comments

Burying the truth even deeper

By Ralph Dobrin

Ralph Dobrin is the author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”

To order the book click:  type: how to avoid Armageddon

There was no need for them to become refugees. There is no need for them to continue being refugees.

Every year, it seems that the Arabs relate more and more to Israel’s Independence Day. Of course, for them it’s not called Independence Day. They call it Yom el Nakba which means the Day of Disaster. There are demonstrations all over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as within the officially recognized borders of Israel itself. The demonstrations stridently call for justice to be rendered – Palestine must be granted independence; the Arab refugees (originally between 450,000 to 650,000 – today claimed to be 4.5 million) must be allowed to return to their homes or at least to the regions from which they were driven in 1948 by the Jews. During the demonstrations there are also the usual calls for Israel’s total destruction.

Radio and TV stations in many Arab countries have also begun featuring the day – each year with ever more coverage and with ever more pathos. Historical footage is viewed of those ill-fated Arabs in 1948, carrying a few personal belongings as they abandon their ancestral homes to the invading Zionist gangs. There are many heart-wrenching scenes of old people shuffling towards an empty horizon or being carried by donkeys.

There’s a lot of truth in those scenes. After all, the camera doesn’t lie. When it shows children tagging tearfully behind their parents with their abandoned homes in the background, the pictures portray exactly what was witnessed through the lens.

It’s enough to make any decent person want to weep. How could the Jews of Israel – many of whom had themselves survived the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi death camps a mere few years beforehand –  have perpetrated such wickedness on the indigenous population of Palestine. It is easy to understand the determination of the Arabs to get their usurped lands back and also the world-wide condemnation of Israel.

But that’s only part of the Israel-Arab confrontation. It’s like saying that between 1939 and 1945 British and American forces killed millions of Germans. That’s true, but without relating to the Nazi war machine and its invasion of a large part of Europe and North Africa, and the other dreadful events surrounding the Hitler era, one would have to condemn the British and Americans as wanton mass-murderers. This is exactly what the Arabs have been claiming about Israel for generations.

In their references to the events surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel, they have almost always, studiously omitted to mention that their national disaster started because they themselves tried to destroy Israel. They seldom, if ever, refer to the Pan-Arab invasion of Israel in 1948. 

They never mention their total rejection of the idea of any Jewish self-rule on any part of the land, despite a 3500-year connection, despite that the Arabs rule over a landmass that is 500 times larger than tiny Israel – an area larger than any other country apart from Russia. Rarely is any reference made to the fact that in 1922, 77% of Palestine was cut off to create yet another Arab state in the region, which became the Kingdom of Jordan, and which subsequently simply annexed what should have been the Palestine that everyone is talking about today. (In 1967 Jordan attacked Israel and ceded what is also known as the West Bank to Israel.)

Apart from a few commentators, no one ever mentions that the mass flight of Arabs from their lands took place precisely because it was the Arabs themselves who started the war, expecting the quick defeat of the Jewish forces. But when they saw the Jewish soldiers approaching their villages they expected them to do to them what they themselves would have done to the Jews had the Arab armies won the battles – they would have slaughtered and destroyed with utmost frenzy – in the time-honored Arab and Islamic way which takes place even today, even when Arabs fight other Arabs (despite Koranic injunctions to treat conquered peoples humanely).

Also hundreds of thousands of Arabs became refugees because their leaders told them to leave their homes temporarily – so as to make the task of the invading Arab armies easier. In many cases like in Haifa, the Jews tried to persuade their Arab neighbors to remain, and indeed many did and were not harmed by the victorious Jews.

So, as a direct result of their quest to destroy a  neighboring state, between 450,000 to 650,000 local Arabs fled to neighboring Arab countries, where most have been purposefully kept in a miserable refugee status till the present day. This in itself must be a blot on the collective Arab consciousness – that one of the wealthiest nations on earth, with its enormous land reserves could not absorb a few hundred thousand of their brethren (speaking the same language, following the same customs, culture and religion), while tens of millions of refugees in Europe and Asia, following the Second World War, were rehabilitated in new countries (often with differences in language and culture).

Also seldom mentioned were the over 800,000 Jewish refugees forced to flee Arab countries – where they had lived for hundreds and even thousands of years – because their lives were in mortal danger – leaving behind their homes and most of their belongings. Most of these people were summarily absorbed and integrated into the fledgling State of Israel. For many it meant a complete change in culture and language.


A look at both societies reveals some fundamental differences. Israeli society as a whole is open to hearing about what really happened in the past. Being a society where freedom of speech is honored, historians and journalists have dug up many aspects of Israel’s past which don’t always cast the nation in a good light. Much of the material is controversial, but by and large Israelis have a fairly good idea of what happened in the past.

Many Israelis are concerned that that in many places, Arabs were indeed forcibly removed by the Israeli army during the War of Independence as well as subsequently. Many debate whether Israel’s responses to current Arab terror couldn’t be toned down somewhat. This is not to say the criticism is right or wrong, but to show that Israeli society is more willing and has far better access to knowing about the events of the past as well as the present. Also, while Jews are as prone to personal shrewdness as anyone else, a large percentage prefer the exposure of truths – even painful truths – than hiding them for the sake of national honor; most Israelis opt for fair treatment even for sworn adversaries, rather than retribution for their hatred and the mayhem they have caused Israel.

Arab society is very different. Firstly, there is hardly any freedom of expression in any of the Arab countries, and certainly not in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Therefore the vast majority of Arabs do not know what really happened in the past. Neither do they get honest reporting of the current affairs and developments. Indeed, most of Arab society, like elsewhere in the Muslim world, is fed with a deep contempt for western values and culture. Within that contempt lies a call for cleansing the world of what they perceive as the evil filth inherent in American influence, together with the obliteration of Israel. Also, it needs inordinate courage for any Arab to question or criticize popular conceptions.

The vast majority of people in Gaza believe that their misery is directly caused by Israel. They do not realize that their wretched situation is a direct result of their own attacks on Israel. They do not consider that they have missed at least three opportunities to have their independent state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The last time was in the year 2000 when instead of continuing the peace talks they once more opted for war. Even after every single Israeli had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip they increased their rocket barrage on Israel’s towns which has never stopped to this day.

They seem unable to understand that Israel’s military retaliations, the border closures, the road blocks in Judea and Samaria, are a direct result of Arab terror – usually conducted against ordinary Israeli civilians. A cessation in Arab hostility would mean a complete end to Israeli retaliation.

Their national disaster – their Nakba – is a catchword that is gaining more and more popularity among Arab circles. Arab propaganda, based on falsehood, half-truth and selective omission, is so effective that few people outside the Arab and Muslim world know how the Middle East crisis began, and thus reserve their full sympathy for the Arab side in its quest to destroy Israel.

Only when the Arabs begin to relate with honesty to the events of the past and the developments of the present, will their masses ever have a chance of leading normal, decent, happy, prosperous lives. Indeed, that’s the only way they might ever be granted an independent Palestine – as undeserved as it seems in the light of their ongoing aim to destroy Israel

But as long as the leaders of the world and the international media outlets keep castigating Israel for simply defending herself and cajoling her to acquiesce to ever-more Arab demands, there is no reason why they should change their self-defeating mindset.

Tragically for now, it seems that the Arabs, with the help of the rest of the world, are bent on precipitating yet another dreadful Nakba on themselves.

For more see:

Ralph Dobrin is the author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”

To order the book click:  type: how to avoid Armageddon




Entry filed under: dangeous lies and halftruths, How to avoid Armageddon, Solutions for Palestine, United Nations. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .


7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RON DAVID  |  May 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm


  • 2. Stuart - Diarist  |  May 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Well done Ralph.

    Living here in Israel, it is not often we see articles such as this setting the records right. As Goebbels said in world war 2 “a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth” – the Arabs and Palesatininas in particular have develop this to a fine art.

    I will be happy to circulate this to my international network

  • 3. Norma Nation  |  May 4, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Bravo, Rafi! This is a concise overview of the exact circmstances that brought about the Arab-Israeli situation that we have today. My hat is off to you for giving us the historical truth of the Arab mindset on Israel from the time of Statehood.

    Great job, Rafi.

  • 4. Angela Wine  |  May 7, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I have been saying this (Ralph Dobrin’s article) for years. Have written at times to CNN, to BBC and others with no response and most of all the media never changed in their attitude to Israel.

    I am so happy that someone such as Ralph Dobrin has put the case so eloquently and I am passing his article on to as many e-mail addresses as I can

  • 5. Steve  |  May 17, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Your stereotypes, broad generalizations, and one sided simplifications of complex history are no better, and no more useful than the viewpoints you criticize.

  • 6. Brett Mackey  |  May 23, 2008 at 4:19 am

    The original war for Israeli independence happened because as the Zionists were slaughtering innocent Palestinian Muslim and Christian civilians, the other Arab nations attempted to save the helpless. The Arabs were defeated, and the result was a mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians; it was nothing less than ethnic cleansing. Israel’s plan for the native inhabitants of its new land in the 1940s was no better than Hamas and Hezbollah’s plans for Israel today.

  • 7. integrity2008  |  May 25, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Let us end this silly history.

    Let us hear apologies for the rigid and genocidal plans on both sides from the religious and political leaders.

    Immediately, both religions must forge plans to end the rigid literary reading of the Holy Scriptures.

    The race and religion based segregation must end.

    The Haifa and Galilea communities must start mixed schools and social programs.

    A good leadership should work on erasing the difference between all people in Israel.


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