The Arabs of Palestine a view from 1961
The Arabs of Palestine is an amazing article from 1961 which explodes many of the so called "truths" and myths related to the Palestinians.
Here are some great quotes relating to some "Mad Hatter" conversations she had with Palestinians in 1961. Please read the whole article it is really worth it.
I listened to the first of what became an almost daily Mad Hatter conversation.
It went like this:
"The Arab countries invaded Israel in 1948 to save the Palestine Arabs from being massacred by the Jews."
"Were there massacres? Where?"
"Oh, yes, everywhere. Terrible, terrible."
"Then you must have lost many relatives and friends."
This, being a tiresome deduction from a previous statement, is brushed aside without comment.
"Israel overran the truce lines and stole our country. We left from fear. We have a right to our property, which brings in 47 million pounds a year in income. If we had our own money, we would need nothing from UNRWA. Our own money is much more. We do not have to be grateful for the little money spent on us. We should have our own."
"Then, of course, you want to return to your property and to Israel?"
"Not to Israel. Never to Israel. To our own country, to our own part."
"But didn't the Jews accept Partition, while the Palestine Arabs and the Arab governments refused?"
"Yes, yes. And England protected the Jews. An Arab was arrested if he carried a pistol only to defend himself, but Jews could go through the streets in tanks and nothing happened to them. Also, England told the Arab states to attack Israel."
The principal of the school then spoke up. "In our school, we teach the children from their first year about their country and how it was stolen from them. I tell my son of seven. You will see: one day a man of eighty and a child so high, all, all will go home with arms in their hands and take back their country by force."
ANOTHER Mad Hatter conversation, practically a public meeting, took place in the office of the leader of two adjacent camps, a man in charge of some 29,000 people. The camp leader, the self-appointed orator, sat behind his desk. The Secret Service youth, mentioned earlier, the quiet UNRWA Palestinian, my regular chaperone, and the three uniformed cops of highish rank completed the company.
First the camp leader told me how rich they had all been in Palestine and how miserable they were now and how much land they had all owned. I do not doubt for one minute how much land some of them owned, nor how rich some of them were, and I did not point out this subtle distinction: if everyone owned the land claimed, Palestine would be the size of Texas; if everyone had been so rich, it would have been largely populated by millionaires. To gild the past is only human, we all do it; and to gild it with solid gold is even more human if you are a refugee.
"The Jews are criminals," the camp leader continued in a rising voice. "Murderers! They are the worst criminals in the whole world."
Had he ever heard of Hitler?
He banged his table and said, "Hitler was far better than the Jews!"
"Far better murderer? He killed six million Jews as a start," I observed.
"Oh, that is all exaggerated. He did not. Besides, the Jews bluffed Hitler. They arranged in secret that he should kill a few of them--old ones, weak ones--to make the others emigrate to Palestine."
"Thirty-six thousand of them," said the Secret Service man, proving the point, "came here, before the war, from Central Europe."
"It's amazing," I said. "I have never before heard anywhere that the Jews arranged with Hitler for him to kill them."
"It was a secret!" the camp leader shouted. "The documents have been found. Everyone knows. It was published. The Jews arranged it all with Hitler."
Hat tip Aliyah! Step-by-Step: Making a Life in Israel