When Israel became independent in 1948 it was attacked by FIVE Arab nations. Israel did NOT fight or attack Arabs already in Israel, but defended itself AGAINST the invading Arab armies.
Nearly 1 million Jews, expelled from Arab and Persian lands and absorbed by Israel, are not considered ‘refugees’ because of Israel’s law granting a ‘right of return’ of all Jews to Israel. Nor are the 300.000 Arab and Persian Jews who went to countries OTHER THAN Israel considered ‘refugees’.
Jews and other ethnic groups had lived in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf region for more than 2.500 years, more than 1.000 years before the advent of Islam. A greater number of Jews (1.160.000) were displaced than Palestinians (600.000) as a result of Israel’s establishment and wars against the Jewish state. According to the American Sephardi Federation, less than 4.000 Jews remain in these areas today.
Jordanian law includes to this day a ‘right of return’ to Jordan for the 450-600.000 non-Jewish ‘Palestinian’ displaced persons and their descendants. Yet these ‘Palestinians’ (Jordanians) are considered ‘refugees’ despite the Jordanian law. (Jordanian Nationality Law, Official Gazette, No. 1171, Article 3 (3) of Law No. 6, 1954, 16 February 1954, p. 105. [reactivated in law no. 7, sect. 2, of 1 April 1963. When Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994, this judenrein legislation remained])
THE UNHRC removes names from refugee rolls everywhere in the world after refugees are resettled. Yet UNRWA ensured that ‘Palestinians’ retained ‘refugee’ status despite their Jordanian citizenship and despite the fact that 3/4 of these displaced persons have never resided in camps (i.e., they are effectively resettled).
Why were ‘Palestinians’ the only refugee group in the world, despite being one of the smallest groups after WWII, entitled to a separate UN agency( UNRWA)? And if this group was somehow so special, why was a separate refugee agency NEVER provided for the larger Jewish refugee group (Arab and Persian Jews), not to mention the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust?
The UNHCR defines refugees as those persons having lived in an area ‘habitually’ for at least 10 years. The UNRWA shortened that definition to 2 years, because they otherwise could not enroll the vast majority of displaced persons, who otherwise failed to meet global refugee criteria:
UNRWA Director Howard Kennedy on 1 November 1 1950, reported to the United Nations Ad Hoc Political Committee that “a large group of indigent people totalling over 100.000 … cannot be called refugees, but … have lost their means of livelihood because of the war and post-war conditions … The Agency felt their need was even more acute than that of the refugees who were fed and housed.” -Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial, p. 18n
The UN eligibility officer, George B. Vinson, reported that the refugee rolls were inflated by as much as 30%. UNRWA stated in it’s 1951 report that refugees “eagerly report births and …reluctantly report deaths” and that it was impossible to exclude nomadic Bedouins and impoverished migrant workers for “humanitarian” reasons.