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"From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters

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Submitted by Kitty Fane (United States), May 20, 2015 at 02:33

The above referenced book, published in 1984 completely bears out what Mr. Pipes claims in his excellent article, to wit, that at the time the first Zionists arrived in the area, in the 1880s and 1890s, Ottoman census data showed too few taxpayers in the district called Palestine to defray the administrative costs. The land was barren, consisting of swamps and boulders, not supporting any agriculture. Inhabitants were a few Bedouins who eaked out a living herding sheep. It was thanks to the arduous pioneering work of the early Zionists that the land became arable and capable of sustaining a larger population. As a consequence, Arabs from the neighboring countries, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and others, started populating Palestine.

When Israel declared Statehood in 1948, these Arabs that had inmigrated only very recently, fled the country mostly at the urging of the Arabs who were invading Israel, not to be caught in the crossfire. Subsequently, the UN took it upon themselves to give a new definition to the term refugee, which meant for centuries someone expelled from his ancestral home to someone who had resided in Palestine since 1946 (two years). In addition, th emiillions of Jewish refugees who had been expelled truly from their ancestral homes in Arab countries from Morocco to Iraq were not included when the UN talked about refugees - only the Arabs were refugees.' I highly recommend this book to anyone seriously wishing to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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