Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big Lies Part 2: "Ethnic Cleansing" and "Genocide"

Previously on this site, we addressed one of the big lies told by anti-Israel agitators, that Israel's existence as a Jewish state is uniquely unacceptable in today's world. Another fabrication is that of "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs, both in 1948 as a result of Israel's War of Independence and also after 1967, when Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza from their previous occupiers (Jordan and Egypt, respectively); this claim gets even more fantastically metamorphed into charges of "genocide" begin committed by Israel. Doing an internet search with either one of those terms and "Israel" yields a lengthy list of websites, many of which claim to be "antiwar", trumpeting such charges.

Interestingly enough, it's actually quite simple to rebut these lies using some rather simple arithmetic. All of the statistics used here are from Israeli-Palestinian ProCon, which is a neutral site that does not take positions on the issues and is not run by advocates with either a pro- or anti-Israel position. (Of course, you can hear the screams of "if you're not obviously against the racist-colonialist-Zionist-occupiers then we can't trust anything you say" from those who promote the big lies. Just ignore them and focus on the facts.)

In 1946 "Palestine" (the British Mandate, comprising what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza) had 608,000 Jews and 1,237,000 Arabs (all statistics rounded to the nearest thousand). As a result of the war of extermination launched by 5 Arab countries against the nascent state of Israel, there was a population exchange-- the Arab population mostly ended up in the West Bank and Gaza, to be imprisoned in refugee camps there. The Jewish population that had lived outside the borders of the state of Israel either fled as refugees to Israel or were killed. By 1949, Israel had 159,00 Arab citizens and 1,014,000 Jewish citizens. In 1950, the nearest year for which population statistics are available, the West Bank and Gaza had 1,005,000 Arabs and no (living) Jews-- it was a thoroughly ethnically cleansed area. Some towns like Hebron that had Jewish populations for uninterrupted centuries were actually ethnically cleansed long before the UN Partition Plan, as the result of pogroms. Some, like the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the kibbutzim of the Etzion Bloc, were conquered by Arabs and the survivors forced to flee for their lives.
You can learn more about the ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities in Palestine here .

Now let's see what happened after 1967. The population of the West Bank in 1970 (prior to the re-establishment of any Jewish population in that area, outside of Jerusalem) was 677,000 Arabs--and no Jews (except for a few hundred of the ancient Samartian cult living near Nablus). By 2003, the Arab population was 2,300,000 and the Jewish population was 219,000. Yes, that's right. The Arab population more than TRIPLED over that time. In Gaza there were 368,000 Arabs in 1970; by 2003 there were 1,337, 000. Yes, that's not a typo. Under the supposedly genocidal and tyrannical rule of Israeli occupation, the population of Gaza went up FOURFOLD. The Jewish population of Gaza in 2003 was 7,500. Now, of course, it is down to one: Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier who has been held incommunicado by Hamas terrorists for nearly a year and denied access to Red Cross representatives.

Oh, but certainly in Jerusalem the Arabs are getting pushed out of their neighborhoods and ethnically cleansed, right? Sorry, once again those pesky facts get in the way:
1946: Population of Jerusalem --34,000 Muslims, 31,000 Christians (probably not all Arab), 99,000 Jews
1967: 58,000 Muslims, 13,000 Christians, and 197,000 Jews
2000: 197,000 Muslims, 14,000 Christians and 440,000 Jews

Once again, the Muslim population more than tripled since Israel re-unified the city!

Those crafty Zionists-- conducting ethnic cleansing but hiding it so well that the Arab population doubles every 20 years. How do they pull it off?


  1. Perhaps this could go under "small lies, part 1?"

    Another one of the most popular anti-Semitic canards wafting its way through the far right and the far left, is that the ability of American Jews to maintain "dual citizenship" in the US as well as Israel somehow diminishes their patriotism and loyalty as Americans. Does any other country allow its citizens the right to retain dual citizenship with the US?
    For 2 points and the win- yes- there are nearly 60 countries. Yet somehow, only dual citizenship with Israel is cause for alarm.
    According to wikipedia:
    Dual citizenship (being a citizen of two nations), or dual nationality, is by far the most common type of multiple citizenship
    Some countries bestow citizenship automatically at birth to persons with a parent who is one of their nationals, or to persons born on their territory , or through marriage to persons wedding their nationals. In addition, citizenship can be granted on request through naturalization.

    And according to the US immigration website;
    "The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

    However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there."

    Just wondering. Why is dual citizenship only nefarious when it involves Israel? Why the double standard, yet again?

  2. clearly, the "ethnic cleansing" that took place in 48 could not take place in more recent decades, because there has been far more scrutiny. and thank god for that!

    so israel is not committing genocide or ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories. fine. but does this make the occupation legal? it does not. is the fact that the US is not nuking parts of Iraq make the US invasion legal or just? it does not. this changing of the subject is a red herring.

  3. about the dual citizenship: it is only important because the american political establishment has bought israeli policy hook, line, and sinker in the last few decades. let me tell you, if the political establishment of any other country on earth -- along with dual nationals working as lobbyists -- had succeeded in swaying US foreign policy to such a degree, you can bet there would be similar scrutiny. especially if said state were engaged in blatantly illegal policies. but let me tell you something: there is no such situation. it is the likud party -- not the communist party of china, not the liberal democrats of the UK, not any other foreign establishment -- which has such a close relationship to the GOP. this, not dual citizenship, is the issue. is there any other foreign political establishment the total acceptance of which is required of presidential candidates? i can tell you this, if any of the presidential candidates criticized israeli policies -- perhaps one or two have -- they would give up any chance of being elected. the ones that have spoken up are totally marginal. can you tell me where this is true of any other foreign country? no.

    so -- it is not about "sneaky jews" -- it is about zionists, both israeli and american, jewish and christian, and especially about the stupidity of most americans who swallow their absurd reasonings. i blame americans most of all.

  4. Dual Citizenship is okay for many many countries in the world!!!!!

    Mexico has it, so does Canada, Spain, Germany, etc...

    The "so called" occupation of the west bank is well deserved. The jordanians, egyptians and syrians attacked Israel and they lost, so their lands were taken away.

    We kept the southwest, coz we biggie!!!