by Yitzchak Bar Negev
Meanwhile, Arabs all over the Middle East were enraged (what else is new?!). For infidels, especially the hated Jews, to take possession of even one inch of territory previously part of “Dar al-Islam” (house of Islam) was Nakba, a catastrophe. This wasn’t a dispute over borders, but over their very existence. No sooner had Israel’s independence been proclaimed when five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq) invaded. Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League declared, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades” (Jewish Virtual Library).
It should have been a massacre.
Israel was severely outnumbered, with a total population of just 806,000. There were few trained personnel, no cannons, no tanks and only nine obsolete planes.
The US State Department imposed an arms embargo on the region. In order to obtain weapons, Israel had to smuggle them through Czechoslovakia. Miraculously, the newborn state won its war of independence. But it was a costly victory; 6373 lives were lost – nearly one percent of Israel’s population.
Yes, independence itself was a miracle, but there’s a lesser known triumph that was accomplished shortly afterwards. It’s something you’ll never hear about in the mainstream media and it’s something no other country, newborn or otherwise has ever achieved. Israel, reeling from its own losses in the war, nevertheless absorbed destitute refugees from Arab countries; their number nearly doubled the Israeli population.
Beginning in 1948, more than 650,000 Jews left their homes in the Arab world to become refugees, and were eventually integrated into Israel, even as the country was being threatened with annihilation by neighboring Arab League states. Since their belongings were confiscated as the price of leaving from their repressive homelands, they arrived in Israel penniless, but they were welcomed and quickly absorbed into Israeli society (Jewish Virtual Library).
You might ask, “What about the Arab refugees? Don’t they deserve the ‘right of return’ and a place in their own state?” Media hype implies the Arab “right of return”; however this propaganda leaves out some crucial facts:
1. The Palestinians were offered a state by the UN in its partition plan of 1947. They refused, preferring to drive the Jews into the sea and take over all of the land.
2. The invading Arab armies urged Palestinians to abandon their property and get out of the way temporarily while they wiped out the Jews. The plan failed. Now there were several hundred thousand displaced Arabs. They could easily have been absorbed by the countries to which they had fled, but those countries refused to resettle them, opting instead to create “perpetual refugees”.
3. Today’s Palestinian refugee camps, no matter where they’re located, are purposely kept overcrowded, squalid and hopeless in order to breed hatred of Israel among the inhabitants and create the perception in the world of Israel as the big bad oppressing ogre. In other words, the “poor Palestinians” are nothing more than a political weapon in the arsenal of their own leadership.
So although 66 years have passed since that fateful day in 1948, not much has really changed. On Independence Day most Jews here celebrate, fly Israeli flags, watch fireworks and air shows and enjoy traditional barbecues. At the same time Arabs mourn the catastrophe of the establishment of the state of Israel, memorializing it each year by a day – or days – of rage. Nakba Day “celebrations” have already started and will be well on their way by the time you read this article. They feature thousands of screaming and cursing Muslims, joined by their leftist cohorts. The theme of the demonstrations is always the same – “Death to the Jews!”
Let me close with a simple quote from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel’.
Pray that the Arabs will put down their weapons and believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all Israel.