Claims by Palestinian Arabs that they were an indigenous people, on the land for many generations, is also a misrepresentation. There is solid documentation for the fact that a substantial part of this group, identified only as part of the Arab nation, migrated into Palestine in the years shortly before the founding of Israel.
Arlene Kushner, In a nutshell: Why eastern Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria are Jewish
A pity that the history of these Arab settlers is not better known...
Aaron Lerner provides the audio of an interview with Arab from Abu Goush who notes that Israeli Arabs originated overseas:In this interview broadcast on 26.11.2011 on Israel Radio's nature program,
an Israeli Arab from the village of Abu Goush (near Jerusalem) observes that while most Israeli Arabs originated from many different places such as Yemen, Egypt, etc., everyone in Abu Goush can trace himself back to one father who came from the Caucasus.
Here is the audio, translated:
Of course, that so many Arab families are recent arrivals--as opposed to being indigenous and having lived in "Palestine" for generations--is a fact that has been well substantiated.
In his book, The Late Great State Of Israel: How Enemies Within and Without Threaten the Jewish Nation's Survival, Aaron Klein has section under the heading A Different Kind Of Refugee where he notes that the unusual definition of refugee applied solely to Palestinian Arabs discards the requirement of "habitual residence" to a mere 2 years. This is in recognition of the large influx of Arabs into then-Palestine because of the improved conditions created by Jewish immigrants.
Klein quotes Mitchell Bard, who documents the large influx of Arabs into then-Palestine in the years prior to 1948:
The Jewish population increased by 470,000 between World War I and World War II, while the non-Jewish population rose by 588,000.13 In fact, the permanent Arab population increased 120 percent between 1922 and 1947.14Similarly, Elder of Ziyon posts images of newspaper articles reporting on the influx of Arabs during the 1930's--100,000 illegal Arab immigrants from 1928-1931 and 25,000 from Syria in 1934.
This rapid growth was a result of several factors. One was immigration from neighboring states — constituting 37 percent of the total immigration to pre-state Israel — by Arabs who wanted to take advantage of the higher standard of living the Jews had made possible.15 The Arab population also grew because of the improved living conditions created by the Jews as they drained malarial swamps and brought improved sanitation and health care to the region. Thus, for example, the Muslim infant mortality rate fell from 201 per thousand in 1925 to 94 per thousand in 1945 and life expectancy rose from 37 years in 1926 to 49 in 1943.16
The Arab population increased the most in cities where large Jewish populations had created new economic opportunities. From 1922-1947, the non-Jewish population increased 290 percent in Haifa, 131 percent in Jerusalem and 158 percent in Jaffa. The growth in Arab towns was more modest: 42 percent in Nablus, 78 percent in Jenin and 37 percent in Bethlehem.17 [emphasis added]
In another post, Elder of Zion writes about further documentation of illegal Arab immigration into then-Palestine:
I had looked at this in the past, but today I discovered an intriguing new data point, from the Palestine Post, August 19, 1935, quoting the (then Manchester) Guardian of August 10.
The article is a synopsis of the British Treasury report dealing with Palestine. According to the article, Jewish immigration had vastly increased in the early 1930s, but then it adds this:
"The immigration, however, is not restricted to Jews. There has been a steady infiltration into Palestine of Arabs from Syria (the Hauran) and from Trans-Jordan. And it is notable that the illicit immigration of the non-Jews recorded in the report of the Government is more than double that recorded for the Jews."
In an article, 1948, Israel, and the Palestinians, Efraim Karsh notes:
the decisive Jewish contribution to Mandate Palestine’s socioeconomic well-being. The British authorities acknowledged as much in a 1937 report by a commission of inquiry headed by Lord Peel:Fred M. Gottheil, in The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931, goes through the available statistics on Arab immigration.
The general beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare is illustrated by the fact that the increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.
In Whose Palestine?--appearing in Commentary Magazine in 1986--Erich and Rael Jean Isaac, who critique Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial on this issue, nevertheless assess the evidence in favor of the case she makes for Arab immigration into then-Palestine:
...there is overwhelming evidence, some of which (for example, in the studies of Fred Gottheil) she uses in her book, of extensive in-migration from the predominantly Arab to the Jewish-settled areas. Scholars, Porath included, do not dispute this (Porath disagrees on the reason for the migration). Such dispute as there is concerns the amount of illicit Arab immigration. The projections do not address this question, but rather confirm the disproportionate growth of areas of Jewish settlement compared with mainly or purely Arab areas within Western Palestine.The bottom line is: the claim of an established Arab Palestinian land is a myth--the numbers of Arabs in the land fluctuated and rather than "Zionists" being responsible for forcing Palestinian Arabs out of the land, these very same Jews were the reason for many of these Arabs coming into then-Palestine.
Arieh Avneri, in The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948, published after Miss Peters's book, provides additional data in support of her thesis, with regard both to Arab in-migration and to Arab immigration. (It is noteworthy that Porath, who so vigorously disputes Miss Peters, is one of those thanked by Avneri for "valuable comments" on a manuscript that reaches the same conclusion as hers.) Avneri finds that between 1922 and 1947, in 35 regions of Western Palestine that became Israel, the Arab population increased by 134 percent. By contrast, in 13 regions where there was no Jewish settlement, the Arab population increased by only 98 percent. Avneri points out that even the 98-percent increase is deceptive, for it includes Arab Jerusalem whose population grew over a twenty-five-year period at a rate second only to that of Haifa (150 percent as compared with Haifa's 290 percent). Cities remote from Jewish development grew much more slowly: Nablus, 56 percent; Jenin, 78 percent; Hebron, 64 percent. (Gaza was an exception to these very low rates.)
The rural Arab population also grew in response to Jewish development. The growth was highest in the hinterland of Jaffa, which was the rural area of greatest Jewish concentration, but in the Haifa and Acre district Arab rural population also increased in response to the growing urban demand for vegetables and fruit. In contrast, the rural population in the districts of Jenin, Nablus, Hebron, and Gaza, all remote from Jewish settlements, grew at rates below the national average.
The geographer Avraham Brawer, in his book Eretz Yisrael, published in 1949, compares the population of Western Palestine with that of neighboring countries. He finds that even the purely Arab areas had a population density (96 per square kilometer) equal to that of Lebanon with its more favorable climatic conditions and large, culturally more advanced Christian population component, and double that of the settled areas of Syria and Cyprus, both of which enjoyed better climatic and soil conditions. In the areas of Jewish settlement, the population density was much higher: 136 per square kilometer. Brawer attributes the high population density in all of Western Palestine to the infusion of Jewish capital and the dramatic improvements in public health, which had no equal at the time in any Mediterranean country except France.
And here, responding to recent comments by Arab members of the Israeli Knesset Jamal Zahalka and Ahmad Tibi that Jews are immigrants in Palestine, Assaf Wohl responds with a brief history lesson on Arab immigration to 'Palestine':
It is noteworthy that both Zahalka and Tibi have a Ph.D. Yet whatever their areas of specialty are, history of the Land of Israel is certainly not one of them. Two such intelligent people are unaware of the basic history of the country where they reside. After all, Kfar Qara, where Dr. Zahalka resides, was only established in the 18th Century under the auspices of the Arab occupation of Eretz Yisrael. Meanwhile, Arabs only arrived at Taibe, where Dr. Tibi hails from, in the 17th Century from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as attested to by the last names of some residents.Further documentation is available from this compilation of information on Arab immigrants' children, grandchildren & the vastly vacant desolate land prior to the rise of Jewish return
Do they truly believe that the “Palestinians” nobody heard of until the 20th Century, truly grew from the land? Don’t they know that under Arab villages in the Galilee one can find synagogues from the Second Temple period? Don’t they know that by the end of the 19th Century, only about 140,000 non-Jews resided in the Land of Israel, while by 1948 this number grew tenfold, mostly because of Arab immigration to Eretz Yisrael?
“This neighborhood used to be Sheikh Munis,” Zahalka yelled before leaving the Tel Aviv studio, thereby revealing the truth. As it turns out, the appetite of Zahalka and his voters is not confined to the territories. Yet the village of Sheikh Munis, where Tel Aviv University is located today, was only established in the 19th Century, when the Land of Israel was being conquered by Ibrahim Pasha. This took place about 2,500 years after the Shiloh inscription was written in Jerusalem, using the same Hebrew I use to write my column. [emphasis added]
Like I said--a pity that the history of these Arab settlers is not better known.
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