Another Arab journalist admits Israel not to blame for Palestinian refugees

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

A top Palestinian journalist wrote last week that it is the Arab world, and not Israel, that is to blame for the so-called Palestinian "refugee crisis."

Jawad al Bashiti, a Jordan-based correspondent for the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, noted in his May 13 editorial that during the "first war between Arabs and Israel...the 'Arab Salvation Army' came and told the Palestinians: 'We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely."

Bashiti lamented that in evacuating Palestinians before doing battle with the Israelis, it was the Arabs who were in fact responsible for what the Arab world refers to as the "nakba," the catastrophe of Israel's successful rebirth in the biblical Land of Israel. Had those hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs not been removed, their descendants would likely continue to outnumber the Jews.

Israeli watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, which translated Bashiti's article, pointed out a trend among Palestinian journalists who are becoming increasingly bold in blaming the Arab world, rather than Israel, over the refugee issue. Four other similar article written by leading Palestinian journalists over the past few years were also translated as evidence of this trend.

Removing blame from Israel over the Palestinian refugee issue effectively eliminates one of the major foundations of the Palestinian struggle against the Jewish state. It also compels major international movements to rectify the Palestinian refugee situation, including the United Nations' own committee on the issue, to refocus their attention on the true perpetrators - the Arab states.

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