A Bit of Truth
Posted by Godefroi on July 9, 2009
I’ve been trying to convince people of this for years, mostly without success.
Perhaps folks are more likely to believe someone who’s “been there”?
(IsraelNN.com) Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas says the Arabs of the Galilee city of Tzfat left in 1948 not because they were driven out, but on their own volition.
Many biographies of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas imply that his family became “refugees” because of the War of Independence in 1948. For instance, a BBC profile on Abbas when he succeeded Yasser Arafat as PLO chairman in 2005 writes, “In the light of his origins in Safed in Galilee – in what is now northern Israel – he is said to hold strong views about the right of return of Palestinian refugees.” Answers.com states, “As a result of the Arab-Israel War of 1948, he became a refugee.” Wikipedia articles on the topic say the same – all giving the impression that the Abbas family was driven out and became homeless.
However, Abbas himself – co-founder of Fatah with Arafat, and known as Abu Mazen – now tells a different story. Speaking with Al-Palestinia TV on Monday, Abbas admitted that his family was not expelled or driven out, but rather left for fear that the Jews might take revenge for the slaughter of 20 Jews in the city during the Arab pogroms of 19 years earlier.
The memory of the slaughter, Abbas said, “brought [our families] to understand that the military balance had changed, and that [we] no longer had military forces in their real meaning. There were only young people who fought, and there was an initial action. They felt that the balance of power had collapsed and they therefore decided to leave. The entire city was abandoned based on this thought – the thought of their property and saving themselves.”