Know Your History: Israel’s Offer to Repatriate Arab Refugees (NY Times July 1967)

new series where I bring to you news from the newspaper archives to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.

Something the Israel haters do not admit – heck, even people on our side don’t realize this – is that following our victory in the Six Day War, we made a real effort to repatriate Arab refugees displaced by the war.

As you can see from the below New York Times report, the Israeli government made an offer for refugees from “the west bank” to return. It was not an easy decision, and there was real debate and opposition to it based on security considerations. Also note a committee was set up to help rehabilitate the refugees (including those from Gaza), including experts in things like agriculture and industry.

Also note the reference to Arabs who “fled” the 1948 war, an acknowledgement that many fled and were not all expelled as the haters claim.

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If Israel really was attempting ethnic cleaning and genocide as the haters allege, this makes absolutely no sense.

Meanwhile, refugees refused the offer.

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Update: A great observation by reader Aryeh.

Note how NYT accurately describes them as refugees from the “west bank of the Jordan river”. No caps; just an accurate term for the geographical area with no agreed-upon sovereign. How this changed to common parlance of a capitalized “West Bank” (which even iPhone capitalizes automatically now!), let alone “Palestinian Territories”, rather than the correct “disputed” is a great story of the success of propaganda… and the power of the media.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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