Know Your History: The Jewish And Arab Populations In The Holy Land (NY Times May 16, 1948)

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series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.

On May 16th, 1948 – two days after Ben Gurion declared the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel – the New York Times ran a piece on the Jewish and Arab populations in the land. And as usual, it is a fascinating look back at the past, from which we can learn a lot.

Note in particular:



  • The area now known as the “West Bank” being referred to by its real name – Judea and Samaria
  • Contrary to the prevailing narrative peddled by the haters, Jews bought Arab land – and the Arabs were more than happy to sell it to them, given the land was arid
  • Mention of the Arabs having been in the land for 1,300 years – an acknowledgement they came with the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century (and not earlier as they claim)
  • Mention of Arabs here rejecting the term “Palestinian Arab”, instead seeing themselves as part of ancient Syria
  • How the Jews increased the standard of living for the Arabs, but this only increased anti-Zionist sentiment (believe it or not)

Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a NY Times subscription. But I have provided screenshots below. As usual, click on the screenshots to enlarge.

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, David Lange is founder and managing editor of Israellycool. He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and single malt whisky.