A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
On May 17th, 1970, the New York Times published an extensive piece on Ramallah, looking at Ramallah and its citizens 3 years after reverting to Israeli control following the Six Day War.
It is mostly told from the point of view of the people living there, so contains many negative statements about Israel. But even so, there are a number of telling points I have marked in yellow, including the following:
- How so many Ramallah Arabs left voluntarily at the turn of the 20th century
- How so many of the people of Ramallah were wealthy Arabs who had moved there from Arab states like Kuwait, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon
- Right after the Six Day War, the majority of Ramallah Arabs wanted Jordan to regain control – they did not speak about a Palestinian State
- Others wanted some form of autonomy for the so-called West Bank of the Jordan (but not Gaza), but Fatah opposed it because it meant giving up on the aim of destroying Israel and taking over the entire land
- Mention of a resident who left Jaffa in 1948, thinking they would be returning (after the Jews were defeated) – this is indicative of many Arabs who were not kicked out but rather left at the behest of their leaders thinking they would be victorious and return
- Some of the residents thriving due to an Israeli economic boom
- How Arab terror affected many residents (a theme we see today)
Note: You can actually access the full article here. But I have provided screenshots with the highlighted passages below. As usual, click on the screenshots to enlarge.