Memory of Palestine

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Academic Research
If we want to speak about the issue of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, we have to go back to 1917 and bring the memory of that time when the Foreign Secretary of united kingdom (Arthur James Balfour) sent a letter to a leader of the British Jewish community (Baron Rothschild) which was a secret letter at that time. After a while, this letter has called “The Balfour Declaration 1917”, and it is as the following:

November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet
His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Arthur James Balfour

It was so strange how United Kingdom has granted a land which does not owned to the Jews, which has contributed in the displacement of the people of Palestine. It is important to mention that this letter has been written by Balfour before United kingdom’s military entered Palestine after the first world war in 9 December 1917, and it does not mentioned Arab Muslims or Christians although Arabs make up 93% of the people in Palestine, while the Jews in Palestine constitutes only 7%, so the promise was to 7% and not to 93%!!!!!!

To conclude the first point which was the base of all the issues and conflict in Palestine over years, we can describe this promise as “an illegal promise made by someone who does not own to someone who does not deserve”.

The second point about the memory of Palestinian refugees issue has started between 1920 to 1948, when the Jewish people came to Palestine to seize their lands, that has been done by the help of the British Mandate over Palestine which provided all the ways for Jewish by helping them to put down any attempt for Palestinians to resist and retrieval their lands.

When Palestine people have found that their farms and lands have gone which is the only source of livelihood, especially the majority of them were peasants, they have forced to migrate to other cities or countries.

It is clearly from the previous point, that the seizure of lands and the displacement of Palestinians has been started by the Jewish and the help of British government even before the declaration from the UN to establish the Country of Israel in 1948, which it were between 1936 and 1939 that forced many of Palestinians to leave their country.

The second wave of Palestinian immigration began after the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 29 of November 1947, when Jewish people expel more than 30,000 Palestinian who were living in what was allocated to the Jewish state, and has followed by 75,000 Palestinian between February and March in 1948.

The hostilities has caused by Israeli army in 1948 to Palestinians to establish Israeli country, and it were the main reason to displace the largest number of Palestinians when Israel used the force of arms to expel all Palestinians who lived in 530 towns and villages, and seized their lands which is now nearly 92% of the area of Israel.

Although the end of military operations for Israel, the process of displacement did not stop, and the methods of Palestinians displacement were based on two: The first method was based on terrorism and intimidation by destroying cities and killing innocent people, and the second one was based on some economic regulations which did not allow Palestinians to work in their farms as well as increasing the Tax and flood the market with exported goods to beat the local goods, such a policy has increased the number of Palestinians who left their country.

After three days of formed an provisional government of Israel, it has formed a special committee to make sure that all Palestinian refugees will not return to their homes, which has completed the process of demolition the destroyed villages, and putting the Jews in the Arab homes that has not been destroyed, the members of this special committee were : Yosef Weitz, Eliyahu Sasson and Ezra Danin, and this committee was supported by David Ben-Gurion (Prime minister of Israel in that time).
To expand the process of expulsion of Palestinians, this committee has helped Palestinians to find other places to live.

After the end of war in June 1967, Israeli government found that the numbers of Palestinians immigrants are not huge as the year of 1948, so their strategy has taken another way, and they started to provide a free transportation for people who want to migrate to Jordan and try to make them sign forms which state that they had left of their own volition and gave them 50 Israeli lira, and to complete this process, they have established formal offices , especially in large camps to encourage Palestinians to leave the country.

In this brief about the political memory for the issue of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, I have tried to show how the project of establishing Israeli country was based on the expulsion of the Palestinian population from their land, and was a pre-planned to implement this project.

I did not go in-depth to describe the butcheries that happened to Palestinians over that period of time till now by Israeli military and I did not compare the stones of Children with the weapons and Military technology for Israel, but it is very sad and funny in the same time to believe that Israel has offered the peace and Palestine did not accept it.


Written By:  Fatma Bensalem 

• Roger , Garaudy , file Israel , a study of political Zionism , Sunrise House , Beirut , 1983 , pp. 111 .
• Taesser Jabbara , forced migration , the third issue .64-4 , An-Najah University , Nablus, 1998, pp. 22 .
• Salman Abu Sitta , the right of return is sacred , legal and possible , b d , site of / data / aspx
• Norma Egyptian, social study into the causes of the failure of the resettlement of Palestinian refugees, Palestinian politics magazine, Issue 13.
• Center for Palestine Research and Studies, 1997.
• D. Numan Amr, the impact of Israeli settlement projects on the right of return for Palestinians, Al Quds Open University, Hebron area educational, 2007.


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