Who are the Palestinians?

Around 1900, less than 100,000 people lived in what is called "the West Bank" with a signifcant Jewish population [1]  The "native" population of Gaza numbered only 80,000 in 1951.[2]

The "Palestinians" (actually a collection of migrant workers) have streamed into the West Bank and Gaza from Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

The "Palestinians" are only part of the larger problem of stateless, citizenshipless people in the Middle East.  There are millions of mixed ethnic background, including Kurds, Hindus and others, that migrate throughout the Middle East.  In the case of the "Palestinians" an ill-defined subgroup of this migrant population has been given a name and "history" and is being used as a tool against Israel.

Over 250 small Arab settlements have been founded in the West Bank since 1950.  Anyone who has visited the West Bank knows that the housing in these Arab settlements is cinder-block and poured concrete - testimony to their recent construction.  The Israeli government admits that it has allowed over 240,000 day workers to enter the West Bank  through the border with Jordan since Olso - only to have them stay in the West Bank as Arab settlers. The actual numbers are probably higher.

If hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern migrant workers are flooding into the West Bank & Gaza, why should Israel be required to provide them jobs?  In fact the reverse, by supporting their economy while these people refuse (or are prevented) from accepting Israeli or Jordanian citizenship, Israel is only attracting more migrant works. Kuwait and Saudia Arabia in the last year expelled over 1,000,000 citizenless migrant workers.

Lest anyone think that these are all "Palestinians", let me remind you what the definition of a "Palestinian" is - according to the United Nations, anyone spent TWO YEARS in Palestine before 1948, they and their decendants - with or without proof or documentation - are "Palestinians".  This definitions was specifically designed to include migrant workers.

[1] Many in the Gush Eztion - Hebron area, but in other areas as well - including Shechem and Jericho.

[2]  UNRWA report in 1951-52

This page was contributed to EretzYisroel.Org

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