The following letter was published on Sept. 7 in the Washington Times:
In the article “Tensions still high in militant hunt” (World, Tuesday), correspondent Christopher Allbritton writes:
“In place since the 1948 creation of Israel forced thousands of Palestinian families to flee to Lebanon as refugees, the camp swelled to more than 30,000 people in less than a square mile.”
“The creation of Israel in 1948” did not “force thousands of Palestinian Arab families to flee as refugees.” Responsibility for causing the flight belongs to the Arab countries and Palestinian Arab leadership. Their rejection of the U.N. General Assembly’s 1947 partition plan for dividing British Mandatory Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, and the subsequent invasion of Israel by five Arab countries and Palestinian Arab irregulars led to Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Arabs who fled from Israel and became refugees did so to avoid fighting caused by Arab aggression.
In contrast, Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence, which immediately preceded the war, called for peaceful coexistence. That Israel’s creation did not force Palestinian Arabs to flee can be seen from the fact that 160,000 stayed put, becoming citizens and forming the basis of an Israeli Arab community that now numbers more than 1 million.
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America