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British efforts to flood the Holy Land with Arab immigrants and to discourage Jewish Immigration before 1948 helped create today’s false narrative

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In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Zion Mule Corp and their valour in helping free the Holy Land from Ottoman rule, Israel issued a commemorative postage stamp. (Screenshot: Pinterest.ca)

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The myth that Palestinians are indigenous has been the propaganda promulgated by Arabs ever since Jews were formally granted the right to reclaim the homeland they were driven from nearly two millennia ago. It was precisely because the territory was essentially an unpeopled land, ruled by a defeated Turkey, that the League of Nations, after WWI, saw fit to accord the country to the Jews, and handed a mandate to Britain to make it happen. It’s what happened afterward that is the real story.

Indeed, Arab leaders originally welcomed the idea hoping for economic benefits from a Jewish presence. The actual reality of the ethnic situation was: the native population in Palestine, before Jewish immigration became substantial, was actually made up primarily of the descendants of the many non-Arab mercenaries imported by rulers over the centuries. This fact has been ignored. Greeks, Turks, Africans, Tartars, Armenians, Sudanese, Egyptians, Persians, Ethiopians, and Ashiri, among others, were brought in, in their thousands, as soldiers and slaves. Many eventually settled in communities around the territory.

Palestine was the name given to the province by the Romans after about 70 A.D., a distortion of the name of the Philistines, Greek Islands occupants of Israel’s southern coast for 600 years, eliminated by King Nebuchadnezzar (Babylonia) in 603 B.C.

Developments in more recent times markedly changed the composition of the population in the area in question. The deteriorating position of many Jews in European countries revived the idea of a return to their homeland. Although it was a religious Jewish position that a return of the nation to its native land required the coming of the Messiah, more secular Jews urged personal action. Enthusiasm for this idea, and dreadful conditions in many places, led to the formation of the Zionist movement.

Some Jewish groups in Russia moved to realize this ambition by immigrating to the area called Palestine, ruled by Ottoman Turkey. Wealthy donors supported their efforts. A World Zionist Organization was established to collect funds from Jews around the globe to finance these efforts. Jews everywhere responded.

There was a Jewish National Fund coin box in nearly every home. These efforts led to the establishment of a number of Jewish settlements in the countryside, and Jewish enterprises in the cities, to provide employment for Jewish immigrants. A steady stream of Jewish arrivals appeared in Palestine.

Jews in the territory actively assisted the British war effort in World War I, against the interests of Turkey. Some paid for this activity with their lives. Young Jewish men enlisted in the Zion Mule Corp, an all-Jewish unit within the British Army. Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a world-famous British scientist, and the first President of the future state, lobbied the British government for a place for the Jews in Palestine. The British eventually issued the Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Britain was granted the mandate to realize this by the League of Nations after WWI ended.

What happened during the British mandate was described in a book called “The Rape of Palestine” written by William B. Ziff in 1938. When the Zionists arrived, Arabs were attracted in large numbers. While Jewish immigration was discouraged, waves of Arab immigration were fostered by the British and flowed in from surrounding countries.

British policy, in its implementation, actually worked contrary to the mandate they had received. The author provides chapter and verse on the ethnic arrivals to the territory over the centuries brought to serve the various rulers who held sway since the Roman dispersion of the Hebrew residents of Judea. He also detailed British efforts to flood the territory with Arab immigrants and to discourage Jewish immigration.

Large investments were made by Zionist organizations to provide employment for Jewish immigrants. They created an economic boom. Actual labor shortages appeared, partly due to the difficulties placed in the way of Jewish immigration. Jobs originally meant for Jewish immigrants, had to be filled by Arab workers.

The British obstruction of Jewish immigration went to ridiculous lengths. The wives of Jewish immigrants would not be granted visas. Only a limited number of Jews could arrive on any ship so that sailings were uneconomic. Visa numbers were subject to such restrictions that no visas were granted.

Some Jews had to enter by disguising themselves as Arabs. Zionist organizations turned to landing Jews on the beaches in the dead of night. Efforts by Jews to expose illegal Arab immigration were punished by prison terms. Illegal Jewish immigrants were hunted throughout Palestine, and in neighboring countries. Arabs were offered bounties to report on illegal Jewish immigrants.

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Arab immigration proceeded unimpeded. One estimate was that the Arab population had doubled in fourteen years. Another is that there were 500,000 Arab immigrants between 1932 and 1944. In the twenties, whole tribes moved from Saudi Arabia and Transjordan to the Negev. Bad crops in Syria caused thirty-five thousand to move from Syria in 1933 alone.

There are no official sources regarding Arab immigration during the Mandate. It may have been British policy not to track such information. According to a scholarly article called “Were The Arabs Indigenous To Mandatory Palestine?” written in 2016 by Sheree Roth; It has also been the Arab position to hide the reality that “the native Arab population… was relatively small before the first Jewish settlers made it an attractive and relatively prosperous place”.

In the face of unalterable facts, just as many Arabs claim an unalterable devotion to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, belied by their behavior, they claim that they can trace their origins to the Canaanites. Indeed, they claim there was never a Hebrew presence in what is now Israel. Arab religious authorities (granted their office by Israel) on the Temple Mount, reportedly destroyed any evidence they have found of a Hebrew presence in their illegal diggings under this site. Nevertheless, there is ample physical archeological evidence of that habitation, if the Bible in its generous detail, is not enough.

In spite of the claims of many Arab nations and their institutions, all the evidence indicates that the vast majority of “Palestinians” are recent arrivals, in historical terms, whose forebears were attracted to the territory by Jewish investment and enterprise.

Max Roytenberg is an author, poet and blogger, with many published articles in Jewish periodicals in Dublin, New York, Winnipeg and Vancouver. After a career as an Economist and Executive in the Food Industry, in Canada and abroad, he writes, and lives with his Bride, in Vancouver. He has children and grandchildren in the US, Canada, China and Israel. His last book, “Hero In My Own Eyes”, is available through major booksellers and on Amazon.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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