A study of Arab and Jewish Refugees in the Middle East.
a foreword by Philip Goodhart, MP
most reliable estimate of the number of Arab men, women
and children who left their homes in Palestine during 1948
was not more than 600,000. It was only the twelfth largest
movement of refugees to take place since the end of World
1947 to 1950 at least four million Moslems moved from India
to Pakistan and more than four million Hindus fled from
Pakistan to India. The estimates of the number of permanent
refugees driven from their homes by the first partition
of India range between eight and eleven million.
September 1950, three million Sudeten Germans had been expelled
from Czechoslovakia. Between 1949 and the building of the
Berlin Wall in 1961 a further 2,739,000 refugees moved from
east to west Germany. An additional six and three quarter
million Germans left their homes in the Provinces annexed
by Poland after the war.
Africa about one and a half million Ibos refugees returned
to Eastern Nigeria. The number of Frenchmen and pro-French
Arabs who fled from North Africa before and after Algerian
Independence has also been put at rather more than one million.
Vietnam was partitioned in 1956, 800,000 North Vietnamese,
many of whom were Roman Catholic, moved to South Vietnam
to escape from Ho Chi Minhs regime. During the major
Communist offensives in the mid-1960s more than one
million South Vietnamese also moved out of their homes into
temporary refugee camps. More than one million refugees
from North Korea settled in South Korea after the fighting
that moved up and down the Korean peninsula in the two years
that followed the North Korean attack in June 1950. Over
one million refugees from mainland China lived in camps
in Hong Kong.
the Middle East itself the exodus of Jews from Arab lands
has been even larger than the flight of Arabs from Israel.
In 1948 there were almost 850,000 Jews in Arab lands ranging
from Iraq to Morocco. By 1973 there were less than 50,000.
is, however, one factor which distinguishes the bulk of
the Arab refugees from the millions of people who have left
their homes and countries in the last 50 years because of
political, ethnic, or religious pressures. Everyone of the
non-Arab countries that received a flood of refugees did
their best to re-settle the new arrivals. All countries
except the Arabs, launched successful programmes of absorption.
In most of the Arab countries however, strenuous efforts
were made to prevent or to limit the re-settlement of their
Palestinian refugees. Arab leaders have denounced and thwarted
all international attempts to re-settle the refugees in
empty lands away from Israels borders for political
lasting solution to the whole sad problem can only be found
when all concerned recognise that there has been a double
exodus, involving a lasting exchange of people. The Arab
departure from Israeli territory must be balanced against
the flight of an even larger number of Jewish refugees from
solution of the Middle-East refugee question has to be based
on a recognition that an exchange of population has taken
place. Though the circumstances varied, the exchange was
irrevocable. Return to unfriendly Arab countries by the
Oriental Jews is obviously unthinkable. Likewise, Palestinian
refugeees cannot expect to return under any circumstances.
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