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The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Book Review

The Double Exodus
A study of Arab and Jewish Refugees in the Middle East.

From a foreword by Philip Goodhart, MP

The 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 War II.

From 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.

By 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.

In 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.

When Vietnam was partitioned in 1956, 800,000 North Vietnamese, many of whom were Roman Catholic, moved to South Vietnam to escape from Ho Chi Minh’s regime. During the major Communist offensives in the mid-1960’s 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.

In 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.

There 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 Israel’s borders for political reasons.

A 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 Arab lands.

The 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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