Myth: Israel Caused the Palestinian-Arab “Refugee” Problem

More than 60,000 Yemenite Jews (like those pictured above) were persecuted and forced to flee during and after the 1948 War of Independence (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons).

FACT: As a result of the 1948-49 War of Independence (when five Arab armies attacked the newly formed Jewish state intending to destroy it), roughly 1 million Jewish-Arabs and 700,000 Palestinian-Arabs became refugees. While Israel absorbed nearly all the Jewish-Arab refugees, surrounding Arab nations refused to absorb the Palestinian-Arabs. As a result of this and many anti-Palestinian policies of the Arab World and the United Nations, the Palestinian-Arabs became the only refugee population in history to increase instead of decrease over time.

The Palestinian-Arab refugees and their descendants have been subjected to discrimination, racism, and sometimes even torture and death. However, this has not been at the hands of Israel; rather, it has been at the hands of the Arab countries and the United Nations.

Please see ZOA Campus’s in-depth fact sheets on Palestinian-Arab refugees and Jewish-Arab refugees for an in-depth description of this problem.