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From sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu Tue Jan 9 11:19:31 2001
From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics) <sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu>
To: Elizabeth Aaronsohn <aaronsohn@mail.ccsu.edu>
Subject: AP Misstating Refugees' Fate -- Again!
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 10:41:22 -0500

AP Misstating Refugees' Fate—Again!

By Sami Deeb <sami_deeb@hotmail.com>, 8 January 2001

AP report by Lawrence L. Knutson titled Clinton Sending Envoy to Mideast, Sunday January 7 3:28 PM ET

Dear Associated Press,

I have few comments on the report above. Mr. Knutson wrote:

.... Arafat is making the claim in behalf of 3.5 million to 5 million Palestinians who left the country at its founding as a Jewish state in 1948.

History now recognizes that the vast majority of the 1948 Palestinian refugees (over 90 percent) were either expelled by Israel, or fled in panic in the face of the advancing Israeli army, which has consciously and deliberately used massacres and terror as means to force the Palestinians to leave. Most importantly, Israel's historians have recognized this fact well over a decade ago.g

To describe what happened to the refugees simply as left the country is a severe misrepresentation, and a disservice to the victims. Why would someone leave his/her homes and possessions if there wasn't a compelling reason for him/her to do so? Would the Kosovars left their home describe honestly what happened to the latter two years ago?

The description left the country implies complete voluntariness on the part of the Palestinians, which is far from the truth. Furthermore, it absolves Israel from its role of intentionally driving the Palestinians out -- as the declassification of many of Israel's 1948 archives has affirmed.

If anything, the above formulation helps Israel and President Clinton, in their denial of Israel's responsibility, and of the Palestinian refugees' internationally recognized right to return. This right is further enshrined in human right laws, Article 13, *regardless* of what made the refugees leave.

Upon reading the report above, the reader will surely reach the distorted conclusion that Israel doesn't owe the Palestinians refugees anything, which apparently did them no wrong.

Please relay the truth like it is; use the proper, unambiguous and unequivocal designation for what Israel did to the Palestinians in 1948: Forced them out. Doing otherwise serves injustice.


Sami Deeb, 01/08/2001