Somebody please see to it that Mr.Carter reads this. The author of the Oct. 5 letter, "U.S. winks at illegal settlements In Palestine," claims to have had a "mind numbing" experience from reading a previous letter of Sept. 27, "No illegal occupation of land by Israel." Here are a few facts to increase the numbness: The estimated number of Palestinian Arab refugees created in 1948 varies wildly from 158,000 to 650,000, depending on who is doing the counting. These numbers come from divergent sources including the Arabs. The 800,000 figure mentioned in the letter is highly inflated. These Palestinian refugees were placed into "refugee camps" by their Arab brothers and are used as propaganda pawns by the Arab leaders. These Palestinian Arabs were not forcibly driven from their homes in 1948. They fled out of fear and urging of their leaders. I was there and my brigade never received any orders to drive civilians from there homes. In March 1948, the Arab Higher Committee ordered women, children and the elderly in various parts of Jerusalem to leave their homes. In April-July of 1948, dozens of villages received these evacuation orders. Any opposition to these evacuations was considered an obstacle to the Holy War. Time magazine published photos in 1948 of Arab soldiers escorting Palestinian Arabs from their homes. There were 65.000 Palestinian Arabs living Haifa in 1948. These Arabs were ask not to leave by the Israelis. While 4,000 stayed, the rest fled out of fear and due to having been ordered to leave by their leaders. We all hear about the "Palestinian" refugees, while there is very little mention of the Jews who were driven from the Arab countries after the 1948 war. Persecution and murder of Jews living in Arab countries increased greatly after the creation of Israel. This led to 750,000 Jews being forced out of various Arab countries, with only the shirts on their backs.Between 1948 and 1972, 586,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries were resettled in Israel.
Islamist militants attack African Union base in southern Somalia (Reuters)