by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
An Arab refugee in Lebanon described in an interview on Palestinian Authority TV how he and other Arabs left for Lebanon from Israel during the 1948 war, after Arab leaders said their absence would be temporary:
“They said: ‘A week, two weeks, approximately, and you’ll return to Palestine,'” said Sadek Mufid.
This refugee’s testimony is yet another example of how Palestinian leaders, writers and refugees themselves have begun to speak out in recent years and openly blame the Arab leadership for the creation of the Arab refugee problem. Mufid describes a large departure to Lebanon from Israel, which led to the creation of “11 or 15 refugee camps.” He does not place the blame on Israel. As Palestinian Media Watch has previously reported, other recent Palestinian accounts likewise describe a deliberate exit from Israel under orders by Arab leaders, which contradicts the Palestinian leadership’s charge that the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who left in 1948 were expelled by Israel.
Sadek Mufid, who left Dir Al-Qasi (Acre region) in 1948, was interviewed on PA TV’s weekly program entitled Returning. Each program focuses on a different refugee camp.