Under this new hashtag, photos and stories of Palestinian grandmothers are published to support US representative Rashida Tlaib, who dropped her plans to visit her grandmother, Sitty Muftiya, in the area west of Jordan in order to boycott Israel.
Tlaib had asked to visit her 90-year-old grandmother after Israel had initially banned her and another Democrat congressman from entering the country. However, when Israel suspended the ban for humanitarian reasons, she changed her mind, saying she didn’t want to be brought to her knees.
Since that decision, images and stories have been shared with the hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty.
When on November 29, 1947, on behalf of the United Nations General Assembly, both the Israeli and the Arab populations were offered the establishment of independent states by a two-thirds majority, the Israeli side accepted the offer, while the Arab side refused an independent country. Instead, a joint war with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria was launched to destroy the newly founded state of Israel.
This war resulted in two streams of refugees. One stream consisted of 500,000 refugees, the other of 850,000 refugees. Let us first look at the larger group of refugees.
In the course of that war of extermination against Israel – which continues to this day in many Arab states -, 850,000 Jews were expelled from their Arab homelands. They were deprived of their property and citizenships. Since then, several Arab nations have perfected their expulsion policies to such an extent that not a single Jew remains, for example Libya and Algeria.
Compared to 1948, only 0.9% of the Jewish population is currently living in the Arab world. What about Israel? Has the Arab population declined in Israel like the Jewish people in the Arab world? No, the Arab population has almost doubled.
Today there are almost twice as many Arabs living in Israel as in 1948, and are full citizens of a democratic country. Let us therefore take a look at the 500,000 Arab refugees.
When Israel was founded in 1948, the Arab world declared a war of extermination against Israel. In the course of this war, the Arab population was promised a victorious return once the Jewish state was destroyed. 500,000 people left their homeland, although most of them were not forced, at least not by the Israeli side. On the contrary, Israel even offered the Arabs to remain and become full citizens of the new country. 160,000 Arabs accepted the offer.
There are now 1,250,000 Arab Israelis. It’s evident that Arab refugees were in fact emigrants who listened to anti-Jewish propaganda. The word „refugee“ in that context is just a propaganda tool.
Therefore, I’d like to direct a few questions to the Sittys who left Israel: Why did you leave Israel? Did you hope that Israel would be destroyed so that you could return? That hope is not very different from an attitude which was dominant in Germany seventy years ago!
You’re really ideologically not so different from the Nazis, who had declared Jews illegal settlers in Europe.