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In 1948, Palestinians lost land. But not to Israel


Palestinians take cover from Israeli tear gas during clashes near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on May 18. (Mohammed Saber/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The May 9 The World article “A modest opening for new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem” described what the Palestinians call the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” as the anniversary of the date on which Palestinians “lost their land when the Israeli state was created in 1948.” That is partially true: In the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the Palestinians did in fact lose what was offered to them with the loss of the West Bank; the Palestinians did in fact lose what was offered to them with the loss of Gaza. But the dark little secret that the manipulative sentence left out was that the Palestinians lost the West Bank not to Israel but to their land-grabbing brethren Jordan. And they lost Gaza not to Israel but to their land-grabbing brethren Egypt. This set of facts is critical to assess what happened to the Palestinians and who is culpable. As most know, but The Post routinely omits, the war was started by the local Arabs and neighboring Arab countries. If the Palestinians had accepted the two-state solution of 1947, there would be no conflict today, and the two-state solution would be going on its 71st year.

The problem stems from the seminal point that the Palestinians have time and again refused the two-state solution and have continued this refusal to this day. Hopes and wishes by the media will not change this fact. The empty words of peace by Palestinian leaders are in no way consistent with their actions. It’s time this is acknowledged. The truth may not bring peace, but culpability will shape world opinion and perhaps push the Palestinians to realize that their 70-year attempt to defeat Israel is over. 

Michael Berenhaus, Potomac

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