Did They Stay or Did They Go?

An article on Christian Arabs in The Economist begins with the following:

While Israel’s 1.4m Muslim citizens vociferously champ for the right to return to the lands they fled in 1948, when Israel was created…

Evidently someone at The Economist must be confused. For starters, 1.4 million Muslims did not flee Israel in 1948 (the number was half that) and if they had, they would not be citizens as The Economist described them.

And even then, today’s Arab Israelis are living as full citizens in mixed cities such as Haifa, Akko and Jaffa as well as their own villages in the Galilee region and Bedouin settlements in the Negev to name but a few. They certainly aren’t “vociferously champing” for a right of return.

It’s these sorts of supposedly minor errors that add up to the historical distortion of events in the region. Time The Economist checked its figures.

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