Sky News Arabia

Sky News Arabia claims “5 million Palestinian refugees”….in 1949!

In a report published last week on its website (“Washington calls for the elimination of the Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees [UNRWA – CAMERA Arabic]”, May 23rd), Sky News Arabia claimed that there were five million Palestinian refugees….in 1949! (translation by CAMERA Arabic):

“It should be noted that UNRWA was founded in 1949 to provide education and health services to circa 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem”.

Of course, the real number of Palestinians UNRWA was mandated in 1949 to provide aid to is more than six times lower – around 750,000.   The agency has been criticised for the inflation in numbers of ”Palestinian refugees” over the years, an inflation prompted by a policy which – contrary to how other refugee groups in the world are treated – automatically grants refugee status to subsequent generations of Palestinians. 

Such criticism helps explain calls heard from Washington to close it down.

However, Sky News Arabia likely wouldn’t want its readers to be reminded of the connection between criticism aimed at UNRWA regarding their perpetuation of the “refugees issue” and American calls to axe the UN agency.  In this context, it seems clear why the network – a joint venture between the UK-based Sky News and the UAE-based Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. – would falsely claim there were 5 million refugees all along.

Research and writing by CAMERA Arabic. Edited by UK Media Watch.

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59 replies »

  1. Yet Jews everywhere have a ‘right’ to go and live in Israel millennia after they left. Yeah, right. Hypocrites.

    • No, that doesn’t equate to “hypocrisy” — it would only be hypocritical to insist that once a State of Palestine is created
      (ex hypothesi) from most of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians have no right to return from other nations and reside there, but Jews should retain the right to move to Israel and live there.
      Do you see now? Do you see why that would be contradictory and hypocritical?

    • That right of return and settlement was enshrined in international law by way of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922. Under Article 80 of the UN Charter, no international body could diminish that right. It was viewed as an appropriate effort to right an historical wrong as a part of the disposition of the Middle East holdings of the defeated Ottoman Empire after WWI.
      In that context, for those who speak of fairness, the Jewish people were the only indigenous group to re-establish their sovereignty, albeit today on a quarter of the historical homeland whose borders were set out in 1922. The Arabs, who had conquered the area by the 8th century, and dispossessed by other Muslims by the 12th, today find themselves ruling over 99.75% of the former Ottoman lands. Israel sits on the remaining 0.25%. Perhaps there is hypocrisy in this disposition, but if there is it overwhelmingly favors the descendants of Arab colonialists at the expense of the indigenous peoples of the region.

      • koufaxmitzvah, no one has the right to harass Jews online or any other place.

        In spite of the attempts by some to belittle the IHRA working definition on anti-Semitism the facts are that, along with other European Governments, the U.K. Government has adopted the IHRA definition.
        Whatever you might think of the European Parliament, they are the second largest democratically elected body in the World, they passed a resolution in 2017 adopting the IHRA definition, link below

        So anyone who claims to live in the U.K. but tries to belittle or refuse to accept the IHRA definition is baying at the moon.

      • I’m guilty of the same thing. Sometimes, we expect too much. Expecting Farmer to get educated is like expecting a waterfall to plunge up.

  2. Even the 1949 number of actual refugees is unknown as UNWRA admitted early in the 1950s, when it still believed its job was to assimilate the Arabs of Palestine in their host countries. There was little to no effort to investigate the applicants background and there was a widespread view that a not inconsiderable number of non-refugees applied to secure the welfare benefits provided. In addition, of course, there was no attempt to distinguish among Arabs of Palestine who had entered the Mandate legally and who entered illegally – as the latter group would not have qualified under international law.

  3. The original territory of the Mandate for palestine, set aside for the Jews, consisted of the territory between the Mediterranean Sea till the Desert of Arabia, that is, including Israel of today, Jordan and the Golan Heights.
    The day the Mandate for palestine was voted in London by all the 51 members of the League of Nations, the 24th of July 1922, the British, who had become the Mandatory Authority, suggested a proposal that had been accorded under Article 25 of the Mandate, and I quote: “In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory Authority shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold applications of such provisions of the Mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions…” Unquote!
    With this concession the British took the 77% of the Mandated Territory – all that east of the Jordan River and made an Arab State.
    This shows the ‘two state solution’ was implemented in 1923, with the vast majority of the district being given to the Arabs.
    The 23% west of the Jordan River was legally given to the Jews. It also includes Galilee , the Golan Heights, Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
    The British restricted Jewish immigration into the land that had been granted the Jewish people under the Mandate, though their Mandate was precisely to facilitate the setting up of that Homeland. In reality they allowed uncounted thousands of Arabs to move into the Jewish area, taking advantage of the opportunities now available due to the hard work of the Jewish settlers in building and agriculture.
    Winston Churchill said in 1938 that so many Arabs had entered illegally that the small number of Jews allowed by the British to Immigrate to a land theirs by any standard including International law, could not make up a fraction of new occupiers of the land.
    It was partially due to this restriction and illegal immigration that so many Jews were unable to leave Europe and fell victim to the Nazi Regime.
    Even after the war the British continued their policy, removing arriving death camp survivors to land legally Jewish, interning many of these poor survivors on Cyprus where they remained until the British withdrawal. When they withdrew many areas legally Jewish were handed over to Arabs instead.
    In the assault of the five Arab armies following Israel coming into being again in 1948, the Jordanian Army took Judea and Samaria (deliberately mis-named ‘The West bank’), and illegally annexed them, killing or driving out the Jewish people living there,the Egyptians did the same with Gaza. But from 1948 to 1967 when the IDF drove them out, they made no attempt to set up a ‘Palestinian State’.
    Meantime those Arabs living in Israel were not expelled, though some tens of thousands left. Instead they were granted citizenship and equality, which they still have, including representatives in the Knesset.
    Taking into consideration that the Mandatory Authority (the British) doesn’t exist anymore, Article 25 of the Mandate is actually null and void, but the Mandate for palestine remains International Law, can’t be rescinded, and was reaffirmed by Article 80 of the United Nations’ Charter. All the land currently under IDF occupation is Jewish under that charter and therefore in International Law.Gaza remains Jewish under International Law though it is not occupied – no Jews have lived there since Sharon gave it the the PA.

  4. Sky News Arabia … so many “news” channels in Arabic. Money talks … and tells lies.

  5. The visceral antisemitism on display in this thread is very telling. The Jewhate rage is so strong the keyboard is no longer manipulated in a controlled manner. All pretence is gone. 🇮🇱🕎

  6. Slightly O/T What is a JC journalist doing retweeting but not refuting the following lies? (It is only one or two people in the ensuing thread who are doing this)

    Ben Weich Retweeted

    Dr Rosena Allin-Khan‏Verified account @DrRosena · 6h6 hours ago


    I visited the West Bank and Jerusalem recently and spoke on @BBCR4Today about the cruel and inhumane permit system which means children in hospital can’t be accompanied by their parents.

    26 replies . 244 retweets 316 likes

  7. If memory serves, and it does, Arab refugees from the 1948 war were known as “Palestine refugees,” and not “Palestinian refugees” for reasons that were at the time obvious and since that time obfuscated, giving clowns such as Mike Farmer a reason to live. The numbers of Palestine refugees were not in the millions. And of course, there couldn’t have been more refugees than Arabs living there at the time, so 5 million is a ridiculous impossibility.
    But from that time until now there has never been a shortage of lies about it.