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Palestine Before 1947 By Refaat M. Loubani
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כדילתרגם לעברית
Posted on November 7, 2001

By Refaat M. Loubani


PUBLIC opinion has been led by the Zionist propaganda machine to believe that Palestine was a neglected desolate land without a people in need of a people without a country and that developments and progress were the result of Zionist Initiative. As it will be proven below, this is not true.

The Holy Land, since the Crusader genocide, has been renowned for its olive groves and olive oil industry; and long before Zionist immigration began in 1920, Palestine was known as a citrus exporting country, famous for the Jaffa Orange. It is unknown when the citrus industry was first developed in Palestine but records shows that in 1912 ؟1913, the Arabs had exported 1,608,570 cases of oranges to Europe.

As regards the hill regions, the country is covered with olive orchards, vineyards and other deciduous fruit trees; while the lands in the South were used for the cultivation of grain, and those in the Jordan Valley for the production of vegetables and fruits. Every inch of fertile soil was used to full capacity; and more and more rocky patches were being turned into orchards and groves. In that regards, its worth quoting Ahad Ha'Am, a leading Eastern European Jewish essayist who visited Palestine in 1891 for three months, when he tried to open many Jewish people eyes:

"We abroad are used to believe the Eretz Yisrael is now almost totally desolate, a desert that is not sowed ..... But in truth that is not the case. Throughout the country it is difficult to find fields that are not sowed. Only sand dunes and stony mountains .... are not cultivated." (Righteous Victims, p. 42)

Is it not ironic that Israel should today claim and take pride in the two principal agricultural industries, citrus and olives, started and developed over the centuries by the Arab victims of Israeli aggression?

Following is a list showing the major crops of Palestine before 1947 and the portion produced by Jews:

Citrus

The total area planted with citrus before the British mandated terminated was 281,448 dunums, (1 dunum = 1,000 sq. meters) of which 139,728 dunums were owned by the Jews.

The export of oranges was as follows: -

Period Orange boxes exported*
1908 - 1909 744,463
1910 - 1911 869,850
1912 - 1913 1,608,570
1938 - 1939 16,000,000

* A box of citrus on average contained 144 oranges.

Olives

During the 1944 - 1945, the area of the land planted with olives was 595,405 dunums, of which the Jews owned only 7,000 dunums or less than 1.2%. In the year 1944 - 1945, the amount of olive produced was 75,341 tons. The number of fruitful olives trees was estimated to be 6,000,000 trees and each tree produces 2 kg. during the draught periods and 12 kg. in the fruitful periods, and an average of 7 kg. per year.

Other agricultural products

The breakdown of the other agricultural production in 1944 is as the following:

Palestinian

Jewish

Total

Dunums Tons Value* Dunums Tons Value* Dunums Tons Value*

Grains

4,152,438 193,376 4,403,409 215,191 16,579 497,048 4,367,629 209,955 4,900,457
Vegetables 239,733 189,104 5,113,553 40,207 55,730 1,745,870 279,940 244,834 6,859,423
Fodder 23,970 20,827 156,847 119,578 176,525 951,178 143,543 197,352 1,108,025
Fruits** 355,709 73,320 3,139,374 37,217 21,398 1,379,620 392,926 94,718 4,518,994
Olives 592,546 78,287 3,320,320 7,587 1,182 53,235 600,133 79,469 3,373,555
Melons 120,304 135,634 969,630 5,675 7,193 83,975 125,979 142,827 1,053,605
Total 5,484,700 690,548 17,103,133 425,455 278,607 4,710,926 5,910,150 969,155 21,814,059
Percentage 92.8% 71.25% 78.40% 7.20% 28.75% 21.60% 100% 100% 100%

Source: Survey of Palestine, prepared by the British Mandate for the United Nations, p. 323-327
* Value in Palestinian Pound
** Non-citrus fruits. Note that Citrus production totaled of 248,274 dunums of which 120,897 dunums were Jewish owned (Supplement to Survey of Palestine, p. 37)

Demographic Makeup & Land Ownership in 1947

At the end of World War I, Palestine was an Arab country similar to other parts of the Arab World. It had a population of Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslims Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000 Jews (including many European Jews from the first and second Aliyah). So the Jewish population of Palestine in 1914 made up under 8% of the total population (Righteous Victims, p. 83). It should noted that most Palestinian Jews (Yishuv) at the time where mostly Hasidic Jews concentrating in and around Jerusalem, Safad, and Jaffa, and only 12,000 of these Jews lived on the land as farmers.

The number of Jewish colonies in Palestine in 1914 was 47 colonies distributed as follows:

Region No. of Zionist Colonies
Coastal Plain 22
Marj Bin Amir 1
Al Ghoar / Beisan Valley 6
Northern Galilee & Houleh 5
Southern Plain 7
Jerusalem Mountains 2
Careml or Haifa 4
Total 47

This is against a total number of 21 cities and 949 towns and villages in the Arab area distributed as follows:

District No. of Cities No. of Villages Total
Galilee 5 198 203
Haifa 1 52 53
Nablus 4 270 274
Jaffa 3 93 96
Jerusalem 5 272 277
Gaza 3 64 67
Total 21 949 970


As of 1918, Jewish land holdings amounted to 162,500 acres out of a total of 6,674,560 acres which is the total area of Palestine (27,009 Sq. Km.). This is equivalent to 2.4% of the total land area of Palestine. These consisted of holdings partly in the principal towns and partly in 47 Jewish settlements in different parts of the country. When the British mandate was terminated in 1948 and the Jewish state came into existence, Jewish land holdings had increased to only 372,925 acres or 5.6% of the total land area of Palestine of 6,674,560 acres still an insignificant figure to justify the Israeli usurpation of Palestine, click here for a map illustrating Palestine's land ownership per district in 1945. On the other hand, the Jewish population in Palestine jumped to 500,000 out of 1,700,000 (the total population of Palestine in 1948), which is still less than 30% of the total population of the country, click here for a map illustrating Palestine's population distribution per district in 1946.

Population

Land Ownership (acres)

Arabs Jewish Arabs Jewish
1917 738,000 59,00 6,512,060 162,500
92% 8% 97.6% 2.4%
1947 1,200,000 500,000 6,296,112 378,448
70% 30% 94.33% 5.67%


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Post Your Comment

Posted by Deano on December 17, 2011 #140231

Purdain347: Jews owned less than 6% of land in 1948. Palestinian Muslims/Christians were in possession of the rest - weo public and other which totalled about 9% of the land.

UN document dated 3 September 1947: "164. The Arab population, despite the strenuous efforts of Jews to acquire land in Palestine, at present remains in possession of approximately 85 per cent of the land. The provisions of the land transfer regulations of 1940, which gave effect to the 1939 White Paper policy, have SEVERELY RESTRICTED the Jewish efforts to ACQUIRE new land.”[source:unispal]
Posted by Anna Ruyssenaars on September 23, 2011 #138106

The comments here from -Brent- are very enlightening. I wish that everybody who feels the need to find most important facts about the Palestinian people, and about how the people who consider themselves being Zionists have brought down multiple disasters upon the Palestinians, will discover this web site page. Glad to know now that the biblical Canaanites were not brutally murdered then, and are alive and kicking!I wish that human beings could live in peace with each other and Mother Nature without being controlled by politicians and religion. What happened after 1948 to the Palestinian people is outrageous. Since 1959 it is also happening in Tibet. I am horrified by the man made suffering that is taking place for people and animals on an unprecedented wide scale on this planet. I am afraid that unbridled patriarchy has a lot to do with it, with most often some "God" on their side. Peace and Harmony for all living beings!
Posted by Brent on August 29, 2011 #137354

In response to "Assayag" you left out that the Zionist Jewish colonialists from Europe had the backing of wealthy European patrons backing them: especially the Rothschild Zionist bankers from Europe. This funding obviously gave the Zionist Jewish colonialists invading Palestine from Europe advantages over the local indigenous Palestinian Arabs (who descend from both the indigenous Canaanites and the actual Israelites). Yet despite this the Palestinians still had a great economy and also sold many things as exports to both other Arab nations in the region and also European nations. For example: The German geographer Alexander Scholch concluded that between 1856 and 1882 “Palestine produced a relatively large agricultural surplus which was marketed in neighboring countries, such as Egypt and Lebanon, and increasingly exported to Europe. These exports included wheat, barley, dura, maise, sesame, olive oil, soap, oranges, vegetables and cotton. Among the European importers of Palestinian produce were France, England, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Malta.”

It should also be noted that the Zionist colonialist invaders actually stole tons of businesses and property from the Palestinians they killed, ethnically cleansed, and made refugees in 1948. For just one example see the Palestinian Abu Laban Orange Company in Jaffa (pronounced Yaffa in Arabic) that was stolen by Zionist colonialist criminals who based a large part of their early colonialist economy on profits made by stealing the Jaffa oranges (and other crops) from Palestinian businesses.
Posted by A. Assayag on June 3, 2011 #135051

It is true that Jews owned less than 10% of the territory, but Arabs didn't own the rest. More than 40% of the territory (the Neguev desert) was not owned by individuals, it was state-owned land. Overall, a little bit more than 50% of the territory was public.
It is true however, that Palestine was not a desert before the beginning of the Zionist immigration. It was actually one of the most developped areas of the region. Nonetheless, it is also true that the Jews have redydanized entire regions like the Coastal plain which was one of the most underdevelopped region of Palestine at the end of the 19th century and which became the wealthiest one in the 1940's because the Jews settled mostly in this area.
Posted by Brent on May 24, 2011 #134681

Again (with spelling corrections) and additions.

"In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors." and other neighboring now Arabized, Arabic speaking Levantine peoples (like the Palestinians who are Levantine people that again Dr. Ariella Oppenheim proves are related to and descendants of the ancient, indigenous Canaanite people of Palestine: see the Jebusite Canaanites that Palestinians are descendants of). The "Bible" is corrupted and full of tons of errors, even secular academics and historians admit this the Canaanites were never killed off! As for your "6 Day war" comment the Zionists used a sneak attack against Egypt when half the Egyptian military was bogged down in a proxy civil war in North Yemen in 1967 (almost 70,000 Egyptian soldiers were based in and fighting in North Yemen during the "North Yemen Civil War" of 1962-1970. This included many elite Egyptian spell forces that had been sent to Yemen). The Zionists only won in 1967 because of their sneak attack with Egyptian forces away in Yemen, and also foreign support you Zionists got (see Holy Qur'an Surah 3:112), the Zionists were given and used top of the line French Dassault Mirage Fighter Jets. These French jets and all the Western colonialist backing was why they "won" at that time (they are losing now to Hezbollah, insha'Allah)! The Zionists are illegal occupiers of the whole land of Palestine; From The River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free! Insha'Allah.
Posted by Brent on May 24, 2011 #134680

Again: The "Israelites" did not even come into the land of Palestine (or Canaan) until 1000 BCE, the Canaanites whom the Palestinian Arabs are related to and descendants of (as proven by the genetic research of geneticist Dr. Ariella Oppenheim, an "Israeli" Jew herself from Hebrew University of Jerusalem) lived in the land of Palestine since 3000 BCE and were and are the indigenous people of the land of Palestine.
Posted by Brent on May 24, 2011 #134679

Also responding to the idiot and Zionist propagandist "Gabriel". The "Israelites" did not even come into the land of Palestine (or Canaan) until 1000 BCE, the Canaanites whom the Palestinian Arabs are descends of (as proven by the genetic research of geneticist Dr. Ariella Oppenheim, an "Israeli" Jew herself from Hebrew University of Jerusalem) lived in the land of Palestine since 3000 BCE and were the indigenous people of the land of Palestine.
Quote- Results of a DNA study by geneticist Ariella Oppenheim appears to match historical accounts that Arab Israelis and Palestinia­ns,[15][16­] together as the one same population­, represent modern "descendan­ts of a core population that lived in the area since prehistori­c times", albeit religiousl­y first Christiani­zed then largely Islamized, and all eventually culturally Arabized.[­15] Referring to those of the Muslim faith more specifical­ly, it reaffirmed that Palestinia­n "Muslim Arabs are descended from Christians and Jews who lived in the southern Levant, a region that includes Israel, Sinai and part of Jordan." Geneticist Michael Hammer praised "the study for 'focusing in detail on the Jewish and Palestinia­n population­s.'"[15]

Also you Zionist white Ashkenazi Khazar "Jews" are in no way related to the "Israelites", you fool! Just one thing proving this is the fact that today's "Jews" are most closely related to the people North of the Fertile Crescent. "In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors." and other neighboring now Arabized, Arabic speaking Levantine peoples (like the Palestinians who are Levantine people that again Dr. Ariella Oppenheim proves are related to and descends of the ancient, indigenous Canaanite people of Palestine: see the Jebusite Canaanites that Palestinians are descendants of). The "Bible" is corrupted and full of tons of errors, even secular academics and historians admit this the Canaanites were never killed off! As for your "6 Day war" comment the Zionists used a sneak attack against Egypt when have the Egyptian military was bogged down in a proxy civil war in North Yemen in 1967. The Zionists only won because of foreign support they got (see Holy Qur'an Surah 3:112), the Zionists were given and used top of the line French Dassault Mirage Fighter Jets. These French jets and all the Western colonialist backing was why they "won" at that time (they are losing now to Hezbollah, insha'Allah)! The Zionists are illegal occupiers of the whole land of Palestine; From The River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free! Insha'Allah.
Posted by Brent on May 24, 2011 #134678

To "purdin", the Zionist settlers had their slimy colonialist hands on control of only about 6.6% of Palestine's land in 1947. They only acquired this by exploiting the Ottoman land code of 1858; wherein Palestinian Muslim men had to avoid the Ottoman tax officials and military registration officials so as not to be drafted into the Ottoman military. "it is estimated that by the end of the Mandate not more than 6 to 7 per cent of the total area of Palestine was sold voluntarily to the agency (Jewish Agency for Israel), and more important, the sale was not initiated by Palestinian peasantry; rather it was primarily absentee landlords and local landowners, in addition to foreign interests, who co-operated with the settlers."
“This total area of Jewish land represents 6.6% of the total area of Palestine.”
Posted by Purdin347 on May 22, 2011 #134593

just wondering what % of the arab owned land was palestinian? because Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians and i think Jordanians, also owned a lot of land there and sold the land they owned to the Jewish settlers.
Posted by Gabriel on February 1, 2011 #129943

Israel precense in the region go back to at least 3000 years. The temple was build by the Jewish, the arabs invade the land many times during the last 2000 years. Israel took the land back, and it returned some land to the arabs after the "6 DAYS WAR" of 1967. What else do you want. Loosers!!!