I am pretty new to the topic and just finished A. Razak Abdel-Kader's Conflicts between Jews and Arabs, as one of my first books on the topic. He mentions more than 3/4 of Arabs left in 1948, who became afraid following fake news of threats from Jews at this moment. He mentions Jews asked them to stay despite those news, that this state would not be able to survive without them.

By trying to learn more about it, I came across the historian Ilan Pappé wiki, mentioning Arabs were mainly fleeing fights. An other historian, Benny Morris explains it was deliberate from the Jews.

The two wikis mention sources from Israeli archives and Ben Gurion's letter. So where can I find sources going deeper than this and why is it so hard to find the truth?

  • 3
    You should be aware that the conflict did not start in 1948.
    – sds
    Jun 29 '17 at 21:17
  • I didn't say it was. I'm asking about one specific moment in time Jun 29 '17 at 22:03
  • 2
    I think the problem here is first, that there's not going to be one single reason for everyone who left. At the extremes, some may have feared harm from the Jews, others may have wanted to leave the invading Arab armies a clear field for killing all the Jews. And everyone who writes about it is likely to have a bias towards one or another being the primary factor.
    – jamesqf
    Jun 30 '17 at 17:35
  • I want to add One reason has caused many arab to left their homes was fake news by some arab journalists about raping women by Jews, and this issue is very sensitive to the arab
    – Mr.lock
    Jul 1 '17 at 14:19
  • @DavidBensoussan: I noticed this: "So where can I find sources going deeper than this and why is it so hard to find the truth? What are you really going for with this question?
    – J Asia
    Jul 22 '17 at 23:51

This site has a great list of free, online newspaper archives that include coverage from 1948 Palestine. In particular, check out the link for The Jewish Press site, which has English-language content for the Palestine Post and other papers in the area. I found that a search on 'fleeing' turns up a lot of relevant content... you can quickly zero in on 1948 and easily scan the results. For example, there's a May 7, 1948 article: Arabs Flee By The Thousands

Of course, bear in mind that this is an Israeli publication, so it represents a particular perspective. But it's a great primary source, just the same.

Let us know what you find.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.