Rashida Talib calls Israel’s Creation “Ethnic Cleansing”

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on May 15, 2020

Not all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, and merely advocating for Palestinians is not anti-Israel. However, espousing anti-Israel sentiment constantly that is mired by historical relativism and presented as Palestinian activism is anti-Israel. 

Rashida Talib has a tendency of espousing such rhetoric.

On the Anniversary of Israel’s Independence, she tweeted that the creation of Israel resulted in 750 000 refugees and was an “ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” This statement omits a few significant facts.

What about the Jewish refugees?

At the same time historically, 850 000 Jewish refugees were displaced from the Arab lands, including areas later known as Gaza and the West Bank. 

The Arab-Israeli war is portrayed here as ethnic cleansing by the Jewish population because of the significant number of Arab Palestinian refugees, yet, many forget that millions of Jewish refugees who sought refuge in Israel to escape religious persecution in The Middle East and from around the world.

The attacks on Israel became more malicious when you look at the real ethnic cleansing that happened, as is still happening in the land. To understand, you need to see an actual map of the British Mandate Palestine from 1922.  


“Palestine” is modern-day Jordan and Israel. After the boundaries of Palestine as a State for Jews was agreed upon in the San Remo resolution in 1920, parts of the Arab leadership revolted in 1923 (led by the Hashemites) that resulted in the first two-state solution and partition of Palestine into Arab East Palestine (later renamed Jordan) and Jewish West Palestine. 

All Jews were forcibly expelled from East Palestine (Jordan), where it remains a crime to sell land to a Jewish person. Similar laws now exist in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Arab Palestinians Started the war

After the Jews were removed from East Palestine, they started the process of establishing a Jewish State in West Palestine. But, the British undermined them while multiple massacres and pogroms occurred by their Arab neighbours. 

In 1947, after the Holocaust, the Jewish population was willing to accept almost any condition that would create a state and approved the 1947 partition plan, which would divide Mandatory Palestine again, leaving them with less than 20% of what was promised initially. They accepted the proposal.

On the other hand, the Arab population and their militias rejected the plan feeling like they could get 100% of the land after the British left, considering they had the support of the armies from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

The day after the British left, Israel declared independence, and the six Arab armies declared war on Israel, stating that they would “Drive the Jews into the Sea.”

Despite an international arms embargo in the region, they managed to win their independence war, or the “Nakba” as Rashida Talib calls it, which leads me to my next point. 

Due to the overwhelming odds in favour of the Arabs initially, many Arab Palestinians were moved off their lands by the Arab armies who promised their return following the war. Therefore, most of the 750 000 Arab refugees never saw an Israeli soldier.

There is no Ethnic cleansing because the exact opposite occurred

The ridiculous aspect of this accusation is that the Arab and Muslim population in Israel is somehow increasing, not decreasing.


Rashida Talib’s claim is antisemitic because Israel has an ethnically and religiously diverse population, where the alleged victims of “ethnic cleansing” have increased their population ten-fold since 1948 when Talib claims the “ethnic cleansing” began.

It is compounding this gross allegation with the laws that prevent Jews from living in over 70% of what makes up historic Palestine.

For the record, there are legitimate conversations to be had in the wake of the Israeli-Arab conflict. If Palestinian activists want to bring up checkpoints, the security fence, blockades or any other legitimate issue, it would be worthwhile engaging, permitting civil discourse remains.

However, to falsely attribute the world’s only Jewish state of genocide/ethnic cleansing while denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination is antisemitism dressed up in a cloak of political correctness.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

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