The Arab states refrained from helping the Arab refugees to integrate into their place of residence, and in fact exacerbated their distress, so that it might become a propaganda weapon against Israel. This despite the fact that many solutions have been proposed for their rehabilitation. For the Arab countries, a solution to the refugee problem could be considered a step toward recognizing the State of Israel.
The Prime minister of Syria: “Since 1948, we have demanded the return of the refugees … although because of us they left their country … We brought the disaster on … the many refugees by calling them to come and pressuring them to leave … We made them dispossessed … We turned them into beggars … We took part in downing their moral and social level … and then we used them to commit murder “(p. 30).
Salah Jaber, former Iraqi prime minister, said: “The exit of 120,000 Jews from Iraq to Israel is a blessing for Iraq and the Palestinian Arabs because it allows a similar number of refugees to enter Iraq and seize the Jewish homes there …” (p. 34).
According to a report in an Egyptian newspaper: “Syria has officially requested that half a million Egyptian farmers be allowed to immigrate in order to help develop land that will be handed over to them as their property. At the same time, the Syrians prohibited the permanent settlement of refugees “(p. 35).
The Director of the UN Relief and Agency, 1958: “… The Arab states want to leave the refugee problem as an open wound, as an insult to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. The question of whether the refugees will live or die is totally insignificantâ(p. 36).
King Hussein: “The Arab leaders treated the Palestinian problem irresponsibly … They exploited the Palestinian people for selfish political purposes …” (p. 36).
Many programs were offered, funds were provided from international sources, and studies were conducted. One of the findings was a report submitted by the International Development Advisory Council, which determined that, as part of appropriate development, Iraq alone could absorb 750,000 Arab refugees (p. 33).