I read this book – From Time Immemorial – I think the premise of the book is sound but some statistics might be skewed. Yes, there was a migration of Arabs and Jews into “Palestine” roughly around the same time frames that each population groups had migrated into Israel / Palestine.
As Daniel Pipes asks in review of the book: “Why a separate definition [of refugee] for the Palestinians? In this case, however, it is someone who had lived in Palestine for just two years before the flight that began in 1948.”
“Miss Peters’s central thesis is that a substantial immigration of Arabs to Palestine took place during the first half of the twentieth century.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –
From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine is a controversial 1984 book by Joan Peters about the demographics of the Arab population of Palestine and of the Jewish population of the Arab world before and after the formation of the State of Israel.
According to Peters a large fraction of the Arabs of Palestine were not descendants of natives of Palestine at the time of the formation of Israel in 1948, but had arrived in waves of immigration starting in the 19th century and continuing through the period of the British Mandate. Peters contends that at the same time a much larger number of Jews than the number of Arabs fleeing Palestine, were driven out of the Arab countries and became refugees in Israel. She argues that what is referred to the 1948 Palestinian exodus is actually a population exchange that resulted from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.