More ‘Palestinians’ live in Chicagoland than any other American metropolis

If so, there are likely more Hamas and Hamas-linked Muslims in Chicagoland too.

Little Beitunia – Orland Park, Illinois’ ‘Palestinian’ diaspora.

via More Palestinians live in Chicagoland than any other American metropolis | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago.

Chicagoans are fond of saying that there are more Poles here than anywhere outside of Poland. But ask about Palestinians and you may get a blank stare. As it turns out, there are likely more Palestinian immigrants living in the Chicagoland area than anywhere else in the U.S.

The nexus of Arab American life in the Chicago region is the city’s Southwest suburbs. Bridgeview, the oldest and most established of the area’s Muslim community, is seen as the hub, but the community also extends to neighboring towns like Oak Lawn and Orland Park.

When listeners learned that reporter Michael Puente and I planned to visit Orland Park this week, they asked us to look into the town’s diverse population. “I work out in Orland and I’d be interested to hear you address the large Arabic populations here,” listener Eric Olsen told us. “Where are they from?”


“There are 23,000 people living here from Beitunia,” he told us, much to our surprise. “And only 2,000 back in Beitunia.”

The truth is more complicated, but surprising nonetheless. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, there were closer to 20,000 people living in Beitunia as of 2007. But sociologist Louise Cainkar, a professor at Marquette University and an expert on Arab immigration, backs up the underlying thrust of Hassan’s claim.

“Historically Beitunia was the largest feeder village [of Palestinian immigrants] to Chicago,” she said.

Cainkar has spent time in Beitunia and has seen the results of this relationship.

“[The village]used to be characterized by agriculture, but is now quite built up,” she said.

Cainkar says the investment from money made in the U.S. and sent back to the village in the form of remittances is visible.

Cainkar estimates that as many as a quarter of all Palestinians living in the U.S. live in the counties surrounding Chicago — more than live any other American city. And, Palestinians make up the single largest Arab ethnic group in the Chicago region, according to Cainkar — as much as 40 percent of the area’s total Arab population.

Cainkar said the biggest wave of Palestinian immigration to the U.S. came in the 1980s and ‘90s. Many who came were not immigrants but students, Cainkar said, earning advanced degrees.Many of those same students-turned-engineers, say, went on to live in Persian Gulf states, drawn by the promise of good paying jobs funded with oil boom money. But 350,000 Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait and other Gulf states in 1990 after the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) refused to back foreign intervention as a solution to Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait. Cainkar said that for many of these Palestinians, “this meant their only other option for survival was the U.S.”

“Overall Arab income in the U.S. is higher than the median income of the U.S. as a whole,” Cainkar said. “Usually groups that face discrimination don’t do well in this country, but they’re an exception to this pattern.”

Read it all and related story here.

19 Responses

  1. CHICAGOLAND, OBAMA-LAND, ERIC HOLDER-LAND, OBAMA-BAD, CHICAGO-ISTAN, PALESTINISTAN…..Yup, makes sense to me….

    BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER!!!!!

    • Chicago was 2nd largest city in 60′s and I lived there…Met people who stopped there en route Las Angeles…I have not lived there since 1964 and it will never be the great city I knew. Oak St Beach was wonderful. Not even a place to visit…I love Chicago history.

      • Bu, bu, but, you know they are the absolutest , mostest quintessentialest, PURVEYORS of truth and righteousness and purity and honesty and love and brotherly kindness and, and, and…….

        SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, ‘Beverly’!!!
        P.S. Oh yeah, I think I somehow forgot about Rahm-imanuel-istan! Hmmm!!! How could I?????

  2. Thanks for the info.

  3. Reblogged this on A Lot Of Coffee and Sleepless Nights.

  4. I don’t know why they call it diaspora? If I have some reservations on calling the Palestinian case a “diaspora” because:

    1. Diaspora is a name in history of the Jews people when they had to spread all over the world. In this case, it was against their will and they had no option while the Palestinians had many options including going to Ben Goriun University, going to countries all over the world.

    2. While the Jews suffered in diaspora, the Palestinians became rich outside Palestine with everyone to help including some Jews. I experienced this in NYC.

    3. While Israel eventually has Israel, the Palestinians moved everywhere, shered colleges seats with the natives just because the leader of that country wanted to make a name of himself like Asad.

    4. While inflation in Israel is too high, it is not as much in Palestine.

    5. Eventually, one can say that the Jews had an obligation to run for their lives while the Palestinians had many options and ran voluntarily and made more money than those native of the host countries.

    • There are no Palestinians. There is no country called Palestine. There never has been. The Roman General Hadrian renamed the country of Israel to “Palestine” during the Roman invasion that occurred about 135 C.E. Israel had been Israel for almost ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED YEARS by then.

      The “Palestinians” are not the ancient Philistines, either. No genetic matches at all. Secondly, the Philistines were FOREIGNERS in the land, having sailed there from elsewhere. The name Philistine in ancient Hebrew is Plishtim and it means Foreigner.

      Get rid of the idea that such at thing as a Palestinian exists. It doesnt. It never has. Those calling themselves Palestinians were just plain ordinary Lebanese, Syrian, Yeminite, etc. before Yassir Arafat in the 1960s told them to start calling themselves Palestinians – and he promised that within 2 to 3 generations he would have the entire world believing there is such a thing as a Palestinian, that they are native to the land, and they are like the native americans who were dispossessed of their land.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. Please go Google “Palestinians Don’t Exist” for some actual historical facts rather than the slop the Arabs have been shoving down the world’s throats. Be careful what you swallow.

      • P.S. After the Roman General Hadrian renamed Israel to Palestine around 135 CE, it STILL wasnt a country of its own, but a TERRITORY of Rome, and it remained a territory of every country that invaded it since. Including the Arab countries. Never has there existed a country of its own called Palestine. No Palestine culture, no Palestine religion, no Palestine lifespan rituals, no Palestinian ancient houses, no Palestinian flag, no Palestinian kings or queens, no Palestian ANYTHING. Ever. Right up until today.

      • Well, I believe I saw Menahem Begen listening to Sadat in the Kenneset talking about a Palestinian State and he did not object.

      • All that your comments have going for them is that they are true. These days, that’s less than nothing.

  5. To ‘mohamed’ – I’m absolutely awe struck by your insight. It appears that your blogging name is no reflection on your ability to judge with a clear, sound mind!!!

    If you are muslim–then God bless you! If you are a former muslim–then God bless you! And if you’re just using the name of ‘mohamed’ to fool the jihadi ‘secret police’ then God bless and spare you from all hurt, harm or danger!!! Amen!!!!

    • God Bless you too.

      I am a Muslim and I love the Bible very much and I read it many times.
      I also read the Koran and I do not understand what Muslim Brotherhood are talking about. Muslim Brotherhood are not the only nuts who runs crazy anyway.

      I believe Israel will survive and if you ask any Palestinian which country they love more, they will point to Israel.

      • Except you need to lose the idea that such a thing as a Palestinian exists. It doesnt. By saying it does, the battle is already lost. Because its giving legitimacy to a fairy tale, a lie. Please stop doing it. Thanks.

        • Why you say that while Israel itself cares for them, gives them education, gives them jobs, and trust them. No, there are Palestinians and not all Palestinians hate Israel. I met some Palestinians who love Israel more than their own government that is fighting for politicsa while Israel cares for them.

  6. Okay everyone, ready to believe in unicorns? One….two…three!!! Unicorns!! Oh wait, Palestinians!! Same thing. Neither exists. Please, let’s not let the United States become another enabler of these garden variety Arabs.

  7. Certainly palastinians exists. The manager of our local gas station is a palastinian. Seems like nice enough guy but I wonder if we have so many potential enemies in such a position could they become a third collumn if unpleasantries erupt?

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