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Foundation Myths

Stifling debate on the Nakba—the Arabic word for catastrophe and how Palestinians refer to Israel’s founding—prevents a free and open discussion of the historical record

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Arab families leaving Jaffa, 1948. (UNRWA)

On May 15, five days after Israel’s Independence Day, Palestinians rallied around the Nakba—the Arabic word for catastrophe, used to mark the displacement of as many as 750,000 Palestinians in 1948. It was a bid to reiterate their opposition to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and control of the Gaza Strip. For the first time in years, every Israeli newspaper carried the word “Nakba” on its front page, albeit not in reference to the historical event but to demonstrations that consumed the West Bank and Israel’s border towns. The episode highlighted an important truth: Sooner or later, Israel will be forced to incorporate the Palestinian Nakba narrative into the larger Israeli societal discourse. There can be a Zionist narrative of 1948 that includes the tragic and violent Palestinian experience of displacement—but it must be predicated on the acceptance of the Nakba in Israeli society.

My first experience with the history of the Nakba came as a young Jewish Studies student at the University of Maryland. One graduate seminar I attended was led by Benny Morris, the prominent Israeli historian responsible for revolutionizing his country’s historiography pertaining to the founding period. The subject of the seminar was 1948, and the course material—army reports from the field, personal letters, radio transcripts—came directly from Morris’ influential first book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, published in 1988.

Early on in the seminar, I asked Morris, a short man with a fiery personality, if it was difficult to be a post-Zionist—an adherent of a movement that strives to replace Israel’s Zionist identity with a liberal cosmopolitan one—in Israel. He responded, almost snapping at me, that he was not a post-Zionist and never had been. As I would see in the seminar, Morris had exposed one of Israel’s darkest chapters without abandoning a strong allegiance to Zionism.

The traditional Israeli 1948 narrative, which Morris challenges, starts with the Arab rejection of the U.N.-sponsored partition plan for Palestine. The plan guaranteed an Arab and a Jewish state, living in peace, after the British mandate over Palestine expired, according to that traditional narrative. Due to the Arab rejection of the plan, a violent regional war broke out in which a small number of Israeli soldiers fought thousands of Arab fighters bent on driving the Jews into the sea. Caught in the crossfires of war, the native Palestinian population voluntarily fled their homes to neighboring Arab countries. As the dust settled, the newly formed state of Israel had no choice but to refuse the return of the Palestinian refugees, given the high numbers of Jews who had been expelled from Arab countries in the course of the war.

In the late 1980s, a group of Israeli “new” historians began rewriting the foundation myths of the country. Through recently declassified Israeli and British state documents, the new historians uncovered a different version of events, which was much closer to Palestinian accounts of partial ethnic cleansing that took place in 1948. Led by Morris, a devoted archive historian, they were able to confirm that roughly 750,000 Palestinians fled from their homes, in part due to Israeli military force, small-scale massacre, episodic cases of rape, and violent intimidation. The new historians proved that Israel had planned to expel thousands of Arabs regardless of the success of the U.N. partition plan. As the 1990s dawned, Israeli society was no longer able to easily dismiss the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba as mere propaganda.

Israeli society was also slow to react to the information coming from the halls of academia. There has always been a narrative of Palestinian flight during 1948, but never one that acknowledged undertones of ethnic cleansing or active Jewish participation. Given the small size of Israeli society in 1948, it is striking that high-ranking military and intelligence officials, not to mention soldiers and kibbutz members who were responsible for expulsions, did not come forward in the 1950s and share their experiences.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli ministry of education faced a crisis when textbooks including the Palestinian narrative of 1948 were introduced for 11th- and 12th-grade students in 2009. For the first time in the history of the country, Palestinian narratives were presented alongside Israeli narratives, and the words “ethnic cleansing” appeared in high-school texts. In one section, the textbook’s authors argued that armed Jewish forces instituted a policy of ethnic cleaning, “contrary to the proclamations of peace in the Declaration of Independence.” After 61 years, the Palestinian narrative had reached Israeli high-school classrooms—but that inclusion did not last long. In 2009, the textbooks were replaced.

Despite the damaging nature of his research, Benny Morris maintained in opinion pieces and interviews that one must “break eggs to make an omelet.” He vociferously argued that ethnic cleansing was a necessary part of Israeli state building, just as the creation of the United States required the ethnic cleansing of the Native American population. In a now famous 2004 interview with Haaretz, Morris even argued that David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and commander of the Israeli Defence Forces in 1948, did not go far enough in the expulsion of Palestinians from newly controlled state territory. Had Ben Gurion removed all the Palestinians, Israel would have been better off in future conflicts with the Palestinians and the Arab world, Morris said.

Not all of the new historians share Morris’ rationale for Israeli actions in 1948. Ilan Pappé, author of the 2006 work The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and one of the prominent new historians, uses the Nakba to portray an overall Zionist strategy predicated on the ethnic cleansing of all the native inhabitants of historic Palestine to establish a Jewish state. Pappé is a social historian who relies on testimonies, interviews, and first-person accounts of Palestinians to construct his version of events. Unlike Morris’ pragmatism concerning the process of Israeli state building, Pappé has condemned the events of 1948, in his professional and political life, as a part in Israel’s growingly oppressive posture toward anything Arab, including Jews from Arab countries.

***

The Israeli social and political climate has not changed much since the new historians began publishing their books in the halcyon days of the Oslo peace accords. The Israeli political debate still lacks honest discussion of the Nakba and its relevance today. The Nakba debate and the groundbreaking research associated with it remain confined to small intellectual circles and the halls of academia, and even that arena is under attack. To mark the Nakba this year, Im Tirztu, an Israeli university group, published a 70-page booklet in Hebrew titled “The BS That Is the Nakba.” The pamphlet demonizes the new historians (excluding Morris, who is selectively referred to) and other Israeli academics for disseminating Arab propaganda about the country’s founding.

“There was automatic resistance when we first started publishing,” Benny Morris told me in a recent telephone interview from Oxford, where he is conducting research. “Many told me that the conflict with the Arabs is ongoing, and discussion of certain aspects of 1948 should wait until after the conflict is over and peace is here.”

Ilan Pappé told me by email from the University of Exeter, where he is a professor of Middle Eastern history: “One cannot deny that during the Oslo years (1993-2000), it was possible to air some questions about the Israeli mythology of the 1948 war. When I commenced my research I was convinced that there was a basis for a dialogue with my peers in the academia and with the public at large. But this was an illusion.” He continued, “The debate was allowed as long as it was conducted within the Zionist frame of mind; if you were able to liberate yourself from this mind-set, which I did, you were delegitimized as a partner in the debate.”

After the high-school textbook controversy broke with the Haartez coverage, education minister Gideon Saar launched an investigation that found “a great number of mistakes” in the text. The book, Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East, was quickly edited so that the term “ethnic cleansing” and most of the Palestinian narrative disappeared. New copies lacking the controversial terms—and without any explicit mention of the Palestinian narrative of 1948—were then sent to Israeli classrooms.

In March 2011, the Knesset passed a bill that made publicly-sponsored commemoration of the Nakba a punishable crime. The bill, sponsored by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, is designed to prohibit activity “which would entail undermining the foundations of the state and contradicting its values.” In practice, the bill will allow Israel to levy fines on local- and state-funded organizations that commemorate the Nakba inside the state.

The bill has been denounced by some, including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, as an attack on free speech, which it clearly is, and criticized for its vague language. Israelis and Palestinians on the right and the left will continue to differ about the meaning of the Nakba and the relative validity of different versions of their national narratives. But the refusal to acknowledge documented historical realities is clearly something else. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously put it, “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Including the Nakba in Israeli public discourse, newspapers, and textbooks hardly means the unqualified embrace of one version of history over another. But open discussion of competing narratives with reference to the historical record is clearly a precondition for any wider kind of social and political understanding between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel and between Israelis and Palestinians. Repressive attempts to criminalize narratives of the Nakba—however partial or wrong-headed its opponents may believe those narratives to be—block any possibility of mutual understanding and weaken critical discourse inside Zionist circles and within Israeli society as a whole. The most likely victim of such misguided attempts to shore up Zionism through attacks on free speech and the historical record is Zionism itself.

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Krzysztof says:

You shouldn’t write an essay of Morris’ narrative without even mentioning Efraim Karsh’s refutation of many of Morris’ arguments or Yoav Gelber’s arguments. This is misleading.

Krzysztof says:

erratum: or mentioning Yoav Gelber’s arguments

Carl says:

Two points:
First of all the Nakba was a disaster that the Arabs brought on themselves. They were handed a (second) state and threw it away in an attempt to destroy the Jewish state. It is also worth noting that in ALL Jewish settlements captured by the Arabs the Jews were either expelled or murdered. The Arabs made no secret of the fact that they were waging a war of extinction.
Second, what is missing in all these Nakba discussions is the bigger disaster that befell the 1 million Jews ethnically cleansed from Arab countries. In Palestine/Israel in 1948 there was in fact a civil war with Jews attacking Arabs and vice versa. In the Arab countries there was no war and the Jews were simply expelled or murdered fo the crime of being Jewish.

Joshua says:

I’m surprised that tablet is publishing an article by joseph dana. Dana is a public advocate of BDS movement against israel and imposing sanctions on israel until it allows all palestinian refugee descendants to return to israel hence transforming israel into an arab state. One of Danas best friends and collaborators, max blumenthal, recently called Benny Morris a “crude racist” in an article that also mentioned Dana. Im going to contact my friend Benny Morris today to let him know that his former student works with ppl that libel him as a crude racist.

Joshua says:

I just did a quick search on the author on the antizionist site mondoweiss where he is a contributor and came across an article by philip weiss which quotes dana as saying that his goal was to “end zionism in jewish thought and jewish life” therefore it is surprising that he ends this article with a warning about the end of zionism. The authors advocacy of the right of return and his involvement with the global BDS movement probably explain his advocacy of the nakba naarative.

Ian Wilson says:

The verbal attack on Joseph Dana is uncalled for. The article points to the new wave of historical research and simply highlights Dr Morris as one of the abundant new historians. It can be said that without Morris some of the above comments would never had come to the surface. Consider: No Benny Morris equals no Yoav Gelber or Efraim Karsh.
Further: Joseph Dana is a reporter reporting. Remember Free Speach is universal not elitist. Tablet magazine is a good read and by outsearching new journalists it can keep its readers informed from all sides of the debate. Joseph Dana and Benny Morris need to be heard just like anybody else.

Krzysztof says:

@Ian, the article is about the historical event and not about Mr. Morris or Pappe themselves. The author, whose right to free speech I don’t deny, in order to describe this historical event, chose to be very selective on narratives. And it is my right to freely express my criticizing comment (based on known scholars), and that’s why the talkbacks are…

In_Exile says:

Joshua,

You sound like a whining baby crying to your mommy. Free speach clearly is an attack on the values you hold dear. It is because people like you are ‘protecting’ the state of Israel, that truth and democracy suffer.

Joseph does not adequately spell out the differences between Benny Morris (the accidental ethnic cleanser) and Ilan Pappe’ (the ‘policy came from the top’ ethnic cleanser); but this does not matter, as he is attempting with rigour and fair-mindedness the creation of a basis for a life of equality between Israelis and Palestinians. Joshua is doing quite the opposite.

Tabley should not censor views that show clearly how important history is to our understand and transformation of the present.

David says:

I am all for free speech and including different viewpoints but the author advocates an academic boycott of israeli universities, which means that he believes that israeli academics should not have free speech. Is that not hyppocritical to call for the nakba to be recognized while also calling for israeli academics to be silenced abroad?

In_Exile says:

David, that is a fair. The question to me is: can one use the denial of ‘the right to freedom of speach’ as a political strategy against those who actively or silently endorse the ongoing occupation and brutalizing of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel?

Academic boycotts do allow Israel’s to speak abroad who are against the denial of Palestinian’s basic rights. So it is a matter of weighing up the right to engage in a political strategy to bring equality and rights to the Palestinian people ,(and this strategy seeks to gain support to the denial of Israelis their right to free speach) vs. the right of Israelis to express their opinions, racist or otherwise, lending support to the occupation or otherwise, while abroad.

Not an easy answer, but in this context promoting the denial of right of Israelis to speak abroad (who do note promote equality of rights) and endorse their regime’s removal of virtually all of the most basic Palestinian rights, is fair and just.

By all means, let’s have this debate and see who brought about the “Nakba” on themselves and whether the Palestinians calling the very existence of the Jewish state a “Nakba” promotes peace and mutual understanding. Of course, this will require introducing evidence from people with less hate for the Jewish people and more respect for standards of historical evidence than the kapo Ilan Pappe.

In_Exile wrote: “In this context promoting the denial of right of Israelis to speak abroad (who do note promote equality of rights) and endorse their regime’s removal of virtually all of the most basic Palestinian rights, is fair and just.”

In other words, you advocate free speech for everyone — as long as they agree with you.

Kleenex says:

It’s always important to note in the Nakba discussion (which of course is an important one), the context of history. Let’s remember that it was the Arab inhabitants of Palestine that rejected the universally accepted partition plan. It was that population with the force of 7 Arab armies that initiated war clearly to ethnically cleanse Palestine of Jews, and it was on the back of that invasion that the both the forced and voluntary exile took place. The other side of this coin had it turned out a victory for Palestinians would have been a Palestine depopulated of Jews, possibly massacred only several years after the holocaust. When Morris is good for the anti-Zionists in his historical work, yet discarded into the trash can by the anti-Zionists when he contextualizes the events that have emerged over time, the smell of hypocrisy lies thick in the air.

Steve Stein says:

Karsh’s criticism of Morris can be found here:
http://www.meforum.org/466/benny-morris-and-the-reign-of-error

Lee Jaffe says:

I love the selective free speech ploy, where only those we agree with are protected, and those who point out the flaws in the article or identify undisclosed background information are accused of censorship. (The “crybaby” bit was priceless!)

I knew nothing of the author’s background or politics before reading the comments (which is a flaw on Tablet’s part, I believe) but was disturbed by the very narrow version of 1948 historiography he describes. Tablet has chronicled the complexities of the scholarly pendulum swings of that narrative. In other words, the 1988 Benny Morris is not the same as the 2010 version. After all the debate, corrections, and shifts, a better understanding has emerged. Suggesting that the earlier Morris is now canonical, if only by omission, borders on fraud. But the author has stuck with the “ethnic cleansing” narrative, which he apparently prefers, even when its source has repudiated it.

Which brings me to the red flag in this article, the easy way in which author uses the term “ethnic cleansing” regarding Israel’s (and only Israel’s) actions. The larger narrative refutes the contention so thoroughly that those who continue to push the term in public discourse need to be called out for their bias and lack of integrity.

Joseph R. says:

Thanks Tablet, for publishing this piece. Rather than state my position or delegitimize Joseph Dana’s, I’d like to support healthy debate. Whether or not I agree with specific points about BDS and the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of 1948, I believe that we all have the right to make these arguments respectfully. At a time when censorship is becoming commonplace within the Jewish community, I appreciate Tablet’s open-minded editorial approach. Please, people, let’s stop calling other Jews “kapos.” In doing so, you disrespect the memory of the real kapos’ victims. A strong community can support real debate. A weak community insults, censors, excommunicates or delegitimizes other positions.

babawawa says:

Gosh, I feel robbed. All those years of American Revolutionary history and not one word about the British Nakbah. I mean, they must have been really upset about losing all that land with its natural resources in the colonies, only to be thrown back across the sea. Ouch!

One further point of context: the Holocaust. How can any examination of that era, with the Arabs calling for the destruction of the Jews in Palestine, be devoid of what that truly meant to the Jews then. Not only were the Arabs cognizant of what they were saying and what they wanted, but the Jews then knew what it meant. Israel wasn’t founded to be a joint Jewish-Arab state, just a Jewish one. Clear and simple, the Nakbah means the Arabs didn’t get their chance to exterminate the Jews. If you want to teach it to Israeli school children, at least be honest about it.

babawawa says:

If you don’t like terms like “kapo” thrown around, how about we shelve “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” in terms of the Palestinians. The greatest deterrent to war is losing, something the Pals haven’t quite figured out yet, because people, like this author, would shield them from it and stand convinced it’s not their fault. It is their fault. Let them grow up and move on.

I recall reading that over the years, Israel has allowed about 181,000 Arab Palestinians who left or were forced to leave to return to Israel. How many Jewish Palestinians have been restored to their settlements that were taken over by Arab Palestinians during the ’48 war?

Gene says:

I wonder why Germans don’t “celebrate” their “nakba” – the forcible expulsion of 7 or 8 million Germans from Sudetenland and East Prussia at the same time when 750 thousands Arabs (really?) were allegedly forced to leave their homes? Why millions ancestors of Jewish refugees from the Arab countries don’t “celebrate” their “nakba”? Or Frenchmen from Algeria?
The article is a historical fallacy and author is just a liar. For example he states: “In March 2011, the Knesset passed a bill that made public commemoration of the Nakba a punishable crime.” Which is a lie. The bill does not make “public commemoration of the Nakba a punishable crime” but takes away money from the government funded INSTITUTIONS. (Maybe “American-Israeli” author has problem understanding English and cannot distinguish the difference between words “public” and “government funded institution”?)
As to the question of “free speech” and how it refers to the posting of anti-semitic and historically inaccurate articles I suggest Tablet to start to publish “Mein Kampf”. That way you could show everybody how much Jewish liberal magazine could be free from limitations on “free press” and prejudice.

Barry says:

The question isn’t whether this should be debated.

It should be debated.

But like the “root causes” debate after 9/11, don’t be so sure that you far leftists will win.

There should be a debate that focusses on the subhumanity, satanic nature, and wickedness of our Muslim enemy.

So first, for god sakes, stop talking about “Palestinians”. And stop talking about “Arabs”.

There has never been a war with the “Arabs”. In fact the greatest enemies of the Arabs are the satanic followers of Mohammed (piss upon him). The term “Palestinian” has always referred to the Jews.

The hodge podge group of subhuman Muslim war criminals who illegally occupied the British Mandate were Africans from Egypt (“al-Misry”); Europeans from Nazi Germany (“al-Husseiny”, “al-Aryan”, etc . . .); and camerlf@ckers from the deserts of mesopotamia (“al-Iraqi”, “al-Basri”, etc . . .)

So let’s have this debate. But to speak of the Muslim war criminals as if they were victims? To speak of the Muslim war criminals as if they are worthy of sympathy?

The Muslims are our enemy because they worship Mohammed (piss upon him) and we worship G-d. That is the totality of the dispute. Stop. Period. End of sentence.

If they lost the war in 1948 and in 1967, that’s something they should take up with the moon god (“Allah”). Its not our business.

Sy Weiss says:

For Israel to classify it’s self as a Democratic state and not allow academic freedom for historical research or freedom of its own people degrades Democracy.
I quote from the Jerusalem Post this March : “The Abraham Fund also responded to the Nakba Law, warning that “Knesset members are mistaken to think that one can force the Arab minority to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. It is important to allow Arab citizens to learn about and acknowledge their painful past. It is also important that mutual understanding of the other’s historical narrative exists between the Jews and Arabs in Israel.”

In my view Benny Morris’s clear understanding of history and Israels current problems. Check out his Shadowboxing article
and you will see the clarity of his position :
http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/shadowboxing-israel-corner-5364

Sy Fort Lee NJ

Barry says:

“Native Palestinian” LOL HA HA HA HA

Jospeh, this is an important article. Thanks for writing it. I would like to to briefly point out that Israel’s educational history with the Nakba goes back earlier than suggested by the article.

In 1964 a novella by the name of ‘Khirbet Khizeh’, a first-person account of an expulsion of an Arab village by the IDF, was inserted into the high school curriculum in Israel. The book was written and published in 1949 by S. Yizhar, who based his story on his own experience. Last I checked, the book still remains as an optional choice for the matriculation exam. When Morris first published his Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, S. Yizhar declared that he [Yizhar] was the man who had first “laid bare the original sin of the State of Israel.”

Also, you write that in 2009 “for the first time in the history of the country, Palestinian narratives were presented alongside Israeli narratives, and the words “ethnic cleansing” appeared in high-school texts.” This is not precise. In 1999, during Barak’s tenure, the education ministry introduced a textbook called “The 20th Century” written by Eyal Naveh of Tel Aviv University. The textbook, designed for Jewish Israeli ninth-graders, mentioned the Nakba (if I recall correctly, under the heading “alternative account” of the 1948 events) and asked its readers to step into the shoes of the Palestinians in question. Unfortunately, during the second Intifada the book was removed from the curriculum.

For those who want to read about S. Yizhar’s ‘Khirbet Khizeh’: http://www.haaretz.com/news/the-price-of-return-1.258035

For those who want to read the powerful novella in english: http://www.amazon.com/Khirbet-Khizeh-S-Yizhar/dp/9659012594

Historical revisionism is a scholarly parlor game. One can take factual information (names, dates, actions, etc.) and use them as they want in order to create their own “true history.”

In the above replies, references are made of the nakbahs of Native Americans and the British by the United States. I would suggest that the vast majority of countries in the world today could be accused of creating nakbahs of one or more of the indigenous peoples who resided in their nations after their declaration of statehood.

I agree with babawawa when she points out the significant omission of the Holocaust in the discussion of the nakbah. Also missing is any mention of previous Arab anti-semitism, most notably, the massacre in Hebron and the Farhud in Iraq.

Thank God, that 63 years later, we can debate this issue.

Interesting article. But isn’t there an important conceptual distinction between prohibiting nakba speech/ceremonies and prohibiting state financial support for such speech/ceremonies? Israel is doing the latter, not the former. I don’t agree that this is an issue of free speech. Rather, the issue is about whether the government should actively promote (through public financing) types of speech which fundamentally undermine the foundations of the state. Does the USG finance public speech and ceremonies about the ethnic cleansing of native Americans? Moreover, even if the answer to this question is “yes”, did the USG do so in the 1840s, some 60 years into its state creation process?

Thanks Joseph for this intelligent & accurate piece of precious truth telling and your analysis. As you say “The new historians proved that Israel had planned to expel thousands of Arabs regardless of the success of the U.N. partition plan. As the 1990s dawned, Israeli society was no longer able to easily dismiss the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba as mere propaganda.”

I thank all of the new generation of Jewish Israelis & International Jews who refuse to accept the racist culture of treating Arabs as some sort of inferior sub-species. Thank you to everyone on the planet who refuses to make sweeping & hateful generalisations about entire races, nations, religions or any groups of human beings. We are all God’s EQUAL children and just like children, those of us who are treated with love and respect, kindness and sharing will blossom and flourish and spread that love, those from EVERY quarter who are treated like shit from the day they are born to the day they die or are murdered will sadly not always “BEHAVE AS REQUIRED” by the various totalitarian oppressors and their paymasters (usually the government of the USA).

Carl says:

Another thing to keep in mind is that after years of being the victims of terrorist attacks and having thousands of missiles shot at them, you can teach the Nabka for 2 hours everyday and I don’t think that you’d find much sympathy for the Palestinian cause among Israeli schoolchildren. I think that most Israeli schoolchildren are smart enough to realize that accepting Palestinian demands from Israel translates into their own physical destruction.

Joseph Dana completely misrepresents the “Nakba” law–which only applies to goverment-funded speech, not speech in general–as “stifling debate”. But the real irony is that his piece is being published in Tablet, which steadfastly refuses to open its pages to any Jewish voices to the right of its own center-leftist editorial position on Israel.

If Tablet is concerned enough about “stifling debate” to publish Dana’s screed, perhaps it should stop excluding a solid majority of both Israeli and American Jews from the debate it supposedly wants to foster…

Mike says:

There’s a lot I could say about this article, but my big questions are these: when will an Arab historian step up and examine the Arab myths about the nakba? Where are the calls for the Arab League and the Arab countries to open their archives from this period? Nobody can be so naive as to think the Arab and Palestinian versions aren’t as full of myths, lies and half truths as the Israeli version can they?

Until arab historians really take they issues on, we only have half a history. The best know Israeli historians made a name for themselves challenging the standard history of Israel. Unfortunately, the best known Arab historians have also made a name for themselves challenging the standard history of Israel. What are the Arabs afraid of?

Dani ben Leb says:

Joseph Dana is an anti-Zionist and one state solution supporter and is actively involved in the BDS scene. He writes for mondoscheiss and Electronic Intifada. Mr. Dana’s aim is the abolition of Zionist Israel. Mr. Dana works with some of the harshest Palestinian critics of Israel. Many of his blog posts are near copy and paste jobs from the ISM site. His reports have repeatedly been overflowing with pathos and Haaretz or other publications will print a very different report of given events on the ground. He walks hand in hand with polemicists like Ali Abunimah. Mr Dana is the press/intellectual face of the Israeli far left, watering down such bomb shells as the right of return.
Here is a link to a sobering interview with the author
http://www.thescavenger.net/people/on-the-ground-in-palestine-with-joseph-dana-212675.html

@Gene
Germans don’t celebrate (or really mourn) their nakba because they are not under occupation. Oops, a little fact that you seem to forget. Germans were allowed to keep their country, build an economy …etc. However if you want a better comparison you should compare Palestinians to Germany after world war 1 when the World decided to crush Germany and not allow it to exist in dignity. Similar to what Israel is doing to Palestinians. You cannot have it both ways. You occupying a nation and you don’t want them to mourn over being oppressed.

Dani ben Leb says:

Quoting Ilan Pappe is never a good idea. The man has become a clear political player. His “academics” are more like rallying speeches at PLO and Hamas congresses. Like Dana, Pappe is a polemicist and an anti-Zionist and maybe a Marxist.

Barry says:

Don’t brag about your Jihad and Summud (various kinds of Mohammedan genocide) and then whine when you get the crap beat out of you, you snakes.

And BTW, what occupation are the Muslims under?

Their violent Muslim conquest of France, which is ongoing? The satanic behavior of the illegal Muslim occupiers of Makkah and Medinah (may they be nuked soon)? The daily acts of Jihad by Muslims against their fellow citizens in the United States? Mohammed’s war crimes as he violently conquered Arabia from its Jewish owners (read the Quran some time)?

Muslims whining about “occupation” is a joke.

Death to “Palestine”!

eli says:

Pappé has admitted publicly that in pursuit of his political goals, which include the destruction of the state of Israel, that he will distort facts. Nothing more needs to be said of him as “an historian.”

And it seems that Dana has similar habits. Why does Tablet have people like this writing for it – unless they support these positions?

Sad to see this, but the left/extreme left bias seems to be the truth since I do not see Tablet having people like Karsh or commentators on the right like Caroline Glick writing for them.

Gene says:

Mo, Germans were expelled not from Germany but from Sudetenland which was (and still is) part of Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic). It was, in their view, occupied by Czechs territory (look at old pictures how they celebrated “liberation” from the “occupation” by the Nazi army).
“Oops, a little fact that you seem to forget. Germans were allowed to keep their country, build an economy …etc.”
And who (or what) does not allow Palestinians to keep their country, build economy…etc? Huh? Did Germans receive all they had prior to the war in order to “keep” or build their country? Did they demand “right of return” for Sudetian refugees?
The difference is that Germans (despite their shameful past) remain civilized people. While Palestinians were and remain barbarians. There are among Palestinians those who want to see a change, who fights for the freedom from medieval customs, for equity among men and women, for civil rights, etc. But their fight is futile because western “progressives” and liberals support their oppressors, autocrats and unenlightened clerics.

jake says:

“There can be a Zionist narrative of 1948 that includes the tragic and violent Palestinian experience of displacement”

hmm…but why? it was a war – and large groups of people from Arabs lands also got “displaced” (and folks in Europe and Africa, and India/Pakistan and the entire middle east did as well).Israel has no need to extend itself to follow such a narrative.

I had a discussion one time with a fellow from UAE and we talked about the Pals that left Israel in ’48. But I pointed out to him that jews were forced to leave various Arab countries as well. He did not believe me. He said that if that was the case then according to Islam (the notion of Qisas) there is no issue. An eye for an eye. That would be justice and there would be no need to do anything else. Middle East conflict solved. But he could not accept what I said was true. To them, truth is stranger than fiction.

I feel sorry for them that they cling to this grandois notion of nakba.They can beat their chests and done sackcloths and carry whatever key around their neck that they want. It wont change history and what happened.

Dana is very disingenuous. He quotes Morris – who is a serious historian – but claims that Morris and the “new historians” agree that Israel planned to expel Arabs. This is not true. Pappe does claim this but he is not a historian as much as a propagandist.

Which is why Dana likes to quote him approvingly.

Yes, all of the events of 1948 need to be discussed honestly. Dana here is doing the opposite.

Deran says:

My word, the trolls/apologists for the Israeli government are ever vigilant and rigorous in their attempts to discredit anything that critiques of the Israeli government. The more people try to deny history, the worse it comes back to bite them in the behind. And it seems the apologists and the Israeli government they flack for, are at a historical pivot point; now is an opportunity for the Israeli government to take history in hand and step away from the apartheid-like system. Otherwise, the Israeli government seems doomed to being ever more isolated and anti-democratic.

Dani ben Leb says:

Joseph Dana is a good example of a(n) activist/academic/journalist. There is a clear trend to lace the message in all kinds of manners. Mr Dana is actually on the ground in the WB participating in protests, filming, observing. At times with side kick Max Blumenthal who seems to have signed up to plug Mr Dana’s message on the US circuit. Mr Dana’s favorite talking point is the “non-violent” Palestinian resistance and the supposed systematic child abuse by the IDF as a means of braking the “resistance”. He continues to plug that at gusto at times comparing the human rights situation to that of the Jews during the Inquisition.
Appearing in Putin’s RT-TV and commenting on the lack of democracy in Israel is also interesting considering Putin’s and RT-TV’s role in Chechnya. There is nothing Mr Dana will not touch to further his message. RT-TV being about as balanced as Al Jazzy. It is a stunning display of the softball-question. All that was missing was Max Blumenthal doing the limbo in the back ground.
Needless to say Philip Weiss adores Mr Dana’s work.

Reuven says:

Here is another piece authored by Mr. Dana titled “Who is afraid of the big bad boycott?” –

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad-boycott/

Above the article there is a graphic which says “boycott the world’s only remaining apartheid regime.” The article argues for not just an economic boycott of settlements but a cultural boycott of Israel itself similar to the recent Israeli book banning by the Scottish councils.

Free Speech and open debate indeed.

Truth will set you free says:

kleenex “It was that population with the force of 7 Arab armies that initiated war clearly to ethnically cleanse Palestine of Jews, and it was on the back of that invasion that the both the forced and voluntary exile took place.”

The expulsion of thousands of Palestinians occurred prior to any Arab countries invading. Dir yassin was in April. Other villages were cleansed of their inhabitants prior to any Arab invasion, this was carried out by Zionist Terrorists. I recommend the The Diaries of Yosef Nachmani Pt3/You Tube. The war before Israel’s founding is identified as a different war (1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine) than the one that started on May 14th(1948 Arab–Israeli War or War of Independence) Only in this way can one claim Arabs initiated the war when actually it was one war and the Arabs did not invade until after Israel declared it’s statehood right in the middle of the war, after thousands of Palestinians were flooding into neighboring countries.

Spinoza says:

No serious writer would approvingly quote Benny Morris and then move on to approvingly quote Ilan Pappe after Morris demolished that factually-challenged fool in the pages of TNR.

I don’t share the view of some commentators that Tablet is a leftist mag–otherwise they wouldn’t publish Lee Smith– but there need to be some red lines here. BDSers and One Staters are no more legitimate than Kahanists.

Self-criticism is a venerable Jewish tradition– no argument here– but some Jewish “intellectual” types seem to have theorized neurotic self-flagellation as somehow being the height of Jewish authenticity (see the embarrassing Tablet piece on Mondoweiss).

Can the liberal Jewish press please stop equating “deeply Jewish” with “professional self-hating neurotic hand-wringer?”

tillkan says:

These Israel defenders are a riot with their justification of ethnic cleansing by saying well the English did it etc. So does that mean you would defend Israel having slavery and denying women the vote?

babawawa says:

Tillkan, we Israel defenders don’t have defend Israel having slavery and denying women the vote – they don’t. The crowd you support does. If you’re interested in ethnic cleansing, see the Arab world. It’s their specialty.

Krzysztof says:

Have you ever heard of Poles publicly celebrating the Nakba of forced expulsion of millions from the prewar Eastern Poland? Cities like Vilnius or Lviv? (yes, they were Polish and the population was mainly a mix of Poles and Jews.)

Why not?

Because the Palestinian cult of victimhood is a long-standing political strategy. They are actively incited by the apparatus, at schools, in media.

Barry Meislin says:

A most dishonest article by a most dishonest individual who makes it appear as though he is a crusader for “Truth” without any mention of his own anti-Zionist credentials.

(Presumably, to be anti-Zionist is to be so Truthful that it need not be mentioned.)

One example, early on, sets the tone for the entire project:
1. The author refers to Benny Morris’s views with approval.
2. The author refers to Illan Pappe’s views with approval (which in itself ought to be a red flag).

But (as Spinoza above reminds us in the post above) does the author dare mention what Been Morris says about Illan Pappe?

http://www.tnr.com/article/books/magazine/85344/ilan-pappe-sloppy-dishonest-historian?page=0,0&passthru=MWE4MzAwYzEwZTUxY2M3Y2VjZWEwODI4NTYyOTZlYmU

Certainly not.

It might weaken his argument (and his search for “Truth”).

In so doing, he brazenly misrepresents Benny Morris and reveals his own approach to “Truth.”

Orwell had something to say about that.

Richard Z. Chesnoff says:

The only thing more shocking than Dana’s twisted history is that Tablet chose to run it.

Mike says:

Israel must never give up control of the strategic Northern West Bank (Samaria).

See what a return to the ’67 lines will mean for Israel:

http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/

Gene says:

I have noticed that articles like this attract anti-semites just like sh. attracts flies: they love to express their hate toward Jewish state under the veil of “historical research”, desire “to find the truth” or cry for the “academic freedom”. I wonder if this is the purpose of publishing such articles?

Steve Stein says:

Joseph Dana, would you please clear something up for me? You state “The new historians proved that Israel had planned to expel thousands of Arabs regardless of the success of the U.N. partition plan.”

Yet Benny Morris himself says: “there had been no Zionist master plan of expulsion and that no systematic policy of expulsion was implemented in 1948″. (http://tinyurl.com/yq37wb)

You’re relying on Morris as a source, but he directly contradicts you! What’s up with that?

Shingo says:

>> See what a return to the ’67 lines will mean for Israel

The same thing it meant in 1948-1967, when those borders prosed no problem.

Shingo says:

>> Yet Benny Morris himself says: “there had been no Zionist master plan of expulsion and that no systematic policy of expulsion was implemented in 1948″.

You make a good argument Steve,

It is a mystery as to how Morris can be in such denial, given the countless statements by Ben-Gurion that he himself has quoted in rerfereence to teh trasnfer of Arabs – first by assuming the British would do it and later by stating that Jewish power could get it done.

Shingo says:

>> You shouldn’t write an essay of Morris’ narrative without even mentioning Efraim Karsh’s refutation of many of Morris’ arguments or Yoav Gelber’s arguments. This is misleading.

Karsh doesn’t do a very good job of refuting Morris’ arguments. In fact, he does so by ignoring key evidence.

In reference to the attack on Lydda, Karsh’s account in “Palestine Betrayed”, Yale University Press, 2010, (falsely) claims that “This was the first, indeed the only, instance in the war where a substantial urban population was driven out by Jewish or Israeli forces (page 216). On pages 215-19 he expends considerable effort to obscure the facts and minimize the case.

Morris reports from the start that the operations against the towns were designed to induce civilian panic and flight. Karsh never mentions the repeated entries in Ben Gurion’s diary which said that “Ramle and Lydda had to be destroyed” or the reports to Ben Gurion and the militia commanders about the efficacy of the air attacks conducted by the Haganah air arm in generating serious and general civilian flight (Benny Morris, The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited, page 425) .

Karsh also does not mention the earlier terror bombing of Ramle’s market; the massacre of Arab workers on the outskirts of the Ramle by the Irgun; and the fact that, even before the first truce, the Israeli authorities had thought of the towns offensively and conducted operations against them (page 424).

Morris reports “The intention, from the first, was to depopulate them (page 435). Neither Morris nor Karsh give an adequate explanation for the massacre of the detainees or explain how inhabitants of the proposed Arab state could have “rebelled” against Jewish forces by defending themselves.

So, Israel invaded the territory of the proposed Arab state, drove off the inhabitants, and then employed an absentee property law in the second half of the 20th century to strip people of their private property.

arcaneone says:

I notice that Dana seems to publish mainly in periodicals that are viciously anti-Israel and make no pretense of even-handedness.

Likewise, his citing of Pappe is ridiculous. Pappe, a “New Historian”, has stated explicitly that he regards historical accuracy as secondary to the “narrative”, has attempted to pass historical frauds(the “Tantura massacre”), and has been eviscerated in great detail by none other than Benny Morris. That such a creature could obtain a professorship says more about the state of education than the state of Zionism.

Editor–do you think your readers are idiots?

Shingo says:

Kleenex says:

>> Let’s remember that it was the Arab inhabitants of Palestine that rejected the universally accepted partition plan.

That’s not strictly true, at least not if you are truly interested in context.

The 20th Zionist Congress, which convened in Zurich in August 1937, almost UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED the British proposed partition plan of Palestine (which became known as the Peel Commission Partition plan).

Although the proposed Peel Commission’s partition plan was rejected because the areas allocated to the “Jewish state” was “too small,” the concept of partitioning the country was adopted by the 20th Zionist Congress. Ben-Gurion convinved the Zionist Congress to accept the UN partition plan by assuring them that the borders were only temporary.

The war itself comprised 2 stages. The first began right after UNGAR181 was passed. Israeli forces went on a rampage and began expelling the Palestinians and destroing their villages in November of 1947. By May of 1948, Israel had expelled half of the refugees.

The Arab armies reponded to this ethnic cleansing, and the presence of Isreli forces in the Arab territory of Palestine. The Arab armies vowed to protect the Arab part of Palestine – hence no Arab army invaded Israel. I think you’ll find that no UN Resolutino was passed condeming any invasion of Israel.

There was no volutary exile, in fact, the British forces had participated in the expulsion of many thousands of Palestinians from the larger town like Tibirius.

>> When Morris is good for the anti-Zionists in his historical work, yet discarded into the trash can by the anti-Zionists when he contextualizes the events that have emerged over time, the smell of hypocrisy lies thick in the air.

One must bear in mind that Morris’ positon was that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job. One must also bear in mind that Morris was denied access to many classified documents about that period.

Shingo says:

arcaneone says:

>> Pappe, a “New Historian”, has stated explicitly that he regards historical accuracy as secondary to the “narrative”, has attempted to pass historical frauds(the “Tantura massacre”), and has been eviscerated in great detail by none other than Benny Morris. That such a creature could obtain a professorship says more about the state of education than the state of Zionism.

Eviscerated? The Tantura massacre is not a historical fraud. The University of Haifa rejected Katz’s thesis after a group of professors lobbied for the annulment of Katz’s MA. In the end, the university examiners failed his thesis by a margin of 3:2 only becasue the failing mark was set at 74, which the examiners were unaware of.

Of those who failed Katz, 2 went on to deny the Lydda massacre, which Morris himself has documented, and which is noted in Ben-Gurion’s own diary. As Morris points out, these authors failed to even mention the expulsion order signed by Lt. Col. Titzak Rabin.

You can’t have it both ways arcaneone. Either you agree with Morris or you don’t, and in regard to Tantura, Morris has not dismissed the Katz’s findings, but merely pointed out that there are no declassified Israeli historical documents providing evidence of this event.

Some Alexandroni veterans denied that a massacre had taken place, but Morris himself admits that having listened to the tapes of the interviews, he came away with a deeop sense of unease.

One can one wonder if the histrorical documents that Nenetenyahu declared would not be declassified (for the sake of Israel’s national security), whether the Tantura massacre was among those documents.

Even Morris admits that the lack of documentation is not in itself compelling, seeing as murderers rarely leave written records of their crimes.

Israeli 1948 declassified documentation points out that Alexandroni’s commandes did not want Tantura to surrender, as this would have extauinled it’s contionued exisence behind enemy lines.

Shingo says:

>> Israel must never give up control of the strategic Northern West Bank (Samaria).

If there was anything strategic about Israel’s presence in the West Bank, they wouldn’t be building settlements there. The only strategy it seems, is to steal land, or as this guy put it:

“Our settlements prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state in the land of Israel. This is the goal, and this is the reality.” Daniella Weiss, a major pro-settlement activist and former mayor of Kedumim (israeli settlement in the WB) to Bob Simon, in “Time running out for a Two-State Solution?” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/23/60minutes/main4749723

Yael Taubman says:

I hate you for printing this crap and not giving the side which shows at the same time, the ethnic cleansing of all the Jews in the Arab countries as well as Iran. More than double the Arabs who claim to have been pushed out of their homes here, were either massacred or expelled from their homes and businesses with nothing and Israel, thank God, even if it was in tents at that time absorbed everyone. 1/2 of the Israeli Jewish population today come from places like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Levanon, Iraq, Iran etc etc. While we built a thriving State,what did the refugees and Arab tribes (there were no such thing as Arab Palestinians, they said it was the Jews who were Palestinians) do to better themselves? Absolutely NOTHING. Even until today, billions of
$$ and EEuros have gone to line the bank accounts and world wide mansions and business ventures of the so-called elites of the Arab countries who refused to absorb their fellow Arabs.
PLEASE be just and fair when you print the crap of the “other side”.

Binyamin in O says:

No Naqba? “We Were Ordered To Shell The [Haifa] Market” “The Arabs Were Eradicated” (But Golda Cried)
From a Haaretz article by Shay Fogelman on the Zionist seizure of Haifa: http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/port-in-a-storm-1.365729
Testimony of Ehud Elmog, Carmeli Brigade commander: “I remember the events vividly. We were ordered to shell the market when there was a large crowd there. There were tremendous noises of explosions which were heard across 200 meters.” Almog adds that the shelling, which took place in the early afternoon, was short “but very effective.”

From the eyewitness account of a British officer at the Haifa port: “During the morning they [the Haganah] were continually shooting down on all Arabs who moved both in Wadi Nisnas and in the Old City. This included completely indiscriminate and revolting machine gun fire and sniping on women and children – attempting to get out of Haifa through the gates into the docks. There was considerable congestion outside the East Gate [of the port] of hysterical and terrified Arab women and children and old people on whom the Jews opened up mercilessly with fire.”

From a cable from Carmeli Brigade to HQ in Tel Aviv: “Panic, flight among the Arabs. Resistance very feeble.” Reply from HQ: “You must go on attacking.” A Haganah intelligence report from the day of the battle relates: “Bodies of the dead lie in the streets, along with the wounded, and are not being collected because of disorganization and lack of hygienic means. There is great panic among the Arabs.”

And no, Haifa’s Jewish mayor Shabtai Levy did not “beg the Arabs to stay.” He begged them to surrender. In response to claims by Zionist reporters on the scene that a massacre of Arabs by Jews had taken place, the Haganah spokesman said, “Even if that is what happened, we are not to blame, as we broadcast over the radio and over loudspeakers 48 hours before our attack a warning in Arabic.”

If these events happened to Jews in Warsaw, Kiev ….

Binyamin in O says:

The “Shoot and Cry” Defense:

The commander of the Haganah in Haifa, Yaakov Lubliani, gave the following account of a visit to the city by Golda Meir, who at the time was a senior official in the Jewish Agency’s Political Department: “I suggested to her that we visit the Old City. She told me she did not want to see the ruins and the desolation. She wanted to visit an area where there were still Arabs. I took her to the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. We came to Muchlis Street. We walked up some stairs. The apartments on the first two floors were abandoned. When we reached the third floor, an old Arab woman approached us, carrying some bundles. When she saw Golda she stopped and burst into tears. Golda stopped, looked at her, and tears streamed down her face. The two women stood there and cried. I looked at the weeping Golda and was angry at her. Although I did not dare chastise her, inwardly I thought: We are enthusiastic and happy because we have the upper hand, we eradicated the Arabs and you can walk around the city without thinking about gunfire and attacks, and she stands there, crying.” From “Haganah Battles in Haifa” ‏(1978‏) by Zadok Eshel.

Kleenex says:

Shingo contests the fact that the partition plan was rejected by the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. To justify this incorrect statement he cites the 20th Zionist Congress 10 years earlier regarding the Peel Commission partition plan. This is not “context” this is disinformation. For one, the congress debated the issue and did not reject it.

But more importantly, this has really nothing to do with the Arab rejection of the UN resolution and the partition plan of 1947 which was the basis for the Arab invasion of Palestine, the potential destruction of the Jewish presence in Palestine, upheavals and war that followed and the refugee problem that emerged.

Shingo then tells us that the Israeli forces “went on a rampage” suggesting that they began the violence. Actually the first violence following the UN resolution was carried out by local Arab forces, in three separate incidents of premeditated killings of civilians on November the 30th.
More incorrect “narratives” follow.

The misrepresentation of facts and the selective use of history is simply wrong. It actually does a disservice to the important discussion regarding the Nakba for if it is to be looked at clearly, the facts must be on the table – just as Morris and others have tried to research them. That also means that there are some sad conclusions, one of them being that those who initiate war, land up paying an awful price for that war.

arcaneone says:

SHINGO–Katz himself admitted that he made up the “Tantura massacre”,so you are just double-talking. Both he and Pappe, who has encouraged this sort of historical fabrication, should have been thrown out of the university.

PEEL COMMISSION

According to the Peel Commission report, Arab allegations regarding Jewish land purchase were unfounded. “Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased…There was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land.” The land shortage decried by the Arabs “was due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.” [1] However, “Endeavours to control the alienation of land by Arabs to Jews have not been successful. In the hills there is no more room for further close settlement by Jews; in the plains it should only be allowed under certain restrictions.[2]
[edit] Recommendations
Peel Commission Partition Plan A, July 1937

The report recommended that the Mandate be eventually abolished — except in a “corridor” surrounding Jerusalem, stretching to the Mediterranean Coast just south of Jaffa — and the land under its authority (and accordingly, the transfer of both Arab and Jewish populations) be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish states. The Jewish side was to receive a territorially smaller portion in the mid-west and north, from Mount Carmel to south of Be’er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, while the Arab state was to receive territory in the south and mid-east which included Judea, Samaria and the sizable, though economically undeveloped and infertile, Negev desert.

The report recommended that “[s]ooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population”:

cont

arcaneone says:

peel commission, cont.

avours to control the alienation of land by Arabs to Jews have not been successful. In the hills there is no more room for further close settlement by Jews; in the plains it should only be allowed under certain restrictions.[2]
[edit] Recommendations
Peel Commission Partition Plan A, July 1937

The report recommended that the Mandate be eventually abolished — except in a “corridor” surrounding Jerusalem, stretching to the Mediterranean Coast just south of Jaffa — and the land under its authority (and accordingly, the transfer of both Arab and Jewish populations) be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish states. The Jewish side was to receive a territorially smaller portion in the mid-west and north, from Mount Carmel to south of Be’er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, while the Arab state was to receive territory in the south and mid-east which included Judea, Samaria and the sizable, though economically undeveloped and infertile, Negev desert.

The report recommended that “[s]ooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population”:

“A precedent is afforded by the exchange effected between the Greek and Turkish populations on the morrow of the Greco-Turkish War of 1922. A convention was signed by the Greek and Turkish Governments, providing that, under the supervision of the League of Nations, Greek nationals of the Orthodox religion living in Turkey should be compulsorily removed to Greece, and Turkish nationals of the Moslem religion living in Greece to Turkey. The numbers involved were high — no less than some 1,300,000 Greeks and some 400,000 Turks. But so vigorously and effectively was the task accomplished that within about eighteen months from the spring of 1923 the whole exchange was completed. The courage of the Greek and Turkish statesmen concerned has been justified by the result. Before the operation the Greek and Turkish minorities had been a constant irritant

arcaneone says:

cont

statesmen concerned has been justified by the result. Before the operation the Greek and Turkish minorities had been a constant irritant. Now Greco-Turkish relations are friendlier than they have ever been before.” [3]

The population exchange, if carried out, would have involved the transfer of approximately 225,000 Arabs and 1,250 Jews. [3]
[edit] Reactions

The Arab leadership rejected the plan,[4][5] while the Jewish opinion remained heatedly divided. The Twentieth Zionist Congress in Zurich (3-16 August 1937) announced “that the partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission is not to be accepted, [but wished] to carry on negotiations in order to clarify the exact substance of the British government’s proposal for the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine”. [6]

Ben-Gurion wrote: “The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we have never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the First and Second Temples: [a Galilee almost free of non-Jews]. … We are being given an opportunity which we never dared to dream of in our wildest imagination. This is more than a state, government and sovereignty—this is a national consolidation in a free homeland. … if because of our weakness, neglect or negligence, the thing is not done, then we will have lost a chance which we never had before, and may never have again.”[7]

Ben-Gurion wrote 20 years later: “Had partition [referring to the Peel Commission partition plan] been carried out, the history of our people would have been different and six million Jews in Europe would not have been killed—most of them would be in Israel”.’[8]

The British response was to set up the Woodhead Commission to “examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan” [6] This Commission declared the Peel Commission partition unworkable (though suggesting a different scheme under which 5% of the land area of Palest

arcaneone says:

cont

The British response was to set up the Woodhead Commission to “examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan” [6] This Commission declared the Peel Commission partition unworkable (though suggesting a different scheme under which 5% of the land area of Palestine become Israel). The British Government accompanied the publication of the Woodhead Report by a statement of policy rejecting partition as impracticable [9]
[edit] Footnotes

^ The Peel Commission Report
^ Peel Commission Report, p364.
^ a b “Report of the Palestine Royal Commission, presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the United Kingdom Parliament by Command of His Britannic Majesty (July 1937)”
^ Swedenburg, Ted (1988) The Role of the Palestinian Peasantry in the Great Revolt 1936 – 1939. in Islam, Politics, and Social Movements, edited by Edmund Burke III and Ira Lapidus. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0520068688 pp 189-194 & Marvin E. Gettleman, Stuart Schaar (2003) The Middle East and Islamic world reader, Grove Press, ISBN 0802139361 pp 177-181
^ Pappé Ilan (2004) A history of modern Palestine: one land, two peoples, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521556325
^ a b “Timeline: 1937″, Jewish Agency for Israel
^ S. Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985; pp 180-182
^ (One Palestine Complete, p. 414)
^ “Appendix IV: Palestine: Historical Background” Jewish Virtual Library. “The British Government accompanied the publication of the Woodhead Report by a statement of policy rejecting partition as impracticable in the light of the Commission’s investigations, but suggesting that Arab-Jewish agreement might still be possible.”

[edit]

Shingo says:

Arcaneone,

Katz withdrew that retraction and as I pointed out, his accusers have been eviscarated by Benny Morris for their poor scholarship with respect to the Lydda massacre

PEEL COMMISSION

According to the Peel Commissaion report, Arab allegations regarding Jewish land purchase were unfounded. “Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased…There was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land.” The land shortage decried by the Arabs “was due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.” [1] However, “Endeavours to control the alienation of land by Arabs to Jews have not been successful. In the hills there is no more room for further close settlement by Jews; in the plains it should only be allowed under certain restrictions.[2]
[edit] Recommendations
Peel Commission Partition Plan A, July 1937

The report recommended that the Mandate be eventually abolished — except in a “corridor” surrounding Jerusalem, stretching to the Mediterranean Coast just south of Jaffa — and the land under its authority (and accordingly, the transfer of both Arab and Jewish populations) be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish states. The Jewish side was to receive a territorially smaller portion in the mid-west and north, from Mount Carmel to south of Be’er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, while the Arab state was to receive territory in the south and mid-east which included Judea, Samaria and the sizable, though economically undeveloped and infertile, Negev desert.

The report recommended that “[s]ooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population”:

Shingo says:

Kleenex part 1

I did not contest the fact that the partition plan was rejected by the Palestinians. What I pointed out to you was the fact that the Zionist leaders only accepted it with the agenda that they would later violate it.

The expulsion began the day after Resolution 181 (Partition). From this it is obvious that the Yishuv did not accept Resolution 181 which clearly states in Chapter 2:

“No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State)(4) shall be allowed except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be paid previous to dispossession. “

Benny Morris, Shlomo Ben Ami, and David Tal had documented the fact that Weizmann and Ben Gurion viewed partition as part of a phased plan to take over the whole of Palestine. Even Ben Gurion’s biographer, Shabtai Teveth, admitted that Ben Gurion had made up his mind that the only relationship between the Jews and the Arabs would be a military one and that economic, social, and geographical partition (de facto apartheid) were inherent in Ben Gurion’s conception of Zionism. See pages 10, 12, 43-44, and 179-184 of “Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs”, Oxford University Press, USA, 1985. Teveth informs us that Ben-Gurion, inspired by the Peel Report, considered “a Jewish state in part of Palestine as a stage in the longer process towards a Jewish state in all of Palestine.”

Lecturing to Mapai activists on 29 October 1937, Ben-Gurion explained that the realization of the Jewish state would come in two stages: the first, “the period of building and laying foundations,” would last ten to fifteen years and would be but the prelude to the second stage, “the period of expansion.” The objective in both stages was “the in-gathering of the exiles in all of Palestine.” It is because of these views, Teveth tells us, that Ben-Gurion made no attempt to contact Palestinian leaders after 1936.

Continued…

Shingo says:

Part 2

We learned from the official history of the Haganah that in the summer of 1937, Ben-Gurion ordered the Haganah commander of Tel Aviv, Elimelech Slikowitz (“Avnir”), to draw up a plan for the military takeover of the entire country in anticipation of Britain’s eventual withdrawal from Palestine expected in the wake of the Peel Report. Despite all of that evidence, you claim that the victims are to blame because they rejected the UN partition proposal, but fail to mention the fact that the Jewish Agency itself rejected the Peel plan and the UNSCOP majority and minority plans and asked for a larger territorial allocation. In any event, the Security Council and the President of the United States stated that the UN Charter did not permit the plan of partition to be imposed on the Palestinian people by force.

The extent of your denial is common among Zionists who are dipping their toes in the water of exploring an alternative narrative. For over half a century, the Zionist founders spoke openly about expelling the Arabs and seizing the entire region, yet were’re expected to believe that what took place on 1948 was one big happy accident.

The Arab invasion of Palestine had nothing to do with the UN resolution. It took place 5 months later. The very fact that the Arab armies did not even try to invade Israel demonstrates clearly that they accepted the partition as a reality, if not in principal.

The potential destruction of the Jewish presence in Palestine, was only consequence of the destruction of Arab villages and towns and the expulsion of Palestinians by the Zionist forces, beginning in November of 1947. Like I said, Israel expelled half the refugees before any Arab army entered Palestine. The most powerful of those armies, Jordan, promised the British that they wouldn’t enter the Jewish partition. Indeed, they stopped at the boundary that dsignates the 1949 armistice line of today.

That “7 Arab Nations attacked” unprovoked is quite simply a myth.

Cont

Shingo says:

part 3

The refugee problem didn’t simply emerge. Israeli Defence Force documents (from the papers of Aharon Cohen called “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947/- 1/6/1948?) recently discovered, reveal that, according to the Israeli Defence Forces Intelligence Services, 391,000 Palestinians had been driven from their homes before the Arab League took action in May of 1948. By Israel’s own estimate, 73% of these expulsions were a result of direct Israeli actions.

>> Actually the first violence following the UN resolution was carried out by local Arab forces, in three separate incidents of premeditated killings of civilians on November the 30th.

Hello! Netween 1946 and 1947, the Zionist terror gangs killed 169 British soldiers alone, so they were already active in spite of the fact that the British were aiding the Zionists in expelling Palestinians.

As mentioned, no Arab forces got involved until May 1948. Prior to that, there was no Arab forces to speak of. The British had smashed the Palestinian revolt, leaving only about 2,500 fighters and 4,000 volunteers, and no leadership. Meanwhile the Hagahan was 35,000 strong plus a commando unity (ir. Irgun + Stern Gang) of 10,000.

If you accept that the creation of a Jewish state was the goal, and that a Jewish state was not possible without a Jewish majority (even though it didn’t exist at the time), and that trasnfer/expusion was the only way to achieve this goal, it is almost impossible to conceive that the Nakba was not intentional and planned ahead of time.

As Benny Morris himself has said, there are 1 million documents from 1948 that the Israeli government refuses to decalssify on the grounds of national security. Morris also said, that based on his experience, where there is smoke there is usually fire.

Jeremy says:

As executive director of JDeadEnd, the political home of pro-Israel in pro-pieces Americans, including 10′s of millions of Jewish Americans, I not only applaud this article but hope that there will be a ‘catastrophe’ for Israel.

arcaneone says:

HAIFA

Shingo’ remarks on Haifa appear to be taken almost verbatim from an article in Haaretz by Shay Fogelman.Shingo somehow neglected to include the following:

Two Haganah intelligence reports about the situation in Haifa’s Arab neighborhoods were drawn up a week after the city’s conquest. An excerpt from the first report said: “Spoke today with a number of Muslims and Christians who remained in the city. They are extremely worried about May 15. On the one hand, they do not believe in the possibilities of an invasion of an Arab army from the neighboring countries; on the other hand, they are apprehensive that in the event of an invasion they will be in dire straits, as they have been informed that everyone who did not leave Haifa is viewed as a traitor and as having ties with the Jews. The situation has reached such a pitch that many who had thought to stay are now planning to leave the city during the week.”

The second report related: “Mr. Taharuna, the director general of the Spinni Company, said that all the Arab workers had left Haifa. They did not want to go, but apparently received an order from above. The workers said they would be back in another six to eight weeks.” Elsewhere, the report states: “The Arabs now in Haifa are desperate and do not know what to do − to go or stay? Most of those who are here are waiting to get their wages from the [British] government and then to leave, as every Arab who remains in Haifa is considered by the public to be a traitor to his people.”

IN OTHER WORDS, as Zionists have long contended, much of the flight of Arab refugees was provoked by the Arab governments, both by claims that Arab armies would soon arrive to drive out the Jews, and as well by the fact that any Arab who didn’t leave would be considered a traitor. Fogelman also makes clear that Iraqi soldiers were among the Arab population, in an enclave intended by the UN to be Israeli, before Israeli independence. Invasion?

arcaneone says:

Fogelman reports:

The flight from Haifa

History cannot be treated as propaganda(but Pappe does) in the old-timer’s club in Haifa’s Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. For the dozens of local Arab residents who visit the club every day, the Nakba is a chapter in their personal biography. One of them remembers how Jewish troops expelled his neighbors at gunpoint; another describes how Haganah snipers shot at his father as he returned home from work; a third recalls the small bundle he carried while fleeing. All of them remember the fear they felt as helpless civilians, caught in the storm of war.

The stories they tell are on a minor scale. They describe small moments: Looks they encountered, experiences of defeat, humiliation and, occasionally, arbitrary abuse by Haganah fighters. Some of them spice their personal tragedy with humor, though the sadness in their eyes remains constant. The years have blunted the memory of all of them. In some cases the stories get mixed up and details from later periods are added.(In other words, there is considerable inaccuracy in these eye-witness accounts)

By most estimates, 62,500 Arabs called Haifa their home before the War of Independence. Under the United Nations partition plan, they were to live in a mixed city as citizens of the Jewish state after the expiry of the British Mandate. However, rising tensions between the sides and a series of mutual acts of hostility prompted many Arabs to leave the city in the weeks before the British departed. Most of the leavers were affluent and many of them were Christians who were given aid and shelter by churches in the Galilee. By mid-April 1948, fewer than 20,000 Arabs remained in the city.

In other words, as Zionists have long claimed, most Arab residents left before the main battle even began, and the flight of the more educated and affluent demoralized the rest.

Note that Fogelman, writing in anti-Zionist Haaretz, concedes “mutual” acts of hostility, but avoids discussing Arab acts.

arcaneone says:

Fogelman continues:

Like the Jewish residents, they too waited to see how things would develop. In the meantime they tried to maintain as normal a life as possible amid the violence. “Life in the city became intolerable at that time,” recalls Jamal Jaris, 90, in the Wadi Nisnas club, as he tries to explain why he fled the city a few days before it fell to the Jewish forces.(But the Jews didn’t flee) “There were shots and bombs every day. No distinction was made between civilians and armed combatants. In certain parts of the city, especially in the Arab neighborhoods, everyone who walked in the street was exposed to snipers and machine guns.”(how does he know these conditions prevailed ESPECIALLY in the Arab sections unless he was also able to visit the Jewish sections for comparison, undermining the claim of rampant Jewish hostility)

On April 21, the commander of the British forces in Haifa informed both sides that his troops were evacuating the city immediately, apart from the harbor and a few key roads that the army would need during the organized withdrawal in mid-May. That same night the Haganah launched an attack on the Arab neighborhoods. The Carmeli Brigade, which spearheaded the assault, enjoyed numerical and topographical superiority.(But now the Arabs are demanding that Israel concede the heights of Judea/Samaria). Its troops were also better trained and better equipped and fought in a far more organized manner than the Arab forces. In less than a day, all of Haifa fell to the Haganah.

arcaneone says:

Fogelman continues:

However, the Jewish victory spurred the panicky flight of most of the city’s remaining residents. “Haifa, third largest city of Palestine and evacuation port of the British Army, became a virtual Jewish stronghold tonight after a series of savage thrusts by Haganah, the Jewish army, won control of most of the city’s Arab areas and provoked a mass Arab exodus by sea,” the New York Herald Tribune reported. On April 23 the New York Times wrote: “Tens of thousands of Arab men, women and children fled toward the eastern outskirts of the city in cars, trucks, carts and afoot, in a desperate attempt to reach Arab territory until the Jews captured Rushmiya Bridge toward Samaria and Northern Palestine and cut them off. Thousands rushed every available craft, even rowboats, along the waterfront, to escape by sea toward Acre.”

The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv wrote, “British harbor officials estimate that 12,000 to 14,000 Arabs left by sea and 2,000 to 4,000 by land. The Jewish and Arab numbers contradict one another. The Jews are trying to reduce the scale of the exodus. An official Jewish spokesman said that no more than 5,000 Arabs left. However, Arab leaders said that at least 20,000 left.”

Note that the Times reported “tens of thousands” of refugees fled the main battle, and “Arab leaders said that at least 20,000 left.”, but Fogelman himself stated that by mid-April, less than 20,000 Arabs remained in Haifa, and by all accounts, not all of them left. Fogelman himself took no notice of the discrepancy. What was that about history not being propaganda?

arcaneone says:

Pretty neat, hey?

Jackie says:

Shingo, arent you the same Shingo that obsessively posts on the anti-zionist mondoweiss site, whose commentators regularly laud helen thomas and talk about the jewish control of the press and blame Jews for the iraq war? Yes I believe you are and am not surprised that Dana’s antizionist friend would come troll here at tablet to support him. Hundreds of Arabs killed in Syria this month alone and you guys still obsess about the nakba and zionism?

Shingo says:

>> IN OTHER WORDS, as Zionists have long contended, much of the flight of Arab refugees was provoked by the Arab governments, both by claims that Arab armies would soon arrive to drive out the Jews, and as well by the fact that any Arab who didn’t leave would be considered a traitor

Again arcaneone,

Either you believe Morris or you don’t. As Morris stated explicitly, there is no evidence whatsover that the Arab leaders instructed anyone to leave. In fact, the only evidence available suyggests that they were ordered to remain in their homes.

Your links in fact, not only fail to prove your thesis, but also demonstrate that the arab armies had no plans to invade Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

As far as Haia goes, perhaps you never herard of the Deir Yassin massacre that had taken place in April, where Ster, Irgun and Haganah forces mssacred 100 Palestinians. Surely that woudl have given those in Haifa reason to consider leaving.

>> Fogelman also makes clear that Iraqi soldiers were among the Arab population, in an enclave intended by the UN to be Israeli, before Israeli independence. Invasion?

I am not familiar with Fogelman’s article. Does he call them Iraqi soliders or Arab’s in Irael who happened to be from Iraq?

No arcaneone, there was no invasion.

Shingo says:

>> But the Jews didn’t flee

They didn’t flee because the British were there to protect them. The British were also telling the Palestinians to leave and took part in the forced eviction of the Palestinians. The British Army completed it’s pull-out from Tiberius on April 18th, after forcing out 5,000 of it’s Palestinian inhabitants. The British forced Palestinians onto ferries and took them from Haifa to Acre.

Many of those 12,000 – 14,000 Arabs that left by sea and 2,000 – 4,000 that left by land did so by the insistence or forced removal by the British.

That’s largely why the Israeli forces enjoyed numerical and topographical superiority. The British had done most of the work for them. The Haganah forces had little more to do that simply turn up.
It’s true that the Israeli forces were better trained and better equipped and fought in a far more organized manner than the Arab forces. This puts a nail in the coffin to the lie that the Zioniosts fporces were outnumbered adn outgunned. The British had smashed teh Arab revolt and disarmed the Palestinians betwene 1937 and 1948, so the Palestinian were disarmed, and their leadership exiled.

>> Note that the Times reported “tens of thousands” of refugees fled the main battle, and “Arab leaders said that at least 20,000 left.”, but Fogelman himself stated that by mid-April, less than 20,000 Arabs remained in Haifa, and by all accounts, not all of them left. Fogelman himself took no notice of the discrepancy. What was that about history not being propaganda?

Not realy. It’s a matter ofarithmetic and largely depends on what the population of Haifa was.

You seem to be spending a great dela of effort presenting information that doesn’t support your argument arcaneone.

Shingo says:

Jackie,

Yes I do post at mondoweiss, but not very regularly, so I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that my posts were obsessive.

I don’t believe I have ever made reference to Helen Thoms, other than citing her as an example whenever Zionsits raise the argument that Palestinians should move to Arab countries.

>> Hundreds of Arabs killed in Syria this month alone and you guys still obsess about the nakba and zionism?

Israel killed over 1,400 in a month during Cast Lead, so one can simulatenously outraged at the Syrian government as well as the Israeli one.

I trust you are similary outraged that the Israeli leadership appears to be supporting Assad?

Kleenex says:

Shingo elaborates at length about the Peel Commission,theorises about the Zionist stategies and justifies the violence based on pre independence attacks by Zionist extremists while conveniently ignoring gratuitous Palestinian violence, unbiquitous since 1929 and in fact up till this very time, always somehow including the premeditated murders of women children and the aged.
Shingo – wake up. While the Jewish population of Palestine and world Jewry was agonising over the Peel Commission, the Arabs rejected it and their leader, Hadj Amin El Husseini was forging ties with Nazi Germany. His meeting with Hitler and correspondence with Himmler was all about one thing: extermination. I am sure though that you will come up with a sympathetic “narrative” about that one too.
Had the Arab side accepted the partition plan of 1947 and not opted for violence (I assume you have a “narrative” for the killings from November onwards and the attacks on any Jewish supplies to Jerusaelem) there simply would have been what there should have been: two states for two peoples despite the desires of both sides for greater territory.
Jewish aspirations, were thus by default thrown into the ring by this rejection because the alternative was capitulation and a post-holocaust Jewish emerging state was no longer asking the Rabbi or anyone else for that matter, for advice in the face of destruction.
Rejecionism is a legitimate policy and violence is a way to express it but when you lose – and the Palestinians have lost consistently, in the struggle of 1947 – 48, in Lebanon, in the second intifada and in Gaza, its not easy to find a sypmathetic ear.
The Nakba is an important discussion. One of the issues arising from it is that Palestinian leadership has consistently failed its people

Dani ben Leb says:

I think Dana’s article failed to go anywhere, and he was unmasked.

arcaneone says:

SHINGO–I have been debating a long time. I can tell when someone is starting to crack, and you are starting to crack. I notice you aren’t trying to defend the Pappe/Teddy Katz brand of scholarship any more.

SHINGO SAID–
“….Again arcaneone,

Either you believe Morris or you don’t. As Morris stated explicitly, there is no evidence whatsover that the Arab leaders instructed anyone to leave. In fact, the only evidence available suyggests that they were ordered to remain in their homes…”

To the contrary, I quoted anti-Zionist Fogelman—
“…Two Haganah intelligence reports about the situation in Haifa’s Arab neighborhoods were drawn up a week after the city’s conquest. An excerpt from the first report said: “Spoke today with a number of Muslims and Christians who remained in the city. They are extremely worried about May 15. On the one hand, they do not believe in the possibilities of an invasion of an Arab army from the neighboring countries; on the other hand, they are apprehensive that in the event of an invasion they will be in dire straits, as they have been informed that everyone who did not leave Haifa is viewed as a traitor and as having ties with the Jews. The situation has reached such a pitch that many who had thought to stay are now planning to leave the city during the week.”

The second report related: “Mr. Taharuna, the director general of the Spinni Company, said that all the Arab workers had left Haifa. They did not want to go, but apparently received an order from above. The workers said they would be back in another six to eight weeks.” Elsewhere, the report states: “The Arabs now in Haifa are desperate and do not know what to do − to go or stay? Most of those who are here are waiting to get their wages from the [British] government and then to leave, as every Arab who remains in Haifa is considered by the public to be a traitor to his people.”

OK,SHINGO, what does that mean to you?

arcaneone says:

SHINGO said–

“…I am not familiar with Fogelman’s article.”

Anyone can go to Haaretz, call up “Port in a Storm” by Shay Fogelman, and you will see that it is all but identical to Shingo’s earlier posts. I copied the whole thing and can post it for anyone who can’t find it on Haaretz. You’re busted Shingo.

arcaneone says:

SHINGO quotes me–
“…>> Note that the Times reported “tens of thousands” of refugees fled the main battle, and “Arab leaders said that at least 20,000 left.”, but Fogelman himself stated that by mid-April, less than 20,000 Arabs remained in Haifa, and by all accounts, not all of them left. Fogelman himself took no notice of the discrepancy. What was that about history not being propaganda?” He adds—

Not realy. It’s a matter ofarithmetic and largely depends on what the population of Haifa was.

FOGELMAN—”…By most estimates, 62,500 Arabs called Haifa their home before the War of Independence. Under the United Nations partition plan, they were to live in a mixed city as citizens of the Jewish state after the expiry of the British Mandate. However, rising tensions between the sides and a series of mutual acts of hostility prompted many Arabs to leave the city in the weeks before the British departed. Most of the leavers were affluent and many of them were Christians who were given aid and shelter by churches in the Galilee. By mid-April 1948, fewer than 20,000 Arabs remained in the city.

OK,Shingo, what in fact is your estimate of the Arab population remaining in Haifa at the time, and what are your sources?

SHINGO said—”Either you believe Morris or you don’t…” As it happens, Fogelman himself cites Morris’ estimate that only 6,000 Arabs, not over 20,000, fled after the battle.

As I quoted Fogelman earlier in this post, “… prompted many Arabs to leave the city in the weeks before the British departed…” If, as Shingo contends, the British were protecting the Jews and not the Arabs, why did the Arabs fear the incipient departure of the British so much that they fled in droves to beat the deadline, while the Jews stayed? Shingo’s interpretation demonstrably makes no sense.

arcaneone says:

SHINGCO said–

“…
It’s true that the Israeli forces were better trained and better equipped and fought in a far more organized manner than the Arab forces. This puts a nail in the coffin to the lie that the Zioniosts fporces were outnumbered adn outgunned…”

Not at all. It is an example of Mao Tse Tung’s adage that his forces were as 1 to ten strategically, but through superior organization were 10 to 1 tactically.

Shingo–you bring up Deir Yassin, but you’re the one who”s getting massacred. Hee Hee.

benj says:

Let’s get the things straight – Arabs declared war on Israel to exterminate Jews. They lost. We don’t care if in the process some were expelled or flew. In any case, Israel could not have existed with a big Arab minority.

And of course, anyone who use the fraud Ilan Pappe as a reference can not be expected to be taken seriously.

arcaneone says:

“Unless the Palestine problem is settled, we shall have difficulty in protecting and safeguarding the Jews in the Arab world.”

— Syrian delegate, Faris el-Khouri,
New York Times, February 19, 1947

“The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It’s likely, Mr. Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions.”

— Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha,
September 16, 1947

“[A]ll our efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestine problem have failed. The only way left for us is war. I will have the pleasure and honor to save Palestine.”

— Transjordan’s King Abdullah,
April 26, 1948

“The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

— Jamal Husseini before the Security Council,
April 16, 1948

“This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

— Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League,

arcaneone says:

Note the threatening remarks even before the partition resolution.

Haim says:

“The new historians proved that Israel had planned to expel thousands of Arabs regardless”

No.They never did.

And 63 years later, everyone is still trying to explain what happened
in 1948. The truth is so simple that I can’t understand why it is
still debated. For once and for all:

The Jewish community of Israel accepted “partition” and the Arabs
did not. End of conversation. Whatever occurred thereafter is the
result of the usual Arab position of obstructionism. And so the debate
continues . . . Arabs left the new Jewish State–Jews were forced to
leave Arab countries–and on and on and on. “He did wrong, she did
wrong, they did wrong, I did wrong.” Wake up and accept the reason
for the present conflict. It remains the same today as it was in 1948:
“The Arabs refuse to recognize a Jewish State.” So, what are we
supposed to do, highlite their narrative in our textbooks???? A man
who bangs his head against the wall, does so because he likes the
way it feels. As for me, I don’t like the feeling . . . The answer
to the so-called Palestinian refugee problem is also simple–VOLUNTARY TRANSFER OF ARABS FROM THE WEST BANK INTO JORDAN. Why not, nothing
else has worked. Jews from all over the world have travelled to
Israel to settle. There is no reason why Arabs cannot walk two miles east into Jordan, which already has an 80% Arab population.

‘We are slaves of our own conquers’
http://www.zoharme.com
Graphic Commentaries

Shingo says:

Kleenex.

If you are going to debate me, then please stay way from straw men. I never sugegsted any violence was justified, however, I do believe it serves the interests of the debate to stick to facts.

The pre independence attacks were not carried out by “extremists”, they were but Zionist forces with the express directive from their high command. Chaim Weizmann suggested the Hanganah incorporate the Stern and Irgun into it’s commando wing. The Hanganah themselves were involved in many of those attacks.

How you could describe the Palestinian violence as gratuitous is odd seeing as it was wasn’t on the scale of the violence inflicted by Zionist militias. How many hotels did the Palestinians bomb? How many villages did they destroy? How many massacres did they perpetrate?

Unlike Deir Yassin massacre deniers, pro-Palestinian activists fully acknowledge that the 1929 massacre in Hebron was an outrage. A few points deserve mentioning.seeing it is often used to justify Zionist oppression today:

1. Palestinians risked their lives defending their Jewish neighbors, hiding them in their homes until the mobs left (they received certificates of appreciation from Jewish organizations for their actions). Innocent Arabs also died in the ‘29 riots.

2. The belligerents mostly came from neighboring villages.

3. Would this attack have occurred if Zionists had not made clear their intention of taking over Palestine? Weeks before, Zionists raised Jewish flags in Old Jerusalem. Like it or not, Zionists planted the seeds of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

4. It is unclear how involved the British were in the attack.

5. As much as you would like it to, the death of Hebron Jews in 1929 does not give moral cover for Israel to kill Palestinians today.And it certainly did not give Zionists the right to massacre Palestinians at Deir Yassin. If you’re consistent, you should oppose all acts of aggression and terrorism.

Continued…

Shingo says:

Your comic book portrayal of the Arabs is not helping your argument. Do you not thing that the Arabs agonized over being displaced and locing their homes? The fact that the Zionist Congress overwhlemingly rejected the Peel Commission suggests that there wasn’t much agonising on their part.

Husseini was exiled from 1936 and never returned to Palestine. If you want to discuss forging ties with Nazi Germany, there are 52 documents outlining the efforts by the Stern Gang and others to do the same.

Had the Arab side accepted the partition plan of 1947, the outcome would have been the same. Shabatai Teveth and Benny Morris both cited David Ben Gurion’s letter to his son Amoz in 1937, which explained his support for partition. It said that a Jewish state in part of Palestine was only the beginning, not the end of the process. Ben Gurion stated that he was building a first rate military that would enable the Zionists to complete the task of redeeming the entire land and settling in the remainder of Palestine – with or without the consent of the Arabs. Decades later, Ben Gurion selected that letter for publication as a reflection of his thinking on the subject. See Letters to Paula and the Children, translated by Aubry Hodes, University of Pittsburg Press, 1971, page 153.

In a speech delivered on 22 May 1947 to the People’s Council about establishing a Jewish state IN ALL OF PALESINE, he explained that his acceptance of the principle of partition was an attempt to gain time until the Jews were strong enough to fight the Arab majority.

In fact, he pledged to Mapai’s Central Committee that the borders of Jewish independence as defined by the UN Plan were by no means final. See Scars of War Wounds of Peace, page 34

On 18 February 1948, Moshe Sharett wrote “We will have only enough troops to defend ourselves, not to take over the country.” Ben Gurion replied that “…we will be able not only to defend, but take over Palestine as a whole”.

Continued…

Shingo says:

It is remarkable that you recycle the canard that the Arabs were the ones that opted for violence, when in fact the Israelis militias that were killing both Arabs and British troops by 1946.

Ben-Gurion insisted from the beginning that the Arabs were not to have any political rights, let alone their own state. The UN Partition of 1974 did not even mention the Palestinians.

Jewish aspirations were based on the belief that Israel was to be a Jewish state with a Jewish majority, while the Jews were a minority. They were never going to settle for a state in which they represented only 60% of the population.

The Palestinians didn’t lost in 1947-1948. As Shlomo Ben Ami writes, they had already lost a decade earlier when the British smashed the Arab Revolt, and drove out the Palestinian leadership. The Palestinians were leaderless from that moment on, and very poorly armed.

There was no leadership to speak of, so to argue that the Palestinian leadership failed its people is a moot point.

Shingo says:

arcaneone,

>> “[A]ll our efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestine problem have failed. The only way left for us is war. I will have the pleasure and honor to save Palestine.”

The commander in chief of the Jordanian Army, was the British General Sir John Glubb. He had 46 British officers under his command. The British had concluded a deal with the Zionists that there would be no confrontation between the Jordanian Arab army and the Jewish forces. This is why Glubb later called the ’48 war, the phony war.

Glubb imposed on the Arabs, the partition plan. In a meeting between Ernest Bevine, the Labor Govt’s foreign secretary, and Tawfik Abul-Huda, the Jordanian PM and Glubb. Bevine asked Abul-Huda, what he planned to do. Abul-Huda said the plan was to send the Arab Legion to protect and keep the Arab part of Palestine. Bevin said that seemed the sensible thing to do, but do not invade the Jewish part.

On the 2nd May they met for the last time to find a solution for Jerusalem. They bough maps to show where the Jordanian army would stop and where they stopped is today has become the border of Israel and the West Bank, which is how the West bank was created.

Glubb ordered the Jodarnian army to leave Lodd and Ramalah. Soon after the cities were bombed freom the air and a day later, stormed by the Israeli army led by Dayan. The next day, the Israeli army commited a massacre , in which more than 170 Palestinians were killed, inside the Damash Mosque in the city of Lodd.

More than 50,000 Palestinians were expelled from the 2 cities. Many perished as they walked for hours under the summer sun.

Shingo says:

>> Not at all. It is an example of Mao Tse Tung’s adage that his forces were as 1 to ten strategically, but through superior organization were 10 to 1 tactically.
Sorry, but you’re wrong again. Thus is pure mythology.

The Zionist forces had numerical as well and fire-power advantage. Against the Palestinians for example, it was one Palestinian with one WWI era rifle for every sin Israeli fighters armed to the teeth.

When Britain’s General officer commanding in Palestine, General John Darcy, was asked about the military situation crafty the pull-out of the British forces, he said:

“The Haganah will take over all of Palestine. They could hold it against the entire Arab world.”

AS I pointed out earlier, on 18 February 1948, Moshe Sharett wrote “We will have only enough troops to defend ourselves, not to take over the country.” Ben Gurion replied:

“If we will receive in time the arms we have already purchased, and maybe even receive some of that promised to us by the UN, we will be able not only to defend, but also to inflict death blows on the Syrians in their own country – and take over Palestine as a whole. I am in no doubt of this. We can face all the Arab forces. This is not a mystical belief but a cold and rational calculation based on practical examination. ” Ben Gurion Archives, Correspondence Section 23.02-1.03.48 Document 59, 26 February 1948. –See page 46 of Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld, reprint 2007

Shingo says:

benj says:

>> Let’s get the things straight – Arabs declared war on Israel to exterminate Jews. They lost. We don’t care if in the process some were expelled or flew. In any case, Israel could not have existed with a big Arab minority.

So this begs teh question benj, what would the Israelis have done about this big Arab minority had there been no war? Would they have done nothing, or ethnically cleansed them anyway?

And if so, would you have supported such a crime against humanity?

Shingo says:

>> OK,SHINGO, what does that mean to you?
Very little because we are talking about hearsay. There is no evidence of Arabs in Haifa receiving any “orders from above”.
Nor is there any evidence that “they have been informed that everyone who did not leave Haifa is viewed as a traitor”.

If there were any such orders, there would have been evidence of them. As Benny Morris pointed out, there wasn’t any.

Like I already said, this is not compelling evidence that the Arabs took flight of their own accord.

Thank you for pointing out this article. It is indeed excellent, though contrary to your suspicions, I was not familiar with it.

Havign said that, I want to thank you and Kleenx for maintaining a polite and respectful discourse seeing as I am presenting a dissenting view on a very emotive topic.

Shlomo says:

Why don’t you send this excellent article to the members of congress before they destroy the future for Jewish kids in Palestine?

arcaneone says:

SHINGO–You did not address any of the quotes I posted showing that before the UN partition vote, and before full-scale war erupted in May 1948, the Arabs were committed to war, a genocidal war, and that the Jewish populations of Arab lands were treated as hostages. I take that to mean you have no defense. True or not?

>> “[A]ll our efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestine problem have failed. The only way left for us is war. I will have the pleasure and honor to save Palestine.”

The commander in chief of the Jordanian Army, was the British General Sir John Glubb. He had 46 British officers under his command. The British had concluded a deal with the Zionists that there would be no confrontation between the Jordanian Arab army and the Jewish forces. This is why Glubb later called the ’48 war, the phony war.

Abdullah was talking, was he not, about the entirety of the Mandate area, not simply Judea/Samaria? The Arab Legion did in fact, engage in battles to take over Jewish towns on the West Bank, towns existing in perfect legality under the Mandate–is this not true? The Arab Legion did in fact lay successful siege to the centuries-old Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and kill or evict every one of the Jews there–is there any dispute on that incident? Was not the Arab Legion equipped with late-model British weapons?
Did not the British, whom you consistently characterize as protective of the Jews, turn over to the Arabs their positions and weaponry at Tsafat on the eve of independence?

The 1948 war cost Israel one percent of the entire Jewish population dead, a percentage that corresponds to over a million US deaths in WWII. In reality the US death toll was a fraction of that, but no one claims WWII was a “phony” war. But Arabs and their leftist stooges are claiming that Cast Lead, killing perhaps one tenth of one percent of Gaza’s population, was a “genocide”. Under such circumstances, how could your quote from liar Pappe
be true?

arcaneone says:

How about it, Shingo?

“The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

— Jamal Husseini before the Security Council,
April 16, 1948

arcaneone says:

Jerusalem Post Magazine, June 3, 2011, p 35, S. Honig:

“…When he(Abbas)was 13, his family left (Safad)and settled in Damascus…’People were motivated to run away..They feared retribution from the Zionists…particularly from the Safed ones. Those of us from Safed especially feared that the Jews harbored old desires to avenge what happened during the 1929 uprising…the whole town was abandoned on the basis of this rationale…’(Mahhmoud Abbas, July 6, 2009, al-Palestina TV)

“So here it is from the mouth of the PA’s head honcho himself.He irrefutably verifies the no one expelled Safed’s Arabs…

“The “uprising” Abbas alluded to was one among the serial pogroms instigated by infamous mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, still revered throughout the Arab world…( Husseini was allowed to re-establish himself in Beiruit, and died there peacefully, a revered statesman, in 1971).

“In August 1929, Husseini rallied Arabs to slaughter Jews on trumped-up allegations of Jewish takeover attempts at the Temple Mount. 67 members of Hebron’s ancient Jewish community were hideously hacked to death…

“In the equally ancient Jewish community of Safed, 21(1 % of the Jewish population)were butchered no less gruesomely(a cat was stuffed into one grandmother’s disemboweled abdomen). A child, and a young woman due to be married the next day were cold-bloodedly murdered by Arab constables whom the British Mandatory officers had assigned to watch over the majority of Safed’s Jews when they sought safety in the police courtyard.

“The British proposed that all Safed Jews be evacuated “for their own safety”, as was the case in Hebron. The offer was flatly refused…

“Such was the uprising for which Abbas’s kinfolk assumed they deserved just reckoning. Ironically, the Jews were alarmed by the Arab exodus, figuring it presaged a formidable assault by invading Arab armies(Which indeed came).

Slingo, what was that about the British protecting Jews?

benj says:

“So this begs teh question benj, what would the Israelis have done about this big Arab minority had there been no war?”

There is no “what if”. Israel has lived with a big Arab minority for 63 years and gave it equal rights even if they were enemies.

zenwick says:

“… Palestinians rallied around the Nakba—the Arabic word for catastrophe, used to mark the displacement of as many as 750,000 Palestinians in 1948. It was a bid to reiterate their opposition to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and control of the Gaza Strip.”

In the first two sentences of his article, Mr. Dana demonstrates his complete lack of understanding. The Palestinians are not protesting the 1967 loss of the West Bank and Gaza on Nakba Day. They are protesting the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. Mr. Dana naively believes the “Palestinian narrative”: that if we just agree that the Zionist Entity is oppressive and unjust by nature, we can all get along in the post-Zionist world.

Benny Morris understands, but his pupil, Mr. Dana, has no clue.

Yitzhak Santis says:

Having read Pappe and Morris and Segev, I am not convinced that Joseph Dana does a service to historiography on this subject. Whether or not the “new historians proved that Israel had planned to expel thousands of Arabs regardless of the success of the U.N. partition plan” is up for some considerable debate even among New Historians. Dana mentions Morris’ 1988 book, (“Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem”) but does not bring into this essay any mention of the his latest, and most comprehensive book, “1948,” where Morris clearly finds that no such master plan existed. Pappe says otherwise, but Pappe’s work is subjected to severe and convincing criticisms for bias and inaccuracies by Morris and others.

As for Dana’s critique of Morris for allegedly supporting “ethnic cleansing” he fails to offer any quotes. He only paraphrases, creating a straw man that he knocks down. Morris has defended himself quite well against these charges in the past, and I would urge the reader to search the internet for his full quotes, and not rely on Dana’s retelling.

And while on the subject of “ethnic cleansing,” Dana fails to mention the “ethnic cleansing” of some 800,000 “Arab Jews” forced out of their homes in ten Arab countries when Arab governments created an atmosphere of such intimidation (often with deadly violence) that their Jewish citizens fled. The “other Nakba” perhaps? Most resettled in Israel and are no longer refugees. The silence on this issue by those invested with promoting the “Nakba narrative” is most telling.

The Palestinian narrative avoids inconvenient truths, such as their leadership’s pro-Nazi alliance from the 1930s until Germany’s defeat. Here lies a serious question: instead of this pro-Nazi leadership that chose war in 1948, what if Palestinian leaders chose peaceful accommodation with the emerging Jewish state? How different today’s reality would be? Perhaps two states in an economic and political union at peace, and, no “Nakba”?

Shalom Freedman says:

This is a one- sided account of the controversy. Dana disqualifies himself as objective by failing to mention the Arab armies entry and call for Arabs to leave their homes. He also does not speak about the fact that it was often Arab initiated attacks and then defeats which led to their leaving certain areas. No mention is made of course of the eight- hundred thousand refugees from Arab countries which Israel absorbed.
Another point this ‘educator’ makes is completely absurd. The U.N. ‘s automatic majority and the great share of the nations of the world buy every fabrication the Palestinian Arabs invent. Why do Israelis have to be educated to a narrative which they are exposed to night and day anyway?
One more point around the unending misleading ‘occupation’ talk. How many Israeli soldiers are there in Gaza? or for that matter in Ramallah?

Mark O. says:

“So this begs teh question benj, what would the Israelis have done about this big Arab minority had there been no war?”

The big Arab minority would have been ethnically cleansed, lest it become a majority and change the name of the country back to “Palestine.”

Irony of ironies.

Chaim says:

Had the Arab nations not attacked Israel in 1948 but would have agreed to divide the land into Israel and Palestine, I would assume that the fate of the Arabs living in Israel would depend upon the fate of the Jews living in Palestine. If the Palestinian Arabs would allow the Jews to live with full citizenship rights in their country, then the Jews would reciprocate. If the Arabs would ethnically cleans their land of Jews, then the Jewish state would likely deny the Arabs in their midst the right of citizenship, and perhaps residency.
As a note, Abbas has been quoted in the media as stating that not one Jew will be allowed in Palestine should a Palestinian state ever be created.

arcaneone says:

Shingo?? Still out there?

To:
“camera” <alert@camera.org
I post as arcaneone in an online debate on Tablet magazine's article "Foundation Myths" by Joseph Dana. "Shingo", a representative of the Mondoweis blog, has introduced the following quote from Ilan Pappe regarding David Ben Gurion :

AS I pointed out earlier, on 18 February 1948, Moshe Sharett wrote “We will have only enough troops to defend ourselves, not to take over the country.” Ben Gurion replied:

“If we will receive in time the arms we have already purchased, and maybe even receive some of that promised to us by the UN, we will be able not only to defend, but also to inflict death blows on the Syrians in their own country – and take over Palestine as a whole. I am in no doubt of this. We can face all the Arab forces. This is not a mystical belief but a cold and rational calculation based on practical examination. ” Ben Gurion Archives, Correspondence Section 23.02-1.03.48 Document 59, 26 February 1948. –See page 46 of Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld, reprint 2007

I believe this quote, as worded, is one of Pappe's many frauds. Could you please give me some reliable information. Thank you.

arcaneone says:

Israel matsav

Powered by WebAds
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Life Magazine pics of Arab army removing Jews in 1948 from Jerusalem

In 1948, Israel declared a state, the Arabs attacked, and Jordanian soldiers invaded the Old City and surrounding Jewish neighborhoods. Jordan gained control of the west bank and part of Jerusalem (it is the portion that was occupied by Jordan for 19 years that they now call “East Jerusalem”). As the Jordanian soldiers invaded Jerusalem, the Jews ran for their lives. As a result of the war, Jews were thrown out of the Old City and other areas of Jerusalem en masse (creating many Jewish refugees from “East Jerusalem” that no one ever talks about).

Between the end of Israel’s war of Independence in 1949 and the six day war in 1967, the Jordanians controlled the area and they, along with UNWRA, transferred many Arabs into Jewish-owned property there. They also destroyed much Jewish property, including the famous Hurva Synagogue (recently rebuilt), approximately 38,000 graves in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and a multitude of Jewish-owned homes, synagogues, and businesses.

The controversial Arab neighborhoods right outside the Old City that today the Arabs call Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan were actually Jewish neighborhoods. Sheikh Jarrah consisted of two Jewish neighborhoods known as Nahalat Shimon and Shimon HaTzadiq. The latter was purchased by Jews in 1876. Nahalat Shimon was built by Sephardic and Yemenite Jews in 1891. Sheikh Jarrah was primarily a Jewish neighborhood in the late 19th century and remained so up until 1948.

In March 1948, Arabs invaded the neighborhood and set the Jewish synagogues and houses on fire, causing the residents to flee. In April, the Hadassah Convoy massacre, where 79 Jews were murdered, took place in the neighborhood. Silwan, where Yemenite Jews had settled in 1882 (and where King David built the original Jerusalem) was also taken over, along with the Old city’s Jewish quarter

read it all

arcaneone says:

In viewof Shingo’s claim that the Mandate Jews rejected the Peel Commission, and his reliance on Pappe, notice how Pappe presents the Peel Commission report in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine(page 15)

“…The Zionist leadership had wasted no time in working out their plans for an exclusively Jewish presence in Palestine: first, in 1937, by accepting a modest portion of the land when they responded favourably to a recommendation by the British Royal Peel commission to partition Palestine into two states…”

Yitzhak Santis says:

Let’s not forget one salient, crucial fact: the Palestinians started the war immediately after the Nov 29 Partition vote. They did not have to start a war, but they chose to do so. Every where Palestinian forces, with their ALA allies (and if you don’t know what was the ALA, go and learn) were victorious (and they did have some victories), they “ethnically cleansed” (to use the popular phrase in this discussion) Jewish communities.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, the Palestinian leadership was pro-Nazi before and during WW2, deeply in bed with the highest ranking Nazi leaders. Those who complain of “Zionist alliances with British imperialism” ought to be taking a good hard look at Palestinian alliances during this period. It ain’t pretty.

Both sides committed atrocities in the 1948 war. Anti-Zionists, you already know your trope and have your atrocity lists lined up. These atrocity lists should include the numerous Palestinian, and other Arab forces’, massacres and expulsions of Jews during the war.

In the final analysis, it isn’t the Yishuv’s fault that they were better organized and prepared than the Palestinian and subsequent invading Arab armies. The Arab side of this conflict took a gamble by choosing war against Israel with the declared goal of destroying it & expelling or “exterminating” (the word used by the Arab League Secretary General) the Jewish population.

That they failed is not our fault. That we were better organized is not our fault. They started the war in 1947-1949 and they lost. Also, not our fault. That the ‘nakba’ was a self-inflicted catastrophe is not our fault. That we absorbed Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries, while they forced Palestinians to sit for decades in refugee camps, is also not our fault.

The Arab side has been trying to reverse the results of their aggression through wars, terrorism, BDS, and now marches on our borders ever since 1948.

Jacob says:

Here is Benny Morris in a letter to The Irish Times in 2008:”Israel-haters are fond of citing-and more often, mis-citing – my work in support of their arguments. The Palestinian Arabs were responsible for what befell them in 1948. In defiance of the will of the international community, as embodied in the UN General Assembly Resolution of November 29th,1947, they launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. But they lost; and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes. Most of Palestine’s 700,000 refugees fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops. There was no Zionist “plan” or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of “ethnic cleansing”. Plan Dalet, of March 10th, 1948, available for all to read in the IDF Archive, was the master plan of the Haganah – to counter the expected pan-Arab assault on the emergent Jewish state. That’s what it explicitly states and that’s what it was. And the invasion of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq duly occurred, on May 15th. It is true that Plan D gave the regional commanders carte blanche to occupy and garrison or expel and destroy the Arab villages along and behind the front lines and the anticipated Arab armies’ invasion routes.”All of that is based on well researched and documented historical evidence not “narratives”. The Palestinian nakba was the direct result of the war they started. As for Pappe. Here is a quote:”My pro-Palestinian bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stock to facts and the ‘Truth’.Mine is a subjective approach. A true Soviet type “historian”…

David says:

Those ungrateful Arabs. They didn’t welcome the Partition Plan. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that although Jews (90% of whom were of foreign origin) made up only 31% of the population (only 30% had taken out citizenship and thousands were illegal immigrants) and owned less that 6% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal status, contrary to the terms of the British Class A Mandate, never adopted by the UNSC) shockingly and outrageously recommended they be given 56% of the land of Palestine. (10% of the Jewish population consisted of native anti-Zionist Palestinian/Arab Jews.)

Although native Palestinians made up at least 69 % of the population and owned over 94% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they have a mere 42% as a state with 2% set aside as a corpus separatum comprising Jerusalem and Bethlehem and environs. No wonder the incredibly unjust and illegal Partition Plan was rejected by the Palestinians and other Arabs. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the “Jewish State” of Israel after Jewish forces had already expelled 400,000 Palestinians (as per bthe Jewish Agency’s Plan Dalet), the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship for all of Palestine.

Although reluctant to do so, outgunned and outnumbered Arab state armies were forced to intervene militarily in an attempt to stem the accelerating explusion of Palestinians (e.g., 65,0000 were driven out of Haifa in late April; 75,000 from Jaffa in early May and 60,000 from West Jerusalem during March and early May.) A cease-fire proposed by the US was accepted by the Arabs but rejected by Israel. During the ensuing war Israeli forces defeated the Arabs, seized 78% of Palestine, expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians and destroyed about 450 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries.

David says:

Regarding the long-since debunked myth that the Arab governments and Palestinian leaders called upon Palestinians to leave their lands and homes in 1948:

Israeli historian Simha Flapan: “The claim that the exodus was an ‘order from above,’ from the Arab leadership, proved to be particularly good propaganda for many years, despite its improbability. Indeed, from the point of view of military logistics, the contention that the Palestinian Arab leadership appealed to the Arab masses to leave their homes in order to open the way for the invading armies, after which they would return to share in the victory, makes no sense at all. The Arab armies, coming long distances and operating in or from the Arab areas of Palestine, needed the help of the local population for food, fuel, water, transport, manpower, and information.”

John H. Davis, Commission-General of UNRWA in 1948: “An exhaustive examination of the minutes, resolutions, and press releases of the Arab League, of the files of leading Arabic newspapers, of day-to-day monitoring of broadcasts from Arab capitals and secret Arab radio stations, failed to reveal a single reference, direct or indirect, to an order given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave. All the evidence is to the contrary; that the Arab authorities continuously exhorted the Palestinian Arabs not to leave the country…. But the extent to which the refugees were savagely driven out by the Israelis as part of a deliberate master-plan has been insufficiently recognized.”

arcaneone says:

Two Haganah intelligence reports about the situation in Haifa’s Arab neighborhoods were drawn up a week after the city’s conquest. An excerpt from the first report said: “Spoke today with a number of Muslims and Christians who remained in the city. They are extremely worried about May 15. On the one hand, they do not believe in the possibilities of an invasion of an Arab army from the neighboring countries; on the other hand, they are apprehensive that in the event of an invasion they will be in dire straits, as they have been informed that everyone who did not leave Haifa is viewed as a traitor and as having ties with the Jews. The situation has reached such a pitch that many who had thought to stay are now planning to leave the city during the week.”

The second report related: “Mr. Taharuna, the director general of the Spinni Company, said that all the Arab workers had left Haifa. They did not want to go, but apparently received an order from above. The workers said they would be back in another six to eight weeks.” Elsewhere, the report states: “The Arabs now in Haifa are desperate and do not know what to do − to go or stay? Most of those who are here are waiting to get their wages from the [British] government and then to leave, as every Arab who remains in Haifa is considered by the public to be a traitor to his people.”

If these remarks are not accurate, what is Fogelman’s purpose in including them in a piece highly critical of the Zionist enterprise? I notice that no one is directly accusing Fogelman of evidence fabrication the way Pappe, for instance, has been both here and elsewhere.

There you have the evidence, so far unchallenged specifically, and if it happened in Haifa only the desperately disingenuous would cling to the belief that it didn’t happen elsewhere, whatever your head-in-the-sand sources say.

arcaneone says:

1948 statement by Robert F. Kennedy:

Ben-David links to another blog that contains excerpts from a series of articles written by RFK for a now-defunct Boston newspaper, after his visit to “Palestine” in March 1948.

The articles show some things have not changed at all and point to the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict which are no different 63 years later.

The Arabs are most concerned about the great increase in the Jews in Palestine: 80,000 in 1948. The Arabs have always feared this encroachment and maintain that the Jews will never be satisfied with just their section of Palestine, but will gradually move to overpower the rest of the country and will eventually move onto the enormously wealthy oil lands. They are determined that the Jews will never get the toehold that would be necessary for the fulfillment of that policy.

They are willing to let the Jews remain as peaceful citizens subject to the rule of the Arab majority just as the Arabs are doing in such great number in Egypt and the Levant states, but they are determined that a separate Jewish state will be attacked and attacked until it is finally cut out like an unhealthy abscess.

While the Arabs are unabashedly hostile, the Jews appear naively proud about the benefits they have brought their neighbors:

The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state. This is the only country in the Near and Middle East where an Arab middle class is in existence.

One thing that seems different in the period RFK describes is Jewish national spirit and morale, which he describes as “101-percent”:

arcaneone says:

RFK, CONT.

The Jewish people in Palestine who believe in and have been working toward this national state have become an immensely proud and determined people. It is already a truly great modern example of the birth of a nation with the primary ingredients of dignity and self-respect. (…)

The die has long since been cast; the fight will take place. The Jews with their backs to the sea, fighting for their very homes, with 101 percent morale, will accept no compromise.

On the other hand, the Arabs say: “We shall bring Moslem brigades from Pakistan, we shall lead a religious crusade for all loyal followers of Mohammed, we shall crush forever the invader. Whether it takes three months, three years, or 30, we will carry on the fight. Palestine will be Arab. We shall accept no compromise.”

Kennedy describes “annihilation” of the Jews as the Arab purpose:

Within the Old City of Jerusalem there exists a small community of orthodox Jews. They wanted no part of this fight but just wanted to be left alone with their wailing wall. Unfortunately for them, the Arabs are unkindly disposed toward any kind of Jew and their annihilation would now undoubtedly have been a fact had it not been that at the beginning of hostilities the Haganah moved several hundred well-equipped men into their quarter.

arcaneone says:

RFK, CONT..

r.

Jews in that period were actually proud of their settlements:

The Jews have small settlements or community farms such as Givat Brenner in completely hostile territory. They take pride that, despite the great difficulties, they have not evacuated any of them. From the very tip of Galilee right down to the arid Negev these communities exist…

Kennedy agreed with the Jewish claim of British hostility toward the Jews:

The British government, in its attitude towards the Jewish population in Palestine, has given ample credence to the suspicion that they are firmly against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

When I was in Cairo shortly after the blowing up of the Jewish Agency [March 11, 1948] I talked to a man who held a high position in the Arab League. He had just returned from Palestine where he had, among other things, interviewed and arranged transportation to Trans-Jordan for the Arab responsible for that Jewish disaster. This Arab told him that after the explosion, upon reaching the British post which separated the Jewish section from a small neutral zone set up in the middle of Jerusalem, he was questioned by the British officers in charge. He quite freely admitted what he had done and was given immediate passage with the remark “Nice going.”

arcaneone says:

RFK, CONT..

RFK described preparations for the war which would result in the “Nakba” Arabs cry about today:

When I was in Tel Aviv the Jews informed the British government that 600 Iraqi troops were going to cross into Palestine from Trans-Jordan by the Allenby Bridge on a certain date and requested the British to take appropriate action to prevent this passage. The troops crossed unmolested. It is impossible for the British to patrol the whole Palestinian border to prevent illegal crossings but such flagrant violations should certainly have led to some sort of action.

Five weeks ago I saw several thousand non-Palestinian Arab troops in Palestine, including many of the famed British-trained and equipped Arab legionnaires of King Abdullah [of Trans-Jordan]. There were also soldiers from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Trans-Jordan, and they were all proudly pointed out to me by a spokesman of the Arab higher committee. He warned me against walking too extensively through Arab districts as most of the inhabitants there were now foreign troops. Every Arab to whom I talked spoke of thousands of soldiers massed in the “terrible triangle of Nablus-Tulkarem-Jenin” and of hundreds that were pouring in daily.

When I was in Lebanon and asked a dean at the American University at Beirut if many students were leaving for the fight in Palestine he shrugged and said, “Not now – the quota has been oversubscribed.” When journeying by car from Jerusalem to Amman I passed many truckloads of armed Arabs and even then Jericho was alive with Arab troops. There is no question that it was taken over by the Arabs for an armed camp long before May 15.

arcaneone says:

RFK, CONT.

The Arabs in command believe that eventually victory must be theirs. It is against all law and nature that this Jewish state should exist. They trace expectantly its long boundary and promise that if it does become a reality it will never have as neighbors anything but hostile countries, which will continue the fight militarily and economically until victory is achieved

arcaneone says:

Pretty good thread all around. As I said months ago, the commenters here are a lot better than the professional(?) writers. Speaking of which, I hear that Goldberg is moving his blog here from the Atlantic. Woooo!

btw, I tried googling Shingo’s Pappe quote re ben Gurion, and all I got was a bunch of circular references to Mondoweiss and the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Nothing to the ben Gurion Archives where Pappe claimed to have gotten the quote. Does that have any non-sinister implication(serious question)?

Mark O. says:

No one has debunked my earlier claim that if there had been no war in 1948 (and I should add, if the Arab nations had not expelled their Jews shortly afterwards) that the tiny state of Israel would in all likelihood today have an Arab majority or near majority and would have already voted to join the Arab state envisioned under the original partition plan. No Arab rejection of Zionism in 1948 = No Jewish state in 2011.

Is this true? The only way I can imagine it not being true is if most of the Palestinians who wound up in refugee camps came not from towns and villages envisioned as being part of Israel under the 1947 partition plan, but rather lived in towns and villages that were part of area envisioned as being part of the Arab state under the partition plan, but subsequently conquered by Israel during the independence war. Does anyone know WHERE the original Palestinian refugees tended to come from? Did they come from land intended for Israel in the 1947 partition, or intended for the new Arab state?

Katz says:

when I go to the restroom, I observe Qaqba

MikeinBrentwood says:

“The British government, in its attitude towards the Jewish population in Palestine, has given ample credence to the suspicion that they are firmly against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.”

arcaneone,

The elephant in the room which you are either unaware of or just omit is that the Brits probably didn’t much care for being bombed, shot at and killed by the Jews of Palestine and this may, just may, have given them a less than favorable stance towards the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

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As any example of ethno-nationalism, Serbian comes to mind as one beside Jewish that is still alive and kicking, Zionism driving Israeli society crazy, which lead Finkelstein to proclaim her “lunatic state”, and rightly so.
Also, J. Dana, since when we as 21st century societies or individual human beings accept, and seems to me you certainly do, ethnic cleansing, rape and genocide to be called “pragmatic state building” ?
This is very depressing !

As any example of ethno-nationalism, Serbian comes to mind as one beside Jewish that is still alive and kicking, Zionism driving Israeli society crazy, which lead Finkelstein to proclaim her “lunatic state”, and rightly so.
Also, J. Dana, since when we as 21st century societies or individual human beings accept, and seems to me you certainly do, ethnic cleansing, rape and genocide to be called “pragmatic state building” ?
This is very depressing !

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Foundation Myths

Stifling debate on the Nakba—the Arabic word for catastrophe and how Palestinians refer to Israel’s founding—prevents a free and open discussion of the historical record

More on Tablet:

The Palestinians Are to Blame for the Failed Peace Talks—But Not for the Reason You Think

By Lee Smith — Abbas is facing an internal challenge to his leadership, and that—not Israeli housing plans—is why he’s bailing on Kerry