Halifax Herald's incredible 'big lie' demolished

----- Original Message -----

From: Ismail Zayid
To: Dauphinee, Bev
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:23 PM
Subject: Israel's systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians

July 30, 2006

The Editor,
The Halifax herald.

Dear Editor:

Israel's Systematic Ethnic Cleansing of the Palestinians

Mike Forsythe reproduces a whole series of falsehoods, in his article "The Big Lie at heart of anti-Israel sentiment" July 30 (full text reproduced below - editor). The most outrageous of which is the claim that it was the Arab leaders who orchestrated the exodus of the Palestinian refugees from their homeland. This lie was thoroughly demolished by Israeli and international historians and journalists, and that is what I will deal with here.

The systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, from their homeland, was an orchestrated Zionist program, which goes back to the father of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl, who wrote in his diaries in 1896, and stated before the First World Zionist Congress, in Basle, in 1897, "We shall try to spirit the [Arab] population across the border ... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly" ( R. Patai ed., "The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl", Vol. 1).

David Ben-Gurion, in a letter to his son, Amos, in 1937, confided that when the Jewish state came into being, "We will expel the Arabs and take their places." (David Ben Gurion, 1937, "Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs", Oxford University Press 1985.) Later, Ben-Gurion, while visiting the newly conquered city of Nazareth in July 1948, exclaimed, "Why are there so many Arabs left here? Why didn't you expel them."

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff.
From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

Joseph Weitz, the Jewish Agency chief representative, also stated that he and other Zionist leaders concluded in 1940 that there was "no room for both peoples together in this country". The achievement of Zionist objectives, he realized, required "a Palestine or at least Western Palestine (West of the Jordan River) without Arabs". He wrote that it was necessary "to transfer the Arabs from here to neighbouring countries - to transfer all of them, and only after such transfer would the country be able to absorb millions of our brethren".

The process of ethnic cleansing was accomplished in 1948 by a campaign of massacres, intimidation and psychological warfare.

An article in the Tel Aviv newspaper, Hair, of May 6, 1992, by Guy Ehrlich, documents evidence collected by the American Jewish journalist, Dan Kortzman, author of Genesis 1948, and the history researcher, Ariyeh Yitzhaki, of at least twenty large massacres of Arabs and about hundreds more massacres committed by Israeli forces. Yitzhaki states: "For many Israelis it was easy to cling to the false claim that the Arabs left the country because that their leaders ordered. That is a total lie. The fundamental cause for the flight of the Arabs was fear of Israelis' violence, and that fear had a basis in reality."

The Israeli propaganda fable, that continues to be reproduced, was that the refugees left in response to orders, by Arab leaders, broadcast on Arab radios. This fabrication was further demolished by Dr. Erskine Childres, the Irish historian, who examined all the American and British monitoring records of all Middle East broadcasts throughout 1948 and reported: "There was not a single order or appeal or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine, in 1948. There is repeated monitored records of Arab appeals, even flat orders, to civilians of Palestine to stay put." (The Spectator, May 12,1961).

Nathan Chofshi, the Israeli thinker, wrote, in response to a similar claim by the American Rabbi Kaplan: "If Rabbi Kaplan really wanted to know what happened, we old settlers in Palestine, who witnessed the flight, could tell him how and in what manner we, Jews, forced the Arabs to leave their cities and villages ... We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And we still dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being ashamed of what we did and of trying to undo some of the evil we committed by helping these unfortunate refugees, we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them." (Jewish Newsletter, Feb. 9, 1959.)

However, even if we accept the false claim that the Muslim and Christian Palestinian refugees left willingly, why are they, 58 years later, not allowed to return back to their homes? The Right of Return is sacred and legal. It is enshrined in international law and repeated UN resolutions. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to leave any country including his own, and to return to his country". On December 11, 1948, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted resolution #194, of which paragraph 11 states that the General Assembly:

"Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for the loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible...."

Surely, it is time that Israel and its apologists should begin to accept to comply with international law, so that a just peace, in the Middle East, may be formulated so that peace and security can be assured for Israelis and Palestinians, in this tortured land.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.


The Big Lie at heart of anti-Israel sentiment


The Chronicle Herald

July 30, 2006

I'M amazed at the sheer volume of hysterical accusations levelled at Israel day after day. Hypocrisy and falsehoods permeate any and all discussions of the topic. With notable exceptions, many in the West display an irrationality and a willingness to turn objective truths on their heads (as seen, for example, in CUPE Ontario's boycott of Israel). The words "apartheid" and "genocide" are hurled at Israel by the malefic, gullible or ignorant until they no longer have meaning.

Hamas and Hezbollah lobbed thousands of rockets specifically at Israeli civilians (no leaflets warning innocents to flee, since THEY were the targets). Launch sites and weapons caches are deliberately and cynically situated among Arab civilians so as to virtually guarantee civilian casualties and that all-important PR.

Hezbollah are the hatchetmen for a hideous regime which hangs teenaged rape victims for "adultery." How can Westerners express "solidarity" with these killers, chanting "We are all Hezbollah"? Israel is always incorrectly perceived as "Goliath" and its enemies as "David," no matter how evil "David" is and how treacherous his methods.

Why this enormous, pathological hatred of Israel from those who should know better? The blind acceptance of one colossal lie since the mid-1950s has convinced many that Israel is as evil as Nazi Germany. This pillar of the Palestinian victim mythology was printed in a July 16 Herald opinion article: "In 1948, Israel drove the majority of Palestinians out of their homeland," as if a mighty Zionist army magically appeared in 1948, cleansing Palestine of its peaceful Arabs. Considering how outnumbered and outgunned Israel was in 1948, the very notion is ludicrous in the extreme.

The UN itself voted to partition Palestine in 1947, bringing an immediate increase in Arab violence. Jews were attacked by Palestinian Arabs plus a volunteer "Arab Liberation Army." Other Arab nations publicly stated their intention to invade the moment Israel declared itself. Up to 30,000 well-off Palestinian Arabs fled immediately to "wait it out."

The UN Palestine Commission named the instigators correctly: "Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein." When Israel declared statehood, five Arab armies invaded with genocidal intentions while the world simply watched. Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, said: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre "

The flight of Arabs into neighbouring countries (often assisted by the British military) was reported exhaustively by the world media at the time. While common knowledge, there were no charges of mass expulsions, not even from Arab leaders. Civilians with somewhere to go will naturally flee fighting, but Arab leaders recklessly encouraged some Palestinians to leave temporarily and return when the area was cleansed of Jews.

"We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." - Iraqi PM Nuri Said

"Since 1948, we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave." - Syrian PM Haled al Azm

"Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live." - Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)

Spreading stories of Jewish atrocities didn't galvanize local Arabs as hoped, but scared more into fleeing. Jews didn't have the option of travelling a short distance to safety; it was win or be destroyed. In the aftermath of the Arabs' humiliating defeat, refugees lingered in the camps while Jordan illegally annexed Jerusalem/West Bank and Egypt annexed the Gaza Strip.

As UNRWA's Ralph Galloway noted in 1958: "The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the UN and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die." The refugees were used as a pretext for violating every single facet of the ceasefire agreement, and have been used as a cudgel ever since.

The blaming of Israel for the refugees only occurred years later as Arab leaders tried to deflect criticism from themselves. Repeated endlessly, it's now "common knowledge." Much of the rancour towards Israel stems from this monstrous lie (and the fact that many people want it to be true). To many, it justifies the 57 years of murderous attacks on Israeli citizens.

A refugee is quoted in 1954: "The Arab government told us, 'Get out so that we can get in.' So we got out, but they did not get in." Arab states failed in their bid to finish Hitler's dream, but then, as now, there was no attempt to take responsibility for their own actions.

The rest of the world operates on the premise that if you launch aggressive action, you lose territory; that's the price tag. With Israel's enemies, a disconnect exists between aggressive action and the inevitably unfortunate results.

Mike Forsythe lives in Halifax.

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