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Whitewashing Israeli History

Posted on Jul 22, 2009
Israel Palestine Land

Maps trace the loss of Palestinian land (shown in green) to Israel (shown in white) over the decades.

Because if it’s not in the history books, it didn’t happen. Today’s Orwell Award goes to the Israeli government, whose education minister has decided to remove references to what Palestinians call the “catastrophe”—when Israel defeated five Arab nations in a 1948 war and expelled 700,000 Palestinians—from textbooks given to Arab schoolchildren.

If you read the Associated Press copy carefully, you will see that the first and second paragraphs say two very different things. The lead paragraph claims the “catastrophe” is a reference to the creation of the state of Israel. The second claims catastrophe refers to the Palestinian “defeat and exile in the war over Israel’s 1948 creation.” Al-naqba actually refers to the exile of 700,000 Palestinians and the loss of 80 percent of the Palestinian homeland to an invading force—not a petty condemnation of Israel’s creation.

The Associated Press:

The Israeli government will remove references to what Palestinians call the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation from textbooks for Arab schoolchildren, the education minister said Wednesday.

The reference to “al-naqba,” the Arabic word catastrophe, as Palestinians call their defeat and exile in the war over Israel’s 1948 creation, was inserted by a dovish Israeli education minister in 2007.

The phrase remains contentious six decades later, a symptom of the continuing divisions in Israel. Many Israeli Arabs identify politically with their Palestinian counterparts in the West Bank and Gaza. As a result, some Israeli Jews accuse Israeli Arabs of disloyalty to the country.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, July 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment


I must commend you for your 2 excellent comments/posts.

They will be eye openers for those who really don’t know the truth/fact about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I know that I posted on several occasions on what Naeim Giladi has written in details about “The Jews of Iraq”.


Welcome back cyrena, I haven’t seen much of your posting on TD lately. Glad to see that you are back, but some will not. Hope all is well with you.

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By Robert, July 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

sepharad writes:

“The bad news is it’ll be awhile before TD carries some of the disgraceful content in Palestinian school curricula and kiddie pro-jihadi tv shows. Maybe never. But who says a website has to be fair?”

Hmmm…have a look at the following Israeli children & what are they being taught? 

It wasn’t too long ago when these images of Israeli children who were writing and signing their names on bombs / missiles that were headed for Lebanon’s cities, towns, villages & children .

In one of the photos, one can see an Israeli military / IDF standing on top of his tank and watching little happy Israeli girls writing/signing on large bomb shells.

Click on link to view photos from 2006:

Israeli children sign their missiles ‘with love’

“Never have I witnessed such an appalling display of utter contempt for human life. And they’re not even ashamed to beam it across the globe, for all the world to see.”

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By Sepharad, July 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Ed, could just be that, and more. Give it and the Palestinians a little more time. Prime Minister of Fatah Saab Fayyad told the Aspen Institute that when there is a second state of Palestine, Jews will be welcome and have same rights as the Israeli Arabs do. Brilliant message. Pokes thumb in idiot Lieberman’s eye and reassures Jews that Netanyahu wants to be scared.

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By brewerstroupe, July 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Part one.

“When Israel became a State in 1948, Jews in ALL Arab countries were told to “hit the road” and go to their new homeland.”

Nonsense. Most Arab States actually discouraged Jews from leaving for fear that they would strengthen the Jewish State.

The Jews of Egypt did not begin to leave until the 1956 Israel/Brit/French attack on that country and the terrorist attacks known as the “Lavon Affair”.

  The exodus of Egyptian Jews did not start immediately after the 1948 war. According to members of the community, many prominent Jews were interned after 1948 and held in camps, but were not ill-treated and were finally released. I was told, “After 1948 there was no intensive official hard feelings. On the contrary, there were still very good business relations and Jews were respected and appreciated.”

  In 1952, a wave of nationalist Xenophobia swept Cairo and many big shops and a hotel were burned down during a rampage known as the ‘Cairo fire’. The Jews, many of whom held foreign passports and were lumped by the nationalists with the other non-Egyptian owners of most of Egypt’s business and industry, were one of the targets of this rage. But the wave passed, and King Farouk reimbursed property owners for damages. However, in July 1952, the Free Officers Movement, including the then unknown Gamal Abdel Nasser, overthrew King Farouk. At this point many wealthy Jews began to leave.

  During the next four years, “there was no open persecution, but you felt if you needed a special signature, people were reticent about giving it to you.” Young Jews holding non-Egyptian passports found it hard to get jobs, although Egyptian Jews did not feel so much animosity.

  The invasion of Sinai in 1956 by Israeli, French, and British forces sparked a full exodus. Many Jews were temporarily interned and their property sequestered. All British and French citizens, which included many Jews, were ordered to leave. Among those Jews who remained, many were dismissed from all official positions and kicked out of all clubs. (They were later allowed to return to some jobs, at lower levels, and club memberships were eventually restored.)

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By brewerstroupe, July 23, 2009 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Part Two

There were also bombings in Baghdad designed to “encourage” Jewish flight ot Israel.

“I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.” I write about it because I was part of it.”

Journlist Naeim Giladi’s position that the bombings were “perpetrated by Zionist agents in order to cause fear amongst the Jews, and so promote their exodus to Israel” is shared by a number of anti-Zionist authors, including the Israeli Black Panthers (1975), David Hirst (1977), Wilbur Crane Eveland (1980), Uri Avnery (1988), Ella Shohat (1986), Abbas Shiblak (1986), Marion Wolfsohn (1980), and Rafael Shapiro (1984). In his article, Giladi notes that this was also the conclusion of Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former senior officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who outlined that allegation in his book “Ropes of Sand”.

As for “fine country”, but for Holocaust reparations, private donations and official U.S. financial aid, Israel’s economy would be a baske case. It has uncommonly high crime stats and its citizens are among the most unwelcome tourists wherever they go. Not to mention the rampant culture apartheid it has created.

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By Ed Harges, July 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

re:By Sepharad, July 23 at 9:06 pm:

Even if Israel were in fact “a damn fine country”: to be worthy of the level of groveling, self-destructive support the US gives it, Israel would have to be a darn sight better than “a damn fine country.” It would have to be an infinitely perfect country. It would have to be better not only than any other conceivable country; it would have to be better than any other conceivable thing.

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By Sepharad, July 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Old Geezer Pilot—I can’t believe it. At last a realist. You sum it up beautifully and in fewer words than I’ve ever been able to do. Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you again. Israel IS a “damn fine country.” Not perfect, but damn fine indeed.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

jour writes:

•  “If it weren’t for this ongiing conflict which, perversely, seems to be in the best interests of Israel to continue to fan the fires of, Israel would long ago have faded into obscurity as a nation of narrow-minded bigots with a collective inbred persecution complex whose religious beliefs justify basically any offense they choose to commit. “

This is an interesting supposition in terms of what would have happened to Israel if this conflict had not remained entrenched from day one. It’s honestly hard (for me) to believe that Israel would EVER have faded into obscurity, based on the fundamentals of Zionist political thinking, which had nothing to do with God in terms of the founders of Zionism.

•  “Yes, yes, the holocaust DID happen.  Two generations ago.  That’s over, too, and it cannot be reversed, either.”

And, the Holocaust that DID happen, didn’t have anything to do with the genocide of over 700,000 Palestinians back in 1948, when they were expelled from their lands by the founders of Zion. That was the well PLANNED cleansing of a piece of real estate long coveted by the founders, and had nothing to do with God, aside from the location of said real estate, which happens to be mentioned in some of the various Holy Books that have been used to attempt to legitimize the theft of the real estate.

Now on this….

•  “I know, I know.  Can’t do it because God is on their side.  And the opposition can’t walk away because God is on THEIR side.  Same God, too.  You can’t make stuff up like this.”

The irony is that you really CAN make up stuff like this. That’s why it’s been the longest running conflict in the history of the world. (that’s slightly rhetorical I suppose). That’s why the title is about Israel whitewashing history. It’s called myth creation and the myth has been perpetrated for over 60 years.  The most dangerous part of the myth has been the false connection between the European Holocaust that persecuted many Jews and OTHERS, and the creation of an exclusive state for Jews only in an area long inhabited by Arabs.  The plan to create that exclusive state in that location came about long before the Holocaust.

So, any connection between the Holocaust in Europe and the millions of indigenous Arabs ‘cleansed’ from their homelands thousands of miles away is all made up.

They can make up anything they want, and this much of it obviously HAS been to Israel’s interest. Had nobody believed the ‘connection’ to begin with, things might be different. Hard to know, but it’s always enlightening to consider.

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By Old Geezer Pilot, July 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not a one way street. When Israel became a State in 1948, Jews in ALL Arab countries were told to “hit the road” and go to their new homeland.

More Jews were displaced than Arabs. The difference - the Jews of Baghdad, for example, were upper middle class - and fled for their lives, leaving behind their homes, furniture, art, etc etc.

Why is this not talked about? Why did the Palestinian refugees “camp out” on our nickel (UNWRA) waiting for the day when they could get their homes back?


Wake up everybody.

Get on with your lives. The Jews did, and they made a damned fine country. The Palestinians have done NOTHING in 60 years except fight the Jews.

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By Sepharad, July 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Stephen Smoliar, Thanks for link. Just possibly, some of the truthdiggers will click on and learn from it, but given the general tenor of the responses here, to this article, you can gauge how likely that is.

And no, I don’t think truthdig would have covered Farfur (Farfour) and other Hamas al-aqsa programming aimed at very very young, impressionable children.
“Truth” is a very elastic concept on this site, and in general aimed at leftish/anti-Israelish/sorts, but being a progressive leftish sort myself, I read and comment here because there are other topics of interest and a handful of sane, civilized commenters who, even if they don’t much like Israel, have original ideas re other topics.

My husband and I are San Franciscans who moved north of Sebastopol in ‘88 for the schools and to finally be able to keep horses. We go to SF fairly often.
I looked at some of the other posts on your blog and will do so again. Good writing, clear thinking, what’s not to like?

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By godistwaddle, July 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

No Indians.  I don’t care if the U.S. DID feel bad about ignoring the holocaust, Israel has no right to exist where it does.  Delaware?

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By jonr, July 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly, morally or immorally, it’s over.  Israel has won, and the Palestinians have lost.  It has been since 1948, and this is 2009.  Over 50 years have passed.

Yes, the whole situation is wrong, but it is what it is and it is NOT going to change.  Walk away.

If it weren’t for this ongiing conflict which, perversely, seems to be in the best interests of Israel to continue to fan the fires of, Israel would long ago have faded into obscurity as a nation of narrow-minded bigots with a collective inbred persecution complex whose religious beliefs justify basically any offense they choose to commit.  (Yes, EXACTLY like some other Middle-Easterners who consider the USA their enemy).  Take away Israel’s persecution component, and what’s left?

Yes, yes, the holocaust DID happen.  Two generations ago.  That’s over, too, and it cannot be reversed, either.

So, walk away.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict is one of the rare cases that whoever backs down first has the potential to actually WIN by creating PEACE in the Middle East.  Not exactly something to be ashamed of, that.

Walk away.  Just walk away.

I know, I know.  Can’t do it because God is on their side.  And the opposition can’t walk away because God is on THEIR side.  Same God, too.  You can’t make stuff up like this.

Maybe both sides should think about walking away from that, too.

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By Robert, July 23, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment


Here is some additional news from Israelis along the same route, but a different situation from your last post:



Israel tries to extradite 11 to US for lottery fraud

Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:57am EDT

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - “Israeli prosecutors on Thursday sought court approval to extradite 11 people wanted in the United States on charges of running a telemarketing fraud that bilked elderly victims out of more than $25 million.

Criminal indictments unsealed in a district court in Manhattan on Tuesday accuse 12 people of phoning victims in the United States and falsely telling them they had won an international lottery.

Victims were told they needed to pay thousands of dollars in fees and taxes before claiming their prizes, authorities said. There was no lottery and the victims never received prizes after sending money to the defendants in Israel, U.S. officials said.

Eleven of the accused—ten Israelis and a U.S. citizen—appeared on Thursday in a Jerusalem court where prosecutors demanded they remain in custody until they are extradited to the United States, the Justice Ministry said.

It did not say why only 11 people, and not 12 as stated in the U.S. indictment, had been arrested.

The indictment filed charged the 12 with conspiracy to commit fraud through an Israel-based telemarketing firm. Several were also charged with mail fraud and wire fraud.”

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By Robert, July 23, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Former Israeli Minister - “It’s a Trick, We Always Use It, calling people anti Semitic”

Click link to view short video / interview with Amy Goodman, from

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By Robert, July 23, 2009 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Education Or Mind Infection?

Speech given at Connecticut College, New London, CT

By Nurit Peled-Elhanan


“I would like to dedicate these words to all the Palestinian boys and girls, and to all the Lebanese boys and girls, and to all the Iraqi boys and girls who have been massacred by mind-infected Israeli and American soldier boys, and who have recently joined my own little girl in the underground kingdom of dead children, which is growing under our feet as I speak. I would like to tell them not to worry: “You will be well received there, children, and no one will hurt you just because you wandered off on your way to school or because you wore a scarf on your head or because you lived in a certain place. Rest in peace, everyone is equally worthy in your new world. This is the world where Israeli children dwell side by side with Palestinian children. There they lay, victims and murderers, whose bloods have long been absorbed by the holy land which has always been indifferent to blood. There they rest, all of them, victims of deceit.

All of you dead children were deceived, because your death has achieved nothing at all and the world goes on living as if your blood had never been shed. Because the leaders of the world keep playing their murderous games, using you as their dice and our grief as fuel for their killing machines. Because children are abstract entities for generals and grief is a political tool. Living at both sides, that of the victims and that of the killers, I keep asking myself, what are the means by which good Israeli children are turned into murdering monsters, what are the means by which they are so mind-infected as to kill and torture and humiliate other children, their parents and grandparents, and sacrifice their own life for nothing but the folly and megalomania of their chiefs? In the so-called Western enlightened world everyone feels very well-founded when they blame Islam for suicide bombing and terror. But who would ever blame Judaism for murder? And yet, Ulta Orthodox Jewish children who have never left Brooklyn know that to kill Arabs is a ‘mitzva’ (holy commandment) for they are ‘vilde hayeths’ (wild beasts). And Israeli children actually commit the crimes of slaughter and torture.

Neither Judaism nor Islam nor any religion for that matter are the cause for murder and terror. Racist education is. American imperialism is, and Israeli ruthless regime of occupation is. The women and children who suffer most from western violence today are Muslim women but racism has its way and the blame for their suffering is attributed to their being muslim.”

{Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a Lecturer in Language Education at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In September 1997, Nurit’s daughter Samarder was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. She and her family are members of the Palestinian and Israeli Bereaved Families for Peace.}

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By Stephen Smoliar, July 23, 2009 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, I cannot remember if Truthdig covered the “Farfur” affair.  I know I followed it on my blog;  and, reviewing my posts, I see that my sources were SPIEGEL ONLINE, Reuters, and the BBC, who was among the first to break the story and followed it until Farfur was martyred by being beaten to death by an “Israeli agent!”

I remember there had been talk of Farfur having a successor;  but, as you observed, the media no longer seem interested.

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By Howard, July 23, 2009 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

IT pales with the veracity of the topic.  But the hatred and vileness that is printed in the textbooks of the arab schools towards Israel and the west is what has to be addressed.

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By thomas, July 23, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even today Israel is treating the Palestinians in Gaza the same way the German Nazis did the Jews in Warsaw. “Never again” my ass!

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By Sepharad, July 22, 2009 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

sharonsj and Stephen Smoliar, both excellent posts.

The good news is that Netanyahu and Lieberman between them are succeeding in moving larger portions of the Israeli population into Peace Now/Meretz territory than seemed possible just a short while ago. 

The bad news is it’ll be awhile before TD carries some of the disgraceful content in Palestinian school curricula and kiddie pro-jihadi tv shows. Maybe never. But who says a website has to be fair?

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By Folktruther, July 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

That’s great news, Ed.  the loss support of Israel by the American population restricts Israel from its violence policies when they get too public.  As the opposition to ISrael by the American people grows, the Dem-Gops have to pay a bigger price for supporting their tyranny.

What is needed is a more holistic opposition to the US War on Terrorism, supported and instigated by Zionists.  It is a more general anti-military opposition against the Bushite-Obama policy, using the money saved for domestic concerns.  The identification of militarism with Patriotism is the main enemy here, which is supported and furthered by Zionists.  Therefore the loss of support of Zionism translates into a more general loss of militarism.

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By Brewerstroupe, July 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“They’d been told if they left, they could move back afterward and get to choose the best empty houses.”

Utter nonsense. There is no historical source to back this statement up.

The Palestinians fled as news of massacres like these:

Sa’sa’ (February 14-15 night, 1948)

What happened: 60 civilians killed, most within their own houses.

“In this operation, which was for many years to be regarded as a model raid because of the high standard of its execution, twenty houses were blown up over their inhabitants, and some sixty Arabs were killed, most of them women and children.”

Source: An article by Israeli historian Arieh Vitzhaqi from the April 14, 1972, issue of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, translated in “From the Hebrew Press,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 1, no. 4 (summer 1972), p. 145. Also quoted in Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 88; and Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 21-22.

Location: Safad district

Alternate spellings: Sa’sa

Khalidi reference: pp. 495-497

See also Jon Kimche and David Kimche, Both Sides of the Hill: Britain and the Palestine War, London: Secker & Warburg, 1960, p. 84.

Sa’sa’ was subjected to two massacres. The second one appears to have taken place on October 30. See the entry below, under that date, for information on the second massacre.

Qisarya (February 15-20?, 1948)

What happened: “Another case [of a massacre] happened in Caesarea. In February 1948 the Fourth Battalion of the Palmach forces, under the command of Josef Tabenkin, conquered Caesarea. According to Milstein, all those who did not escape from the village were killed. Milstein gleaned testimonies about this fact from fighters who participated in the conquest.”

Source: “Not Only Deir Yassin” (Guy Erlich, Ha’ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992) (quoting Israeli military historian Uri Milstein)

Location: Haifa district

Alternate spellings: Caesarea

Khalidi reference: pp. 182-184

Additional sources:

Morris, Birth, p. 54, recounts that Jewish militas conquered Qisarya on February 15 and expelled the remaining population on the 20th. As Milstein’s account doesn’t date the killings, I have given this time frame.

Haifa (February 20, 1948)

What happened: Jews attacked the Arab sections of Haifa with mortars, killing at least 6 Arabs and wounding 36.

Source: Who Are the Terrorists? (citing Middle East Journal, April 1948, p. 220.

Haifa (March 3, 1948)

What happened: “Stern Gang destroyed Salameh Building in Haifa with explosive vehicle. 11 Arabs killed, 27 wounded.”

Source: Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 271 (table).

Other sources:

“The Stern Gang claimed responsibility for the detonation of an army truck in front of the Salam building in Haifa. Fourteen Arabs were killed and at least 26 wounded.” Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 20 (citing Middle East Journal, July 1948, p. 329).

al-Husayniyya (March 12 and 16-17, 1948)

What happened: Palmach twice raided the village of al-Husayniyya, killing 15 and wounding 20 in the first attack on March 12, and killing “more than 30” in the second onslaught on the evening of March 16-17.

.... (all committed before the Arab League moved) spread.

The Childers enquiry found that, contrary to Israeli propaganda, the Arab League advised householders to stay put and that broadcasts urging Arabs to leave emanated from the Irgun/IDF.

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By gurnemanz, July 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And so it goes - the continuing memoricide of Palestinian history.  A land without a people for a people without a land.  Who’s running the madrassa now ?

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By mike112769, July 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

LOLOL! I’m sure Israel is the ONLY country that has done this (yeah, right). Anyone checked the accuracy and objectiveness of American history books lately? There is more history ignored and glossed over than many of you may think. EVERY COUNTRY does this. It is true: “History is written by the winner.”

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By NYCartist, July 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

P.T.makes a good point, in part, - but that’s why Howard Zinn wrote “A People’s History of the United States” and it’s sold a million copies (and not to libraries nor schools, but folks). We are not taught American history, but the victor’s history. I think Japan did it a variation of it in text books re WWII.

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By sharonsj, July 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just because you post it doesn’t mean it’s true either.  Claiming that Israel forced out 700,000 Palestinians doesn’t cover those who merely moved out of the way, expecting the Arab armies to kill all the Jews. They’d been told if they left, they could move back afterward and get to choose the best empty houses.  At the same time, there are an equal number of Jews who fled Arab countries, who had to give up everything they owned, but no one remembers them.  That’s because Israel took them in while the rest of the Arab world has pretty much turned their backs on the Palestinians.  Didn’t Jordan just revoke their passports?  Apparently they don’t want them living in what was supposed to be Palestine in the first place.

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By brewerstroupe, July 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

“Five (5), count’em arab countries attaked Israel at its birth 1948.”

By the time the Arab League moved to stabilise the area on 15 May 1948, between 250,000 (lowest estimate) and 400,000 (highest estimate) Palestinian non-combatant villagers had already been expelled from their homes and lands by a deliberate policy of terror:

[my new book] “ based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.”
- Benny Morris. Zionist Historian.

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By Emma, July 22, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good story but a few important factual errors/omissions:

1. No Arab armies entered any part of the Jewish territory recommended by the UN general assembly

2. in a plan rejected by the UN Security Council. The beloved partition plan never became law.

3. By the time the Arab armies entered the fray, the day after the Zionists simply declared themselves a Jewish state in violation of the above-mentioned failed partition plan and international law,

4. the Zionist military had already meticulously and brutally attacked and ethnically cleansed a good part of Palestine of its non-Jewish inhabitants.

And that’s the part of the story that’s being erased from the Israeli textbooks and the part of the story constantly erased by the A.P also.

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By Ed Harges, July 22, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

The good news: American public sentiment favoring Israel has fallen very dramatically just since last fall.

The bad news: this drop in support is not reported in our corporate Zionist mainstream media, because the useful American goyim idiots who are losing their love for Israel must not be allowed to know that they have plenty of company. They must made to continue to feel like isolated misfits in a land of deliriously enthusiastic devotees of the Holy State. It’s kind of the same way they used to keep gay people in the closet: convince them that they’re the only ones: “Everyone else is normal — only you are weird.”

Thus, the results of recent polling showing American support for Israel falling off a cliff are not reported on CNN or MSNBC. No, my dears: they’re published in a Jewish newspaper that’s not typically read by non-Jews. We have to keep these things quiet, you know:

“According to the survey of 800 registered voters, which was conducted June 9-11 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, those who believe Israel is committed to peace has dropped to 46 percent this month from 66 percent last December. The poll found that some 49 percent of American voters call themselves supporters of Israel, down from 69 percent last September, and only about 44 percent of voters believe the United States should support Israel – down from 71 percent a year ago.”

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By Robert, July 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment


July 22, 2009 at 6:59 am

The IDF price tag

By Amira Hass

“Something in the soldiers’ testimonies published by the organization Breaking the Silence last week must be scaring the Israel Defense Forces. Otherwise, its battery of spokespeople – official and unofficial – would not be taking part in such a violent campaign to silence it.

Our media is independent. It isn’t the delegitimization campaign that has caused it to be dismissive of these testimonies. Unlike the Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead has been relegated to the archaeology department as far as public interest goes, because the number of Israelis killed was low. Even without the lobbying of the IDF Spokesman’s Office, the media did not intend to waste much energy on these testimonies.

Breaking the Silence managed to reach soldiers who were not selected by the army, and to speak to them despite their commanders’ strict prohibition against divulging details of the operation outside the military complex. However, the IDF can still be proud of its ability to impose discipline. Not one of the soldiers interviewed contacted the organization on their own. Of the thousands of soldiers whom Breaking the Silence and its volunteers contacted, only a few dozen agreed to talk. The interviewees, incidentally, think the military onslaught was justified but their consciences were bothered by a number of phenomena. All of them participated in the ground offensive. Not one was a pilot or someone who by pressing a button released missiles from unmanned aircraft, though most of the killing and destruction was caused from the air.

Breaking the Silence’s policy is to publish cases about which two or more soldiers from the same unit have given evidence. They have other testimonies about far graver incidents, but these have not been corroborated. So in the booklet published last week there are only a few testimonies about killings of civilians that could have been prevented without a doubt.

The silencing and slander campaign is directed at the members of Breaking the Silence, but its aim is different. The mudslinging is the IDF’s price tag, like the fires that outpost inhabitants set in Palestinian fields. The settlers are warning the authorities against an attempt to evacuate them, and the IDF is warning soldiers who have not yet defied the order to remain silent. It is doing this to make it harder for Breaking the Silence to continue carrying out its moral obligation to talk with soldiers and paint a complete picture of the attack – the picture Israel is trying to blur at any price.”

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By Howard, July 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Well, at least there are arab schoolchildren in Israel.  None left in the arab world wence they’ve been thrown out.  It is what it is, not a ‘catastrophe’ in Israel, so ok to leave it out of textbooks.
  Five (5), count’em arab countries attaked Israel at its birth 1948.  Spurning the lands that the pal’s had been given.  Blame them !!
  And they’ve done all they can to twhwart the pal’s from having a country.  Imagine.

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By The Gay Species, July 22, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These Holocaust Denialists—Zionist Style—once again show the fallacy of special pleading (known as hypocrisy, double standards, two-faced) is still active, wherever publishers write their own history.

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By john from ojai, July 22, 2009 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Truth and justice are integrally entwined. That is why we all need to work for media reform. If the U.S. and Israeli media fail to report the truth it’s a lot harder for citizens to act for justice.

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By Stephen Smoliar, July 22, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

I used the (shorter) Reuters version of this story as grounds for my Chutzpah of the Week award:

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By Spiritgirl, July 22, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

As with all history - it is usually written by those more powerful who refuse to actually condemn their own for the brutality of the usurpation of a country they went to and a people (Palestinians) that they (Israel) wanted to conquer!

Look at what “HIStory” has written about the Native Nations in America!  If one isn’t critical, one would believe that once the “Europeans” invaded the Native Nations were not only happy to have their way of living destroyed, but were only to happy to acquiesce to living on the reservations!  Or consider slavery - one might believe that (1) the Africans transported to America were hurrying to jump on those boats for that long voyage across the Atlantic, and that Africans were soooo happy to be enslaved because it gave them “a purpose”!

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By P. T., July 22, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

That Israeli trick could be tried in the United States:  Teach American Indian kids that there were no Indians.

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