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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 10:33 AM
Original message
For Palestinians, memory matters
SFgate.com

Why do some people have the power to remember, while others are asked to forget? That question is especially poignant at this time of year, as we move from Holocaust Remembrance day in early spring to Monday's anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence on May 14, 1948.

In the months surrounding that date, Jewish forces expelled, or intimidated into flight, an estimated 750,000 Palestinians. A living, breathing, society that had existed in Palestine for centuries was smashed and fragmented, and a new society built on its ruins.

Few Palestinian families lack a personal narrative of loss from that period -- an uncle killed, or a branch of the family that fled north while the others fled east, never to be reunited, or homes, offices, orchards and other property seized. Ever since, Palestinians worldwide have commemorated May 15 as Nakba (Catastrophe) Day.

No ethical person would admonish Jews to "forget the Holocaust." Indeed, recent decades have witnessed victims of that terrible era not only remembering, but also regaining paintings and financial assets seized by the Nazis -- and justifiably so.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. There was also an invasion of Arab armies associated with that timeframe
While some cling to the pre 1967 borders, some of us remember the 1948 border which had the west back belonging to Israel.
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dave_p Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Huh??
"some of us remember the 1948 border which had the west back belonging to Israel"

There was no "1948 border which had the west back belonging to Israel". Read some history.
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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Maybe looking at a map showing the British Mandate?
Which would have both halves?

:shrug:

L-
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
32. Okay, I'm confused...
I should go digging up some maps, but I'm tired and lazy tonight and going on memory. Don't maps of the British Mandate show Palestine as just one area under British control? And maps of the partition plan show a convoluted snake-like division of the area into proposed Jewish and Arab states? And maps from after the war show an Israel, West Bank and Gaza that's the same as today? No matter how tired I am, I'm certain I've never seen any maps from 1948 or after where Israel owned the West Bank. It was always slated for the Arab state...
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. It seems to me that if we are going to put the rights of one group so far above
that of another that it becomes at the expense of the other, then the group being protected ought to be responsible for making the most concessions towards a peaceful settlement. Afterall, they are causing the destruction of society on the other side. In this case, Israel forges ahead with its goals - cementing their hold on the West Bank - with no pressure to make peace with the Palestinians.

It is the "security of the Jewish people" that has rationalized Israel's takeover of Palestinian lands, both in the past in Israel, and more recently in the occupied West Bank. There, most Palestinian children negotiate one of the 500 Israeli checkpoints and other barriers to movement just to reach school each day. Meanwhile, Israel's program of colonization of the West Bank grinds ahead relentlessly, implanting ever more Israeli settlers who must be "protected" from those Palestinians not reconciled to the theft of their homes and fields.

The primacy of Jewish security over rights of Palestinians -- to property, education, health care, a chance to make a living, and, also to security -- is seldom challenged.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
36. How is Israel supposed to make peace with Hamas again?
Correct me if I am wrong, but has Hamas changed its Charter calling for the destruction of Israel? And correct me if I am also wrong about Hamas stating it will not negotiate with Israel.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Apples and Oranges.
On a very basic level, it is also a swipe to imply the Jews (pre-Israelis) were like Nazis. It is also inaccurate to say that "Jewish forces expelled, or intimidated into flight, an estimated 750,000 Palestinians." While the number is probably in the correct ballpark, the Jews weren't the only ones 'expelling' and intimidating Palestinians into flight. Also, while Jews who were victims of the Holocaust are being compensated, they aren't getting their homes/land, ancestral or otherwise, back. The "catastrophe" is that Israel (i.e. the Jews) was not crushed as promised. Therefore, they don't have just the Israelis to blame for that fact.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Transcripts from Arab radio broadcasts all show that Palestinians were
told to stay. Massacres and other facts on the ground convinced Palestinians to leave.

More Jews emigrate to Germany than to Israel, so it seems that yes, Jews can live in Germany, as is right. But Palestinians, no matter how peaceful, cannot return to Israel, even buy a home in Israel, if they are refugees (Olmert has promised NOT ONE refugee would be allowed to return...in all the land of Israel, ever). Most of the Palestinian villages are destroyed and uninhabited to this day.

Why do you think "The "catastrophe" is that Israel (i.e. the Jews) was not crushed as promised"? Is that your definition of the catastrophe? Shouldn't we permit the Palestinians to define for themselves their pain, their history, their words?

It seems clear that it was the Palestinians who were crushed, it was the Palestinians who were literally pushed out to the sea.

Why can't there be mutual remembrance? Shouldn't the world recognize the suffering of all people? Isn't that a critical step in ending the conflict?
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sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. are these
audio recordings or written records.

but we all know that written records can NEVER be falseified so they MUST be true.

in reality the arab nations were urging many palestinians to "get out of the way of potential harm and you can return later" at the same time some were driven out. others left purely on their own accord.

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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #8
34. No, that's incorrect...
in reality the arab nations were urging many palestinians to "get out of the way of potential harm and you can return later"

There is nothing to support that particular claim, though if you know of some documentation laying in dusty archives that no historian has ever found, could you share the link to that info?

Have you read Benny Morris' 'Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited'? I've lent my copy to a friend so I can't run and grab it, but at the start of the book there's a list of Palestinian cities, towns and villages and he lists what the cause of the Palestinians leaving each one was. There's quite a few massacres listed, and a very large number of ones that were emptied out of fear at the news of massacres in other places. And quite a few others were due to expulsion by the Haganah. But nowhere in that list is a reason that reads: 'Because the arab nations told them to go'. And here's one last thing - even if they had told them to go, that doesn't justify Israel not allowing them to return once the war was over...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 04:43 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. Are you claiming that the Palestinian refugees are sworn to Israel's destruction?
Don't you think that sort of statement about the Palestinian refugees is wielding a bit of a broad-brush?

Also, since when did the Palestinians who were displaced during the war become the people who started the war?

Telling a group of people who have suffered to get over it and move on is callous, especially when the opposite attitude is displayed when it comes to Israelis...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. You forgot the sarcasm icon...
Tell me more about this world you live in where Palestinian refugees are seething masses of hatred and where Israelis are always blameless and only have the best of intentions. While ugly negative generalisations about Israelis aren't allowed here, clearly ugly and negative generalisations about Palestinians are...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. additionally
if a jew, or anyone else wants to migrate to germany, they arent automatically allowed in. they have to apply for citizenship just like everyone else.

but only the palestinians have refugee status that is inherited, are unwilling to compromise thus far on alternative compensation.

also if the palestinians who were thrown out forcibly are compensated so should the jews who were thrown out of various arab countries about the same time.

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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. actually the palestine post tells a different story..
arabs leaving Hafia AFTER the fighting was finished....and thats just one example of the era:

http://jic.tau.ac.il/Default/Layout/Includes/PalestineP... ;amp;amp;AppName=2&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T


http://palestinepostings.blogspot.com/2005_06_12_archiv...

ooops...there goes a great fairy tale.....
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. the Jerusalem Post (originally Palestine post until 1950) completely supported the Zionist forces
Edited on Mon May-14-07 10:13 PM by Douglas Carpenter
It was no more neutral then (and probably less so) than it is today. The very reason for the operation of this paper during he 1948 War was to support the Zionist forces. That was the sole reason why it remained in operation during the 1948 War.

"The Palestine Post was an English language Zionist newspaper founded on December 1, 1932 by American journalist-turned-newspaper-editor, Gershon Agron in the British mandate of Palestine and subsequently, in Israel. In 1950 its name was changed to The Jerusalem Post.

During its time as the Palestine Post, the publication supported the struggle for a Jewish homeland in Palestine and openly opposed British policy restricting Jewish immigration during the Mandate period. It reported on the birth of the State of Israel and its struggles and accomplishments over the years."

link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Palestine_Post

______________

Regarding "instructions from Arab leaders" this is from former Israeli Foreign Minister and Israeli historian Shlomo Ben-Ami from "Scars of War Wounds of Peace: the Israeli-Arab Tragedy"

from page 43:

" Benny Morris found no evidence to show 'that either the leaders of the Arab states or the Mufti ordered or directly encouraged the mass exodus'. Indeed Morris found evidence to the effect that the local Arab leadership and militia commanders discouraged flight, and the Arab radio stations issued calls to the Palestinians to stay put, and even to return to their homes if they had already left. True, there were more than a few cases where local Arab commanders ordered the evacuation of villages. But these seemed to gave been tactical decisions taken under very specific military conditions"
__________

Amazon link to Dr. Ben-Ami's book -- "Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy" by Shlomo Ben-Ami

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Scars-War-Wounds-Peace-Israeli-Ar...

___________

http://www.ipc.gov.ps/alnakba/English/important-documen...

'Whatever the reasoning and attitude of the Arab states' leaders, I have found no contemporary evidence to show that either the leaders of the Arab states or the Mufti ordered or directly encouraged the mass exodus during April <1948>. It may be worth noting that for decades the policy of the Palestinian Arab leaders had been to hold fast to the soil of Palestine and to resist the eviction and displacement of Arab communities'.


'In Kafr Saba , the locals, under threat from Haganah attack, wanted to leave, but were ordered to stay by the ALA garrison. According to Haganah sources, the ALA, with the population of Ramallah about to take flight, blocked all roads into the Triangle: "The Arab military leaders are trying to stem the flood of refugees and taking stern and ruthless measures against them." Arab radio broadcast, picked up by the Haganah, conveyed orders from the ALA to all Arabs who had left their homes to "return within three days. The commander of Ramallah assembled the mukhtars from the area" and demanded they strengthen morale in the their villages. The local ALA commanders turned back trucks which were coming to take families out of Ramallah. .... Haganah intelligence on May 6 reported that "Radio Jerusalem in its Arabic broadcast (14:00 hours, 5 May) and Damascus (19:45 hours, 5 May) announced in the name of the Supreme Headquarters: 'Every Arab must defend his home and property .... Those who leave their places will be punished and their homes will be destroyed.'. The announcement was signed by Qawukji.'

Similarly, Simha Flapan (the Israeli writer and politician) stated according to declassified Israeli document and the November 6, 1948 edition Davar newspaper:

". . . after April 1948, the flight acquired massive dimensions. Abd al-Rahman Azzam Pasha, secretary general of the Arab League, and King Abdullah both issued public calls to the Arabs not to leave their homes. Fawzi al-Qawukji, commander of the Arab Liberation Army, was give instructions to stop the flight by force and to requisition transport for this purpose. The Arab government decided to allow entry only to women and children and to send back all men of military age (between eighteen and fifty). Mohammad Adib al-Umri, deputy director of Ramallah broadcasting station, appealed to the Arabs to stop the flight from Jenin, Tulkarm, and other towns in the Triangle that were bombed by the Israelis. On May 10, Radio Jerusalem broadcasted orders on its Arab program from Arab commanders and AHC to stop the mass flight from Jerusalem and the vicinity."

________________

again from the work of Former Israeli Foreign Minister and Israeli hisorian Shlomo Ben-Ami from page 42:

"The reality on the ground was at times far simpler and more cruel than what Ben-Gurion was ready to acknowledge. It was that of an Arab community in a state of terror facing a ruthless Israeli army whose path to victory was paved not only by its exploits against the regular Arab armies, but also by the intimidation, at at times atrocities and massacres it perpetrated against the civilian Arab community. A panic-stricken Arab community was uprooted under the impact of massacres that would be carved into the Arabs' monument of grief and hatred."
__________________

.



.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. NYT April 22, 1948: The Arabs agreed to leave Haifa by sea as a surrender condition to Zionist forc
Edited on Mon May-14-07 10:57 PM by Douglas Carpenter
(forces)
to stop the bombardment and mortar fire.

April 23, 1948, Friday
By DANA ADAMS SCHMIDT Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Page 1, 1038 words

Title of article: "JEWS SEIZE HAIFA IN FURIOUS BATTLE; ARABS AGREE TO GO. Evacuation of Key Palestine Port Is Commenced in Face of Surrender "

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH - JERUSALEM, April 22 -- The Haganah, Zionist militia, today swooped upon and occupied Haifa, Palestine's only deep-water port, in a furious battle, in which scores of Jews and Arabs were killed.

link to full article, but it cost $4.95 to access.

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0810F...

_______________

on the more broader subject, if ethnic cleansing had not occured, there would have hardly been a need to destroy several hundred Palestinian villages, cease their bank accounts and personal belongings and establish extraordinary efforts to prevent return to their home and their homeland.

Chaim Weizmann, who became Israel's first president, hailed the Arab evacuation as "a miraculous clearing of the land: the miraculous simplification of Israel's task."
link: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005/It%20Can%20Be%20Done.ht...

.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yes, the destruction of the homes, whole villages, does somewhat
raise doubts (and more than doubts) regarding the fairy tale that Israeli leadership really wanted the Palestinian Arabs to stay.

Seems like if the really wanted them to stay, they would not have been so quick to destroy their villages, and would not insist, to this very day, that not ONE Palestinian be allowed to return.

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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Of course, despite Olmert's fanatical insistence to the contrary, i think a final settlement
will include a peaceful return for Palestinians. More than one Palestinian, even.
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Shaktimaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
28. Um.... you sure about that?


While it is undeniable that the great majority of Palestinian refugees have not been allowed to return, it is untrue that NONE have EVER returned to stay.

In the years directly following the Nakba a number of refugees were allowed back in, some having "snuck" in and then allowed to stay. If memory serves the total numbered somewhere around 50-70,000 or so.

Additionally, any refugees who were willing to renounce their claim to the land they lost received compensation from the Israeli government. Not perfect, no. But it is not exactly the picture that you or many other people paint so often either.

I am not commenting on the ethics of Israel having evicted the Palestinians nor hinting that it "wasn't so bad because some were allowed back." I am just correcting an untrue exaggeration that resolutely keeps popping up, presumably because it sounds much better than the reality, which doesn't make for as moving or cogent a sound-bite.

By the way, has anyone heard from Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Libya or any of the other relevant Arab states on how their repatriation/restitution plans for their states' previous Jewish populations are coming? I mean, it seems pretty obvious at this point that any peace deal will involve Israel paying tens of billions of dollars in restitution for the refugees, as the last offer stated. So it seems reasonable that the Jewish refugees from Arab states will be getting a similar deal, right? I guess we'll be hearing more on those details really soon now, huh?
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Why should Palestinians be held hostage to the policies of another
Arab state???

But if you want to protest sound bites, let's listen to the "moderate" Olmert:
Olmert: 'Not one refugee can return'
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2...


Palestinians want to go home. Palestinians have the right to go home.

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Shaktimaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Tom, I am in favor of a Palestinian state, alongside Israel.
But in terms of the Palestinians being able to return to Israel, it isn't gonna happen. Not on any large scale anyway. They will have to settle for a "return" to a Palestinian state, not necessarily the exact land they left.

All other things being ideal, I would (along with every Israeli I know personally) support a full right of return. But the situation has been one of unending conflict, inflamed both by the settlements and by decades of violent rhetoric and deeds by the Arab states. The Palestinian's right of return does not trump Israel's security or raison d'etre. Israel does not have an obligation to accept refugees numbering its own population again in size. Particularly since it does not seem that they support the state of Israel but would in actuality be coming to fundamentally shift, if not destroy, Israel's culture.

There are many groups of refugees that would like to go back to where they originally came from. But due to various reasons they can't. There's little point in demanding a Palestinian right of return if the end result will be a disaster. And seeing how the Palestinians are having trouble governing themselves without it being a disaster I don't think plopping five million of them in the middle of Israel would result in Switzerland.

There's an irony in the fact that everyone complains about the nakba 60 years ago (which could have been adequately resolved by now if the will was there) while ignoring the fact that modern day Palestinians are being evicted from ARAB states in similar numbers as they were from Palestine. When is anyone going to demand compensation for Palestinian refugees of Jordan?

As far as "Why should Palestinians be held hostage to the policies of another Arab state???" goes... because all of the Arab states I mentioned are intrinsically bound up in this conflict as much as Israel and Palestine are. Their policies have dictated and shaped the nature of the conflict from day one and it seems appropriate that they should be as involved in settling the issue as they were in creating it. If all of these nations see fit to attack Israel in the name of Palestinians then they should be held equally accountable in other respects. The Camp David treaty with Egypt requires America to pay 1.5 billion a year in aid to Egypt. So it is not unusual to have 3rd party countries make concessions for peace. And Egypt has been far more involved in the mid east conflict than America ever will be.

But I am not suggesting that any peace treaty be reliant on what Yemen does. No one expects that. In fact, no one ever says a word about the Jewish refugees or calls on any Arab states to make restitution. But then, restitution is rare in the world of refugees. And that is my point. That despite the fact that we have equal numbers of refugees and numerous states to blame, we only ever hear about one state and one group of refugees. No one will ever end up demanding equal accountability in the middle east. Rather, we would have the one country almost entirely populated by refugees, who lost everything at the hands of the very European and Arab states who now call them to task, be the one to bear sole accountability for the crimes of the many.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. Do you support a viable and contiguous Palestinian state?
That'd be an independent state consisting of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza?

There's an irony in the fact that everyone complains about the nakba 60 years ago (which could have been adequately resolved by now if the will was there) while ignoring the fact that modern day Palestinians are being evicted from ARAB states in similar numbers as they were from Palestine.

What happened to the Palestinians during the Nakba was wrong, and I hope everyone agrees with that. I really don't think that an attitude of 'oh well, the Arab states evicted more of them, so let's forget about it' is all that admirable. For a start, it's a bit ironic to mention Black September and grossly overexaggerate the number of Palestinians expelled without pointing out that Jordan's security concerns were at play there (I assume that states other than Israel can have security concerns?) and the PLO were expelled after attempting to overthrow the monarchy. Just the same as when Israel used/uses security concerns, thousands (not hundreds of thousands as in the Nakbah) of civilians became victims. And the only other case of expulsion I can think of is Kuwait, who expelled Palestinian civilians while the US media did a 24/7 portrayal of Kuwait being a poor innocent victim while that poor innocent victim carried out what was clearly ethnic cleansing. The numbers were nowhere similar to the Nakbah, but Palestinians who lost their homes and livelihoods in Kuwait deserve compensation every bit as much as the Palestinians who lost their homes and livelihoods during the Nakbah...
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Shaktimaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. I'm not sure what you mean by contiguous.
Contiguous means connected, doesn't it? I think the west bank and gaza will always be seperated by Israel, aside from roads or something connecting the two. But yes, I support a viable state comprised of the WB, Gaza and EJ for the Palestinians. But it probably isn't the same state you picture as I don't feel that everything east of the green line is necessarily Palestinian by right. Nor do I support some contentious areas like the old city being included in the future state of Palestine.

The attitude you describe is not the one I am taking. What I am criticizing is the double standard by which the Nakba is discussed as an example of (Zionist) inhumanity and is kept at the educational forefront of mideast problems while similar (or sometimes worse) crimes against Palestinians (or others) is rarely referenced, much less condemned on the organized level we see when the perpetrators were Jewish. My comment has nothing to do with the Nakba itself. It is about the tendency to give crimes committed by one group far greater condemnation than the same crime committed by others.

In the case of Jordan I do not fault the King for what he did. I fault people who would ignore it while condemning Israel. In Jordan's case the people in question were citizens of his state, and were turned out in far more recent times, arguably marking their eviction as having a greater disregard for international laws. And if Israel were to abandon their security fence in favor of Hussein's bloodier tactics I don't think people would be as quick to disregard them. Meanwhile I hear no calls for Jordan to repatriate the refugees they threw out. (Incidentally, under any other rules besides the UNRWA's, all of these people ceased to be refugees once they gained Jordanian citizenship. Only for Palestinians is the status of refugee indelible save for total repatriation of them by Israel.)

By the way, Kuwait didn't have a problem with the Palestinians living there until they supported Saddam's invasion openly, turning against their host country. I don't particularly fault them for evicting the Palkestinians either under those circumstances. But I believe the refugees numbered in the hundreds of thousands, making it on a similar level as the nakba.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. Yeah, it means connected...
A road or rail link between Gaza and the West Bank is a physical link between the two territories. Also when it comes to contiguity, it means the West Bank wouldn't be cut up into a group of smaller areas surrounded by Israeli settlements and roads...

If you don't feel that everything east of the green line is necessarily Palestinian by right, then surely the same goes and not everything west of the green line would be necessarily Israeli? I think most settlements in the West Bank will have to be removed, and any swaps of territory between Israel and the Palestinians would have to be land of equal value and be with the agreement of both Israelis and Palestinians...

When it comes to Black September, I've been trying to find out how many of those who were expelled were civilians and not fighters. Do you have any information on that? Given that the PLO was trying to overthrow the Jordanian govt and had taken control of parts of Amman, the expulsion of Palestinian fighters wasn't something I'd waste my time getting outraged about. It's a completely different situation from that of the Nakbah...

I've never read anything that says that the Palestinians expelled from Kuwait after the Gulf War (the estimates I've seen vary between several thousand and 400,000) turned against their host country, and I've not been able to find anything online to support that claim. They were expelled solely because they were Palestinian and Arafat had voiced support of Saddam Hussein's invasion. And that wasn't the only draconian and anti-democratic thing Kuwait did to foreigners in Kuwait after the Gulf War. What I find interesting about Kuwait's mass expulsion (while it was a mass expulsion, it was nowhere near the level of displacement that happened in the Nakbah) was that Kuwait told the US in advance what it was going to do and the US looked the other way, which it also did when another of its Gulf War allies, Saudi Arabia, expelled Palestinians on a smaller scale. I think what Kuwait did is a much clearer case to argue than that of Black September, and what Kuwait did was clearly wrong. The way I see it, though, is just because I condemn Kuwait for what it did, that doesn't mean the Nakbah should be overlooked or excused....
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Pretty amazing
That the NY Times archive can be searched so extensively.

Too bad it isn't free to read the full articles as well.

Are there other news sources that you know of whose archives can be searched that far back?
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. actually NYT's archives go back to 1851
Edited on Tue May-15-07 03:06 AM by Douglas Carpenter
Actually several newspapers offer archives online these days, usually for a fee. If you try searching perhaps on Google and put in the name of the publication+archives

Not to give free advertising to the New York Times, but here are their charges:

Purchase Single Article - $4.95

Upgrade to - $7.95 per month
Includes 100 articles from The Archive (8 per article)

Upgrade to - $49.95 per year
Includes 1200 articles from The Archive (4 per article)

This is the link to their archives 1851 to 1980:

http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?srchst=p
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sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. local library
probably also has microfilm of those papers.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. except they didnt leave...
arabs live in haifa today...and trace their ancestory back hundreds of years.....either the zionists were pretty bad at ethnic cleansing or they were very poor at map reading.

either way, the arabs who chose to stay....stayed....(either that or the ones i talked to were jewish israelis who spoke a funny form of hebrew with strong middle eastern accents)
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. the vast majority left and a certain number were able to stay..no one denies that
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. in Haifa?
Edited on Tue May-15-07 07:47 AM by pelsar
any numbers......the whole lower section of the city is israeli arab (used to be until the recent buildup in the last 15 years)
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. finding those figures was particularly difficult...
Edited on Tue May-15-07 10:14 AM by Douglas Carpenter
it is true that in the Galilee a sizable Palestinian population were able to remain and are now close to half the population.

But it appears that sizable number of Palestinians from the Galilee must have migrated to Haifa after 1948.

I found it a little difficult to find any specific figures regarding Haifa city...but I did find these

1945 total population 138,300/ population of Arab Muslims 35,940/ population of Arab Christians 26,570/ Population of Jews 75,500 (54.5%)

1949 total population: 88,893// population of Arabs(both Christian and Muslim): 3,566* //population of Jews: 85,327

link: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Haifa/Haifa /

And if you check with the post below ( # 15 by Mr. Behind the Aegis) you will find these figures are different, but not completely different. Haifa was considered a district as well as a city in the days of the Mandate, so the difference could be that the figures above refer to the city and the figures quoted below refer to the district. But either way they are in the same league more or less and report the same dramatic drop in Arab population.

"The Economist, reported on October 2, 1948: "Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained."

If you check any material regardless of the ideological tendency on the subject of "The Fall of Haifa" in April 1948, I believe you will see that a major departure of the Arab population did occur at that time.
_______________

I know that it seems like more than this but according to figures I have found and have previously read, according to Israeli government census statistics, " Arabs are currently one fifth (20%) of the population in Haifa," link:
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:t0TMb4toEuUJ:www.mid...

If I remember correctly, most of the Palestinian population lives in neighborhoods close to the major tourist and shopping area. This might account for an impression that their numbers seem larger than they actually are.
.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. funny thing about the israeli arabs in Pharadis...
the arab town next to where i live...(and where i shop).....they neither left nor were forced out. Infact they told the local hagana commander (who was later to become the mayor of zichron yaacov), that they had no intention of fighting or leaving

nothing happen to them during the 48 war....no massacre, no atrocities, no mosques being destroyed....
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. about 20% did remain and some went into the countryside and returned
Edited on Tue May-15-07 07:42 AM by Douglas Carpenter
to their homes later. Again as the record will show approximately 80% were made refugees by the end of 1948 and about 20% remained within 1948/1949 Israel. There is no denying that. Almost everyone agrees with those facts.

.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. I"m not sure i do.....
Edited on Tue May-15-07 07:58 AM by pelsar
they didnt "leave"...their homes only to return, nor in the other arab village near me...jisr ez zarqa (made up of immigrants from sudan-not thought of very highly by those in fureides. They all stayed put.....didnt fight, didnt leave and kept their homes.

the whys are probably political and geographical, they worked with the neighboring jews, enjoyed good economic benefits, werent viewed as a threat and were probably "outnumbered" by the jewish settlements and were deep within the borders (i.e. no strategic reason for the zionists to start a fight to "kick them out"-as i am sure happened)

so too with ulm el phachem a much larger arab town, on the border, that chose not to fight...they too didnt leave for the country side only to return....i simply question your 20%, not the facts that it happened (artist town of ein hod is a rather sad example, the mosque became a resturant and the original inhabitants made a new village a couple kilometers from their original homes....in sight and only recently recognized by the state)
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. the figure of approximately 80% seems to be consistently agreed upon
Edited on Tue May-15-07 09:08 AM by Douglas Carpenter
by a wide variety of sources:

from Avi Shlaim of Oxford

"By 7 November 1949, when the guns finally fell silent, 730,000 persons, or 80 per cent of the Arab population of Palestine, had become refugees. " link: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005/It%20Can%20Be%20Done.ht...

this slightly higher figure from Univeristy of Michigan:

link: http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/worldreach/assets/docs/isra...

"Of the Palestinians living in what is now Israel proper on January 1, 1948, approximately 85% were refugees by December 31. 1948"
____________

It should also remembered that Arab citizens of Israel remained under military rule until 1966 and their movement was heavily restricted. This also lead to a large number of internal refugees. That is Palestinian citizens of Israel who could not return to their villages or neighborhoods. Today Some 274,000, or 1 of every 4 Arab citizens of Israel are "present absentees" or internally displaced Palestinians.<23><[br />
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel

.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. ok...
seems i have some reading to do......
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. More fruit.
"Transcripts from Arab radio broadcasts all show that Palestinians were told to stay." However, I actually said: "While the number is probably in the correct ballpark, the Jews weren't the only ones 'expelling' and intimidating Palestinians into flight."

As early as December, 1947, Arabs had begun abandoning their homes and leaving Palestine. The exodus began earliest in Arab neighborhoods of West Jerusalem such as Rumeima (now Romema). By the time the British left Palestine, about a quarter of a million Arabs had become refugees. Another half million, approximately, fled or were forced to leave during the war. The reasons for leaving varied. In Beersheba and Safed, the Arabs left before Jewish troops had entered. In Lod and Ramlah, the Arab population was expelled by force, as were Arabs who remained in Isdood (Ashdod) and other towns. Subsequently Israel enacted a law that forbade the return of refugees. During the war, Jews fled from areas conquered by Arabs without exception, or were escorted out as in the old City of Jerusalem. No Jews at all were allowed to return to the the West Bank areas conquered by Jordan in 1948, and all their property was turned over to a Custodian of Absentee property, as the Israeli did for property of Arabs who had fled.

Israeli partisans often assert that the Arab Palestinian refugees left because Arab radio broadcasts and Arab leaders told them to leave and make way for invading Arab armies, promising them a quick and easy return. Palestinian partisans claim this is not so, and that the Palestinians were forcibly expelled. In fact, there is evidence of expulsion, of fear of expulsion but also of encouragement by Arab leaders to leave. Perhaps the most potent factor was that in many towns the leaders of the Arab communities had already left, as pointed out by Benny Morris and others.

-----

Encouragement by Arab Leaders and Rumors - A study by Childers, which examined British monitoring of Arab broadcasts during that period, did not find any evidence that Arab leaders called on Palestinians to leave their homes. However, considerable evidence and testimony exists that at different times, Arab leaders encouraged refugees to flee. This issue has been inflated beyond its actual importance. It has no real significance in international law, except to counter or support the Palestinian claims of expulsion by force.

During a fact-finding mission to Gaza in June 1949, Sir John Troutbeck, head of the British Middle East office in Cairo and no friend to Israel or the Jews, found that while the refugees "express no bitterness against the Jews (or for that matter against the Americans or ourselves) they speak with the utmost bitterness of the Egyptians and other Arab states. "We know who our enemies are," they will say, and they are referring to their Arab brothers who, they declare, persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their home. . . ."

The Economist, reported on October 2, 1948: "Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit....It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades."

Times Magazine (May 3, 1948) reported: "The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city....By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa."

----

Nimr el Hawari, the Commander of the Palestine Arab Youth Organization, in his book Sir Am Nakbah (The Secret Behind the Disaster, published in Nazareth in 1955), quoted the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said as saying "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."

Habib Issa wrote in the New York Lebanese daily newspaper Al Hoda on June 8, 1951, " The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade... He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean. -- Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down."

source


"More Jews emigrate to Germany than to Israel, so it seems that yes, Jews can live in Germany, as is right." Again, this has nothing to do with what I said! Apples and Oranges. There is NO "right of return" for German Jews.

"But Palestinians, no matter how peaceful, cannot return to Israel, even buy a home in Israel, if they are refugees (Olmert has promised NOT ONE refugee would be allowed to return...in all the land of Israel, ever)." And like any other country, Israel can determine who can and cannot live within its borders.

"Why do you think "The "catastrophe" is that Israel (i.e. the Jews) was not crushed as promised"?" I think that falls under 'asked and answered,' actually, 'answered and asked,' in this case.

"Is that your definition of the catastrophe?" It is one of my definitions.

"Shouldn't we permit the Palestinians to define for themselves their pain, their history, their words?" They are and have.

"It seems clear that it was the Palestinians who were crushed, it was the Palestinians who were literally pushed out to the sea." Not really, that is your opinion. They lost much and there should be no dispute over that fact. As for being "pushed into the sea," no, that didn't happen, they were pushed into lands owned by the very people who attacked Israel over and over and use them as "pawns" in an effort to destroy Israel. They have since learned they cannot do it militarily, so now they are using diplomatic and the public opinion routes.

"Why can't there be mutual remembrance?" There can be, I have never said anything of the sort. But comparing al-Nakaba and the Holocaust, well, that is apples and oranges.

"Shouldn't the world recognize the suffering of all people?" Yes, and that includes that of the Jews and not using the Holocaust as a segue!

"Isn't that a critical step in ending the conflict?" No.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. recalling the Nakba
Edited on Mon May-14-07 01:45 PM by Douglas Carpenter
The first and largest wave of Palestinian refugees occured before May 14, 1948 the date of the Declaration of Independence and the arrival of the Arab armies on May 15, 1948 -- essentially in the wake of the Dir Yassin massacre on April 9, 1948 that was perpetrated by Lehi and Irgun with the Haganah's connivance and the unfolding of the Haganah's (the leading Zionist military force) Plan D and was on going at that time of and after. (page 31 - Avi Shlaim - The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab world and numerous other sources) Certainly the vast majority of exiles occured before the end of of the 1948 War. But there were smaller waves of refugees afterwards.


this article by :

Fred M. Donner
Professor of Near Eastern History
The Oriental Institute
The University of Chicago
Chicago, Ill. link:

http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/web_exclusives/more/more_...

"By 1914, the population of Palestine was about 650,000. Of this, the Jewish population was about 80,000, or a little over 12 percent. Of the 88 percent remaining, 570,000 people, Israeli and non-Israeli scholars estimate that at least 550,000 were Palestinians (Christian or Muslim) who were descendants of families in Palestine already in the 1840s or almost 85 percent of the total 1914 populaton of Palestine."

"As we see, most Palestinians of today can trace their ancestry to families who have been resident in Palestine for hundreds of years. The debate over immigration figures is, of course, merely part of the broader effort by Palestinians and Israelis to delegitimize each other by claiming the other side to be interlopers. Mr. Schell's evident desire to cast doubt on the historical roots of the Palestinians' claim to their land suggests that he has been taken in, like many other people, by such works as Joan Peters's tract "From Time Immemorial," which popularized for obvious political purposes the myth that many Palestinians were descendants of recent immigrants.Such a view is simply not supported by the evidence. "

http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/web_exclusives/more/more_...

______________________

this article by world renowned Israeli hisorian Avi Shlaim of Oxford regarding transfer:

London Review of Books, 9 June 1994.

link to full article:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005/It%20Can%20Be%20Done.ht...


"While the ethics of transfer had never troubled Ben-Gurion unduly, the growing strength of the Yishuv eventually convinced him of its practical feasibility. On 12 July 1937, for instance, Ben-Gurion confided to his diary:

The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had ... a Galilee free from Arab population .... We must uproot from our hearts the assumption that the thing is not possible. It can be done.

The more Ben-Gurion thought about it, the more convinced he became that "the thing" could not only be done but had to be done. On 5 October 1937, he wrote to his son with startling candour:

We must expel Arabs and take their places ... and, if we have to use force - not to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan, but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places - then we have force at our disposal.

The letter reveals not only the extent to which partition became associated in Ben Gurion's mind with the expulsion of Arabs from the Jewish state but also the nature and extent of his territorial expansionism. The letter implied that the area allocated for the Jewish state by the Peel Commission will later be expanded to include the Negev and Transjordan. Like Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder and leader of Revisionist Zionism, Ben-Gurion was a territorial maximalist. Unlike Jabotinsky, Ben-Gurion believed that the territorial aims of Zionism could best be advanced by means of a gradualist strategy.

When the UN voted in favour of the partition of Palestine on 29 November 1947, the struggle for Palestine entered its decisive phase. Ben-Gurion and his colleagues in the Jewish Agency accepted the partition plan despite deep misgivings about the prospect of a substantial Arab minority, a fifth column as they saw it, in their midst. the Palestinians rejected the partition plan with some vehemence as illegal, immoral and impractical. By resorting to force to frustrate the UN plan, they presented Ben-Gurion with an opportunity, which he was not slow to exploit, for extending the borders of the proposed Jewish state and for reducing the number of Arabs inside it. By 7 November 1949, when the guns finally fell silent, 730,000 persons, or 80 per cent of the Arab population of Palestine, had become refugees. "

link to full article:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005/It%20Can%20Be%20Done.ht...

___________________

And there is also a historic record of other Zionist:

Let me quote former Israeli Foreign Minister and Israeli historian Shlomo Ben-Ami from "Scars of War Wounds of Peace: the Israeli-Arab Tragedy", page 25-26

http://www.amazon.com/Scars-War-Wounds-Peace-Israeli-Ar...

"The idea of transfer of Arabs had a long pedigree in Zionist thought. Moral scruples hardly intervened in what was normally seen as a realistic and logical solution, a matter of expediency. Israel Zangvill, the founding father of the concept, advocated transfer as early as 1916. For as he said, ' if we wish to give a country to a people without a country, it is utter foolishness to allow it to be the country of two people...."

"The idea of transfer was not the intimate dream of only the activists and militants of the Zionist movement. A mass exodus of Arabs from Palestine was no great tragedy, according to Menachem Usishkink, a leader of the General Zionist. To him the message of the Arab Revolt was that coexistence was out of the question and it was now either the Arabs or the Jews, but not both. Even Aharon Zislong, a member of the extreme Left of the Zionist Labour movements, who during the 1948 war would go on record as being scandalized by the atrocities committed against the Arab population, saw no 'moral flaw' in transfer of the Arabs...But again, Ben Gurion's voice had always a special meaning and relevance. At a Zionist meeting in June 1938 he was as explicit as he could be. 'I support compulsory transfer. I don't see in it anything immoral.' But he also knew that transfer would be possible only in the midst of war, not in 'normal times.' What might be impossible in such times, he said 'is possible in revolutionary times.' The problem was, then, not moral, perhaps not even political,it was a function of timing, this meant war"

and from page 43:

" Benny Morris found no evidence to show 'that either the leaders of the Arab states or the Mufti ordered or directly encouraged the mass exodus'. Indeed Morris found evidence to the effect that the local Arab leadership and militia commanders discouraged flight, and the Arab radio stations issued calls to the Palestinians to stay put, and even to return to their homes if they had already left. True, there were more than a few cases where local Arab commanders ordered the evacuation of villages. But these seemed to gave been tactical decisions taken under very specific military conditions..."

From page 44:

"The first major wave of Arab exodus in April-May 1948, essentially in the wake of the Dir Yassin massacre that was perpetrated by Lehi and Irgun with the Haganah's connivance and the unfolding of Plan D, might perhaps have taken the leadership of the Yishuv by surprise. But they undoubtedly saw an opportunity to be exploited, a phenomenon to rejoice at -- Manachem Begin wrote in his memoirs, The Revolt, that 'out of evil, however, good came-and be encouraged. 'Doesn't he have anything more important to do?' was Ben-Gurion's reaction when told, during his visit to Haifa on 1 May 1948 that a local Jewish leader was trying to convince Arabs not to leave. 'Drive them out!' was Ben-Gurion's instruction to Yigal Allon, as recorded by Yitzak Rabin in a censored passage of his memoirs published in a censored passage of his memoirs published in 1979, with regard to the Arabs of Lydda after the city had been taken over on 11 July 1948....Plan D, however, was a major cause for the exodus, for it was strategically driven by the notion of creating Jewish contiguity even beyond the partition lines and, therefore by the desire to have a Jewish state with the smallest number of Arabs.

The debate about whether or not the mass exodus of Palestinians was the result of a Zionist design or the inevitable concomitant of war could not ignore the ideological constructs that motivated the Zionist enterprise. The philosophy of transfer was not a marginal, esoteric article....These ideological constructs provided a legitimate environment for commanders in the field to encourage the eviction of the local population even when no precise order to that effect was issued by the political leaders. As early as February 1948, that is before the mass exodus had started but after he witnessed how Arabs had fled West Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion could not hide his excitement."

from page 42:

"The reality on the ground was at times far simpler and more cruel than what Ben-Gurion was ready to acknowledge. It was that of an Arab community in a state of terror facing a ruthless Israeli army whose path to victory was paved not only by its exploits against the regular Arab armies, but also by the intimidation, at at times atrocities and massacres it perpetrated against the civilian Arab community. A panic-stricken Arab community was uprooted under the impact of massacres that would be carved into the Arabs' monument of grief and hatred."
__________________

Nakba's Oral History Interviews:

http://www.palestineremembered.com/OralHistory/Intervie...
____________

Israeli Haifa University historian Professor Ilan Pappe's lecture in Amsterdam in January 2007
--The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine--

on Windows Media Mp3 (left click to listen online or right click and click on 'save target as') to download:

http://webdisk.planet.nl/houck006/publiek/album/Lecture...



Map showing the massive destruction of Palestinian towns after al-Nakba in 1948 - link:

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Maps/Story572.h...



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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
31. That was a good article...
I did notice a response in this thread falsely claiming that the article tried to equate the Holocaust with the Nakbah, and thought I'd repost this bit of the article in the hope that it gets read :)

'Unfortunately, remembering the Nazi Holocaust -- something morally incumbent on all of us -- has seemingly become entangled with, and even an instrument of, the amnesia some would force on Palestinians. Israel is enveloped in an aura of ethical propriety that makes it unseemly, even "anti-Semitic" to question its denial of Palestinian rights.

As Israeli journalist Amira Hass recently observed: "Turning the Holocaust into a political asset serves Israel primarily in its fight against the Palestinians. When the Holocaust is on one side of the scale, along with the guilty (and rightly so) conscience of the West, the dispossession of the Palestinian people from their homeland in 1948 is minimized and blurred."

What this demonstrates is that memory is not just an idle capacity. Rather, who can remember, and who can be made to forget, is, fundamentally, an expression of power.'




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