To explain Hamas rockets, Haaretz describes ethnic cleansing of Majdl (Ashkelon) in 1953!!

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 19 Comments

Skyredoubt translated portions of a piece in Hebrew by Benny Tziper, in Haaretz, only Haaretz, and posted it on his flickr site.

[…]A nice man was there at the entrance
to the museum, an invalid of IDF from the Yom
Kippur War, who was born and lived all his
life in Ashkelon. From his knowledge and
enthusiasm one could tell that he loves the
city very much. He had no problem telling me
how in 1953 the Arabs were expelled, and the
long process of looking for a new name for
the place started (the Arab name was Majdl),
till it was decided to call the place
Ashkelon. The entire communications between
the authorities regarding the cleansing of
the city of Arabs and Hebrewisation of the
name is exhibited in the museum. I think that nobody makes the connection
today between the fact that the Qassams land
on Ashkelon and the fact that poor Arabs who did nothing wrong to anybody were put
on trucks and expelled from their city to
Gaza fifty five years ago, and since then
they are there and Ashkelon is here.
And this did not happen in wartime or as a
result of hostilities, but from a cold
calculation that the area must be cleansed of
Arabs. There is a picture in the museum that
shows the Arabs sitting and waiting in front
of the of Israeli military government
building. It sends shivers down my spine
because it happens in the year I was born.
And it is really, really hard for me to
realize that at the time that my parents were
happy with my birth, other people were put on
trucks and expelled from their homes.[…]

[…]If we come back to the question of the
immortality of Am Yisrael in contrast to
other peoples, then I think that what keeps
us alive is this insularity we developed to
the suffering of the other. In India less
than a month ago scores were killed in a
brutal act of terror that here got the
moniker “The Chabad House Massacre," because
we consider only the Jewish victims and all
the rest can go to hell. In Gaza there live
more than a million people that have no
connection to what Hamas does to us, but
nobody here minds to starve them and enclose
them and prevent them from getting the most
basic supplies.  Gaza is indeed a chronic disease. The virus
that causes it is called
"insularitis" and, by the way, it
is quite lethal.

Weiss gets to comment first:

1. When scholars Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer wrote in 2006 that the Israeli new historians' revelations about Israel/Palestine lessened the moral case in the U.S. for unswerving support for Israel, they were smeared as antisemites. Tziper's piece was published in Israel, and no one in our press will touch it. No one in our press will talk about the history of southern Israel and how those people got to Gaza. No one in the MSM will publish op-eds about ethnic cleansing. No one will put Tziper, or Ilan Pappe, or Tom Segev, or Lila Abu-Lughod, or Raja Shehadeh, or Lubna Hammad, or Saif Ammous, or Norman Finkelstein, or Adam Horowitz on TV to talk about the Nakba and the creation of Israel. 2. There are great things about Israeli society. The free press, the Hebrew culture, democratic institutions, and the great Haaretz. Let these things be shared with the people who were there first.

19 Responses

  1. LeaNder
    December 30, 2008, 5:49 pm

    Thanks, Peter, for sharing this.

  2. otto
    December 30, 2008, 5:50 pm

    Of course the New Historians were often only saying what the arabs had said accurately all along. As such, the New Historians deserve little credit for their 'findings'. But the previous generation of Israeli historians, who covered up jewish chauvinism with euphemism and misdirection, they joined the great band of intellectuals who have lent their hand to enabling bigotry over the ages.

  3. John Lewis-Dickerson
    December 30, 2008, 5:51 pm


  4. John Lewis-Dickerson
    December 30, 2008, 5:59 pm

    Why Bombing Ashkelon is The Most Tragic Irony
    by Robert Fisk – Published on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 by The Independent/UK

    How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.
    That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don't come from Gaza.

    But watching the news shows, you'd think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza – a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin – and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force. The fact that the five sisters killed in Jabalya camp had grandparents who came from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death simply does not appear in the story………..

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to

  5. mnuez
    December 30, 2008, 7:04 pm

    It's so rare that we Jews have the opportunity for schadenfreude. Lately though, your blog is one such opportunity and for that I'm grateful.

    Whether your sick, ill or sane (and just on such a high level of sanity that ones such as myself have a hard time grasping it) will be determined by the long course of events, in the short course of events however, you supply some rare joy in the form of watching you suffer.


  6. Doppler
    December 30, 2008, 7:45 pm

    This is insightful. Mandela advised that we look into and speak to the hearts of our adversary, not their minds. Here is light on the Palestinian heart. They miss their land, and the lives they had before they were cleansed. In the Israeli heart is fear – fear of the Holocaust, fear of reprisal for what they have done to the Palestinians. Can Obama be Mandela? Can he liberate the Palestinians from their oppression and the Israelis from their fear? This is the only peaceful way forward. Let the press report on what is in the hearts of both peoples, after all the violent details are scraped away. Let us help Obama be Mandela.

  7. Jaffr
    December 30, 2008, 7:56 pm

    The village is Majdal.

    More about it here:

    link to

    One story among hundreds. There is hardly a anywhere in Israel not built on the ruins of Palestinian places.

  8. Jim Haygood
    December 30, 2008, 7:59 pm

    "There is hardly a anywhere in Israel not built on the ruins of Palestinian places."

    True. Although most of them had been ruins since the 18th century . . .

  9. Glenn Condell
    December 30, 2008, 8:24 pm

    Bugger off to Israel Bill.

  10. cha
    December 30, 2008, 8:48 pm

    "It's so rare that we Jews have the opportunity for schadenfreude."

    Hasn't anyone every explained to you the origins of the Jewish holidays? You might want to start out with Purim.

  11. Jim Haygood
    December 30, 2008, 9:19 pm

    "Bugger off to Israel Bill."

    The name's Jim, Glenn. Or, may I call you, Sandy Stone?
    And I'm actually from America, and resent pedophiles like you being in my country. Indeed if there's going to be any buggering off . . .

  12. daga
    December 30, 2008, 9:32 pm

    @Jim Haygood

    You said:

    True. Although most of them had been ruins since the 18th century

    This comment is so far from the truth that in tempted to take a "Zbigniew Brzezinski"

    "You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."

    Palestinian villages were always build close to watersupply and arable land. You think those would be left unused for over a century ?-or do you believe in the lies of Baruch Kimmerling , John Hagee and Joan Peters that Palestine was a land without people for a People without land ?

  13. anonymous
    December 30, 2008, 11:04 pm

    "Baruch Kimmerling , John Hagee and Joan Peters "

    What's Baruch doing with those other two creeps? Maybe I'm wrong about him, but that juxtaposition really surprised me.

  14. Jim Haygood
    December 30, 2008, 11:12 pm

    Yes, I was trying to articulate a response to Daga Quisling along those lines. Baruch Kimmerling is one of Phil's boys! In your effort to stigmatize you've made a most revealing error.

  15. daga
    December 31, 2008, 1:18 am


    Indeed I was wrong about Kimmerling.
    See The Palestinian People: A History

    TY for pointing that out

    @Jim Haygood
    True, My error revealed I was wrong about one scolars views of the conflict. Your assertion that most arab villages had been ruins since the 18th century (Napoleon ?) shows total lack of historical and anthropological understanding.

  16. P.M.Lawrence
    December 31, 2008, 1:45 am

    Jaffr wrote "There is hardly a anywhere in Israel not built on the ruins of Palestinian places."

    Then Jim Haygood "True. Although most of them had been ruins since the 18th century."

    Then Daga replied "…You think those would be left unused for over a century ?"

    Actually, Jim Haygood's comment is true but vastly misleading in the same way as modern history of the area that only starts the other day, from ignoring the prior history that led to that. The fact of the matter is that starting at the end of the 18th century under Napoleon and his viceroy Kleber (look up what they did to Acre, for instance), then for much of the 19th century under Egypt's Albanian khedives, armies kept pushing back and forth from Egypt against the declining Ottomans. This laid waste much of the Levant, and then for the latter part of the 19th century the Ottomans deliberately kept the southern end of that from reviving so as to have a buffer against further incursions or invasions – and that was Palestine.

    The Palestinians had already been knocked down and not allowed to get up again! Ironically, if that had been really thorough, the land really would have been without a people by the 20th century (a "shatterbelt"), and not at the hands of Zionists. As it was, there was just a misleading and deceptive impression of dereliction with the locals keeping out of sight of travellers, not rebuilding things that would only get knocked down again, and so on.

  17. Reddy
    December 31, 2008, 8:11 am

    We just need to contain Islam, they are a curse on the world. They will get into a country, want special status as Muslims, but once they get to a majority, they want to make that country Islamic.

    I cannot but laugh when I see that muslims come to US and the West and argue about wearing Hijabs. If you are so concerned about Hijabs, go back to the hell holes you come from! I can never understand this. Show me a well governed Islamic country and I will show you Mohammed.

  18. rabbI kook
    December 31, 2008, 10:35 am

    So, is this a cosmic battle between all the circumcised dicks and the uncircumcised ones? Europe is uncircumcised. The USA is slowly recovering from the penis clippers, who sold a bill of mythical health goods for a century.

  19. steve R
    December 31, 2008, 11:34 am

    Ummmm Muslims are circumcised, Rabbi. All of them.

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