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Review of recent ‘NYT’ corrections raises doubts about paper’s commitment to getting the facts right in Israel/Palestine

Israel/Palestine
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New York Times headquarters. (Photo: Wikipedia)

New York Times headquarters. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Can The New York Times, probably the US’s most influential media outlet, get basic facts right in its coverage of Israel and Palestine, and does it have an objective and accountable process in place to correct factual errors when they are flagged?

A review of some recent cases of New York Times “corrections,” one of which I initiated relating to the Nakba – the forced displacement of between 750,000 – 1 million Palestinians from their homes by Zionist paramilitaries and later the Israeli army between 1947-50 – raises serious doubts about The New York Times commitment to getting the facts right in its reporting on Palestine and Israel.

In one instance, Charles Manekin has explained convincingly that The New York Times published an incorrect “correction” on February 20, by removing the description of Atarot as a neighborhood “in occupied Palestinian Territory” from a February 11th article. The “correction” instead claimed that the current neighborhood of Atarot in East Jerusalem had been a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem prior to 1948. But Manekin shows that the pre-1948 Jewish neighborhood of Atarot was not in Jerusalem and did not overlap with the neighborhood currently called Atarot that was mentioned in The Times story. Thus The Times original description of Atarot as occupied was factually accurate, but the paper succumbed to pressure from the right-wing group CAMERA and published a factually incorrect correction. Yousef Munayyer has documented added examples of recent “incorrections” by The Times that absolve Israel of responsibility and expunge history in Palestine.

I wrote the paper on March 3 expressing concerns about the prevalence of anti-boycott views in two recent news articles about the movement for boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) against Israel. I acknowledged The Times then did better in its next article on BDS. On March 5 I also emailed The New York Times department that handles corrections about one of those articles, the February 28 Mark Landler article, requesting a correction of the description of the BDS movement’s demands about the rights of Palestinian refugees who were expelled during the Nakba. The article had incorrectly suggested that Palestinians were expelled from their homes and became refugees only after the founding of the state of Israel. Here are excerpts of my email to Senior Corrections Editor Greg Brock:

In Mr. Landler’s article he writes that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement targeting Israel “aims to allow Palestinians to return to places from which they were displaced in 1948 after the founding of the state of Israel.” (My emphasis) [1]

In fact, the BDS Movement says nothing about the timeframe when Palestinian refugees were displaced, though they are referring broadly speaking to the period from 1947-1949. The BDS Movement says specifically that its aim with respect to Palestinian refugees (with no stated timeframe) is “Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.” (http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro)  Mr. Landler has imposed an incorrect timeframe on the BDS movement’s demand and on the displacement of Palestinian refugees.

Wittingly or unwittingly, Mr. Landler, like other New York Times reporters including Ethan Bronner, appears to be repeating a popular, but false narrative put forth by supporters of Israel who wish to deflect responsibility by claiming that Palestinian refugees fled only after five Arab armies chose to attack Israel after it declared statehood on May 14, 1948.

In fact, it is well-documented by Palestinian and Israeli historians like Salman Abu Sitta, Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris that around one-third to one-half of all Palestinian refugees were driven from their homes prior to the founding of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, as a result of attacks or threats of attacks by Zionist paramilitaries….  The large-scale expulsion of Palestinian refugees before May 14 is even confirmed by The New York Times’ own reporting at the time. …

I do hope that New York Times editors will put in place safeguards put an end to the repetition of this historical misrepresentation.

Inaccurate descriptions of the Nakba’s timeframe and extent, and obfuscation of the Jewish paramilitaries forcible expulsion of Palestinian refugees from their homes are common in the mainstream US discourse and similarly common in The New York Times (The Times also recently said a Palestinian refugee had “moved” to Gaza in 1948). Some supporters of Palestinian rights refer to this phenomenon as “Nakba denial.” The related failure to acknowledge that Palestinian refugees right of return is protected by international law is also common in the US and in The Times, as also illustrated by Landler’s article and by a series of Roger Cohen columns. But I thought the case for a factual correction was simple and clear here. So I was surprised to receive this March 6 email from the Assistant to Greg Brock:

Thank you for your email. We appreciate your point that the goals of the B.D.S. movement are complex and perhaps warranted more nuance than we had space to give them in the passing reference in our article. However, after consulting with the International desk and the senior editor for standards, we remain comfortable with the language of our article as published.

As you note, the third aim of the B.D.S. movement calls for “[r]especting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.” However, as U.N. Resolution 194, which “[r]esolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date,” was both proposed and adopted in 1948, the year Israel declared statehood, it’s reasonable to extrapolate that the resolution was drafted in response to the founding of Israel.

All the same, we thank you for taking the time to make this point. We will certainly have your comments in mind when writing on the subject in the future.

Best,

In commenting generally about 1948, the response completely avoided the factual issue raised about the article’s incorrect timeline of events before and after May 14, 1948, the incorrect suggestion that refugees were only expelled “in 1948 after the founding of the state of Israel,” and the incorrect implication that the BDS movement was somehow only concerned with rights of refugees who were expelled after the founding of the state of Israel. UN Resolution 194, cited by the BDS Movement and in The Times response, deals with “the refugees” and also makes no comment on or distinction between refugees expelled before or after May 14, 1948.

I shared my email and The New York Times’ response with eight people, including a disinterested newspaper editor, all of whom said that The Times response made no sense and avoided the factual issue. I emailed back to Greg Brock, ccing Mark Landler, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan and Foreign Editor Joe Kahn, with more background information and in frustration wrote that The Times response was ”illogical, bureaucratic and actually shows little commitment to factual accuracy, but rather appears to be a rather obvious effort to bury the issue and the error.” The Times Greg Brock then responded, saying in part:

We are not going to revisit the decision or the issue. We took your query very seriously.  Not only did we talk to the top foreign editor [Joe Kahn] and Mr. Landler, but my assistant took a great deal of time researching this: reading the United Nations resolution, checking BDS’s website, and more.

The Times can be faulted for many things, but our commitment to accuracy is not one of them.  No other publication in the world has the extensive corrections process we do…. But this reference in Mr. Landler’s article was not factually incorrect and does not merit a correction.

My subsequent follow-up query received no response.

The Times rejection in this case of a very valid factual concern, its non-sequitur explanation of the rejection, assertion that its “commitment to accuracy” cannot be faulted, and refusal of further comment creates for me the impression that it is unaccountable and in reality not committed to factual accuracy.

My experience, on top of the incorrect corrections raised by Charles Manekin and Yousef Munayyer, all provide solid evidence that on issues relating to Palestine and Israel, one of the most influential US media outlets – from its reporters, to news editors, to standards editors – is simply not a reliable source of information. Instead The Times makes choices almost daily in its reporting that tend to absolve or obfuscate Israel’s responsibility for the Nakba, for Israeli military occupation, and for violence and human rights abuses.

Just yesterday reporter Isabel Kershner summarized the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, writing, “Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets at Israel during the 2006 war, which began after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on the Israel-Lebanon border. More than 1,000 Lebanese and dozens of Israelis were killed in the fighting.” Kershner made no mention of thousands Israeli rockets, bombs and shells, completely obscuring Israel’s massive 2006 military assault on Lebanon. A reader is left to wonder if more than 1,000 Lebanese were killed by the thousands of Hezbollah rockets?

Though New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has done a lot of good work on other issues, it seems a lot to hope that one person can manage to deal with the volume and depth of the problems in The Times’ reporting on Palestine and Israel.

Notes

[1] I misplaced my initial quotation mark, though this does not alter the sentence’s meaning. I should have written: aims to “allow Palestinians to return to places from which they were displaced in 1948 after the founding of the state of Israel.”

About Patrick Connors

Patrick Connors is a member of Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel.

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56 Responses

  1. seafoid
    March 12, 2014, 1:09 pm

    The NYT is a pillar of the status quo and will only shift when economics or political reality force it to do so.
    Most of the MSM are no different.

    • thetruthhurts
      March 12, 2014, 7:52 pm

      just saw one of the most disgusting things in my life.i just happened to hit on c-span and saw this idiot gomert speaking . i watched just to hear how truly out of touch with reality this israel-corrupted idiot is.
      WOW! this guy is scary. he criticizes obama for not following the bible in his dealings with israel.
      and was quoting criticisms from sarah palin of obama. he called obama weak in wanting to negotiate with putin trying to analogize it with kruschev and kennedy.
      lord have mercy, save us from these idiots!

      • Real Jew
        March 12, 2014, 11:21 pm

        Truthhurts did u happen to catch the guys name? It amuses me to read about people that divorced from reality.

        Ya know despicable as many of these news outlets can be when reporting on the conflict i am no longer surprised. Actually a part of me is quite happy about it. As recent as a decade ago this type of reporting went largely unchallenged. However these days much more people are aware of the other side and related facts. So much that the zionists, in their desperation, need this type of reporting to prevent their walls from caving in. And that is the silver lining

  2. Donald
    March 12, 2014, 1:38 pm

    “More than 1,000 Lebanese and dozens of Israelis were killed in the fighting.” Kershner made no mention of thousands Israeli rockets, bombs and shells, completely obscuring Israel’s massive 2006 military assault on Lebanon. A reader is left to wonder if more than 1,000 Lebanese were killed by the thousands of Hezbollah rockets?”

    I saw that quote, thought of writing Margaret Sullivan, then said “Oh frack it” and let it go. In spite of my recent optimism about some of what the NYT has been publishing lately, they will also continue to publish this sort of misleading crap. There’s no way they’d be this vague if hundreds of Israeli civilians had been killed by Hezbollah rockets, but since it was hundreds of Lebanese civilians killed by Israeli fire, they resort to the passive voice and speak of people killed by the fighting. By being vague when it is Israel doing the shooting, they can deny factual inaccuracy, while choosing to supply details about Hezbollah firing thousands of rockets into Israel.

    • Sumud
      March 12, 2014, 2:02 pm

      This is a serial pattern with Kershner.

      As noted by Henry Norr she recently described the murder of a Palestinian by the IDF as:

      A Palestinian man was found dead in his home in the West Bank town of Bir Zeit on Thursday after a standoff with Israeli forces that had come to arrest him, according to the Israeli military.

      To add insult to injury, only well into that article, titled Palestinian Found Dead After Standoff With Israelis, she chose to write about Amnesty International’s renewed call for an arms embargo on Israel. Couldn’t have buried it more if she tried.

    • ToivoS
      March 12, 2014, 5:31 pm

      Kershner’s is wrong about the number of Israelis killed in the 2006 war. One does not call 160 deaths “dozens”. This is interesting in that it was clear at the time that Israel tried very hard to minimize the costs to itself of that war. It looks like Kershner has internalized that denial.

  3. Rusty Pipes
    March 12, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Who is the NYT going to believe, hasbarists or its own lying eyes (in this case, the reports in its own pages from ’47 and early ’48)? Before Israel was declared as a state in May 1948, its reporters had not only witnessed the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, but the NYT had printed their accounts.

    • Sumud
      March 12, 2014, 2:17 pm

      Smart strategy Rusty it would still be ineffective, when it comes to I/P they have made a commitment to serial dishonesty.

      Suggest anyone who has a paid subscription cancel it and tell them why, and avoid reading the free sections as much as possible. Tell your friends and family too, the NYT has gone to the dogs.

      It’s only the US’ “most influential outlet” because people don’t understand what a hack job it is. I mean after their cheerleading on Iraq why does anyone bother???

  4. Sumud
    March 12, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Wittingly or unwittingly, Mr. Landler, like other New York Times reporters including Ethan Bronner, appears to be repeating a popular, but false narrative put forth by supporters of Israel who wish to deflect responsibility by claiming that Palestinian refugees fled only after five Arab armies chose to attack Israel after it declared statehood on May 14, 1948.

    You probably know this Patrick but just to be 100% clear the five Arab armies never attacked Israel proper in 1948, they fought Israeli forces who had invaded (attacked) territory that was allocated to Palestine under UN181.

    A majority of zionist casualties in 1947/8/9 occurred while undertaking offensive action outside the Israeli partition (see Simha Flaphan The Birth of Israel: Myths and Reality, 1987).

    • yonah fredman
      March 12, 2014, 4:49 pm

      Sumud- Although there was no invasion by the five Arab armies, I believe that the Egyptian army did traverse territory allocated to Israel and there is no question that the Egyptian air force attacked Tel Aviv, part of Israel.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 12, 2014, 5:27 pm

        ” I believe that the Egyptian army did traverse territory allocated to Israel and there is no question that the Egyptian air force attacked Tel Aviv, part of Israel”

        Yes, after the fact, while fighting the war the zios started in their attempt at stealing the land of Palestine. That is the key point, because of the repeated blood libel that the Arab States attacked israel. That is a false and evil statement, when the truth is the opposite.

      • talknic
        March 12, 2014, 5:43 pm

        @yonah fredman The Hasbarristers love to tell folk that ‘Tel Aviv was attacked’ or ‘Tel Aviv was bombed’, never saying what exactly.

        Military, military installations, military infrastructure, military supplies, suppliers, personnel supporting the military and (according to Israel’s policies) even suspected military personnel, storehouses and/or equipment are all valid targets. Cross border actions and traversing within the territory of an enemy are all valid actions once war has been initiated.

      • yonah fredman
        March 12, 2014, 7:48 pm

        talknic- There was an assertion that the Arab nations did not attack Israel (as in partition 47 Israel) and it was a false assertion. The validity of the targets, as in valid war targets rather than war crime targets, is an entire separate point, which I did not address, but now you have clarified that point. Thank you..

      • talknic
        March 12, 2014, 8:17 pm

        @ yonah fredman “There was an assertion that the Arab nations did not attack Israel (as in partition 47 Israel) and it was a false assertion”

        Post 00:01 May 15th (ME time) The Arab states as Regional Powers and as UN Member States (except Jordan who allied with Iraq) had a legal right to defensive actions against the State of Israel on behalf of what remained of Palestine including cross border incursions.

        States at war may traverse and capture the territory of their opponents for strategic purposes. However once a war is over the parties are required to withdraw from their opponents territories before peaceful relations are assumed. (see the Egypt / Israel Peace Treaty http://wp.me/pDB7k-ZZ where Israel was required and agreed to have “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;” per UNSC res 242 http://wp.me/PDB7k-6r#unscresolution242 )

        Israel has yet to withdraw from all non-Israeli territories it has captured in its wars, yet it blabbers on about expecting peace with its neighbors? F&*K OFF! Get out. Israelis were already given more than half of the territory of 1948 Palestine, completely gratis!

      • Sumud
        March 12, 2014, 11:30 pm

        Sumud- Although there was no invasion by the five Arab armies, I believe that the Egyptian army did traverse territory allocated to Israel and there is no question that the Egyptian air force attacked Tel Aviv, part of Israel.

        True, and Egypt bombed TA before Israel bombed Cairo. I should have used the word “invaded” rather than “attacked”.

        My point is: the standard hasbara line, annihilationist rhetoric about five Arab armies invading Israel intending to kill all the jews, is bullshit.

    • Sibiriak
      March 13, 2014, 7:11 am

      Sumud:

      You probably know this Patrick but just to be 100% clear the five Arab armies never attacked Israel proper in 1948

      But was it their intention to invade Israel proper and dismantle the Israeli state?

      • Sibiriak
        March 13, 2014, 10:18 am

        Benny Morris, “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”:

        It is clear that Abdullah was far from confident of Arab victory and preferred a Jewish state as his neighbor to a Palestinian Arab state run by the mufti. “The Jews are too strong-it is a mistake to make war,” he reportedly told Glubb just before the invasion.79 Abdullah’s aim was to take over the West Bank rather than destroy the Jewish state…

        —-

        The Egyptian response was to change the planned single-prong offensive up the coast road into a two-pronged offensive. Now the left prong would proceed up the coast road toward Majdal and Isdud, and perhaps toward Tel Aviv, while a newly added right prong would veer eastward, via Beersheba, and occupy as much as possible of the southern West Bank, perhaps as far northward as Jerusalem.

        The Egyptians would thereby ensure that Abdullah would not get all of the West Bank and that they themselves would emerge from the war with a substantial and important part of central Palestine (Hebron and Bethlehem) under their control.82

        Thus, in the days before and after 15 May the war plan had changed in essence from a united effort to conquer large parts of the nascent Jewish state, and perhaps destroy it, into an uncoordinated, multilateral land grab.

        As a collective, the Arab states still wished and hoped to destroy Israel-and, had their armies encountered no serious resistance, would, without doubt, have proceeded to take all of Palestine, including Tel Aviv and Haifa.

        But, in the circumstances, their invasion now aimed at seriously injuring the Yishuv and conquering some of its territory while occupying all or most of the areas earmarked for Palestinian Arab statehood.

        From the start, the invasion plans had failed to assign any task whatsoever to the Palestinian Arabs or to take account of their political aspirations. Although the Arab leaders vaguely alluded to a duty to “save the Palestinians,” none of them seriously contemplated the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state with Husseini at its head. All the leaders loathed Husseini; all, to one degree or another, cared little about Palestinian goals, their rhetoric notwithstanding. It was with this in mind that Jordan, on the eve of the invasion, ordered the ALA out of the West Bank” and subsequently disarmed the local Arab militias.

  5. amigo
    March 12, 2014, 2:33 pm

    OT but the dersh is at it again over at Newsmax.

    Europe’s Alarming Push to Isolate Israel

    Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 08:24 PM

    By Alan Dershowitz

    “Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?”dershowitless.

    Here is classic dersh spouting the same ole victim hood claims.The world is full of anti semites who are all out to get Israel.

    http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/Alan-Dershowitz-Nazis-Europe-Israel/2014/03/11/id/558976/?promo_code=1488E-1&utm_source=1488Ehaaretz&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1

    • Hostage
      March 13, 2014, 1:51 am

      “Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?”

      Pinsker claimed that all Gentiles had an incurable hereditary mental disorder, but Herzl opined that Diaspora Jews actually cause anti-Semitism by producing too many feeble intellects, like Dershowitz. IMO, the fact that Deshowitz has survived beyond the biblical three score and ten is a real tribute to Gentile forbearance.

    • Sibiriak
      March 13, 2014, 7:15 am

      [Dershowitz:]“Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?

      Obviously because anti-Semitism is transmitted genetically.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 13, 2014, 8:35 am

      “Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?”

      This may be the most bigoted statement ever on this subject. Not only does he classify Europeans as “grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators,” — itself a bigoted act — but he spits on the graves of those who died fighting the Nazis by ignoring them. Their children and grandchildren, too, are fighting the israelis, perhaps because they see in israel the same strain of bigoted evil that their heroic ancestors fought. Further, he is bigoted against the Jews by lumping all of the world’s Jews together with israel.

      • piotr
        March 13, 2014, 1:39 pm

        Derschowitz piece is bizarre in so many ways that it is truly cements the place of Newsmax as a manure pile with an upbeat name.

        For starters, I did not find anything addressing the title claim. Indeed, how many of those children declared war on Jews lately? Dersch provided no example of such a child and such a declaration, so it seems that once he started a rant, he kept on ranting and forgot what was the ostensible occasion.

        Historical interpretations are bizarre, “ultra-nationalist Khmelnytskyi and ultra-anti-Semite Stalin”. For example, among innumerable “plots” etc. that were targeted by Stalin’s repression one was Jewish. He could as well be called an ultra-anti-Kalmuk. But still, the most striking feature of that garbage is total disconnect of the rant with any news.

        In a much better article in Israeli press the author called to keep the Dutch government responsible for spending money to further the cause of extermination of Jews, for example, by contributing to UNRWA. Translated onto Derschowian, it would be something like “Why the Dutch government funds extermination of Jews” followed by all injustices heaped by the Dutch on the Jews from the time of the Batavian conspiracy, with nary a mention of what motivated that flood of bile. Both are insane, but in the first case one could at least figure out what was about.

    • American
      March 13, 2014, 11:57 am

      ”By Alan Dershowitz

      “Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?”>>>>>

      Whine,whine,whine. Heard one whine, heard them all.
      I don’t know why we even take note of anything Dersh says.

  6. seafoid
    March 12, 2014, 2:54 pm

    -Review of recent ‘NYT’ corrections raises doubts about paper’s commitment to getting the facts right in Israel/Palestine

    -Bears understood to defecate in the woods

    -Pope rumored to belong to catholic faith

    • Hostage
      March 13, 2014, 1:04 am

      Review of recent ‘NYT’ corrections raises doubts about paper’s commitment to getting the facts right in Israel/Palestine

      Mark Twain correctly observed that: “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

  7. tree
    March 12, 2014, 3:57 pm

    “aims to allow Palestinians to return to places from which they were displaced in 1948 after the founding of the state of Israel.

    I think a larger point needs to be made about the sentence, and I believe that point helps explain why the NYT failed to correct the statement. The sentence itself puts the “displacement” in a passive voice. They “were displaced”, rather than someone (in this case Zionist forces/Israel) “displaced” them. There is no responsibility for the displacement allocated in the sentence as written; no expulsions or need to flee on the part of the Palestinians, no acknowledgement that Israel prevented and continues to prevent their return to this day, only a mention of it happening at a point in time (“after the founding of Israel”).

    While the sentence is not accurate as to the exact timeline of the creation of the Palestinian refugees, I think its more important purpose is to obscure the fact that Israel was directly responsible for the plight of the refugees, and thus to obscure the justice that the BDS movement is promoting for those refugees by calling for a boycott of the very state that continues to violate those rights. Thus they need to put the “displacement” in a passive voice and tie it to “the founding of Israel” rather than place the responsibility directly on Israel, which is accurate, but would run counter to hasbara demands, and the overweening viewpoint promoted by the NYT.

    Note: As I was about to hit the post button, i looked back over the phrase quoted from the NYT and another glaring omission hit me in the face. I’m surprised I didn’t notice it at first, but the description in the phrase is “Palestinians”, not Palestinian refugees. There is no acknowledgement in the NYT article of the refugee status of those Palestinians, again obscuring the responsibility of Israel for their plight.

    • Donald
      March 12, 2014, 5:00 pm

      Off topic, but tree, do you have a link to the post you did on the founding of the various Palestinian universities on the West Bank? Some hasbarist in the comment section at the New York Review of Books is claiming credit on behalf of Israel for them. I tried googling for your remarks without much success.

      Nevermind, I found it. For anyone else interested in the topic–

      link

    • just
      March 12, 2014, 7:55 pm

      Cogent take- down, tree. Many thanks.

  8. yonah fredman
    March 12, 2014, 5:11 pm

    While it is true that the expulsion of between one half and one third of the refugees occurred before May 14, 1948, it should also be noted that these actions by the Hagana occurred after the months of December 47, January and February and most of March of 1948. These months were periods of war when the roads between Jewish cities were barely passable due to Palestinian armed forces. The actions by the Hagana took place before the declaration of a state and before the attack by the Arab countries’ forces, but during a period of war, which is referred to as a civil war, because the forces fighting were located in a single “national” unit- Palestine.

    • seafoid
      March 12, 2014, 5:38 pm

      Yonah

      the problem with

      1 .”it was war, tough shit, we won” and
      2. “f#ck off, you are not getting any compensation, see point 1”

      ..is that those will be the rules whenever in the future the Arabs get their shit together. (If you think this is not going to happen, look at history). Ethnic cleansing is going to hit Ha’eretz very hard.

      And if they want to go ahead and ethnically cleanse your people from Palestine you won’t be able to say anything. And the UN won’t be arsed either.

      History is not over just because some people read the torah intensively.

      • Naftush
        March 13, 2014, 5:16 am

        I alleged in an earlier comment that MW abets verbal violence against its betes noires and was called out for it. Here we have a posting that reeks of obscenity-riddled yearnings for a genocidal bloodbath.
        I stand my ground.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 13, 2014, 8:35 am

        Naftush, is that what you think of zionist actions, yearnings for a genocidal bloodbath.?

        let’s review:

        the problem with

        1 .”it was war, tough shit, we won” and
        2. “f#ck off, you are not getting any compensation, see point 1″

        ..is that those will be the rules whenever in the future the Arabs get their shit together.

        what’s good for the goose ain’t good for the gander eh? i’m not promoting this course of action, nor do i think it’s in anyones best interest.

        but i think a fair interpretation of your characterization is: zionists yearned for a a genocidal bloodbath…whereas yonah would merely characterize the implementation of these rules as a means to “simplify” the governance of the territory … in the aftermath of the war.

        so which is it, take your pick. but don’t apply a double standard and expect your hypocrisy to go unnoticed.

      • seafoid
        March 13, 2014, 8:41 am

        International law is the only way buddy. Jews need it.

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 11:07 am

        I alleged in an earlier comment that MW abets verbal violence against its betes noires and was called out for it.

        Naftush you are a troll who spouts shopworn hasbara talking points and pretends that Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention, which says that there must be individual criminal responsibility for the crime of pillage, doesn’t apply to individual Israelis who voluntarily commit or aid and abet that particular war crime, e.g. http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/colonialism-sodastream-revisited.html/comment-page-1#comment-647804

        Raphael Lemkin was a legal expert who assisted in the prosecution of the major war criminals by the Nuremberg Tribunal. In his book, “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe”, he explained that enemy colonists were subject to penal sanctions. http://books.google.com/books?id=y0in2wOY-W0C&lpg=PA45&vq=&pg=PA45#v=onepage&q&f=false

        When Zionists deny the Nakba and the applicable law cited by the ICJ, using excuses like the ones you employ, it only strengthens the arguments of those who say that Israel has left them no choice, except to take the law into their own hands.

      • puppies
        March 13, 2014, 3:35 pm

        ‘Hostage – “When Zionists deny the Nakba and the applicable law cited by the ICJ, using excuses like the ones you employ, it only strengthens the arguments of those who say that Israel has left them no choice, except to take the law into their own hands.”
        Good. Now looking at it as a lawyer, what would be the criterion for declaring the time come for taking the law into one’s own hands?

      • Hostage
        March 14, 2014, 1:02 pm

        Now looking at it as a lawyer, what would be the criterion for declaring the time come for taking the law into one’s own hands?

        Legally, when, and if, the ICJ and ICC aren’t willing to address the situation in Palestine. That will become painfully obvious after the deadline for Kerry’s talks expires next month.

        In the meantime, I don’t think that the terms of General Assembly resolution ES-10/15 can still be considered valid after the subsequent adoption of a resolution, that removed all doubt, and acknowledged Palestine’s status as a State. The Charter doesn’t permit the UN organization to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. The customary law reflected in the Montevideo Convention holds that the right of self-defense is sacrosanct and that the territory of a state is inviolable:

        Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to international law.

        http://www.jus.uio.no/english/services/library/treaties/01/1-02/rights-duties-states.xml

      • puppies
        March 14, 2014, 1:14 pm

        Thank you, Hostage, for taking the time.
        Is that irrespective of implementation?

      • Hostage
        March 14, 2014, 7:46 pm

        Is that irrespective of implementation?

        Yes. I wasn’t talking about resolution 181(II). The provisions of Article 2 of the UN Charter, and many other articles, are explicitly applicable to “any state”. So, the 2012 resolution acknowledging Palestine as a non-member observer state extended the protection of the Charter and customary law against intervention & etc.

    • talknic
      March 12, 2014, 7:57 pm

      @ yonah fredman “While it is true that the expulsion of between one half and one third of the refugees occurred before May 14, 1948, it should also be noted that these actions by the Hagana occurred after the months of December 47, January and February and most of March of 1948. These months were periods of war when the roads between Jewish cities were barely passable due to Palestinian armed forces. The actions by the Hagana took place before the declaration of a state and before the attack by the Arab countries’ forces, but during a period of war, which is referred to as a civil war, because the forces fighting were located in a single “national” unit- Palestine”

      So what? Did you have a point?

      Even Jewish militant factions do not have the right to expel anyone from their homes during a civil war and people who flee the violence of civil war or who are expelled during a civil war have the right to return to their homes.

    • Hostage
      March 12, 2014, 8:24 pm

      These months were periods of war when the roads between Jewish cities were barely passable due to Palestinian armed forces.

      LoL! The Jewish Agency had put-up dozens of tower and stockade forts along confrontation lines in the territory of the Arab state and continued to use its militia to reinforce and resupply them. The adoption of the UN resolution of 29 November started the transition period and conditioned the right of transit in each of the new states upon considerations of national security of the respective provisional authorities. So the world wasn’t your oyster anymore, just because your military conveys were going through the Arab state on their way to a Jewish city.

      • yonah fredman
        March 12, 2014, 10:19 pm

        Hostage- Where in UN resolution of 29 November 1947 was a transition period declared? This was not in the resolution. You, who are such a legal expert, are introducing a transition period that was not covered by any legal document, and thus you are fooling people who do not know the facts. Or maybe you wish to clarify what were the rights of Arabs in any specific location to fire on any other people who were still under the jurisdiction of the British mandate? Which codicil allowed them to determine that the transition period had been started and they had these rights. You want to talk law or “the world wasn’t your oyster” anymore? This is not law you are talking now, but something quite different. You are no longer in the realm of law, but in the realm of propaganda.

      • Hostage
        March 12, 2014, 11:18 pm

        Hostage- Where in UN resolution of 29 November 1947 was a transition period declared? This was not in the resolution.

        FYI, most of the text of the resolution dealt with the steps preparatory to independence that were required to be accomplished during the transitional period, including the establishment of the provisional councils of government which were responsible for raising the militias to “prevent border clashes” and “preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the other State in Palestine and the City of Jerusalem, subject to considerations of national security“.

        Here are the clauses of the resolution which specifically mention the transitional period:

        The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measures, under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;

        The period between the adoption by the General Assembly of its recommendation on the question of Palestine and the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States shall be a transitional period.

        Subject to the provisions of these recommendations, during the transitional period the Provisional Councils of Government, acting under the Commission, shall have full authority in the areas under their control including authority over matters of immigration and land regulation.

        During the transitional period no Jew shall be permitted to establish residence in the area of the proposed Arab State, and no Arab shall be permitted to establish residence in the area of the proposed Jewish State, except by special leave of the Commission.

        — United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, November 29, 1947
        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

      • Hostage
        March 12, 2014, 11:57 pm

        P.S. The new states and their boundaries were provisionally recognized by the UN on 29 November 1947. The Jewish Agency for Palestine’s legal counsel, Jacob Robinson, was an expert on international law. He explained to the People’s Council of Palestine that the Jewish State was already in existence as a result of the 29 November 1947 resolution. See Anis F. Kassim(ed), The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1987-1988, page 279 http://books.google.com/books?id=DWhgIe3Hq98C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA279#v=onepage&q&f=false

        For example, the resolution required the British to turnover “territory situated in the Jewish state” during the transitional period:

        The mandatory Power shall advise the Commission, as far in advance as possible, of its intention to terminate the mandate and to evacuate each area. The mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.

        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

        The resolution specifically stated that the provisional governments were to have “full authority” over immigration and land during the transitional period.

        On 21 March 1948 David Ben Gurion, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, wrote an article that appeared on pages 1 & 3 of the Palestine Post titled “The Jewish State Exists”. He explained that the UN resolution of 29 November did not, in and of itself, achieve the practical establishment of the Jewish State. He explained that:

        The Jewish State exists, and will continue to exist, because we defend it.

        http://www.jpress.nli.org.il/Olive/APA/NLI/?href=PLS%2F1948%2F03%2F21&page=1

        The Palestinians likewise had the right to defend the territory of their State against incursions by military convoys and the probes and unprovoked attacks that were required according to the terms of the Jewish militia’s operational plans, including Plan Dalet. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

      • talknic
        March 13, 2014, 1:04 am

        @ yonah fredman “Where in UN resolution of 29 November 1947 was a transition period declared? This was not in the resolution”

        4. The period between the adoption by the General Assembly of its recommendation on the question of Palestine and the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States shall be a transitional period. http://pages.citebite.com/y2g9s3a5b9nvd

        “You are no longer in the realm of law, but in the realm of propaganda”

        It’s obvious who’s squelching around in the realm of propaganda

      • Naftush
        March 13, 2014, 5:20 am

        Fact fail. Testimonies from the time speak of struggle for control of roads well within today’s greater Tel Aviv, not to mention the besieging of Jewish-populated Jerusalem, which the resolution assigned to neitehr the Arab nor the Jewish state.

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 6:42 pm

        Fact fail. Testimonies from the time speak of struggle for control of roads well within today’s greater Tel Aviv, not to mention the besieging of Jewish-populated Jerusalem, which the resolution assigned to neitehr the Arab nor the Jewish state.

        Bullshit as usual. Follow the link to Plan Dalet. It called for unprovoked attacks on Arab communities inside the Hebrew state and expulsion of all the inhabitants in cases where they attempted to defend themselves. The need to conqueror neighboring Jaffa isn’t portrayed as “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation”. It was an example of planned aggression.
        http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac18.htm

        Ben Gurion also launched the offensive against Jerusalem and ordered the commander of the Haganah to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand to conduct operations there, months before the UNSCOP hearings even began. After the State of Israel declared its independence, the Arab Legion was responding to pleas for assistance from Palestinians in relieving the siege against their neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Here is Avi Shlaim’s summary of the historical events:

        In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.

        After the Jewish offensive in Jerusalem had been halted, the focal point of the battle moved to Latrun, a hill spur with fortifications, that dominated the main route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Like Gush Etzion, Latrun lay in the area allotted by the UN to the Arab state. But Latrun’s strategic importance was such that Ben-Gurion was determined to capture it. Against the advice of his generals, he ordered three frontal attacks on Latrun, on 25 and 30 May and on 9 June. The Arab Legion beat off all these attacks and inflicted very heavy losses on the hastily improvized and ill-equipped Jewish forces.

        Any lingering hope that Transjordan would act differently to the rest of the Arab countries went up in smoke as a result of the costly clashes in and around Jerusalem. Yigael Yadin, the IDF chief of operations, roundly rejected the claim that there had ever been any collusion between the Jewish Agency and the ruler of Transjordan, let alone collusion during the 1948 War:
        Contrary to the view of many historians, I do not believe that there was an agreement or even an understanding between Ben-Gurion and ‘Abdullah. He may have had wishful thoughts … but until 15 May 1948, he did not build on it and did not assume that an agreement with ‘Abdullah would neutralize the Arab Legion. On the contrary, his estimate was that the clash with the Legion was inevitable. Even if Ben-Gurion had an understanding or hopes, they evaporated the moment ‘Abdullah marched on Jerusalem. First there was the assault on Kfar Etzion then the capture of positions in Latrun in order to dominate the road to Jerusalem, and then there was the entry into Jerusalem. From these moves it was clear that ‘Abdullah intended to capture Jerusalem.

        Yadin’s testimony cannot be dismissed lightly for it reflected the unanimous view of the IDF General Staff that the link with Transjordan had no influence on Israel’s military conduct during the War of Independence.

        link to web.archive.org

        Later, during a debate in the Knesset, Ben Gurion was berating Begin and claiming credit for averting the danger to the State of Israel presented by the Altalena Affair and for putting an end to the armed insurrection in Jerusalem. The former Haganah Commander, Moshe Sneh, interrupted Ben Gurion and reminded him he was complicit in the insurrection in Jerusalem: “You sent me the cable not to harm the IZL!”. MK G. Meyer responded by threatening him (ala Anat Kam/Uri Blau) : “Moshe Sneh, don’t threaten us with publication!” — See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, “Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981″ Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445. http://www.jcpa.org/text/KnessetDebatesVol2.pdf

    • yonah fredman
      March 12, 2014, 10:07 pm

      I was not commenting on the legality of expelling the Arabs from Jaffa or Haifa or Safed or Tiberias or other villages before May 1948 and I certainly was not commenting on the refusal of Israel to accept these people back to their homes at the end of the conflict. There was an inference in the post that since the reaction of the Arab states only began on May 14, 1948 that all activities before that point in time were unprovoked (unreasonable) attacks by the Zionists. This inference was false and I am trying to uproot it.

      There was a state of war after November 29, 1947 and the implementation of Plan Dalet and the expulsion of Palestinians was in reaction to that state of war. I accept that the Palestinians who were expelled got a raw deal and that Ben Gurion’s policies revealed that expulsion was not just a means to win the war but was also a means to “simplify” the governance of the territory by Israel in the aftermath of the war. I do not think the history exonerates Ben Gurion and his soldiers, but I still believe that knowledge of this history rather than the pretense that everything was hunky dory until the unprovoked Zionists launched their offensives is preferable to the ignorance inferred by the post.

      • talknic
        March 13, 2014, 1:49 am

        @ yonah fredman Correction “There was a state of civil war after November 29, 1947 and the implementation of Plan Dalet and the expulsion of Palestinians was a part of and exacerbation of that state of civil war”

        No one has the right to expel anyone during a civil war.

        The actions by Jewish forces resulting in dispossession took place before & after the declaration of a state and; before, during & after the Arab countries went to the defense of what remained of Palestine. Actions by Jewish forces have continued until the present day. It has never stopped.

        “but I still believe that knowledge of this history rather than the pretense that everything was hunky dory until the unprovoked Zionists launched their offensives is preferable to the ignorance inferred by the post.”

        Problem, it isn’t inferred by the post. Stop squirming you’ll find it most relieving

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 13, 2014, 7:13 am

        “There was an inference in the post that since the reaction of the Arab states only began on May 14, 1948 that all activities before that point in time were unprovoked (unreasonable) attacks by the Zionists. ”

        No, “the inference in the post” is that the NYT prints lies by describing the ethnically cleansed as having been suffered the crimes inflicted upon them only after 1848 and the declaration of the zionist entity. IN fact, that crime against humanity. If you are looking to instill “knowledge of history” than you must examine the facts before 1947, all the way back to the founding of the zionist plan to destroy the existing polity in Palestine, rob blind those Palestinians who the zionists did not plan to murder, and establish an ethnoreligious Apartheid state.

        To limit that history to the facts that cast the zionist in a good light, and to minimize their crimes when you can’t avoid them (like describing the Nakba as “a raw deal.” I wonder how you would react if the Holocaust was described as merely “a raw deal”) is part of the problem that this article is addressing.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 13, 2014, 8:12 am

        Plan Dalet… was in reaction…. policies … was .. a means to “simplify” the governance of the territory by Israel

        ethnic cleansing was not a reaction, it was the means by which zionists judaized the land (tahweed). which was the intent.

        and your comment about ‘simplifying governance’ is astonishing. i will have to remember that line next time i try justifying genocide, it simplifies governance!

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 10:40 am

        There was a state of war after November 29, 1947 and the implementation of Plan Dalet and the expulsion of Palestinians was in reaction to that state of war.

        Plan Dalet was not a defensive plan. It literally declared war upon the Arab State:

        (a) The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlement and concentration which are located outside the borders [of the Hebrew state] against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.

        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

        It called for offensive probes of Arab communities in the Jewish state and unprovoked attacks against Arab bases located in the Arab state. The fact is that Zionists, like yourself, try to describe attacks on armed Haganah convoys carrying weapons and fighters back and forth to the remote Haganah bases in the Arab state as if they were innocent victims of aggression. That’s true even in cases where the Haganah watchtower and stockade settlements and weapons caches were planted along skirmish or confrontation lines that were located beyond the borders of the proposed Jewish State. Ben Ami and other historians have written that there was a deliberate plan of settlement developed after 1937 to establish and link-up those remote settlements to major Jewish population centers and determine de facto borders that were much larger than the ones that either the Peel Commission or the UN had ever proposed.

        The official published history of the Haganah says that in the summer of 1937, ten years before the UN Partition plan, David Ben Gurion directed the Haganah Commander of Tel Aviv, Elimelech Slikowitz (“Avnir”), to draw up a plan to take over the entire country after the British withdrawal. http://palestine-studies.org/enakba/diplomacy/Khalidi,%20Revisiting%20the%201947%20UN%20Partition%20Resolution.pdf

        The Introduction of Plan Dalet itself indicates that: “This plan is based on three previous plans:

        1. Plan B, September 1945.

        2. The May 1946 Plan.1

        3. Yehoshua Plan, 1948.2
        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Plan_Dalet.html

        Plan B was based upon the “Avnir Plan” that had been drawn-up a decade earlier.

      • Cliff
        March 13, 2014, 11:39 am

        @WJ

        Do you think Zionism was (past a point, very early on) ever going to tolerate such a large (45%) Arab minority in the proposed Jewish State?

        Do you think Zionist territorial aspirations were content with the Peel commission or other pre-47/48 Partition Plan, plans?

        ETC ETC

    • peeesss
      March 13, 2014, 2:51 am

      “War, War”. ? “Palestinian armed forces”.? A conflict between a well organized , well trained Army, modern, arms , armed by the West and East Europeans, and a Palestinian civil society with no army , a few WWl weapons trying to defend their homes. Trying to equate a modern Army with the backing of the strongest powers against a civilian population should not be called a “War”. Add to that the terrorists of the Messrs. Begin and Shamir, Irgun and Stern Gangs, who committed many massacres and boasted of them quite openly. Actually the NYT wrote of these massacres and David Ben Gurion condemned them at that time. Of course, Mr. Ben Gurion went on to give the orders to cleanse the land of the indigenous people , the Palestinians.

  9. NickJOCW
    March 13, 2014, 12:14 pm

    They seek one here,
    They seek one there,
    The media seek one everywhere.
    Where will they find one?
    Nobody knows
    A good dry cleaner for emperor’s clothes.

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