Leading NY institutions discuss the Nakba — and there is not a Palestinian in sight

US Politics
on 61 Comments

In the last few weeks two liberal New York institutions, The New York Times and the 92d Street Y, have published discussions about a central Palestinian experience– the Nakba, or catastrophe that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948– and in these three discussions, there was not a Palestinian in sight. Though three or four Zionists got to weigh in on the issue.

Of course non-Palestinians have the right to free speech about Palestinian history. What is so desperate and unfair about these three discussions is that they demonstrate a racist pattern in our public culture, in which leading U.S. institutions grant authority about Palestinian history only to non-Palestinians.

It is very much as if the history of Jim Crow and slavery and the civil rights movement could only be told by white people.

Here are the three cases.

1. Last Sunday the New York Times Book Review ran a review by Dexter Filkins of the novel Khirbet Khizeh. The novel is the late S. Yizhar‘s beautiful rendering of the ethnic cleansing of a Palestinian village in 1948. Yizhar published the book in 1949 several months after he had participated in such activities as an Israeli intelligence officer.

Yousef Munayyer promptly tweeted:

This Dexter Filkins review for @nytimesbooks gets some VERY BASIC historical facts wrong which should be corrected

Donald Johnson summarizes the review, “Admit the Nakba, but paint it as inadvertent and even make basic mistakes on the chronology. … Don’t mention Plan Dalet, which some historians think wasn’t meant to be a permanent expulsion plan (yeah, right). Don’t mention that it was clearly ethnic cleansing in the later stages.”

Munayyer enumerated 13 errors in the review. One of those errors was Filkins’s description of the Nakba beginning after the establishment of Israel on May 15, 1948.

The Israelis, fearing extinction (the Holocaust had ended only three years before), struck back; in the course of the fighting, they not only repelled the invading armies but also set the Palestinians — some 700,000 of them — to flight.

The flight/expulsion of the Palestinian refugees actually began weeks before the declaration of the state of Israel. Deir Yassin was in April 1948. So was the siege of Jaffa that emptied a leading Palestinian city and pushed some Palestinians into the sea.

Munayyer also offered evidence that the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba was intentional:

“For years before the war, Yishuv military intelligence collected nuanced data on all Arab villages, paving way for Nakba.”

Myself I thought Filkins’s review was a plus, providing an account of the Nakba in the Times. But my point here is that Palestinians, who are generally far better acquainted with this history than I am, and obviously more sensitive to that history, in the way that, say John Lewis is sensitive to the history of the civil rights movement — don’t even get included in the official conversation. You’d be angry too! As Munayyer pointed out:

Has @nytimesbooks review ever reviewed a book on the Nakba by, say, a Palestinian?

Moving on.

2. Last month, the 92d Street Y published a video of an event from December, in which Anita Shapira, a historian who lately authored a biography of David Ben-Gurion as the father of modern Israel, was on stage with David Remnick, the New Yorker editor, and Steven Zipperstein, the scholar of Jewish history. Shapira is a hardline Zionist. Zipperstein is an avowed liberal Zionist. Remnick would seem to be a Zionist-in-crisis a la Peter Beinart. You can watch their session below, but the motif of the conversation was Zipperstein and Remnick’s attempts to prod Shapira toward the possibility that Ben-Gurion had made some mistakes in his policy vis-a-vis Arabs, and Shapira’s insistence that her “hero” subject had not planned the Nakba, it had just happened.

Zipperstein asks Shapira at minute 26 whether she didn’t ever imagine sitting down with Ben-Gurion to “persuade him that in some respects his obstinacy actually led him to blindness not illumination.”

Shapira: Let me tell you something, you [would] like me to say that his politics towards the Arab question should have been different. And I wonder what you have in mind. Because maybe — maybe — you think that the Jewish state shouldn’t have come into being. Maybe! But if you think it should have come into being, I don’t see–

Zipperstein: This is what it’s like to argue with an Israeli!

Shapira: –how he could differently have done it. Because the fact was, he understood it as a realist. That the Arabs would not give up. Why should they for god’s sake give up their predominance in the country? Until I would say the 1920s, they were actually the lords of the country. So Ben-Gurion understood that and he acted I would say in defense of history, because he felt that the Jews don’t have an alternative, and he felt that the time was running out, and he had to achieve what he could as soon as possible.

Remnick also pushed on the question, at minute 43, pointing out that Shapira’s handling of the departure “of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians” was “rather brief.” But the matter was a point of great controversy to this day, Remnick said, citing Israeli historians, and politely asked Shapira about Ben-Gurion’s view of “the Palestinian experience on the ground in 1948, meaning their exile.” Shapira offered a very Zionist-centric rendering of the Nakba. The expulsion of the Palestinians was never planned. Ben-Gurion was willing to accept a Jewish state with 40 percent Palestinians. But when the war began, Jewish hearts hardened toward the Arabs, and in the end the Jews were pleased to see the refugees gone from the country.

Why weren’t they allowed to return? Because everyone was very happy with having a unitarian Jewish state and having a small Arab minority.

Shapira went on to say that ethnic cleansing– “population movements” — was the norm at that time of history. They happened across Europe and in India and Pakistan. Judging Israel for its conduct then by today’s standards is like judging George Washington for holding slaves.

The fact that of all the refugees, the many millions of refugees at that time, only the Palestinians remain as a problem was something that nobody expected.

The only thing to be said about Shapira’s comments is that they are very deeply immersed in the Zionist narrative. Remnick and Zipperstein did nothing much in the end to counter that view. I don’t think the word Nakba was used.

I am very curious about how a Palestinian would respond to Shapira. But I guess expecting the 92d Street Y to invite a Palestinian to that conversation would be like expecting George Washington to free his slaves. (And p.s., why did Zipperstein and Remnick go along with this entre-nous setup? Here is what happened when Shapira had to actually engage a Palestinian.)

3. A month ago the New York Times Book Review ran a review of Shapira’s book by Ilene Prusher, a Jerusalem-based novelist. Prusher had a very similar quibble to Zipperstein and Remnick, Shapira didn’t have much to say about the Nakba:

Some readers may find it hard, as I did, to read Shapira’s brief treatment of the moment in 1948 when the commanders Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin came to Ben-Gurion asking whether to carry out “a large-scale population evacuation.” Rabin reported that Ben-Gurion responded with a wave of the hand, saying “Expel them.” Shapira explains here that while he forbade the evacuation of some areas, like Nazareth, “like most of his ministers, he saw the Arabs’ exodus as a great miracle, one of the most important in that year of miracles, since the presence of a hostile population constituting some 40 percent of the new state’s total populace did not augur well for the future.”

Shapira doesn’t subject this incident to any ethical scrutiny or judgment, reporting it almost matter-of-factly. She does, however, note that given the history of the time — which included moving enormous masses of people across Europe and carrying out huge population transfers as part of the partition that divided Pakistan from India — Ben-Gurion’s decision wasn’t beyond the norm. “The decision not to allow the return of the Arab refugees was accepted as self-evident, and gained broad public support.”

Not to worry. At the end of her review Prusher reveals her own Zionist bona fides:

I last visited Ben-Gurion’s grave in 2012. I was working on a book and looking for a quiet writing retreat before the birth of my second child. I came to appreciate the appeal of the remote place where Ben-Gurion chose to live out his later years. There, on the edge of a majestic desert precipice, Israel isn’t a country the size of New Jersey constantly struggling for its survival. Rather, it is a place of proud, rugged expanses, a homeland of the reborn Jew comfortable in nature, re-establishing himself in a timeless landscape, neither oppressed nor oppressing. It was this yet unfulfilled promise in the promised land that Ben-Gurion wanted people to contemplate when they took a minute to envision what had been, and what was to come.

Cue Hatikvah.

Again I ask: What would a Palestinian say? Do they ever get to register an opinion in the mainstream press on these historical events?

To be clear, I am not offering myself as any kind of expert on that point of view. I’m just a privileged American Jewish reader who cares deeply about US foreign policy. But I must say I think this situation is sick and is one reason the U.S. has lost its way in the Middle East: Our press doesn’t grant Palestinians (or Arabs) narrative authority when it comes to their own fucking experience.

(P.S. I happen to share some of Shapira’s realist ideas re population transfers in the second world war era; they’re ancient history. But the answer to her question about why the Palestinian refugee problem persists is that Palestinians were never granted the sovereignty the world promised them, in stark contrast to Pakistan and countless other nations. And in part for that very reason, the ethnic cleansing never stopped, no, it goes on merrily on the Zionists’ part to this day, in spite of the Green Line, the armistice, Truman and Kennedy and Nixon’s efforts to honor the right of return, Oslo, the Arab Peace Initiative, international law, liberal Zionism, the UN General Assembly, etc., and has led many to wonder when and how this problem all began.)

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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61 Responses

  1. Boomer
    February 26, 2015, 11:41 am

    George Washington did free his slaves. True, he did it in his will, but his attitudes toward slavery were rather progressive for a slave owner of his era.

    • Giles
      February 26, 2015, 12:40 pm

      Yeah right.

      He freed them upon the later of his death and his wife’s death. I am pretty sure he could not take them with him so he did get full exploitation of them. Not sure how that is progressive.

      The real “beauty” of what he did was that he left Martha home alone, surrounded by slaves who would be freed upon her death. In other words, surrounded by people who wanted her dead as soon as possible. In fact, I believe she did free them for this reason, hardly a noble one.

  2. broadside
    February 26, 2015, 12:17 pm

    “George Washington did free his slaves.”

    Yes. All 300. And — according to Garrison Keillor, who is getting VERY cranky in his old age (though Kiss My Caviar was one of his better ones) — there was a slave that got away, a female, I believe, and old George was not at all happy, searched heaven and earth for her. Now THERE’S an entangling alliance I can relate to.

  3. John Douglas
    February 26, 2015, 12:30 pm

    In his review Filkins writes, “Israeli historians, most notably Benny Morris, have painstakingly documented the exodus of the Palestinians and, more problematically, the causes of their flight.”

    It’s difficult to think that Filkins wasn’t aware of the significance of his use of the term “exodus” to describe movement of Palestinians off their lands and out of their homes. “Exodus”, the second book of the Torah, a story of the Israelites’ flight from a foreign land toward their purported homeland. This is a rather odd way of referencing the Nakba. To some Palestinians it was a flight, but always away from their homeland. To others it was not a flight at all, but a removal.

  4. pabelmont
    February 26, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Where do they get (or do you see them getting) “inadvertence”?

    “Shapira: –how he could differently have done it. Because the fact was, he understood it as a realist. That the Arabs would not give up. Why should they for god’s sake give up their predominance in the country? Until I would say the 1920s, they were actually the lords of the country. So Ben-Gurion understood that and he acted I would say in defense of history, because he felt that the Jews don’t have an alternative, and he felt that the time was running out, and he had to achieve what he could as soon as possible.”

    Shapira says, at least says here, that if BG wanted a Jewish country, this is the only way to get it. She is not saying “inadvertence” here; she is saying “necessity”.

    And you cannot have it both ways.

    Plan Dalet (or some other plan, written or spoken or merely felt — who cares?) was followed; and it specified removal (“transfer”) of the Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine to make way for the Palestinian Jews (as they were in 1947) and all the illegal/undocumented Jewish immigrants who formed the early Jewish population of Israel.

    It’s like, you know, we (Zionists) were fighting for our own country and there was only one way to get it and that included fighting and “transfer”, and, say, do you know what happened, by accident that’s what we did! Although there was no other way, we never intended to do it and it happened by accident, a “divine wind” (kamikazi) blew through Palestine and blew the Arabs out, “thanks [be to] God!”.

    Yeah, sure.

    On your more important point, how many years will it be before the Jewish institutions in New York allow Palestinians to be part of the conversation? Without Palestinians discussing the Nakba is pure Zionist propaganda — all the truth that the Zionists can allow themselves to say out loud. Simpler just to re-publish Peters’s “From Time Immemorial” and be done with it. what’s new in these conversations — unless it be the nearly invisibly slow creep toward honesty of the liberal Zionists.

    • Giles
      February 26, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Hell, how many non Zionist Jews get to have any say in the matter?

      • pabelmont
        February 26, 2015, 3:05 pm

        True. Hard to get ourselves counted as part of “the Jews” and part of the conversation. But the conversation among “liberal Zs” is being confined to people who favor the creation of Israel. Exclusion of Palestinians, sure, but also exclusions of everyone else — including non-Z, anti-Z Jews.

    • RoHa
      February 26, 2015, 6:37 pm

      “Shapira says, at least says here, that if BG wanted a Jewish country, this is the only way to get it. She is not saying “inadvertence” here; she is saying “necessity”.

      Shapira’s attitude is that the wants and needs of Jews are more important than the wants and needs of other people. “We matter and you don’t.”* And for that very reason the creation of Israel was wrong. Basing a state on such contempt for humanity was itself a crime.

      “Shapira went on to say that ethnic cleansing– “population movements” — was the norm at that time of history. They happened across Europe and in India and Pakistan. Judging Israel for its conduct then by today’s standards is like judging George Washington for holding slaves.”

      It’s the old “we can’t judge them by today’s standards” cultural relativism again. The idea is that right and wrong are just the attitudes of the majority. When those attitudes change, right and wrong change.

      Philosophers have written so much criticism of this view that it amazes, and depresses, me that it still hangs around, but it seems to be still established in the artsy-fartsy set. (Applied selectively, of course. we do not hear the alleged decapitations performed by ISIS dismissed as “It’s just their way.”)

      Ethnic cleansing is wrong. Always was. Always will be.

      (And there were plenty of people in America during and before GW’s time who held that slavery was wrong. Thomas Paine was not the least, but the legislatures of Vermont (1777) and Pennsylvania (1780) passed laws abolishing slavery. Pennsylvania Quakers protested against slavery as early as 1688.)

      (*Thank you yet again, Saleema.)

  5. phlpp7r
    February 26, 2015, 12:36 pm

    “… in stark contrast to Pakistan and countless other nations.”

    FWIW, I think its worth mentioning, and rather befitting in this contet, to point out that Jews, emotional, etc. sensibilities aside, can and have moved back to Germany (and Poland), but you guys know that already. Half my family is from parts of Germany that are now Russia or Poland, but I could hightail it out of NYC aboard the next Aeroflot or LOT flight and start life anew, becoming a full fledged member of Russian or Polish society, bureacracy notwitstanding.

    and Palestine . . . Palestine? I guess Zionists are the new Assyrians.

  6. amigo
    February 26, 2015, 1:04 pm

    “The flight/expulsion of the Palestinian refugees actually began weeks before the declaration of the state of Israel. Deir Yassin was in April 1948. So was the siege of Jaffa that emptied a leading Palestinian city and pushed some Palestinians into the sea. “Phillip Weiss

    Here is more evidence that the expulsion was planned many years before.

    “In a letter Ben-Gurion sent to his son in 1937, he wrote: “No Zionist can forgo the smallest portion of the Land Of Israel. [A] Jewish state in part [of Palestine] is not an end, but a beginning ….. Our possession is important not only for itself … through this we increase our power, and every increase in power facilitates getting hold of the country in its entirety. Establishing a [small] state …. will serve as a very potent lever in our historical effort to redeem the whole country.” (Righteous Victims, p. 138) * In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear of his support for the “Jewish state” on part of Palestine was only as a stepping ground for a complete conquest. He wrote: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state–we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 107 & One Palestine Complete, p. 403) “

    • Bornajoo
      February 26, 2015, 3:00 pm

      Thanks for posting this Amigo.
      And the same plan continues to this very day.

      That was good homage Phil. I agree with Pixel, very refreshing!

      • MHughes976
        February 26, 2015, 6:05 pm

        I don’t see how Zionism could have or could ever have had any objective except to maximise both the absolute and the relative Jewish and correspondingly minimise the non-Jewish numbers – except that a small and harmless minority would actually, because of the reputational benefit, make the Zionist project more, not less secure. It was always the intention of Zionism to show generosity to non-Jews, though generosity and tender mercies do not always look the same to those on the receiving end. The whole idea of a Jewish State implies that non-Jewish people can’t in the long term be there in enough numbers and with enough political rights to bring the Jewishness of the state into question: what else?
        On the other hand I would think that overt expulsion would, because of reputational damage, only ever be a last resort: induced departure far better. The inducement could be money. Or it could be making life so miserable that the others ‘choose’ to leave. In the event of 48 most of the Palestinians fled (entirely rationally) from the war zone in which they found themselves and were then excluded, their flight being preposterously interpreted as a kind of crime. Of course there is an obvious and inalienable right to come and go from one’s home.
        The continuing reality is the continuing humiliation of the Palestinians amid talk of ‘paying them to leave’ – though as yet there has never been anything like enough money for that to be a practical proposition. A continuing programme whereby departure is induced or meant to be induced is not necessarily less cruel than a summary expulsion, only less dramatic.

    • jon s
      February 26, 2015, 3:43 pm

      Amigo, where do you see, in the quote you provided, any mention of expulsion?

      • tree
        February 26, 2015, 4:59 pm

        jon,

        Intentionally clueless? The exact word isn’t there but the intent is obvious to anyone who isn’t purposely trying to be obtuse.

        You want more info to make it clear what BG was saying? In 1937 the British Peel Commission proposed a partition of Mandate Palestine and transfer of populations.

        The idea of population transfer was briefly placed on the Mandate’s political agenda in 1937 by the Peel Commission. The commission recommended that Britain should withdraw from Palestine and that the land be partitioned between Jews and Arabs. It called for a “transfer of land and an exchange of population”, including the removal of 250,000 Palestinian Arabs from what would become the Jewish state,[75] along the lines of the mutual population exchange between the Turkish and Greek populations after the Greco-Turkish War of 1922. According to the plan “in the last resort” the transfer of Arabs from the Jewish part would be compulsory.[76] The transfer would be voluntary in as far as Arab leaders were required to agree with it, but after that it would be almost inevitable that it would have to be forced upon the population.[77]

        According to Nur Masalha, heavy Zionist lobbying had been necessary for the Peel commission to propose this “in the last resort” compulsory transfer. Shertok, Weizmann and Ben-Gurion had travelled to London to talk it over, not only with members of the commission, but also with numerous politicians and officials whom the commission would be likely to consult.[78] This solution was embraced by Zionist leaders.[79] Masalha also says that Ben-Gurion saw partition only as an intermediate stage in the establishment of Israel, before the Jewish state could expand to all of Palestine using force.[80]

        According to Morris, Arab leaders, such as Emir Abdullah of Transjordan and Nuri as-Said of Iraq, supported the idea of a population transfer.[81] However, while Ben-Gurion was in favor of the Peel plan, he and other Zionist leaders considered it important that it be publicized as a British plan and not a Zionist plan. To this end, Morris quotes Moshe Sharett, director of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, who said (during a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive on 7 May 1944) to consider the British Labour Party Executive’s resolution supporting transfer: “Transfer could be the crowning achievements, the final stage in the development of [our] policy, but certainly not the point of departure. By [speaking publicly and prematurely] we could mobilizing vast forces against the matter and cause it to fail, in advance…. What will happen once the Jewish state is established—it is very possible that the result will be the transfer of Arabs.”[82]

        All of the other members of the JAE present, including Yitzhak Gruenbaum (later Israel’s first interior minister), Eliyahu Dobkin (director of the immigration department), Eliezer Kaplan (Israel’s first finance minister), Dov Yosef (later Israel’s justice minister) and Werner David Senator (a Hebrew University executive) spoke favorably of the transfer principle.[83] Morris summarises the attitude of the Jewish Agency Executive on 12 June 1938 as: “all preferred a ‘voluntary’ transfer; but most were also agreeable to a compulsory transfer.”[84]

        At the twentieth Zionist Congress, held in Zurich in August 1937, the Peel Commission’s plan was discussed and rejected on the ground that a larger part of Palestine should be assigned to them. According to Masalha, compulsory transfer was accepted as morally just by a majority although many doubted its feasibility.[85] Partition, however, was not acceptable for Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund, who said, “The Arab people have immense areas of land at their disposal; our people have nothing except a grave’s plot. We demand that our inheritance, Palestine, be returned to us, and if there is no room for Arabs, they have the opportunity of going to Iraq.”[86]

        The immediately succeeding Woodhead Commission, called to “examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan” effectively removed the idea of transfer from the options under consideration by the British, and the 1939 White Paper proposed a complete end to immigration.

        According to Masalha “the defeat of the partition plan in no way diminished the determination of the Ben-Gurion camp … to continue working for the removal of the native population.”[87] In November 1937 a Population Transfer Committee was appointed to investigate the practicalities of transfer. It discussed details of the costs, specific places for relocation of the Palestinians, and the order in which they should be transferred. In view of the need for land it concluded that the rural population should be transferred before the townspeople, and that a village by village manner would be best.[88] In June 1938 Ben-Gurion summed up the mood in the JAE: “I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it.” Regarding the unwillingness of the British to implement it, land expropriation was seen as a major mechanism to precipitate a Palestinian exodus. Also the remaining Palestinians should not be left with substantial landholdings.[89]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_1948_Palestinian_exodus

        More on the Jewish Agency’s 1937 Population Transfer Committee:

        On the heel of the Peel Committee recommendations, the Jewish Agency created the Population Transfer Committee with an impressive list of executive members, one of whom was Dr Kurt Mendelson from Holland considered to be ‘the expert on the question of population transfer’. He would divide the Palestinian Arabs into 3 categories to be cleared in the first stage of the Transfer Plan:

        1. Tenant farmers.
        2. Landless villagers working as agricultural labourers.
        3. Farmers who owned less than 3 dunums per capita.

        To resettle these people, the Transfer Committee calculated that 1.15 million dunums would have to be purchased in Transjordan and that it would take nearly 10 years to complete the transfer.

        Ben-Gurion opted instead for a total evacuation of Arabs from the proposed Jewish state. He said that he looked at the Jewish part only as a provisional solution “on the basis that after we build a strong force following the establishment of the state, we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel”.

        One executive member of the Jewish Agency concurred: “…we will not achieve this by preaching sermons on the mount, but by machine-guns which we will need”. Some Committee members even opposed the idea of partition itself and argued for a single state for the Jewish people: “We cannot begin the Jewish state with a population of which Arabs constitute almost half of the population…Such a state cannot survive even for half an hour”.

        Fearing moral backlash from world opinion against forced expulsion of the Palestinian population, the debate considered ways of how to contain such a possible backlash. But this did not deter one Committee member to volunteer: “If you ask me whether it is moral to remove 60,000 families from their place of residence…I will say to you that it is moral. I am ready to come and defend the moral side of it before the Almighty and the League of Nations”.

        Ben-Gurion closed the debate: “I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it.

        http://www.1948.org.uk/population-transfer-committee/

        And of course from its very beginnings the Zionist movement sought to remove Palestinian tenant farmers from their land, to deny employment to non-Jewish Palestinians, and to “spirit the penniless population across the border”.

        Please don’t try to pretend that the expulsion of the native non-Jewish population was not one of the basic tenets of the Zionist movement. It’s a form of Nakba denial.

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2015, 6:17 pm

        “Amigo, where do you see, in the quote you provided, any mention of expulsion?”

        “Jon s”, check your shoes.

      • Shingo
        February 27, 2015, 5:01 am

        Amigo, where do you see, in the quote you provided, any mention of expulsion?

        Do explain how Israel would “abolish the partition of the country” and “expand to the whole Land of Israel” and still maintain a Jewish majority without expansion?

        Are you forgetting how in a separate speech, Ben Gurion argued against allowing refugees to return because they would become a majority and under a democracy, that would inevitably lead to an Arab leadership?

      • amigo
        February 27, 2015, 5:49 am

        “He wrote: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state–we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel – ” .BG

        Gee , and all this time i thought Israel accepted the partition.Well at least that is what the well honed zionist apologist trots out when trying to blame the Arabs.

        Care to address that jon,s.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2015, 11:22 am

        There you go, “Jon s” you’ve been given a brush and a hose. Use them, before you track it all over.

  7. Pixel
    February 26, 2015, 1:34 pm

    Phil, I don’t seem to recall your ever having used the “F-word,” before.

    It’s quite refreshing!

    • bintbiba
      February 26, 2015, 5:30 pm

      tree…. !!

      Thank you for this document.
      I can’t say I’m shocked, or horrified at the ‘chutzpah’ employed and the lack of morality / humanity towards the ‘aborigines ‘ . We might have been cattle or so much fodder . Poor, sad Palestine… used and abused… A Tragedy for the Ages!.

    • jon s
      February 27, 2015, 3:31 pm

      It is true that in 1937, in the context of the Peel Commission partition plan, which would have established a miniscule Jewish state, Ben Gurion was considering a population transfer. His thinking at the time was that if the Jewish state was going to be tiny, and would also contain a significant Arab population , it simply would not be viable, and would not be able to perform its primary mission of providing a safe for millions of Jews.
      At the time BG’s willingness to accept partition was under fire from both the Right and the Left. On the Right, the Revisionists led by Jabotinsky rejected partition and demanded a Jewish state over the entire country. On the Left, groups like Hashomer Hatzair and Brit Shalom supported the concept of a bi-national state.
      In any event the Peel Commision recommendations never got off the ground, as the Arab side rejected partition in principle, just as they were to do in 1947.

      • Walid
        February 27, 2015, 4:19 pm

        “In any event the Peel Commision recommendations never got off the ground, as the Arab side rejected partition in principle ” (jon s)

        Never got off the ground because the British withdrew their support of it and BG and Jabotinsky weren’t that crazy about it either as it provided the compulsory transfer of the plains Arabs and the voluntary transfer of the Galilee Arabs, which BG didn’t like because he knew the Galilee ones would never leave voluntarily and he’d be stuck with them. It’s understandable that the Zionists accepted the partition since they didn’t have much anyway and they only stood to gain. It was the opposite for the Arabs.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2015, 5:12 pm

        ” its primary mission of providing a safe for millions of Jews.”

        And everybody knows the Zionists received their marching orders straight fromn God, too. What absolute nonsense. “providing a safe for millions of Jews” ( Oh look at that, a ‘Freudian sic.‘) was the Zionists “primary mission” according to nobody but them. And gee, they would say that, huh?

        And nothing the Zionists have ever done shows they had the slightest concern about providing “a safe” for millions of Jews. They were interested in using them.

        Who are you trying to kid, “Jon s”?

      • eljay
        February 27, 2015, 9:57 pm

        || jon seee: It is true that in 1937 … Ben Gurion was considering a population transfer. His thinking at the time was that if the Jewish state was going to be tiny, and would also contain a significant Arab population , it simply would not be viable … ||

        Yup, you can’t have a viable “Jewish State” if it’s full of undesirable non-Jews. Thanks for once again making it very clear that Israel was and remains a religion-supremacist construct.

      • jon s
        February 28, 2015, 3:26 am

        oops, should have been “safe haven”.

  8. Philip Weiss
    February 26, 2015, 1:46 pm

    Saif Ammous dropped the F-bomb on Anita Shapira at the Columbia Hillel 8 years ago over these very questions in a legendary encounter that 92d St Y and NYT are afraid to have. So my f-bomb is an homage to his.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2007/04/a_month_back_i_

    • pabelmont
      February 26, 2015, 2:29 pm

      ” Our press doesn’t grant Palestinians (or Arabs) narrative authority when it comes to their own fucking experience”.

      Yes, it’s an f-bomb. But it is more: it shows the discussion (Palestinians excluded from discussion) parallels the subject matter (Palestinians largely excluded from Israel). It shows that the racism (or whatever you want to call it — maybe the Jewish exceptionalism, you know, Israel is OUR subject so only WE get to talk about it) carries over in a straight line from 1930 and carries over not only to a discussion of Israel (which is, maybe, OK, a Jewish subject) to a discussion of Nakba which is a strictly Palestinian subject.

      How would Jews (even “liberal Zionists”) feel about a place where the rule was that only Palestinians could discuss Israel?

      • bintbiba
        February 26, 2015, 3:11 pm

        …..-bombs ahoy !!!
        Thank you, Philip.
        Thank you guys !!

      • Walid
        February 26, 2015, 3:22 pm

        Pabelmont, are Palestinians being excluded or are they excluding themselves? Do they have to be begged to show up and isn’t it about time Palestinians starting inviting themselves to these things. On the Center for Palestinian Studies at Columbia site, I counted at least 20 Arabic -sounding names of which over half must Palestinians that include heavyweights Nadia Abu el-Haj and Rachid Khalidi that know a thing or two about real Palestinian history and that don’t spook easy. It’s odd to see Jews here arguing on behalf of the Palestinians’ history.

  9. a blah chick
    February 26, 2015, 2:34 pm

    Liberal Zionism has gone from Nakba denial to Nakba acceptance without ever passing through responsibility.

  10. lysias
    February 26, 2015, 3:19 pm

    Never mind a review of a book by a Palestinian on the Nakba in the New York Times, have they even reviewed Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine? (They did run this opinion piece by a Lebanese that goes on to discuss Pappe’s book.)

    • Walid
      February 26, 2015, 3:31 pm

      Lysias, Rami Khouri, a top notch journalist was born in the US to Palestinian Christians. He worked a while in Jordan before moving to Beirut and the Daily Star.

  11. JWalters
    February 26, 2015, 6:06 pm

    There is no way that the main people in the American news business are as ignorant about Palestine as they pretend to be. Charlie Rose, Judy Woodruff, Brian Williams, etc. all MUST know what is going on – they are professional reporters, and the facts are PLENTIFUL and readily available. The ONLY explanation for this blanket of silence is COERCION. Which means somebody has the power to silence America’s free press (who benefits?), which effectively DESTROYS its democracy. Historians will be studying this sabotage of America in detail, including the “reporters” who let America down. Those who fought against this evil will be remembered well. Thank you Mondoweiss staff and commenters.

  12. Neil Schipper
    February 26, 2015, 10:12 pm

    About those long quotations ‘tree’ hauls out..

    They refute a brand of Zionist historiography — “We never expelled anyone! They all fled! Jews would never think of such a thing!” — that one doesn’t really hear much anymore. It’d be hard to find an Israeli who would claim it. Consider: Khirbet Khizeh was published in Israel in 1949, was widely read and discussed, and was even required reading in highschool for years. (Maybe it still is; I don’t know.)

    The quotations don’t do as much work as ‘tree’ seems to think.

    They pertain to tactics discussed or adopted in 1936 and later. This does not tell us much about the central thrust of Zionist thinking prior to that time. And it doesn’t tell us much about realities on the ground at the time which drove the Yishuv, justifiably, to consider such tactics.

    There can be no hope of understanding that time without considering the many instances of Arab violence carried out from 1920, well before Jewish groups adopted similar tactics. This had a huge impact on the Yishuv leadership’s perception of what was possible in regard to Arab and Jew living side by side.

    And much of that Arab violence was against Arabs (in rhyme with what’s happening today in a lot of the ME & NA), violence by al-Husseini’s total-dominance seeking, hyper-rejectionists against Arabs that wouldn’t toe the line; during some periods, Arab victims outnumbered Jewish victims of the radical Arab nationalists.

    The relatively high functioning institutions of the Yishuv by that time — the political parties and councils of elected decision makers, institutions for land use planning, education, philanthropy, medical services, self-defence (in reaction to hostilities), etc. had persuaded some Arab notables that a Zionist political entity of some kind was likely, was tolerable, and even beneficial to Arab residents. Those state-building efforts were legal under the Ottomans, then the British. Of course, many illegal activities — arms smuggling, killing, immigration — did come about, but not without provocation (the British, naturally self-interested, broke promises to both Arab and Jew), and they emerged rather late in the already 50+ year history of the Yishuv.

    Also, the Yishuv knew there were millions of Jews in Europe facing considerable danger (one wonders if even they fully understood it). The Yishuv couldn’t possibly hope to provide refuge to at least some of those millions with belligerent irregulars nestled in densely Arab areas under loose Jewish control.

    So there were good reasons for Ben-Gurion and the other leaders to entertain transfer by then, just as there were good reasons, indeed very good reasons, for responsible Arabs to sit down to internationally administered negotiations and seriously work towards a ‘good enough’ deal.

    On Planet Mondoweiss, like other organs of Hamasbara, hysteria reigns. The Zionists may as well have sailed in on warships, waving about Rothschild money on good days, brandishing rifles on bad ones, greedily seeking to pillage Arabs.

    You’d never know that a Jew ever drained a single swamp or built a single barn!

    Hey, world! We need to do 1947 all over again, ‘cept this time, the good guys, the ones honestly declaring their intent to ethnically cleanse, oughtta win!

    Thoughtful people ain’t having it.

    • Kris
      February 26, 2015, 10:59 pm

      @NeilS: “So there were good reasons for Ben-Gurion and the other leaders to entertain transfer by then, just as there were good reasons, indeed very good reasons, for responsible Arabs to sit down to internationally administered negotiations and seriously work towards a ‘good enough’ deal.”

      Okay, in the same vein: there were good reasons for Hitler and the other leaders to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, just as there were good reasons, indeed very good reasons, for responsible Russians to sit down to internationally administered negotiations and seriously work towards a ‘good enough’ deal.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/hitler_lebensraum_01.shtml

      Whatever.

      • phlpp7r
        February 27, 2015, 12:18 am

        Yeah, just like there were very good “reasons” for the big powers of Europe to sit down and broker the transfer of someone else’s land through the Munich Agreement, sure, riiiiiiight.

        Gosh golly, where have we heard that before, oh, right.

        Ah, the ol’ double standard of when something is OK, amd when it is not.

        Then there is the slippery slope of deciding the dividing line . . . since the comparisons have been made with Hitler, let’s not go further down that road cuz that can go some nasty ways , if one is so inclined.

        and its all about preferred and acceptable inclinations, right?

        this is how ethnic cleansing keeps on happening.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2015, 11:29 am

        “to sit down to internationally administered negotiations and seriously work towards a ‘good enough’ deal.”

        Just like the Zionists did in Hitler’s Germany when they worked out there “Transfer Agreement”, “Neil Schipper”?

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2015, 2:02 pm

        ” like other organs of Hamasbara,”

        Aww, look who is so proud that “bara” has become a suffix indicating deception! That is funny. Oh, the exquisite self-awareness of Zionists.

    • RoHa
      February 26, 2015, 11:47 pm

      You want to start the story from 1920, and with the assumption that the establishment of a Jewish State was morally justified.

      But the story starts before then, with the origins of Zionism among European Jews. From Herzl on, the Zionists planned to take over a country already occupied by other people, and to create a state for themselves there. This was not for the benefit of the people who lived in the land, nor for the benefit of humanity as a whole, but for the benefit of their group.

      This was morally wrong. It does not matter how often it has been done in the past by other people, or by whom it has been done, or when it was done, or how many other people have got away with it.

      It was wrong.

      And the idea behind it, that Jews are more important than other people, and so their wishes and needs outweigh those of other people, was also wrong.

      Not surprising, then, that Arabs started resisting when they saw their country being invaded by people who showed themselves to be enemies of the Arabs.

      The Zionists were uninvited foreigners. They entered the country with the avowed (loud and often) intent of taking over the country and setting up a state in which they would be top dogs, run for their benefit.

      They set up an alternative society, with institutions for the promotion of Jewish interests and from which locals were excluded. They bought up some land and drove off the tenant farmers.

      The people of Palestine understood perfectly well that this bunch of European settlers intended to take the land from them, and this intention was there even before the settlers arrived.

      If the Europeans had entered modestly with the intent of becoming part of the community instead of rejecting and replacing it, I suspect things would have been very different.

      ” Those state-building efforts were legal under the Ottomans, then the British.”

      Zionists never seem to understand the distinction between “legal” and “moral”.

      “Also, the Yishuv knew there were millions of Jews in Europe facing considerable danger (one wonders if even they fully understood it). The Yishuv couldn’t possibly hope to provide refuge to at least some of those millions with belligerent irregulars nestled in densely Arab areas under loose Jewish control.”

      The Yishuv had no right to provide refuge to those Jews at the expense of the Arabs. Once again, this is the attitude that Jews matter more than other people.

      And building barns does not mitigate this wrong.

      • RoHa
        February 26, 2015, 11:53 pm

        Incidentally, the Arabs offered a pretty good deal. They offered to integrate the Jewish immigrants who were already present as full citizens with equal rights, and (if I remember rightly) had even agreed to Hebrew as an official language.

        No partition, no “ethnic/religious” state. No further waves of Jewish immigration.

        Seems fair to me.

      • RoHa
        February 27, 2015, 4:17 am

        I sometimes think that Zionists cannot distinguish between legal and moral because they simply do not understand morality. If they understood morality, they would not be Zionists.

        But that is the Socratic position that if people really understood that what they were doing was wrong, they wouldn’t do it. And look what happened to Socrates.

      • eljay
        February 27, 2015, 12:29 pm

        || RoHa: I sometimes think that Zionists cannot distinguish between legal and moral because they simply do not understand morality. If they understood morality, they would not be Zionists. ||

        JeffBeee understands – and perhaps many (most? all?) other Zio-supremacists similarly understand – morality to be “goal + methods”. This (re-)definition of the word fits in nicely with his (and their) supremacist world-view, ideology and immoral and unjust behaviour.

      • eljay
        February 27, 2015, 12:39 pm

        || RoHa @ February 26, 2015, 11:47 pm ||

        Well said.

        Re. the comma in your first paragraph: Should it be there given that:
        – the phrases “from 1920” and “with the assumption that the establishment of a Jewish State was morally justified” refer equally to “the story”; and
        – “with the assumption … was morally justified” is not an independent clause?

        Just curious. :-)

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2015, 1:54 pm

        “If they understood morality, they would not be Zionists.”

        And when they say stuff like ‘Well, Russia did this’ or ‘China did that’ or What about the US’ I wonder if it isn’t reality as well as morality they are deficient in.

      • Philemon
        February 27, 2015, 6:22 pm

        Some people like to abuse others and get away with it. They don’t care about legality, so long as they get away with it, and they think morality is a mug’s game. Their reality is very different from ours.

        Israel is in the position of attracting just those sorts of people as settlers. Given what I’ve read about the IDF and whom they exclude, the same sort of thing is probably going on there. It ain’t pretty.

      • RoHa
        February 27, 2015, 9:52 pm

        That is a tricky one. I pondered a little about it myself.

        On the one hand, “with the assumption” certainly refers to “start the story”, and is equal in status to “from 1920”.

        On the other hand, my fingers automatically put it in, and I am inclined to presume they have good reason for punctuation. Perhaps they thought it was something in the style of an Oxford comma.

        On reflection, I think you are right to question it. I was not writing a list, so the Oxford excuse does not apply.

        I will institute a Commission of Inquiry for my fingers, which might lead to disciplinary action and a spell in the re-education camps in the North.

      • eljay
        March 3, 2015, 7:09 am

        || RoHa: … I will institute a Commission of Inquiry for my fingers, which might lead to disciplinary action and a spell in the re-education camps in the North. ||

        No need to go that far – a simple rap across the knuckles with a ruler will suffice. ;-)

    • oldgeezer
      February 27, 2015, 12:25 am

      “Of course, many illegal activities — arms smuggling, killing, immigration — did come about, but not without provocation”

      I hear ya buddy. Nobody has provoked the Palestinians. Forgive the Jewish terrorists and mass murderers and gloss over their role. Forgive the Israeli violations of human rights and land theft. They were provoked!

      But the Palestinians … They were never provoked. No siree. How despicable that they wanted to live on family land owned for hundreds of years or a millenia. Heck that’s another provocation in itself!!

      You are an apologist for crimes against humanity.

    • eljay
      February 27, 2015, 9:02 am

      || Neil Schipper @ February 26, 2015, 10:12 pm ||

      That’s a lot of words (y.f. would be proud) essentially to say what “liberal Zionist” R.W. managed to state with one very classy sentence: “I cannot consistently say that ‘ethnic cleansing is never necessary’.”

    • Mooser
      February 27, 2015, 11:39 am

      “Thoughtful people ain’t having it.”

      Oy “Neil Schipper” such logic, such realism! So much better than any of these dreamers here. I don’t even need a panglossary to understand it! Why, with logic like yours, I could reason away the Holocaust!

      • Bornajoo
        February 27, 2015, 11:57 am

        “Oy “Neil Schipper” such logic, such realism! So much better than any of these dreamers here. I don’t even need a panglossary to understand it! Why, with logic like yours, I could reason away the Holocaust!”

        +1 Mooser!

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2015, 1:55 pm

        Bornajoo, I am just trying to be candide with him.

    • tree
      February 27, 2015, 6:20 pm

      About those long quotations ‘tree’ hauls out..
      …They pertain to tactics discussed or adopted in 1936 and later. This does not tell us much about the central thrust of Zionist thinking prior to that time.

      Most of my comment concerned 1937 because it was in response to jon’s feigned ingenuousness regarding Ben Gurion’s intent in the 1937 and 1938 quotes that amigo posted.

      Many commenters here have made intelligent and moral arguments to refute your claims that the Zionists were “provoked”, but I would like to add a few particulars regarding earlier ZIonist actions that prove that its “tactics” in 1937 were no different from its basic tenets in decades earlier.

      Besides the quote from Herzl supporting the transfer of the indigenous people living in his proposed Jewish State , which was made in the late 1800’s, at a time and place where no Arab “provocation’ was made or even imagined, I also included the forced displacement of Palestinian tenant farmers on JNF acquired land, which began in the early 1900’s.

      The restrictive covenants of the JNF, which was founded in 1901, stated that no non-Jew would be allowed to own or work on JNF lands, nor could that land ever be subsequently sold to non-Jews. The Zionists for the most part were able to enforce that covenant despite the fact that tenant farmers had rights to work the land they had inhabited under Ottoman law. Negotiations were entered into to “encourage” the indigenous tenant farmers to abandon their rights. Ilan Pappe describes the attitudes of these early Zionists from their letters and diaries:

      Cleansing of the land of its farmers and tenants was done at first through meeting in the Zionist madafa [my note: guest tents set upfor negotiations] and then by force of eviction in Mandatory times. The “good” Palestinians were those who came to the madafa and allowed themselves to be evicted. Those who refused were branded robbers and murderers. Even Palestinians with whom the settlers sometimes shared ownership of horses or long hours of guard duty were transformed into villains once they refused eviction.

      “The Idea of Israel”, Ilan Pappe, page 31

      With the coming of the Second Aliyah (1904-1914) the concepts of “Conquest of Labor” took hold along with the earlier “Conquest of the Land”, which cemented the idea of refusing to allow Arab workers or produce into the New Yishuv . I’ve quoted David Hacohen many times before but its worth a repeat here to show just how early the Zionist attempt to displace the indigenous population began, well before any real “provocation” against the Zionists occurred.

      “I remember being one of the first of our comrades to go to London after the First World War … There I became a socialist … When I joined the socialist students – English, Irish, Jewish, Chinese, Indian, African – we found that we were all under English domination or rule. And even here, in these intimate surroundings, I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism, to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my trade union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they not buy at Arab stores; to defend the fact that we stood guard at orchards to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there. … To pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash the Arab eggs they had bought; to praise to the skies the Kereen Kayemet [Jewish Fund] that sent Hanlon to Beirut to buy land from absentee effendi [landlords] and to throw the fellahin[peasants] off the land – to buy dozens of dunams 12 from an Arab is permitted, but to sell, God forbid, one Jewish dunam to an Arab is prohibited; to take Rothschild, the incarnation of capitalism, as a socialist and to name him the “benefactor” – to do all that was not easy. And despite the fact that we did it – maybe we had no choice – I wasn’t happy about it “13.

      http://mondoweiss.net/profile/tree?keyword=hacohen#sthash.3pfYqmjD.dpuf

      These should disabuse any serious intellect from believing that Zionist interest in marginalizing and dispossessing the native Palestinians was merely a reaction to Palestinian “provocation” or just a “tactic” rather tnan a basic policy that predated any interaction with actual Palestinians. However, if you’d like more examples of this attitude, Neil, just ask and I can provide many more examples of the centrality of the concept of the dispossession of the native population in favor of foreign Jews embedded within the founding ideology of Zionism.

  13. Kris
    February 26, 2015, 11:21 pm

    Thanks, NeilS. Now that I have thought about it some more, I realize that your paradigm explains not only every theft in history, but also gives me a better way of understanding events like this: someone broke into a car and took a package that was on the seat.

    Obviously, the thief had a good reason for stealing the package (he wanted it), and my neighbor should have realized there was a good reason not to lock his car with a package in it (to avoid getting his side window smashed).

    Obviously this is not exactly equivalent (probably a scenario about an armed robbery would work better) but I think I’m getting the idea: blame the victim.

    • Walid
      February 27, 2015, 2:23 am

      Kris, while Neil is not all that right, he’s also not all that wrong. To keep repeating that Arabs and Jews lived in one beautiful mutual admiration society until the evil Zionists rode into town is a bit of a stretch because this goes against human nature of both Arabs and Jews. Both groups were used as pawns and not much more by the western powers and by Arab leaders with the Jewish ones receiving somewhat of a more favourable treatment. Neil mentions that the story starts before 1920 which makes it before the Peel Commission, the White Paper, and Ben-Gurion’s obsession with ridding the land of its Arabs at times with voluntary transfers and at other times with compulsory transfers. Other elements came into play in the region in pre-1920 days with the western powers opting to give Arabia to the Sauds and giving the descendants of the prophet, the Hashemites, the consolation prize of a promised Greater Syria, which of course included Palestine..

      The Hashemites around 1920 struck a deal with the Zionists by which the Zionists would be given all of Palestine minus jurisdiction over Moslem holy sites in Jerusalem and a chunk of the east bank in exchange for their help in backing the Hashemites to reach the fulfilment of the promise to them of a Greater Syria which covered just about all of the Arab Middle East minus Arabia that was already given to the Sauds and for some Zionist technical and scientific knowhow to help the Arabs. None of this was discussed with the Palestinians but the deal collapsed as the British reneged on their promise of a Greater Syria to the Hashemites and the whole region fell under the mandate of the British and the French. The Hashemites were kicked out of Damascus and given a reworked consolation prize of 2 separate Hashemites kingdoms of what became Jordan and Iraq.

      Skipping over the clashes , riots and so on between the Arabs and the Jews covered by others here, you have Ben-Gurion starting early on in the planning of transfers and actual discussions and monetary negotiations with Arab leaders even before the Peel Commission. There was talk of purchasing or renting land on the east bank to be populated by Jews or in the least to settle Palestinians that would be transferred there, there was talk about shifting the Upper Galilee Palestinians to the northern desert of Syria, which was summarly rejected by Shekib Arslan, then there was talk of either transferring 100,000 Palestinians or 300,000 European Jews to the equally Hashemite Iraq for which the Jews would pay 10 million pounds sterling and at one point the amount discussed reached 25 millions. There was also talk of exchanging Palestinians for Iraqi Jews. The Egyptians and especially the Sauds were against transfers to Iraq because they feared an increased population and army in Iraq.

      All this to say that in all all these dealings and wheelings on the fate of the Palestinians by the East and the West, the Palestinians were not consulted and had absolutely no say about what was being planned for them by everybody. They were shafted by Jews and by Arabs from as early as the 1920s and it’s still ongoing today and the main reason why the Palestinians continue being the losers.

  14. RoHa
    February 27, 2015, 4:05 am

    Be that as it may, Walid, it is important to stress that none of this absolves or in any way mitigates the evil of Zionism.

    • Mooser
      February 27, 2015, 1:57 pm

      Would the Palestinians have been “shafted” were it not for the exigencies created by Zionism?

  15. Stephen Shenfield
    February 27, 2015, 5:09 am

    Shapira is right to say that in the 1940s the expulsion of populations was still widely regarded as a “normal phenomenon” and aroused less indignation than it does now. However, things were already starting to change in that respect and the best people of the time were greatly distressed by and denounced all these “transfers” — not only in the case of Palestine. Thus the Mahatma made a last-ditch effort to head off the partition of the Indian Raj because he realized what it would entail in human suffering. The British (and Jewish) left-wing publisher Victor Gollancz went against the stream to protest against the expulsion of Germans from the East and other cruel treatment of Germans during the Allied occupation of Germany (although he finally proved unable to resist Zionism).

    By contrast, Stalin and the Soviet leadership at the time were quite happy with the expulsion of the Palestinians. A Soviet representative even suggested that they be resettled in Soviet Central Asia. This is hardly surprising in view of the fact that Stalin — in addition to bearing much of the responsibility for the expulsion of Germans from the East — had already expelled numerous ethnic communities to Central Asia during the war, just a few years before.

    So I would ask Shapira and her ilk — are you satisfied to line up with Stalin and against the most decent people of the time?

    • seafoid
      February 27, 2015, 8:26 am

      Ethnic cleansing was used extensively after ww2 to set Europe into mostly homogenous populations. Germans were shunted into Germany, Poles were sent West, Ukrainians got eastern Poland. Everyone had a country. Stalin was a bastard.

      Didn’t justify what Israel did.
      1948 is still toxic.
      And it makes Israel less secure even now.

  16. amigo
    February 27, 2015, 8:30 am

    Leading NY institutions discuss the Nakba — and there is not a Palestinian in sight”Phillip Weiss.

    Now , where have I read that before , or something to that effect ??.

    “After the depopulation, an Israeli member of the MAPAI secretariat remarked in 1949: “The landscape is also more beautiful. I enjoy it, especially when travelling between Haifa and Tel Aviv, and there is not a single Arab to be seen.”

    https://www.google.ie/search?q=it,s+beautiful+,+not+a+single+Arab+in+sight.&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&gws_rd=cr&ei=am7wVJmrNMLm7gaXw4CYBQ#q=it,s+beautiful+,+not+a+single+Arab+in+sight.&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&start=10

    Just imagine the uproar if a British official said!!.

    “The landscape is also more beautiful.I enjoy it , especially when travelling between London and Dover and there is not a single Jew in sight.

    • DaBakr
      February 27, 2015, 5:56 pm

      @am

      don’t kid yourself that statements like your hypothetical haven’t been made by certain british ‘officials’ about either jews and/or asians

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