On the Road to Tantura: Interview with Hala Gabriel

Israel/Palestine
on 85 Comments
Tantura in 1935

Tantura in 1935

Tantura was a beautiful Palestinian fishing village 15 miles south of Haifa (pop. 1,700). In the early hours of May 23, 1948 it was attacked and occupied by the Alexandroni (Third) Brigade of the Haganah (32nd Battalion). Over 200 villagers, mostly unarmed young men, were massacred; others were taken prisoner and put to forced labor. Most of the survivors ended up in refugee camps in neighboring countries. Only one house was left partly standing. In June 1948 a kibbutz was established in the deserted village.

Hala Gabriel is a Palestinian-American filmmaker, a graduate of the California Institute of Arts and winner of the Silver Award of the International Houston Film Festival. She was born as a refugee to parents who had fled from Tantura (the house left partly standing had belonged to her family). She spent her earliest years in various places in Syria and was still a young child when her parents immigrated with her to the United States.

In 2010, on her second attempt, Hala managed to enter Israel and visit the site of her ancestral village. She also met relatives who had taken refuge in the nearby village of Fureidis, which had escaped destruction, and interviewed three of the men who had participated in the attack on Tantura. The title of the documentary on which she is working, Road to Tantura, refers to this journey.

The site of the village is now a beach resort. The mass grave in which the victims of the massacre are buried is covered by a parking lot.

Hala, as a child you must have heard a lot from your parents about Tantura and what happened to its inhabitants.

Hala Gabriel

Hala Gabriel

HG: No, my parents never reminisced about life in Tantura. Only once did my father remark that Tantura was very beautiful. On another occasion I asked him: “Why don’t we go back?” “We are not allowed to go back,” he replied and then walked away and closed the door. I never brought the subject up again. I understood there was something painful in his past that he very much wanted to forget.

After coming to America my parents insisted that we become just like other Americans. We spoke English, ate macaroni and cheese, and decorated Christmas trees even though we were not Christian. I knew we were Palestinians. I knew we were refugees. But I didn’t really understand what that meant.

How then did you eventually come to understand?

HG: To learn more about my family history I used the internet. My first search yielded nothing, but after 9/11 I tried again and found a news story about the Israeli scholar Teddy Katz, who had written a master’s thesis on what had happened at Tantura. After his findings were summarized in an article in the newspaper Ma’ariv a group of veterans from the Alexandroni Brigade sued him for libel.

This article mentioned a memoir written in 1950 by a Palestinian from Tantura named Marwan Yahya. That was my father! So I found Teddy’s e-mail address, wrote and introduced myself as Marwan Yahya’s daughter, and asked him for a copy of my father’s memoir. I met Teddy when he visited Los Angeles to speak at local universities. It was Teddy who urged me to go to Syria and interview survivors from Tantura in the Yarmouk refugee camp. A few years later I had the opportunity to do that. It was the beginning of my work on the documentary.

Ruin of the Gabriel family home.

Ruin of the Gabriel family home.

And then in 2010 you finally managed to enter Israel and travel to Tantura…

HG: I was held at the airport for eight hours and repeatedly interrogated. Fortunately I had the idea to call Teddy, who arranged for a member of the Knesset to call the airport and persuade them to allow me to enter.

So I was able to see with my own eyes what remained of Tantura – the ruin of my family’s house. On one wall I found a poem that my great-grandfather Mahmoud Yahya had carved there when he built the house in 1878. And I met some distant relatives from a neighboring village – one of the few Palestinian villages that remained after the Nakba.

You also found and interviewed several soldiers who participated in the attack on Tantura. What was their attitude? Did they express regret for what they had done?

HG: Benz Pridan, the commander who led the attack, said that if he had caused harm to me and my family then he apologized. That if got me quite upset. How could he doubt it? My encounters with the soldiers were the most distressing part of the trip. For months afterward I was plagued by nightmares.

Hala Gabriel on ruin of her family home.

Hala Gabriel on ruin of her family home.

What impression did you form of the situation of the Palestinian citizens of Israel?

HG: The Palestinians I met live in constant fear. None of them dared speak to me of their lives in front of the camera. One had spent two and a half years in prison for throwing a stone at the age of twelve. And I noticed that most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons.

What further work is needed to complete your documentary?

HG: On account of the civil war in Syria refugees have been transferred from Yarmouk to new refugee camps in Jordan and I plan to conduct interviews there. I also want to place the story of Tantura in the broader context of the Nakba as a whole. From November I shall be working with a documentary film editor named Rabab Haj Yahya – she was the editor of Speed Sisters, a film about women who race cars in the West Bank.

People can learn more about the background to my work, view existing segments of film, and make donations at the website. I would greatly appreciate any help in defraying the costs of completing and launching the documentary.

About Stephen Shenfield

Stephen Shenfield is a British-born writer. After several years as a government statistician, he entered the field of Soviet Studies. He was active in the nuclear disarmament movement. Later he came to the U.S. and taught International Relations at Brown University. He is the author of Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies, Movements (M.E. Sharpe, 2001). He now works as an independent researcher and translator. He is a member of the World Socialist Movement. A collection of his writings is on his new website at stephenshenfield.net.

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85 Responses

  1. DaBakr
    August 27, 2015, 3:13 pm

    while it is certain that the residents if Tantura were displaced and that there was a battle there on the previous days of 5-21, 5-22 there has never been any actual proof of any massacre. Especially the most outrageous claims of lining up and shooting (specifically contradicted by authors own witnesses] and the idea of forced labour of prisoners is a wild exaggeration of the condition of Arab prisoners designed to specifically equate with a brutal army from ww2 for propaganda purposes. The student (he was almost 60 yrs old) Katz that presented this thesis of massacre was discredited in both lower and higher Israeli courts as well as in public. It was proven that he lied about his interviews after he was forced to produce his tapes and he publicly apologized before the court then-a day later retracted his retraction. That his biggest (and for the most part, sole) supporter was Pappe is hardly a surprise.)
    Anyway-the village of Tantura can still be honoured and remembered for the villagers that once had lives there. The victims of the battle that took place there-wether it was unbalanced by better equipped Haganah does not refute that there was a battle. That the villagers were helping to supply the Arab armies by smuggling supplies and trying to cut off the Tel-Aviv access highway is a normal response to a people either forced or who chose to engage the new Israeli State to keep their land.

    But the idea of ‘massacre’ will forever be disputed by historians both pro-Israel and anti-Zionist as well as many neutral academics who study the regions history and draw their own conclusions. And it is not a denial of nakbah to dispute a highly suspect ‘thesis’ by a discredited Israeli grad student [Katz] -unless of course one is going to play the ‘conspiracy’ game and assume that all the Israeli court decisions were somehow corrupted or unfair. Then-there is nothing to dispute. If you believe its all a lie-then a ‘true-believer’ is the moniker that should be applied.

    However- that Tantura will continue to be memorialized and mourned as a loss for its former residents and their descendants is a natural outpour of remembrance -some both peoples in the i/p conflict know a lot about.

    • Kris
      August 27, 2015, 7:24 pm

      @DaBakr: “And it is not a denial of nakbah to dispute a highly suspect ‘thesis’ by a discredited Israeli grad student [Katz] -unless of course one is going to play the ‘conspiracy’ game and assume that all the Israeli court decisions were somehow corrupted or unfair.” (my emphasis)

      LOL. The Israeli courts are a joke. This must be a kinder, gentler sort of hasbara, DaBakr, even admitting “nakbah” (is “nakbah” like “holocaust,” no capital letters necessary?), but it is still nonsense.

      Your blatant ageism–“the student (he was almost 60 yrs old) Katz”–is offensive.

      • DaBakr
        August 27, 2015, 10:56 pm

        Ageism? Hah. Another PC tyrant. Most people assume that when “grad student” prefaces a persons name that chances are they are within the median of the average age of college grad students. But you can not resist an additional dig when somebody ruffles your tail feathers. Ageism….I guess I must be like one of those self-hating Jews but a self-hating +50yr old.lol.

        And btw-the Isralei courts you find such a “joke” have sided numerous times with Palestinian plaintiffs and causes. You may be referring to the military court which has a very low conviction rate for IDF and very high for Palestinian militants/activists.

      • Kris
        August 28, 2015, 2:16 am

        DaBakr, Ageism, like other forms of prejudice and discrimination such as antisemitism, sexism, homophobia, and racism, really does hurt people, and that’s why it’s not acceptable.

        Why did you bring up Katz’s age? You have a prejudice against older students, and thought that pointing out Katz’s age would help to discredit him?

        As far as Israeli courts go, the state courts in the Jim Crow era in the U.S. South also saw themselves as models of justice, and sided with black plaintiffs numerous times. But overall, their rulings privileged whites over blacks, just as the rulings of courts in Israel, overall, privilege Jews over Palestinians. (Not that they even call them Palestinians, they call them Arabs.)

        Here’s an interesting story, about an Israeli judge who actually recognized this: “Israeli judge rules Arabs need “protection” from justice system.” https://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-judge-rules-arabs-need-protection-justice-system/8538 This judge was talking about Israeli criminal courts, BTW, not about Israeli military courts. From the article:

        An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed “protection” from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel’s attack last winter on Gaza.

        Prosecutors had demanded that the juvenile, a 17-year-old from Nazareth in northern Israel, be convicted of endangering a vehicle on the road, a charge that carries a punishment of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, as a way to deter other members of Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority from committing similar offenses.

        But Judge Yuval Shadmi said discrimination in the Israeli legal system’s treatment of Jewish and Arab minors, particularly in cases of what he called “ideologically motivated” offenses, was “common knowledge.”

        In the verdict, he wrote: “I will say that the state is not authorized to caress with one hand the Jewish ‘ideological’ felons, and flog with its other hand the Arab ‘ideological’ felons.”

        He referred in particular to the lenient treatment by the police and courts both of Jewish settler youths who have attacked soldiers in the West Bank and who violently resisted the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and of religious extremists who have spent many months battling police to prevent the opening of a car park on the Sabbath in Jerusalem.

        Abir Baker, a lawyer with Adalah, a legal group for Israel’s 1.3 million-strong Arab minority, said the ruling was the first time a judge in a criminal court had acknowledged that the state pursued a policy of systematic discrimination in demanding harsher punishments for Arab citizens. …

        Judge Shadmi referred only to discrimination in sentencing in Israeli criminal courts.

    • zaid
      August 27, 2015, 7:50 pm

      the survivors testimonies are the evidence for the massacre.

    • chocopie
      August 27, 2015, 9:16 pm

      People who commit massacres always deny it.

      • DaBakr
        August 27, 2015, 11:01 pm

        @ch

        right. and nobody has ever twisted facts to support their premise. read the transcripts. many of the supposed Arab victims said exactly the opposite of what Katz claimed. That there was no extra abuse committed upon them by the Haganah. And that the infamous Pappe who is on public record as saying that ‘facts do not matter’ when recounting the i/p conflict is hardly an inspiration to anything resembling the truth in regards to Tantura.

        And btw-people who commit massacres do not “always deny it”. The terrorists who murdered the Israeli athletes did not ‘deny’ nor the Lod massacre, nor the Rome massacre nor the Baruch Goldstein massacre. Get your friggin facts straight. Unless of course like Pappe-you agree that ”facts don’t matter’

      • Kris
        August 28, 2015, 2:46 am

        @DaBakr: “And that the infamous Pappe who is on public record as saying that ‘facts do not matter’ when recounting the i/p conflict is hardly an inspiration to anything resembling the truth in regards to Tantura.”

        Could you provide a link to where Pappe says “facts don’t matter”? I just wasted some time googling for it, and can’t find it.

      • oldgeezer
        August 28, 2015, 3:07 am

        @Kris

        Dabakr is spewing vomit from Camera. I would say a bottom of the gutter site but that would be an insult to pond scum.

      • oldgeezer
        August 28, 2015, 3:14 am

        @DaBakr
        “The terrorists who murdered the Israeli athletes did not ‘deny’ nor the Lod massacre, nor the Rome massacre nor the Baruch Goldstein massacre. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/tantura-interview-gabriel/comment-page-1#comment-792969

        When did Goldstein admit to perpetrating mass murder? It must have been quick given he was killed in the aftermath?

        You complain about Pappe and make up facts as you go. You are a fraud and an apologist for terrorism, murder, oppression and racism.

      • Jackdaw
        August 28, 2015, 6:19 am

        @Kris

        ‘facts do not matter’

        Pappe himself explains this in the introduction to A History of Modern Palestine:

        “My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the “truth” when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers.”

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2015, 7:38 am

        jack, he did not say facts do not matter. you can read that passage in it’s context here: > https://books.google.com/books?id=G2wAxqCqKrUC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=My+bias+is+apparent+despite+the+desire+of+my+peers+that+I+stick+to+facts+and+the+%E2%80%9Ctruth%E2%80%9D+when+reconstructing+past+realities.+I+view+any+such+construction+as+vain+and+presumptuous.+This+book+is+written+by+one+who+admits+compassion+for+the+colonized+not+the+colonizer;+who+sympathizes+with+the+occupied+not+the+occupiers&source=bl&ots=plSsIoa5yO&sig=fJjfiergB0cjyaSOeJQvMpXwWfE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMI5N-jjdLLxwIVVpyICh0NgAoF#v=onepage&q=My%20bias%20is%20apparent%20despite%20the%20desire%20of%20my%20peers%20that%20I%20stick%20to%20facts%20and%20the%20%E2%80%9Ctruth%E2%80%9D%20when%20reconstructing%20past%20realities.%20I%20view%20any%20such%20construction%20as%20vain%20and%20presumptuous.%20This%20book%20is%20written%20by%20one%20who%20admits%20compassion%20for%20the%20colonized%20not%20the%20colonizer%3B%20who%20sympathizes%20with%20the%20occupied%20not%20the%20occupiers&f=false

        he said he was “well aware of the difficulty of reconstructing history outside of ones own national ethos and myth.” and “while one may wish to write a detached and neutral history one’s own sympathies and affiliations remain.” he goes on to say, after having referenced names and place as not the only thing having national affiliation (for example, choosing to use palestinian vs israeli titles of places) that the reader will find “instances and descriptions that will fit one national narrative, the palestinian one, but fewer of the israeli one.”

        therefore, when he is referencing the “vain and presumptuous” i think he means it is vain and presumptuous to assume ones own national ethos and myths (vs another’s) as the sole arbitrator of ” facts and the “truth” “. he goes on to say his view is subjective but not always standing for the defeated over the victorious. at no time does he say, or imply, “facts do not matter”.

      • Kris
        August 28, 2015, 12:13 pm

        So llan Pappe did not say “facts do not matter.”

        If DaBakr had written, “According to Illan Pappe, facts do not matter,” I would have known that this was just DaBakr’s interpretation, and wouldn’t have wasted time trying to find this non-existent quote from Pappe.

        Thank you, Annie, for clarifying this.

      • CigarGod
        August 28, 2015, 1:00 pm

        Well, you can imagine dabaker doing a victory dance in his basement. That should help.

      • zaid
        August 28, 2015, 12:58 pm

        some of the testimonies for the massacre

        http://www.palestineremembered.com/Haifa/al-Tantura/Story560.html

        ” When Taha said
        he did, the Jew had added: “Watch how they die and then go tell the others.” Then they had lined up the other men of the group against a wall and shot them.”

        ” We later learned that
        they killed him because he had supposedly tried to flee. After this murder we refused to work outside the camp. We feared for our lives and we demanded the presence of the Red Cross.

        One day while we were in the Ijlil camp, some Jewish cavalry troops arrived. They started take pictures o us. I asked one of them: “When are you going to let us go back to Tantura?” To which he replied: “The day you can see your ears with your eyes is the day you’ll see Tantura.”

      • Kris
        August 29, 2015, 12:15 am

        @Cigar God: “Well, you can imagine dabaker doing a victory dance in his basement. That should help. ”

        DaBakr? The same DaBakr who is on record as saying, “the only form of prejudice or discrimination that matters is antisemitism, i.e. criticizing Israel or any crimes committed by Zionist Jews or their designates.” That DaBakr?

        (I finally understand how attributing quotes works in Zionist-speak.)

    • Leahj
      August 28, 2015, 5:28 am

      Hi DaBakr, I don’t mean to intrude, but I’m confused by your posts on this issue. Are you saying you don’t believe the massacre at Tantura took place, or that you don’t believe there’s enough evidence to know one way or the other, or are you claiming ‘no’ massacres were committed by the Zionists/Israelis? Also, are you denying that Palestinians were held in Israel’s forced labor camps?

      • Stephen Shenfield
        August 28, 2015, 8:34 am

        I haven’t searched for literature on the Zionist forced labor camps for Palestinian prisoners, but one of the things Hala told me that didn’t get included in the interview was that her father, Marwan Yahya, was among the prisoners from Tantura taken to these camps. Afterward he wrote a memoir about the experience that has been published in Arabic. The conditions he describes, including hard labor, hunger, dirt, beatings, and random shootings, were horrific. He spent “the worst twelve days of my life” at the Atlit camp. I see from Wikipedia that this camp was established by the British for Jewish prisoners; when the British left it was taken over by the Zionists and used for Palestinian prisoners.

      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 11:10 am

        Stephen Shenfield, I first heard of Israel’s forced labor camps from Ghada Karmi’s book “Married to Another Man”. She said that although they were set up during the 1948-9 war, the prisoners were typically held for between 2 to 5 years, with most being released by 1955. And that many of the guards were German Jews who’d escaped from Nazi Germany.

        As Israel & the Red Cross open the relevant archives, more information is becoming available about the system. There were 5 official camps, visited by the ICRC, but around 17 more that the Israelis kept off the radar. The latter, of course, were often the worst. At one point, 82% of the ‘official’ prisoners were Palestinian civilians, unarmed, non-combatants, (even some as young as 12). Since you could be shot for trying to escape, they just claimed you’d tried to escape whenever they shot you. Here’s a link to an article that might interest you.

        https://www.academia.edu/8444684/The_ICRC_and_the_Detention_of_Palestinian_Civilians_in_Israels_1948_POW_Labor_Camps

      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 11:29 am
      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 12:06 pm

        Stephen, I give up. The full link shows up fine, until I click ‘Post Comment’. Then most of it vanishes. Poof!!

        The piece is titled — The ICRC and the Detention of Palestinian Civilians in Israel’s 1948 POW Labor Camps. It’s on academia.edu.

      • Bumblebye
        August 28, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Leahj, your link works perfectly – links on MW show up as “link to websitename”.

      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 10:28 pm

        Dear Bumblebye, Really? Oh. Okay. Thank you!

    • Leahj
      August 28, 2015, 7:03 am

      DaBakr, Also, you said “The student (he was almost 60 yrs old) Katz that presented this thesis of massacre was discredited in both lower and higher Israeli courts…”

      I think that could be a little misleading. There was the start of a trial, then an out of court settlement, privately, during a 5 hour meeting between Katz & the lawyers for both sides. They hadn’t even gotten to presenting his defense yet. The only ruling by the court was that the settlement he signed was legally binding. Nothing more. And the only ruling by the High Court was a refusal to accept his appeal, because the lower court judge’s ruling that the papers he signed were legally binding were correct. The courts never issued any ruling concerning the accuracy of his thesis, or whether he was guilty or innocent of libel.

    • Leahj
      August 28, 2015, 7:35 am

      DaBakr, “…he publicly apologized before the court then-a day later retracted his retraction.’

      Katz was under intense pressure to capitulate, by his family, friends, & the fellow Zionists on his kibbutz. Plus, he ‘began to suffer an aneurysm during the proceedings’. Also, some of the people he interviewed, both Palestinian & Israeli eyewitnesses, were very uncomfortable about testifying against the Brigade in a public trial, & starting claiming they couldn’t remember what they’d told him. And the trial itself was a lawsuit brought by the Alexandroni Brigade, suing him for a million shekels, which if he lost, he couldn’t pay. He deeply regretted signing the settlement on the drive home on the night he signed it. But the courts ( & I assume, the applicable laws) wouldn’t allow him to change his mind. The last I heard, he still fervently believes the Tantura massacre occurred.

      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 8:52 am

        Oooops! I meant ‘veterans’ of the Alexandroni Brigade.

    • druid
      August 28, 2015, 2:15 pm

      Hasbara denial is immoral!

    • Sibiriak
      August 29, 2015, 5:33 am

      DaBakr: It was proven that [Katz] lied about his interviews…
      —————————–

      No it wasn’t. The prosecution presented only 6 relatively minor discrepancies out of 230 references. There was no evidence presented of any deliberate distortion and no evidence presented that undermined the basic facts described in the recorded testimonies.

      Here are several transcripts (translated) of the this recorded testimony (emphasis added):

      https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/15238/Tantura%20Case%20in%20Israel.pdf?sequence=2

      ————————–
      Yosef Graf, a guide from Yaacov Zichron who accompanied the units

      Graf: The Arabs raised the white flags, the kuffiyya, the hatta. . . .

      Katz: Wait a minute. There was no battle going on?

      Graf: Before that, there were clashes, sure. Skirmishes. Our guys had taken cover and shot back at the Arabs who then raised the white flags. . . . I called to our guys: “Don’t advance!” They did not heed and were shot at, and then they [the soldiers] assaulted and killed them all.

      Katz: That is, in response to the shooting at them, they stormed?

      Graf: Yes. And killed almost everyone.

      Katz: How many, roughly? You remember a figure—twenty, fifty? Graf: No. I think they counted in the end 140 or 150, all young men.

      Katz: Were these people killed in the battle?

      Graf: While occupying the village, there were many dead who were shot while staying in their homes in the village.

      Katz: After the surrender, actually?

      Graf: There was no surrender. It was occupation.

      [Later in the conversation]

      Graf: I am telling you these [Alexandroni] people, they massacred.

      Katz: In an amok attack?

      Graf: Yes.

      ——————–
      Mordechai Sokoler, a guide from Zichron accompanying the units

      Katz: The battle was over. The women, children, and old men stayed in the place. For how long?

      Sokoler: A day or two. After they were transferred

      Katz: With all the bodies?

      Sokoler: With the bodies for two days. Then I brought people from Furaydis and buried them.

      Katz: It means that the family members stayed in the village. . .
      .
      Sokoler: Another day or two.

      Katz: With all the bodies?

      Sokoler: Yes, yes.

      [Later in the conversation]

      Katz: How many people of Tantura surrendered with their hands over their head ?
      Sokoler: Two hundred and thirty.

      Katz: Two hundred and thirty—is that an accurate number? You counted them?

      Sokoler: No, I evaluated them, but after they were killed, we counted them.

      Katz: And how many were there?

      Sokoler: The same number.

      Katz: Two hundred and thirty?

      Sokoler: Yes.

      Katz: How many were killed in the battle?

      Sokoler: They were all killed in the battle. The sniper hit one of the soldiers in the leg, shooting began. And then they were killed, all hell broke out. They did not know who was shooting.

      Katz: For killing 230 people, it takes time.

      Sokoler: [Laughing] They were concentrated in one spot.

      [Later in the conversation]

      Katz: So you have counted and reached 230?

      Sokoler: Yes.

      Katz: From this you say only a few, maybe ten were killed in the battlefield?

      Sokoler: Only ten [gives the names of the people of Tantura he knew who died in the battle].

      [Later in the conversation]

      Katz: The only question I still have is about where you personally were, so that I can know what you saw with your own eyes.

      Sokoler: The worst things I didn’t see. I had not seen the end of the battle. I left the place. All and all, I was there one day and a half, mainly busy with burying.

      Katz: You were involved personally with the burial . . .

      Sokoler: I and Arabs from Furaydis laid [in the grave] one Arab after the other, closed their eyes with the hatta, row on top of row, and that was it.

      Katz: I understand that only their eyes and heads were covered [with the kuffiyyeh].

      Sokoler: Only the heads, we buried them with their clothing and all . . .

      Katz: And this was two days after the fighting.

      Sokoler: After eight days, I came back to the place where we buried them, near the railway. There was a big mound, for the bodies had inflated. After two or three days, the mound had gone down.

      Katz: Two or three days later?

      Sokoler: Yes.

      Katz: I understand that later they added soil and spread it over the graves.

      Sokoler: This I do not know
      ————————

      Salih ‘Abd al-Rahman (Abu Mashayiff), from Tantura

      Katz: How were people killed in Tantura?

      Abu Mashayiff: There was fighting between them. In the end, they caught them on the coast, in Tantura, and took them near a huge building and killed them like this.

      Katz: Which building?

      Abu Mashayiff: Houses near the coast. The sea was next to the village.

      Katz: . Killed them after they surrendered? .

      Abu Mashayiff: After they had caught them.

      Katz: How many, roughly?

      Abu Mashayiff: Eighty-five.

      Katz: You were there and saw it with your own eyes?

      Abu Mashayiff: Yes.

      Katz: How did it go? Only eighty-five were standing there, or the whole village was standing there?

      Abu Mashayiff: No. Eighty-five stood. You know how it works. They came to the villagers as a whole who were all seated on the beach, and on the spot they said to this one and that one: “Get up! You, you. . . .”

      Katz: According to what?

      Abu Mashayiff: They had names.

      [Later in the conversation]

      Katz: Shimshon Mashvitz stopped killing after he was stopped by Rehavia Altshuler?

      Abu Mashayiff: Yes. He agreed after he had killed eighty-five people.

      Katz: He alone killed eighty-five people?

      Abu Mashayiff: Yes.

      Katz: What was he using?

      Abu Mashayiff: A Sten. He killed them. They stood next to the wall, facing the wall, he came from the back and killed them all, shooting them in the head.

      Katz: Every time he placed several of them next to the wall?

      Abu Mashayiff: Yes.

      Katz: Groups of eight, five—how many?

      Abu Mashayiff: Every group twenty or thirty people.

      [Later in the conversation]

      Abu Mashayiff: Twice or three times he changed magazines.

      Katz: That is, one bullet per person?

      Abu Mashayiff: Yes.

    • TdBerg
      August 29, 2015, 10:57 am

      On the contrary to your claim- you sound like you are in denial and not interested in the truth or facts.

    • Boo
      August 29, 2015, 8:35 pm

      What does Pappe have to do with any of this? Well, it’s pretty obvious. 1) Guilt by association, then 2) a transparent effort at diversion. All this nonsense about Pappe has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

      If the massacre didn’t happen, then why did the Haganah veteran bother to make a half-assed apology: “if I caused harm to you and your family, I apologize”? It makes no sense whatsoever — unless one acknowledges that the massacre occurred, and the only question is whether this particular family was caught up in it.

  2. Jackdaw
    August 27, 2015, 4:13 pm

    ” Over 200 villagers, mostly unarmed young men, were massacred ”

    Please proffer your evidence.

    • Mooser
      August 27, 2015, 5:27 pm

      “Please proffer your evidence.”

      Squelch! Ewww, did somebody step in something?

    • Kris
      August 27, 2015, 7:08 pm

      Jackdaw, go to google.com, type “Tantura massacre” in the search box, and you will see many links. The first is to wikipedia, which is open-source and so is not the last word on any subject, but at least in this article, references are cited, and you can look them up.

      The historian Ilan Pappé supports Katz and his thesis, and has challenged the Israeli veterans to take him to court, claiming he has evidence that the massacre occurred.[41][69][70] In his 2001 article in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Pappé defended the use of oral history with reference to the USA. He pointed out that that history was obtained by Katz, not only from Palestinian villagers, but also from Israeli soldiers. Pappé provided new evidence that had come to light after Katz had presented his thesis, in one case quoting (with reference to the IDF source file) “from a document from the Alexandroni Brigade to IDF headquarters in June notes: ‘We have tended to the mass grave, and everything is in order’”, and in another, published testimonies by eyewitnesses who had been located in Syria. He also related the background to Katz’s original signed repudiation of his thesis.[41]

      In 2004, Israeli historian Benny Morris reviewed the Tantura controversy. He suggests that, while controversy remains as to whether a ‘massacre’ actually occurred, there is no doubt that war crimes were committed by the Jewish forces (Haganah) and that the village was forcibly cleansed of its Arab inhabitants. Morris underlines the fact that in interviews conducted by himself and by the whistle-blower Amil Gilat, all refugees confirmed that a massacre had taken place, while all IDF veterans denied it. Regarding the latter, Morris describes what he calls “troubling hints”, such as a diary by an Alexandroni soldier, Tulik Makovsky, in which he wrote “… that our boys know the craft of murder quite well, especially boys whose relatives the Arabs had murdered… or those harmed by Hitler [they are the same fascists]. They took their private revenge, and avenged our comrades who had died at their hands, against the snipers”. Morris defended the value of oral testimony and tradition. He additionally pointed out issues with the scoring of the second version of Katz’s thesis in that the two referees who gave anomalously low scores had been co-authors of an IDF book in which it was argued that ”… the Israeli Army had carried out only a ‘partial expulsion’ of the populations of the Arab towns of Lydda and Ramlah and dismissed the charge that the troops had massacred Lydda townspeople, some of them inside a mosque, on July 12, 1948”, whereas IDF records from the IDF archive show that a full-scale expulsion had been carried out and that Yiftah Brigade troops killed some 250 townspeople.[52] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantura

      This article, “Al-Tantura: a massacre denied for more than fifty years,” http://www.crescent-online.net/2009/09/al-tantura-a-massacre-denied-for-more-than-fifty-years-ramzy-baroud-2236-articles.html is interesting:

      The Palestinian villages had heroically resisted the troops and fought in defence of their land with all the means they possessed. Despite their bravery and sacrifice, the villagers were defeated, for their knives and their few old rifles were no match for the well-armed, well-trained invaders. When the battle was over, the massacre began. According to a Palestinian eyewitness testimony documented by Katz, after the line-up killings, troops roamed the streets and shot everything that moved.

      Colonel Bints Frieden, who led the Jewish gangs in al-Tantura and was later promoted to lead a larger Israeli army unit, admitted to the killings, justifying them by saying that those who were killed in the street had no signs on their backs saying that they were not going to shoot at the Israelis. “This is what happens when a battle breaks out in a residential area,” he said. Colonel Frieden claims that he did not realize that those who defended the village were the village inhabitants themselves, not a group of outsiders seeking protection and a place to hide.

      Many claim that all al-Tantura’s residents became refugees. Yet Teddy Katz’s research has concluded that over two hundred residents are still buried in mass graves. Those who once watered the rich land have remained to enrich its soil with their blood. Above these mass graves now stands a kibbutz and a large parking lot, paved so that Israeli beach lovers can enjoy what al-Tantura’s residents once enjoyed: the rich land and the captivating sea. http://www.crescent-online.net/2009/09/al-tantura-a-massacre-denied-for-more-than-fifty-years-ramzy-baroud-2236-articles.html

      Apparently the Israeli Jews built a parking lot over the mass grave. “Sunbathing at the crime scene: the Israeli resort that covers up a massacre,” https://electronicintifada.net/content/sunbathing-crime-scene-israeli-resort-covers-massacre/14574 From the article:

      Katz’s research confirmed Palestinian accounts that the massacre occurred in two stages. After village leaders waved a white flag following clashes that left a handful of Palestinians and Israelis dead, the soldiers went on a killing spree, entering homes and executing anyone they found. The rampage left an estimated 100 villagers dead.

      The rest were rounded up, with fighting-age men separated from the elderly, women and children. The men were led to the beach, where they were interrogated and another 100 or so — aged between 13 and 30 — executed.

      Once the furore over Katz’s research broke, he was stripped of his degree by the University of Haifa and forced to extensively rewrite his dissertation. However, the evidence of the massacre has only grown since.

      Documents unearthed a few years later in Israel’s archives showed that, in the wake of the attack, army headquarters had heard fears that the large number of unburied corpses at Tantura might lead to an outbreak of typhoid.

      Other reports noted “irregularities” and “over-enthusiasm” in the attack, while a final report from the Alexandroni Brigade observed: “We have tended to the mass grave.”
      Fear of speaking out

      Pappe has pointed out in his own research that the Tantura massacre went largely unremarked even in Palestinian literature of the Nakba period.

      The reason, he suggested, was that many of the traumatized survivors — who had been children at the time — lived close by to Tantura in Fureidis or Jisr al-Zarqa in modern-day Israel. As the years passed, and knowledge of the Nakba grew, they continued to fear that speaking out might lead to fresh retaliations against them and their families.

      One of Katz’s interviewees, Mustafa Masri, ended his testimony saying: “One should not mention these things. I do not want them to take revenge against us. You are going to cause us trouble.”

      Katz’s work shook Israel in large part because it depended not just on Palestinian accounts — most Israeli scholars have preferred to ignore and discredit Palestinian oral history — but on Israeli witnesses who confirmed the Palestinian testimonies. https://electronicintifada.net/content/sunbathing-crime-scene-israeli-resort-covers-massacre/14574

      • DaBakr
        August 27, 2015, 11:02 pm

        the Pappe who is on record as saying ‘facts don’t matter’. that Pappe?

      • Jackdaw
        August 28, 2015, 1:51 am

        Benny Morris delved into the archives and found an unsigned short report on Tantura Operation, IDFA 922/75//949, and ya’akov B.’, in the name of the deputy OC ‘A’ company ‘Report on Operation Namal’ 26 May 1948, IDFA 6647/49//13.

        That report claims dozens of villagers were killed.

        Even the Arabs admit that the villagers resisted the IDF.

      • Kris
        August 28, 2015, 2:44 am

        @DaBakr: “the Pappe who is on record as saying ‘facts don’t matter’. that Pappe?”

        Could you provide a link to where Pappe says “facts don’t matter”? I just wasted some time googling for it, and can’t find it.

      • Sibiriak
        August 28, 2015, 6:09 am

        Kris: [Wikipedia: ] [Benny Morris] suggests that, while controversy remains as to whether a ‘massacre’ actually occurred, there is no doubt that war crimes were committed by the Jewish force.

        ———————
        In his 2008 book, “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”, Morris backtracks and categorically denies a massacre occurred:

        In the 1990s Arab journalists charged that the Israeli troops had carried out a large-scale massacre of disarmed militiamen and villagers in the hours after Tantura fell, a charge expanded in a master’s thesis by an Israeli student, who, on the basis of Arab oral testimony (and the distortion of testimony by Alexandroni veterans), argued that up to 250 villagers had been systematically murdered.

        Although some Alexandroni veterans hinted at dark deeds, most flatly denied the massacre charge. Documentary evidence indicates that the Alexandroni troops murdered a handful of POWs–and expelled the inhabitants–but provides no grounds for believing that a large-scale massacre occurred. (emphasis added)

        Morris is a liar; he distorts history. Katz’s recorded testimony from 20 Arab and 20 Jewish witnesses. Not only does Morris completely dismiss the testimony of the Arab witnesses, he presents no evidence of any significant distortion of the Alexandroni veterans.

        Illan Pappe describes the “discrepancies” that were revealed in Katz trial:

        The crux of the prosecution’s case [against Katz] rested on six references—out of 230—in which Katz either misquoted or interpreted too freely what the witnesses said. In Ambar’s testimony, Katz substituted the word “Germans” for “Nazis.” In another, he summarized the testimony of a Tantura survivor, Abu Fihmi, as describing a killing, where the witness did not say this directly (though in fact, this is clearly what he meant).

        In four other instances, Katz wrote something that does not appear in the tapes but only in his written summaries of the conversations. No discrepancies were found in any of the remaining 224 references concerning Tantura. (emphasis added)

        https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/15238/Tantura%20Case%20in%20Israel.pdf?sequence=2

        Yet apparently on the basis of those six rather minor “discrepancies”, Morris dismisses the entire body of recorded testimony that reveals that a massacre did indeed take place. That’s blatant intellectual dishonesty.

    • zaid
      August 27, 2015, 7:48 pm

      the survivors testimonies are the evidence.

    • Marnie
      August 28, 2015, 1:05 am

      Pretty disgusting remark Jackdaw, but that’s all you proffer.

      Are you trying to get your lick back at some holocaust denier perhaps? There are none here, by the way, not a single one.

      • Jackdaw
        August 28, 2015, 12:20 pm

        @Marnie

        How is it that there’s no mention in Hala’s article that 13 Jewish Alexandroni Brigade soldiers died in the battle for Tantura?

        http://www.momentmag.com/visit-tantura/

        Nor does Hala tell us whether her parents witnessed a massacre. Odd.

        What disgusts me is third-rate agitprop trying to pass as history.

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 12:42 pm

        “Nor does Hala tell us whether her parents witnessed a massacre. Odd.”

        That’s right, “Jackdaw”. Jump in it, dance around, and make sure to rub it all over yourself.

      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 10:48 pm

        Jackdraw, “How is it that there’s no mention in Hala’s article that 13 Jewish Alexandroni Brigade soldiers died in the battle for Tantura? ”

        Maybe because the topic wasn’t really about ‘Zionist soldiers who died in battle when they attacked a civilian Palestinian village, whose villagers tried to defend themselves with a handful of old WWI rifles’. It was about the cold blooded slaughter of captured POWs & unarmed non-combatants after they’d already surrendered. Apples & oranges.

      • Kris
        August 28, 2015, 11:54 pm

        @Jackdaw: “How is it that there’s no mention in Hala’s article that 13 Jewish Alexandroni Brigade soldiers died in the battle for Tantura? ….What disgusts me is third-rate agitprop trying to pass as history. ”

        Why should anyone care how many Jewish Alexandroni Brigade soldiers died? What disgusts me is ethnic cleansing.

      • talknic
        August 29, 2015, 1:26 am

        Jackdaw ” How is it that there’s no mention in Hala’s article that 13 Jewish Alexandroni Brigade soldiers died in the battle for Tantura?”

        Tantura was in the hands of its rightful occupants. There was no battle ‘for’ Tantura, the villagers fought for their lives. The Alexandroni Brigade were belligerents who had no reason to attack the villagers other than to cleanse or murder them

      • oldgeezer
        August 29, 2015, 1:47 am

        @Jackdaw

        I agree that from an accuracy and statistical viewpoint the number of murderous criminals from the Jewish brigade who were killed provides an interesting footnote.

        That said it’s not particularly relevant other than to note that the terrorists were killed while perpetrating a crime against humanity on behalf of the state of Israel.

        For full disclosure do you have the numbers of the terrorist israeli brigade who were killed by friendly fire from their fellow troops engaging in their bloodlust?

      • Marnie
        August 29, 2015, 4:51 am

        What “battle for Tantura”?

        bat·tle
        /ˈbadl/

        noun: battle; plural noun: battles

        1. a sustained fight between large, organized armed forces.
        “the Battle of Shiloh”

        The word you’re looking for is

        mas·sa·cre
        /ˈmasəkər/
        noun: massacre; plural noun: massacres

        1. an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people.
        “the attack was described as a cold-blooded massacre”

        synonyms:

        slaughter, wholesale/mass slaughter, indiscriminate killing, mass murder, mass execution, annihilation, liquidation, decimation, extermination; More
        carnage, butchery, bloodbath, bloodletting, pogrom, genocide, ethnic cleansing, holocaust, night of the long knives;
        “a cold-blooded massacre of innocent civilians”

        The Massacre at Tantura
        Ilan Pappe – The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
        Chapter 6 – The phony war and real war over Palestine: May 1948
        page 133

        Tantura was the one of the largest of the coastal villages and for the invading brigade it stuck like ‘a bone in the throat’, as the official Alexandroni war book puts it. Tantura’s day came on the 22nd of May.
        Tantura was an ancient Palestinian village on the Mediterranean coast.
        It was a large village for the time, having around 1500 inhabitants, whose livelihood depended on agriculture, fishing and menial jobs in nearby Haifa. On 15 May 1948, a small group of Tantura’s notables, including the mukhtar of the village, met the Jewish intelligence officers, who offered them terms of surrender. Suspecting that surrender would lead to the villager’s expulsion, they rejected the offer.
        A week later, on 22nd May 1948, the village was attacked at night. At first, the Jewish commander in charge wanted to send a van into the village with a loudspeaker to capitulate, but this scheme was not carried out.
        The offensive came from all four flanks. This was uncommon; the brigade usually closed in on villages from three flanks, tactically creating an ‘open gate’ on the fourth flank through which they could drive the people out. Lack of coordination meant that the Jewish troops had fully encircled the village and consequently found themselves with a very large number of villagers on their hands.

        Please read the rest for yourself.

  3. Stephen Shenfield
    August 27, 2015, 7:07 pm

    These events were thoroughly investigated in the MA thesis of Teddy Katz and summarized in an article in Ma’ariv. See Zalman Amit, “Tantura, Teddy Katz, and Haifa University,” Counterpunch, May 11, 2005 (http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/05/11/tantura-teddy-katz-and-haifa-university/).

    As Hala notes, Katz was sued by veterans of the Alexandroni Brigade. Under intense pressure he was persuaded to sign a retraction, but under the circumstances there is no justification for taking the retraction as evidence against the validity of his research.

    See also the collection of 21 eyewitness testimonies on the “Palestine Remembered” website (http://www.palestineremembered.com/Haifa/al-Tantura/Story560.html).

    • Kris
      August 27, 2015, 7:42 pm

      Teddy Katz’s ordeal, described by Zalman Amit http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/05/11/tantura-teddy-katz-and-haifa-university/, probably destroyed his health. From the article:

      A lot has been written about the reasons that caused Katz to “collapse” and sign an “apology” which he obviously did not believe in. In this context, one must note that the pressure of the libel case was seriously deleterious to Katz’s health. He suffered a mild stroke and was altogether in poor mental and emotional health. Several members of his family, including his wife, his children and his cousin, the lawyer Amatzia Atlas, pressured him to settle, since they were actually worried for his life. Following the termination of the court case, I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with Katz’s wife and son. They both confirmed the fact that at that point all they had wanted was to reduce the pressure and protect Teddy’s health.

  4. Nevada Ned
    August 27, 2015, 7:16 pm

    Yet another couple of Nakba-doubters! Just like the Holocaust doubters…

    Do you think the Palestinians left Tantura voluntarily??

    Do I think that Israeli court decisions were “somehow corrupted or unfair”?

    Indeed I do. The courts are part of the network of control over the “inferior” Palestinians.

    I have read FInkelstein’s book, Beyond Chutzpah, and it’s VERY convincing.

  5. Dagon
    August 27, 2015, 7:30 pm

    The structure is beautiful and haunting.out of arabian legends .It looks out of place.sad yet proud .I fished many times of the rocks.I’ll be doing the same in sept.Beautiful beach.Once an arabian horse came prancing on the beach down from fureidis.He left a calling card.

  6. Froggy
    August 27, 2015, 9:45 pm

    Hiraeth

    And for those who don’t speak Welsh… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiraeth

  7. jon s
    August 28, 2015, 5:19 am

    “And I noticed that most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons. ”
    Really?
    Most villages?
    Any examples?
    How about one example?

      • jon s
        August 28, 2015, 7:01 am

        She said “in Israel”.
        Not in the West Bank or Gaza. In Israel.

      • talknic
        August 28, 2015, 7:09 am

        LOL …. OK. At last you’ve crawled out from under your the rock. So the West Bank and Gaza aren’t in Israel. Glad we got that sorted!

        So why is Israel illegally building walls in non-Israeli territory? Most states build their defenses in their own territory.

      • talknic
        August 28, 2015, 1:42 pm

        jon s ?

        Mmmm….. No answer. jon s must have crawled back under that ol’ rock

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 2:19 pm

        “Mmmm….. No answer. jon s must have crawled back under that ol’ rock”

        You have to understand, “Jon s” has a dual-loyalty problem. He’ll never be loyal to Israel, because he can scurry back to the US after he steals whatever it is he thinks he wants Palestine. Israel can’t survive people like that.
        Of course, he’ll have the satisfaction of knowing he’s ruined it for every Jew who might have desired to live in peace in Palestine, so I guess that’s something he’ll take pride in.

      • Leahj
        August 28, 2015, 10:56 pm

        Mooser, ” You have to understand, “Jon s” has a dual-loyalty problem. He’ll never be loyal to Israel, because he can scurry back to the US after he steals whatever it is he thinks he wants Palestine. Israel can’t survive people like that. ”

        Israel, Schmisreal. It doesn’t do all that much for the US either.

      • Mooser
        August 29, 2015, 12:37 pm

        “Israel, Schmisreal. It doesn’t do all that much for the US either.”

        Well, I was trying to concentrate on the dual-loyalty problem he might care about.

    • Mooser
      August 28, 2015, 10:54 am

      “How about one example?”

      “Jon s” just because we are against discriminating against people with disabilities, it doesn’t mean we want to see the blind leading the blind.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2015, 11:08 am

        never, ever follow them through the no-leash area…..doesn’t mean we want to see the blind leading the blind.

        mooser you crack me up

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 12:37 pm

        “mooser you crack me up”

        Well, if you need to keep a straight face, or even want to sob a bit, just think about “Jon s” being a friggin teacher of “Israeli history”.

    • tree
      August 28, 2015, 2:32 pm

      jon s,

      PHOTO: Wall separating Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in Lod is destroyed

      A section of a separation wall in central Israel was destroyed by unknown parties several days ago. The separation wall was built between the Arab Pardes Shanir neighborhood of Lod and the neighboring Jewish town of Nir Tzvti (both inside Israel).

      The wall, 1.5 km long and 4 meters high, was built in 2003, creating a symbolic and territorial partition between the Arab and Jewish residents. After the 50-meter long section of the wall was destroyed, police forces raided the Arab neighborhood and arrested several residents.

      http://972mag.com/nstt_feeditem/photo-wall-separating-jewish-and-arab-neighborhoods-in-lod-is-destroyed/

      Wall Separates Arabs And Jews In Israeli City

      http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/132212311/wall-separates-arabs-and-jews-in-israeli-city

    • Marnie
      August 29, 2015, 7:13 am

      So you read the article, watched the video and this is what got stuck in your craw? Good for Ms. Gabriel then – apparently you agree with everything else. Good.

  8. CigarGod
    August 28, 2015, 9:52 am

    Thank you Hala and Stephen…and thank you MW researchers/commenters.

    Even the pathetic Nakba deniers dabaker and jon s contribute to the credibily of the story by speaking for the perpetrators…as the perpetrators still speak for themselves.

    Protest t-shirt of the day: Dig Up the Parking Lot!

    • jon s
      August 28, 2015, 3:59 pm

      Of course I’m not a Nakba denier and I didn’t even express an opinion on whether or not there was a massacre in Tantura.
      What I’m saying is that Ms. Gabriel is a liar, based on this line: “And I noticed that most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons. ”
      If that was true, it wouldn’t be that hard to prove. “Most Palestinian villages” would mean dozens of villages, so it should be easy to provide some examples.
      Talknic, Tree – the deflection tactic isn’t working.

      • tree
        August 28, 2015, 4:40 pm

        Tree – the deflection tactic isn’t working

        jon, I gave you exactly the example you were asking for. An Arab neighborhood in Lod that was walled off, within the green line in Israel. How is that deflecting?

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 6:02 pm

        “As a teacher, I think that we should feel mature enough, and self-confident enough , not to ignore controversial and unsavory chapters in our history, and in our present-day reality. Doing so would be both morally wrong and ultimately futile.” “Jon s” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments#sthash.YdqgLLcc.dpuf

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 6:16 pm

        “Of course I’m not a Nakba denier….”

        Nah, of course not. Actually, God nearly doubled the area of Palestine so you would have a place to live without taking it from anybody.
        “Jon s” you deny the Nakba with every step you take and every breath you breathe.

        Until, of course, it all goes sideways and you scurry back to the USA. Jeez, divided loyalties like that are terrible for a country. A group of foreigners who only want to exploit the place and take off. Dual-loyalty like yours will probably destroy Israel.

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 6:46 pm

        “Of course I’m not a Nakba denier” “Jon s”

        Okay, let’s look at the 12 times “Jon s” mentioned the Nakba, out of 2250 coments:

        “The ban on what you call “nakba denial” prevents any meaningful discussion of the events of 1948.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jon-s?keyword=nakba#sthash.HCzZgARu.dpuf

        “Section 2 of the Comments Policy already severely limits discussion of the events of 1947-48, under the guise of “nakba denial”” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jon-s?keyword=nakba#sthash.HCzZgARu.dpuf

        Ah, but he does, in spite of that unfair comment rule, explain himself:

        “Anyway, I still don’t think that I ever said or implied a denial of the Nakba. Obviously, the Palestinians suffered a catastrophe (“nakba” ) in 1948, but the question is who bears, or shares, the blame for it.” (the rest of that one is a doozy) – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile
        /jon-s?keyword=nakba#sthash.HCzZgARu.dpuf

        “Of course I don’t “deny” the nakba. Nakba means catastrophe , and no reasonable person would deny that the Palestinians suffered one in 1948. But -as far as I understand it – the policy here is that pointing out the Palestinians’ role in the events of that period is a no-no.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jon-s?keyword=nakba#sthash.HCzZgARu.dpuf

        Oh, the rest of the twelve times out of 2250 or so? They were comments denying he was a denier. He doth deny too much, if you ask me.

      • Mooser
        August 28, 2015, 6:58 pm

        “4.On the Nakba, I think that the role of the Palestinians (primarily their leadership at the time) should be discussed. For instance , their decision to reject the UN partition plan, and to take up arms to prevent its implementation, and the consequences of those decisions.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jon-s?keyword=nakba#sthash.HCzZgARu.dpuf

        No denial there. Nope, none.

      • talknic
        August 28, 2015, 9:14 pm

        TRIVIALIZATION ALERT !!!!

        jon s deflects thread away from the main issue with a typical apologist for Israel tactic

        jon s then treads in a huge stinking propaganda turd, admitting the West Bank is not in Israel

  9. Michael Rabb
    August 28, 2015, 10:06 am

    Jews and the Jewish State, the right-wing, fascist nation better known as Israel, have laid a trail of unspeakable horrors in its seven decades war and settlement of Palestine — genocide and mass murder, ethnic-cleansing and mass deportation of indigenous non-Jewish people to concentration camps, and systematic racism instituted as apartheid. Americans (and the world) have willfully coexisted with a translucent lie about what the Zionist project was about and the moral questions at its center: establishing an ethno-centric, Jew-supremacist state in all of Palestine.

    • jon s
      August 28, 2015, 5:26 pm

      Tree, it’s an attempt to deflect because it’s not what Ms Gabriel claims to have “noticed”.
      Lod is not a Palestinian village , it’s a mixed Jewish-Arab city, and the report is that a wall was built between neighborhoods (something which I don’t condone) . A far cry from
      “most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons. ”

      • Sibiriak
        August 29, 2015, 5:20 am

        jon s: Tree, it’s an attempt to deflect because it’s not what Ms Gabriel claims to have “noticed”.
        ——————————

        Maybe she was thinking of “Eretz Israel”; maybe she misspoke.

        In any case, it’s a minor point which deflects from the main topic–what happened at Tantura.

  10. Mooser
    August 28, 2015, 10:51 am

    They just loooove to find every pile, jump in with both feet, and rub it all over themselves. I will never, ever follow them through the no-leash area.

  11. zaid
    August 28, 2015, 1:18 pm

    does anyone know if the Israeli scum declassify all their archives of the war of 1947-1948 or was it only partial

    • tree
      August 28, 2015, 2:45 pm

      My understanding is that there are still some documents that have remained classified to this day. The pictures taken by the Haganah photographer immediately after the massacre at Deir Yassin are still classified, for one.

      • tree
        August 28, 2015, 3:00 pm

        Benny Morris said in 2004 that millions of IDF documents from 1948 remain classified.

      • a blah chick
        August 28, 2015, 5:37 pm

        I think they did declassify some documents back in the eighties (if I am recalling it correctly) but when that resulted in books debunking Zionist history they turned around and reclassified them.

      • Froggy
        August 29, 2015, 4:29 pm

        Thank God for copy machines.

      • zaid
        August 28, 2015, 5:38 pm

        thank you tree.

        I think this facts tells us that maybe the atrocities the zionists committed are worse than what we think we know.

  12. a blah chick
    August 28, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Has anyone else noticed how concerned our resident hasbarists are making sure on getting the facts regarding Israeli behavior or actions but don’t mind repeating unsubstantiated charges against Palestinians?

    • Froggy
      August 29, 2015, 4:28 pm

      Blah Chick : “Has anyone else noticed how concerned our resident hasbarists are making sure on getting the facts regarding Israeli behavior or actions but don’t mind repeating unsubstantiated charges against Palestinians?”

      Yep.

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