Monday, December 12, 2011

Invented Palestinians

Another great post by Daniel Greenfield/Sultan Knish

A Badly Invented People

In the post-news environment, media no longer exists to report, it exists to disseminate glib talking points that sound good at first, but don't stand up to examination. Fact checks, one of the latest media gimmicks, have become another vector for disseminating talking points. So have media blogs which began repeating the same ridiculous thing over and over again.

Take the response to Gingrich's accurate statement that the Palestinian Arabs are an invented people. Aside from all the hysterical "sky is falling" nonsense, is the comparison between the Americans as an invented people and the Palestinian Arabs.

continued here

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Palestinians invented

From Daled Amos, with source material for Wikipedians.

We should thank Newt Gingrich for bringing up the fact that the term Palestinian as referring to Arabs is a recent invention, as reported in the New York Times:
Does Newt Gingrich believe in a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Democratic and Republican administrations since the 1990s have adopted that framework for peace in the Middle East, but Mr. Gingrich suggested that he might break with it, calling Palestinians an “invented” people and the current stalled peace process “delusional.”
Pity that Gingrich has backed down from the controversial statement.
But he needn't have.

Gingrich's statement is backed up by Zuheir Mohsen, a Palestinian leader of the pro-Syria faction of the PLO who March 1977 gave an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw...

Daled Amos: When Gingrich Says The "Palestinians" Were Invented--Maybe His Source Was...A Palestinian

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Palestinians Resurrect the Partition Plan

The Palestinians Resurrect the Partition Plan


Author: Dore Gold Dore Gold

Re: UN 1947 partition plan for Palestine.

Whoever thinks that U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 – the famous Partition Plan – from Nov. 29, 1947, is for historians of the Middle East alone, is not aware of the role that the 64-year-old resolution still plays to this very day. As Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. in 1999, I had to deal with an effort by the PLO observer to revive the territorial map of Resolution 181 as a substitute for U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 from November 1967, which had served as the agreed basis of the peace process until then.


Palestinian statements about Resolution 181 beginning in the 1990s, it is especially important to look at the letter Mahmoud Abbas gave to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-.Moon on Sept. 23 of this year, which requested that the U.N. accept a Palestinian state as a full member. Abbas notably based his request on Resolution 181 and didn’t write a word about Resolution 242.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Night that Abu Hasan Farted

They recount that in the city of Kaukaban in Yemen there was a man named Abu Hasan of the Fadhli tribe who left the Bedouin life and became a townsman and the wealthiest of merchants. His wife died while both were young, and his friends pressed him to marry again.

Weary of their pressure, Abu Hasan entered into negotiations with the old women who procure matches, and married a woman as beautiful as the moon shining over the sea. To the wedding banquet he invited kith and kin, ulema and fakirs, friends and foes, and all of his acquaintances.

The whole house was thrown open to feasting: There were five different colors of rice, and sherbets of as many more; kid goats stuffed with walnuts, almonds, and pistachios; and a young camel roasted whole. So they ate and drank and made merry.

The bride was displayed in her seven dresses -- and one more -- to the women, who could not take their eyes off her. At last the bridegroom was summoned to the chamber where she sat enthroned. He rose slowly and with dignity from his divan; but in do doing, for he was over full of meat and drink, he let fly a great and terrible fart.

In fear for their lives, all the guests immediately turned to their neighbors and talked aloud, pretending to have heard nothing.

Mortified, Abu Hasan turned away from the bridal chamber and as if to answer a call of nature. He went down to the courtyard, saddled his mare, and rode off, weeping bitterly through the night.

In time he reached Lahej where he found a ship ready to sail for India; so he boarded, arriving ultimately at Calicut on the Malabar coast. Here he met with many Arabs, especially from Hadramaut, who recommended him to the King. This King (who was a Kafir) trusted him and advanced him to the captaincy of his bodyguard. He remained there ten years, in peace and happiness, but finally was overcome with homesickness. His longing to behold his native land was like that of a lover pining for his beloved; and it nearly cost him his life.

Finally he sneaked away without taking leave and made his way to Makalla in Hadramaut. Here he donned the rags of a dervish. Keeping his name and circumstances a secret, he set forth on foot for Kaukaban. He endured a thousand hardships of hunger, thirst, and fatigue; and braved a thousand dangers from lions, snakes, and ghouls.

Drawing near to his old home, he looked down upon it from the hills with brimming eyes, and said to himself, "They might recognize me, so I will wander about the outskirts and listen to what people are saying. May Allah grant that they do not remember what happened."

He listened carefully for seven nights and seven days, until it happened that, as he was sitting at the door of a hut, he heard the voice of a young girl saying, "Mother, tell me what day was I born on, for one of my companions wants to tell my fortune."

The mother answered, "My daughter, you were born on the very night when Abu Hasan farted."

No sooner had the listener heard these words than he rose up from the bench and fled, saying to himself, "Verily my fart has become a date! It will be remembered for ever and ever. "

He continued on his way, returning finally to India, where he remained in self exile until he died. May the mercy of Allah be upon him!

Source: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, translated by Richard F. Burton  vol. 5, pp. 135-137. Translation revised by D. L. Ashliman.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The War against Israel Rages On

In the past 72 hours Israeli cities (Not military camps. Cities!) have been bombarded by over 84 rockets, killing six civilians and forcing one million Israelis into bomb shelters throughout southern Israel. This has not reached the news at all. No mention of this is on CNN, BBC or SKY.
Follow the situation at This Ongoing War site

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Drop 8 Zeros


The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars.  Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let's put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
  • Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  • New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
  • National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  • Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)
It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Therefore, let's remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family:
  • Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
  • Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
  • Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Amount cut from the budget: $385

Sunday, July 31, 2011

President Obama Is No Longer Tethered To Reality - Yahoo! News

President Barack Obama's speech to the nation Monday night was highly disturbing. Because read carefully, it reveals a president wildly divorced from the fundamental realities of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

President Obama actually told America on national television that it is a nation "with a system in which the deck seems stacked against middle class Americans in favor of the wealthiest few." It is incomprehensible how a man serving as president of these United States could make such a fundamentally false assertion about his own country.

As I explain in my new book, America's Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb, before Obama was even elected, official IRS data showed that for 2007 the top 1% of income earners paid more in federal income taxes than the bottom 95% combined. The top 1% paid 40.4% of all federal income taxes that year, almost twice their share of income. The middle fifth of income earners, the actual middle class, paid 4.7% of federal income taxes. Deck stacked against the middle class in favor of the wealthiest few?

(con't) President Obama Is No Longer Tethered To Reality - Yahoo! News

Sunday, July 17, 2011

RealClearWorld - Leadership-Starved EU Heads for Oblivion

RealClearWorld - Leadership-Starved EU Heads for Oblivion

"Policy-makers are often drawn towards the cultivation of responsibility avoidance. However, EU functionaries have perfected the practice of responsibility avoidance and transformed it into an art form."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another Bite at the Apple: Hedegaard Found Guilty

Another Bite at the Apple: Hedegaard Found Guilty

Assault on free speech in the so called free world.

Last week, Lars Hedegaard, president and founder of the Danish and International Free Press Societies was convicted of "hate speech" under Article 266 b of the Danish penal code and fined the equivalent of about $1000.

Apparently the Danish government's current position on free speech isn't the only thing rotten in Denmark. In what reeks of violation of the general proscription against double jeopardy from this American's perspective, it would seem Danish prosecutors are allowed to make multiple attacks against the same defendant on the same charges. Determined to convict Hedegaard, the prosecutor appealed the lower court's decision, and Hedegaard was retried on April 26, 2010, the same day he released his new book, Muhammed's Girls: Violence, Murder and Rape in the House of Islam.

Hedegaard will appeal, of course, "to the Supreme Court and – if that is denied – to the European Court of Human Rights," according to a released statement. Hedegaard will not give in, and so, who are the real losers in this case? According to Hedegaard:

"The real victims of this despicable case are freedom of speech and the tens of thousands of girls and women – Muslim as well as non-Muslim – whose plight may no longer be mentioned in my country for fear of legal prosecution and public denigration."

Noted feminist psychologist, Dr. Phyllis Chesler offers a similar perspective on Hedegaard's conviction.

See more here at the Legal Project. Of course the assault on free speech is invariably about Islam. Wake up, world! before it is too late!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Dore Gold on the push for Palestinian statehood at the UN

Countdown to September: Israel, the Palestinians, and the UN General Assembly

by Dore Gold

*The public debate in Israel over the Palestinian plan to seek UN support for statehood in September is based on a fundamental misconception: the UN General Assembly cannot by itself establish or recognize a Palestinian state. It can admit new members to the UN only after they have been nominated first by the UN Security Council, where any of the five permanent members could veto the nomination.

*The current Palestinian effort at the UN, moreover, seems redundant. The UN General Assembly already recommended the creation of a Palestinian state on December 15, 1988, and has even insisted on the 1967 lines. The 1988 resolution was backed by 104 countries; only the U.S. and Israel opposed it. But this and other past resolutions (including one as recently as December 18, 2008) did not create a new legal reality, nor did they change anything on the ground.

*In 1998, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was confronted with a plan by Yasser Arafat to declare a state in 1999, the Israeli government warned that such a move would constitute "a substantive and fundamental violation of the Interim Agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians (the Oslo II agreement). It issued a formal statement saying that if such a violation occurred, then Israel would be entitled to take all necessary steps, including the application of Israeli law to settlement blocs and security zones in the West Bank.

*Oslo II clearly established that "Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations" (Article 31). The European Union actually signed Oslo II as a witness. Can EU countries then become active participants in changing the status of the territories whose fate is supposed to be determined only by negotiations?

*Israel must firmly oppose the September initiative in the General Assembly, even if the Palestinians already have the votes. It must make absolutely clear that this move is no less than a material breach of a core commitment in the Oslo Agreements, as the Israeli government asserted in 1998. Only a strong Israeli response will deter Abbas from going further down the road of unilateralism.

Please read the full article here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The warnings still ring so true. Friends, please check out this site

"For three years I have been imploring you,Jews of Poland, the crown of world Jewry, appealing to you, warning you unceasingly that the catastrophe is nigh. My hair has turned white and I have grown old over these years, for my heart is bleeding that you, dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spew forth its fires of destruction. I see a horrible vision. Time is growing short for you to be spared. I know you cannot see it, for you are troubled and confused by everyday concerns... Listen to my words at this... for time is running short."
--- Jabotinsky – to the Jews of Warsaw on Tisha b’Av 1938

part of the mission statement of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors

Friday, March 18, 2011

And The Myth Goes On....

In the middle east according to Walid Khalidi:

"A GENERAL THEME running through the Zionist account of the events between November 1947 and May 1948 is that orders were ''broadcast'' [his emphasis] to the Arabs to leave the country in order to pave the way for entry of the regular Arab armies."  (Khalidi, 1959)

He, along with Childers, has the accent on the wrong "sil-ah'-buhl."

Khalidi, as well as Erskine Childers takes us down the primrose path, defining  the "Zionist" enemy and  creating a myth  around the concept of this  "broadcast of orders," claiming that it is central fiction that "Zionists" created as a cover for what he calls their  "unconscionable" actions  during the war that followed the partition.

The Jewish version of events has little or nothing to do with broadcasting, and much to do with the reasons for the exodus of the Arabs from parts of the Mandate. The Jewish contention was that many Arabs left the the Jewish-allocated sections of what was then "Palestine"  because they were pressured to leave by their own [Arab] leadership, and that this was in fact a strategic move to clear the roads for the advance of the regular Arab armies, and to deny labor and services  to the Jewish state in hopes of starving it economically, so it would be aborted when the British abandoned the Mandate. In the end this turned out to be a bad idea, since in the main Israel has refused to allow their return outside a comprehensive peace agreement, something the Arabs and Palestinian Arabs have chosen not to do.

Khalidi, as Childers, does not try to argue with these assertions but instead soldiers  on to attempt to discredit and ridicule with primary emphasis on "broadcast orders".  

Nafez Nazzal (Nazzal, 1978, pg 1) , Christopher Hitchens (Said and Hitchens, 1988, pgs 73-83) and numerous others have carried forward this  initial error;  if indeed it really is an error, as opposed to a simple deflection from the real issue; since the Israeli contention is hard to dispute '''on the merits'''.  Khalidi demands proof of  these "broadcasts," as does Childers, and Hitchens. The myth has been seeded and goes on and on...

Khalidi at least makes an attempt to provide something that could be used as a source for this accusation by fingering a "certain American Zionist by the name of Dr. Joseph Schechtman " for responsibility for this "elaborate story." He didn't make it easy to check his sources, since he gave not one quote, not one  name of the so-called  "pamphlets" in which he claimed this "story" made its "first elaborate  appearance".  Nor do we get one shred of  evidence to substantiate the claim that this was a "general theme" in the "Zionist account of events."

Schechtman, a Russian Jew who emigrated to the U.S. in 1941 when he was fifty, was an historian, biographer and Zionist intellectual.   But to borrow a phrase, "I was intrigued", and using Khalidi's clues, despite errors * was able to track down Schechtman's two pamphlets and check Khalidi's claim.  [A scanned version of the full pamphlet can be seen here  or a text version of the just the section on the Arab flight can be seen here ]

One of  many references often quoted, and quoted by Schechtman as evidence of  Arab pressure to evacuate is an article in The Economist ** of October 2, 1948.   The precise quote from The Economist, purported to be by an eye-witness  is  'Various factors influenced their [the Arabs'] decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that by far the most potent of these factors were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Committee urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit. The reason given was that upon the final withdrawal of the British the combined armies of the Arab states would invade Palestine and drive the Jews into the sea.'  (Jewish Agency for Palestine (Schechtman) 1949, page 13)

This is the only mention of radio broadcasts in either of his 30-odd page pamphlets, and it was put forward  as evidence of pressure [by Arabs], not evidence of radio broadcasts. It was a quote from a respectable news magazine of the time and not Schectman's words.  There is nothing! at all in  Schechtman's words that  can even  remotely  be interpreted as creating  an elaborate story of "radio broadcasts."  (Jewish Agency for Palestine (Schechtman) 1949, pgs 8-14)

Here is what Schechtman actually says within the larger context: an interview with a correspondent of the Beirut Arabic newspaper Telegraph on September 6, 1948, Emil Ghory, representative of the Arab Higher Committee at the meetings of the UN General Assembly stated: "The problem of the refugees is the direct result of the policy of resistance to partition  and to the establishment of the Israeli State. This policy was unanimously adopted by the Arab Governments, and it is they who have to bear responsibility for the solution of the refugee problem."

Perhaps the clearest illustration of Arab evacuation by command is the Arab exodus from Haifa. "The London Economist "(October 2, 1948) quotes a British eye-witness to what happened. Despite the fact that the Jewish authorities "urged all Arabs to remain in Haifa and guaranteed them protection and security... the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 4,000 or 6,000 remained."

"Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that far the most potent of these factors were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Executive, urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit The reason given was that upon the final withdrawal of the British the combined armies of the Arab States would invade Palestine and drive the Jews into the sea.,, and it was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Israeli protection would be regarded as renegades. At that time the Palestinian Arabs still had some confidence in the ability of the Arab League to implement the promises of its spokesman."

All evidence seems to point to the fact that the mass exodus of the Arab population was deliberately stimulated to serve the political ends of the Arab leadership. The Arab masses were subjected to a heavy barrage of  "atrocity propaganda" predicting their wholesale extermination by the advancing Jewish forces. They were exhorted to flee for their lives even though they were not immediately threatened. (Jewish Agency for Palestine (Schechtman) 1949, pgs 12-13)

Rather than deal with Schechtman's actual premise, Khalidi pursues the  "broadcasts" issue and  tells us that in 1959 that he went "through the files of the press releases of the Arab League," that he  "privately examined" the archives of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.  He went through a large volume of full texts  published by The Arab League Secretariat of their assemblies and committees.   Mr Khalidi went on to examine  newspapers in the Arab world,  and chose three important newspapers to scour for evidence of these "broadcast orders" that he claims is of central importance to the Zionists' argument.

Childers later picks up where Khalidi left off  in his article The Other Exodus ( article was originally published in the London weekly The Spectator of May 12, 1961).

Like Khalidi he  begins as if he were going to argue the facts:  "Israel claims that the Arabs left because they were ordered to, and deliberately incited into panic, by their own leaders who wanted the field cleared for the 1948 war.  It is also argued that there would today be no Arab refugees if the Arab States had not attacked the new Jewish State on May 15, 1948 (though 800,000 had already fled before that date)."

This (with the exception of his numbers) seems to be true at first glance, but Israel does not claim  that the Arabs left because of an order, broadcast or otherwise.  After all, the hundreds of thousands that evacuated were not all soldiers under orders.   In fact, as Schechtman clearly says as early as 1949, "The mass flight of the Palestine Arabs is a phenomenon for which no single explanation suffices."   (Schechtman article can be seen here.   See pgs 8-14)  As for Childers' assertion that  800,000 refugees had already fled  by May 15, this  begs credulity,  and typically he does not provide a source for it.  [The majority of  Palestinian Arabs left between June 11 and July 9, 1948 the  period of a U.N. imposed truce (Anderson, p 20) and (p. 26) the UN Conciliation Committee considers the total number of refugees to be  711,000.  According to Schechtman, 1952, (p 16) the total number of refugees 'could not have exceeded 600,000'.' Very few sources suggest that the total number of refugees exceeded 800,000.  Therefore it is not really credible that 800,000 had already left by May 15. Even the highly partisan Ilan Pappe, (1992, p96)  only gives an estimate of 380,000 by May 15.]
In fact it is often quite unclear where Khalidi and Childers get their information, since they are  stingy with supporting references, if indeed they provide any.  Often  when they do provide detail, they get it wrong.  For example in  Childers' polemic Wordless Wish , ( pg 199, note 122) he says : "In a number of instances, quotations offered from Arab newspapers  are found not   to exist at all, not even for suitable "reworking."  An example is a much-used quote from Falastin for February 19, 1949; that was a Monday.  Falastin was never printed on Mondays, and no such statement could be found in the paper on proximate other dates."  Hmmm  check the date, anyone?  Would you believe, Saturday?  With the help of the Internet these days, we can check such stuff out in moments.  How tacky to be accusing others of making stuff up with made-up stuff as your evidence! [The text that Childer's couldn't bring himself to references was "The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees." -- The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin,  Saturday, February 19, 1949]

While Khalidi fingered Schechtman, Childers fingers Leo Kohn, claiming he wrote "one of the first official pamphlets on the Arab refugees," and, in typical Childers' fashion when making an accusation, he does not name either the pamphlet nor the publisher,  so it is virtually impossible to check.  He gives us even fewer clues than Khalidi. Kohn, international lawyer and chaired professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, headed the Israel Delegation to the United Nations Mediator on Palestine in June, 1948.  Kohn  is drawn as an pompous buffoon  by Childers, and  is said to have pointed  to the quote in his own (un-named) pamphlet  to the same Economist article mentioned by Khalidi.  Childers acknowledges the article but poo-poos it, saying it was "clear"  that the quotation was a "second-hand account, inserted as that of an eye-witness" -- in other words, a lie, yet he provides no evidence or even argument to support this claim!    Finding this article is my next challenge. ***

Like Khalidi, Childers begins his investigation of the "broadcast evacuation orders".

 "....I next decided to test the undocumented charge that the Arab evacuation orders were broadcast by Arab radio-which could be done thoroughly because the BBC monitored all Middle Eastern broadcasts throughout 1948. The records, and companion ones by a U.S. monitoring unit, can be seen at the British Museum......Examining every official Israeli statement about the Arab exodus, I was struck by the fact that no primary evidence of evacuation orders was ever produced."

 He states flatly, "There was not a single order, or appeal, or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948."

In The Spectator Correspondence,  Khalidi  claims that he also examined the same material independently and thus  reports that he can confirm what Childers says, that is, that  there was nothing that could be in any way interpreted as a broadcasted order.  John Kimche in that same  Correspondence is skeptical and asks " Mr Childers checked all the broadcasts, who monitored them and where, and whether there were really no gaps at all in these monitorings of all Middle East broadcasts in 1948?.....were they complete in every sense of the word, and were they checked by him in English or in the original Arabic?" He goes on to say that the material at the British museum was "ludicrously incomplete" and that "They do not cover even 10 percent of the broadcasts."

Zimmerman in his study entitled  Radio propaganda in the Arab-Israeli War, 1948. was also skeptical and questioned the monitoring service:  "Childers' claim that 'the BBC monitored  all Middle Eastern broadcasts throughout 1948 ', has been contradicted by the assistant editor of the monitoring service, who stated in a letter to the author (16.12.70): 'No one could ever claim to have monitored every single broadcast . . . Only a selection from what is actually listened to is transcribed, and only a selection of what is actually transcribed is published.'

Zimmerman then goes on to put up a handful of radio stations and dates that could be considered to contradict Childers' assertion that  "There was not a single order, or appeal, or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948."  Zimmerman:

'After the Arab defeat in Tiberias, Sharq al Adna (20.4.48) announced that King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan had ordered `Arab forces to be sent immediately to Tiberias to evacuate Arab refugee families '.

Two days later,following the Jewish victory at Haifa, the same station suggested the existence of a plan when it reported:    `Simultaneously the Arabs have started to evacuate this market area by sending women and children by sea to Acre.'

Radio Damascus (26.4.48), discussing the battle of Jaffa, was even more explicit: `Arab reinforcements arrive continuously in defence of the town, from which women and children are being evacuated.'

Zimmerman continues:

Another of Mr. Childers' assertions, that no Jewish station ` so much as hinted at any Arab evacuation orders ', does not tally with the record. When Arab broadcasts admitted the evacuation of Arab villages, the Haganah took up the subject and blamed the exodus on the invading Arab irregulars. On 21 April it accused `Arab gangs ' (the Haganah term for Arab irregulars) of being responsible for the evacuation of Arab villages. On 23 April it mentioned and criticized the ' evacuation of all Arab inhabitants [from Tiberias ? ] by order of the Arab higher authorities'. On 5 May, it also drew attention to the plight of the villagers of Sarafand who wanted to postpone their evacuation until their crops had been harvested.  The British were also blamed for the Arab exodus. The 'Voice of Israel (9.11.48) asked the Arabs to remember ' that it was the British who advised them to evacuate the Arab  population  from the areas about to be occupied by Israeli forces '.

Zimmerman's is an excellent article and I encourage readers to check it out for themselves. (It can be read in its entirety here.)  Zimmerman also makes the excellent  point that "Mr. Childers contends that Jewish radio stations contributed their share to the Arab exodus by focusing attention on the flight and panic of Arabs.25  Interestingly, none of these broadcasts have been quoted in sufficient detail to allow the reader to appreciate the
point they were trying to make, namely that the Arab panic was caused by Arab irregulars." These vaguenesses of quoting seem to be endemic in the writings of Khalidi and Childers, and has of course been multiplied by those partisans who carry the propaganda forward.

In fact there is evidence of evacuation "instructions" etc in U.S. newspapers of the time, as early as 1946.  In this article, for example, we are told that "In Cairo Abdul Rahman Azzam Pash, secretary-general of the Arab League, said some Arab leaders had proposed to transform the Holy Land into a battleground 'for their existence'. He said the proposals called for evacuation of all Arab women and children from Palestine to neighboring countries.  (May 4, 1946)

Or a bit later in this one

"Jewish Agency Charges Mufti Agents Behind Arab Stampede -- Jerusalem, April 26 (Palcor) - A spokesman for the Jewish Agency reiterated the charge that Mufti agents were willfully spreading panic among the Arabs and have set in motion a stampede from Jerusalem, Haifa, Tiberias and other towns in order to: 1) present the Jews as aggressors: 2) fan Arab youth into wild fighting fanaticism: 3) impress on the Arab states the need for sending their regular armies into Palestine; and 4) absolve such intervention before world public opinion.
(A similar charge was made by Moshe Shertok, Chief of the Political Department of  the Jewish Agency in a statement to the Security Council last Friday.) (April 26, 1948)
{I left in the mention of Shertok, since Khalidi refers to him  (Khalidi, p. 43) as evidence that there had been no mention of  "orders"   "In August–September 1948, Shertok (the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government of Israel) exchanged letters with Count Bernadotte over the question of the Arab refugees. Shertok disclaimed Israeli responsibility for the refugees, but no Arab evacuation order was mentioned."  Several months earlier, however, in April,  Shertok had spoken of this to the Security Council.  He had apparently said something to the effect that Mufti agents [Arab leaders]  had  purposefully ("willfully")  "set in motion a stampede" ie the Arabs themselves were responsible for the flight, orders or no orders, broadcasted by radio or otherwise.}

Try reading the same article from The Economist with the contentious broadcasts line completely removed.

". . . During the subsequent days the Israeli authorities who were now in complete control of Haifa urged all Arabs to remain . . . and guaranteed them protection and security. So far as I know, most of the British civilian residents whose advice was asked by Arab friends told the latter they would be wise to stay. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight.  ..... The reason given was that upon the final withdrawal of the British the combined armies of the Arab states would invade Palestine and drive the Jews into the sea.

They did invade Palestine, and but for the grace of God did not drive the Jews into the sea.  No doubt extraordinary emphasis on "orders" and "broadcasts" has more to do with the attempt to draw attention away from the  actions of one particular side during the war that followed the partition, and place it on the other. Propaganda is made to make one side look  bad, so we  don't look too closely at the other.  Diversionary tactics such as this has delayed solving the problem for over 60 years.  The pot of hate, based on lies, half-truths and exaggeration  is stirred and stirred again.  It makes a fair solution to this problem for both peoples virtually an impossibility.


ANDERSON, H. D. (1951). The Arab refugee problem, how it can be solved; proposals submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
CHILDERS, E. (1971). The wordless wish: from citizen to refugees. North Dartmouth, Mass, Association of Arab-American University Graduates.
CHILDERS, E. B. (1963). The Other Exodus. Cairo, Information Dept.
COOKE, H. V., KIMCHE, J., CHILDERS, E. B., KHALIDI, W., ATIYAH, E., & CAIRNS, D. (1988). Appendix E: The Spectator Correspondence. Journal of Palestine Studies. 18, 51-70.
JEWISH AGENCY FOR PALESTINE. (1949). Arab refugees: facts and figures. New York, N.Y., Prepared by the Research Dept., Jewish Agency for Palestine.
KHALIDI, W. (1959). Why did the Palestinians leave?: an examination of the Zionist version of the exodus of 1948. s.l, s.n..
NAZZAL, N. (1978). The Palestinian exodus from Galilee, 1948. Beirut, Institute for Palestine Studies.
PAPPÉ, I. (1992). The making of the the Arab-Israeli conflict 1947-51. London, Tauris.
SAID, E. W., and HITCHENS, C. (1988). Blaming the victims: spurious scholarship and the Palestinian question. London, Verso.
ZIMMERMAN, J. (1974). Radio propaganda in the Arab-Israeli War, 1948. London, Institute of Contemporary History.


* One major error was the publisher.  Khalidi gave the publisher as the Israel Information Center, New York, when in fact they were published by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, New York. As the pamphlets did not list an author,  and since  Khalidi  did not give us the name of these pamphlets, they were not easy to find.

** The Economist was a well respected  news journal of the time,  see: URL: (subscription required)

***Another oddity about the Economist is its authorship policy.  According to the magazine's website:
"The Economist is different from other publications not only because it offers a broad international perspective but also because it has no bylines. It is written anonymously, because it is a paper whose collective voice and personality matter more than the identities of individual journalists. This ensures a continuity of tradition and view which few other publications have matched." This makes this article hard to find as well.

IM Stokvis

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Khalidi and the Myth of the Myth of the Radio Broadcasts

Special to Neshumah

One thing about those who are historians or who call themselves such, is that one expects that they should provide footnoted references for any assertions that they make, so we can check these assertions out, and thus be able to help us distinguish between real historical fact and research, and simple, or not so simple , propaganda.  Sources and footnotes  that can be checked for validity are the only criterion we can use to establish fact from fiction.  The idea of Wikipedia, for example,  is excellent because it requires sources. Unfortunately, there are not not near enough  footnote-checkers in Wikipedia, particularly in areas where "propaganda" is rife, eg politics and areas of historical conflict. In such areas,  there are many writers and re-writers of history, to draw upon.  Are all equally reliable?

Recently I was reading some criticism of  the  academic and political writer Ali A. Mazrui, an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at  State University of Binghamton,  and author.  Ihechukwu Madubuike, a Nigerian fellow scholar and sharp critic of Mazrui writes,
"What is equally troubling is the intellectual dishonesty which the Professor parades about as a universal critic without bias, the pseudo scholarship which contains a large dose of contaminated ideological hypocrisy.

"Mazrui should be able to distinguish between literary criticism from pure propaganda or come out clean and tell us which one he is practicing. By not doing this Professor Mazrui undermines interpretative validity, professionalism and academic freedom."  (1)

While this suggests that even in the field of  literary criticism one can find propaganda, and  the same question can be asked of other fields, particularly history.   Is a particular author, whatever his credentials, engaging in scholarship, or in  pseudo scholarship contaminated by ideological hypocrisy?

I was recently reading a book of essays entitled  The Transformation of Palestine edited by I Abu-Lughod. The first sentence in the preface says  "This book supports the Arab case in the conflict over Palestine.  The presentation is non-polemical and factual....The Palestinian Arabs did not leave their homes voluntarily or in obedience  to instructions from the governments of adjoining Arab states,  They fled from fear of death."  Blaming Israeli terrorism, Toynbee faults Israel propaganda.  (xii-ix  Arnold J. Toynbee)

Recently scholarship "in support of the Arab cause" has taken to referring to any Israeli version of events as the    "Israeli narrative." This is an interesting use of the word "narrative" in the context of history, suggesting as it does, fiction.  Is the Israeli "narrative" really fiction and myth, or is it in fact supported by the facts?

Take for example Walid Khalidi's essay entitled "Why did the Palestinians Leave, Revisited" which can be accessed here,  and which continues to be repeated by others (eg see: Esber, pg 37  and  Sa'di , Abu-Lughod  and Childers)

The Khalidi article begins with a preface by an unnamed individual,  returning this 1959 article to public attention and citing this common theme in anti-Israel discourse:

"The myth that the Palestinian exodus of 1948 was triggered by orders from the Arab leaders—a cornerstone of the official Israeli version of the 1948 war and intended to absolve it of responsibility for the refugee problem—dies hard,"
Later he calls this story "this central plank of the Israeli doctrine of 1948."  The writer's  thesis is that there exists an "official Israeli version" --that is to say, an official Israeli  myth-- of the Palestinian Arab exodus in 1948  that claims it was triggered by Arab "orders."  Khalidi and his fellows tell us that this myth (or  "narrative") is  used to shift responsibility and blame from Israel and the Jews, where it belongs, in their opinion,  and instead lay  it on the Palestinian Arabs, who were villagers and innocent victims of a campaign of terror and expulsion by the Jews. (Since all newspapers & historians  of the time refer to the "Arabs" and the "Jews", I do so as well.  Note: Khalidi refers instead to "Palestinians" and "Zionists")

Khalidi begins:

"A GENERAL THEME running through the Zionist account of the events between November 1947 and May 1948 is that orders were ''broadcast'' to the Arabs to leave the country in order to pave the way for entry of the regular Arab armies."
 and he goes on,
"I can find no significant trace of this allegation in Zionist sources in 1948, although one would expect it to be made then."

I sure would like to see the actual quote in an official Israeli document(s) somewhere.  Broadcast orders were a  "general theme"?  Yes, the Jews argued that the Arabs  hold primary responsibility for the refugees since it was they who started belligerency.

But "broadcast orders?"   Radio orders, or "broadcasted" some other way?  Were these supposed to be military orders or  instructions of the local muktars?   We don't know, because we are not privy to any direct quote.  If this were indeed a central plank, shouldn't  Khalidi have provided us with at least one footnoted reference for a quotation  that we could check?  After all, it is central to his argument.

 Khalidi says he can find no trace of this allegation in "Zionist" sources in 1948.  That is, he says he can find no significant trace  in Zionist sources?  Why would the source necessarily be Zionist?  Evidence of supposed broadcast orders should be valid from any reliable source, not merely Zionist sources .

I found a few newspaper references to Arab-sponsored  evacuation  in Google news archive, like this plan, in '46  from the Arab League: (2)  Or this,  from '48. (3) about Mufti "instructions".   Does the Canadian Jewish Chronicle from 1948 qualify as a Zionist source?

Khalidi goes on to give some examples of some radio broadcast that did not mention this  allegation that he says  one would have expected to have been made then.  He continues, "Shertok disclaimed Israeli responsibility for the refugees, but no Arab evacuation order was mentioned."   Not Really.  This  (4) article demonstrates that Shertok did in fact mention an Arab evacuation order to the UN Security Council.  Khalidi is flat wrong.

What is the explanation,  he asks, that  the Zionists did not mention this in 1948?  He then answers his own question with the following explanation  "It was only in 1949, when the Zionists realized that the problem of the Arab refugees was touching the conscience of the civilized world, that they decided to counter the damaging influence it was having on their cause."   He has yet to provide us with the "Zionist" quote that says anything at all about radio broadcasts, but he has already  provided us with the Zionist motive, made up of whole cloth.  It is simply a slander.

Now he intends to finger the culprit that first made up this story, and to provide a clue as to where I might find a direct quote of this Israeli or Zionist central plank or general theme!

If I were to place my finger on a single person who is responsible for systematizing the story (if a single person was responsible for doing so), I would probably place it on a certain American Zionist by the name of Dr. Joseph Schechtman, a leading member of the Zionist revisionist wing.  He is almost certainly responsible for the drafting of two mimeographed pamphlets which appeared in 1949 under the auspices of the Israel Information Center, New York, in which the evacuation order first makes an elaborate appearance.   (pgs 43-44)
If he could, it would be Schechtman.  He is "almost certainly" responsible for two 1949 (mimeographed! pamphlets)  put out by the Israel Information Center*  in New York.  It was apparently an elaborate story, but we don't have the story or quote yet. Though we do have a motive and a Zionist to pin it on.  We have two mimeo-ed  untitled pamphlets from 1949 and  auspices.  I sent for Joseph Schechtman's 1952 book, "The Arab Refugee Problem"  from inter-library loan. Turns out that this book is in its third edition, the first being two smaller publications. In his introduction  Schechtman mentions the  two publications that he made in 1949, and says  this 1952 book is based on them.(4)  So I eagerly searched for the elaborate story.  Unfortunately, the only reference to radio broadcasts is one in Haifa, and for which Schechtman quotes one 1948 article  in the Economist.  Is this the elaborate story which is a "central plank in the Zionist narrative"?    According  to Schechtman, the Economist article read in part:

"Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight.  There is little doubt that by far the most potent of these factors were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Executive (Committee) urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit...It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained...and accepted Israeli protection would be regarded as renegades." (Schechtman, 1952)

Is this the "elaborate story" made up by Schechtman?  It could not be, as it is a  a quote from The Economist. Is the article in The Economist mistaken?  Possibly.  Does the Jewish contention that  the impetus for the evacuation came from the Arab side and  not the Jewish side contingent upon  this Economist article? Not really.  Over the air or not over the air, there is plenty of evidence that the  Arabs left in large part voluntarily and due to Arab provocation, or  because they were "frightened by the war the Arab leadership  brought upon them by the Arab leadership."

Schechtman goes on to support the main point regarding Haifa,

" On the second anniversary of the Haifa flight (April 27,1950) a careful review of what happened in Haifa was sent by the Arab National Committee of Haifa -1948 the central Arab authority in the city-to the heads of the Arab states."  This memorandum read in part:

"...the removal of the Arab inhabitants from the town was voluntary and was carried out at our request.  The Jewish representatives expressed their deep regret at this decision and the Jewish Mayor of Haifa, Shabtai Levy, adjourned the meeting of the Arab and Jewish delegations with a passionate appeal to the Arabs to reconsider their decision.

"'It seems', this revealing document continues, 'that the Jews intended to stop the evacuation in order to prove that the Haifa Arabs could live safely and securely under the Jewish rule...The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries....We are very glad to state that the Arabs guarded their honor and traditions with pride and greatness.'" (Schechtman, pg 10)
  Khalidi continues:                                                                                                                                        
To return to the order: Surely an order of such importance must be traceable somewhere?  You do not ask the entire population of a country to leave without somebody debating the matter , without a decision somewhere being taken.  I have gone through the files of the press releases of the Arab League.  These releases include every important pronouncement made by the League at the time.  There is no trace of an order.

But wait a minute!  The only radio broadcast "story" reported (not invented, as implied by Khalidi)  by Schechtman was with respect to the town of Haifa, not the entire population of a country.  One story in one paper about what happened in one town is suddenly now the official "Zionist" version of what happened throughout Palestine during the war?  I don't think so.

 Jon Kimche, in the famous "Spectator correspondence," notes "The suggestion that the Israeli case rested on the existence of a broadcast order from the Arab leaders to the Palestinians is a myth invented and exploited by Professor Walid Khalidi..."

What started out as a suggestion is now a full-blown conspiracy theory, parroted throughout the literature of those who support the Arab cause.  As Kimche has pointed out "There is now a mountain of independent evidence to show that the initiative for the Arab exodus came from the Arab side and not the Jews.  (Spectator correspondence)

he Palestinian "narrative" of an invented story of radio broadcasts as an official Israeli version of the Arab exodus of 1948 is an excellent example of  what  Madubuike calls  "intellectual dishonesty" & "pseudo scholarship contaminated by ideological hypocrisy."  What kind of scholarship attempts to debunk  a story that is neither quoted nor properly sourced?  What kind of scholarship cites a single broadcast in one town, and then exaggerates this as the official version of the Arab exodus from the whole region?  The finger of blame for this so-called "myth" was laid on Joseph Schechtman, when in fact Schechtman only reported on an Economist article that exists.   In fact there is no proof at all that this is a "central plank" in the "official Zionist version."  Khalidi gives not one quote from the Israeli government or Zionists to support that claim.  It is not true that there is  no mention of any evacuation orders at the time,  as newspaper accounts of the time show. Khalidi's claim that Shertok never mentioned this  is also wrong.

 If this does not qualify as pseudo-scholarship I don't know what does.   As Schechtman does in fact say in his 1952 book, "the flight of the Palestinian Arabs is a phenomenon for which no single explanation suffices." (Schechtman, 1952 pgs 4-6).  This statement is intolerable, however,  for the supporters of the Arab cause since it allows for at least some of the responsibility for the Nakba to fall on the shoulders of the neighboring Arabs, and the Palestinian Arabs themselves, which is intolerable for them.  This blatant attempt to put the total blame for the Palestinian exodus  on the Palestinian Jews ("Zionists") of the time  is a wonderful example of intellectual dishonesty and propaganda masquerading as history.

1.The Other in Literature, Ali Mazrui vs Christopher Okigbo by
Ihechukwu Madubuike

2. Fight to the Death Urged by Arabs  St Petersburg Times, May 4, 1946: 
"In Cairo Abdul Rahman Azzam Pash, secretary-general of the Arab League, said some Arab leaders had proposed to transform the Holy Land into a battleground 'for their existence'.  He said the proposals called for evacuation of all Arab women and children from Palestine to neighboring countries. 

3. Arab Villagers in Mass Exodus from Coastal Plain, Jews, Stand Guard over Abandoned Crops The Canadian Jewish Chronicle (Palcor) - Apr 2, 1948    "Sheik Abu Kishek, head of a prominent tribe in the Tel Aviv area, has been in Cairo, the Mufti's headquarters, for the past month, and reportedly got instructions to evacuate the area."

4. Jewish Agency Charges Mufti Agents Behind Arab Stampede -- The Canadian Jewish Chronicle (Palcor) -April 29, 1948-
A spokesman for the Jewish Agency reiterated the charge that Mufti agents were willfully spreading panic among the Arabs and have set in motion a stampede from Jerusalem, Haifa, Tiberias and other towns in order to: 1) present the Jews as aggressors: 2) fan Arab youth into wild fighting fanaticism: 3) impress on the Arab states the need for sending their regular armies into Palestine; and 4) absolve such intervention before world public opinion.  (A similar charge was made by Moshe Shertok, Chief of the Political Department to the Jewish Agency in a statement to the Security Council last Friday.)

"This publication is an attempt to summarize the essential facts of the Arab refugee problem. Two similar attempts on a smaller scale --''Arab Refugees:Facts and Figures, and Resettlement Prospects for Arab Refugees -- were made by this author in 1949.  Their favorable reception made necessary a second revised edition in 1950, which has since been exhausted.  Numerous requests continue to come from libraries, universities, organizations and private individuals in the United States and abroad,  The valuable publication,''The Arab Refugee Problem.  How it can be solved, Proposals submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations.  (New York December, 1951) was, to a considerable extent, based on the material contained in the above mention publication.  This present edition, which the author now presents the public, is a third edition, rewritten and revised in the light of latest developments."

Raphael Medoff, in his book , Baksheesh Diplomacy, 2001 (page 178) mentions these two, which  he calls  "lengthy pamphlets" as having been  published by the Jewish Agency in New York,, and not the Israel Information Center.

Ed Said and Christoper Hitchens, in Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian    Question, Verso Books  1988 (ISBN 0-86091-887-4).   
* Erskine Childers Wordless Wish: From Citizens to Refugees     ISBN-13: 9780937694220 : Assn of Arab-Amer Univ Graduates
* Spectator Correspondence 
* Walid Khalidi    Why Did the Palestinians Leave, Revisited  Journal of Palestine Studies (subscription) Winter 2005, Vol. 34, No. 2, Pages 42-54
* Rafael Medoff, 2001, Lexington Books p.182.   ''Baksheesh diplomacy: secret negotiations between American Jewish leaders and Arab officials on the eve of World War II''
* Abu-Lughod, ed. with foreword by Arnold J. Toynbee The Transformation of Palestine Northwestern University Press 1971.
* Joseph B. Schectman, The Arab Refugee Problem, The Philosophical Library, 1952
* Rosemarie M. Esber Under the cover of war: The Zionist expulsion of the Palestinians 2008
* Ihechukwu Madubuike .The Other in Literature, Ali Mazrui vs Christopher Okigbo  
* Ahmad H. Sa'di & Lila Abu-Lughod, Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the claims of memory, 2007
* The Arab Refugee Problem: How it can be solved,  Proposals Submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations"  1951. Various

--I.M. Stokvis, 2011.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Satire: Obama Advisor Doesn't Fear Muslim Takeover - of U.S. - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Satire: Obama Advisor Doesn't Fear Muslim Takeover - of U.S. - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

New Project: 1948 Middle East Articles in the public domain

from the Toledo Blade March 12, 1948

Arabs Prepare 3-month Blitz on Jews after British Leave

Leaders Expect to lose 'Million Men' to Stop Partition

Robert C Miller UP Correspondent

Arab leaders say they expect to lose "a million men" before the strife in Palestine is over.

They predict a three-month blitzkrieg beginning within 24 hours after the British give up their mandate in May. They say tanks, artillery and bombers will attack Jewish communities.
They have repeated their determination to resist to death "any force which tries to partition Palestine."

Six months ago such threats would have been ridiculed by Middle Eastern observers. Today they are being heeded and regarded as "possibilities"

Backed by Arab League

The Arab resistance to partition of Palestine is led by the Arab higher executive, a group of Palestinian Arabs headed by the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. It also has the complete support and backing of the Arab League composed of all the Moslem states in the Middle East.

Seldom in Moslem history has anything united the warring, bickering Arabs as has their opposition to partitioning. It has assumed all ed aspects of a holy war which their leaders swear they will fight until Zionism is eliminated and a "free, democratic state established in Palestine."

The Arabs are extremely bitter at the United Nations and the United States. They argue that America pressured the United Nations into voting partition and therefore the vote was not an honest parliamentary action.

Guerrilla Tactics

The Arabs have been conducting small-scale guerrilla raids on Jewis settlements and communications for the last few weeks. They plan to step up these activities in coming months.

Originally, Arab strategy was to arm quiety and prepare themselves during the winter months, but to give no indication of their strenthg. Then, once the British evacuated, they planned to close in with a series of suprise attacks and overwhelm the Jews.

Their propaganda, however, had a much greater reaction on the emotional Arabs than was expected. Immediately after the UN acted on partition, spontaneous riots broke out in Palestine and elsewhere in the Middle East. These attacks tipped the Arab hand and the Jews immediately prepared for a long, tough fight.

Strategy Revised
The revised Arab strategy is to train in Syria and neighboring Arab countries, troops for guerrilla warfar. The training schedule has been completed for thousands of these men and they are now filtering across the border into Palestine. Headquarters of the Arab liveration army is near Nablus, deep in Arab territory and surrounded by rocky Samaritan Hills.

These troops are well equipped, armed with rifles, automatic weapons, grenades and machine guns. They are highly mobile units, designed for hit and run attacks on Jewish settlements in the outlying areas, for ambushes and raids on communications.

The Arabs hope pressure from these attacks will so weaken the Jewish economy and defenses that little effective resistance will be possible when they launch their all-out attack.

There is no shortage of volunteers for the Arab armies. Tribesmen from all over the Middle East have swarmed in to volunteer.

All the Arab nations have contributed large sums to the campaign, and arms are being supplied the Arab liberation army from government stores in each of the Arab countries.

Toledo Blade, March 12, 1948 Google News Archive

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More Than Meets The Eye

More Than Meets The Eye

Important investigative reporting concerning Chris Christie and Islam

N.J. Governor Chris Christie has been in the news a lot this past week after he nominated Sohail Mohammed for Superior Court Judge. What possible ramifications can this possibly have?

Chris Christie was sworn in as New Jersey's 55th Governor on January 19, 2010 and got right to work. He is out there trying to save his state, going head to head with the teachers union, cutting the budget and doing what he promised he would do when he was campaigning.

So when all the negative articles and blogs starting on January 14th about his appointment of a Muslim lawyer to the Superior Court of N.J. I had ask myself why? So, the guys a Muslim, so he defended alleged terrorists, so what - isn’t that what lawyers are supposed to do?

More... Click here