Mass Zionist Plundering after '48/Segev?
Mohammad J Alam
alam.m at neu.edu
Thu Jul 4 22:30:30 MDT 2002
The following claims to be directly from the pages of Tom Segev's "1949,
the First Israelis". Just as a matter of caution, especially given the
amazing revalations made in the article, I am wondering if anyone can
confirm if the contents do indeed correspond to pages 68-91 of that book?
"During the war and afterwards PLUNDERING AND LOOTING were very common.
"The only thing that surprised me," said David Ben-Gurion at a Cabinet
meeting, "and surprised me bitterly, was the discovery of such moral
failings among us, which I had never suspected. I mean the mass robbery in
which all parts of the population participated." Soldiers who entered
abandoned houses in the towns and villages they occupied grabbed whatever
they could. Some took the stuff for themselves, others "for the boys" or
for the kibbutz. They stole household effects, cash, heavy equipment,
trucks and whole flocks of cattle. Behor Shitrit told his colleagues of the
Ministerial Committee for Abandoned Property that he had visited some of
the occupied areas and saw the looting with his own eyes. "From Lydda
alone," he said, "the army took out 1,800 truck-loads of property."
Minister of Finance Kaplan admitted: " As a matter of fact, neither the
Ministry of Finance nor the Custodian of Abandoned Property is in control
of the situation, and the army does what it wants." The Custodian, Dov
Shafrir, told the ministers that the regional commanders and their
adjutants wanted to stop the looting, "but not the storekeepers of the
various companies and squads.""
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