[Marxism] Israel's embarrassing 1948 history

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Wed Aug 8 20:51:15 MDT 2007

Avigail Abarbanel is a tzavarit (fem. for tzabra, Israeli-born and 
raised Jew) who quit Zionism and Israel and keeps now a website 
against Zionism. I contacted her some weeks ago, and she sent me as a 
gift "The other side of Israel", a most interesting book (Nan A. 
Talese  /  Doubleday, 2005) by Susan Nathan, a British born Jewish 
woman who was a Zionist for most of her life, knew the intimacies of 
Apartheid South Africa and moved to Israel by the mid-late 1990s only 
to discover what it was that Zionism was all about.

The book is partly autobiographic, partly sociological, partly 
theoretical, and overall scathingly destructive of every Zionist 

What makes the book so interesting is that Nathan does not focus on 
the Palestinians living in the occupied territories, but rather on 
the  Israeli citizens of Arab origin. These live in better conditions 
than those under occupation. But, and this is the important issue 
here, since they are ISRAELI CITIZENS their oppression is twice as 
callous, the infamous Apartheid state features of Israel become twice 
as evident, and their situation provides the best criticism to the 
Zionist enterprise.

Nathan, who has decided to live in an Arab Israeli town (one of the 
very few Jews in Israel to make such a decission), knows what she is 
speaking about. Most commendable reading for those interested in the 
inner fabric of the State of Israel.

From:           	Dbachmozart at aol.com
To:             	marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
Date sent:      	Wed, 8 Aug 2007 21:35:36 EDT
Send reply to:  	Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
	<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Subject:        	[Marxism] Israel's embarrassing 1948 history

> A powerful, positive commentary by one of Washington's veteran journalists.  
> Of the  81-year old  De Borchgrave, the Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek  once said 
> that "De Borchgrave has played a role in world affairs known to no  other 
> journalist. He has been able to tap the thinking of numerous world  leaders... 
> despite his intimacy with major policymakers, he has never aligned  himself with 
> either side of a dispute." It will be interesting to see how many  US papers 
> that have made a point of ignoring Pappe and the writings of other  
> antti-Zionist Israelis carry this story.
> _http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Analysis/2007/08/0
> 6/commentary_embarrassing_history/1248/print_view/_ 
> (http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Analysis/2007/08/06/commentary_embarrassing_
> history/1248/print_view/) 
>  (http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Analysis/) 
> Published: Aug. 6, 2007 at 11:17 AM
> Commentary: Embarrassing  history
> UPI Editor at Large
> WASHINGTON,  Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The Palestinians call Israel´s 1948 war of  
> independence their nakba, or catastrophic ethnic cleansing, or forced exile. The  
> Israelis, for their part, have steadfastly rejected any suggestion of ethnic  
> cleansing as calumny in all its anti-Semitic horror. 
> Historic  revisionism is now under way. Without fanfare, just below the media 
> radar  screen, the Israeli Education Ministry has approved a textbook for 
> Arab  third-graders in Israel that concedes the war that gave birth to Israel was 
> a  "nakba" for the Palestinians. The textbook refers to the "expulsion" of 
> some of  the Palestinians and the "confiscation of many Arab-owned lands."  
> Textbooks for Jewish Israelis in the same grade make no such verbal  
> concession. But Israel´s "new wave" historians have been combing through fresh  
> material now available from the British mandate period and Israeli archives that  
> document the history of Israel before and after it became a state. Long-lasting 
>  myths are being debunked. 
> Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian and Haifa  University lecturer, whose ninth 
> book is titled "The Ethnic Cleansing of  Palestine," documents how Israel was 
> born with lands forcibly seized from its  Palestinian inhabitants who had 
> lived there for hundreds of years.  
> During the British mandate (1920-1948), Zionist leaders concluded  
> Palestinians, who owned 90 percent of the land (with 5.8 percent owned by Jews),  would 
> have to be forcibly expelled to make a Jewish state possible. Pappe quotes  
> David Ben-Gurion, Israel´s first prime minister, addressing the Jewish Agency  
> Executive in June 1938, as saying, "I am for compulsory transfer. I do not see  
> anything immoral in it." 
> Pappe outlines Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), which  followed earlier plans A, B 
> and C, and included forcible expulsion of some  800,000 Palestinians from both 
> urban and rural areas with the objective of  creating by any means necessary 
> an exclusive Jewish state without an Arab  presence. The methods ranged from a 
> campaign of disinformation -- "get out  immediately because the Jews are on 
> their way to kill you" -- to Jewish militia  attacks to terrorize the 
> Palestinians. 
> The first Jewish militia attacks,  says Pappe, began before the May 1948 end 
> of the British mandate. In December  1947 two villages in the central plain -- 
> Deir Ayyub and Beit Affa -- were  raided, and their panicked Palestinian 
> inhabitants fled. Jewish leaders gave the  order to drive out as many Palestinians 
> as possible on March 10,  1948.  In Deir Yasin, Al Duwaima, and other  
> villages, the Jews rounded up the men, women and children and slaughtered  them. The 
> terror campaign ended six months later.  Pappe writes 531 Palestinian 
> villages were destroyed, and 11 urban neighborhoods  in cities were emptied of their 
> Palestinian inhabitants. 
> There is no  doubt in Pappe´s mind that Plan D "was a clear-cut case of an 
> ethnic cleansing  operation, regarded under international law today as a crime 
> against humanity."  
> Plan Dalet began in the rural hills on the western slopes of the  Jerusalem 
> mountains halfway on the road to Tel Aviv, according to Pappe. It was  called 
> Operation Nachshon, and served as a model for massive expulsions using  terror 
> tactics. Pappe also details what he calls the "urbicide of Palestine"  that 
> included attacking and cleansing the major urban centers of Tiberias,  Haifa, 
> Tel Aviv, Safad and what he calls the "Phantom City of Jerusalem" once  Jewish 
> troops shelled, attacked and occupied its western Arab neighborhoods in  
> April 1948. The British did not interfere. 
> Lobbied by the World Zionist  Organization and its guiding spirit Chaim 
> Weizmann, who became the first  president of Israel (1949-52), the British decided 
> in favor of a Jewish state in  Palestine in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. This 
> was a letter from the British  Foreign Secretary to Lord Rothschild (Walter, 
> 2nd Baron Rothschild), the leader  of the British Jewish community, for relay 
> to the Zionist Federation. The  British also pledged indigenous Arab rights 
> would be protected as they divvied  up the Ottoman Empire. 
> The myth was then created of "a land without  people for a people without a 
> land" even though the "empty land" had a  flourishing Palestinian Arab 
> population. The U.N. partition plan of Nov. 29,  1947, gave the Jews 56 percent of 
> Palestine, with one-third of the population,  while making Jerusalem an 
> international city. The Jewish part included the most  fertile land and almost all 
> urban areas. 
> When the British handed power  to the Jews on May 15, 1948, including the 
> influx of survivors from Hitler´s  concentration camps, two-thirds of the 
> population was still Palestinian.  
> The first Arab-Israeli war quickly followed as the armies of Egypt,  
> Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon and Iraq joined Palestinian and other  Arab 
> guerrillas who had been resisting Jewish forces since November 1947.  The Arabs 
> failed to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state and were  defeated. The 
> war ended with four U.N.-arranged armistice agreements between  Israel and 
> Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. 
> Commenting on Pappe´s  historical research, Rami Khouri, director of the 
> Issam Fares Institute at the  American University of Beirut and editor at large of 
> the Beirut Daily Star,  writes, "Many Israelis will challenge Pappe´s 
> account. Such a process should  ideally spark an honest, comprehensive analysis that 
> could lead us to an  accurate narrative of what happened in 1947-48 -- 
> accurate for both sides, if it  is to have meaning for either side." 
> An Israeli official textbook for  Palestinian third-graders, says Fares, "
> that fleetingly acknowledges the  Palestinian trauma of exile and occupation in 
> 1948 is an intriguing sign of  something that remains largely unclear." The "
> something" is worth exploring and  reciprocating, "if it indicates a capacity 
> to move toward the elusive shared,  accurate, truthful account of Israeli and 
> Palestinian history that must anchor  any progress toward a negotiated peace." 
> The consensus in Israel today,  says Pappe, is for a state comprising 90 
> percent of Palestine "surrounded by  electric fences and visible and invisible 
> walls" with Palestinians given only  worthless cantonized scrub lands of little 
> value to the Jewish state. In 2006,  Pappe sees that 1.4 million Palestinians 
> live in Israel on 2 percent of the land  allotted to them plus another 1 
> percent for agricultural use with 6 million Jews  on most of the rest. "Another 3.9 
> million live concentrated in Israel´s unwanted  portions of the West Bank and 
> concentrated in Gaza that has three times the  population density of Manhattan,
> " notes Pappe. Back from the Middle East last  week, U.S. Secretary of State 
> Condoleezza Rice said prospects are good for a  two-state solution. A "viable 
> and contiguous" Palestinian state, pledged by the  Bush administration, 
> remains a pipe dream. 
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Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
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"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
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