The late Palestinian/American Professor Edward Said said in July 2001: “In the style of classical propaganda: To repeat a lie often enough is to believe it, that Israel is victimized by the Palestinians, that it wants peace, and that it is waiting for Palestinians to catch up with its magnanimity and restraint.”
And this is what Steven Plaut, a “professor” at the Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Haifa, is trying to do in his article submitted by yidwithlid on Thursday, 16 July, 2007. Even though he is supposed to be well aware that the word نكبه in Arabic is pronounced and spelled “Nakbah” Plaut starts for one reason or another writing it as “Naqba” as in his title “Naqba –Shmaqba!!!” probably for some sort of mockery of Arabs and their Arabic language, which is like Hebrew, Semitic in origin, but much more advanced.
Then he proceeds with his article, which is a collection of standard Zionist lies that is common practice in Zionist propaganda, and the deformation of facts, out of which we shall try to correct using mostly Jewish and even Zionist sources, but we hope that he shall not create more lies about those scholars, like he did with Ilan Pappe who realized that he was living on stolen land and thus he left it behind for its own people, Palestinian Arabs. About those people he wrote: “In Israel’s War of Independence, some 400,000 or so “Palestinian” Arabs ended up as refugees. The bulk of these “Palestinians” were Arabs whose families had migrated into Western Palestine” tempeted by the influx of Zionist migrants and capital. As “refugees” they fled back to those same neighboring Arab lands.” We wouldn’t have blamed an ordinary and simple Jewish brainwashed imported settler to realize such a deformation of facts, but to have a university professor at a Graduate School promote such a lie and think that people will believe him, as much as he probably believes his own fabrications, is unthinkable.
Plaut will be imitating “Jeha” who, when bothered by kids around him, he told them, “look there is a wedding in that house and they are distributing candy.” When the kids ran to get their share of it, he thought maybe it is true, so he ran behind them to take his share!!!
Palestinian Arabs’ roots go back to the Arab Canaanites who lived in Palestine (Land of Canaan) thousands of years before the first nomadic Hebrew invader set foot on this land. The Yabosites built Jerusalem and made it their capital 1500 years before David invaded it and made it his capital, calling it “The City of David”, which lasted for 70 years, only to be liberated by those who built it. Those people, as we said, had Semitic Arab roots, and when the Arabs came into Palestine they easily adapted themselves and their spoken language became more Arabic. We cannot claim that none of those Arabs who were living in Palestine before 1948 (The so-called Zionist War of Independence launched by imported converted Jews, which are of central Asian roots, and claim that a god promised them this land!!!), did not move into Palestine during the last few centuries, anyhow they are like other Palestinians whose roots go back for thousands of years and are all Arabs, they are one people of the same nation. Messrs Sykes and Pico divided the occupied Arab territories by the Ottoman Turks in order to rule it and endorse Palestine for imperialist reasons to the newly arrived Zionists for reasons that Plaut as a professor should be aware of.
One more very important deformation of facts is his statement, “some 400,000 or so “Palestinian” Arabs ended up as refugees.” He should be more careful with his figures as a “professor”, as any respectable source of information, including Zionist sources will tell him; all agree that the number of uprooted Palestinian Arabs in 1948/1949 was from 700,000 to 750,000 which grew to about ten million both in historical Palestine and in the Palestinian diaspora. We are afraid that he thinks that reducing the number of uprooted Palestinians shall reduce the size of the crime against humanity!!! He should well know that whether it is one uprooted citizen from his land and home or tens of millions, a crime is a crime and equally as heinous. The land belongs to its indigenous owners, not to invaders. To create this crime against humanity, hundreds of villages, towns and neighborhoods were demolished to prevent their inhabitants from returning to them. The most conservative number of demolished residential areas is 418 as documented in the book by Dr. Professor Walid Khalidi, an uprooted Palestinian from Jerusalem, “Lest we Forget”. Other sources place the number at about 550 villages…
This is not to mention that more than 300,000 people were uprooted in 1976 from the West Bank, 500,000 from the Golan Heights and not to forget, the Sinai Peninsula. Great was the destruction that Zionist wars brought to these areas. Of course, let us not forget the results of Zionist wars waged on Lebanon and the temporary uprooting of some million people from south Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and 2006, till the Zionist invasion was repelled by the Lebanese resistance. By the way, n the 1982 invasion of Lebanon alone, more then 20,000 Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians were killed by the invading Zionists.
Ari Shavit asked Benny Morris during his interview: “ Are you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?
He replied: “From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.”
Then Palestinian Arabs did not voluntarily quit their homes and land by order of their leaders and Arab rulers. This was as Morris said, a deliberate policy of the top man in the Zionist invasion…
Then he proceeds to write, “First of all, Israel gained its independence in a war of liberation during 1948 and 1949, in which – despite being poorly equipped and enormously outgunned – Israel defeated the combined military forces of the Palestinians militias and the organized armies of the independent Arab states.” In reply to this lie we refer Steven Plaut to the research work by the writer of these words, “The Balance of Power between Arabs and Zionist in 1948”, noting that much of the facts it includes were taken from Zionist and western sources. And the following is a quotation from it about the number of armed forces under Zionist terrorist organizations:
The report of the Anglo/American Investigation Committee stated that Jews in Palestine had in April 1946, that is, 17 months before the passing of the Partition Plan by the U.N. General Assembly, the following numbers of armed men and women in terrorist organizations:
Irgun: 3,000 – 6,000
This is in addition to the police forces of the colonies and the central police force as stated above.
Definitely these numbers on May 15th should have increased considerably, especially since the Zionist command was waiting for the mandate to end the waging of its war against Palestinian Arabs, the inhabitants and owners of this land.
On the other hand, the number of poorly armed Arabs including regular Arab armies with soldiers who entered Palestine by request of Palestinian Arab citizens, after May 15th 1948, plus armed Palestinians and other Arab forces, including Al-Inqaz army totaled not more than 22,000 fighters.
Confirming the fact that they were poorly equipped, also please refer to Ben-Gurion’s memoirs, which as a Zionist professor, Plaut should have thoroughly read.
Steven Plaut proceeds to write: First of all, “ As in any war, some “Palestinian” Arabs suffered during it. In that war thousands of Jews (often civilians) were murdered by those same Arabs.” (The choice of his wording is the deaths in war as being murdered is unorthodox, casualties among Zionist invaders fell under defensive action). “It was a war that could have been avoided altogether had the Arabs made their peace with the UN Partition Resolution of 1947, which proposed splitting Western Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab – with roughly equal territory. The Jews accepted that Partition Resolution, including its proposal for an Arab Palestinian state; the “Palestinian” Arabs and the Arab states rejected it. The Arab armies then invaded Western Palestine and illegally annexed most of the territories that had been earmarked to form a Palestinian Arab state. They held those territories illegally until they lost them to Israel in six days, when they launched yet another war of aggression in 1967. Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967 and has held most of them since, while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.”
One of the most offensive statements mentioned in the above quote is Western Palestine, which speaks volumes for Zionist colonialist intentions, meaning that in addition to historical Palestine, it wants to colonize what is known as The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan earlier known as Trans Jordan. They occupied and annexed the Golan Heights, and wanted to keep the Sinai Peninsula!!! And Steven Plaut wrote: “It was a war that could have been avoided altogether had the Arabs made their peace with the UN Partition Resolution of 1947.” Of course Zionism, as is well known, did not make peace with this resolution, as Ben-Gurion openly declared and wrote in his memoirs!!! Meaning their acceptance of the partition resolution was temporary. And this fellow, when he says Western Palestine, proves the fallacy of his claim.
In the comment on the above Zionist propaganda, Palestinians, as we said above, are the indigenous population of the land known for ages as Palestine, while Zionist Jews were illegally imported from all corners of the world.
As to the claim that this war could have been avoided, this is a joke for all the reasons in the world over and above the precedent one: First, included in the one third (600,000) of Jews who were residing in Palestine in 1948 there were only 200,000 Jews bearing Palestinian identity cards, while the rest, 400,000, were smuggled into Palestine with the help of British occupation forces known as Mandate Authorities. (Mandate Authorities are supposed to prepare the indigenous population for independence, and they are not there to help Zionist invaders to ethnically cleanse them from their homes and land). As we said, there were in total 600,000 imported Jews, while there were 1,300,000 Palestinian Arabs. The Partition plan which was forced on the UN by American and Zionist extortion on a few countries granted to the more than 2/3 of the existing population 42% of the land, while the less than 1/3 of the existing residents got 55%, the difference was the international Jerusalem area. Very fair arrangement!!! On the other hand, imported Zionists owned 6% of the land of Palestine including large areas that the British occupation authorities leased as public property to Jews for 99 years at nominal prices that were equal to almost nothing. Tell me that this is a fair arrangement. How would a fair outsider, even if he were an ardent Zionist, consider the indigenous population that gives up its ancestral historic land, and leaves it to the diaspora? Benny Morris said in his interview “Survival of the Fittest”: “That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians.” And added blaming Ben-Gurion: “If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job.”
The Zionist claim against Arabs is that “They held those territories illegally,” while the invaders are the legal holders!!!
The “professor” added: “…when they launched yet another war of aggression in 1967. Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967 and has held most of them since, while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.” Peculiar, as he said it was the Arabs that didn’t respect the partition plan, what does he mean by “Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967”!!! Weren’t the West Bank and the Gaza Strip parts of the Arab state as per the partition plan, not to speak about the difference between the 42% and the 22% left in Arab hands in the Zionist war of aggression, of course not the “war of independence”.
Another joke: “…while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.” Since when did the Zionist entity want peace or didn’t put sticks in the wheels of peace? They well know that peace and armament up to the teeth means there will be no more Zionism!!!
Professor Shmaqba adds: “Characterizing any suffering by “Palestinian” Arabs during and subsequent to the 1948-9 war of Israeli independence as a “Naqba” is as mind-numbingly stupid as characterizing the existence of the United States as a catastrophe because of the tragic suffering of the 100,000 or so Tory loyalists forcibly evicted by the United States during its War of Independence”. The existence of the United States was founded with the cost of tens of millions of lives of the indigenous American population, as professor Shmaqba’s colleague in racism Benny Morris said in his above mentioned interview. He added more details, to tell us how what he called “the greatest democracy in the world”, the USA, came into existence after the annihilation of tens of millions of what they call the Red Indians: “There was no reason in the world why it should not have one state. Therefore, from my point of view, the need to establish this state in this place overcame the injustice that was done to the Palestinians by uprooting them.”
Shavit asked: “And morally speaking, you have no problem with that deed?” Then it was not a matter of 100,000 Tories, because both are colonialists, it was the poor “Red Indians” like Palestinian Arabs that should be annihilated up to the last soul, to allow space for the white civilized European (!!!) to colonize. Then it wasn’t a divine promise, it was simply colonialism. Victims of Nazis as per Zionist ideology should create a Palestinian holocaust to avenge Nazi persecution that they suffered by the persecution and annihilation of a third party, Palestinian Arabs!!! This is simple a colonialist/racist way of life.
Morris replied: “That is correct. Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”
Still the writer said: “There is some controversy over how exactly those “Palestinian” Arabs became “refugees.” In many cases they were ordered to abandon the war zone by their own leaders, in order to clear the way for invading Arab armies. This has been scrupulously documented by many historians.” (!!!)
Further to the claim that Palestinian Arabs lost the opportunity of having an independent state, we refer the writer to the following article, and the map it contains:
“New UN map charts West Bank reality”
By Sharmila Devi and Harvey Morris in Jerusalem
“Published: June 4 2007 16:51 Last updated: June 4 2007 16:51
“A new map of the West Bank (see above map), 40 years after its conquest by Israel in the Six Day War, gives the most definitive picture so far of a territory in which 2.5m Palestinians are confined to dozens of enclaves separated by Israeli roads, settlements, fences and military zones.
“Produced by the United Nations’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it is based on extensive monitoring in the field combined with analysis of satellite imagery. It provides an overall picture officials say is even more comprehensive than charts drawn up by the Israeli military.
“The impact of Israeli civilian and military infrastructure is to render 40 per cent of the territory, which is roughly the size of the US state of Delaware or the English county of Norfolk, off-limits to Palestinians.
“The rest of the territory, including main centres such as Nablus and Jericho, is split into isolated spots. Movement between them is restricted by 450 roadblocks and 70 manned checkpoints.
“The UN mapmakers focused on land set aside for Jewish settlements, roads reserved for settler access, the West Bank separation barrier, closed military areas and nature reserves.
“What remains is an area of habitation remarkably close to territory set aside for the Palestinian population in Israeli security proposals dating back to postwar 1967.
“The process of enclosing the civilian enclaves has accelerated in the years since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000, and the reintroduction by Israel of its military rule even in areas previously under Palestinian Authority security control.
“A network of roads designed to ease the movement of Jewish settlers limits access between Palestinian enclaves. A secondary network being built would allow Palestinian limited movement via tunnels, bridges and trenches.
“Diplomats say the effect of the infrastructure changes would be to formalise the de facto cantonisation of the West Bank. Some 450,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and occupied east Jerusalem and settlements have grown by at least 5.5 per cent a year compared with less than 3 per cent among Palestinians.
“The map is one of a number of documents whose publication has coincided with Monday’s anniversary of the 1967 war. Amnesty, the rights group, issued a report that accused Israel of a land grab in the West Bank and called for urgent action to address “widespread human rights abuses committed under the occupation”.
“The Israeli justice ministry branded the report as “one-sided, immoral and riddled with mistakes”.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007”
What other explanation could be given to this Zionist plan other than making life impossible for the indigenous population so as to decide to commit forced “voluntary” transfer. Under such conditions there are no means of life for Palestinian Arabs to live; so they find themselves forced to transfer themselves to some other part of the world to avoid dying from hunger and thirst.
Here is one more lie that I had not come across in other Zionist propaganda claims:
“The Arab states encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.” – Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949.
“The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in.” Ad Difaa (Jordanian daily), September 6, 1954.
Other than the claim that: “The Arab states encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.” Which we had already defied, he is calling the Palestinian newspapers Falastin and Ad Difaa Jordanian. Both papers were published in Jaffa Palestine early in the twentieth century!!!
The supposed professor who we see in this article is on the extreme right of the racist Benny Morris said: “In some cases Arabs were evicted by Israel from villages where strategic considerations required this, although generally were moved to other areas inside Israel. In some cases Arab civilians panicked because of the lurid lies being broadcast by Arab propaganda radio stations about the demonic Jews conducting imaginary massacres.”
None of the uprooted Palestinians were relocated in other parts of occupied Palestine of 1948. Those who escaped annihilation were forced out of the occupied areas by force of arms and terror, and had to settle in refugee camps. The Zionist entity in various occasions destroyed Palestinian refugee camps outside Palestine in order that Palestinian refugees would be dislocated, scattered and settled in faraway places among the citizens of the other countries they took refuge in or somewhere else, and thus would not be forming a Palestinian community that would always be reminded about their inalienable right of return.
Steven Plaut comes up with another ruminated Zionist idea: “The Arab world, awash in petrodollars, preferred to keep as many “refugees” on display as possible inside “refugee camps” funded by the United Nations and many gullible others.”
Although Palestinians are Arabs and belong to the same Arab nation that was divided by Sykes and Picot in order to colonize it and create a foreign colonialist state, “Israel” in the heart of the Arab land to divide and rule. But Palestine is still an integral part of the Arab nation and is not for rent or sale.
The “professor” continues with his unfounded creations saying “Israel’s creation did however trigger an actual “Naqba,” although it was one that hardly interests Islamofascists and their leftist amen choruses. It was the mass wholesale expulsion of around a million Jews from Arab and Moslem countries and the theft of their property. This “Naqba” of Jews living in the Moslem world produced twice as many refugees as the number of Arab refugees who fled after Israel’s independence in 1948-49. Jews had been living in those lands for thousands of years.”
We are going only to refer this extra Zionist writer to the article “The Jews of Iraq” by the Iraqi Jew, Naeim Giladi who was brainwashed by Zionist agents in Iraq to become a Zionist, but when he was exported to occupied Palestine he discovered the lies that he was fed with while in his motherland, Iraq.
The lie didn’t stop at this end, Steven Plaut, continues with his creations: “The Jews from Arab countries left behind property worth many times more than anything left behind by “Palestinian refugees.” Israel has expressed willingness to discuss compensation for property lost by Arab “refugees” as part of any peace accord, provided that compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab lands is also part of the package. The Arabs have always dismissed that idea out of hand.”
First, Palestinian were robbed of their entire land, including what is over and under it, the toil of hundreds of generations and their past, future and dreams and tens of thousands of their martyred men, women and children, how could the property of 140,000 Iraqi Arab Jews, who were forced by Mossad agents to desert countries, be worth many times what the Palestinians left behind on more than 26,000 square kilometers?
Second, as one reads Naeim Giladi’s article he shall make sure that Iraqi Jews were terrorized by Zionist agents to flee their land on which they lived for over 2700 years and enjoyed the best of life. They were part of the Iraqi demography, economy, culture, politics. On the other hand, Palestinian Arabs were robbed of their land and property (movable and immovable), terrorized, massacred, their villages and towns looted and demolished and whoever remained alive was expelled by the force of arms; so they should sooner or later be compensated for their losses and return to their homes and land.
We advise Steven Plaut to stop ruminating Zionist lies and fabrications; and the sooner the better.
Arab fascism, Islam phobia, Islamofascists, anti-Semitism and so on, it seems that this so-called professor looks into his bathroom mirror and reflects what he sees on Arabs.
Naqba –Shmaqba !!!
Submitted by yidwithlid on Thu, 2007-08-16 10:36. ::
This article was aggregated from Yid With Lid
The Palestinian Arabs have always called the creation of Israel Naqba (Catastrophe) There has been a growing trend amongst Israel haters to use this term for the existence of the Jewish state. In fact one small minded person in the Israel ministry of education decided that Arabic textbooks in Israel should use the term Naqba to describe that Joyous day in 1948.
As the use of the term Naqba grows it as become another tool in the Arabs war to “water down” the Shoah. After all, they claim, we have had our Shoah they have had their Naqba. And those who don’t believe they are on the same level are just Naqba deniers. Read this great report from my friend Steven Plaut:
The “Naqba” Offensive By Steven Plaut
Israel’s critics have increasingly adopted the term Naqba (or Nakba), which means “catastrophe” in Arabic, to refer to the Jewish state’s creation and existence. The idea is that if “Palestinian Arabs” are thought to have suffered as a result of Israel’s creation and gaining of independence, then Israel’s very existence must be a disaster, a tragedy, one that must be “corrected” and cured through Israel’s annihilation.
The far Left has taken the Orwellian rhetoric one step further. Not only is Israel’s very existence a “Naqba” or catastrophe, but anyone denying that it is so must be guilty of “Naqba Denial,” a new sin discovered by the Left that is on the same par with Holocaust Denial. Indeed, since very few Jews anywhere outside the Left consider Israel’s very existence to be a “Naqba,” their collective “guilt” in perpetrating “Naqba Denial” is an easy form of exoneration for Holocaust Deniers. After all, why should people be so upset by Holocaust Deniers when the Jews themselves engage in “Naqba Denial”?
It is not only the Left that repeats this libel. Right-wing journalist Arnaud De Borchgrave has recently joined the campaign as well. Under the title “Embarrassing History”, De Borchgrave – UPI’s Editor at Large – embarrasses his own reputation by endorsing the “Naqba” pseudo-history of a Stalinist anti-Semite renowned for his academic fraud and fabrication (see below). De Borchgrave, who has a long history of Israel-bashing, in the past claimed that a cabal of “Likudniks” controls Washington.
A quick web search on yahoo.com shows that there are over 46,000 web sites now writing about “Naqba Denial” (often spelled Nakba), with a slightly lower count on Google. Counterpunch, the radical magazine that defended Noam Chomsky’s denial of the Khmer Rouge genocide, has been among the leading proponents of the term. 1017 pages at Counterpunch use the Nakba term and 196 use “Nakba denial.”
So what are we to make of all this?
First of all, Israel gained its independence in a war of liberation during 1948 and 1949, in which – despite being poorly equipped and enormously outgunned – Israel defeated the combined military forces of the Palestinians militias and the organized armies of the independent Arab states. As in any war, some “Palestinian” Arabs suffered during it. In that war thousands of Jews (often civilians) were murdered by those same Arabs. It was a war that could have been avoided altogether had the Arabs made their peace with the UN Partition Resolution of 1947, which proposed splitting Western Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab – with roughly equal territory. The Jews accepted that Partition Resolution, including its proposal for an Arab Palestinian state; the “Palestinian” Arabs and the Arab states rejected it. The Arab armies then invaded Western Palestine and illegally annexed most of the territories that had been earmarked to form a Palestinian Arab state. They held those territories illegally until they lost them to Israel in six days, when they launched yet another war of aggression in 1967. Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967 and has held most of them since, while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.
Characterizing any suffering by “Palestinian” Arabs during and subsequent to the 1948-9 war of Israeli independence as a “Naqba” is as mind-numbingly stupid as characterizing the existence of the United States as a catastrophe because of the tragic suffering of the 100,000 or so Tory loyalists forcibly evicted by the United States during its War of Independence. Those Tory refugees from the colonies were absorbed by the countries to which they fled, mainly Maritime British Canada. They forfeited all their property left behind in the United States. The American Patriot leaders opposed any sort of compensation or settlement for them, including Benjamin Franklin. They would never be granted any “right of return” to the territories they had left.
Since most nations gain independence in armed struggle of one sort or another, armed struggle in which some civilians inevitably suffer, then by the “logic” of the ranteurs about “Naqba Denial” the existence of all those states should also be deemed catastrophes. But Israel alone is singled out for condemnation.
In Israel’s War of Independence, some 400,000 or so “Palestinian” Arabs ended up as refugees. The bulk of these “Palestinians” were Arabs whose families had migrated into Western PalestinePalestine” by the influx of Zionist migrants and capital. As “refugees” they fled back to those same neighboring Arab lands. Their “refugee plight” is supposedly what users of the “Naqba” term mean when they apply it. during the previous 70 years from neighboring Arab territories, during the same era in which the Zionist immigrations took place, and largely motivated by the improving conditions being generated in “
There is some controversy over how exactly those “Palestinian” Arabs became “refugees.” In many cases they were ordered to abandon the war zone by their own leaders, in order to clear the way for invading Arab armies. This has been scrupulously documented by many historians, and most recently skillfully so by Efraim Karsh from the University of London. Arab historians themselves have conceded the point:
“Arab residents of Palestine in 1948 were not expelled by Israeli officials or military forces, as many claim, but were actually ordered to leave by local Arab leaders, says Palestinian journalist Mahmud Al-Habbash who writes for the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Al-Habbash writes in his column, “The Pulse of Life,” that Arab residents were explicitly instructed by their local Arab leaders to leave their homes when the ‘Catastrophe’ (the establishment of the State of Israel) occurred in 1948.”
Other Arab sources report the same thing:
“The Arab states encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.” – Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949.
“The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in.” Ad Difaa (Jordanian daily), September 6, 1954.
“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland.” – Abu Mazen, President of the Palestinian Authority, in “What We Have Learned and What We Should Do,” published in Falastin el Thawra, the official journal of the PLO, March 1976.
Granting a right to these “refugees” to return to Israel would have made about as much sense as establishing a right to return to America for ethnic Japanese who left the US in 1941 in order to participate in Imperial Japan’s wars. In some cases Arabs were evicted by Israel from villages where strategic considerations required this, although generally were moved to other areas inside Israel. In some cases Arab civilians panicked because of the lurid lies being broadcast by Arab propaganda radio stations about the demonic Jews conducting imaginary massacres. And probably the most important factor of all was the simple and understandable desire of many Arabs to get out of the way of the battle zones.
Israel’s War of Independence was a battle against Arab aggressors attempting to conduct ethnic cleansing of Jews inside the territories assigned by the UN to Israel. Had they succeeded, a genocidal massacre of those Jews would have taken place. Many of the Jews in question had escaped from or survived the Nazi Holocaust and were themselves refugees. More Jews died in that 1948-49 war for survival than in any of the subsequent Arab-Israeli armed confrontations.
Given the size of the Israeli state that emerged, smaller than New Jersey, the “Palestinian refugees” from that war only had to relocate a few miles away from their previous homes, into Arab states in which they spoke the language and enjoyed a common culture, Arab states who together controlled a land mass nearly twice the size of the United States (including Alaska). These Arab refugees were but a tiny drop in the sea of population relocations that occurred all over the world in the late 1940s, amounting to tens of millions of humans, ranging from the huge population relocations in the Indian subcontinent, to the repatriation of millions of ethnic Germans from countries in which they had lived for a thousand years “back” to Germany, to the mass expulsion of Japanese from mainland Asia. In every other case of refugee populations, the refugees were quickly resettled, rehabilitated, and absorbed, usually inside countries of their ethnic kinsmen, within a short period. The Arab world, awash in petrodollars, preferred to keep as many “refugees” on display as possible inside “refugee camps” funded by the United Nations and many gullible others.
The Arab world, awash in petrodollars, preferred to keep as many “refugees” on display as possible inside “refugee camps” funded by the United Nations and many gullible others.
This was in spite of the fact that they became refugees in the first place as a direct result of the Arab invasion and war of annihilation against Israel in 1948-9, a war in which “Palestinian” Arabs participated en masse. These were in addition to about 57,000 Palestinians from Jordan illegally in Israel, toward whom the Israeli authorities have turned a blind eye (Haaretz, April 4, 2001). All of these were resettled within Israel’s pre-1967 “Green Line” borders. Meanwhile, the handing out of free food and money in the UN “refugee camps” to “Palestinian refugees” produced an enormous influx of non-Palestinian Arabs eager to share in the largesse, creating an astronomical and largely illusionary demographic increase in the numbers of “Palestinian Arabs.” The bulk of those “Palestinian refugees” never lived in the territories that became Israel.
Now if the “Palestinian Arabs” experienced a small-scale outflow of refugees as a direct result of the attempted genocide against Jews conducted by the Arab armies in 1948-49, this hardly constitutes a historic “Naqba,” a word implying something on the same order of magnitude as the Mongol invasions.
Israel’s creation did however trigger an actual “Naqba,” although it was one that hardly interests Islamofascists and their leftist amen choruses. It was the mass wholesale expulsion of around a million Jews from Arab and Moslem countries and the theft of their property. This “Naqba” of Jews living in the Moslem world produced twice as many refugees as the number of Arab refugees who fled after Israel’s independence in 1948-49. Jews had been living in those lands for thousands of years. The Arab regimes responded to Israel’s victory in 1948-49 by conducting ethnic cleansing of their own Jewish populations, expelling them and seizing all their property without compensation. Jewish quarters were sacked and looted, cemeteries were desecrated, while synagogues, Jewish shops, schools and houses were ransacked, burned and destroyed. Hundreds of Jews were murdered in anti-Semitic riots and pogroms.
Most of those Jewish refugees were resettled in Israel. The Jews from Arab countries left behind property worth many times more than anything left behind by “Palestinian refugees.” Israel has expressed willingmess to discuss compensation for property lost by Arab “refugees” as part of any peace accord, provided that compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab lands is also part of the package. The Arabs have always dismissed that idea out of hand.
Among those promoting the complaint about a “Naqba” inflicted upon “Palestinians” by the Jews are a handful of Israeli pseudo-academics. The most notorious of these Israeli “academics,” and the one who has done more than any other anti-Israel Israeli to promote the moral equivalence of “Naqba Denial” with Holocaust Denial, is “New Historian” Ilan Pappe. Nearly all those beating the “Naqba” drum today cite Pappe and his “books” about the supposed “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs by Israel in its war of independence. Pappe was until recently a lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa, and has now moved to an academic propagandist position at the University of Exeter in the UK. The chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews recently said: “After taking full advantage of all the freedoms accorded to him in Israel, a country he has so shamelessly attacked, Pappe has decided to set up shop here. Whilst this provides the opportunity for academics here to challenge him on his revisionist agenda, the uncomfortable fact is that in the lecture theaters and seminar rooms at Exeter, many impressionable young minds will be exposed to his partial and biased views.”
Pappe is a notorious fabricator, someone who claims proudly that facts and truth are of no importance. “Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts, Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers,” the French newspaper Le Soir, has cited Pappe as saying. Even other anti-Zionists have repudiated Pappe as a liar and fabricator. He openly calls for Israel to be exterminated and endorses Hamas. He dedicated one of his “books” to the hope that his children can group up in a world in which there is no Israel. He openly endorses Arab terrorism. He considers Noam Chomsky insufficiently anti-Israel.
Pappe, who ran for the parliament in Israel on the slate of the Stalinist communist party and played a central role in fomenting boycotts of Israel in the UK and elsewhere, was the central figure in the now infamous “Tantura Affair.” In it, Pappe coached a graduate student of his into inventing a non-existent “massacre” of Arabs by the Hagana Jewish militia (Alexandroni Brigade) in Tantura, south of Haifa, a “massacre” that Pappe claims took place in 1948. Not a shred of evidence for any such “massacre” exists. Arab and other journalists who were present at the time of the battle that took place in Tantura reported no massacre. Arabs living in the town at the time confirmed that a battle occurred, but that after the battle the Jewish militiamen aided and assisted the townspeople, not massacring anyone. The graduate student, sued for libel by the veterans of the Hagana militia, later admitted in court with his lawyer present that the entire massacre was an invention.
No matter – Pappe roams the world and continues to spread the lie about the Tantura “massacre,” a lie that has found its way into nearly every anti-Semitic web site on earth and even Neo-Nazi magazines, although even a handful of respectable mainstream journalists rely on him. Pappe has also lied about just about everything else, including about being “persecuted” by his own university. In fact, Pappe was never fired for his fraud and fabrication by the University of Haifa, although he should have been. (Some wags even suggested the University should be boycotted for NOT firing Pappe!) That did not stop Pappe from waving his stigmata as “victim of Zionism” before the European anti-Semites promoting “divestment” from Israel. His recruitment by the University of Exeter proves how indifferent that school is to scholarly standards. The fact that so many of the people shouting about “Naqba Denial” rely upon such a notorious liar states volumes about their real agenda.
Meanwhile, Israel’s own daffy Minister of Education, Yuli Tamir (from the Israeli socialist Labor Party and herself a longtime Moonbette member of the Tenured Left at Tel Aviv University), recently issued a ruling under which textbooks in Israeli Arab schools will start referring to Israel’s creation as “The Naqba.” This is just in case those Arab students are not picking up enough hatred of Jews and Israel on their own at home. The numbers of Israeli Arabs blowing themselves up inside buses to murder Jews will no doubt increase in the future thanks to her. If Israel ever surrenders to terror and capitulates to Arab fascism, future historians may consider that decision a watershed.
“Naqba Denial” is now the leading term of choice being tossed about by those seeking Israel’s extermination. Some of those using the term also openly endorse Holocaust Denial. The others would have no problem at all with the Arab world conducting an ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews of the sort they failed to perpetrate in 1948.
“Naqba Denial” is openly being used as a propaganda ploy to trivialize the Jewish Holocaust in World War II. After all, if the Jews are “denying” the “Naqba” they “inflicted” on the poor “Palestinians” in 1948-9, then why should the world owe the Jews any sympathy for their plight in World War II? (And why stop there – why not declare that those who deny that Ward Churchill is an Indian or that Norman Finkelstein is a scholar are also the moral equivalents of Holocaust Deniers?) And if Israelis deny they inflicted any “Naqba,” why should anyone question the right of Holocaust Deniers to peddle their snake oil on campuses? Israel bashers demand that Israel be pressured into atoning for its “role” in the Naqba the same way Germany atoned for the Holocaust, but unlike Germany Israel must do so by forfeiting its national existence.
In sum, those who use the terms “Naqba” and “Naqba Denial” ignore the fact that Arabs living under Israeli rule are treated a thousand times better than are Arabs living under the rule of Arab regimes. These are the same people for whom the only Middle East regime that is not an apartheid state must be demolished and purged for its practicing “apartheid.” For them, the only country in the Middle East practicing democracy and respecting human rights must be annihilated.
Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his “blog” at
I think its time for us Naqba denier to have an educational conference on Naqba. Maybe we can hold it in the Unified Israeli Jerusalem and invite Naqba deniers from all over the world. Maybe Naqba supporters such as Tom Friedman of the NY Times can write columns about how hateful we are being and the Daily Kos can have an anti-Israel field day. Wait that’s silly, that kind of reporting is happening anyway, I guess we don’t need the conference….Never Mind.