Little Green Footballs

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A little challenge

Reader SB suggests a monthly challenge to LGFers to justify their glorious leader's views on selected topics. SB even offers some issues for debate. Here's the first. Flame on!

Does Charles Johnson believe that expelled Palestinians have the right to return to their homes in Israel (or adequate compensation)? If not, why not?

14 comments:

yodaking said...

couple of things the owner of this site should ponder with this challenge.

1) using your own link, it clearly states only 60,000 Palestinians were actually 'forced' to leave due to war. Compare this to the much ignored Jewish exodus where 800,000 were forced to leave surronding Arab nations

I suggest people read about it here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands

60,000 vs 800,000

hmmm....

remember, your own link verifies what historian have said many times before - most Palestinians were told to flee the battlefield so Arab nations could attack Israel indiscrimately....they expected a quick/easy victory after all - 6 nations versus 1.

2) Now armed with this information, we know that the 600,000 Palestinians (90% of which willingly left) have now ballooned to over 6 million. If Israel had a policy where these Palestinians could 'return' to Israel....there would be as much Palestinians as there are Jews....effectively the state of Israel would cease to exist.

I hope this lesson in logic illuminates

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, Yodaking.

The main premise for the continuing valid existence of Israel in its present form is promotion of ethnic cleansing.

Thats your argument for an aspiring, modern, Western democratic state?

Steven said...

Yodaking:

I suggest you read your own link. Deir Yassin was calculated to spread terror amongst the Arabs and it succeeded. Would you have hung around? Did the Arabs really needed Arab governments to tell them they were in danger after Deir Yassin?

Only Zionist propagandists cling to the myth of mass "voluntary" departure. This is how Israel whitewashes its bloody past. You shouldn't be surprised.

yodaking said...

The main premise for the continuing valid existence of Israel in its present form is promotion of ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing would imply that Arabs citizens currently living in Israel are being forced to move out or killed. Is this the case?

There was a civil war in 48' and people took sides. There was no concerted effort to kill as many Arabs then and today. Unlike the concerted effort to try and push the Jews into the sea.

People were displaced on both sides, Arab and Jew (see the 800,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands vs 60,000 Arabs )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands

The difference between the displaced Jews and the displaced Arabs is that Israel welcomed the 800,000 into Israel and built a productive society, the Arabs that were displaced were further shunned by their 'brothers' in Jordan, then Lebanon....and spent their resources hating Israel and making suicide bombers.

Thats your argument for an aspiring, modern, Western democratic state?

When surronding Arab nations talk about reintegrating the 800,000 jews displaced then we are comparing apples to apples. Talking about civil wars, should the 'south' suceed from the nation today since the victory was obtained by force?

yodaking said...

oh...Deir Yassin...the event that killed 100 people?

I don't disagree it caused fear, but to say a massacre of 100 people would convince 600,000 Arabs to leave is counter to the following comments by the LEADERS OF THE ARAB NATIONS ATTACKING ISRAEL.

'We brought destruction on 1 million Arab refugees by calling upon them and pleading with them repeatedly to leave their lands and homes and factories.'

-Prime Minister of Syria, Khalid al'Azm in his memoirs Mudhakkirat Khalid al'Azm, I, page 386

Arab National Committee in Jerusalem, ordered women, children and the elderly in various parts of Jerusalem to leave their homes:

"Any opposition to this order...is an obstacle to the holy war...and will hamper the operations of the fighters in these districts" (Morris, Middle Eastern Studies, January 1986).

**in fact the a Palestinian nationalist of the time, Musa Alami said himself:

"The Arab armies were on the eve of their entry into Palestine to save the country and return things to their normal course, punish the aggressor, and throw oppressive Zionism with its dreams and dangers into the sea. The Arab armies were on the eve of their entry into Palestine to save the country and return things to their normal course, punish the aggressor, and throw oppressive Zionism with its dreams and dangers into the sea....but the Arab armies did not save the country. They did nothing but let slip from their hands "

But hey maybe you think this stuff is biased...how about Abu Mazen...the current PRESIDENT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE...what did he say about it?

"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, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe" (emphasis added).

-Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) Falastin al-Thawra, the official journal of the PLO in Beirut

(sigh)

Steven said...

Yodaking:

Since you quote Benny Morris, you might be interested in this extract from an article by Dominique Vidal in Le Monde Diplomatique:

(http://mondediplo.com/1997/12/palestine)

One can agree that the flight of thousands of well-to-do Palestinians during the first few weeks following the adoption of the UN partition plan - particularly from Haifa and Jaffa - was essentially voluntary. The question is what was the truth of the departures that happened subsequently?

In the opening pages of "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem", Benny Morris offers the outlines of an overall answer: using a map that shows the 369 Arab towns and villages in Israel (within its 1949 borders), he lists, area by area, the reasons for the departure of the local population (9). In 45 cases he admits that he does not know. The inhabitants of the other 228 localities left under attack by Jewish troops, and in 41 cases they were expelled by military force. In 90 other localities, the Palestinians were in a state of panic following the fall of a neighbouring town or village, or for fear of an enemy attack, or because of rumours circulated by the Jewish army - particularly after the 9 April 1948 massacre of 250 inhabitants of Deir Yassin, where the news of the killings swept the country like wildfire.

By contrast, he found only six cases of departures at the instigation of local Arab authorities. "There is no evidence to show that the Arab states and the AHC wanted a mass exodus or issued blanket orders or appeals to the Palestinians to flee their homes (though in certain areas the inhabitants of specific villages were ordered by Arab commanders or the AHC to leave, mainly for strategic reasons)." ("The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem", p. 129). On the contrary, anyone who fled was actually threatened with "severe punishment". As for the broadcasts by Arab radio stations allegedly calling on people to flee, a detailed listening to recordings of their programmes of that period shows that the claims were invented for pure propaganda.


and there is this:

In "1948 and After" Benny Morris examines the first phase of the exodus and produces a detailed analysis of a source that he considers basically reliable: a report prepared by the intelligence services of the Israeli army, dated 30 June 1948 and entitled "The emigration of Palestinian Arabs in the period 1/12/1947-1/6/1948". This document sets at 391,000 the number of Palestinians who had already left the territory that was by then in the hands of Israel, and evaluates the various factors that had prompted their decisions to leave. "At least 55% of the total of the exodus was caused by our (Haganah/IDF) operations." To this figure, the report’s compilers add the operations of the Irgun and Lehi, which "directly (caused) some 15%... of the emigration". A further 2% was attributed to explicit expulsion orders issued by Israeli troops, and 1% to their psychological warfare. This leads to a figure of 73% for departures caused directly by the Israelis. In addition, the report attributes 22% of the departures to "fears" and "a crisis of confidence" affecting the Palestinian population. As for Arab calls for flight, these were reckoned to be significant in only 5% of cases...

I cannot explain why the former Syrian minister would say such a stupid thing. Maybe he actually ended up believing the Zionist propaganda. As for the quote by Abu Mazen, I think what he is referring to is the fact the Arabs inability to defend the Palestinians forced the Palestinians to abandon their land. But who knows, you could be right. After all, this is the man who drafted 600 pages of Palestinian documents for the Oslo accords without once using the word "occupation" to describe the plight of his own people (see p. 1027 of Fisk's "The Great War for Civilization").

Anonymous said...

The arabs told the Palestinians to leave because the Jews would all be killed within days. The Jews haven't expelled anybody!!!!! This is a lie - period. Until you and your readers are able to look at history, your BS is just stink.

Steven said...

Anonymous, you appear to be in denial. Please refer to my comments above.

Thank you.

yodaking said...

Great post Steven, I must say I'm glad that somebody is using their intellect versus blanket attacks on me to prove their points.

Bravo.

I must conceed that I should have not used Morris...since I acnowledge his later work ran completely counter to what his original thesis. (as you have so effectively shown)

He has pretty much been discredited in later works that you site....for the exact reason of inconsistency to the level of direct contradiction.

Here is a link to one of many articles pointing out Benny's shortcommings.

http://www.meforum.org/article/302

What was Benny's reply?

Silence...he said the points made did not deserve a reply. You can see it here.

http://www.meforum.org/article/90

Which the original writer decided not to stand, he reinforced his earlier points with yet additional points that Benny has again not responded too.

You can view them here.

http://www.meforum.org/article/466

But wait, maybe you're saying this is of course the type of attacks that come from the right....

How about the left?

Benny get's attacked by a far left historican (that was even accused of Holocaust denial)

Finkelstein is upset at the parts of Benny's writings that say Israel did not engage in systematic deportion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_and_Reality_of_the_Israel-Palestine_Conflict

so which is it? Is Morris saying Israel did or did not oust Palestinians...? He seems to be in hot water from the right as well as the left...

let's step back though...say all Palestinians were forced to leave...nobody denies that all Jews were forced to leave Arab lands as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands

So even at the most extreme of arguments (which I don't agree with) - it simply stil is a tit-for-tat.

Steven said...

Yodaking:

Thank you for your reply.

I don't think it is as complicated as you are making out. Morris is saying that for the most part Jews expelled Arabs although there are instances where Arabs left "unprovoked" by the Jews (less that 5% of the total explusions according to his research).

I read your ME Forum links. I am unimpressed and not just because ME Forum links to the likes of Daniel Pipes and Lynne Cheney's Campus Watch. It's because M. Karch barely addresses the expulsions. He seeks to sidestep this ugly reality by focussing (as do many of his allies) on whether the whole thing was "planned" a la "Plan Dalet". As a result, Karch is obsessed with Morris' interpretation of Ben-Gurion's discussions with Jewish Agency officials (the tit-for-tat, as you say) instead of attacking Morris head-on and showing us that his statistics for the expulsions are incorrect. Karch is reduced to quibbling over whether an Israeli officer's command to throw out a specific group of Arabs amounted to "evacuation" or "eviction". This is hardly earth-shaking disproof of explusion, I think you would agree, which is the point of this thread.

Moreover, it is unfair to say that Benny Morris was silent in response to the 1st article. He stated his reasons for not indulging in a debate (eg. Karch's heavy reliance on second hand sources).

Just an aside, and this is obviously anecdotal, years ago some Israeli business associates and I were having a discussion about Palestine. They said the solution was to annex the West Bank and Gaza and expel the remaining Arab population. Curiously, and I didn't even have to tease it out of them, they readily admitted that the Jews had expelled the Arabs in 47/48. I was stunned - right-wingers "confessing" to the expulsions. I suspect there is far less denial about such matters in Israel than there is on LGF.

Bee said...

How about the MILLIONS of Hindus, Sihks, Jains, Buddhists that flked Pakistan so that it could be the 'land of the pure' and 98% muslim? Where is the concern? Oh, you mean that India took them in and helped them rebuild their lives. Hmm, why didn't the arabs do that???

yodaking said...

Steven, again I must commend you on your level headed and civil response - I respect that (especially considering the track record of other posters I've seen here)

Thank you for your reply.

Good points, and while I agree that the articles I posted did not address the "report" that Benny Morris uses for the main trust of his thesis, I've confident that your lack of response on the other points made (not to mention that left attacks Morris on the same exact points) shows the level of inconsistency.

I was intrigued about this report so I went to the local bookstore and looked at the report and was shocked to discover the following.

I checked the document, written by Moshe Sasson (Elias Sasson's son and future Israeli ambassador to Egypt, among other places).

First error it was a Hagana, NOT an IDF document. The IDF had not yet been established at the time (you can easily check this).

Second error - Despite what Morris claims, I could find nowhere on the document where it said that they were forcibly removed or were ousted by IDF forces!

In fact, I was so troubled at this blatent misstatement(in light of what Morris directly claims) I decided to get Prof Kars's book and see if he points this out. In which in fact he does and he confirmed my disturbing findings.

Third, on a final verification I contacted him DIRECTLY to verify - and he confirmed AGAIN.

If you like, I can forward you his response to me.

(sigh)

I read your ME Forum links. I am unimpressed and not just because ME Forum links to the likes of Daniel Pipes and Lynne Cheney's Campus Watch.

Is this not the same form of argument you accuse my links of? Not addressing the points at hand and diverting to other non-related arguments? It would appear neither you nor Morris had a valid rebuttal to the other points that both the right and the left disagree with (go figure)

Moreover, it is unfair to say that Benny Morris was silent in response to the 1st article. He stated his reasons for not indulging in a debate (eg. Karch's heavy reliance on second hand sources).

Yet again, you use the same argument that you criticize Harch of engagmening in - deflection rather then engagement (and as you can see I directly engaged Morris main points above now)

Just an aside, and this is obviously anecdotal, years ago some Israeli business associates and I were having a discussion about Palestine. They said the solution was to annex the West Bank and Gaza and expel the remaining Arab population. Curiously, and I didn't even have to tease it out of them, they readily admitted that the Jews had expelled the Arabs in 47/48. I was stunned - right-wingers "confessing" to the expulsions. I suspect there is far less denial about such matters in Israel than there is on LGF.

"New Historians" do have a following Steven.

I hope this once again, reiterates why Morris (while having a quite distinguished early career) is now not only shunned by both the right....but the left..(that should tell you something about his consistency)

I would caution also to rely on the misrepresentation of just one DOCUMENT writted by Hagana (specifically Moshe Sasson) as the cornerstone of your argument about the flight of Palestinians.

It runs counter to the plethora of other documents that directly contradict it's statements (or in this case Benny's incorrect re-quoting of it)

Steven said...

Yodaking:

Again thank you. This is an unusually fruitful discussion.

Let me begin by pointing out that according to a Wikipedia entry:

The report is dated 30 June 1948. The IDF was formed in May 1948 so I don't see why the report couldn't be an IDF document.

The report alludes to specific factors resulting in the departure of the Palenstinians, foremost amongst which are the actions of the Haganna/IDF.

According to the report, "It is possible to say that at least 55% of the total of the exodus was caused by our [Haganah / IDF] operations and by their influence". In addition, the activities of the dissident Jewish organizations "directly [caused] some 15% [] of the emigration". The report notes that the dissidents activities were especially important in the Jaffa- Tel Aviv area, in the coastal plain to the north, and around Jerusalem".

With all due respect, it strikes me as very odd that a historian would risk his reputation by inventing such a report. Since you are in touch with Professor Karsh, you might want to ask him whether he is prepared to challenge the authenticity of these quotes on Wikipedia. Surely he has a moral obligation to do so in the interest of historical accuracy.

Also, you might be interested in what the former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami had to say about 1948 on an interview with Democracy Now!

"Well, you see, there is a whole range of new historians that have gone into the sources of — the origins of the state of Israel, among them you mentioned Avi Shlaim, but there are many, many others that have exposed this evidence of what really went on on the ground. And I must from the very beginning say that the main difference between what they say and my vision of things is not the facts. The facts, they are absolutely correct in mentioning the facts and putting the record straight.

You say that Morris is a dubious source of information because he is under attack from both left and right. Some might say that proves he is onto something.

As for Morris's following, do you not find it odd that my right-wing acquaintances (who think that Palestinians should be evicted from Gaza and the West Bank) would agree with Morris. Isn't the right implacably opposed to Morris' thesis? You have to admit, something here does not add up.

yodaking said...

steven, sorry for the long delay - on to your questions.

The report is dated 30 June 1948. The IDF was formed in May 1948 so I don't see why the report couldn't be an IDF document.

Yes, the IDF was officially formed in May, but check the same wikipedia entry - it wasn't until much later were they able to function since they had to consolidate power from many other groups. In the context of this discussion, it is all the more relavent since the document clearly is not from the IDF (as morris claims)


With all due respect, it strikes me as very odd that a historian would risk his reputation by inventing such a report.

No disrspect taken, he (morris) has already damaged his reputation on both the right and left - for the kind of inconsistences you see here.


Since you are in touch with Professor Karsh, you might want to ask him whether he is prepared to challenge the authenticity of these quotes on Wikipedia. Surely he has a moral obligation to do so in the interest of historical accuracy.

You don't need to challenge the authenticity, because all anybody needs to do is look at the original document (you can find it in either book)

Also, you might be interested in what the former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami had to say about 1948 on an interview with Democracy Now!....

Yes, there are many leftists Jews.

You say that Morris is a dubious source of information because he is under attack from both left and right. Some might say that proves he is onto something.

I believe it proves he is terribly inconsistent.

As for Morris's following, do you not find it odd that my right-wing acquaintances (who think that Palestinians should be evicted from Gaza and the West Bank) would agree with Morris. Isn't the right implacably opposed to Morris' thesis? You have to admit, something here does not add up.

As I said before, New Hisotorians do have follows - but the crux of the issue is the document - just go to a local bookstore and pick up Morris' book - you'll be just as disturbed as I was at his conclusions about the fact on the report (or lack of)