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:: Article nr. 47279 sent on 16-sep-2008 14:39 ECT
Exposing Israel’s attempts to equate the Palestinian refugee plight with Jewish immigrants from the Arab world
Zionist massacre of Palestinian Arabs in 1948
16 September, 2008
"The ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Israel was not an unintended consequence, or fortuitous occurrence, or even a 'miracle’, as Israel’s first president Chaim Weizmann later proclaimed; it was the result of long and meticulous planning," Ilan Pappe, Professor of Political Science at Haifa University, in his book 'The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’.
This week, the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought to rewrite history by equating the violent uprooting and dispersal across the four winds of the native Palestinian community at the hands of Zionist Jews with the ideologically-motivated immigration of Jews from the Middle East to Palestine.
Speaking during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on 13 September, Olmert was quoted as saying that he felt sorry for the plight of both Palestinian and Jewish refugees.
"I join in expressing sorrow for what happened to the Palestinians and also for what happened to the Jews who were expelled from Arab states."
Olmert’s largely facetious remarks coincided with highly controversial statements made by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on the sensitive subject of the right of return for Palestinian refugees uprooted from their country more than sixty years ago.
The American-backed Abbas reportedly said he wouldn’t press Israel to allow the return of all Palestinian refugees to their original homes and towns in what is now Israel and that he would have to negotiate with Israel the number of refugees to be repatriated.
Olmert is knowingly and deliberately lying because the Palestinian refugee plight and the immigration of Jews from the Arab world to Israel were two entirely different occurrences.
In the final analysis, the big-lie tactic is aimed at downplaying, banalizing and ultimately scuttling the primordial issue of the right of return for millions of people uprooted from their ancestral homeland at the hands of the Nazi-like movement known as Zionism.
Olmert and other Zionist leaders obviously think that this inalienable right can be vanquished by spreading lies and making corrupt analogies.
I am afraid I have bad news for the Israeli premier. The Palestinian people, irrespective of what people like Abbas are saying, are now more committed to the right of return than ever before.
Even the Fatah movement, which Israel and the US might be tempted to think that it has been thoroughly eviscerated of patriotism and national dignity still retains an iron-clad commitment to the right of return.
Yes, there are certainly some Fatah opportunists here and there who would be willing to accept anything as long as their pockets remained stuffed with American dollars or European Euros.
But it is also true that the vast bulk of Fatah followers and supporters would condemn as traitors their own leaders should they adopt a slack attitude toward the right of return.
This is not to mention the estimated 4.5 – 5 million refugees themselves who view the abandonment of the right of return as the ultimate treachery.
Hence, I dare challenge Abbas to utter his scandalous remarks about the right of return in the presence of refugees in one of these refugee camps in Gaza or Lebanon or Syria or even the West Bank.
Going back to Olmert’s hallucination about Palestinian refugees vs. Jewish refugees, it is important to set the record straight, not so much to make Olmert and fellow Zionists change their minds, but rather to give the potential victims of Zionist lies the opportunity not to be deceived by the masters of deception and mendacity.
To begin with, we should remember that the Palestinian refugees were expelled from their ancestral homeland as a result a partial but real genocide at the hands of Zionists gangs such Irgun, Hagana, Lehi, Palmach, Itsel, etc. This expulsion is now readily recognized by Israeli historians, including the staunchly racist ones such as Benny Morris.
For example, Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, wrote the following in a book published in 2006:
"The reality on the ground was that of an Arab community in a state of terror, facing a ruthless Israeli army whose path to victory was paved not only by its exploits against the regular Arab armies, but also by the intimidation and at times atrocities and massacres it perpetrated against the civilian Arab community. A panic-stricken Arab community was uprooted under the impact of massacres that would be carved into the Arab’s monument of grief and hatred."
Ben Ami, of course, can’t be expected to tell the whole truth, but his words are nonetheless very telling.
Indeed, unlike Jewish immigrants from the Arab world, whose aliya (or immigration to Israel) was the most important strategic goal of Zionism and the newly-established Jewish state, the Palestinian refugees were coerced and massacred into fleeing, very much like the victims of Nazism in Europe during the Second World War.
But unlike the more complicated situation in war-time Europe, in Palestine the Zionist movement carried out the war in 1948 mainly in order to expel and ethnically cleanse the bulk of the native Palestinians.
In other words, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, as Illan Pappe says, had been meticulously planned and systematically implemented.
In fact, the Zionist movement not only expelled 90% of the native Palestinians (because they are not Jews), but also made sure that their homes and villages are destroyed and obliterated. Those homes not destroyed were simply given to Jewish immigrants as an everlasting patrimony while the rightful owners were agonizing in squalid refugee camps across the Middle East.
Well, I would like to confront Zionist liars with the following questions:
How many Jewish villages and towns did the Arab states destroy and obliterate?
How many massacres of Jews did the Arabs perpetrate which one might think would have forced Arab Jews to flee?
Let us be honest and not allow ourselves to be duped by Zionist propaganda. The Jews of the Arab world came to Israel in order to fulfil Zionism. Their flight to Israel, which Israel calls Aliya, meaning moving from an inferior position to a higher or superior position, was "wanted, desired and aggressively sought after."
In some Arab countries like Morocco, the immigration of Jews occurred as a result of secret agreements between Israel and the respective Arab government.
To be sure, some Arab Jews, like in Iraq, were actually harassed, even terrorized by Zionist agents into leaving their native homelands as testified by some Iraqi Jewish immigrants in recent years.
In the context of rabid Zionist efforts to get the Jews to immigrate to Israel willy nilly, synagogues were bombed, cultural centres attacked, and Jewish figures threatened by Zionist agents masquerading as "Arabs."
In some cases, anti-Jewish riots were secretly organized by Zionist agents in order to create an atmosphere of fear amongst Jews which eventually did prompt them to leave. (Several anti-Semitic incidents in France and North America have recently been committed by Zionist agents in order to induce Jews to flee to Israel).
Yes, public dismay at Zionist Jews in some Arab countries was rife after the Nakba, the near destruction and expulsion of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland.
But there never was a Jewish Dir Yasin in Iraq, or a Jewish Tantura in Tunis, or a Jewish Dawaymeh in Algeria or a Jewish Kafr Qassem in Yemen.
The opposite is true. In the course of the Second World War, Arab governments actually made strenuous efforts to protect their Jewish communities form the haunting spectre of annihilation by the Nazis. Ask any elderly Jew from Morocco or Egypt and he or she would relate to you how Jews were enjoying their rights as citizens. In fact, in many cases, Jews were granted preferential treatment and given foreign, especially French, passports, which allowed them to prosper in comparison to other citizens.
Non the less, if Arab Jews, or Jews originating in the Arab world, insist that they are bona fide "refugees," the right thing to do is to demand the right to return to their original native countries.
Justice ought to be done for both Palestinian refugees and Jewish immigrants from the Arab world by granting both sides the opportunity to return to their native homelands from which they were uprooted, as in the case of the Palestinians, or duped into leaving, as in the case of Arab Jews.
This is certainly better and fairer than indulging in corrupt analogies with the aim of trivializing the Palestinian refugee plight which represents the heart and soul of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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