Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 28 February 2014

A Woman of Integrity: British Actress Maureen Lipman stands by Israel

To her abiding credit, that national treasure of a British actress, Maureen Lipman, widow of the prominent playwright Jack Rosenthal, has never been afraid to voice her strong support for Israel.

As the Jerusalem Post  reported a couple of years ago, when she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Tel Aviv University, Ms Lipman noted:
“There are too many bigots and extremists using anti-Zionism as a cloak for anti-Semitism. And they are whipping up a frenzy.”
And as she told David Aaronovitch in the course of an interview in the Jewish Quarterly:
"I foolishly agreed to appear on a late night programme hosted by Andrew Neil [This Week, BBC2, 13 July 2006]. I say foolishly because it’s a soundbite programme and everything is reduced to soundbites. Diane Abbott MP had obviously been primed and announced that the Israeli reaction had been ‘disproportionate’. What I wanted to say was that it came about because rockets had been going into Israel for a long time and an unprovoked attack had been made on two soldiers. Her point was (and she knew it would wind me up): ‘All they did was capture two soldiers.’
I wanted to reply that, if you live in a country the size of Israel, two soldiers are incredibly important. Instead of saying just that, I said that it’s not the Israelis who are strapping bombs on young children and sending them out to blow themselves and everybody else up. That somehow became: life is much more important to the Israelis than it is to the Palestinians, and I was savaged by people like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and John Pilger in the Independent and New Statesman.
You don’t see most of the people who wrote to the newspapers to express outrage at the Israeli response at the meetings for other humanitarian causes like human rights in Burma – all I want is a level playing field, where the Middle East is given the same attention as Burma and Rwanda and Zimbabwe and everywhere else. But that doesn’t seem to be an argument which carries much weight.
Out of a year’s column in the Guardian I wrote about Israel maybe three times, and always from a defensive point of view. Even though most of the time I wrote about getting my hair cut, I became a ‘Jewish columnist’ – just as I’m a ‘Jewish actress’. Do you ever see the words ‘that well-known Quaker actress Judy Dench’?
We don’t even have to point out that the reporting is one-sided, because it always is – you see the same Palestinian woman wailing and keening over a dead child and then when you go to the Israeli side you see a bullet hole in a small shop. It’s constantly like that. I only defended Israel in the sense that when you have war and terrorism, as they have, for over 50 years, you do sometimes behave badly. The Americans bombed the Chinese Embassy after two days in Kosovo . . . We are judged by different standards, I don’t think anyone could dispute that – the Jews are always judged by different standards."
Here she is, last year, on the Andrew Marr Show, pointing out the hypocrisy of the BDS movement and of Professor Stephen Hawking regarding Israel.

Now, 67-year-old Ms Lipman, who is also celebrated in Britain as a writer and humourist, has proved her credentials once again by severing her long-standing ties with a monthly magazine, The Oldie, owing to what she describes as its “drip-drip of antisemitic, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel material”.

The catalyst for her action was, as the Jewish Chronicle reports: 'an article published in its March issue, in which travel writer Dervla Murphy described Hebron as a ghost town left ravaged by the shooting of Palestinians by American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein in 1994' and which prompted Ms Lipman to accuse The Oldie's editor,Richard Ingrams, of "anti-Zionist bias".
'She said: “There’s an insidious nature to what is being written. Why would I be involved with that?
“All I ask for is a level playing-field. They’re grinding babies into powder in Syria — get that in your middle page. I can’t just stand there at my age and contribute to something which is feeding the myth.”'
Private Eye-founder Mr Ingrams, characterised by Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard as "a vile man", has long been known for his hostility to Israel.  In 2003, for example, when editor of The Independent, he declared:
"I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it."
(See also here and here)

Now, as quoted by the Jewish Chronicle, he says of Ms Lipman:
"She does have a very straightforward view — that critical comments about Israel should be balanced by critical comments about Arab countries."
And, alluding to the BBC's obligation via its Charter to be objective in its reportage (which of course it manifestly is not), he adds:
"Well, the BBC may feel itself obliged to give what they call a balanced view, but we’re not under any obligation of that kind."
How grand to see an Anglo-Jewish personality of Ms Lipman's stature take so principled and unequivocal  a stand in support of Israel.

Good on ya, Maureen!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

"A Direct Manifestation of Antisemitism ... A Desire To Target The Jewish People": Ben Shapiro socks it to UCLA BDSers

As described in the campus newspaper here, the Israel-haters have been active at UCLA in pursuit of BDS, but have not had it all their own way.

A meeting of the UCLA student council to consider the BDS proposal began at 7 Tuesday evening attracted some 500 people and did not end until 6:30 the following morning.

As Professor William Jacobson, who has been coordinating the academic fightback in Amerca against BDS reports on his Legal Insurrection website, the vote was 7:5 against the adoption of BDS, leaving anti-Israel students "in shock" (and like blubbering babies as this video shows!).

Star of the event was an UCLA alumnus,  Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of

Here is a transcript of his magnificent speech, which tells the BDS movement like it is

'My name is Ben Shapiro. I'm an alumnus of this university. I'm also a local talk show host on 870 [AM] in the morning, and I got out of bed and left my one month old baby there when I saw what was going on here tonight. I've never been more ashamed to be a Bruin. I've never been more ashamed to be an alumnus of this university than to see this divestment petition being considered at this level. To pretend this is about occupation, to pretend this is about peace, to pretend that this anything other than vile, spiteful Jew hatred is a lie!
There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Saudi Arabia. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Iran. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Palestine. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing the vast bevy of human rights violations that happen every day in the Middle East, exponentially worse that what happens in Israel.
Any gay or lesbian that is targeting Israel in this room seems to have forgotten how high they hang gays from cranes in Iran. Every person of liberal bent who suggests that Israel is the problem in the Middle East seems to have forgotten that there is only one country in the Middle East that actually has any sort of religious diversity in it. The countries that are apartheid countries are those that are Judenrein like, for example, Palestine.
So, for us to sit here and pretend that Israel is somehow on a lower moral plane is a direct manifestation of anti-Semitism. And to hold Jews to a different moral standard than any other country or group on the face of the earth represents nothing but an age-old and historic hatred for the Jewish people. All the folks here who are pretending that the B.D.S is about anything other than that, I would like to see a poll of those folks, and see how many of them actually believe in the existence of a Jewish state, qua-Jewish state, not as a state like any other, but as a Jewish state. They don't. They don't acknowledge that existence. They don't believe in that existence. They don't believe in peace. All this is about, pure and simple, is a desire to target the Jewish people."  [Emphasis added]
Go here for the transcript and accompanying video, which can also be seen on William Jacobson's post linked to above.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

More Utter Stupidity From The "There Was A State Called Palestine" Brigade

They've used coins and stamps in support of their warped view of history, despite the fact that those items were issued not by some autonomous Palestinian state but by the British Mandatory authorities.

Artist: Franz Krausz
They've used posters in the set represented by this one above and a newspaper (The Palestine Post) and an orchestra (The Palestine Symphony Orchestra) in pursuit of the same propagandistic end, despite the fact that those initiatives came out of the Yishuv.

wikipedia: Josef Tal & The Palestine Conservatoire of Music Orchestra in 1939
They've appropriated the Palestine Football Team that toured Australia just before the Second World War in support of their ludicrous thesis, assuming wrongly that the team consisted of Arabs.

They've enlisted maps supposedly of venerable age, and, as in all these ventures into a past that was not as it was but as they would like it to have been, made fools of themselves in the process.

And now they're using a postcard addressed by Golda Meir in 1930 as another piece of "evidence" for their false claim.

Look, for instance,  how it's been utilised on the Facebook page of the disgusting CUFP (for the lowdown on that antisemitic group and its founder see my previous post):

It really does seem that such ignoramuses genuinely believe that before 1948 there was an independent Palestinian state with its own government.

Some have even opened a Facebook page showcasing their misconceptions.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dissecting The Not So Darling Darlene & Her Ugly anti-Zionist "Christian" Group

Remember my post here regarding an odious Facebook group called Christians United for Peace that should more aptly be called "Christians United for Jew-Hatred"?

Well, the site, saturated with heavy-duty antisemitism reminiscent of the ravings of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and other depraved judeophobic rantings, continues to flourish on Facebook, and is as evil as ever.

As seen in these two screenshots, it is for reasons best known to its depraved and demented self, pro the very religion ideology that is persecuting and murdering Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the Third World.

The so-called Christians United for Peace group (to which some seemingly more respectable Christian anti-Zionists are, sad to relate, not squeamish about belonging) was founded by American southerner Darlene Jones-Owens (one of her Facebook friends is Stephen Sizer!  Tut, tut, vicar!).

Tut tut, vicar!
Darlene and her group have been subject to close scrutiny by a pro-Israel critic (Cloudfire) who has done a sterling job of exposing their motivations and agenda.

Aptly headed "The War on Judaism and Evangelism", Cloudfire's  exposé explains early on in the piece:
'....CUFP is a Facebook-based blog/group [here] (aka "cu4peace") with more than 6,200 members.  It was founded in February 2011.
CUFP claims to be concerned activists for Palestinian human and collective rights, and for enlightening and "changing the face of" Evangelical Christians with respect Israel and Jews.  CUFP claims to be a response and challenge to Christians United For Israel ("CUFI"), an organization having more than 1 million members expressing their solidarity with Jews and support of Israel.
However, CUFP's claims are a ruse, and they are merely cloaking themselves as do-gooders and peaceful welcomers of all. With virtually every post, CUFP leaves its official story far behind. Whether within individual posts or threads, or by cumulative effect and weaving between the lines, CUFP sows and incites:
 The demonizing of the Jewish people
 The destruction of Judaism as a faith
 The elimination of Israel
 The gutting of Evangelical and Southern Baptist Christians, and severing them from:
 Fellowship with Jewish people
 Theological respect of Judaism
 Support for Israel
CUFP's ideology and propaganda simply leave no middle ground and only hellish after effects....'
See all of Cloudfire's exposé here

Great post, Cloudfire! Hope the blogging bug bites!

Monday, 24 February 2014

"American Taxpayers Must Not Subsidize anti-Semitism ... Stop Funding the United Nations"

The Washington, DC-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), headed by Jay Sekulow, and with offices in several countries, concerns itself with constitutional and human rights law worldwide. Here is the text of a petition it has initiated, addressed to Barack Obama and John Kerry, requesting the United States government to cease funding the United Nations:
"The U.N. never stops its attacks on Israel, or the United States.
Did you know that last week a U.N. body canceled an exhibit showing 3,500 years of Jewish history in the Holy Land?
Did you know that same U.N. body canceled the exhibition at the request of radical jihadist activists?
And did you know that the United States gives more money every year to the U.N. than 180 other countries combined?
It’s time we stopped funding hate. It’s time we stopped funding lies. Our offices worldwide are mobilized to defend the truth.
American taxpayers must not subsidize anti-Semitism. The U.N. works against America and our closest ally, Israel. Stop funding the United Nations."
To sign the petition go here

Alan Dershowitz, speaking with admirable cogency and passion in 2012 about the hypocritical UN's anti-Israel agenda, knows what is at stake:

What a magnificent speech, regarding the thraldom of the UN to Israel's mortal foes, regarding the UN's sidelining of human rights abuses by truly repugnant regimes, regarding all that is mendacious about the stated aims of the Palestinian leadership, and all that is right and noble about Israel!

It is enthralling!

Ironically, despite the UN's inexorable vilification of Israel, Hamas has condemned UNRWA textbooks on the alleged grounds that they encourage the children of Gaza to take a pacific attitude towards the Zionist enemy!

"Boycott Batsheva!": Anti-Israel fanatics in Kiwiland spew their bile (video)

The Batsheva Dance Company has been visiting New Zealand (see this nice review).

The video below shows a bunch of contemptible fanatics outside the theatre  in Wellington, screaming "Boycott Batsheva!" and other spiteful slogans in the Israel delegitimisers' lexicon.

Hear them talk of the audience's "genocide money" and watch them taunt a dignified group of pro-Israel demonstrators with claims that that the Israeli flags the latter wave are "bloodstained" and that Israel will soon be consigned to the "dustbin of history".

There's little doubt that these sickening fanatics, with their spiteful slogans and support of the so-called "right of return", are lusting for the demise of the Israeli State.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ben White's Whopper Cops A Walloping

Ah! There's no one quite like the Elder of Ziyon, is there? Very little escapes his ken.

Elder discovered today that crusading British anti-Israel propagandist Ben White has been making posters in the style of Elder's own, down to the very font.  "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", as the saying goes, so Elder was hardly miffed.

But he saw through White's ruse at once, identifying the very place in which White had found a photograph that became the basis of a poster alleging Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians.

As Elder shows here, the photo that White used accompanied an article highlighting Jordanian apartheid against Palestinians.

Look, Elder's even made a corrective poster!  That'll show the trickster!

Since graduating fron Cambridge White has, it seems, made crusading against Israel something of a full-time occupation.

He gives lectures demonising Israel on campuses at home and away, and in recent days has been marking "Israel Apartheid Week" with a series of talks at British universities.

The second edition of his notorious Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide, has just been released and, needless to say, he's busily plugging it.

Don't be fooled.

Here's part of prominent British pro-Israel activist Jonathan Hoffman's devastating review of the first edition of this odious exercise in the demonisation/delegitimisation of Israel:
'The claim that Israel is an "apartheid state'" has a long history. In December 2004, for example, there was a Conference at SOAS (London University) on this subject. It is an especially attractive comparison for the unreconstructed Left. Since the collapse of Communism twenty years ago, it has been bereft of causes. "If pressure from anti-racists such as us brought down South African apartheid" goes their argument "then we can do the same in the case of Israel."
That's where Ben White is coming from, with some anti-colonialism mixed in for good unreconstructed socialist measure. And maybe something else this is the fellow who said "I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are" and who tried to contextualise comments of Ahmadinejad denote a disbelief in the Holocaust.
Of course the whole book is a Big Lie. Far from being a racist state, Israel was born from centuries of racism committed AGAINST Jews. Had Israel existed ten years sooner than 1948, hundreds of thousands of lives of those murdered in the Nazi death camps might have been saved.  [Emphasis added]
Israel's 20 percent non-Jewish minority has always had equal voting and other political rights. Arab Israelis were elected to the first Knesset in 1949 and have won as many as 12 Knesset seats in a single election. Some hold important positions in the government, court system, Ministries and the IDF. There has been an Arab Vice Consul (in San Francisco) and an Arab Minister. Contrast that with the position of blacks in South Africa under apartheid.
As in all countries there remain valid concerns about the treatment on minorities but Israeli Arabs and Palestinians have acknowledged the protection afforded them under the law, for example:
"Israel has proved that for fifty years its real power is in its democracy, guarding the rights of its citizens, applying laws [equally] to the rich and poor, the big and small." Dr. Talal Al-Shareef, Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, May 27, 1999
Israel rescued tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews and welcomed them. Israel also rescued boat people from Vietnam and has been saving the lives of thousands of Sudanese refugees, including Darfuris, who escaped from Sudan through Egypt. What other Middle Eastern country has given refuge to Darfur refugees? Certainly not Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, or Saudi Arabia. Israel is the lone oasis of safety for those who are persecuted in the Middle East. 77 percent of Israeli Arabs say they prefer living in Israel to any other country in the world (Ha'aretz, 23 June 2008).
The rights of Arab citizens of Israel have been vigorously upheld in the Israeli Courts. A clear demonstration was in January 2003, with the decision of the Israeli High Court in favour of two Israeli Arab politicians, Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara, who challenged the ruling of Israel's Central Election Committee (CEC) disqualifying them from running in the Israeli general election. Such an episode could never have happened in an "apartheid state". And Israel has a Communist Party whereas the Nationalists in South Africa banned it. Arabs in Israeli society get all the opportunities of Israelis. Take healthcare - the standard of healthcare available to all in Israel is far higher than in the neighbouring Arab States, and Arab life expectancy is considerably higher.
White's book comes from the same genus as Walt and Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby. Like that book, everything is meticulously referenced but that enables the reader to see the circularity in the sources. Many are from known Israel bashers: [Ilan] Pappe, Uri Davis, Charles D. Smith, Tom Segev, Tanya Reinhart, Jeff Halper, Hussein and McKay, and Maxime Rodinson. Colin Chapman features three times: He is the author of Whose Promised Land which revives the ancient Christian canard of ‘supercessionism' - the belief that because the Jews denied the divinity of Christ, God transferred His favours to the Christians while the Jews were cast out as the party of the Devil. This doctrine lay behind centuries of Christian anti-Jewish hatred until the Holocaust drove it underground.
If the conclusions are a Big Lie, it follows that the arguments used to draw it must be, too. And so it proves. The rot starts early. The Foreword to the book was written by John Dugard, the South African lawyer who made the apartheid analogy, as a result of which Israel refused to allow him to conduct a UN-mandated fact-finding mission on its Gaza offensive in 2006.
The rot continues in the endorsements. Desmond Tutu whom Alan Dershowitz called a "racist and a bigot" says "This book deals rationally and cogently with a topic that almost always generates heat..." Stephen Sizer says "If you really care about peace in the Middle East, read this book." Sizer has given interviews to, endorsed or forwarded material from American white supremacists and Holocaust deniers. He has also applauded Ahmadinejad for having "looked forward to the day when Zionism ceased to exist"...' [Emphasis added]
The admirable Mr Hoffman (his stalwart efforts in support of Israel have made him a reviled and traduced figure among the nasty and vindictive elements within the UK-based anti-Israel brigade, but with characteristic zeal and moral courage he carries on regardless) does not stop there.  He continues:
'In the rest of this article I go through the book, cataloguing the omissions, inconsistencies and incorrect facts.
Part One takes only one paragraph to get to "ethnic cleansing" (a phrase repeated on average every 12 pages in the book). It then quotes Jabotinsky out of context: "Zionist colonisation, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population". Jabotinsky (writing in 1923) also said "I understand as well as anybody that we have got to find a modus vivendi with the Arabs; they will always live in the country, and all around the country, and we cannot afford a perpetuation of strife". But White does not quote that passage (of course). As we will see, ‘doctored' quotes (that is, partial quotes or quotes taken out of context or isolated from important supporting quotes) permeate this book.
White admits that Israeli Arabs have full voting rights Dr. Talal Al-Shareef, Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, May 27, 1999 how can he not? But of course he sees an ulterior motive: had it been otherwise, he says, "outside support would surely have been jeopardised."
But then White claims that the Israeli government planned the genocide of the Israeli Arabs. Why was it not worried about "outside support" now? It simply does not add up. (The claim of the intention of genocide is sourced from Moshe Machover, the Israeli Communist who now lives in the UK).
The tone of Chapter Two on the history of Zionism is set by the doctored quote with which it opens. As anyone who reads Guardian Comment Is Free knows, a whole new industry of manufacturing false quotes has been set up by the Israel bashers. White has chosen probably the most common one to open
 Chapter Two. David Ben-Gurion never said "We must expel Arabs and take their places!" He said the opposite: "We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places."
The second quote at the head of Chapter Two is from Benny Morris: "Ben Gurion was right ... Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish State would not have arisen here". First, that was not what Ben Gurion believed. Second, the quote refers to ‘transfer policy', a policy which was never advocated by more than a tiny minority of Israelis - for example the followers of the fanatic Rabbi Kahane. As Ami Iseroff has written, beginning with Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1948 (published in 1987) Morris has written several books and articles about the creation of the refugee problem in 1948 and related issues.
 In them, he carefully documented expulsions of Palestinians and massacres. He claimed that these were part of an unwritten policy. Yet later Morris notes the action of the Mayor of Haifa, Shabtai Levy, who on 22 April 1948 begged the Arabs to stay. In other words, Morris has been inconsistent. As Iseroff says "If "transfer" had been in the air, someone would remember it. Veterans of 1948 with whom I have spoken remember no such atmosphere of transfer. Transfer was always part of the ideology of revisionist Zionists and some Labour party activists. However, it was not part of the official ideology of the Labour-aligned political movements that supported the Haganah and the Palmach".
Another false quote from the "Israel Bashers' Greatest Hits" is "A Land Without A People, For A People Without A Land" ... But even White resists the temptation to attribute it to an early Zionist (it was "coined and propagated by nineteenth-century Christian writers"). For a more thorough scholarly analysis, see Diana Muir, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2008.
Back to ‘transfer policy'. Instead of explaining that this was only the view of the fanatic Kahanists, White suggests it was the general policy of the Zionists. On page 17 we get "... it is important to realise just how central the ideas of ‘transfer' was to Zionist thinking and strategising. The need to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its native Arabs was understood at all levels of the Zionist leadership, starting with Ben-Gurion himself." On page 19 there follows an alleged Ben Gurion quote at the 20th Zionist Congress, sourced from Benny Morris: "the growing Jewish power in the country will increase our possibilities to carry out a large transfer". There are two problems with this alleged quote. The first is that it is from Ben Gurion's private diary Dr. Talal Al-Shareef, Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, May 27, 1999 it never appeared in the public domain. The second - entirely omitted by White, for obvious reasons Dr. Talal Al-Shareef, Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, May 27, 1999 is that the 20th Zionist Congress was convened in Zurich a month after the July 1937 publication of the Peel Report and was convened specifically to consider that Report. And what do we find in the Report? A recommendation for a transfer of land and population: "[s]ooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population".
To recap: Britain, the mandatory power in Palestine, had commissioned a Report, the recommendations of which were approved by the government in principle. That Report recommended that "[s]ooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population". One month later the Zionist Congress meets, specifically to consider the Peel Report. Is it so surprising then that it should discuss the Report's recommendation of ‘a transfer of land and ... an exchange of population?" (In October 1938 the Woodhead Commission effectively killed off the Peel proposals which were rejected by the Arabs and which split Jewish opinion).
... White is at pains to tell us how superior the Israeli military forces were to carry out the "forced ‘transfer' they knew was necessary for the old propaganda slogan of ‘a land without a people' to become a darkly self-fulfilling prophecy". Avi Shlaim is his source for his assertion that Jewish forces significantly outnumbered Arab forces throughout the 1948 War of Independence. What a shame White ignored this passage from the same source:
"It is true that the Yishuv numbered merely 650,000 souls, compared with 1.2 million Palestine Arabs and nearly 40 million Arabs in the surrounding states. It is true that the senior military advisers told the political leadership on 12 May 1948 that the Haganah had only a 'fifty-fifty' chance of withstanding the imminent Arab attack. It is true that the sense of weakness and vulnerability in the Jewish population was as acute as it was pervasive and that some segments of this population were gripped by a feeling of gloom and doom. And it is true that during three critical weeks, from the invasion of Palestine by the regular armies of the Arab states on 15 May until the start of the first truce on 11 June, this community had to struggle for its very survival."
[Regarding] the so-called ‘Naqba'. White opens with a quote from Henry Siegman (New York Review of Books, February 2004): "the dismantling of Palestinian society, the destruction of Palestinian towns and villages, and the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians ... was a deliberate and planned operation intended to 'cleanse' (the term used in the declassified documents those parts of Palestine assigned to the Jews as a necessary pre-condition for the emergence of a Jewish state)."
Again, White omits to tell us crucial information about the quote. In Siegman's article, the quote is said to come from a Benny Morris interview in Ha'aretz (January 9, 2004). But here is what Morris said in response to Siegman's NYRB article:
"In his article, Siegman repeatedly "cited" things I had said-with a consistency of distortion that is truly mind-boggling. Just to give one key example: I most emphatically never stated anywhere that "the dismantling of Palestinian society...and the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians [were] a deliberate and planned operation intended to 'cleanse'...those parts of Palestine assigned to the Jews." Quite the opposite. Had Siegman bothered to read my books, he would have discovered that mainstream (Haganah-JewishAgency) Zionist policy, until the end of March 1948-meaning during the first four months of the war-was to protect the Arab minority in the Jewish areas and to try to maintain peaceful coexistence. Intentions changed only in April, when the Yishuv was with its back to the wall, losing the battle for the roads and facing potentially politicidal and genocidal pan-Arab invasion. And even then, no systematic policy of expulsion was ever adopted or implemented (hence Israel's one-million-strong Arab minority today). The Arabs have only themselves to blame for the (unexpected) results of the war that they launched with the aim of "ethnically cleansing" Palestine of the Jews."
Jews driven from their Jerusalem homes by Arab troops
White's account of the so-called Naqba is par for the course from an anti-Zionist. Of course there were isolated but regrettable atrocities committed by the Jewish forces, as atrocities occur in most wars: Deir Yassin (though that was irregulars), and some of what happened at Lydda and Ramle (following Arab attacks on Jewish traffic on roads near the strategically important cities throughout 1947). But there was no ‘ethnic cleansing' and Plan Dalet was not a masterplan to achieve this non-aim, as White contends. As Benny Morris has written, "There was no Zionist "plan" or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of "ethnic cleansing". Plan Dalet (Plan D), of March 10th, 1948 (it is open and available for all to read in the IDF Archive and in various publications), was the master plan of the Haganah - the Jewish military force that became the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) - to counter the expected pan-Arab assault on the emergent Jewish state. That's what it explicitly states and that's what it was. "
–  Irish Times, 21 February 2008
Deir Yassin was followed a few days later by the conveniently forgotten massacre of 70 academics, doctors and nurses travelling to Mt. Scopus carried out by Arabs in revenge. [See my post here: D.A.] The remains of their convoy line the road to Jerusalem to this day as a memorial.Part Two of this catalogue of falsehoods purports to describe the methods by which Israeli ‘apartheid' has been maintained. The fact-twisting starts in the third paragraph: "Israel is not a State for all of its citizens ... but rather a State for some of its citizens: Jews". Such an assertion writes off the Declaration of Independence:
"[Israel] will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations" and writes off all the ‘checks and balances' in a thriving democracy which are there to protect minorities - as in all thriving democracies. To support his argument White ... reprints a quote from Shamir ("the Jewish state cannot exist without a special ideological content. We cannot exist for long like any other state whose main interest is to insure the welfare of its citizens") without revealing (a) that it was said when Shamir was in opposition and (b) that the quote was nothing to do with suppressing minority rights and everything to do with criticising his successor, Rabin, for failing in his inaugural speech to refer to Israel's Biblical status as the promised land.
The next "fraud on the reader" ... is a 1972 quote from Yeshayahu Ben-Porat ...: "One certain truth is that there is no Zionist settlement and there is no Jewish State without confiscating lands and fencing them off." First, this was not said about Arab citizens of Israel, it was said about the West Bank and Gaza; second it was not an ‘ex-cathedra' pronouncement by a politician but merely a call by a journalist to the government to recognise the implications of the occupied territories.
... White suggests that the Absentee Property Law (1950) allows land of absentee Arabs to be seized ‘if the owner was absent for even just one day'. This is pure sophistry. The text of the Law makes it clear that it applied only to long-term absentees. Moreover absentees that had left Israel were compensated financially. And decisions under the Law are subject to judicial review (as is the case with all administrative decision-making). For example, in an opinion of 1 February 2005, Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz held that the Ministerial Committee and the Israeli Cabinet had exceeded their powers under the Law.
Now White moves the focus to Gaza and the West Bank. Nowhere in this section does he mention that Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 ... (and nowhere does he mention the Khartoum Conference (August 29 to September 1, 1967) where eight heads of Arab countries responded to Israel's offer to give back the lands with Three No's: "No Peace, No Recognition of Israel, No Negotiations". Instead we get "and theft'"assertions: "the main characteristic of Israel's rule in the OPT since 1967 has been land theft." While there may be some cases of land acquired without compensation (see the recent Spiegel Report) the situation is far more nuanced than White suggests. First a final peace settlement will see the restitution of most of the land under Israel control in the West Bank. The exceptions will be compensated by "land swaps" which has already been agreed with the Palestinian negotiators. Second Israel's right to control the use of public land (in the so-called Area C, amounting to 72 percent) was accepted by the Palestinians at Oslo.
White repeats the untruth that the settlements are illegal... The United States for example has not considered them illegal since the time of Professor Eugene Rostow, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, 1966-9. Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention does not prohibit the voluntary movement of Israelis who wish to live in Jerusalem or the West Bank, since this does not constitute a deportation or transfer within the meaning of that provision, which mentions the word ‘forcible' ("...individual or mass forcible transfers....")
Much the same applies to White's assertion that the separation fence is illegal. It is not. The ICJ declared it so - but the ICJ has no legal standing. It is the judicial body of the United Nations. Its opinions are advisory only. On occasion White lapses into pure invective eg p. 73: "The logic of the wall is to grab as much land as possible, with as few Palestinians as possible". Wrong - the logic of the fence is to save the lives of Israelis - all Israelis - from suicide bombers and in pursuit of that aim it has been highly successful. Many countries have similar fences to protect their citizens.
The book ends with some FAQs, mostly a rehash of earlier material. However we do get White's view (or rather, Charles D. Smith's view) of the Camp David negotiations in 2000: "Israel never offered the Palestinians 95 percent of the West Bank as reports indicated at the time. The "generous offer'"was just another incarnation of previous Israeli plans to annex huge swathes of the OPT, retaining major settlement blocs ‘that effectively cut the West Bank into three sections with full Israeli control from Jerusalem to the Jordan River' ".
Dennis Ross was at Camp David in the US negotiating team. If you go to Dennis Ross's book The Missing Peace you will learn that the Palestinians turned down an offer of 91 percent of the West Bank in contiguous territory plus an additional 1 percent in land swaps (there was to be a continued Israeli security presence along 15 percent of the border with Jordan). Contiguous - not cut "into three sections".
In April 2000 Nelson Mandela came to London and spoke to the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He spoke of the need for Israel to leave the lands taken in 1967 but not unless there was first recognition of the Jewish State by the Arab States: "I added a second position, that Israel cannot be expected to withdraw from the Arab territories which she legitimately conquered when the Arab States wanted to whip her out of the map of the world." No mention of "apartheid'" in Israel from a man who spent 27 years as a prisoner of the loathsome apartheid regime in South Africa.There can be no better answer to Ben White than that.
This artless, crude piece of Israel-bashing will no doubt be welcomed in all the usual circles but anyone with a modicum of independent critical faculty will soon see it for the tired piece of intellectually bankrupt propaganda that it is. ...' [Emphasis added]