Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nakba Historiography

The "Nakba" Debunked
By Steven Plaut

The world media are filled with Goebbels-style Big Lies about the
"Nakba," the supposed "catastrophe" and "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs
when Israel was created in 1948.

But now an interesting source has come along to debunk this massive
campaign of lies and disinformation.

Consider the following citation, emphasis added: "The Arab armies
seemingly entered Palestine (in 1948) 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, as if we
were condemned to change places with them. The Arab States succeeded
in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity."

Ok, current events students, name the source for that quote!

The answer is … (drumroll) … Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), the
"President" of the Palestinian Authority, who wrote this in an article
in the Beirut magazine Falastin el-Thawra, in March 1976. (Item cited
in the weekly column by Ben Dror Yemini in Maariv, May 27, 2011)

And that is not the ONLY useful citation from Abu Mazen, also cited in
the same column by Yemini. It turns out that last week the very same
Abu Mazen had an article in the NY Times, in which he claims to tell
his own personal "Nakba" family story. There he claims that the Jews
expelled the Arabs right after the UN's partition resolution of 1947
(which called for creating two new countries, a Jewish and an Arab
state, in the area of the British Mandate). Abu Mazen also writes
there that he and his family were expelled (from Safed) to Syria and
forced to live there in an old canvass tent.

Well, Ben Dror Yemini does some homework. The UN resolution, first of
all, was in November 1947. The battle for Safed took place in May
1948. Second, Abu Mazen's family in Safed was very wealthy, with more
than enough ready capital to coast along comfortably for quite some
time. But most significantly, Abu Mazen's family went to Jordan, not
to Syria. Only much later did they move to Damascus. In addition,
Safed Arabs fled in large part in 1948 because they were expecting
retaliation for the pogroms they themselves had launched against the
Jews of the city in 1929.

And just who is the source for claiming that Abu Mazen was lying
through his fangs in that NY Times piece?

Why, none other than Anu Mazen himself, again! In 2009 he gave an
interview to the Palestinian Authority TV channel, telling about his
family's wealth and their move to Jordan.

Oh, and the same week, Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper published
in Hebrew, quotes one Ismail Fahr a-Din from the Golan Druse village
of Majdal Shams as claiming to remember very clearly the Palestinian
refugees arriving in that town (back then still under Syrian
occupation). Only one itsy bitsy problem though. Turns out the
"witness" is 57 years old and so was born 6 years after Israel's war
of Independence.

More generally, I think that any time anyone suggests that we need to
empathize with the "Nakba" of the "Palestinians" – they should be
directed to contemplating East Prussia.

East Prussia, where in many ways World War II began (in Hitler's
campaign for Danzig), was emptied out near the end of the war, with
hundreds of thousands of Germans fleeing the approaching Red Army and
the impending battles, and with hundreds of thousands more evicted
after the Soviets pushed through East Prussia into Berlin. In all,
1.8 to 2.2 million East Prussians were driven out or fled. That is 4
times the number of "Palestinian refugees" from 1948-49. Parts of
East Prussia were annexed by Russia, the rest being incorporated into

And what about mourning for their "catastrophe?" No one, not even
the worst bleeding heart in the West, has ever believed East Prussians
deserve any sympathy or support or compensation for their "plight."
They were part of the German monstrosity that had launched the war and
they became refugees as a direct result of the crimes and aggressions
of the German people, crimes they most enthusiastically endorsed and
in which they participated. Exactly like the circumstances under
which "Palestinian Arabs" became refugees as a result of launching a
genocidal war of aggression and then losing.

Think the "Palestinians" deserve compassion? Sure, right after the
East Prussians are granted a "Right of Return."

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