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[flagged] Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs (haaretz.com)
98 points by rbecker 5 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 56 comments

Ben gurion. Arthur Ruppin. Golda Meir. Kleizmer, eugenics and pathos. Israel did a fantastic job of milking the world’s empathy while committing horrible crimes. Also, nothing to do with Zionism. Hertzl, a proud ethnic Jew (Sephardi), despised the Eastern European mob that would eventually take Zionism over and Judaism and turn it into a farce.

My ancestors lived in Israel since 1880, and the Arabs raided their villages, burned their fields, and massacred them in riots. Before Israel they lived in Yemen, where they faced pogroms and blood libel. What the West cannot understand about the Arab-Israeli conflict is that it's not just a political war, it's also a race war and a holy war. What's happening in Israel is biblical, and reducing it to politics cannot possibly capture its complexity.

Building a settler colonial ethnostate is not biblical or holy. It's a lop-sided geopolitical conflict over land, and talk of "complexity" is usually an attempt to obscure that.

Calling it a "settler colonial ethnostate" is precisely the political lens that I'm criticizing. It does not properly capture the complexity and nuance of the conflict.

For example, what you would call an ethnostate, I would call a reconstitution of the Kingdom of Israel, after the Nation of Israel fell into exile 3000 years ago, and its people scattered into a global diaspora. The Jewish people are already a nation, and this is why the Law of Return exists. Plus, how can a state be an ethnostate if Jews come from Yemen, Iran, Morrocco, Argentina, Spain, Germany, etc?

Well, for starters, Judaism never really left the Levant. When the rich were captured by the Babylonians and taken East, about 80% of the population stayed, and when the descendants of those captured returned, they called those who stayed Samaritans and refused to recognize them as being the same folks. Same story when the Romans destroyed the Temple and scattered the rich. Whoever got to write the histories got to tilt the discussion of who mattered as a real believer and who was an imitator.

What you see as a complex and nuanced affair, I see as thousands of years of misled believers of Abraham and Ishmael carrying out fulfillment of myths and legends by committing violence upon each other, with this latest installment of violence originating in precisely the mid-40s relocation efforts that the article is detailing and critiquing.

I'm not sure your first point matters. There is one canonical Jewish nation today who live and die by the Torah.

The history of Jews isn't them committing violence against others, but of violence being committed onto them. The Jews in the diaspora weren't going around stealing people's land and possessions, they were merely trying to live in peace, integrate into whichever nation they were a part of, and suffered pograms, massacres, and blood libel for trying. The violence in 20th centruy started to defend their nation from a second Holocaust, once the lesson had been learned that integration into another nation was impossible. Your impression of Jews as violent people is horribly misguided.

My impression is that everybody in the Bronze and Iron Ages were more violent, and my aim is to advocate for less violence overall, including less religious violence. It happens that the religious violence is rooted in religion, and it also happens that the religions are based on mythological histories; if people were more cognizant of the history, they would be less willing to kill for some nebulous-yet-murderous Creator.

The entire history of the region [0] is worth examining, but I'll highlight one sample which is both indicative of the era and also happens to show Israelites conquering and subjugating their neighbors: The Mesha Stele [1] tells of a time when the Moabites were occupied by Omri (or one of his family), a biblical king of Israel. In more modern times, I can point to the Six Day War [2], the conflict which serves as the capstone to the era of Israel's history covered in the original article, and in which Israel achieved a stunning and decisive military victory over its neighbors.

The history of everybody is committing violence against others, and having violence done to them in turn. It's up to us as humans to choose to do better.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_ancient_Israel_and_...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesha_Stele

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

And to add to your point using past violence to justify new violence on innocent people is fucked. Beyond fucked.

Race? Really? Which races are involved? Aren’t we all Semitic? Especially concerning Yemenite Jews who are literally Arabs who converted to Judaism en mass before the 7th century. The article doesn’t reduce anything to politics. It “exposes” a very effective propaganda machine. Anyone who studies the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is aware of this. Not going into why you want to compare Bedouin raids to a state sponsored violence. Bedouin tribes attacked both Jews and Arabs since before the time of Mohammad.

It's Jews vs Arabs. And this isn't my opinion, this is precisely how the conflict is perceived by both the Jews and Arabs involved. I'm not really making any statements about the article, but I tend to believe my ancestors over articles I find online, considering the sheer amount of anti-Israel sentiment that exists in the world. And the Arabs raiding their villages weren't Bedouins, they were Palestinian Arabs who weren't happy to have them as their neighbors. This is why the Haganah was created: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haganah

> It's Jews vs Arabs

No it's not. It's Zionist occupiers vs. the natives.


Using “Zionism” to describe the regime in Israel is misleading. Hertzl was an emancipated Western Jew who was on a personal mission to reinvent the idea of Jews like himself. Western, educated Sephardi. Not Eastern Europeans living in the Middle Ages, which he was culturally and emotionally detached from. Most Sephardi Jews would not marry Eastern European nor consider them to be Jewish at this stage. Hertzl wanted to take on a colonial project to prove the world Jews can be as assertive and proactive as other people. At this stage of history it was to colonize something. He didn’t see Israel-Palestine as a destination nor was he religious. He wasn’t even aware of the activities of the failed “lovers of Zion” project of couple of Russians that tried revive a Jewish homeland in Ottoman Palestine. What happens next was a takeover and repurposing of his agenda, one the two movements “merged”, which eventually will coincide with the holocaust.

Ps Ben Gurion’s treatment of diaspora Jews, ruppin’s race pyramid and eugenics plan for the Jews, and other “anecdotes” are beyond the scope of this discussion, but should be remembered. There’s nothing saintly about pre-state Israel, nor innocent.

That makes sense. It doesn't make Hertzl any less involved nor less scum for choosing to occupy Palestine, regardless of his motives.

> Ps Ben Gurion’s treatment of diaspora Jews, ruppin’s race pyramid and eugenics plan for the Jews, and other “anecdotes” are beyond the scope of this discussion, but should be remembered.

Thanks, I'll look that up.

> There’s nothing saintly about pre-state Israel, nor innocent.

Which the current regime of course denies and tries to rewrite history to say otherwise.

Hertzl didn't choose to occupy anything. His main objective, and the one he fought off the "lovers of zion" over, was a legitimate internationally recognized place for Eastern European "Jews". This was in fact the most serious rift between Hertzl and the Russians.When he died in 1904, the zionist movement was re-purposed for something he never envisioned.

In principal, Western Jews like Hertzl himself did not plan to go anywhere. They saw themselves as Europeans were already emancipated since the first half of the 19th century and integrated (which led to growing anti-Semitism in Western Europe, but that's a different story).

Hertzl was secular and agnostic. Very different circumstances to those in the southern part of the Russian Empire (Pale of Settlement).

So what do we call the ideology that drives the murderous occupying state that exists today under the name of "Israel"?

fascism. Nationalism... Zionism is not an ideology. Zionism died with Hertzl and was already twisted in his life by the Russian faction of the Zionist Congress. Hertzl search was for a legitimate and internationally recognized place, and it didn’t have to be Israel/Palestine.

BTW, WHAT DO YOU call it when Arab leaders like AL-ASAD and AL-SISI, to name a few, kill and torture thousands of their own people, and people like you still find the energy to only reach their keyboard to criticize Israel? Is it fatigue (since you wasted so much time on Israel) or hypocrisy?

> BTW, WHAT DO YOU call it when Arab leaders like AL-ASAD and AL-SISI, to name a few, kill and torture thousands of their own people, and people like you still find the energy to only reach their keyboard to criticize Israel?

And who said we support Assad or Sisi? We're well aware that their regimes are murderous as well. It's not mutually exclusive to speak out against the Israeli occupation.

You really think highschool Israeli propaganda is gonna cut it? There are neonazi Eastern European “Jews” at the WH, and your PM, a polish guy, is associating with neonazis in Europe, because he knows the liberal west will not continue to support the crimes his administration is carrying in the occupied territories.

We’ve long passed “Hagana” and other myths. At least you didn’t link the Hebrew Wikipedia which has been taken over by a nationalistic club of one who’s busy rewriting Israel’s history.

About bedouins, you were talking about the end of the 19th century. At this stage there wasn’t a Palestinian national movement as such. When there was one and following the failed uprise in the 1930s, Palestinians in fact clashed with there own elite, in what was a civil war between the established leadership and a mob. Jews just happened to be in the way.

> My ancestors lived in Israel since 1880

No, they lived in Palestine.

In hindsight, having been the Palestinians pushed away from their lands, first through mass immigration, then by the generous gift made by Europe of those lands to the immigrants, and finally through ethnic cleansing and land grabbing, in hindsight their violence towards the newcomers was perfectly justified. How can you blame them if they saw in advance what was happening?

There never was a Palestinian people or a Palestinian contry.

After last time the Jews (Israeli) lived there those areas went from being Roman to Turkish to British to being split into mostly Jordan and Israel. Jordan was the big part - for the Palestinian Arabs - and Israel was about the about 30 % that was left for Palestinian Jews.

At no point in time however before the Oslo process has there been a Palestinian country, only Arabs and Jews living in Palestine, better known as Israel until that massive propaganda effort last century.

You're being disingenuous; if we call them not just Palestinians, but Philistines or the Peleset, then they are mentioned in multiple histories of the region. While the region passed through Roman, Turkish, and British control, the only time when there was a large influx of foreign folks was during the Islamic expansion, when many Arabs moved into Palestine. Other than that, they've been there since around the Bronze Age Collapse; their history traces through the Iron Age just like Israelite/Jewish history.

> There never was a Palestinian people or a Palestinian contry.

Quite a ridiculous statement. The entire region that spans today's Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine "Israel" was known as Bilad Al-Sham. There were no individual countries with today's borders under the Rashidun Caliphate, to the Ummayads and all the way to the Ottoman empires, just regions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilad_al-Sham

> There never was a Palestinian people or a Palestinian contry.

Your home and the city you live in, probably your entire region, were never a nation. Does that authorise someone else to come and throw you out? Of course not. Let's stop playing with words.

Especially when these arguments come from people who are all recent immigrants to a country that never existed in the past 2000 years and who have changed their surnames from Polish or Russian to made up Hebrew ones.

You're right that it was Palestine, they even have Palestinian immigration papers. But that land was always called Israel by the Jews, and on those same papers it says "Eretz Israel" in Hebrew.

The Jews and Palestinians could have lived in peace. The land was settled legally, and the Arabs never controlled it. They chose war instead of peace, when they could have chosen to live together as two nations.

> the Arabs never controlled it

Zionist lies.


I think a part of the West could indeed understand (if not approve). Many things such as you mentioned happened in a large part of Europe as well, 19th century included: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_Horrors

You can justify many things if you go digging through history this way.

Palestinians got screwed over by something geopolitical. Again and again they were egged on by their Arab neighbors to walk away from more equitable treaties. All in the name of geopolitical Arab nationalism. Today their Arab neighbors are building cutting edge cities, while Palestinians are asking for a fraction of what they were offered in the 1920s/30s.

To be clear, not a single Arab country wants to see an independent Palestinian state. Not a single one. The Palestinians were not even included originally in the Arab League that was supposed to represent their cause. Palestinians were considered a threat to the stability of the post colonial “middle east” (a fabrication created by the west) and they are still treated as such. The crimes committed by Israel not withstanding.

> To be clear, not a single Arab country wants to see an independent Palestinian state. Not a single one

Where are you getting your information from if I may ask? There are literally millions of anecdata for the contrary.


Have you spoken to practically any normal (i.e. not speaking on behalf of a government) citizen of almost any Arab or Muslim country today? Palestine is always on their mind.

Did you find out who the Arab countries participating in the Arab league chose to represent Palestinians in the 1st summit?

If you want to have a meaningful dialogue you have to stick to the facts. Calling people murderers while not knowing anything much about your own, is not going to be very productive.

> Did you find out who the Arab countries participating in the Arab league chose to represent Palestinians in the 1st summit?

You're proving my point that some rulers are disconnected from the population when it comes to this issue. There is a strong unity among the Arab and Muslim populations for this issue.

> To be clear, not a single Arab country wants to see an independent Palestinian state. Not a single one.

Is Liban an arab country?

Or: would they go back to Oslo and tell Arafat not to be a putz, if they could?

I typically hate counterfactuals with a passion, but at some point pragmatism becomes worth considering.

Not that I'm in their context and capable of making that call, mind you.

Oh it's absolutely possible that if they had settled in the 1920s they'd eventually get screwed anyway.

This is a good point. An area steeped in sectarian violence and racism must surely take a completely different approach than an area with purely political struggles. I wonder what mechanisms other that political pressure might make progress in the Middle-East or if there are any success stories to learn from in other areas?

> An area steeped in sectarian violence and racism

So they say. In the meanwhile, Israel has taken almost all the land. It's a very convenient racist and sectarian hatred this of the Palestinians, it has a return measurable in square kms, hundreds of thousands of low price houses, arable land and water resources. For the Israelis, of course.

Problems are always infinitely complicated in the words of those who profit from keeping them unsolved.

OP's context went back thousands of years, so maybe I'd be more accurate to say sectarian violence and tribalism? Either way, maybe there's a hint in your comment. Finding ways to add sharp external costs to all parties involved? Whether Israel's state sanctioned abuse of Palestinians, Hamas or any other faction's violence, and likely also costs to neighboring countries who continue to have motivations other than seeking resolution. Do methods to add costs/pressures like that exist?

> "An area steeped in sectarian violence and racism must surely take a completely different approach than an area with purely political struggles"

I'm not even sure how to respond to this. Are you suggesting the people of that region are inherently violent? Are we talking about the violence caused by Western countries starting several wars there in the last few decades? Are we talking about the colonial powers' exploitation of Shia/Sunni divides to further their interests?

I'm not suggesting anything, I'm wondering what mechanisms other that political pressure might make progress in the Middle-East, given the historical context that the OP mentioned.

Also, the guidelines: "Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."

> lived in Israel since 1880

There was no "Israel" in 1880.

> and a holy war.

No it's not.

Historical whataboutism like this is the source of much of the moral justification for outright evil in the world.

I'm not spouting whataboutism, I'm giving some much needed context to a conflict that very few truly understand. No one in the West understands the Jewish side of the story, but it's important if we want peace.

IMO there are very, very few nations who can truly understand the mindset of Jewish people. Only those that faced systemic extermination have the means for comparison. Armenians, Roma and a handful of others.

Though I'm not Jewish myself I fancy myself a big supporter of their plight to have a safe country where they can live without fearing expulsions or genocide.

I’m picking on you a bit but I am Jewish and I really dislike this ignorant attitude conflating Jews and Israel. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the various non-Zionist movements and individuals who are also Jewish. The state of Israel is a racist apartheid state and this is bigotry masquerading as ignorance

Picking out a population of thousands to say "some Jews oppose Israel", and then conclude that the state of Israel is extricable from Judaism, is extremely disingenuous. Almost all Jews globally support Israel, half of the world's Jews live in Israel, Israel is built on Jewish laws and values, and you need to contend with that.

Really appalling. But I’ll just point out this is being reported by an Israeli newspaper. I look forward to the day a report this critical of its government can be freely published in Arab nations.

I don't believe Arabs are under the illusion that their government is non-tyrannical. I live in Egypt and there's not a single person I've met that doesn't think their government is corrupt, oppressive and inept. So there's really nothing revealing or surprising that a newspaper could report.

"BREAKING: Egyptian government is corrupt. In other news, water is wet."

On the other hand, there are perhaps many Israelis who believe the false narrative that the Palestinians sold their lands and left, but changed their minds and started the aggression.

> But I’ll just point out this is being reported by an Israeli newspaper.

That's not a silver lining, that just means the bar is waaaay too low. Raise it.

I look forward to the day a report this critical of Israel can be published in a US newspaper!

The episodes surrounding Norman Finkelstein in the late 2000s seems to have drawn the line for Israel - insofar as outside critique seem to be less sanctum, but internal publications are can still critique the government. One prominent example of this is the events relating to the film "Jenin, Jenin" by Mohammed Bakri where the Supreme Court of Israel overturned a ban even while calling the film propaganda.

I don't have a specific example, but my expectation would be that this holds the same in many countries including the United States. The worry, of course, for all of us is that in times of stress citizens are much more vulnerable. Citizens can be compelled to act against or be silenced from expressing their opinions. The hope, in some cases, is that foreign correspondents are less susceptible to this. On the other hand, I suppose the counter-point to relying on foreign correspondents is that they can be coerced by their own country.

Maybe we can only trust that which both our peers and enemies agree on, though I suppose Oceania and Eurasia could both agree that they have always been at war with each other and we are none the wiser.

An Israeli friend told me that after the Shoah her countrymen faced a choice. They could say "never again" or "never again to us."

Tens of thousands killed, millions forced to flee their ancestral lands overnight, guess who I am talking about: Germans Post WW2. They too loved their lands which they too had lived in for millennia. How many Germans do you see blowing up cafes in Warsaw or Prague asking for their land back?

How about the 12 Million South Asians displaced in the partition of India & Pakistan? How many Hindus/Sikhs do you see asking for their lands back? the Indus Valley (modern day Pakistan) is the cradle of Indian civilization.

Mind you, both these events happened at the same time (1945-50) as the founding of Israel. Somehow they all seem to have moved on with their lives, and yet the Palestinians seem to be the only one fixated on "our lands" and indulging in self-flagellation.

IMHO the The Palestinians just need to get over it and move on with building a new life in some Arab countries. This idea of condemning generations to oppression and racism, and living in that hell hole of Gaza/West Bank, in the vain hope of winning it all back, is utter insanity.

Malmab personnel interviewed at the end of the article:

> But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?

> “I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

For additional context, this is with regards to the scholarship of Benny Morris[0]. Plenty of liberal democracies use and abuse the concept of state secrets, but to abuse it in such a petty and transparent way feels...counterproductive?


Could be useful to mention at the same time how many jews were thrown out from neighboring countries.

This somehow slips everyones minds as those were successfully integrated and not set aside in refugee camps to be played as a pawn in the western media guilt and shame game.

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