Guardian publishes historical fiction about Israel in ‘Letters’ section


Commenting on the UN’s egregious bias against the Jewish state, Abba Eban (who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN and foreign minister, among other posts) once quipped: “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”

To this I’d add: If the resolution was introduced today it would likely receive sympathetic coverage in the Guardian.

The latest anti-Israeli communique at the Guardian demonstrates that historical truth plays little if any role in Guardian editors’ decisions regarding which letters to publish.

The following letter, titled ‘UK’s responsibility to the Palestinians“, was published on November 1st and was signed by such sage anti-Zionists, and confirmed one-staters, as Ghada KarmiTim Llewellyn, Karl Sabbagh, John Rose, Kamel Hawwash, Naomi Foyle, Mona Baker, Mike Marquesee and Seni Seneviratne.

This thrifty polemic (196 words in three passages) may represent the greatest degree of anti-Israeli malice, and historical fiction, per word in quite a long time at the Guardian.

Here’s the first passage:

“Today is the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, when the then foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, signed a fateful letter to Lord Rothschild announcing that the British government “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people”. Britain thus gave the zionist movement carte blanche to transform the overwhelmingly Arab state of Palestine into a Jewish one.”

It may be tedious, but certainly necessary, to point out that there was not in the years preceding the birth of Israel – nor at any other time in history – an independent “Arab state of Palestine”.   There have only been Jewish states in the territory known as “Palestine” – two between 1020 and 586 BCE, and, of course, the modern state of Israel.

(Even after 586 BCE, the Jews enjoyed periods of sovereignty afterward, until most were driven from their homeland in 135 C.E.)

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in Israel continued. Indeed, there has been a continuous, uninterrupted, Jewish presence in the Land of Israel for over 3,000 years.

Further, Palestinian Arab nationalism did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War.

To argue that “Arab Palestine” was transformed into a Jewish state is a lie.

Here’s the second passage:

“To further this aim, from 1920 onwards, Britain encouraged the mass immigration into Palestine of hundreds of thousands of European Jews, expressly against the wishes of the majority population. As Palestine descended into chaos, the British washed their hands of their responsibility for the mess they had caused and stood by while hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were terrorised into fleeing their homeland, as Palestine was transformed into Israel.”

Actually, not only is a lie to argue that Britain encouraged the mass immigration of Jews, but, bowing to Arab pressure, they consistently placed enormous restrictions (especially beginning in mid 1930s) on Jews who wished to emigrate to the land of Israel (historic Palestine).  The British gave in further to Arab demands by announcing (in the 1939 White Paper) that Jewish immigration would be limited to a total of 75,000 over the next five-year period.

These restrictions continued even during the the Holocaust.

The gates of Israel remained closed during WWII, stranding hundreds of thousands of Jews in Europe, many of whom became victims of Hitler’s Holocaust. After the war, the British, again fearful of angering Arab leaders, even refused to allow the survivors of the Shoah to find sanctuary in Palestine.

Here’s the final passage from the Guardian letter:

“We call for the British government to acknowledge publicly the responsibility of previous British administrations from 1917 to 1948 for the catastrophe that befell the Palestinians, when over three-quarters were expelled deliberately and systematically by the Zionist army. Most of them remain refugees today without redress. The truth about their expulsions is still not officially established, since Israel officially denies any responsibility for it.”

Actually, those Palestinians who fled during the War of Independence did so as the result of an Arab war of annihilation against the nascent Jewish state. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees from 1948 - roughly 600,000 people – did not flee as the result of Israeli military actions.

As Mitchell Bard wrote:

“The Palestinians left their homes in 1947-48 for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders’ calls to get out-of-the-way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a battle.”

As far as “responsibility” for the Palestinians’ plight, had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN resolution, there wouldn’t have been a single Palestinian refugee and Palestine would be 64 years old.

Further, had Arab states welcomed their Palestinian brothers with open arms in the years following 1948, and granted them full citizenship rights – as Jews expelled from Arab countries were granted full citizenship rights when they arrived in mass between 1947 and 1967 – instead of cynically keeping them segregated in refugee camps for political reasons, there wouldn’t be a Palestinian refugee crisis. 

The historical fictions contained in this recent Guardian letter about Israel are of such a magnitude that (to paraphrase Israeli historian Benny Morris’s review of the book, ‘The Israel Lobby’) if the letter was an actual person, we would have to say that he did not have a single honest bone in his body.

29 comments on “Guardian publishes historical fiction about Israel in ‘Letters’ section

  1. Maybe you ought to remind them of the following British double crossing:

    On 21 March 1921, the Foreign and Colonial office legal advisers decided to introduce Article 25 into the Palestine Mandate, which brought Transjordan under the mandate and stated that in that territory, Britain could ‘postpone or withhold’ those articles of the Mandate concerning a Jewish National Home. It was approved by Curzon on 31 March 1921, and the revised final draft of the mandate (including Transjordan) was forwarded to the League of Nations on 22 July 1922. In August 1922, the British government presented a memorandum to the League of Nations stating that Transjordan would be excluded from all the provisions dealing with Jewish settlement, and this memorandum was approved by the League on 12 August.
    Abdullah established his government on 11 April 1921. Britain administered the part west of the Jordan as Palestine, and the part east of the Jordan as Transjordan. Technically they remained one mandate, but most official documents referred to them as if they were two separate mandates. In May 1923 Transjordan was granted a degree of independence with Abdullah as ruler and Harry St. John Philby as chief representative.

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

    • In what sense “double crossing”? On what grounds would Jewish immigration to Transjordan have been encouraged in the first place?

      • Try examining the map the WZO thought would make a “nice” defendable Jewish homeland. They presented it to the Versailles conference, I believe.

  2. Yes, that bit about “the overwhelmingly Arab state of Palestine” had me scratching my head too.

    The letter does have comedy value, mind.
    “We call for the British government to acknowledge publicly …”

    Hilarious! Who do these historically challenged windbags think they are?

  3. God, don’t we all get tired of repeating facts to these wilful ignoramuses.

    I heard Ghada Karmi speak at that famous Middlesex University”debate” when Jenny Tonge finally was recorded making her Jew hatred threats and was subsequently dismissed from the LebDem whip in the HoL. She is no less a delusionist than the rest of those who fabricate the notion of this vibrant Arab state they call Palestine. She claimed deep knowledge of the region one second contradicting herself the next by saying she is unable to visit her supposed homeland. The woman is an ardent Jew hater. She speaks with a quiet passive-aggressive tone, spewing out her words of hatred. She knows as well as anyone that any sort of Arab state in Palestine was non existent. That region of the Ottoman Empire was poorly neglected by the Turks and had degenerated into swamp-land with few cosmopolitan areas like Tel Aviv that was a vibrant bustling developed socio-economic centre created by the Jews of Palestine. The Arabs of Palestine were mostly Bedouin whose nature was much like the Romanies, moving around as they depleted each region they passed through. They certainly never developed any stable centres of Arab society.

    I can only recommend again that everyone get a copy of Pierre van Paassen’s book The Forgotten Ally. But for the Jews of Palestine these Jew haters would be speaking German in the Nazi dictatorship of the UK. We Jews they hate so much of course would still be around as we have been for more than 3000 years.

  4. Tonge is truly an appalling person.

    Why it took so long to remove her from the LibDems is troubling.

    • She would still be there if it was not for Rich Millett having recorded her vile rant and then passing it on to other politically influential bloggers .
      Well done Rich for finally slaying the dragon .

  5. “But for the Jews of Palestine these Jew haters would be speaking German in the Nazi dictatorship of the UK.”

    You surely mean the Slavs of Russia ?

        • Let me get this straight. You are telling us that the Jews of Palestine saved the UK from a Nazi dictatorship ? I had always understood that it was the Soviets that did that. Do tell us more.

          • According to Van Paassen who was a journalist on the ground at the time and who second to Churchill was responsible for bringing the Americans into the war, the British had their backs against the wall with Rommel claiming in North Africa that all he had to do was wait for the dust to settle to stake the Nazi claim to the region. He reports a story about how a Jew of Palestine built the required bridges over the Tigris and Euphrates to provide a route for the British to their Eastern colonies when the British had no means of accomplishing this mission, as they were blocked on all fronts. He says that there were 45,000 Jews of Palestine fighting with the British across the region forming 10% of the Allied fighting forces. These Jews served as scouts and avant guards. In Benghazi, that same place in the news today, they established Rommel’s plan to take the region and thus enable the British a victory. All across North Africa they served in this capacity with most of them meeting their deaths on these missions. Moshe Dayan lost his eye, hence his famous eye patch, in the mission to secure the bridges of Southern Lebanon enabling the Australian troops to get through to save upper Syria (what is today Lebanon and Syria) from being handed over to the Nazis by the French. Of course at a subsequent meeting in Cairo to divide the region the Jews were not invited, but Al Saud, Hoseini of Jerusalem and the Iraqis amongst other pro Nazis or by standers were in attendance.

            I could go on, but just buy the book, The Forgotten Ally by Pierre van Paassen and your mind will boggle at this contemporaneous account of what transpired across the region throughout the first half of last century, including the duplicity of the colonial office.

            • BTW when people refer to Palestinians today they forget that a substantial number of Israelis were the Jews of Palestine. It is a misnomer to apply the name Palestinian only to Arabs as all inhabitants of the British Mandate of Palestine were called Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, Christians, B’Hai, and all other citizens. My Hebrew teacher in South Africa was a Jew of Palestine with her family dating back in the region to the First Temple. Hence the Palestinian (Israeli) Philharmonic Orchestra is the same orchestra the BDS interrupted at the Albert Hall – like the Jews of Palestine it takes its name from that of the country it functions in, then Palestine now Israel. Also the Palestine Dead Sea works started by a German Jew in the 1930′s now the butt of BDS delegitimisation. These institutions and factories were always Jewish but changed their names according to the change of name of the country. I guess much like Salisbury, Rhodesia, same people different name.

                • No I am just trying to be clear. Are you saying that were it not for Palestinian Jews Germany would have won the war occupied the UK and the UK would have been under the heel of a Nazi dictatorship ? ( this is just a polite way of asking are you really as freaking nuts as you come over or are you winding us up ? )

  6. Harv would you like to explain to us just how Israel is safer now that Jenny Tongue is no longer a freaking Lib Dem ?

    Anyway if it hadn’t been for me…….

    • “Harv would you like to explain to us just how Israel is safer now that Jenny Tongue is no longer a freaking Lib Dem ?”

      Citation?

    • Israel is not safer at all, it has been safe and will remain safe with or without the presence of Tonge in British politics. What it is safer now is the UK itself. I know you are in a deep distress now but don’t worry the remaining trash (Kaufmann, Corbyn, Slaughter. Lord Ahmed etc.) must be able to supply your need for shit consumption in the foreseeable future.

  7. Peter it is true I am in distress now. My wife was trying to wash her hair and had a pizza in the oven. I have just had to eat a cinder. How much worse can it get ?

    • I always suspected that your mental power is somehow very limited, but I never thought that taking out a pizza from the oven is above your ability. Don’t worry you are not alone – the world is full of losers who are trying to explain off their own incompetence as the fault of Jews – just ask the baroness.

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