Israeli Declaration of Independence read by David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948

As Israel celebrates its 65 birthday today, here’s David Ben-Gurion’s full reading of the Declaration of Independence in Tel-Aviv, on the 5th day of Iyar, 5708 (14th May, 1948).

Raed Salah’s latest: Muslim demography will free USA and Europe from Zionist slavery

Cross posted by Mark Gardner at the CST

Sheikh Raed Salah has triumphantly declared that Muslim birth rates will free Islam-hating Europeans and Americans from “mental subjugation”, and enslavement to“global Zionism” , “Protestant Zionism” and “the Crusader hatred”. The speech was recently broadcast on Al Jazeera and an excerpt has been translated by MEMRI. It lasts just over 3 minutes and should be viewed here:

First, the quickest of recaps: Salah is an Israeli citizen and leading Islamist activist who entered Britain in June 2011, despite having been banned as ‘not conducive to the public good. Lionised by the Guardian and the usual suspects, Salah was very briefly imprisoned before losing his first appeal against deportation. He won his second appeal in April 2012, then promptly left the UK.

The case, like that of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, typified how UK Jewish concerns about overseas Islamists are traduced by the anti-Israel mob. For example, none of Salah’s many defenders have yet explicitly acknowledged that the judge who granted his appeal, did so despite having found that he had repeated the Blood Libel. (Yes, that Blood Libel – the one about Christian children’s blood and matzos. See judgement, sections 57, 58 and 59.) Most disgracefully, this includes his champions at the Guardian.

This footage is the kind of wild rhetoric that renders Salah’s presence here as not conducive to the UK public good, and in breach of Home Office guidelines against extremist preaching: regardless of whether or not one believes him to be an out-and-out Jew-hater.

It begins with Salah declaring:

…you haters, you midgets, you little insolent people – whether in America, in France, or in Denmark – listen to us, so we can show you who you really are.

You are slaves to global Zionism. You are slaves to Protestant Zionism. You are slaves to the Crusader hatred.

You should know that we are coming to you with the compassion of Islam to deliver you from the ignominy of your slavery.

This continues an intensifying trend in both leftist and Islamist circles, whereby anti-Muslim hate is blamed upon the mind-bending power of Zionism. We saw it, for example, in the case of Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik. The potential impact of such a narrative upon inter-communal relations is obvious: as is the underlying belief in a Zionist conspiracy that holds entire continents in mental slavery.

It is disgusting that Jewish concerns about such hatreds should be treated with contempt.

Next, Salah exults:

“You should know that Muhammad is the most popular name in Asia. Muhammad is also the most popular name in Africa. Very soon, Muhammad will be the most popular name in Europe.

…I say to you who harbor hatred towards the Messenger of Allah that it will not be long before Allah grants us victory over you. Then, when you ask us, terrified and afraid, what we will do to you, we will say to you: You are free to go, because our goal is to shatter the subjugation of your minds to the enterprise of Herzl and David Ben Gurion.”

Watch the speech and how it is delivered. Consider Salah’s increasingly feverish triumphalism as he yells about Muhammad becoming the most popular name in Europe. If others had made such a speech, in such a manner, we can well imagine how it would have been correctly publicised and condemned by the Guardian, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Robert Lambert, David Miller, Victoria Brittain etc and their pals in the UK Muslim Brotherhood. Instead, they will likely note that Salah’s speech has been translated by an Israeli outfit – and that will be the target of their outrage.

Finally, the Guardian has still not told its readers that Salah’s UK arrest came shortly before he was due to brief some of its senior staff. Had the briefing happened, it is unlikely that Salah would have mentioned midgets enslaved to “global” and/or“Protestant” Zionism, or that he would have gone off on a triumphalist Islamist rant about Muhammad being the most popular name in Africa, Asia and (soon) Europe.

Nevertheless, if the Guardian’s staff, or Corbyn etc, want to know about Salah, his ideology, and why Jews and non-Jews, (including even Zionists and Conservative Home Secretaries), have every right to be concerned about him, then they should watch the video. Of course, this won’t change their behaviour in the slightest: so perhaps they could consider the potential racist backlash against ordinary European Muslims, should Salah’s kind of Islamist demographic threat rhetoric become the norm.

The likeliest outcome: a memo to Salah from the UK Muslim Brotherhood, saying,‘with respect, try not to give the game away when TV cameras are present…as you well know, the Zionists are watching’.

The Palestinian Failure

Cross posted by A. Jay Adler, who blogs at The Sad Red Earth, Times of Israel and The Algemeiner

Munib R. al-Masri

Some nations are lucky in their leaders. For decades now, academic historians have downplayed the significance of the leader – the “great man” – in the understanding of historical epochs and focused their attention elsewhere.

Still, you cannot study the early American republic without renewed appreciation for the role of George Washington.

How lucky was the U.S. again for Lincoln in his time, FDR in his, England for Churchill at the same time, Israel for David Ben Gurion. The French were not so lucky at the time of their revolution. The Palestinian Arabs, too, have had no Ben Gurion. They had Yassar Arafat.

A couple of weeks ago, Munib R. al-Masri, a storied figure among Palestinians and considered to be the wealthiest of them all, published an Op-Ed in The New York Times. al-Masri is quite a moderate Palestinian, who is currently seeking a third way, beside the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and trying to construct avenues toward peace with Israeli counterparts.

Still, he must operate in the Palestinian environment created over the past sixty-plus years, and there are party lines he chooses to follow. He claimed, for instance, as the title of his Op-Ed read, in response to the well-publicized comment by Mitt Romney, that “Occupation, Not Culture, Is Holding Palestinians Back.”

My point is not to comment on Romney’s observation, but al-Masri’s – that it is any Israeli “occupation” or other activity that has held Palestinians back. In fact, I don’t need to make that case. Seven years ago, in David Samuels’  lengthy “In a Ruined Country,” for the Atlantic, al-Masri made the case himself.

“The money [Arafat] spent to buy the loyalty of his court, al-Masri gently suggests, could easily have paid for a functioning Palestinian state instead.

With three hundred, four hundred million dollars we could have built Palestine in ten years. Waste, waste, waste. I flew over the West Bank in a helicopter with Arafat at the beginning of Oslo, and I told him how easy we could make five, six, seven towns here; we could absorb a lot of people here; and have the right of return for the refugees. If you have good intentions and you say you want to reach a solution, we could do it. I said, if you have money and water, it could be comparable to Israel, this piece of land.”

Samuels expanded.

“For those at the top of the heap the rewards were much larger and more systematic. The amounts of money stolen from the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people through the corrupt practices of Arafat’s inner circle are so staggeringly large that they may exceed one half of the total of $7 billion in foreign aid contributed to the Palestinian Authority. The biggest thief was Arafat himself. The International Monetary Fund has conservatively estimated that from 1995 to 2000 Arafat diverted $900 million from Palestinian Authority coffers, an amount that did not include the money that he and his family siphoned off through such secondary means as no-bid contracts, kickbacks, and rake-offs. A secret report prepared by an official Palestinian Authority committee headed by Arafat’s cousin concluded that in 1996 alone, $326 million, or 43 percent of the state budget, had been embezzled, and that another $94 million, or 12.5 percent of the budget, went to the president’s office, where it was spent at Arafat’s personal discretion. An additional 35 percent of the budget went to pay for the security services, leaving a total of $73 million, or 9.5 percent of the budget, to be spent on the needs of the population of the West Bank and Gaza. The financial resources of the PLO, which may have amounted to somewhere between one and two billion dollars, were never included in the PA budget. Arafat hid his personal stash, estimated at $1 billion to $3 billion, in more than 200 separate bank accounts around the world, the majority of which have been uncovered since his death.

Contrary to the comic-book habits of some Third World leaders, such as President Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire, and Saddam Hussein, Arafat eschewed lurid displays of wealth. His corruption was of a more sober-minded type. He was a connoisseur of power, who used the money that he stole to buy influence, to provoke or defuse conspiracies, to pay gunmen, and to collect hangers-on the way other men collect stamps or butterflies. Arafat had several advisers who oversaw the system of patronage and theft, which was convincingly outlined in a series of investigative articles by Ronen Bergman that appeared during the late 1990s in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. The PLO treasurer, Nizar Abu Ghazaleh, ran the company al-Bahr (“the Sea”) for a small number of wealthy shareholders, including Arafat’s wife, Suha. Al-Bahr set the price of a ton of cement in Gaza at $74, of which $17 went into Arafat’s private bank account. One of Arafat’s favorite bagmen, Harbi Sarsour, ran the General Petroleum Company, which established a monopoly over all the gasoline and fuel-oil products sold in the West Bank and Gaza. A company called al-Sakhra (“the Rock”), run by Fuad Shubaki on behalf of Fatah, profited hugely from an exclusive contract to provide all uniforms and other supplies to the Palestinian security forces. Official monopolies on basic goods and services had exclusive suppliers on the Israeli side. These profitable contracts were made available by Arafat to companies associated with former high-ranking members of the Israeli civil administration and the security services in the West Bank and Gaza.

The genius behind this system was Muhammad Rachid, who became Arafat’s closest economic adviser. A onetime protégé of Abu Jihad, Rachid was a former magazine editor who became involved in the diamond business. He came to Arafat’s attention because of his keen talent as a businessman, and because he was an ethnic Kurd—which meant that he was safely removed from the family- and clan-based politics that always threatened to disrupt the division of the spoils.

In their cities and villages Palestinians were subject to the extortion and violence of Arafat’s overlapping security services, which competed among themselves for payoffs, arbitrarily arrested people and seized their land, and forced citizens to pay double or triple the price for everything from flour and gasoline to cigarettes, razor blades, and sheep feed. The fact that nearly everyone in Palestinian political life had taken something directly from Arafat’s hand made it hard to criticize him; it was easier to go along. In 1991, at the low point of Fatah’s finances, Ali Shahin, one of Arafat’s earliest allies, wrote a secret report lambasting Fatah’s “inconceivable moral degradation,” for which he blamed the excesses of a leader whose true interests were “the red carpet, the private plane of the President, free rein to spend money.” Shahin became the minister of supplies in Arafat’s government and was notorious for selling spoiled flour and making truckloads of chocolates sit at the Erez checkpoint in the heat in order to help out a friend who owned the only candy factory in Gaza. The economy of the Palestinian territories, which had enjoyed startlingly high growth rates after 1967, when it passed from Jordanian and Egyptian control into the hands of the Israelis, stagnated and then went backward. In less than a decade Yasir Arafat and his clique managed to squander not only the economic well-being but also the considerable moral capital amassed by the Palestinian people during two and a half decades of Israeli military rule.”

Samuels later gives us Gazan human-rights activist Iyad Sarraj.

“Palestinians have lost the battle because of their lack of organization and because they have been captives of rhetoric and sloganeering rather than actual work,” he says. “I believe that the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians in one way or the other is between development and underdevelopment, civilization and backwardness. Israel was established on the rule of law, on democratization, and certain principles that would advance Israel, while the Arabs and the Palestinians were waiting always for the prophet, for the rescuer, for the savior, the mahdi. Arafat came, and everyone hung their hats on him without realizing that there is a big gap between the rescuer and the actual work that needs to be done. This is where the Palestinians lost again the battle. They lost it in ’48 because of their backwardness, ignorance, and lack of organization in how to confront the Zionist enemy. They lost it when they had the chance to build a state, because the PA was absolutely corrupt and disorganized.”

There probably has never been a people more ill-served by a greater lack of leadership, a greater financial and moral corruption of leadership, than the Palestinian people. And there is a lot of competition.

The faux Zionist history of Ilan Pappé

A guest post by Dexter Van Zile 

Ali Abunimah, Ilan Pappe, and Sophia Deeg

By now, it’s reasonable to conclude that famed revisionist historian Ilan Pappé has transgressed the sacred ground between quotation marks by inventing a quote and attributing it to Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. It’s also reasonable to conclude that his publisher, Oneworld Publications and his colleagues at the University of Exeter will fail to hold him account for his actions.

The quote in question appeared in an article Pappé wrote for the Autumn 2006 issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies and in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld Publications) that came out a few weeks later. In these texts, Pappé reported that in a 1937 letter to his son, Ben-Gurion declared:

“The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as war.”

Historian Benny Morris declared that the quote was an invention in December 2006. He did not challenge Pappé directly, but journalist Johan Hari used the quote to assail Israel in a commentary that appeared in The Independent soon after it appeared in print twice under Pappé’s name.

In declaring the quote an invention, Morris was on solid ground. The quote does not appear in any of the references that Pappé cited for it. In Ethnic Cleansing, Pappé cites the July 12, 1937 entry in Ben-Gurion’s journal and page 220 of the August-September issue of New Judea, a newsletter published by the World Zionist Organization. The quote appears nowhere in these texts, nor does it appear in the source he references in the article appearing in the Journal of Palestine Studies, a book by Charles D. Smith.

Morris’ statement that the quote attributed to Ben-Gurion was an “invention” should have prompted Pappé to either provide an accurate, verifiable source for the quote or to issue a retraction to prevent others from using it. Instead, the quote lingered on – without correction or retraction – in the fever swamp of anti-Zionist commentary.

It eventually made its way into With God on Our Side, an anti-Israel documentary produced by Porter Speakman, Jr. in 2010. (One of the main commentators in this movie is Rev. Stephen Sizer. Sizer is well known to readers of CIF Watch, Harry’s Place, Seismic Shock and to fans of his appearances on Iranian state television.)

To his credit, Speakman was the first person to issue a correction regarding the quote. After challenges from CAMERA, Speakman acknowledged that the quote in question did not appear in the original sources that Pappé cited and stated it would not appear in future editions of the movie 

It took a few months for Speakman to finally respond to a factual challenge, but he did the right thing. And to its credit, the Journal of Palestine Studies is taking a closer look at Pappé’s 2006 article, but is apparently having a tough time getting a hold of the historian himself.

This is no surprise. Pappé has ignored repeated inquires from CAMERA about the quote.

Pappé’s silence on this matter is inexcusable.

Six years on, it’s time for an accounting.

Pappé needs to admit the quote is a fake, or pull a rabbit out of a hat and provide an actual, verifiable source for the statement he attributed to David Ben-Gurion.

The space between quotation marks is sacred ground and needs to be treated as such.

If Pappé does not come clean, his colleagues at the University of Exeter need to challenge him to do, as do his publishers at Oneworld Publications, which needs to expunge this quote from its text.

To fail to do so would indicate the publishing house seeks to profit from a fabrication.

Dexter Van Zile is a researcher at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).