Tuesday 16 September 2008

Alef List Posting Number 5

Message to Alef List August 21, 2007

In a post to Alef on Thursday August 9, 2007 at 06:00:23 IDT, Tony Greenstein made a number of claims. I think members of this list should be grateful if I take the trouble to point out three of his errors in that post.

1. 1. Misquote from David Ben-Gurion

Tony Greenstein stated: "In 1937 he [David Ben-Gurion] wrote to his son that 'We will expel the Arabs and take their places.'"

The Truth

This has been exposed as a disgraceful distortion. What Ben-Gurion actually said in that letter was as follows: "We do NOT wish and do NOT need to expel Arabs and take their place. [Emphases added] All our aspiration is built on the assumption – proven throughout all our activity – that there is enough room for ourselves and the Arabs in Palestine."[1]

2. 2. Error on population

Tony Greenstein stated, "Even in the area that the United Nations allocated to a Jewish state, a majority of the population were Arabs."

The Truth

According to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, based on official figures up to the end of 1946 there were estimated to be approximately 498,000 Jews in the Jewish State and 407,000 Arabs and others, leaving the majority population as Jewish. [2]

3. 3. Error on bombs in Iraq

Tony Greenstein stated: "Zionist agents in Iraq [were engaged in] setting off bombs in Jewish areas."

The Truth

According to the Iraqi Government 5 bombs were set off in areas where Jews might congregate. Prior to their trial in 1950, the Iraqi Government claimed that those arrested, including Shalom Salih and Yosef Basri, were guilty. There was not a single prosecution witness who could testify that they had seen the accused where the explosions occurred. The court relied upon the testimony of Shalom Salih, despite the fact that his testimony was extracted after severe torture The radical pan-Arab Istiqlal party in Iraq contained many pro-Nazi members who wanted Jews expelled from Iraq and their property seized. As Moshe Gat concluded in his study, "It is here, most probably, that the perpetrators of the bombings should be sought." [3]

[1] Efraim Karsh "Revisiting Israel's 'Original Sin': The Strange Case of Benny Morris" Commentary September, 2003, 46-50
[2] United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, Recommendations to the General Assembly, A/364, 3 September 1947 available at http://www.mideastweb.org/unscop1947.htm
[3] Moshe Gat "Between Terror and Emigration: The Case of Iraqi Jewry." Israel Affairs Vol. 7 No. 1 (Autumn 2000), 1-24

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