Sunday, May 02, 2010

Gringo's Link

In the extended Israel-Palestine discussion, which I imagine not all of you could endure, Gringo linked to an Atlantic Magazine article from 1961.

ACCORDING to Arab politicians and apologists, this is what happened, this is the authentic view, these are the facts. Doubt is treasonous. There can be only one truth, according to Arab politicians and apologists, and it belongs to them:

In 1948, war took place between five Arab nations of the Middle East and the Jews in Palestine. This war was caused by the United Nations, whose General Assembly resolved to partition Palestine into two states, one for the Palestinian Arabs, the other for the Jews. The Arab nations and the Palestinian Arabs would not accept this monstrous decision. They were obliged to protect themselves against it, with force. The United Nations operated as the tool of the Western Imperialists, notably Great Britain and the United States. The United Nations wanted the Jews to proclaim the upstart state of Israel. Because of the Western Imperialists, who favored Israel, the Arabs lost the war. By massacre, threatening broadcasts, pointed bayonets, and the murderous siege of cities, the Jews drove hundreds of thousands of Arabs out of their homeland. For thirteen years, these Arab refugees have languished in misery around the borders of Israel. The United Nations (Western branch) bears the blame for these events and must repair the damage. The condition of the refugees is a sore on the conscience of honorable men. The Israeli government refuses to welcome back to their homeland the refugees, now swollen to more than a million in number. This refusal demonstrates the brutality and dishonesty of Israel, an abnormal nation of aliens who not only forced innocent people into exile but also stole their property. There is no solution to this injustice, the greatest the world has ever seen, except to repatriate all Palestinian refugees in Palestine. Palestine is an Arab country, now infamously called Israel. Israel has no right to exist, and the Arab nations will not sign peace treaties with it but will, by every means possible, maintain the state of war.

I think I have secretly wondered most of my life Does anyone actually believe this story, or is it just maintained officially in hopes of achieving political advantage? I believe I suspected the latter was true at least among the leaders. I now doubt that strongly. The context here is that in 1961, all readers of Atlantic knew this narrative was bizarrely inaccurate. They had observed many of the events in the daily news themselves. They were not history, but memory, even if few people necessarilly paid close attention throughout. Note also, that this same narrative, virtually unchanged now, predates 1967 and 1973.


Anna said...

my lebanese mother believes that whole-heartedly. I used to too, until I actually did my own research and thought about it. she would probably disown me if she knew what I really thought so I still play along with her in her presence.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Interesting. A Lebanese friend who is a Melkite comes from a family that disbelieves most of it, including a grandfather who was always complaining about what bastards the Druze were.

Anna said...

haha that is interesting. my mother tends to shut out any information that does not agree with her "narrative" so that could be part of the problem.

have you heard of the book "son of hamas" yet? i fully intend to read it sometime, its about a former member of hamas who converted to christianity and became a double agent for the israelis.