April 27, 2008

More zionist "miracles" at the Observer

There's been a mixed bag of letters in today's Observer in response to Sam Kiley's largely ludicrous piece "on" Israel's 60th anniversary. Unfortunately some of the letters perpetuate or even bolster the myths expounded in the (not so) original piece. Happily some do expose the sheer dishonesty in it. I'd say on balance that the hasbara machine has come out on top but, you know, little acorns and all that.

Anyway, here are my faves:

It is difficult to know where the inaccuracies end and the dishonesty begins in Sam Kiley's rendering of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Kiley asserts it is 'a conflict which has been fed by Arab nationalism, Islamist hostility to Israel and its allies and the threat of a nuclear Iran'. It is as if the illegal, military occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the rise of the settler movement which continues to steal Palestinian land with the backing of the Israeli government and the refusal by the same government to seriously entertain the notion of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state in any meaningful sense, count for nothing.

Kiley refers to mysterious 'threats from the Arab world' without specifying what these are and whence they originate: for the very simple reason that he can't because they don't exist except perhaps in his imagination.
Greg Stokes
Leeds

Sam Kiley makes the ridiculous statement that in 1945: 'Tel Aviv was ... no more than a few jerry-built blocks and huts.' I was there early in 1945 as an RAF pilot and witnessed the actuality: a handsome city of more than 200,000 inhabitants designed in part by Bauhaus architects who were Thirties refugees from Nazi Germany. Their work is now a Unesco World Heritage site.

Kiley describes the 1945 Tel Aviv population as 'frequently starved and broken shells of humanity who had made it through the death camps'. In fact, most had lived there since the Twenties.
Francis Bennion
Budleigh Salterton, Devon

Zionists are fond of their miracles. They cover up so much that would otherwise be called criminality by those less credulous than Sam Kiley.

The flight of 750,000 Arabs - not the 250,000 claimed by Kiley - from what became Israel was a 'miraculous simplification of our tasks,' said Israel's first President, Chaim Weizmann. No, it was ethnic cleansing.

The victory of Zionist forces over neighbouring Arab states too is depicted as a miracle but the Zionists initiated hostilities a full seven months before the Arab states could mobilise and one of the Arab states, Transjordan, had a deal with the Zionists not to attack their forces.
Mark Elf
Dagenham, east London

Hey, hold on a minute, I recognise that name, Elf. I don't remember writing that. Let me see my sent box. Ah, they must mean this:
Dear Sir

Zionists are very fond of their miracles. After all they cover up so much that would otherwise be called criminality by those less credulous than Sam Kiley.

The flight of 750,000 Arabs (not the 250,000 claimed by Kiley) from what became Israel was a "miraculous simplification of our tasks" according to the first Israeli president, Chaim Weizmann". No it wasn't; it was ethnic cleansing.

The victory of zionist forces over neighbouring Arab states too is depicted as a miracle but the zionists initiated hostilities a full seven months before the Arab states could mobilise and one of the Arab states, Transjordan, had a deal with the zionists not to attack their forces. Apart from rejectionist war talk, there is no evidence that the hapless corrupt Arab states were intent on anything more than halting the expansion of Israel and preventing the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. The zionists certainly knew that the Arabs were incapable of defeating them. Israel was receiving weapons from America and from the Soviet block. The Arabs' weapons were mostly from WWI. Zionist/Israeli troops outnumbered their Arab counterparts by between two and three to one. And Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, calmly stated more than once that within twenty years Israel would conquer the rest of Palestine. Some miracle!

There are even zionists who like to claim, disgustingly, that the holocaust itself was a miracle in that Israel was the result. But if it wasn't for the outbreak of WWII Israel would probably have been established in 1939 by which time the British authorities had suppressed the Arab revolt against the zionist takeover of their country. The only help the holocaust has been to Israel is that it succeeded in wiping out a Jewish working class that was overwhelmingly anti-zionist. And of course Israel and the zionist movement at large have very deftly exploited the memory of the holocaust to stifle criticism and to extort money from European banks while Israel's own banks have never returned holocaust assets to the heirs of the holocaust dead.

The only miracle of zionism is that, in spite of all that is known and well documented, western journalists are still writing such wretched apologetics for this racist war criminal project known as the State of Israel.

Yours faithfully


Mark Elf
Many thanks to Christian h in the comments to an earlier post. I might not have read the Observer today if it wasn't for him.

Oh yuk!! I've just realised what the Observer has done here. If you check the letters and see the zionist ones, ok let's look at one:

It is a pity that your balanced and interesting feature, 'Israel: 60 Years of Hope and Despair', last week was misleading in two respects.

First, it minimised the very real threat of annihilation faced by Israel in both 1948 and 1967. On both occasions, Israel was faced by a coalition of Arab countries whose avowed aim was to destroy the state and its Jewish population. On both occasions, too, the majority of outside experts believed Israel would be defeated

The fact that the threat was averted is not a reason for pretending it didn't exist or ignoring the genocide of the Jewish population that would have followed.

Second, despite discussing the impact of various waves of Jewish immigration, the article completely ignored one of the most significant, namely the influx of more than 600,000 Jewish refugees from persecution in Arab countries after 1948 (close to the number of Arabs who were displaced from present-day Israel). Unlike the latter, they were not left languishing in refugee camps for political reasons, and have therefore tended to be ignored by the pundits. Today, these 'Eastern' Jews form around half the Jewish population of Israel.
Harry Goldstein
London N14

You see what they did? They've published letters criticising Kiley from both sides. His piece was heavily tilted in Israel's favour and the ludicrous idea of the "threat of annihilation" was aired by Kiley but now the readers' editor can claim that since Kiley was attacked by "both sides" he must have got it about right. Pass the sick bag Ali.

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