MYTHS THAT HAVE BEEN REPEATED
Dec. 27, 2001

A list being circulated over the Internet asking people to read these "facts"
about Israel and the so called "Arab Israeli Conflict." The confused PR is
intended to influence people who have little information about the history or
the facts of the situation.  Most of the 20 "points" are classic Zionist myths
that have been debunked even by Israeli historians.  But perhaps these answers
will be useful in public discussions and responding.

1. MYTH: Nationhood and Jerusalem.  Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two
thousand years before the rise of Islam.

Israel did not "become" a nation (need definitions for both) and it is important
not to compare apples to oranges.  Israel of today has little to do with
"Israel" of 3000 years ago. Archeologists at Tel Aviv University showed that
city states and kingdoms were routinely made and obliterated in the ancient land
of Canaan while the natives survived and continued to live.  Ethnic cleansing
was only recently practiced (1947-1949).  The Israelites evolved from local
Canaanites (archeological evidence, not the stories of the bible which were
never intended to be taken literally).  But even if one is to take the stories
of the bible literally, there is plenty of "evidence" in the bible that Hebrews
prospered with Adomite and other Canaanites.  These are not states or nations in
the modern sense.   In either case, what is the relevance of this to politics in
the Middle East.  Christianity arose 2000 years ago well after Judaism but
before Islam and that does not add anything to whether Christians need to go
back  and build a Byzanine state in Palestine. History is important so here
goes.

Canaanitic groups are classified into Western Canaanitic languages  (Aramaic,
Assyrian, Phoenician etc.) and Eastern Canaanitic languages  (Arabic and Hebrew
which were spoken but not written languages).  Northern  Canaanites (e.g.
Nebateans and Phoenicians) developed the written languages. All these groups
lived, fought, interacted, collaborated, etc. but no group was obliterated in
history.  Two facts are easily verified as examples. Palestinian villagers
especially in Northern Palestine for hundreds of years and until today use the
name Cana’an for their children and many have it as a surname. Second, designs
on the cloths of villagers (the folkloric symbols) are canaanitic symbols (& are
shared by location and by locals who are both christian and muslim).  I can site
several other examples including ritualistic events that are likely pagan in
origin.

The Jebusites (Canaanites) around 3,000 B.C. dwelt on the tract of land  "Jebus"
which later became Jerusalem?  Ur-Shalem (Jerusalem) is a Canaanite word
meaning, the house of Salem, the chieftain of the clan of Jebusites.  The name
Salem is Shalem in the Aramaic language and was also adapted to Arabic and
Hebrew (but much later) to indicate peace.  Similarly While Arabs and Jews think
Bethlehem means house of bread or meat  respectively, it is more appropriately
house of Laham (the Canaanitic god of the southern hills).  The temple of
Solomon likely was built on the ruins of the Jebusite temple just like the Aksa
was built on the same ruins.

Historically, new religions did this so that they can adapt the locals to the
new religion (i.e. you cannot shock them to stop them from going to their holy
places but it is possible to change what Campbell calls "the face of God" (i.e.
the image).  Hence the Kaaba in Mecca is also the someplace that the ancient
Pagans worshipped.

All these groups lived, fought, interacted, collaborated, etc. but no group was
obliterated in history. Palestinian villagers especially in Northern Palestine
for hundreds of years and until today use the name Cana’an for their children.
Second, designs on the cloths of villagers (the folkloric symbols) are
Canaanitic symbols (& are shared by location and by locals who are both
Christian and Muslim).  I can site several other examples including ritualistic
events that are likely pagan in origin.  Jews converted to Christianity and
Christian converted to Islam as major trends during the establishment of these
religions is also well documented.

One of the major myths perpetuated by latter followers of the religion is their
novelty/freshness/ uniqueness and in the case of of some followers of Judaism
thinking that is more than a religion but an inherited attribute.  Genetically,
Palestinian Christians and Muslims are closer to Sephardi Jews than either group
is to Ashkenazi Jews who are in turn more turcik (and indo-European- due to
significant pool of Khazars who converted to Judaism a few hundred years ago).
Ashkenazi thus are not true semites.  The use of the word anti-semitic is
corrupted as Arabs are Semites and most Jews are not.

Sources

Davies P.R., "In Search of 'Ancient' Israel", Journal for the Study of the  Old
Testament, 1992.

Hadawi, S., "Bitter Harvest, a modern history of Palestine", 4th Edition,
Olive  Branch Press, NYC, 1991

Marcus, A.D., "The View from Nebo, How Archeology is rewriting the Bible and
Reshaping the Middle East", Little, Brown, Boston, 2000.

Whitelam K.W., "The Invention of Ancient Israel and the silencing of
Palestinian History", Routledge, London, 1996.

2. MYTH: Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

For well over 2000 years, the land was called Palestine and its inhabitants, the
Palestinians, and by the rest of the world.  Any search of textbooks published
before Israel was established will reveal this very clearly.  The issue of
nationalism requires some comment. The Philistines settled in the land of Canaan
around 1250 BC, establishing 5 kingdoms: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and
Ekron. It was from the Philistines that Palestine received its name. Since Roman
times, this land has been known as Palestine. The Palestinians of today, Muslims
and Christians, trace their descent to all the peoples who have lived on this
land from the time of the Canaanites.  Natives in Palestine (who happen to speak
Arabic and hold religions such as Bahai, Christian, Muslim, Jewish) like all
native people anywhere in the world.  In their natural state over thousands of
years, they identified themselves with their villages, tribes and languages but
not necessarily a nation in the modern sense of the 20th century. Arab
nationalism was bolstered to counteract Ottoman empire and Palestinian
nationalism is part of the nationalism and development of new countries all over
the previous colonial empires in Africa and Asia (witness Kenya or Tanzania or
Nigeria, none of them had nationalism as seen today a hundred years ago).

This was true for all natives regardless of religion they had.  Of course if
they traveled outside of Palestine, they were recognized and identified as
Palestinian by their dress, accent (Palestinian accent is very different than
say Arabic accent in Egypt or Lebanon or Jordan), and their own self
identification.  This is analogous to Irish people versus English.  Arab
Nationalism and Palestinian nationalism have books written on them.

But whether people align themselves with local nationalism, pan-Arab
nationalism, Islamism, Zionism, or communism, natives (regardless of their
religion) of-course do not loose their rights to continue to live and prosper in
their own land and country.

3. MYTH: Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

There was no Jewish conquest in 1272 BC. As mentioned above, Judaism evolved as
one of many religions in the land of Canaan. They certainly did not have
dominion over the land for 1000 years, nor did they have a continuous presence
on the land of Canaan.

Some relevant quotes:

"Between 3000 and 1100 B.C., Canaanite civilization covered what is today
Israel, the West Bank, Lebanon and much of Syria and Jordan...Those who remained
in the Jerusalem hills after the Romans expelled the Jews [in the second century
A.D.] were a potpourri: farmers and vineyard growers, pagans and converts to
Christianity, descendants of the Arabs, Persians, Samaritans, Greeks and old
Canaanite tribes." Marcia Kunstel and Joseph Albright, "Their Promised Land."

"But all these [different peoples who had come to Canaan] were additions, sprigs
grafted onto the parent tree...And that parent tree was Canaanite...[The Arab
invaders of the 7th century A.D.] made Moslem converts of the natives, settled
down as residents, and intermarried with them, with the result that all are now
so completely Arabized that we cannot tell where the Canaanites leave off and
the Arabs begin." Illene Beatty, "Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan."

"The extended kingdoms of David and Solomon, on which the Zionists base their
territorial demands, endured for only about 73 years...Then it fell
apart...[Even] if we allow independence to the entire life of the ancient Jewish
kingdoms, from David's conquest of Canaan in 1000 B.C. to the wiping out of
Judah in 586 B.C., we arrive at [only] a 414 year Jewish rule." Illene Beatty,
"Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan."

4. MYTH: The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

Arab refers to people whose mother tongue is Arabic. Since the 635 AD, the only
time the land was not ruled by people who are Arab by definition is when it was
under Ottoman rule.  This is over 800 years of Arab rule and it was over all the
land of Palestine (more than twice the time the small part of Palestine was
ruled by the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel).  But even the Ottoman's had the
natives run most of their affairs and thus, the leadership in Palestine under
Ottoman rule were natives of the regions ruled and in the case of Palestine they
were Palestinian Arabs.  The Arab delegates from Palestine to the Ottoman grand
parliament had to travel regularly back and forth and used declarations in Both
Turkish and Arabic.

"Palestine became a predominately Arab and Islamic country by the end of the
seventh century. Almost immediately thereafter its boundaries and its
characteristics - including its name in Arabic, Filastin - became known to the
entire Islamic world, as much for its fertility and beauty as for its religious
significance...In 1516, Palestine became a province of the Ottoman Empire, but
this made it no less fertile, no less Arab or Islamic...Sixty percent of the
population was in agriculture; the balance was divided between townspeople and a
relatively small nomadic group. All these people believed themselves to belong
in a land called Palestine, despite their feelings that they were also members
of a large Arab nation...Despite the steady arrival in Palestine of Jewish
colonists after 1882, it is important to realize that not until the few weeks
immediately preceding the establishment of Israel in the spring of 1948 was
there ever anything other than a huge Arab majority. For example, the Jewish
population in 1931 was 174,606 against a total of 1,033,314." Edward Said, "The
Question of Palestine."

Other Sources

Davies P.R., "In Search of 'Ancient' Israel", Journal for the Study of the  Old
Testament, 1992.

Hadawi, S., "Bitter Harvest, a modern history of Palestine", 4th Edition,
Olive  Branch Press, NYC, 1991

5. MYTH: For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

Throughout the 5000 year history of the area, Jerusalem was a Israelite (not
Jewish) capital for only 421 years.  After Solomon's death, when the kingdom
split, this marked the end of a united kingdom of Israel. The Northern Kingdom
was named Samaria after its capital. Jerusalem was not the capital of the
Northern Kingdom which was comprised of 10 tribes, the majority of the
Israelites. The kingdom of Judah in the South kept its capital as Jerusalem, but
that kingdom was made up of only 2 tribes. So, the majority of the Israelites
did not consider Jerusalem their capital. When the Assyrians invaded Samaria,
their inhabitants were dispersed, and came to be referred to as the "Ten Lost
Tribes of Israel."  So the ten lost tribes of Israel had only lived in the
Kingdom of Israel until the Assyrian invasion (205 years) before they ceased to
exist. The Southern kingdom of Israelites, who descended from the tribe of Judah
made for Sephardic Jews  of the present day (not Ashkenazi) . Jerusalem was the
capital of Judah, not Israel, for 421 years.

6. MYTH: Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

Jerusalem is mentioned in the Holy Koran as is the Prophet Mohammad's night
journey to it. Contrary to the Tanach, the Quran is not a book of stories about
historical figures and ancestors. The Quran is mainly concerned with giving
guidance to the believers on how they can best achieve salvation. Mecca is
mentioned only once in the Quran and Medina is only mentioned twice. The Quran
does not even mention these cities as being holy, and offers very few names of
places. The fact that they are mentioned so few times certainly does not
diminish their status in the eyes of all Muslims. Islam is not only comprised of
the Quran, but of the Hadith of the Prophet and the Shariah. The Prophet said,
"A journey (with the intention of worship) should be taken only to three
mosques: The Sacred Mosque in Mecca, my Mosque in Medina, and the Masjid Al Aqsa
in Jerusalem." It is a sacred duty for Muslims to visit Jerusalem, its mosque
and the sacred areas that surround it. Pilgrims to Mecca and Medina often visit
Jerusalem first. Virtually the entire city of Jerusalem is Waqf land (religious
endowment). This land cannot be sold nor transferred. The Masjid Al Aqsa has
always been a primary seat of learning in Islam, attracting many Muslim scholars
who have settled in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is also mentioned countless times in the New Testament (Christian Holy
Book) and many other Holy Books (Bahai's etc.).  If this is supposed to make it
any less important to one religion or another, it is a ridiculous assumption.
But rights of native Palestinians (Jews, Chritisans, and Muslims) to Jerusalem
is not derived  of religious texts but by virtue of domicile and living there
for hundreds and thousands of years.

7. MYTH: King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

King David did not found Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was founded by Jebusites
(Canaanites).  King David merely renamed it from Ur-Shalem to Yerushalaym.  Many
Zionists consider David an important King.  Muslims and Christians revere King
David more as a prophet/a messenger of God. It was also documented that Prophet
Mohammed revered Jerusalem from early childhood, and he visited Syria and
Palestine on trading expeditions with his uncle, and later for his future wife,
Khadija.  Let us also not forget that Christian Palestinians hold Jerusalem as
their most holy city, and has been holy to them for 2000 years. However, their
ancestors have lived continuously in this city for 9000 years, since Christian
Palestinians trace their descent to all the peoples of Canaan who lived on this
land.

Expansion on the Issue of Jerusalem:

The modern 20th century concept of "capital" is not the same as what was
practiced in history.  3000 years ago was a period of city-states where a city.
But regardless, let us talk about Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has always been at the center of life for the native Palestinian
inhabitants going back five thousand years. The Jebusites (Canaanites) around
3,000 B.C. dwelt on and built the city they called Ur-Salem (Jerusalem), a
Canaanite word meaning the house of Salem, the chieftain of the clan of
Jebusites.  At the time this was the beginning of periods in history called
city-states (small states with one large city center). The name Salem is Shalem
in the Aramaic language and was also adapted to Arabic and Hebrew (but much
later) to indicate peace.  Similarly while Arabs and Jews think Bethlehem means
house of bread or meat respectively, it is more appropriately house of Laham
(the Canaanitic god of sustenance, the God of the hills or Efrata).  The temple
of Solomon likely was built on the ruins of the Jebusite temple just like the
Aksa was built likely on the same ruins.  Historically, new religions did this
so that they can adapt the locals to the new religion (i.e. you cannot shock
them to stop them from going to their holy places but it is possible to change
what Campbell calls "the face of God" (i.e. the image). This Palestinian center
of life continued as the area came under various degrees of control from
Assyrians to Egyptian to Judahite to Roman to Khalifate Islamic to Ottoman to
British to Jordanian and to Israeli.  Jerusalem thus has always been a center of
Palestinian/natives life as Beirut was of Lebanese life or Cairo/Giza of
Egyptian life before the modern era of national independence from colonialism.
The modern concept of a political capital for a multi-city state is a much later
historical development.  In Palestine, the recognition of Jerusalem as a
political capital was congruent with separation and disintegration of the
Ottoman Empire.  As an economic and religious capital for Palestine, Jerusalem
has always been recognized by the people of the area.  It is not a surprise thus
that printing presses, major business, religious centers etc. were all in
Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has always been an international city with a multi-ethnic and
multi-religious community.  In fact, even Kings Solomon and David allowed
flourishing Canaanite (native inhabitants in the land while they ruled from
Jerusalem).  The city saw even more open and accelerated development with a
multiethnic and multi-religious community flourishing during the Islamic
periods.  The Khalif Umar who brought Jerusalem under Islamic rule was the most
recognized pluralist in this regard.  Karen Armstrong, in her well respected
book, "Jerusalem: One City Three Faiths" (NY, Knopf, 1996) writes:

"Umar also expressed the monotheistic ideal of compassion more than any previous
conqueror of Jerusalem, with the possible exception of King David. He presided
over the most peaceful and bloodless conquest that the city had seen in its long
and often tragic history. Once the Christians had surrendered, there was no
killing, no destruction of property, no burning of rival religious symbols, no
expulsions or expropriations, and no attempt to force the inhabitants to embrace
Islam. If a respect for the previous occupants of the city is the sign of the
integrity of a monotheistic power, Islam began its long tenure in Jerusalem very
well indeed." (p.228)

Not only did the Muslim conquerors do well by the Christians, but Umar lifted
the ban on Jews living in the city for the first time since 70 CE. As for the
Temple Mount, Umar was infuriated at how it had been allowed to deteriorate and
set about clearing and restoring it. Armstrong writes:

"As soon as the platform had been cleared, Umar summoned Ka'b ibn Ahbar, a
Jewish convert to Islam and an expert on the isra'iliyat or as we would say,
"Jewish studies." It came naturally to the Muslims to consult the Jews about the
disposition of the site that had been scared to their ancestors. Both the Jewish
and Muslim sources make it clear that Jews took part in the reclamation of the
Mount." (p.230)

When the Crusaders took over Jerusalem, both Muslims and Jews were persecuted
and banished from the city. It was not until Salah ad-Din (Saladin) reconquered
the city in the late 12th century that they were invited back to the city they
held sacred. Saladin, like Umar before him, protected the Christian holy sites
even though he was advised by some of his entourage to destroy them. Jewish and
Christian Holy places also managed to survive Ottoman rule for five centuries.

8. MYTH: Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with heir backs toward Jerusalem.

Muslims living anywhere except between Jerusalem and Mecca (a very small
population) have their backs towards Jerusalem.  Muslim Qibla (direction of
Prayers) is towards Mecca where Muslims believe Prophet Abaham built the Kaaba
as a place of prayer. The Black Stone in the Ka'bah has been there since the
time of Adam. Abraham and his first born son Ishmael built the Ka'bah because of
God's commandment to do so (2:125-27).  The Original Muslim Qibla was actually
Jerusalem and was changed only after the Prophet's journey to Jerusalem (the
miraculous Mi'raj) that he received commandments to change it.  Some believe
this was to recognize the earlier historical events and some think it was to
unify the tribes of Arabia.  Muslims though like other people believe God is
everywhere and is certainly not residing in one place or another.

As for the direction of Jewish prayers, Jews did not always face Jerusalem in
their prayers. The Bible says that the early Israelites faced south when they
prayed (Exodus 27:9ff;40:24). This confirms that the Ka'bah, which is south of
Jerusalem was the Qiblah for the early Israelite communities as well.

Myths 9-12 On Refugees

9. MYTH: Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to
leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight
percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. MYTH: The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab
brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. MYTH: The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be
around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be
the same.

12. MYTH: Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the
Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the
100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the
world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands.
Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than
the state of New Jersey.

Two competing stories existed until recently.  Palestinains who reported how
they were basically ethnically cleansed before, during and after the war and the
Israeli story of they left on their own will, they were encouraged to leave, we
asked them to stay.  These two competing stories  until recently, when the "new
Israeli historians" such as Ilan Pappe, Morris, Sternhall, Avi Schlaim and Tom
Segev debunked the established Israeli myths using Israeli archives and
declassified material. As an example, after opening the IDF archives we find a
cable dated October 31, 1948, signed by Major General Carmel and addressed to
all the division and district commanders under his command: "Do all you can to
immediately and quickly purge the conquered territories of all hostile elements
in accordance with the orders issued. The residents should be helped to leave
the areas that have been conquered."

The truth, which was revealed and documented by direct references to Israeli,
American, British and UN archives, by historians like Michael Palumbo and the
Israeli historians (Pappe, Shlaim, Segev, Morris, Sternal) not to mention the
credible Palestinian historians, was contrary to the Israeli and Zionist
propaganda about the war.  According to these honest and credible accounts, the
truth, which is there for everyone who wants to know the truth, was as follows:

The "War of Independence" did not start on 15 May and in self-defence against
the "aggression" of the Arab armies who invaded Israel.  The war started in
early April by the Haganah, which launched its offensive according to "Plan
Dalet".  Preparations for this war began immediately after WWII.  (I refer you
here to the activities of Ben-Gurion that were detailed in Michael Bar-Zohar,
Ben-Gurion: A Biography.  New York: Delacorte Press, 1977).

The Zionist leadership was in tacit agreement with Emir Abdullah of
Transjordan.  According to this agreement, Palestine would be divided between
the Jews and Abdullah.  Abdullah would take that part of Palestine allotted to
the Arabs west of the Jordan Valley according to UN Resolution # 181 (II) of 29
November 1947.  This part later became to be known as the West Bank.  The rest
of Palestine was to be left for the "Exclusive Jewish State".  (Documented and
intriguing details of this agreement were presented in: Avi Shlaim, "Collusion
Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement, and the Partition of
Palestine".  New York: Columbia University Press, 1988).

Yosef Weitz, Director of the JNF Lands Dept. was very active as of March 1948 in
planning for and implementing plans to expel the Palestinians, destroy their
villages, and build new homes for the influx of new Jewish immigrants.  These
activities were given in detail by Benny Morris in his "The Birth of the
Palestinian Refugee Problem: 1947 - 1949", and "1948 and After: Israel and the
Palestinians".  If the Jewish Community in Palestine was in a state of
self-defence and threatened by the "mighty Arab armies" they could not afford
the time for Yosef Weitz activities [that were planned and implemented in cold
blood].

In his book "The Gun & the Olive Branch," David Hirst describes in detail covert
Israeli operations to scare Iraqi and Egyptian Jews into fleeing their homes for
the "sanctuary" of Israel. In Iraq they did so by placing bombs in areas
frequented by Iraqis who were Jewish, then starting whispering campaigns that
scared people into emigrating.  The plan worked brilliantly, but then again,
Israeli intelligence/covert operatives, had experience with such things from
massacres like Deir Yassin.  Slaughter 250 people and terrorize hundreds of
thousands into fleeing their homes lest they suffer the same brutal fate.  In
Egypt, the plan had two targets, one, to spur emigration of Egyptian Jews, and
two, to damage nascent relations between the Free Officers junta, led by Jamal
Abd-un-Nasir and the US and Britain.  A series of bombing took place and a
handful of Jewish residents, some Egyptian, some foreign, were arrested, tried,
and convicted.  Two were hung.  Again, the whispers started, but few actually
left the country.

Despite Israeli protests that the accused were being framed a la Dreyfus,
political infighting within the Israeli government over the matter, labelled the
"Lavon Affair," after the then minister of defense, Pinhas Lavon, launched a
1960 inquiry that concluded that elements of the Israeli security apparatus,
guided by David Ben Gurion, were in fact responsible for the bombings in Egypt.
Sadly, after the 1956 Israeli/British/French invasion of Egypt, however, the
Egyptian government took the Israeli bait and began ordering the expulsion of
large numbers of Jews, some Egyptian, others with foreign citizenship, from
Egypt.  The number who left is as high as 50,000.

In his book "Ben Gurion's Scandals" Naeim Giladi (an Iraqi Jew and ex Zionist)
discusses the crimes committed by Zionists in their frenzy to import Jews from
Iraq to Israel in the 1950s.  He lives in New York now after he left Israel and
he wrote to 'The Link' about his book saying "About 125,000 Jews left Iraq for
Israel in the late 1940s and into 1952, most because they had been lied to and
put into a panic by what I came to learn were Zionist bombs. But my mother and
father were among the 6,000 who did not go to Israel.."

Here are relevant quotes from the horse's mouth on refugees.

"Before [the Palestinians] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages
where they, and their ancestors, have lived...We are the generation of
colonizers, and without the steel helmet and the gun barrel we cannot plant a
tree and build a home." Israeli leader Moshe Dayan, quoted in Benjamin
Beit-Hallahmi, "Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel"

In an article in the Haaretz newspaper, Danny Rabinovitz wrote, "What happened
to the Palestinians in 1948 is Israel's original sin. . . . Between the 1950s
and 1976, the state systematically confiscated most of the land of its remaining
Palestinian citizens."

Testimony of an Israeli soldier who participated in the massacre at al Duwayima
Village, on 29th October 1948. Quoted in Davar, 9th. June 1979:

"  Killed between 80 to 100 Arabs, women and children. To kill the children they
fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one house without corpses. The
men and women of the villages were  pushed into houses without food or water.
Then the saboteurs came to dynamite the houses. One  commander ordered a soldier
to bring two women into a house he was about to blow up… Another  soldier prided
himself upon having raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death. Another
Arab woman with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of
days, and then they shot her and the baby. Educated and well-mannered commanders
who were considered "good guys"…became  base murderers, and this not in the
storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination.  The fewer the
Arabs who remain, the better."
Only a small number of Arab Jews supported Zionism and most immigrants were not
refugees but immigrated to Israel in the 1950 (long after the war).  The same
for Russian or Polish Jews (are not termed refugees but migrants, immigrants).
Zionists of European origin, like David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Abba Eban
often made derogatory statements regarding Arab Jews who they considered to be
inferior to themselves. The Jewish communities had flourished in Arab lands for
thousands of years, and they contributed greatly to Arab culture as did all
other peoples who settled in the Arab World.  Off the coast of Tunisia, on a
small island of Djerba, a Jewish colony lived that traced its presence there to
at least 1000 BC. According to Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld, "Some Djerban rabbis who
were not to be fooled nor intimidated by  the Zionists were harassed, threatened
and even beaten." (Schonfeld, "Genocide in the Holy Land, 508) Rabbi Schonfeld
also wrote about the same tactics used to get the Jews of Iraq to flee to
Israel. Zionists tried to convince these Arab Jews that it was the Arabs who
were exploding bombs in their neighborhoods, but it was the Zionists who dreamed
of populating Israel with Jews form all over the world.  Wilbur Crane Eveland, a
former CIA operative, wrote about the Zionist crimes against Arab Jews in Iraq
(Feuerlicht, "The Fate of the Jews," 231). Jewish author, Alfred Lilienthal,
wrote about the oppressive treatment by Ashkenazi (European) Jews in Israel of
the Sephardic Jews (Semitic Arab origin) in his book "The Zionist Connection."
Jews in the Arab World were always treated with respect and civility throughout
history. Any mistreatment they received  was in the hands of the Zionists in
Israel. In either case, Arab countries continues to have a policy of welcoming
emigrants back to those countries unlike Israel

As to absorption of Palestinian refugees in Arab countries, that is against
International law and becomes complicity with a war crime.  Jewish immigrants
are absorbed in Israel as part of the Zionist dream and this is not the same
thing as indicated above (i.e. not an issue of population exchange).  For
example, there was no population exchange when one million Russian Jews came to
Israel.  In either case, the right of those people to return to their countries
is preserved by International law which is very clear about forcible movement of
people.

Nathan Chofshi, wrote: "We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic
refugees. And still we have to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name.
Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the
evil we committed...we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify
them." (Jewish Newsletter, New York, 9 February 1959, cited in Erskine Childers,
'The Other Exodus' in Spectator, London, 12 May 1961)

Martin Buber, Jewish Philosopher, addressed Prime Minister Ben Gurion on the
moral character of the state of Israel with reference to the Arab refugees in
March 1949: " We will have to face the reality that Israel is neither innocent,
nor redemptive. And that in its creation, and expansion; we as Jews, have caused
what we historically have suffered; a refugee population in Diaspora"

13. MYTH: The Arab - Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended
itself each time and won.

News for you: Arab is not equivalent to Jew.  Arabs are people of diverse
religions (including Jewish).  Anybody who speaks Arabic is an Arab.  Some are
descendents from Canaanites, some from Berber or Pharaonites or Israelites.

14. MYTH: The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.

The PLO charter called for a democratic one state for all its citizens.  This
was changed when the PLO moderated its views in 1970s to accept a two state
solution.  Charter articles were voided that did not agree with this concept and
based on International resolutions (242 and 338).

The Oslo Accords include as supplements statements made by PLO Chairman Yasir
Arafat to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In this statement, Arafat
writes: "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace
and security. The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242
and 338."
In the Declaration of Principles. Article I states that: "The aim of the
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process
is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government
Authority, the elected Council, (the "Council") for the Palestinian people in
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a
transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement
based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338."

What the PLO agreed to was actually not good.  Many believe that if by the
Jewish you mean maintaining all the racist laws and institutions, then we should
all be against such a state.  If Israel is to become a state of its people, then
it is a state worth supporting.

A Jewish human rights advocate asked me to imagine if a country had no
constitution but a set of basic laws that say its land belongs to Baptists as a
nation (or Bahai, Sufi or Shinto). The law distinguishes between Baptist
nationals (found all over the world) and citizens who actually live
there and gives nationals many rights not accorded to non-Baptists under its
control.

Imagine a country with specific programs to ensure its designated capital
remains at least two-thirds or more Baptist (by denying residency rights and
building permits to non-Baptists) and does not allow non-Baptist refugees and
internally displaced people to return to their homes, stating openly that this
may upset the Baptist nature of the state.

Imagine if its parliament enacted a law that prohibits parties from running in
elections if they deny the Baptist nature of the state. Imagine a national
anthem that talks about Baptist yearnings. Imagine if that country's Supreme
Court allows the executive branch to build and run Baptist-only roads, towns and
villages on lands confiscated from native citizens.

To reduce their mingling, and for Baptist security, non-Baptists are segregated
in small "bantustans" that are surrounded by army checkpoints so that they
cannot travel between them and, thus, are effectively confined in prisons
without the need for the Baptists to feed them. Baptists nearby - many living on
confiscated land - control most of the resources, (use seven to 10 times more in
water per capita in an area with a water shortage) control most of the
agricultural lands, receive government subsidies and go to work and schools
unhindered by any checkpoints.

A country with all these characteristics and basic laws not only exists, but
also gets $5 billion of our tax money annually without any tangible benefit to
the United States. These Israeli basic laws were unfortunately upheld by its
Supreme Court. Israel is also in violation of more than 80 United Nations
General Assembly and Security Council resolutions as well as in violation of
U.S. laws pertaining to use and dissemination of U.S.-supplied weapons and
technology. Many in the Muslim and Arab world and many Jews in Israel hold
opposition not to an undefined "Israel" but to a Jewish supremacist state which
must change if it is to survive.

15. MYTH: Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

Between 1948 and 1967, the states were in a state of war.  People from both
sides were not allowed to travel to the other side.  Muslims and Christians from
the West Bank could not visit West Jerusalem and Jews from Israel could not
visit East Jerusalem (including the Old city).  Jews other than from Israel had
access including for example Samaritan Jews who lived in the West Bank and
continued to live there throughout this period.  I know many American Jews who
also visited during that time.

The statement that "all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made
accessible to people of all faiths" is one of the most grossly erroneous
statements made by Zionist propagandists. On the contrary, it is the Jewish
state that has had a long history of desecrating Christian holy sites and both
Christian and Muslim cemeteries. The Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv stands on a Muslim
cemetery bulldozed indiscriminately. In 1947 there
were 350,000 Christians in Palestine. The Melchite church lost many churches in
1948 at the hands of the Israelis. They lost churches in Damound, Somata,
Kafr-Bur'om and Ikret, a village destroyed by the Israeli army on Christmas day
in 1952. During the 1967 war, many churches in Jerusalem and Bethlehem were
desecrated and looted by soldiers and
civilians alike. The names of all churches as well as the details of each
incident since 1948 is well-documented by the clergy of each denomination, and
the incidents number in the hundreds. The lack of respect for biblical history
is also exhibited  by the destruction of 3 biblical villages, Beit-Nuba, Emmaus,
and Yalu.  These villages were known from the time of Jesus. Since 1948, Israel
has demolished 531 Palestinian villages and towns, many of which were part of
biblical history. Many Christian shrines have been destroyed as well. Since
1948, there has been a continual campaign against Christian missionaries,
persecution of Christians in Israel, attacks against Jewish-Christian meetings,
censorship of films that mention the name of Jesus Christ, attacks on Christian
schools, the confiscation of Christian artifacts from private homes, the beating
of Christian women, and the obliteration of Christian shrines. The confiscation
by Jewish settlers of St. Johns'
Monastery, located near the church of the Holy Sepulcher, is an example of
the regular attacks committed by Israelis against Christian holy sites.

16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

Answer to 16 and 17: Yes and for good reasons. Unfortunately most of these
resolutions have no enforcement authority. The US, as Israel's patron and
mentor, vetoed resolutions with teeth.

18. MYTH: The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

19. MYTH: The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. MYTH: The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

See MYTH 15 above regarding MYTH 20.
Israel destroyed 531 Palestinian villages and hundreds of mosques and dozens of churches (see
www.Palestineremembered.com).
No UN resolutions passed condemning this destruction.  There is no credible evidence of 58 synagogues destroyed by the
Jordanians.  There was a road built through the area which includes a cemetery
on the Mount of Olives but this used even before the Jordanians (under British
and Ottoman rule).  By contrast dozens of Muslim cemeteries were bulldozed with
the 531 villages ethnically cleansed and erased by the Israeli forces since
1947.  I recommend people read the book "Collusion across the Jordan" by Avi
Shlaim about the very close and intimate relationship between Israeli leaders
and the Jordanian regime over 80 years (including during times considered at war).  Certainly if these were issues for the Israeli government, they would
have addressed it with their Jordanian friends and collaborators.