Tuesday, April 09, 2013

What counts for "truth" 

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, 
ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Here is how Prof. AbuKhalil, who teaches young American students how to read records and reports  and interpret them critically, constructively and properly, describes an event that took place on 8 April 1970, during the War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt:
Don't forget, don't forgive ever.  We want peace but not with Israel: we want peace AFTER Israel.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the event:

When asked about the incident, Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan said: "Maybe the Egyptians put elementary students in a military base." Speaking about the incident, Egyptian commander Abdelatim Ramadan said: "Actually, two targets were hit by the Israelis. The first target was a group of military bases about 30 km. from the Suez Canal, which were targeted before, on the night of 18-19 December 1969. The second target was the Bahr El-Baqar primary school. […] There comes a time to acknowledge an important fact in this area, that at those black days of Israeli bombing, the military targets were mixed with civilian targets. We can even say that in many cases the military targets were hiding behind civilian targets."[5]

Here is a thought: Peace between Israelis and the Palestinians will come AFTER  Palestinians allow themselves to stop being incited to fever-pitch murderous hatred by "Angry Arab" and his ilk.


Later: Dr. AbuKhalil is hardly the most rigorous of reporters or researchers. A few hours after posting the above, he published a correction:

"The Dayr Yasin remembered.
PS I had placed the wrong link earlier. Apologies."

Only of course it was not just a "wrong link" but a wrong name, a wrong event, a wrong victim, a wrong "massacre", a wrong year, a wrong war. But hey, what's with this obsession over fine details and verifiable accounts? It is after all Israel's history we are speaking about and everyone knows how it is up for grabs. Who cares about truth, or reliability of facts, or historical background? Certainly not a professorr of Political Science teaching hatred to anyone who would listen, and being declaratively proud of it.

About Deir Yassin, again, wikipedia furnishes a more accurate account:

 The view that the relationship between Deir Yassin and its neighbors was invariably peaceful is disputed by Yehuda Lapidot (underground name, "Nimrod"), the Irgun's second-in-command of the operation to take the village. He writes that there had been occasional skirmishes between Deir Yassin and Givat Shaul residents, and that on April 3, shots had been fired from Deir Yassin toward the Jewish villages of Bet Hakerem and Yefe Nof. He writes that the village was defended by 100 armed men, that ditches had been dug around it, that Iraqi and Palestinian guerrillas were stationed there, and that there was a guard force stationed by the village entrance.[16] Benny Morris writes that it is possible some militiamen were stationed in the village, but the evidence is far from definitive, in his view.[17] In Gelber's view, it is unlikely that the peace pact between Deir Yassin and Givat Shaul continued to hold in April, given the intensity of hostilities between the Arab and Jewish communities elsewhere. He writes that shots had been exchanged on April 2 between Deir Yassin and several Jewish communities. Over the next few days, the Jewish community at Motza and Jewish traffic on the road to Tel Aviv came under fire from the village. On April 8, Deir Yassin youth took part in the defence of the Arab village of al-Qastal, which the Jews had invaded days earlier: the names of several Deir Yassin residents appeared on a list of wounded compiled by the British Palestine police.[18]

Here is a more detailed account:

The attack on the Arab village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem (today, the Har Nof neighborhood) was not, as claimed, a "massacre" nor was it a premeditated killing.  As we now know from Arab sources and other independent research, (see Bregman, Ahron & El-Tahri, Jihan, "The Fifty Years War, Israel and the Arabs," Penguin Books, BBC Books, London, 1998. pp. 27-34 and Klein, Morton A., “Deir Yassin History of a Lie, ZOA, NY 2005) the number of dead at the village was between 93 and 110, at the most.  All of them were killed during the course of the battle, in house-to-house fighting.  There were no mutilations or atrocities caused to the corpses as per testimony from the villagers themselves.  The attacking combined force of Irgun and Lehi units brought with them a loudspeaker to the village entrance to warn the inhabitants.  They also left an escape route open, which led to Ein Karem, so as not to have to harm the inhabitants unnecessarily and hundreds took advantage of this Jewish act of kindness in battle.  All these preparations and actions belie any intent of a massacre.
We should recall that, for example, when Hulda was attacked in 1929, Efraim Chisik, brother of Devora Chisik who was killed nine years earlier at Tel Chai, after being shot dead by Arabs was then set alight and his body burned.  The British soldiers who saved the survivors did not permit them to take with them his body which was recovered several days later, horribly mutilated as were the bodies of the famous 35 of Gush Etzion who were killed in January 1948. 

You will never find this kind of meticulous research and fact finding in any of Prof. AbuKhalil's "news reports".  Why is that, one wonders? He is a bona fide professor teaching at a bona fide university of sound standing. He knows the meaning of research, truth, facts, contexts, etc etc. Why does he feel he is exempt from observing these standards in his reports on his website?


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