The dark side of Abe Hayeem

This is a guest post from Dov of

In an article that would not be out of place were it published by the Institute for Historical Review, the Guardian enlists the services of Abe Hayeem to further its campaign to de-legitimise Israel. Hayeem has all the right credentials for the job, he’s Jewish, hates Israel, is involved with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and is a founder of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, so in Guardian speak he’s the ideal type of Jew.

In his article “The dark side of Tel Aviv” Hayeem paints a picture of a city that was built on colonialism and conquest, a city that ethnically cleansed itself of its Arab residents, a city that quite frankly bares no resemblance to the one that gave shelter to the thousands of Jews who fled Jaffa for a quieter life during the days of the British mandate.

There are huge problems with his article, from the very first sentence, so much so that I feel compelled, as the child of a Tel Avivi, to correct his opening statement. “Tel Aviv”, he claims is , “a city said to date from 1909” is typical Guardian speak. His intonation here is to challenge the very history of the area. It is not “said”, it was. Whilst his revisionist history might claim otherwise, Tel Aviv WAS founded in 1909, by a number of Jews who had a year earlier bought 12 acres of dunes north east of Jaffa, with the aim of building a garden suburb on the outskirts of the pre-biblical city.

Hayeem then goes on to claim:

While there is much on the surface that makes Tel Aviv enticing, this picture must be not be allowed to mask the dark underlying history of ethnic cleansing and land expropriation on which Tel Aviv was built. . .

In reality neither ethnic cleansing nor land expropriation took place. The fledgling city continued to grow on bought land until 1917 when the Turks expelled all the Jews from the area. But as his audience is the Guardian, no need to let facts get in the way of a good story.

And telling stories is something Hayeem is very good at. A few years ago he set up an organisation called Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine. The Independent ran a glowing piece on this organisation that held its first meeting in the office of Lord Richard Rogers, who, apparently gave a ten minute welcome before excusing himself from the meeting. The group’s beliefs are laid out on their website are defined as:

We share the international condemnation of the continuing annexation and fragmentation of Palestinian land through the expansion of illegal settlements and outposts and the construction of the Separation Wall in defiance of international law.

We hold all design and construction professionals involved in projects that appropriate land and natural resources from Palestinian territory to be complicit in social, political and economic oppression, and to be in violation of their professional ethics.

The only problem here is that Hayeem and his merry band of followers see all of Israel as Palestinian land – to his credit however Lord Rogers has distanced himself from the group for various reasons that Adloyada goes into in some depth. The APJP on its home page talks about Palestine and the Occupied Territories, and as the maps on their home page show us they claim that most of Palestine is now occupied. Amazingly, although unsurprisingly, this group of planners fail to mention that prior to 1917 ‘historic’ Palestine also included the land mass known as today as Jordan, for had they actually included it, their whole basic claim of colonialism would be diminished.

But I digress, which is actually easy to do when discussing Hayeem! To prove his credentials, in the article Hayeem challenges the real historiography of the city whilst laying baseless and unfounded claims, which are only verified by groups that have been involved with trying to re-write the history of the region. He quotes organisations in his article as Israeli whilst omitting to inform the ever so uninformed Guardian readers that, for example, Zochrot, solely espouse a Palestinian narrative, so much so that the url uses the term nakba.

But, as Ami Issaroff has noted, re-writing the narrative on Tel Aviv is all the rage right now after Naomi Klein, Danny Glover, Eve Ensler and a few other Hollywood luvvies pushed for a boycott of the Toronto film festival because festival organisers were going to show a number of Israeli films at the City to City event, which this year was celebrating Tel Aviv’s centennial. And after all, if Hollywood luvvies are in on the act why should the Guardian not join in with the fun?

70 replies »

  1. Jubilation1

    Instead of Moeran and Papalagi CIF brought in two new Jew-haters No2genocide and Ruth Tenne. They are exactly the same. All of their posts are like the article, – incoherent and hateful incitement against Israel.
    That they call themselves peace and/or human right activists must be a bad joke. They are messengers of death and suffering for the the Israelis and the Palestinians.

  2. Jubi — are you serious? Moron missed out on Abe’s piece? Wot a tragedy, if ever there was one! Papablahblah doesn’t get around to commenting on all the I/P threads — it seems he is setting some time aside to read Pappe (sorry about all the paps, but that’s what it is!) — but Moron is usually very diligent and doesn’t miss out on any opportunity to display his hatred of Jews, ehm, excuse the typo: Zionists.

  3. Hi Sababa

    Maybe Moron is busy. There must be a rerun of Lolita in the neigborhood movietheater followed by a demonstration for Polanski.

  4. JaneG, thanks for the link.

    Israel has been at war for over 60 years. Ever other nation under as much threat as she would sling people who collaborate with the enemy (as did Neve Gordon) into prison – what stops Israel from withdrawing all social security and other benefits from these people, since they are actively working to undermine her?

    That would be the only ostracism they would understand, resulting from a groundswell of Israeli public opinion against them from other citizens who, whilst they may not invariably agree with everything Israel does and may often vehemently disagree, still are capable of stopping short of throwing her to the wolves.

  5. The anti-discriminator says:
    “I always think the term ” ethnic cleansing ” is more about scoring points than trying to establish what happened ..I have heard there were financial incentives”

    In the case of the Jews from Arab countries, ethnic cleansing is an accurate description of their plight: 99 percent of them were expelled. As for ‘financial incentives’ – yes, these were demanded – by the Arabs! Israel ransomed Moroccan Jews at an exorbitant 200 dollars per head, for instance. But it is offensive and absurb to claim that Jews made any money out of being forced out of their homes, when it was Arab states which stole Jewish property. The Jews arrived destitute in Israel with nothing but the shirts on their backs to spend sometimes years in wretched tent camps.

  6. Bercho The Discriminator:

    Those of us trying to improve the level of argument on CIFwatch such as my good self ..

    Funniest thing I’ve read in ages. They get rid of all the decent and sensible posters.

    Just laugh and point at him, folks.

    Live long…

  7. The Guardian hit rock bottom when it came up with this clown Hayeem. They say he is an architect. I can’t find any architect who has ever heard of him. If he has ever designed a building it sure is well hidden. Maybe he is a stealth architect. I now wonder if this is a real person or the Guardian just made it up. My guess is that even the Guardian could not find anyone to parrot their blame Israel for everything line so they just invented this clown.

  8. .October 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm


    two new Jew-haters – incoherent and hateful incitement against Israel.



    to display his hatred of Jews,


  9. PeterParker


    ## They get rid of all the decent and sensible posters. ( on CIF) ##


    I was amazed you were banned..your posts were low conscious American tripe.. but harmless and funny..your ” Live long ” etc straight out of Star Trek .

    I mentioned before ..I believe many people try to get banned so they can come here and whisper ” conspiracy” and nod wisely .

    You take care least you dont spout “hate” … I have seen 8 different posts on this thread alone with it…


  10. To the above. Best not to feed the Trolls

    If they are ignored, eventually they will go away back to Mother Georgina’s swaddling arms. And she will change their nappies too.

  11. Berchmans,anyone who hunts down terrorists,who randomly shoot rockets into kindergartens,deliberately wanting to kill innocent men women and children should have the support even of a silly befuddled codger like you.

    Be it by Merkava,or be it by F16’s.

  12. ILoveMyMerkava


    ## anyone who hunts down terrorists,..Be it by Merkava,or be it by F16’s.##


    Heres to CIFwatch ..there whenever one of the best equiped and over muscled armies ever need justification..

    No to support for violence on CIFwatch is the ulimate discrimination.


  13. margie

    So its just you and me kid…maybe it was you think two former adversaries ..could know… 🙂

    Peace to all.


  14. Look at the number of posts to these threads. People passing by on line will look at our success and want to visit us too.

  15. Look at the numbers of posts to these threads!

    No wonder people are beginning to recognise that this blog has something to offer.

    Thanks to everyone who, by posting, has added to the success of CiFWatch

  16. I received a great comment by email that relates to this article.

    “Iraqi Jews DID get along nicely with their neighbors, as long as said neighbors were Chaldean….”