Harriet Sherwood refers to jailed Palestinians who Abbas wants released as “political prisoners”

Harriet Sherwood’s April 9 report, about recent efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, included several passages about concessions demanded of Israel by Mahmoud Abbas before he will agree to resume negotiations.

Ahead of a three-hour session with Kerry on Tuesday morning, Netanyahu stated that he was “determined not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all”.

But he has refused to meet the Palestinians’ key precondition of freezing settlement expansion, although it is thought that Israel may avoid announcing any new construction projects in the coming weeks.

The Palestinians also want the release of 123 political prisoners who have been in jail since before the Oslo accords were signed almost 20 years ago, and for Israel to present a map showing proposed borders. [emphasis added]

However, according to reports, most of the 123 Palestinians she’s alluding to (whose release Abbas has been demanding since last year), were convicted for their involvement in deadly terror attacksSherwood’s characterization of the 123 Palestinians as “political prisoners” – suggesting that they were imprisoned merely for their beliefs – is not true. 

For instance, one of the pre-Oslo prisoners evidently on the list presented by Abbas – and dutifully characterized as a “political prisoner” by the NGOs Adalah and Addameer – is Walid Dakka (alternately spelled as “Daka” or “Dakah”).  Dakka is an Israeli Arab (“Palestinian citizen of Israel”) who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986 (later reduced to 35-40 years) for his involvement in a PFLP cell which kidnapped and murdered an Israeli soldier named Moshe Tamam two years earlier.

On the road between Neurim and Netanya near Havazelet Hasharon, Moshe Tamam’s family built a monument in his honor:



The inscription reads:

“A memorial for our son the soldier, the beloved and dear Tamam Moshe. We will remember him forever. Born on June 13, 1965 in Havazelet , Hasharon. He was kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by terrorists. He was only 19 years old. 

‘A gazelle lies slain on your heights,  O Israel. How the mighty have fallen!’”  [2nd Samuel, chapter 1, verse 19]

If you’re wondering why Sherwood decided to use such language about Palestinian prisoners, the following passage – from a recent NYT story about Maysara Abu Hamdiya, the convicted terrorist who died of cancer on April 2 – may shed some light:

Prisoners in Israeli custody hold an honored place in Palestinian society, with many Palestinians regarding even compatriots convicted of deadly terrorist acts as political prisoners and fighters for the Palestinian cause

Sherwood was, intentionally or otherwise, legitimizing the Palestinian narrative which glorifies terrorists and consistently characterizes even those prisoners convicted of the most gruesome crimes as ‘victims’ of Israeli oppression. 

70 replies »

  1. the lovable and dearest

    I’m just going to quibble a little bit with the above translation of האהוב והיקר.

    I would suggest that “beloved and dear” is closer to the sense in English.

  2. Why should Sherwood consider these murderers but political prisoners?
    According to the Guardian worldview their inalienable human right allowing them to murder Jews/Israelis (expressing freely their political views) has been taken away by the brutal agressors…

    • According to the Guardian worldview their inalienable human right allowing them to murder Jews/Israelis (expressing freely their political views) has been taken away by the brutal agressors…

      Yawn …

      • So yawn is your reaction to the sorry fate of these prisoners who are in jail due to their political views. You should not show your disdain reading about “political prisoners” in the Guardian pretzel.

        • Of course not – as you and the idiots recommending your post know!

          The yawn was a response to your ludicrous reference to the Guardian worldview that these people have the inalienable human right allowing them to murder Jews/Israelis.

          Why do you keep on making shit up (your response to my post), when you must know it only makes you look silly?

  3. It is diabolical that Palestinians were forced to negotiate with the leader of the terrorist gang called the Irgun

    Finally, Irgun under Menachim Begin fired mortars on the infrastructure in Jaffa. Combined with the fear inspired by Deir Yassin, each of these military actions resulted in panicked Palestinian evacuations.[46][47][48]

    • IF moral, social, political relativism & multiculturalism is Your cup of tea,
      Then You may as well betray, undermine & deny the Judeo-Christian West tradition of freedom and human dignity
      & instead promote Sharia as the Universal Rule of Law .
      Nationalists & People are different – Get over it !
      Allah is not greater than God.
      By the way, which Sharia You’d like ? Muslim Brotherhood ? Salafi ? Shia ? Sufi ?
      Humm…! what happened to the Arab Spring w/ its promise of democratic social developement !
      Akhhh… the Grandeur of illusions of the MSM.

      Joseph E , Givatayim, Israel.

    • Not forgetting it was arab lies about Dier Yassin who cause the Palestnain fllying as Hazem Nusseibeh, editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service’s in 1948 told the BBC In this interview with the BBC he admits that in 1948 he was instructed by Hussein Khalidi, a prominent Palestinian Arab leader, to fabricate claims of atrocities at Deir Yassin in order to encourage Arab regimes to invade the expected Jewish state. He made this damming admission in explaining why the Arabs failed in the 1948 war. He said “this was our biggest mistake”, because Palestinians fled in terror and left the country in huge numbers after hearing the atrocity claims.

  4. I have just been told that a Palestinian went to record a murder in his neighborhood. The suspect was a settler from the near by settlement. The Military administration charged the Palestinian for being anti-Semitic as he had failed to record the 10,000 murders committed on the same day in Syria.

    The Palestinian any knowledge of the murders in Syria but to no avail.

  5. Joseph E – I think you are a bit confused – God or Allah has over 99 different names. Abraham was the first of the Prophets to seek obedience to the Monotheistic God, Allah, God or whatever of his 99 names you want to call him by.

    All Prophets preached humanity. We all belong to one race the Human race.

  6. Seriously, I think that Israel should institute the death penalty for arab terrorists. Why should this daka be breathing and living the life of Riley in prison while this dear boy was robbed of his life, and his parents have had to live without him?

    They should take all 123 and hang them at the same time, as the British did to us.

    • Of course I know that the Israelis will not have capital punishment, however much these monsters deserve it. And they do deserve it. But wouldn’t you think that at least they could reduce the easy living conditions in Israeli prisons? It infuriates me that these arab terrorists live so well when they should be being punished, every day.

    • Irit, why use the word Arab? Shouldn’t Jewish murderers be published in the same way? What about Jewish Arabs?

          • Fairness about what? If terrorists are Arabs/Muslims why can´t they be called that? And if most terrorists are Arabs/Muslims, instead of Jewish, that´s a reality that should be told. Political correctness has nothing to do with fairness.

            • The brutal school siege in Russia, with hundreds of children dead and wounded, has touched off an unusual round of self-criticism and introspection in the Muslim and Arab world.

              “It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims,” Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the widely watched satellite television station Al Arabiya said in one of the most striking of these commentaries.

      • I say “Arab” because they are the ones who commit most of the terror. I do not think the death penalty should be instituted for “murderers.” I do think that terrorists should be executed. I know it is not going to happen, which I accept because I am a realist, I just think it would be justice to do so.

  7. Irit I do not think the Third Reich experimentation with Race Hygiene could ever come back and the last remaining experimentation with Racism is about to come to an end. Enjoy the end –

    • abc is the racist for invoking the Third Reich. Typical of the kind of ignorant hatred Israel haters spew.

      • “last remaining experimentation with Racism is about to come to an end. Enjoy the end -”
        Come now, killing yourself isn’t the answer. I’m sure there are self-awareness programs you could seek out for help. It’s a tough road to normalcy, but with the right guidance and hard work…

  8. Dan – I was responding to a racist who advocated killing the Arabs – what is the matter with you racists lost all your humanity in the process of colonization ? Where is it gone. Listen to the youtube. You will learn something. It is from someone at an Israeli University and somebody who is very well informed about racism and particularly Zionism.

  9. The Third Reich preached and practiced genocide, murdering millions of Jews, Roma, Poles, Russians, gays, handicapped people, etc, based solely on their identity. Invoking that regime in this discussion reveals how little abc knows or cares about actual victims of genocide.

  10. You obviously have not listened to the youtube video yet it makes clear who is a racist besides in what way advocating the killings of the Arabs not racist filth. Or are you saying Arabs deserve to die. In what way is that different from the ideology of the Third Reich – But before commenting watch the video. It is a lecture by an Israeli academic.

  11. Alexa – obviously you have not read Benny Morris another Israeli historian, despite being a committed Zionist acknowledges the Nakba, the massacres at Dir Yassin and other Arab villages – Of course there are many more Israeli Historians, including Ilan Pappe who now acknowledge the Nakba and the role of the Zionists – I will also advice you to watch the video by an Israel academic – Very well argued.

  12. Alexa – I think you are running out of people who do not hate you – but the good thing is actually nobody hates you it is all in your mind – as if there were not enough people hating you in your mind you have created a new classification, self hating – I have heard of self harming it is a debilitating decease – I suspect self hating is a similar ailment quickly get some treatment otherwise it will consume you.

    • Your life, on the other hand, is pretty simple: you just hate the JOOOZZZ. Well, f*** off, turd.

  13. Pappe? lol why don;t you watch this video by Benny Moris who admit that when looking at Israeli internal documents we clearly find that (In accordance with original Zionistic principals) there was NO Jewish institutional policy of expelling the Arabs.

    And than watch this

  14. Of course, you are lying this is what Ben Morris says –

    Benny Morris says he was always a Zionist. People were mistaken when they labelled him a post-Zionist, when they thought that his historical study on the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem was intended to undercut the Zionist enterprise. Nonsense, Morris says, that’s completely unfounded. Some readers simply misread the book. They didn’t read it with the same detachment, the same moral neutrality, with which it was written. So they came to the mistaken conclusion that when Morris describes the cruellest deeds that the Zionist movement perpetrated in 1948 he is actually being condemnatory, that when he describes the large-scale expulsion operations he is being denunciatory. They did not conceive that the great documenter of the sins of Zionism in fact identifies with those sins. That he thinks some of them, at least, were unavoidable. Two years ago, different voices started to be heard. The historian who was considered a radical leftist suddenly maintained that Israel had no-one to talk to. The researcher who was accused of being an Israel-hater (and was boycotted by the Israeli academic establishment) began to publish articles in favour of Israel in the British newspaper, the Guardian.

  15. Another quote from Benny Morris – alexa it clarifies the truth – Read it carefully

    Ben-Gurion was a “transferist”?

    “Of course. Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. There would be no such state. It would not be able to exist.”

    I don’t hear you condemning him.

    “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.”

    When ethnic cleansing is justified

    Benny Morris, for decades you have been researching the dark side of Zionism. You are an expert on the atrocities of 1948. In the end, do you in effect justify all this? Are you an advocate of the transfer of 1948?

    “There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands.”

    We are talking about the killing of thousands of people, the destruction of an entire society.

    “A society that aims to kill you forces you to destroy it. When the choice is between destroying or being destroyed, it’s better to destroy.”

    There is something chilling about the quiet way in which you say that.

    “If you expected me to burst into tears, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will not do that.”

    So when the commanders of Operation Dani are standing there and observing the long and terrible column of the 50,000 people expelled from Lod walking eastward, you stand there with them? You justify them?

    “I definitely understand them. I understand their motives. I don’t think they felt any pangs of conscience, and in their place I wouldn’t have felt pangs of conscience. Without that act, they would not have won the war and the state would not have come into being.”

    You do not condemn them morally?


    They perpetrated ethnic cleansing.

    “There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”

    And that was the situation in 1948?

    “That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.”

    The term `to cleanse’ is terrible.

    “I know it doesn’t sound nice but that’s the term they used at the time. I adopted it from all the 1948 documents in which I am immersed.”

    What you are saying is hard to listen to and hard to digest. You sound hard-hearted.

    “I feel sympathy for the Palestinian people, which truly underwent a hard tragedy. I feel sympathy for the refugees themselves. But if the desire to establish a Jewish state here is legitimate, there was no other choice. It was impossible to leave a large fifth column in the country. From the moment the Yishuv [pre-1948 Jewish community in Palestine] was attacked by the Palestinians and afterward by the Arab states, there was no choice but to expel the Palestinian population. To uproot it in the course of war.

    “Remember another thing: the Arab people gained a large slice of the planet. Not thanks to its skills or its great virtues, but because it conquered and murdered and forced those it conquered to convert during many generations. But in the end the Arabs have 22 states. The Jewish people did not have even one state. There was no reason in the world why it should not have one state. Therefore, from my point of view, the need to establish this state in this place overcame the injustice that was done to the Palestinians by uprooting them.”

    And morally speaking, you have no problem with that deed?

    “That is correct. Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”

    And in our case it effectively justifies a population transfer.

    “That’s what emerges.”

    And you take that in stride? War crimes? Massacres? The burning fields and the devastated villages of the Nakba?

    “You have to put things in proportion. These are small war crimes. All told, if we take all the massacres and all the executions of 1948, we come to about 800 who were killed. In comparison to the massacres that were perpetrated in Bosnia, that’s peanuts. In comparison to the massacres the Russians perpetrated against the Germans at Stalingrad, that’s chicken feed. When you take into account that there was a bloody civil war here and that we lost an entire 1 percent of the population, you find that we behaved very well.”

    The next transfer

    You went through an interesting process. You went to research Ben-Gurion and the Zionist establishment critically, but in the end you actually identify with them. You are as tough in your words as they were in their deeds.

    “You may be right. Because I investigated the conflict in depth, I was forced to cope with the in-depth questions that those people coped with. I understood the problematic character of the situation they faced and maybe I adopted part of their universe of concepts. But I do not identify with Ben-Gurion. I think he made a serious historical mistake in 1948. Even though he understood the demographic issue and the need to establish a Jewish state without a large Arab minority, he got cold feet during the war. In the end, he faltered.”

  16. The difference is simple no need for rhetorics The Palestinians in Israel Jails are terrorists committed to kill maim create havoc to Israel and Jewish people – Political prisoner is some one who disagree with policies and voice their opinion some country like Iran Algeria and Gaza would jail them if not kill them there and then as we have witnessed on so many occasion – Without being pedantic IHOPE YOU UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE .

  17. Elliot of course they are but is it not the same that the Third Reich said before mounting the biggest genocide in human history.

    • Little dirty Natzie`s secret is his propaganda task to equate Israel with the absolute evil, in service of his Arab Lobby, by constantly deflecting from the comments, depicting Palestinians as victims and conflating the NS with Israel.

  18. ABC,
    March 29, 2013

    Palestinian Arabs keep getting killed in Syria, and no one cares
    I noted that the death toll of Syrian Palestinians had gone over 1000 last month. Things have, if anything, accelerated since then.

    On Sunday and Monday, six more were killed.

    On Tuesday, nine were killed – including five members of one family.

    On Wednesday, seven were killed.

    UNRWA noted the deaths of five children earlier this month:
    On 15 March, Mohammad Al-Khateeb (aged 14) was killed by a bullet as he was returning home on foot after buying bread from a bakery in his neighbourhood in Dera’a. On 19 March, Hisham Mahmoud (aged 10) and Farhat Mubarak (aged 11), were killed at the crossroad of Yazour and Safad Streets in Yarmouk, Damascus. They were returning home from classes at a community-run learning centre when an explosive shell detonated nearby, killing them instantly. In a separate incident on the same day, two brothers, Ali Mijel (aged 14) and Abdullah Mijel (aged 15), were killed along with their aunt and cousin when an explosive shell hit their home on Hittin Street in Sbeineh Camp.
    We must have missed the stories about these in Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada, who pretend to care so much about Palestinian Arabs.

  19. Poor ABC, Camera shows what a liar Ilan Pappe is.
    February 3, 2012
    Dexter Van Zile

    University of Exeter Gives Pappé a Pass on Invented Ben-Gurion Quote

    For one brief shining moment, it looked as if the University of Exeter was going to hold Ilan Pappé accountable for attributing a fake quote to David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.

    Those hopes were in vain. Not only did the university’s Ethics Committee fail to hold Pappé accountable for his fabrication, the committee accepted an explanation from the historian that is simply so byzantine and ludicrous that it raises questions about how seriously officials at the University of Exeter take the pursuit of truth and respect for the historical record.

    In short, Pappé dug himself deeper into a hole when he responded to a challenge about the fake quote, and the Ethics Committee decided to shack up with the historian in the hole he dug.

    Pappé’s shell-game began in 2006 when he reported that in a 1937 letter to his son, David Ben-Gurion declared: “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as war.”

    He reported this quote in two venues – in an article (“The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”) published in The Journal of Palestine Studies and in his book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, published by Oneworld Publications.

    There was some confusion about exactly where the quotation marks belonged however. In the original version of the book, the quotes appeared only around the first six words, (“The Arabs will have to go”) but in the journal article, the entire sentence was included in the quotes. In later versions of the book, however, the closing quotation mark migrated to the end of the sentence. (More about this later.)

    In November 2006, the now-disgraced journalist Johan Hari used the quote in one of his commentaries at The Independent. This prompted a response from historian Benny Morris who declared in a letter to the editor that the quote was “an invention, pure and simple, either by Hari or by whomever he is quoting (Ilan Pappe?)”

    Morris was on solid ground. The quote did not appear in any of the sources that Pappé cited for it in his book, Ethnic Cleansing or the article appearing in The Journal of Palestine Studies.

    In all, Pappé listed a total of three sources for the quote, none of which check out.

    In Ethnic Cleansing, Pappé cites the July 12, 1937 entry in Ben-Gurion’s journal and page 220 of the August-September 1937 issue of New Judea, a newsletter published by the World Zionist Organization.

    Nothing even resembling the quote appears anywhere in either of these texts, nor does it appear in Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, by Charles D. Smith (St. Martin’s 2004), the source he references in the article appearing in the JPS.

    Morris’s statement that the quote attributed to Ben-Gurion was an “invention” should have prompted Pappé to either provide an accurate, verifiable source for the quote or to issue a retraction to prevent others from using it. Morris’s statement was too direct a challenge for any serious historian to ignore.

    Despite Morris’s challenge, the quote lingered on in the fever swamp of anti-Zionist commentary. For example, Hari used the quote a second time in a 2008 commentary.

    The quote eventually made its way into With God on Our Side, an anti-Israel documentary produced by Porter Speakman, Jr. in 2010.

    To his credit, Speakman issued a correction regarding the quote after challenges from CAMERA. In his correction, Speakman acknowledged that the quote in question did not appear in the original sources that Pappé cited. He stated the quote would not appear in future editions of the movie.

    Speakman did the right thing, but Pappé stonewalled, ignoring queries submitted in early November about the source of the quote, prompting CAMERA to file a complaint with the both the College of Social Sciences and International Studies (Pappe’s department) at the University of Exeter and the school’s Ethics Committee.

    CAMERA also contacted the peer-reviewed Journal of Palestine Studies, which contacted Pappé and asked for an explanation to be published in a future issue of the journal. In response to an inquiry from CAMERA, Oneworld Publications, which published Pappé’s book, stated it was looking into the matter, but has remained silent since.

    In response to the CAMERA complaint, submitted in November 2011, Professor Nicholas Talbot, chair of the University of Exeter’s Ethics Committee, reported that the school takes such issues very seriously and that the committee had asked Pappé to explain himself.

    At no point did Pappé respond directly to CAMERA’s inquiry.

    His supporters did, however, come to his defense when information of the controversy appeared briefly on the Wikipedia page dedicated to the historian’s career. After a brief round of edits, the information was deleted altogether.

    In late December, Pappé obliquely acknowledged the controversy in an article in Electronic Intifada, in which he portrayed himself as the victim of intimidation at the hands of “Zionist hooligans.” Pappé claimed that since he had started teaching at the University of Exeter, his work has been regularly challenged and that these challenges “have been brushed aside.” He wrote:
    This year a similar appeal was taken, momentarily one should say, seriously. One hopes this was just a temporary lapse; but you never know with an academic institution (bravery is not one of their hallmarks).
    A few days later, the Ethics Committee reported its findings to CAMERA in a letter signed by chair Professor Nicholas Talbot. The upshot of this letter, detailed below, is that Pappé was given a pass.

    Pappé’s Explanation, Transmitted by Talbot

    In the letter, Talbot noted the original quote that appeared in the original hardcover edition of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine differs from what appeared in subsequent versions of the book.

    In the hardcover edition of Ethnic Cleansing, (which Talbot writes “must be considered the original text”) only the first six words of the sentence attributed to Ben-Gurion (“The Arabs will have to go…”) are included in quotation marks.

    Talbot reports “there may have been a different version in some of the many reprints” of Pappé’s book.

    “If this is the case,” Talbot writes, “the Professor Pappé has assured us that it will be corrected in the next edition.”

    Talbot then states that the second half of the quote attributed to Ben-Gurion (“but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war”) was a “fair and accurate paraphrase” of the sources he provided in Ethnic Cleansing – Ben Gurion’s diary entry and the article in New Judea – the latter of which recounts a speech Ben-Gurion gave.

    Interestingly enough, the letter does not say which passages in these sources Pappé was paraphrasing. Given the ongoing questions surrounding the quote in question, it would seem reasonable for him to show his work and provide these passages to his readers. (Maybe he will, in a yet-to-be published article in the Journal of Palestine Studies.)

    The questions do not stop here, however.

    Source for “The Arabs will have to go”

    We are still left without a source for the first half of the quote (“The Arabs will have to go”). Talbot doesn’t come out and say it, but his explanation indicates that Pappé admits that first half of the quote (“The Arabs will have to go…”) is not in any of the three sources he originally provided. He does this when he provides another source – his fourth – for this part of the quote.

    Here is what Talbot writes:
    The source for the first part of the sentence, is based on a letter from David Ben Gurion to his son from the 5th of October 1937. Shabtai Teveth[,] Ben Gurion’s biographer, Benny Morris and the historian Nur Maslaha have all quoted this letter. In fact their translation was stronger than the quotation from Professor Pappé ‘We must expel the Arabs and take their place.’ Professor Pappé has documentary evidence of these quotations and the source will ensure that this is correctly cited in any future editions of the publication or related studies.

    Based on these investigations, the University is completely satisfied with the standard of scholarship and academic practice of Professor Pappé within the framework of the University’s Agreement of Academic Freedom.

    The University therefore considers the matter closed. (Emphasis added.)
    Take a look at the first sentence again, because it is revealing. The phrase is “based on” a Ben-Gurion letter is a tacit admission that Pappé paraphrased the first part of the quote as well. In other words, Pappé’s use of quotation marks around any part of the quote he attributed to Ben-Gurion is simply untenable.

    Simply put, Pappé misused quotation marks by putting them around words that the person being quoted did not say.

    How did the Ethics Committee miss this?

    Do quotation marks mean one thing to students, researchers and professors at the University of Exeter and something else to the rest of the world?

    Apparently so.

    That’s Not All, Folks

    But it gets worse. Even if Pappé’s readers are willing to accept that the phrase “The Arabs will have to go” is a reasonable approximation of “We must expel the Arabs and take their place,” there’s another problem.

    Ben-Gurion didn’t write or say “We must expel the Arabs” either. In fact, he wrote the opposite.

    Ben-Gurion’s diary entry for Oct. 5, 1937 letter actually reads, “We do not want and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places.” (Correction made March 27, 2012.) Ben-Gurion subsequently writes: “All our aspiration is built on the assumption – proven throughout all our activity – that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.”

    Morris used the correct translation in the Hebrew version of his 1987 book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, but used the incorrect translation in the English version this text. (For a comparison of the two texts, please go to this article by historian Efraim Karsh and scroll down.) Morris subsequently corrected himself in a later text, Righteous Victims, published in English in 2001. In this book, Morris reported that Ben-Gurion wrote he did not want and did not need to expel Arabs and take their places.

    Another historian invoked by Pappé to defend himself, Shabtai Teveth, also used a mistranslation of the passage in question in the English version of his book Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs published in English by Oxford University Press in 1985.

    But the Hebrew version of this book, also published in 1985, has Ben Gurion writing, “We do not want to and we do not need to expel Arabs and take their place.”

    The problem with this mistranslation of Ben-Gurion’s diary has, thanks to historian Efraim Karsh’s book Fabricating Israeli History (first published in 1997), been well known for over a decade and yet, Pappé relies on this mistranslation to defend part of his scholarship.

    For a discussion of the details of this well-known controversy, see this article regarding the 2003 book, Whose Land Whose Promise by Gary Burge of Wheaton College which also uses the mistranslation of this quote.

    What Can We Conclude?

    Pappé plays a pretty mean shell game, but following the story closely, two conclusions become evident.

    First, Ben-Gurion simply did not say or write any part of the quote attributed to him by historian Ilan Pappé. This is the only logical conclusion one can draw from the letter sent from the Ethics Committee that exonerated Pappé. This letter says one part of the quote is a paraphrase, and that another part of the quote is “based on” something Ben-Gurion wrote. In sum, Pappé’s use of quotation marks around the words he attributes to Ben-Gurion, whether around the entire sentence, or just the first few words, is deceptive.

    Secondly, the primary source that Pappé invokes for the first half of the quote (“The Arabs will have to go”) does not say what he says it does. It says the opposite. In other words, it is not even a fair and accurate paraphrase of what Ben-Gurion said.

    Upon examining the evidence, most reasonable people would conclude that the quote Pappé attributed to Ben-Gurion is “an invention, pure and simple.”

    In other words, Benny Morris was right.

    Another Invention?

    Morris has challenged Pappé on yet another quote, this one appearing in The Rise & Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty: The Husaynis, 1700-1948 (University of California Press, 2010). Here, Pappé discusses the British-created Shaw Commission charged with investigating 1929 riots. Pappé reports that Sir Walter Shaw, chair of the commission, blamed the riots on Britain’s support for Zionism: “’The principal cause’, Shaw wrote after leaving the country, ‘was twelve years of pro-Zionist policy’.”

    In a scathing review of Pappé’s work, titled “The Liar as Hero,” that originally appeared in The New Republic in March 2011, Morris writes:
    It is unclear what Pappe is quoting from. I did not find this sentence in the commission’s report. Pappe’s bibliography refers, under “Primary Sources,” simply to “The Shaw Commission.” The report? The deliberations? Memoranda by or about? Who can tell? The footnote attached to the quote, presumably to give its source, says, simply, “Ibid.” The one before it says, “Ibid., p. 103.” The one before that says, “The Shaw Commission, session 46, p. 92.” But the quoted passage does not appear on page 103 of the report. In the text of Palestinian Dynasty, Pappe states that “Shaw wrote [this] after leaving the country [Palestine].” But if it is not in the report, where did Shaw “write” it?
    Here a little more background is useful. The reference that Pappé provides is to the deliberations of the Shaw Commission itself. “Session 46,” refers to a meeting of the Shaw Commission that heard testimony from leaders in Palestine. This document is an unlikely source for a statement written by Shaw, “after leaving the country.” If Shaw were to have written such a statement, it would not logically be included in the commission’s proceedings, but in the report itself, or some other correspondence.

    Maybe it’s a niggling concern, maybe it’s an innocent error, but in light of how Pappé dealt with the Ben-Gurion quote, giving him the benefit of the doubt at this point seems pretty unreasonable.

    So we are left with some obvious questions. Does the Shaw quote appear in the source Pappé cites? Or is it somewhere else? Does it appear anywhere? Is it a paraphrase or a direct quote? Did Shaw really write what Pappé said he did?

    Morris offered his challenge in March, 2011. Almost a year has passed and to the best of CAMERA’s knowledge, Pappé has not responded. Hopefully, we will not have to wait six years for this issue to be resolved.

    Morris’s challenge becomes much more poignant in light the Royal Historical Society Statement on Ethics which calls on historians to eschew “fabrication” and “falsification.” The Royal Historical Society also invokes the “Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct” of the American Historical Association, which is quite forceful in its statement regarding fabrication. It reads in part, as follows:

    All historians believe in honoring the integrity of the historical record. They do not fabricate evidence. Forgery and fraud violate the most basic foundations on which historians construct their interpretations of the past. An undetected counterfeit undermines not just the historical arguments of the forger, but all subsequent scholarship that relies on the forger’s work. Those who invent, alter, remove, or destroy evidence make it difficult for any serious historian ever wholly to trust their work again.

    Apparently, the University of Exeter thinks otherwise.

  20. The Left’s Support for Palestinian Terror
    J.D. Cassidy
    February 24, 2003

    Among the myriad of anti-American causes that have spilled into the leftwing cesspool known as the “peace movement,” support for the bloodthirsty Palestinians is perhaps the most disgusting. To the left-wing America-haters who constitute the new “anti-war” movement, being “pro-Palestine” somehow translates into being “anti-war.” Never mind the fact that the Muslim radicals who attacked America on 9-11 used Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel as a model for their sinister plot.
    The American left views Palestinian radicals as “freedom fighters,” therefore liberating “Palestine” has become one of the central battles of the new “anti-war” movement.

    To ensure that fledgling radicals know which position to take in regard to the Arab-Israeli war, the website of the Workers World Party (WWP)- the Stalinist cult that bankrolls the current “peace” movement- lays out plainly how all good lefties should view Israel. The website contains hundreds of articles filled with anti-Jew vitriol, and loathsome denunciations of the “Imperialist” Jewish state. Another radical organization that is active in the “peace” movement actually arranges for leftwing malcontents to travel from America to Israel. There, the radical Jew-haters carry out plots to sabotage the Israeli Army’s peacekeeping efforts. The group’s website boasts photographs of the left-wing thugs whom it sponsors engaged in physical confrontations with Israeli soldiers. This dangerous organization, called “The International Solidarity Movement,” has chapters in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan, Washington and Sweden.

    The movement to “liberate Palestine” is a movement that defines itself by its hatred of Jews and a violent desire to spill their blood. The American and international left, however, chooses to ignore this cold fact. It instead throws its weight behind the Palestinian “liberation movement” because it believes that the Palestinians are “oppressed” by the Israelis, whom the left considers agents of “Western Imperialism.”

    The left believes that the warfare in Israel is a “cycle of violence,” rather than an offensive terrorist war against Israeli civilians. It believes that Israeli soldiers are to blame for the ongoing warfare- that when the Israeli military moves into a Palestinian village to root out terrorists, it is not attempting to stop future terrorist attacks but is instead taking “revenge” on out-gunned Palestinians. The left has been on the wrong side of every important issue in history. Its position on the Arab-Israeli war is no exception.

    The best way to understand what it means to be “pro-Palestine” is to look at the agenda of the Arab organizations that are working for “Palestinian liberation.” Since its inception, the PLO has taken part in hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israelis. In recent years, Arafat has paid lip service to a Palestinian desire for peace, but the PLO’s ambition to drive the Jews into the sea continues.

    Consider, for example, a statement that Arafat made in the aftermath of a recent suicide attack in which 29 Israeli civilians were slaughtered at a Passover celebration. Referring to this attack, the bloodthirsty Arafat prayed: “Oh God, give me martyrdom like this. We are all potential martyrs, the whole Palestinian people.” In a speech in Sweden in January 1996, the Palestinian leader declared: “You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews will not want to live among us Arabs!”
    In September 2002, Arafat stated “By Allah I swear that the Palestinian people are prepared to sacrifice the last boy and the last girl so that the Palestinian flag will be flown over the walls, the churches, and the mosques of Jerusalem.”

    Arafat’s statements are right in line with the attitude towards Jewry that prevails among Arab leaders and officials. In a letter to President Bush and the United States Congress, a member of the Consultative Council of Saudi Arabia, named Amhed al-Tuwaijri, actually had the gall to openly defend suicide bombings. In the letter, dated April 16, 2002, the Saudi official writes: “When young men and women offered their souls for the sake of freedom and independence and in defense of their religion, dignity, self and family, the United States could not find anything to describe these great sacrifices except to say they are terrorist, criminal actions.” I suppose it should not be surprising that a Saudi official would make such a horrific statement. Saudi Arabia, after all, is a nation that recently held a telethon, during which one hundred million dollars was raised for Palestinian suicide bombers.

    Support and encouragement for suicide attacks against innocent Israelis is also commonplace among Palestinian clergy. On April 12, 2002, in a televised sermon that was delivered from a mosque in Gaza City, an Imam of the Palestinian Authority unleashed the following message to his Arab disciples: “Anyone who does not attain martyrdom in these days should wake in the middle of the night and say: ‘My God, why have you deprived me of martyrdom for your sake? For the martyr lives next to Allah.'” He then continued:

    “Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heaven.”

    “Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day.”

    “Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters.”

    “Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land.”

    Not only do Arabs encounter suicidal messages in their mosques, but Palestinian children are actually bred, through schooling, to rejoice in the slaughter of innocent Jews. Consider the following line excerpted from a Palestinian schoolbook, “I will take my soul into my hands and hurl it into the abyss of death.” Or this line, taken from another textbook: “Beware of the Jews, for they are treacherous and disloyal.” Or this line from the PLO teachers guide, which is placed under the heading “important values” that should be instilled in Palestinian youth: “Wrath to the alien thief [Israel] who obliterated the Homeland and dispersed its people.”

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Palestinian liberation movement is about killing Jews. There is no effective voice of moderation among the Palestinian leadership or clergy. There is nobody in the Palestinian community who is effectively promoting a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli war. To the terrorist organizations that are leading the movement to “liberate Palestine,” the possibility of living side by side with Jews is unthinkable. In their minds, the Jews are infidels who deserve to be driven from the Middle East through a bloody Jihad.

    To put this all into perspective it is necessary to look at the historical roots of the Palestinians’ war against Israel. Prior to the First World War, what is today called Israel was part of the Ottoman Empire and was known as Palestine- though it was not considered the “nation” of Palestine. Nor were the Arabs who lived there considered “Palestinians.” They were considered- and they considered themselves-“Arabs.” In the aftermath of WWI, the Ottoman Empire, which had allied with Germany, was divided up among the British and French victors. The area then known as Palestine came under British rule. During this period, the area known as Palestine experienced an influx of European Jews.

    In the wake of the holocaust, a movement for a Jewish nation-state garnered support from the United Nations. Throughout the 1930s, as the rise of Hitler catalyzed intensive Jewish immigration to the area of Palestine, tensions between Jews and Arabs escalated and two attempts by the British, in 1937 and in 1939, to divide the land between Arabs and Jews were rejected. The Arabs rejected the first attempt, and the Jews rejected the second attempt, which would have restricted the rights of Jews to immigrate and own land.

    At the close of World War II, an acceleration of fighting between Jews and Arabs in this area prompted Britain’s decision to turn the problem over to the United Nations, which supported the creation of a Jewish state. On May 14, 1948, Britain officially withdrew from the area and Israel was declared a nation. On this very day, five neighboring Arab countries- Egypt, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Iraq and Syria attacked Israel. Amazingly, the outnumbered Jewish nation was able to beat back its Arab foes and a peace treaty was signed in 1949. When the war ended, Egypt was in control of the Gaza Strip and Trans-Jordan had annexed the West Bank (these territories were later won by Israel in the 1967 war).

    The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964. From the outset, the PLO stated that its ultimate goal is to drive the Jews into the sea. The destruction of the state of Israel was actually laid out plainly in the PLO Charter until PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat ordered it removed in 1993. Arafat, however, still wears the official sign of the PLO – a map of the future state of Palestine – on the sleeve of his military uniform. This map shows Palestine encompassing the entire land of Israel. This is the goal of the PLO: to destroy Israel and replace it with an Arab nation called “Palestine.” Among the leadership of the Palestinian liberation movement Yasser Arafat is actually a moderate voice. This is a man who funds terrorism and publicly encourages (in Arabic) his followers to carry out suicide attacks against innocent, defenseless Israeli men, women and children. Arafat is a man who walked away from peace talks in 2000 after then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to give the Palestinians 99% of the land that they demanded. Arafat did not accept Israel’s concession for one reason: in Arafat’s words, “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel.”

    Until terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade are brought to heel; until the PLO ceases funding and encouraging terrorism; until there is a deep change in the cultural attitudes of Palestinians, the Arab war against Israeli will persist. Innocent Israeli civilians will continue to be blown to pieces by Jew-hating Muslim radicals; children will continue to be incinerated in their school buses; babies will continue to die in their strollers on city sidewalks; old men and women will continue to be slaughtered by madmen in street-side cafes. These are the realities of the Palestinian “liberation movement.” The next time that a Western “peace” demonstrator feels compelled to pick up a Palestinian flag and wave it in the air, he should take a look at the news photos of Jewish bodies strewn across Israeli streets and think about what he is actually supporting.

  21. Ilan Pappe shown to be a fraud and a liar.
    You wont be seeing ABC telling people this.
    From Steven Plaut.

    About four years ago a middle aged MA student named Teddy Katz, submitted a masters thesis to the University of Haifa that had been prepared under the supervision of Israels most extremist and anti-Zionist academic, Ilan Pappe. Pappe likes to describe himself as Israels most hated person and I suspect he may be on to something there.

    He spends his days addressing anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rallies and conferences around the globe and likes to write Israel-bashing pieces in the PLOs journal. He appears in al-Ahram. He has openly called for Israel’s destruction – to be replaced by a Palestinian state with Arafat as its dictator.

    He ran for the Knesset on the slate of the Arab Stalinist party HADASH.
    The MA thesis in question claimed that a platoon of the Alexandroni brigade of the Hagana had in 1948 conducted a massacre of Arabs at the town of Tantora near Haifa when the town was conquered in Israels war of independence.

    It was of course, as it turned out, a complete fabrication based on some Arabs suddenly recovering from repressed memory syndrome after 50 years and claiming there had been a massacre when they were infants. Except when the tapes of interviews with these folks were checked out, it turned out even these Arabs had never said there was any massacre but rather that the Hagana had been very nice about helping the civilians.

    Katz and Pappe had simply invented the story. When word hit the press, the Hagana vets organization sued Katz and the University of Haifa for libel. Eventually the matter reached a court settlement in which Katz agreed to admit publicly he had lied, publish a retraction at his own expense, and apologize to the vets. Katz was represented in all this by ultras-leftist lawyer Avigdor Feldman, who took time off from his usual passion for representing Arabs who have murdered Jewish children.

    Feldman was present when Katz signed the court settlement.
    But a few days after that, Katz tried to back out of the settlement, probably under encouragement to do so by Pappe, who continues to insist the massacre really took place even though not a shred of evidence has ever been discovered by anyone that there had been one. (Even Arab journalists and reporters who had been present at the battle never claimed there had been any massacre.) The judge refused to allow Katz to back out of the deal. When Katz refused to publish the retraction, the vets successfully sued Katz to recover their costs. Pappe and the communists then organized a campaign to try to raise cash to help out Katz with this.

    Meanwhile, the University of Haifa looked ridiculous in all of this and demanded that Katz submit a revised version of the thesis if he wanted a degree. The original version had been awarded a grade of 97 by Pappe and his collaborators.

    Katz ultimately did resubmit a revised thesis. This week the University of Haifa rejected it, after five independent reviewers had read it and dismissed it as garbage. Pappe and his comrades are running about now insisting that these five were lackeys of Ariel Sharon and George Bush or some similar sort of academically scrupulous argument. The University agreed to kick Katz out by granting him a MA degree without a thesis, an act of cowardice by the campus authorities. Katz should have been simply expelled permanently and Pappe fired for his role in the fabrication and charlatanism.

    Anyway, I have decided to make an alternative proposal about how the university could better resolve things. Why not just let Katz write a completely NEW thesis on a different topic under Pappes supervision? This time the thesis should be on one of these topics:

    – An oral history proving the Germans never killed any Jews in Auschwitz.

    – An oral history proving that Lincoln actually shot John Wilkes Booth at that theater.

    – Proof that the Mossad was really behind the attack on the WTC on September 11.

    – An oral history that proves that Jews, and especially settlers, drink the blood of gentile children on Passover after all.
    I bet Pappe would give the new thesis a grade of 98!

  22. ABC, The 48 war was the was the result of the Palestinians together with their Arab allies to perform ethnic cleansing on the Jews and their failure to complete it.
    Every single Jew in the parts of the Mandate seized by the Arabs was expelled from their homes. No exceptions. They even dynamited the entire ancient Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem in an attempt to wipe out the history of Jewish residence there. They also made it illegal for a Jew to live in the areas of the former Mandate that they controlled, including East Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.
    850,000 Jews were also forced from the Arab countries.
    After the 5 Arab armies attacked Israel in 48,
    Haj Amin Al Husseini stated: I declare a holy war, my muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!
    The Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared “a holy war. He said, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.

  23. Adam, you should explain how Moshe Tamam was murdered.
    Then you will understand what savages these Palestinians are.

    Let’s go back to the afternoon of Friday, August 6th, 1984.

    Moshe Tamam, a 19 year old soldier went on a weekend leave from his army base and began to make his way home to Netanya. He took the bus from Tiberias towards Tel Aviv, then at the Beit Leed Junction he got off and hitched a ride with four Israeli-Arabs from Baka El Garbiya.

    Little did he know that these Israeli Arabs were members of a cell of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) who had been assigned the task of kidnapping an Israeli soldier who was to be taken to Syria to be exchanged for prisoners in Israeli jails.

    For the next two days, Moshe Tamam was held in a house on the outskirts of Baka El Garbiya. When the terrorists realized that they could not get him across the border into Syria, they decided to kill him.

    First they gouged out Moshe’s eyes, and then they mutilated him by cutting off parts of his body starting with his sexual organs. Finally, they shot him in the chest, and dumped his body in an olive grove near Jenin. Moshe’s body, or what was left of it, was found on August 10th. The DFLP immediately claimed responsibility for the heinous murder.

    Who was the leader of the barbaric criminals who committed this atrocity? Walid Daka.