Friday, April 27, 2012

Rashid Khalidi on Ben Gurion's 1937 letter

What is called the Israeli narrative on the history of Palestine would have us believe that Arabs fled from the area when Zionist Jews came; that the indigenous people were scared and left voluntarily. The Zionists did not want to expel those who lived in the area they wished to make a Jewish state but, once the Arabs were gone took advantage of the situation.

This is fiction. What has decisively laid it to rest among knowledgeable people has been the work of those who are called the "new historians" of Israel. Benny Morris and Ilan Pappé are two. It is a comment on the favoritism toward the work of Jewish scholars on Palestinian issues that the truth was not accepted from the people who were subject to the mass expulsion, nor from Arab scholars.

In this video from the Palestinian Studies TV, Professor Khalidi of Columbia University addresses the issue of what David Ben Gurion (considered the father of Israel) himself said about the expulsion of Arabs in a letter he wrote to his son in 1937 which contradicts claims that expulsion was not on the agenda. Khalidi also touches on other subjects related to the American discourse on Palestine. This video was prompted by the pro-Israel organization CAMERA claiming that Ilan Pappé had misrepresented the Ben Gurion letter.

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