Canada Palestine Association,

P.O.Box, 1085,

Halifax, NS,

B3J 2X1

Tel: 902 429 9100

      902 275 4898


Aug. 28, 2006


The Editor,

The StarPhoenix.


Dear Editor;


                                                                 Israel's Apologists Re-write the History.

                                                          Dr. Ismail Zayid


Mr. Monte Keene Pishny-Floyd, in his opinion column, {"Critics of Israel distort realities" Aug. 25}, indulges in re-writing the history of the Middle East.

The atrocious attack on Lebanon destroying its infrastructure and killing over a thousand innocent civilians, which he describes as an act of self defence against the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, was clearly planned and executed, using this pretext. The noted journalist, Seymour Hersh, reported: "According to a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments, Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah - and shared it with Bush Administration officials - well before the July 12th. kidnappings."{ The New Yorker, Aug. 21, 2006.}


He justifies Israel's legitimacy using the Balfour Declaration and the UNGA Partition resolution # 181.

It was the 2nd of November 1917, when Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his infamous declaration in the form of a letter written to an English Jew, Lord Rothchild, it read:

"His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people... it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine".


It is interesting to note that the four-letter word "Arab" occurs not once in this document. To refer to the Arabs who constituted, at the time, 92% of the population of Palestine and owned 98% of its land, as the non-Jewish communities is not merely preposterous but deliberately fraudulent. I do not need to tell you that this letter has no shred of legality, as Palestine did not belong to Balfour to assume such acts of generosity. The words of the world- renowned British historian  Professor Arnold Toynbee describe the British role, in issuing this document accurately:

"We [the British] were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind in the Palestinian Arabs’ country to a third party".

Similarly, the well-known Jewish writer, Arthur Koestler, summed it up aptly when he described the Balfour Declaration as a document in which "one nation promised a second the country of a third".

On the 29th of November 1947, the U.N. General Assembly passed its Resolution #181, recommending the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, in 56% of the land; an Arab state in 42% of the land; and an International Zone in Jerusalem. At the time, the Jews, a large proportion of them were recent or illegal immigrants, constituted 31% of the population of Palestine and owned 5.6% of its land. It is interesting to note that times have not changed since 1947 and the United States got the General Assembly to delay a vote "to gain time to bring, by coercion, certain Latin American, Asian and African countries into line with its own views". Under- Secretary of State Sumner Welles stated:

"By direct order of the White House, every form of pressure, direct and indirect, was used to make sure that the necessary majority would be gained".

Subsequently, fighting erupted between Arabs and Jews and by the end of the fighting in early 1949, Israel had occupied 78% of Palestine and approximately 750,000 Palestinians were driven out or fled in terror from their homes.

The genesis of this exodus emanates from the inherent concept of the Zionist ideology of creating a pure Jewish state in Palestine, free of Arabs. The current powerful political agenda that exists in Israel today, as the policy of "transfer of Palestinians" from Israel and the occupied territories, is not a new one. Theodor Herzl, the father of the Zionist movement, wrote in his diaries in 1896:"We shall try to spirit the penniless (Arab) population across the border....… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly (from R. Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, Vol I.)." 

Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, in a letter to his son, Amos, in 1937, confided that when the Jewish state comes into being, "We will expel the Arabs and take their places". And while visiting the newly conquered Nazareth in July, 1948, Ben-Gurion exclaimed: "Why are there so many Arabs left here? Why didn’t you expel them?"

The ethnic cleansing of the palestinians from their homeland was, accordingly, achieved by a series om massacres and psychological warfare, including the massacre of Deir Yassin, on april, 9, 1948.

 This massacre was not unique and numerous similar massacres were carried out by Zionist forces and Israeli forces during that war. A recent article in the Tel Aviv newspaper, Hair, of May 6, 1992, by Guy Erlich, documents evidence collected by the American Jewish journalist Dan Kortzman, author of Genesis 1948, and the history researcher Ariyeh Yitzhaki, of at least twenty large massacres of Arabs and about hundreds more massacres committed by Israeli forces. Yitzhaki states:

"For many Israelis it was easy to cling to the false claim that the Arabs left the country because that was what their leaders ordered. That is a total lie. The fundamental cause for the flight of the Arabs was their fear of Israelis’ violence, and that fear had a basis in reality".

History researcher Uri Milstein, celebrated in Israel as the dispeller of myths, confirms Yitzhaki’s evaluation regarding the volume of the massacres and even goes further:

"If Yitzhaki claims that there were murders in almost every village, then I say that up to the inception of Israel every event of fighting ended in a massacre of Arabs. There were massacres of Arabs in all of Israel’s wars, but I have no doubt that the War of Independence was the dirtiest".

In the village of Duweima, an Arab village near Hebron, occupied without a battle by Battalion 89 of the 8th Brigade, some 80 - 100 civilians were murdered in cold blood by the occupiers. Later more civilians were murdered. In the village of Safsaf:

"52 men were tied with a rope. Lowered into a pit and shot. Ten were killed. Women begged for mercy. Three cases of rape. A fourteen year old raped and four others killed".

The policy of massacre was complemented by a campaign of psychological warfare, initiating terror to force the Palestinians to flee. Leo Heiman, Israeli Army Reserve officer who fought in 1948, wrote in Marine Corp Gazette in June 1964:

"As uncontrolled panic spread through all Arab quarters, the Israelis brought up jeeps with loudspeakers which broadcast recorded ‘horror sounds’. These included shrieks, wails and anguished moans of Arab women, the wail of sirens and the clang of fire alarm bells, interrupted by a sepulchral voice calling out in Arabic: ‘Save your souls all ye faithful: the Jews are using poison gas and atomic weapons. Run for your lives in the name of Allah’". 


The claim that the Arab states invaded Israel in 1948 is questionable. Long before a single Arab soldier entered Palestine on May 15, 1948, The Zionist terrorist gangs, the Irgun, the Stern and Haganah had already driven 350,000 Palestinians out of their homes and occupied many cities, like Acre and Jaffa, and many towns that were allocated for the Arab state in the Partition plan. The staement that the Arab states invaded Israel in 1956,1967, 1973, and 1982, is incredible. The attack on Sinai in 1956 was in a secret collusion between Israel, the UK and France. In 1967, it was Israel that planned and effected that war as confirmed in the statements made by Israeli leaders:

Yitzhak Rabin, chief of staff of the Israeli army at the time, stated :" I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it." {Le Monde, Feb.28,1968}.


Menachem Begin, a cabinet minister in June 1967, stated, while prime minister, addressing Israel's National Defence College, on Aug.8,1982, : " In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with our selves. We decided to attack him" [The N.Y.Times, Aug.21,1982].


In 1973, Egypt and Syria were attempting to recover their land illegally occupied in 1967. As to the invasion of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982, the historic record speaks for itself, including the massacres orchestrated by Ariel Sharon and his army.

As to the Israeli democracy that is referred to in relation to the treatment that the Arab citizens of Israel receive, I will let many of Israeli intellectuals and thinkers describe that.  The noted Israeli author and journalist, Maxim Ghilan stated; " Israel is a democrcy for Jews only, like [Apartheid] South Africa is a democracy for Whites only." The state of Israel practices blatant legislated racism and discrimination against its own Muslim and Christian citizens. These practices have been condemned by all international human rights bodies, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and Israeli human rights groups such as B’Tselem. The catalogue of these practices is lengthy, but the late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil  Rights, summed it up accurately in his statement: "It is my considered opinion that the state of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term. In this state, people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried today mainly in co-operation with the institutions of the Zionist movement." (Quote taken from The Racist Nature of Zionism and of the Zionist State of Israel, an article published in Pi-Ha’aton, the weekly newspaper of the students of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Nov. 5, 1975.)

Derek Tozer, an Israeli thinker, stated: "The official policy of the government (of Israel) is unequivocal. Arabs, like the Jews in Nazi Germany, are officially ‘class B’ citizens, a fact which is recorded on their identity cards."

The predicament of Israel’s roughly 1.2 million Arab citizens is evident, as the 2003 Israeli State Committee of Inquiry made clear: "They suffer systemic discrimination in employment, housing and education, and lack of equal access to state resources."

Israel’s new Citizenship Law, passed recently by a wide margin in the Knesset, denies any Arab Israeli citizen the right to reside in Israel with his/her spouse if they marry a Palestinian. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned the law as racist, and Israel-based B’Tselem human rights group, claims that it contravenes the Israeli Basic Law.

It is time that Israel and its apologists come to recognise that only through a just resolution of this conflict, through compliance with international law and UN resolutions, can peace and security be assured for Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.

Yours sincerely,

Ismail Zayid, MD.

President, Canada Palestine Association.