From: Ismail Zayid
To: The Halifax Herald
Cc: Beverley Dauphinee
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 8:11 PM
Subject: " Falsification of history".
June 11, 2002
The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.
Dear Editor:
 I am accused of misrepresentation by Larry Riteman {" Misrepresentation" June 11}. Let us look at the facts. I stated: " Before a single Arab army soldier entered Palestine, on May 15, 1948[on the termination of British government in Palestine], the Zionist forces had driven out 350,000 Palestinians from their homes and occupied scores of cities[including Jaffa and Acre] and towns assigned for a Palestinian state in the UN resolution # 181." These are the facts, documented by UN agencies and Israeli and international historians. Scores of massacres, like the massacre of Deir Yassin, on April 9,1948, before British troops left and Arab armies entered Palestine, were committed by the Zionist forces. Israeli history researcher, Uri Milstein, celebrated in Israel as the dispeller of myths, confirms the evaluation regarding the volume of massacres reported by another Israeli historian, Ariyeh Yitzhaki, and goes further: " If Yitzhaki claims that there were murders in almost every [Palestinian] village, then I say 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 [emphasis added] ." Dov Joseph, a later Minister of Justice of Israel called the Deir Yassin massacre a "deliberate and unprovoked attack", while the noted British historian, Professor Arnold Toynbee described it as '" comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by the Nazis."
As to who started the offensive war, Menachem Begin, leader of the Irgun Zvei Leumi terrorist group, tells it as it was : " In Jerusalem, as elsewhere, we were the first to pass from the defensive to the offensive....Arabs began to flee in terror. Hagana was carrying out successful attacks on other fronts while all the Jewish forces proceeded to advance through Haifa like a knife through butter. The Arabs began to flee in panic shouting 'Deir Yassin'." He added: " in the months preceding the Arab invasion, and while five Arab states were conducting preparations, we continued to make sallies into Arab territory. The conquest of Jaffa stands out as an event of first rate importance." { Begin, Menachem, " The Revolt : Story of the Irgun" New York, Henry Schuman, 1951}.
It is true that the Arab nations and the Palestinians rejected the Partition resolution, because it was unjust, and it violates the UN Charter. On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed the reolution #181. This resolution was passed under pressure and coercion against certain Latin American, Asian and African states, by the US. 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." At that time, the Jews constituted one third of the population of Palestine and owned 5.6% of the land. This resolution apportioned to the Jewish state 56% of the land and only 43% to the Christian and Muslim Arabs, who owned over 90% of the land. Jerusalem, as a Corpus Separatum.  Is it surprising that the Palestinians objected to this unjust resolution ?
Ms. Fran Morrison [" Ethnic cleansing" June 11] has got her facts wrong. She states that " Jerusalem was made Juden Rein [cleansed of Jews], 1948 to 1967, under Jordanian rule." That is in error. The Western part of Jerusalem, which constitutes over 70% of the city area was occupied by Israel and was cleansed of all its Muslim and Christian citizens, who owned over 60% of that area. They were systematically driven out and never allowed to return. Indeed, international law prohibits the destruction of property, including religious sites and cemetries. The Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem was kept intact, apart from few headstones, under Jordanian rule and remains to this day. On the other hand, at the site of the ruins of the major hisoric Muslim cemetery of Mamilla, in West Jerusalem, stands the Hilton Hotel ! Besides that 468 Palestinian towns and villages, including their mosques, churches and cemeterys, in pre- 1967 borders, were systematically demolished and erased from the face of the earth. That is not to mention the destruction of total villages like Imwas [Emmaus], Yalu and Beit Nuba [my own hometown] which were wiped out in 1967, on the direct orders of Mr. Yitzhak Rabin. As well, since 1967, thousands of Palestinian homes have been and continue to be bulldozed and demolished by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza.
It is time for Israel's apologists to begin to look at the facts and take note of the words of men and women of humanity and honour in Israel, Like Israel Shahak, Lea Tsemel and Felicia Langer, who relate factually the horrendous crimes that Israel is perpetuating against the Palestinian people.
Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, M.D.