Adonis Diaries

Israel apartheid Narrative of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948: Foundational myths to justify the organized ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Posted on: May 19, 2023

This colonial of self-defence distortion of the historical events of 1948

Partition plan of UN in 1947: The Palestinian population objected to partitioning their homeland and losing 56% of it to a Jewish minority, most of whom arrived as immigrants from abroad..

Note: All Kings and Presidents of “Arab symbolic armies” were appointed by the colonial powers that partitioned the Near East.

Even though, the Palestinians defeated the Zionists army in every battle they waged, until resources in ammunition were stopped and no logistic arrived..

Muhammad Shehada

15 May, 2023

As the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba/‘Catastrophe’ is marked on Monday at the United Nations, pro-Israel advocates have been pushing an alternative version of historical events that positions Israel as the victim and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as self-inflicted.

This Israeli narrative contends that as soon as David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the Jewish state on 14 May 1948 then 5 major “Arab” armies invaded historic Palestine to wage – along with the Palestinians – a “war of annihilation” against Israel and “push Jews into the sea”.

The narrative goes that outnumbered Israelis defended themselves and won the war, and in the process, Palestinians fled their homes.

“These are foundational narratives for Israeli Jews and also Diaspora Jews – they are taken as obvious truth,” Dr Yair Wallach, historian, and senior lecturer in Israeli studies at SOAS, told The New Arab.

“They connect 1948 (and Israel) with the Jewish memory of persecution; they provide justification for what Israel did to Palestinians as ‘self-defence’; and it informs the understanding that Israel’s very existence is always in danger, and it is force and force only that guarantees the security of Israel.”

Prominent historians, including Israelis, have thoroughly documented how this narrative is inconsistent on multiple levels with what transpired on the ground.

They argue that the Arab armies sent to Palestine were outnumbered by the Israeli army and that the Arab armies’ goal was limited to preventing a Palestinian defeat and full ethnic cleansing, stopping refugee floods into their territories, and annexing some parts of historic Palestine to their states.

“It is clear that the Arab military effort was primarily directed at a failed attempt to save Palestinians,” Dr Wallach told The New Arab. “To be sure, there was also a rejection of partition and [an] attempt to prevent it, but the talk of ‘genocide’ has no basis whatsoever.”

Jordan, which had the strongest Arab army in the 1948 war, had actually accepted the 1947 UN partition plan of historic Palestine in secret meetings in 1947 with Golda Meir, then head of the Jewish Agency’s political department. In return, Jordan’s King Abdullah wanted to annex the Arab part to Jordan, according to the Israeli historian Benny Morris.

However, in the 45 days leading up to the 1948 war, Zionist militias in mandate Palestine carried out 13 offensive military operations including eight outside the borders of the area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan.

Zionist aggression included the infamous Deir Yassin massacre on 9 April, which played a central role in spreading fear and terror among Palestinians.

After this massacre, Jordan’s king came under pressure to act. But even then, he secretly met with Golda Meir again and offered full Jewish autonomy under his rule after he annexed historic Palestine, which she rejected. “He is going to this business [that is, war] not out of joy or confidence, but as a person who is in a trap and can’t get out,” Golda Meir later stated.

Even when the Jordanian army entered Palestine, the King’s goal was only to fight in the Arab part of partitioned Palestine “while trying to avoid war with the Yishuv and refraining from attacking the territory of the UN-defined Jewish state”, according to Morris.

A Palestinian woman walks past a mural in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on 15 May 2016 on the 68th anniversary of the Nakba. [Getty]

The Egyptians, who had the largest Arab army in the 1948 war, weren’t much different. The Egyptian prime minister was hesitant to go to war, and British agents intervened to convince the Egyptian king to send troops to Palestine.

King Farouk’s main motives were to prevent the Jordanian king from claiming leadership of the Arab struggle and potentially capture southern Palestine for Egypt, according to the Israeli historian Efraim Karsh.

The Egyptian troops he sent into Palestine were relatively symbolic, and their first communiqué from Cairo described their mission as “merely a punitive expedition against the Zionist ‘gangs’” as later recounted by the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Furthermore, the Lebanese army decided not to take part in the war at the very last minute because of Maronite objections after they reached a secret agreement with David Ben-Gurion who offered them financial bribes, according to the Israeli historian Yoav Gelber.

Syria was primarily interested in capturing northern Palestine, while Iraq’s leaders were eager to bring the Fertile Crescent region under its leadership, according to Karsh.

Iraqi troops that crossed into the northern West Bank quickly became “stationary” in the triangle of Jenin, Tulkarem, and Nablus.  Karsh argued the Iraqis were “notorious for their idleness before the truce”.

The Palestinian population objected to partitioning their homeland and losing 56% of it to a Jewish minority, most of whom arrived as immigrants from abroad. Palestinians argued that the UN partition plan violated the principle of self-determination, and Arab leaders rhetorically echoed this call. But opposing partition didn’t mean opposing all Jewish presence in Palestine.

Dr Wallach told The New Arab that “the official Palestinian position (in 1946-7) was that recent migrants (about a third of the Jews) would have to leave Palestine”. He argues that, nonetheless, this opposition to recent Jewish migrants fed into an “existential” fear amongst Israelis.

However, Prof. Gelber asserts that the Arab regimes’ goal “was not and could not be ‘pushing Jews into the sea’,” and argues that their “propagandist slogans” and rhetoric were aimed at “mobilizing domestic support for lame politicians”.

How Israel is erasing the Nakba through nature. Jessica Buxbaum

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