ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Eric on Ben

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Eric Lee on an encounter with some “Israeli” haters:

“I was one of the last speakers called from audience and to be honest, I was nervous. It probably came out in my voice.

I said that I had the greatest respect for War on Want and the work it does around the world — and I do. But then I added that I was troubled by what was said — and not said — this evening.

Both speakers, Hilary and White, spoke passionately about the suffering of the Palestinians. I reminded the audience of the powerful images that stayed in our minds after hearing the accounts of Israeli soldiers shooting out the windows of a school, or of an ageing Palestinian man whose only dream was to spend one last night in his family home.

But there was not one word of sympathy or understanding for the Jewish victims of this tragedy which has gone on for far too long.

When one of the speakers from the floor pointed out that the separation fence had dramatically reduced the number of terrorist incidents inside Israel, White responded — I pointed out — with a kind of “yeah, whatever”.

I turned to face the two speakers and said to them, when you show empathy for one side, but none for the other, when you feel nothing at all for the Jews and their suffering, there is a word for that.

I began to sit down. White asked “What’s the word?”

But he knew the answer.”

Update: A smart poster at HP covers Ben White fake quotes:

“zkharya 10 July 2009, 8:19 pm

Thank you for demonstrating my point so eloquently, Curdle.
Jon (Hilary ,if ’tis thee),

I do not condone Nonni’s remark, which may very well be racist. However, I think a case can be made that Ben White’s discourse is, in part, discriminatory towards or against Jews, to their hurt and, to that extent, antisemitic.
As to the alleged quotation:

Ilan Pappé, and hence Ben White (I think), cites Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, English ed., (New York, 1985), p.189:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OjuKhNEmFvoC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&dq=ben+gurion+amos+5+october+1937&source=bl&ots=M0igKZhhiP&sig=pZNpXikFXuOARQ3tIINILWCr0wA&hl=en&ei=SItXSqK5G5CQjAeN7PTNDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

However Efraim says that Teveth, who is Pappé’s source, said exactly the opposite of what Pappé and at first, but not subsequently, Morris claimed:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=nvgat25ddU4C&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=shabtai+teveth+1985+expel&source=bl&ots=5J2QpJcCi5&sig=slCUJeSGv9mHJiPOWS_ncWw7vic&hl=en&ei=SYxXStCuLZ-SjAfss73NDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

Here is the best quotation of the Hebrew I can find:

We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their place [ ‘ein anu rotsim ve’ein anu tsrihim legaresh aravim ve’lakahat mekomam’]. All our aspiration is built on the assumption – proven throughout all our activity in the Land [of Israel] – that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs. But if we have to use force – not to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan; but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places – then we have force at our disposal. (p. 49-50, Fabricating Israeli History: the ‘New Historians’, by Efraim Karsh)

Here is the best online description of the Hebrew of the original document I can find, in this ebook, which, however, is only partially available. You need to read pp. 50-51:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=nvgat25ddU4C&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=shabtai+teveth+1985+expel&source=bl&ots=5J2QpJcCi5&sig=slCUJeSGv9mHJiPOWS_ncWw7vic&hl=en&ei=SYxXStCuLZ-SjAfss73NDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

On p. 51 you can read of Morris’ admitting his reading was erroneous.
Here is the quotation as it appears on the wiki entry for Ben Gurion:

“We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place. All our aspirations are built upon the assumption — proven throughout all our activity in the Land — that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.

* Letter to his son Amos (5 October 1937), as quoted in Shabtai Teveth, Ben Gurion: The Burning Ground; and Fabricating Israeli History: The ‘New Historians (2000) by Efraim Karsh; this has been extensively misquoted as “[We] must expel Arabs and take their places” after appearing in this form in The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (1987) by Benny Morris, p. 25.”
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/David_Ben-Gurion”

[My emphasis.]

Written by modernityblog

10/07/2009 at 13:47

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