Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Media Week - And they called it Pappe love; Randa does the rounds

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And they called it Pappe love

Anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe told Geraldine Doogue on ABC Radio National's "Breakfast" program  (17/9) that the "mainstream Zionist leadership from the very beginning understood that... they could not have a Jewish state as long as the Palestinians remained in Palestine".

The fact is that the mainstream Zionist leadership accepted and still accepts partitioning the disputed territory into Jewish and Arab states - in 1922 (when Jordan was created), 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008.

Moreover, Zionist documents have always discussed the expectation that the Jewish state would have a non-Jewish minority.

Pappe claimed "every Jewish settlement is built on the ruins of a Palestinian village" - effectively labelling all Israeli cities as "settlements" - and that Israeli Jews were brought up to believe that the "Palestinians left voluntarily and that's why actually there are very few of them in the land of Palestine." Except for the six million Palestinians living in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank!

That night Pappe made similarly outlandish claims on ABC TV's "Q&A". Jewish barrister Irving Wallach offered some balance: "The United Nations proposed a partition plan... the Palestinian people forcefully... rejected the concept of having a Jewish state next to a Palestinian state. Had they accepted the plan... then... the war and... what happened afterwards would never have arisen."
 
The next morning Doogue interviewed Israeli historian Benny Morris who characterised Pappe as someone who "invents documentation, mistranslates, invents whole sentences in the things he supposedly quotes."

Palestinian refugees are a result, Morris said, of "Palestinian Arabs launching an attack on the Jewish community, followed by an attack by the Arab states during which, in self-defence, the Israelis occupied Arab towns and villages, some of which they expelled. Most of the people there fled and there was no preplanning, and no systematic...‘ethnic cleansing'."

September 19 saw Pappe appear on Melbourne ABC Radio 774's "Conversation Hour" and an ABC TV broadcast of his National Press Club address.

Randa does the rounds

Discussing protests in Sydney against the film "Innocence of Muslims", writer Randa Abdel-Fattah suggested on ABC TV's "Lateline" (17/9) that "there are more constructive ways to go about drawing attention to human rights abuses overseas...they have tragically missed an opportunity to...highlight the anniversary of the massacres of Sabra and Shatila yesterday, the 30th year anniversary."

In the Daily Telegraph (19/9) she complained about "selective indignation" saying how "A small group of Muslims protested violently and the media and politicians were outraged, but as a matter of foreign policy we support drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan, or the war in Afghanistan." Once again she complained that the protests were overshadowing "the 30th anniversary of the massacres in the Palestinian Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon."

Given two opportunities to nominate pressing issues to protest, Abdel-Fattah might've included the Assad regime's legacy of 20,000 mostly Muslim deaths in Syria since the start of 2011, but she instead focused on a massacre of a much smaller number of Muslim Arabs by Christian Arabs in Lebanon in 1982.

Allon Lee

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