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General Articles
The Lies Of Post-Zionist Revisionists by Herbert London





By: Herbert London         Wednesday, August 29, 2007


        The revisionists are still hard at work in their attempts to
recast the history of Israel’s birth. Without fanfare the Israeli
Education Ministry has approved a textbook for Arab third graders
in Israel that concedes the war that gave birth to Israel was a
form of ethnic cleansing.
        Textbooks for Israeli children make no such claim. But Israel’s
revisionists maintain “new evidence” warrants a reconsideration of the past.
         Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian at Haifa University, argues
Israel was born with lands forcibly seized from Arab inhabitants,
which he describes as ethnic cleansing.
         What Pappe overlooks is that the UN partition of Palestine
created two states, one Arab-Tranjordan and one Jewish-Israel.
Jews had a history of living in the region for millennia. In fact
as early as 1853 there were more Jews living in Jerusalem than
         When the Arab armies of Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and
Iraq declared war against the nascent state of Israel, the Mufti
of Jerusalem and other Arab leaders told the residents of
Palestine to leave as a precondition for war. The understanding
was these people would return when the Jewish state was defeated.
Of course, that didn’t happen.
         While Pappe contends Israel comprises 90 percent of Palestine
“surrounded by electric fences and visible and invisible walls,”
he overlooks the fact that the Palestinian Authority controls the
West Bank, Hamas controls Gaza and the nation of Jordan is intact
as an Arab haven.
         This tiny sliver of land called Israel has been transmogrified
into the presumptive enemy of more than two-dozen Arab states. It
is as if the entire East Coast of the United States were to
declare war on New Jersey.
        Moreover, the Palestinian claim of a right to return is yet
another example of historical revisionism designed to redress the
supposed wrongs of the past through the outright destruction of
Israel. As any analyst of the region knows, approving of Arab
historical claims leads ineluctably to the demographic overhauling of Israel as a Jewish state.
         That an Israeli professor makes these assertions is not
surprising. Israeli universities suffer from the same left-wing
contagion one finds in American institutions of higher education.
It is also the case that Israel permits, indeed encourages, open
debate. Where in the Arab world is this possible?
        Presumably an elusive yet truthful account of Israel and the
Palestinian territory can be the anchor on which a negotiated
peace may rely. But progagandists in Israel and the Palestinian
side have something else in mind: an incensed Arab population that relies on resentment as the basis for the adjudication of issues.
         Perhaps that explains why – sixty years after the UN declaration
forming the state of Israel – Arab states refuse to recognize the
Jewish nation. It explains why Arafat and his successors have
refused to negotiate in good faith calling for what in essence is
a Palestinian state from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.
         In May 1948, survivors of Hitler’s concentration camps and Jews
who had lived in Palestine for generations joined together to
herald the dawning of a new era. But their vision of peace was
eroded by Arab resentment.
         It is always possible to rewrite history based on new
interpretations of the past. A snippet of evidence can alter
perspectives and truth is an elusive muse. There is, of course,
some justification for the claim some Arabs were victims, but
there must be a moment when resentment is converted into realism,
when the demons in the collective Arab soul are purged, when
Israel is accepted as a state and hostility is converted into
         But none of this can occur as long as propagandists roil the
waves of history and provide ammunition for the warriors of a new
final solution.
         Herbert London is president of Hudson Institute and professor
emeritus of New York University. He is the author of “Decade of
Denial” (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2001).




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