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Israel’s attack on Egypt in June ’67 was not ‘preemptive’

It is often claimed that Israel’s attack on Egypt that began the June 1967 “Six Day War” was a “preemptive” one. Implicit in that description is the notion that Israel was under imminent threat of an attack from Egypt. Yet this historical interpretation of the war is not sustained by the documentary record.

The President of Egypt, then known as the United Arab Republic (UAR), Gamal Abdel Nasser, later conveyed to U.S. President Lyndon Johnson that his troop buildup in the Sinai Peninsula prior to the war had been to defend against a feared Israeli attack.

Israel's June 5, 1967 surprise attack on Egypt resulted in the obliteration of Egypt's air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.

Israel’s June 5, 1967 surprise attack on Egypt resulted in the obliteration of Egypt’s air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.

In a meeting with Nasser, Johnson’s special envoy to the UAR, Robert B. Anderson, expressed U.S. puzzlement over why he had massed troops in the Sinai, to which Nasser replied, “Whether you believe it or not, we were in fear of an attack from Israel. We had been informed that the Israelis were massing troops on the Syrian border with the idea of first attacking Syria, there they did not expect to meet great resistance, and then commence their attack on the UAR.”

Anderson then told Nasser “that it was unfortunate the UAR had believed such reports, which were simply not in accordance with the facts”, to which Nasser responded that his information had come from reliable sources (presumably referring to intelligence information passed along by the USSR).

Nasser added that “your own State Department called in my Ambassador to the U.S. in April or May and warned him that there were rumors that there might be a conflict between Israel and the UAR.”

U.S. intelligence had indeed foreseen the coming war. “The CIA was right about the timing, duration, and outcome of the war”, notes David S. Robarge in an article available on the CIA’s website.

On May 23, Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms presented Johnson with the CIA’s assessment that Israel could “defend successfully against simultaneous Arab attacks on all fronts … or hold on any three fronts while mounting successfully a major offensive on the fourth.”

In an document entitled “Military Capabilities of Israel and the Arab States”, the CIA assessed that “Israel could almost certainly attain air supremacy over the Sinai Peninsula in less than 24 hours after taking the initiative or in two or three days if the UAR struck first.”

Additionally, the CIA assessed that Nasser’s military presence in the Sinai was defensive, stating that “Armored striking forces could breach the UAR’s double defense line in the Sinai in three to four days and drive the Egyptians west of the Suez Canal in seven to nine days. Israel could contain any attacks by Syria or Jordan during this period” (emphasis added).

Although the Arabs had numerical superiority in terms of military hardware, “Nonetheless, the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] maintain qualitative superiority over the Arab armed forces in almost all aspects of combat operations.”

Johnson himself told the Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, “All of our intelligence people are unanimous that if the UAR attacks, you will whip hell out of them.”

Israel meanwhile claimed that it was “badly outgunned”, apparently presuming, Robarge writes, “that Washington accorded its analyses such special import that US leaders would listen to its judgments on Arab-Israeli issues over those of their own intelligence services.”

Yet “Helms had the Office of National Estimates (ONE) prepare an appraisal of the Mossad assessment”, which stated: “We do not believe” that the Israeli claim of being the underdog “was a serious estimate of the sort they would submit to their own high officials.”

Neither U.S. nor Israeli intelligence assessed that there was any kind of serious threat of an Egyptian attack. On the contrary, both considered the possibility that Nasser might strike first as being extremely slim.

The current Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael B. Oren, acknowledged in his book “Six Days of War“, widely regarded as the definitive account of the war, that “By all reports Israel received from the Americans, and according to its own intelligence, Nasser had no interest in bloodshed”.

In the Israeli view, “Nasser would have to be deranged” to attack Israel first, and war “could only come about if Nasser felt he had complete military superiority over the IDF, if Israel were caught up in a domestic crisis, and, most crucially, was isolated internationally–a most unlikely confluence” (pp. 59-60).

Four days before Israel’s attack on Egypt, Helms met with a senior Israeli official who expressed Israel’s intent to go to war, and that the only reason it hadn’t already struck was because of efforts by the Johnson administration to restrain both sides to prevent a violent conflict.

“Helms interpreted the remarks as suggesting that Israel would attack very soon”, writes Robarge. He reported to Johnson “that Israel probably would start a war within a few days.”

“Helms was awakened at 3:00 in the morning on 5 June by a call from the CIA Operations Center”, which had received the report “that Israel had launched its attack” and that, contrary to Israel’s claims that Egypt had been the aggressor, Israel had fired first.

Yitzhak Rabin, who would later become Prime Minister, told Le Monde the year following the ’67 war, “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledged in a speech in 1982 that its war on Egypt in 1956 was a war of “choice” and that, “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

Despite its total lack of sustainability from the documentary record, and despite such admissions from top Israeli officials, it is virtually obligatory for commentators in contemporary mainstream accounts of the ’67 war to describe Israel’s attack on Egypt as “preemptive”.

[Correction, August 26, 2014: as originally published, Yitzhak Rabin in this article was quoted as saying “The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war.” Rabin’s actual statement was: “The two divisions which he sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start an offensive against Israel.” The misquote has been corrected. This does not affect the substance of the article or the purpose for using the quote here. Rabin goes on in the interview to note that additional divisions were moved into the Sinai after closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Rabin’s explanation for this, however, is not that Nasser intended to attack Israel. On the contrary, he stated that, “judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture to be a casus belli.” In other words, the reason additional forces were sent into the Sinai, in Rabin’s assessment, was because Nasser feared Israel might attack Egypt. A translation of the interview from the French original can be found here.]


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About the Author

Jeremy R. Hammond

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Jeremy R. Hammond
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst and a recipient of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He is the founding editor of Foreign Policy Journal and the author of Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian economics in the financial crisis and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict. His forthcoming book is on the contemporary U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
  • Dov Pollock

    The first problem with your supposition is with the Egyptian closing of the straits of Tiran. That is an act of war. The second problem is the ordering out of Sinai of the U.N. troops by Egypt. If Egypt feared an attack from Israel, it would be illogical to remove the U.N. troops, especially as such an act would be seen as an additional act of belligerency both by Israel and any objective third party. Then we have the war pact with Jordan and Syria, Egypt massing troops on the border with Israel, the mass anti-Israel government organized demonstrations in Egypt accompanied by Nasser’s declarations to obliterate Israel. It is also somewhat specious to claim in hindsight that the CIA assessments indicated that Israel could defend itself. It should be remembered that Israel was a country in its virtually non defensible pre June 4 1967 borders, being faced with imminent attack on several fronts. Not only Israelis but all supporters of Israel feared that Israel was on the brink of extinction. Israel even begged King of Hussein of Jordan to cease hostilities after the war with Egypt broke out in fear of not being able to maintain a second front. The pre-emptive strike by Israel came only after weeks of acts of belligerency and acts of war by Egypt combined with public declarations by Nasser that Israel was about to destroyed.

    • Adib Barsoum

      I agree with you on all counts. This article by Jeremy Hammond is uninformed nonsense.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        Kindly point out any error in fact or logic in the article. Thanks.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Bottom line: Israel knew Egypt was not going to attack and Israel fired the first shot.

    • Jrew Richards

      Just because Israel claims that closing the Straits of Tiran is an act of war does not make it so. After Nasser closed them, and Israel complained, he offered to have the matter adjudicated to adduce it’s legality. Had Israel agreed to have the matter looked into, and Nasser was found to be in the wrong, then Israel would have had a case. Under International Law, all diplomatic avenues must be sought before any talk of the legality of a war.

  • JHY
  • Ludvikus

    In the presence of Hitler, only an idiot would not fire “the first shot.” OK, so Nasser wasn’t Hitler – but that’s only because he had no Cyclone-B. so he was forced to announce that he would drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. But with your kind of analysis, irrespective of your facts, you would say that that does not mean they would necessarily drown, right. We should have waited until the dawning began, right? Everyone knows Israel fired the first shot – it was the correct thing to do.
    From the very beginning the position of the Arab and Muslim world was to maintain their Palestinian “brothers” as refugees in places like Gaza. And Gaza even didn’t belong to Egypt – it was Palestine. The policy of Egypt was to wait until it was strong enough to defeat Israel. But by your stupid rules, Israel should have waited until Egypt was strong enough to attack, right? Your disappointed that Israel didn’t loose – because it didn’t play by your rules of national, or genocidal, destruction, right?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Ludvikus, let me know when you are actually able to produce an argument to support your view.

  • badbear

    The person firing the first shot is always the aggressor and loses the moral high ground in a war. The defender’s response is always to a provocation. No one wins a war unless you consider the loss of human life a win. Real heroes hate and despise war. Only a warmonger could love it. The only winning move in this chess game is not to play.
    We should take the advice of great generals such as Washington, Butler and Eisenhower and mind our own business. General Smedley Butler, “The Fighting Quaker”, the most highly decorated U.S. Marine in history in his day was no pacifist. He adamantly opposed getting involved where we didn’t belong but if America was threatened, he was a tenacious bulldog defending his turf. That should be our policy. Not war for oil, contracts, land, power, politics, etc…

  • CustomersMan

    The fact that Israel was the aggressor means that all the land claimed is illegal and must be given back along with reparations and interest ASAP.

    And we’re still providing every ounce of fuel, delivered to Israel’s doorstep, free of charge.

    These backstabbing pricks should be cut-off at once. It can’t happen soon enough for me.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      CustomersMan, that is incorrect. Whether Israel was the aggressor or not, its occupation of Palestinian land is illegal.

      • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

        Was the attack of Israel by 5 Arab countries in 1948 legal? No. It was a crime against peace, and all the territories Egypt and Jordan captured during that war (WB and Gaza) were held illegally as well. Israel’s occupation of the WB in 1967 is not illegal, because it is in effect due to UN SC Res. 242 and 338. These territorial holdings must be resolved through negotiations – something Arabs and Palestinians refused to do for decades since 1967.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

          Israel initiated a war of aggression on June 5, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”.

          You should take the time to actually read UNSC Resolution 242, as you have a very strange understand indeed of what it says (you’re repeating in large part Israel’s own invalid unilateral interpretation). It notes that it is inadmissible under international law for states to acquire territory by war and thus, in keeping with that principle, calls on Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied during the war. It does not condition withdrawal upon a final border agreement (that is, it most certainly does not require the Palestinians to negotiate on borders while under foreign military occupation and while that occupying power continuously prejudices the outcomes of said negotiations).

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            UN SC 242 states:

            1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

            (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

            (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

            It clearly says application of BOTH of these principles – a withdrawal from “territories” AND termination of claims. It intentionally doesn’t say withdrawal from ALL territories. How then can you have termination of claims without withdrawal from all territories?! ONLY by negotiations

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            Also, Israel did not attack Jordan, so Jordan perpetrated the “supreme international crime” which led to the Israeli conquest of the WB

  • Brasco

    A lot was going on before and during the 1967 War and we will never know what really happened and why it happened. From my reading two items come to light. The first is that the war was conducted to secure Israels nuclear weapons program and second the war could have easily ignited WWIII.

    Before the war Russian Mig25s were overflying the Negev nuclear research facility.

    During the war there was allegedly a Russian Echo class sub off of Israel’s coast waiting for orders to nuke Israel, the USN launched a nuclear armed strike towards Egypt that was recalled, and the Americans and Israelis together were executing something called Operation Cyanide that involved the USS Liberty.

    It took close to 50 years for the CIA to admit it’s part in bringing the Shah to power. Maybe in 2017 we will find out more about what was going on then.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      I highly doubt the USSR had any such thing going on.

  • richard braverman

    Jeremy, I, for one, am interested in the duplicitous role of the Johnson administration. From day one in office, Johnson did everything possible to change the direction of his predecessor and tilt American policy in a one-sided direction towards Israel. As the anti-Kennedy, he allowed (or ignored) the symbiotic relation between elements of the CIA and Mossad. He went out of his way to arm Israel to the teeth and, unlike JFK, he covertly supported Israel’s drive for nuclear weapons. Why Nasser would confide with this individual only confirms how far he was out of touch. As you have indicated the best source for proof of Israel’s premeditated expansionist policy in the Six Day War can be garnered from the hundreds of quotes from high Israeli officials who openly stated that it was a war of choice. Maybe they knew their friends in the Western press would never allow the myth to die. As the saying goes, if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
    ..
    PS> If Operation Cyanide existed it must have been justification for the murder of 34 US Sailors and the maiming of 174 others on that fateful day on 8 June 1967 by Israeli forces who probably either needed cover for their mass execution of Egyptian prisoners of war (POWs) or their coordinated (?) attempt to blame the Egyptians for the intended sinking of the vessel. As I said, the duplicity of the Johnson administration was and is astounding.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Richard, I happen to be researching U.S. policy following the June war and up to the passage of UN resolution 242. What is clear to me is that Johnson’s decision to renew arms sales to Israel was based on the considerations that a) business as usual should continue (military-industrial complex) and b) the USSR was arming Arab states hostile to Israel. The U.S. was also arming Arab states, but refused to renew arms sales to Jordan and other states Israel also viewed as hostile. In other words, it was perceived to be in the best interests of the U.S. (as defined by policymakers) to tilt towards Israel.

      I don’t know about covert support for Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Johnson’s duplicity and treachery with regard to Israel’s sinking of the USS Liberty is indeed astounding.

      • Richard Braverman

        Jeremy, as you are aware, Israel has, over the years, worked with many sympathetic actors in numerous western governments to steal nuclear materials to support her illicit weapons program. One of the most egregious incidents occured between 1957-1965 when over two hundred pouns (kilograms?) of material was stolen from a processing facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The bulk of that material was taken during the first two years of the Johnson Administration, which made no attempt to prosecute those involved. The theft was supported by far to many government officials who either as part of policy or loyalty to the Jewish state sought to ensure the delivery of weapons grade material. To show how relevent this material is today, arlen spector, in his last act in office, is currently attemtping to clear the name of Mr. A Shapiro who was point on the project some 45 years ago. ( see http://www.forbes.com/feeds/businesswire/2010/07/06/businesswire142042372.html)

  • Ed Ciaccio

    Jeremy, now that you bring it up, how do you see Israel’s attack on the U.S.S. Liberty fitting in with Israel’s attacks on Egypt and Syria?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Ed, I’m not sure I understand quite what you’re asking, but my response is that I think the most likely explanations for the attack are that Israel a) wanted to cover up massacres on the ground in Egypt and at the same time b) hoped the U.S. would think Egypt attacked the Liberty and come in on Israel’s side.

  • aparatchik

    What was Nasser’s medium/long-term plan vis-a-vis Israel? Did the Israelis have no basis for suspecting his future belligerence against Israel? Why was Nasser so foolish as to block Israeli shipping and remove the UN peacekeepers?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      No, Israelis had no basis for suspecting Egypt would attack Israel — as per their own intelligence assessment and subsequent acknowledgments by Rabin, Begin, etc. As for Nasser’s foolishness, it was in no small part because when Israel had attacked Samu, Jordan prior to the June war, Egypt did nothing to come to Jordan’s aid. Jordan then accused Nasser of being spineless and such, so Nasser apparently felt he needed to do some things to save face.

      On the peacekeepers, it’s worth noting that Israel — had they actually felt threatened — could have accepted them on their side of the border. Yet they rejected them as they planned their own surprise attack against Egypt.

      • aparatchik

        So why did Israel attack Egypt?

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Land.

          • aparatchik

            Sinai? So why did Israel give it back without a fight?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            To get Egypt to give up on fighting for Palestinians’ rights in Gaza and the West Bank. The 1979 peace treaty removed Egypt from Israel’s equation.

          • Larisa

            I wonder what the heck this guy makes of Rabin. Or those huge pro-peace rallies during his time and their very public support.

            Or of Dayan giving control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf in the interest of good relations, for that matter. Dayan’s ex-wife’s best friend being Suha Arafat’s mother must confuse the heck out of him, if he was aware of either of those facts or wasn’t choosing to ignore anything that doesn’t suit his narrative of the Evil Zionist Boogeyman monolith in which every member of the Knesset has Netanyahu’s face plastered on their shoulders.

            The idea that one can write books about how evil Zionism without even being able to define the word is so amusing. Screenshotted this incredibly basic mistake on Hammond’s part and will share it widely. You’re like an anti-feminist who says that feminists hate men. I guess that communications degree didn’t teach you much about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

          • Larisa

            “Trying to deny the Zionist desire for the land is downright bizarre. We live in something called reality. It’s like trying to deny that socialists wish to use government force to expropriate and redistribute wealth.”

            How is it possible, Hammond, for Zionism to require by its very nature expansionism beyond the green line for some Greater Israel carved out of its neighbours, when it is possible and indeed very common to be an anti-occupation Zionist? Apparently you think that if one considers oneself a Zionist (believes in the right of Israel to exist) that it means that one must be nefariously coveting one’s neighbours’ lands as well.

            You’re telling us that Zionism by its very nature requires wanting to expand beyond the Green Line (which is legally ours). So no, you clearly do NOT know what Zionism is, which is actually pretty hilarious. Project Censored must really not be fussy.

            Those frequent pro-peace rallies in Israel must confuse the heck out of you. Did you think that those people were anti-Zionist? Or that they’re lying about criticizing their government and wanting to see a peaceful 2SS?

            How does this contradiction even fit into your head? I’m guessing that with your heavy case of confirmation bias, it’s not really been a problem.

            Incidentally, Israel has offered to return the Golan to Syria in the past and was told that they would take it back but not offer peace in exchange. So much for land-greed. I’m sure if they keep the land, they’re land thieves, and if they give it back, it just proves even MORE that they are land thieves! Really bright, Hammond. Everything Israel does is just yet more evidence of its inherent evil? All roads lead to one forgone conclusion, huh ;)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Where did I argue that every Zionist by definition must favor, e.g., settlement expansion?

            You’re arguing with yourself.

          • Larisa

            Green-line Israel is actually a legally recognized country, as you’re well-aware, so I don’t see how that’s relevant. Zionism obviously does not need to mean expansion beyond those borders.

            I love Hammond-logic though.

            Invade the Sinai and the Golan because of expansionism.
            Give the Sinai back for peace? Proof of expansionism.
            Keep the Sinai? Proof of expansionism.

            Give the Golan back for peace? (Has been offered, Syria rejected it but said sure, they’ll take the Golan back) Proof of expansionism.
            Keep the Golan? Proof of expansionism.

            Give Gaza back under international pressure and with the support of most of Israel? Proof of expansionism… and so on. (Whereas, of course, Hamas stating time and time again that they will never make a permanent peace with green-line Israel and will always intend to conquer it, is not proof of expansionism, because presumably if Israel drops the siege and pulls out of the WB, Hamas will change their mind.)

            It must be wonderful to be so certain of your conclusions that you’ve lost the ability to think critically, so that all possible actions Israel could take just demonstrate to you how right you are, even when your own sources clearly disagree with your interpretation of events ;) You’re like the pro-Palestinian mirror image of Joan Peters. Good to see such hacks exist on both sides! Taking soundbites out of interviews (and omitting crucial details from them, nonetheless!) to try to back up specific claims when a few sentences later the same interviews clearly deny your entire premise. Highly amusing.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You don’t see how it’s relevant that the state of Israel that exists today was established by ethnically cleansing the native inhabitants from the land?

            I, for my part, cannot even begin to comprehend how it is possible not to see the relevance of this fact.

            Elsewhere, you falsely attribute logic that is your own to me. I’ve no time or interest in debating strawmen.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            What is it you think I should make of Rabin?

            Zionism is the political movement to establish a “Jewish state” in Palestine.

            To do this required ethnically cleansing 750,000 Arabs from Palestine.

            And you’re trying to argue Zionism isn’t about desire for the land?

            Let’s try to be serious.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            “Zionism is the political movement to establish a “Jewish state” in Palestine…To do this required ethnically cleansing 750,000 Arabs from Palestine.”

            No. It didn’t “require” it – that’s a complete perversion of history. Unless you’re will to claim that Palestinian nationalism “required” the adoption of Nazi ideology, as was readily adopted by the political and religious leader of Arabs in Palestine, Haj Amin al Husseini. Or that it “required” the intentional massacre of dozens of innocent Jewish civilians.

            Fact is that Zionism brought a tremendous population GROWTH for Palestinians (before they started the civil war against Jews):

            “The general *beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare* is illustrated by the fact that the *increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development*. A comparison of the Census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase per cent. in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 per cent.” (Peel Commission Report of 1937, Page 129)

            “[The Arab population] has risen since 1920 from about 600,000 to about 950,000 [in 1937] … Those are remarkable figures, especially in view of the general belief that the population of Palestine under the Ottoman regime was more or less stationary.” (Peel Commission Report of 1937, Page 125)

            If not for Arab violence and aggression, and Arab intransigence for ANY compromise, Palestinian Arabs would still live today where they lived in 1947. But it was Palestinians Arabs who started the civil war and forced the Jewish community to defend itself. And it was Arab genocidal rhetoric against Jews (let me remind you, only 2 years after the holocaust), and Arab aggression that led to the result you describe. There are two sides to this conflict, and you disingenuously put all the blame on the Jews.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Yes, establishing a demographically “Jewish state” in Palestine most certainly did require ethnically cleansing the Arab population.

            This is a simple logical truism, unlike your vain attempts to draw a parallel example.

            But if it helps you to have someone else point out this logical truism for you…

            “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did,
            a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here…. There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were
            war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands…. There are “circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing….
            That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population….”

            — Israeli historian Benny Morris

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            “Yes, establishing a demographically “Jewish state” in Palestine most certainly did require ethnically cleansing the Arab population.”

            Not if the millions of Jews who were slaughtered in Europe were allowed to immigrate to Palestine (which they were not, due to Arab pressure (terror), and in direct violation of the League of Nations’ Mandate given to Britain)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            What an extraordinary argument, that it was only because Jewish immigration into Palestine was limited by the Mandatory Power that it was therefore necessary to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Arab population to establish the state of Israel.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            What’s extraordinary is that you systematically distort historic facts to fit into your false narrative.

            It was necessary for Jews to ensure their survival by defending themselves from an Arab war of aggression and extermination against them.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            you systematically distort historic facts to fit into your false narrative.

            You are welcome to try to support that assertion with an argument.

            Since you haven’t presented one, I’ll simply note once more for the record that you just acknowledged that to establish Israel as a “Jewish state” required the ethnic cleansing of the majority Arab population.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            “What an extraordinary argument, that it was only because Jewish immigration into Palestine was limited by the Mandatory Power that it was therefore necessary to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Arab population to establish the state of Israel.”

            There. That’s the distortion of historic facts that I corrected with this:

            “It was necessary for Jews to ensure their survival by defending themselves from an Arab war of aggression and extermination against them.”

            But you simply ignored this fact, and went on distorting what I said.

            If you want to “note for the record” that I claimed that a “Jewish state” required the ethnic cleansing of the majority Arab population – go ahead. But please don’t forget to note the context – that Palestinian nationalism required the extermination of the Jews in Palestine (as Haj Amin al-Husseini strived to do). Unless you include that in that note of yours you’d be ones again distorting the facts.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            “to establish Israel as a “Jewish state” required the ethnic cleansing of the majority Arab population”

            Also, while you’re on the subject, Abbas explicitly stated that: “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.”

            Does that not mean that the establishment of a “Palestinian State” requires the ethnic cleansing of Jews?

            Let’s also not forget that ALL the Jews in the area controlled by Arabs were ethnically cleansed in the 1948 war. Does that not mean that establishing the “Arab State” required the ethnic cleansing of even a minority of Jews?!

            Also, since nearly a million Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Middle East, does that not mean that Arab nationalism requires the ethnic cleansing of Jews?

          • Larisa

            incidentally, Hammond, if Zionism by nature requires expansionism of a nature of Greater Israel, etc. (wanting to keep hold of the Palestinian territories, or steal from its neighbours) than how is it possible for anti-occupation Zionists to exist? Green-line Israel is internationally recognized territory, and Zionism is (in case you’ve forgotten, which apparently you have) the belief that Israel has the right to exist, therefore it is entirely possible (and very, very common) to find Zionists who believe in the right of a safe Israel and free Palestine.

            I’m interested to know what YOUR personal definition of Zionism is, since the “reality” you speak of (that being a Zionist means being a nefarious land-grabber) is apparently quite far removed from the actual reality.

            Pro-peace Zionists must REALLY fly in the face of your “reality”, but I suppose if you have no academic qualifications regarding the conflict or even history in general, and have apparently only been following the conflict since you took an interest in 9/11 just over a decade ago, that it’s not entirely surprising that you would make such nasty, demonizing generalizations about a chapter of this conflict that likely happened not only before you started following it, but before you were born. Hmmm.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You’re still arguing with yourself.

          • aparatchik

            So why didn’t Israel just kick out the WB/Gaza Arabs in 67 if what they wanted was land? I heard that Dayan told them to stay and gave the Temple Mount to the Waqf. How does this fit with Israel wanting land?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            They did expel many Palestinians in ’67.

            I don’t understand your question. I think the question is more appropriately: In what way does Israeli policy since it’s inception not fit with desire for the land?

            I mean, how much proof does a person really need? You’ve got the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Arabs in ’48, the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory since ’67, the illegal colonization of the illegally occupied Palestinian territory, and so on.

            It’s like asking for proof that water is wet.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            It did. I don’t know the figure off the top of my head, but further ethnic cleansing occurred in the ’67 war, 750,000 Arabs having already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine from 1947-49.

            How does that fit in with Zionism not being about a desire for the land?

            Let’s be serious.

          • aparatchik

            The fact is that Israel did not expel all or even most of the Arabs in 67, when she clearly could have. Why not? Why did Dayan tell them to stay? If Israel was only interested in land then this action was totally illogical, no?

            In 48, Israel also showed that she wasn’t totally au fait with ethnic cleansing, as one fifth(?) of the arab population remained along with druze, bedouin, circassians, armenians and others. How many of the 700,000 arabs who left did so due to Israeli action and how many left of their own accord or under the orders of their leaders or as a result of miscalculated arab propaganda http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Ata-hY9WQ is open to debate.

            Jordan on the other hand did an excellent job of ethnically cleansing Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem of Jews.

            The fact that Israel could give back a piece of territory the size of Sinai with its potential mineral resources for a promise of peace (that might well die with Mubarak) also suggests to me that real estate isn’t Israel’s #1 priority.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            If the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Arabs does not constitute evidence to you that the Zionists were interested in taking the land for themselves, I don’t know what facts could possibly convince you, aparatchik.

            As for the claim that Arabs left “under the orders of their leaders”, this is old Zionist propaganda, for which there is no evidence. The video you provide only discusses the false claim that rapes had occurred. It was the massacre itself, by Zionist terrorists, that frightened many Arabs into fleeing their homes. Many others were forced from their homes.

            “Focusing primarily on Plan D (Dalet , in Hebrew), conceived on March 10, 1948, Pappe demonstrates how ethnic cleansing was not a circumstance of war, but rather a deliberate goal of combat for early Israeli military units organized by David Ben-Gurion, whom Pappe labels the “architect of ethnic cleansing.” The forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians between 1948 and 1949, Pappe argues, was part of a long-standing Zionist plan to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. Framing his argument with accepted international and U.N. definitions of ethnic cleansing, Pappe follows with an excruciatingly detailed account of Israeli military involvement in the demolition and depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arab inhabitants.”

            http://www.amazon.com/Ethnic-Cleansing-Palestine-Ilan-Pappe/dp/1851684670

            The author is Israeli, BTW.

            Your claim that the West Bank and East Jerusalem was “ethnically cleansed” by Jordan is nonsense. Funny you should deny the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Arabs from what became Israel while also making this claim. I can’t help but wonder if you have a prejudice…

            Israel did not withdraw from the Sinai for peace. Israel withdrew from the Sinai to remove Egypt from the equation, so it could more freely continue to occupy and illegally colonize the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

          • Ram

            Jeremy. The cleansing of E Jerusalem of Jews and the destruction of their many Synagogues is a fact, yet you dispute it. However, that is not what debunks your article. The very mention of Ilan Pappe seals your fate!! If the blocking of the Straits of Tiran, along with all the other actions of Syria, Jordan and Egypt do not amount to a serious threat and, logically, an act of war, I class you as definitely being on the wrong side of Israel.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            …yet you dispute it.

            I’ve neither to interest nor the desire to respond to strawman arguments. You are welcome to address what I’ve actually written.

            I don’t know what “being on the wrong side of Israel” means, but the fact remains that the 1967 war began on the morning of June 5 when Israel launched an attack on Egypt (not vice versa) despite its own intelligence assessing that Nasser had no interest in war.

          • rtk

            Neither do I have the desire to prolong a discussion with a man who remains intent on focusing on technicalities rather than realities.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            “technicalities”? ROFLMAO!

          • Larisa

            So we took the Sinai out of a desire for land, and then returned it out of a desire for land?

            Wow, apparently we’re so nefarious that absolutely any path we take indicates our evil nature! Impressive. If we didn’t return it, we’d be monsters, if we returned it, it’s just further proof of what monsters we are. I get the feeling you’d be able to turn an Israeli baby’s kuck nappy into evidence of how evil the Zionists are

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            So we took the Sinai out of a desire for land, and then returned it out of a desire for land?

            This was neither my argument nor follows from it.

            Israel took the Sinai out of a desire for land, but was forced to withdraw as holding onto the Sinai became politically infeasible. The peace treaty with Egypt also removed Egypt from the conflict so Israel could carry on with its occupation of Palestine, likewise stemming from its desire for the land.

            Trying to deny the Zionist desire for the land is downright bizarre. We live in something called reality. It’s like trying to deny that socialists wish to use government force to expropriate and redistribute wealth.

          • Larisa

            Apparently you’re unaware what the word Zionism means, which is odd for someone writing for such an illustrious publication. Zionism = believing that Israel has the right to exist. One can be an anti-occupation Zionist who is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine.

            Lobbing everyone into the extreme right-wing camp shows surprising ignorance on your part, and it’s interesting that you feel you have the qualification to tell a group of people who you are clearly very much against what they REALLY believe. It’s rather like anti-feminists telling feminists that they hate men. God knows what Yesh Atid threatening to leave the coalition if the peace talks fails must have gone down as in your head and how you interpret that as not genuinely wanting peace. Or the huge pro-peace movement during Rabin’s days. Perhaps they’re all lying? Insert conspiracy here? Hmmm.

            Your interpretation of what the desires are of a group of millions of people, whom you are not a part of and you are against, is not “reality”. It’s sad to see someone who claims expertise on this subject even suggesting that one’s interpretation is inalienable fact. Even a 1st-year history student would be expected to know better than that. Seems more to me like you’ve already drawn your conclusions and are fitting the facts to suit them. How do you manage to get to be an award-winning journalist without even being able to define the word Zionism (the belief that Israel has the right to exist) accurately and instead presenting it as a lying, extremist monolith? Sad what passes for journalism these days.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            How you arrive at the conclusion that I’m unaware of what Zionism is is beyond me.

            I also don’t know what you mean saying I’m “Lobbing everyone into the extreme right-wing camp”.

            “Perhaps they’re all lying? Insert conspiracy here?” I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

            I can’t respond to nonsense, so I’ll just repeat what I said: Israel took the Sinai out of a desire for the land, and trying to deny the Zionist desire for the land is downright bizarre.

      • Larisa

        Nasser had said in the previous month “the sole method we shall apply against Israel is a total war which will result in the extermination of
        Zionist existence”. I think that’s good reason to suspect that Egypt would attack Israel. In hindsight we could dismiss this as the usual sabre-rattling, but I can understand why it was considered relevant. When you tell your neighbour you are going to invade their country and destroy it, even if you don’t have the capability to do so and are just trying to impress Jordan, I think it’s still understandable if the neighbour does take it at face value.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

          You can express your opinion that there was “good reason to suspect that Egypt would attack Israel” all you want, but the fact remains that Israel’s own intelligence assessed that Nasser was not insane, as he would have to be to intend to do so. The US intelligence community agreed, pointing out that Egypt’s military had taken up defensive positions in the Sinai and correctly predicting that Israel would start the war.

          • Larisa

            So Nasser saying he was going to exterminate us via total war wasn’t a reason to think that war was coming?

            When someone says they want to destroy your country and kill your people, that’s usually cause for concern.

  • http://www.facebook.com/righthand48 Robert Hand

    Great article. Of course its true.
    Isn’t treachery and duplicity the hallmarks of Pollard&Co?! Next they’ll claim that Vanunu was wrong too and they’ve no nuclear weapons. Maybe that they didn’t deliberately attack the USS Liberty, killing 34 and wounding 170 innocent US servicemen.
    They are deficient in the loyalty gene, never having had any use of it. There are signs now that they’ll soon bring down their Samson temple, the Knesset, home of “democracy for Jews”. Innocent, truthful Zionists? Double Oxymoron!

    • Larisa

      Do “Zionists” have different genes from other Jews? That’s interesting, I didn’t think of support of the existence of Israel as a genetic trait. You should probably just say Jews and drop the pretense of not being a bigot ;) And what should we be loyal for, the way that a large chunk of the world enthusiastically killed us while the rest of the world said “meh” and took in only a small number of refugees? Would you like a thank-you card? Please tell me now that the Allies were fighting the Nazis to save the Jews, that’d be hilarious. I’m so amused at the high horse you’re on.

      Also, re: your comment about Vanunu, I’m pretty sure that Israel trying to convince the world it has no nuclear weapons wouldn’t be in its best interest. I mean really, duh.

  • scott

    I saw David Robarge’s speech on C-Span and searched and searched, asked the State dept for transcripts all to no avail. I’m glad to find this account. I found this account while searching for the State Dept. memos I read at that time (what 3-4 yrs ago) where in all of Johnson’s cabinet knew Israel was the aggressor. Funny, now I can’t find those State Dept. memos anymore. But was delighted to find this and David Robarge finally quoted.

    I didn’t read your article, I know the up shot. Did you address that the war was initiated to preempt Johnson from meeting with Nasser’s #2? The other telling fact in this war was the Israeli shooting of the life rafts of the Liberty–there is no excuse for that even if they thought that dirty Egyptians were in those dingies.

    • Bindar Dunit

      There is no way any (sophisticated) military could have ‘misread’ Identifying features of the USS Liberty….with its giant American flag & ID numbers on its bow -visible clearly during the sunlit hours of the Israeli air & sea attack on the Liberty 8 June 1967…”claiming it confused it with a 1929 Egyptian mule hauler.”….neither Liberty’s ID, shape, size, insignia, speed or high tech antennae…Jane’s Military Ship ident. materials were available to Command and control…& declassified transcripts of an IAF pilot who refused to bomb ( obvious American) target & he returned to base.
      Congress in their routine fashion genuflected to their paymasters – never produced a genuine investigation into that attack.
      Our American (heroic) surviving crew of the Liberty forced to bear the burden of silence for 40+ yrs –
      Yes, they also machine gunned the yellow life rafts as the survivors were attempting to save wounded from the decks…wounded or burned from the napalm dropped on the sunning sailors who had ‘waved’ to the low flying Israeli helicopters earlier. All before their savage Navy fired 2 torpedos into midship killing more sailors.
      There are insufficient words to describe the loathing US Vets retain.

  • buddy

    Not to mention of course Israel’s invasion of Sinia in 1956 in collusion with UK and France prior to 1967 sneak attack.
    The later would provide Nuclear technology aid that Israel would turn into WMD.
    Sabbotage operations against UK and US targets in Egypt using recruitted Egyptian Jews(a folly for Egypt’s Jews) during mid fifties would also constitute an act of war. See operation Susannah,(The Lavon Affair).
    Captured Israel spy, Wolfgang Lotz was infiltrated into Egypt in early 60’s,posing as rich German horsebreeder plotted strike targets for Israel;s coming attack on Egypt in 1967.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Indeed!

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

    No, Peter, I would not blame Israel for starting the ’67 war if it hadn’t done so by launching a surprise attack on Egypt on the morning of June 5.

    I do not agree that Egypt’s closing of the straits, as condemnable as that may have been, justified Israel’s resort to violence.

    Finally, it isn’t “antisemitism” to criticize the US for financially, militarily, and diplomatically supporting Israel’s violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people, and the answer to the question of why the US shouldn’t go on doing so is self-evident.

    • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

      If you claim that Israel’s actions during the war in 1947 (a war which, by the way, Palestinian Arabs themselves started) prove that Israel wanted to “manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state” how come Plan D was only in effect in some areas (where the IDF encountered Arab violence) and not in others? Also, it is not true that all these Palestinian Arabs were forced out, since a large number fled on their own.

      How do you contrast it with the fact that nearly all Jews (almost 1,000,000) who lived in Arab countries were ethnically cleansed? These Jews did not start any civil wars against the Arab countries they lived in. Or how about the fact that Arab countries confiscated from these Jews properties that are about 4X the size of the whole state of Israel?! How come today there are over 1.2 million Arabs who live in Israel, but only about 7,000 Jews who live in the Arab world? If anything, it is Arabs who wanted an ethnically (and religiously) pure Arab Muslim land.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

        Since you have questions about its content, I encourage you to read Pappe’s book.

        I don’t know what you are asking with your “How do you contrast it…?” question. The expulsions of Jews from Arab countries was, like the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine, criminal and morally reprehensible.

        • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

          Then how come we only hear about the plight of Palestinian Arabs, and never about Jews from Arab countries? Why this distortion of history?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            But the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time. This comment of yours being merely the most recent manifestation.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            The ethnic cleansing of nearly 1,000,000 Jews is a”Zionist talking point”?!? Good to see your humanitarian side!

            What about the fact that Palestinian Arabs started a civil war in 1947? How do you defend that? How do you defend the war of aggression and crimes against peace perpetrated by 5 Arab armies against Israel in 1948?!

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            How you think you can draw a conclusion about my humanitarianism from my observation that it is a point frequently raised in discussion is beyond me.

            On what date in 1947 did the Arabs start this civil war?

            By the time neighboring Arab states were able to muster a response and sent forces into Palestine after the Zionists unilaterally declared the existence of Israel on land mostly belonging to Arabs (with the minority Jewish population owning only 6.8% of the land), 300,000 Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            1) When in response to the claim that both Arabs AND Jews were forced out of their homes, you dismiss the latter part by claiming that it is a “Zionist talking point” (as opposed to, you know, a more balanced view) this shows your bias.

            2) Arabs started the civil war on November 29, 1947, when Jewish neighborhoods and villages were attacked by Palestinian Arab guerrillas.

            3) Most of the land on which Jews declared a state did NOT belong to Arabs. In fact, about 75% of it was desert. Overall, 70% was government owned.

            4) The REASON Jews “only” owned about 6% of the land was not because they didn’t have the resources or ability to buy more land, but because Arab terrorism forced the British Administration – in clear violation of its Mandatory obligation under international law – prohibit the sale of land to Jews.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            1) To observe that Zionists try to deflect from the topic of how Jews ethnically cleansed Palestine of most of its Arab inhabitants is not to somehow trivialize the expulsions of Jews from Arab states, try as you might to illogically insinuate otherwise. Needless to say, the Palestinians were not responsible for the actions of those regimes.

            2) You assert “the civil war on November 29, 1947, when Jewish neighborhoods and villages were attacked by Palestinian Arab guerrillas”.

            Ten days before that date, however, Lehi (the Stern Gang) raided a house near Ra’anana and executed five young males from the Shubaki family.

            So I guess that means the civil war began on November 19, when it was started by a Jewish terrorist group.

            3) Yes, most of the land on which Jews declared a state did belong to Arabs.

            A 1943 land ownership survey cited by UNSCOP (the committee that came up with the partition plan) noted that Jews owned 5.8% (1,514,247 dunams) while Arabs and other non-Jews owned nearly 94% of the land (24,670,455 dunams).

            Land ownership statistics for 1945 likewise showed
            that Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine. The district with the highest percentage of Jewish ownership was Jaffa, where 39
            percent of the land was owned by Jews, compared to 47 percent owned by Arabs. Jews owned less than 5 percent of the land in eight out of the sixteen
            districts.

            As the UNSCOP report noted, “The Arab population, despite the strenuous efforts of Jews to acquire land in Palestine, at present remains in possession of approximately 85 percent of the land.”

            4) Thank you for acknowledging the fact that the Jewish community owned less than 7% of the land of Palestine (1,820,000 dunams, or 6.9%) at the time the Zionist leadership unilaterally declared the existence of the “Jewish state” on land mostly belonging to Arabs, by which time 300,000 Palestinians had already been ethnically cleansed.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            What an extraordinary attempt to distort historic facts. The fact that Palestinian Arabs started the civil war is widely accepted by prominent historians. What you’re doing is disingenuous historic revisionism. If you want to play the game of “who fired the first shot” in this conflict, then how about we go all the way back to the Arab Islamic invasion and conquest of the Jewish ancestral homeland in the 7th century AD.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            I fail to see how pointing out the fact that a Jewish terrorist group murdered five young men 10 days before the day you claimed the civil war began is a distortion of history or “revisionism”.

            Beyond that, if you wish to argue that choosing one of these exact dates as the start of the civil war is arbitrary, as you seem to be trying to do, I would remind you that you are the one who claimed it began with Arab attacks on the specific date of the 29th with Arab attacks.

            So we all see can witness your standard, which is instructive: if it began with Arab attacks, it is not arbitrary, but if it began with Jewish attacks, then it is.

            One of us is trying to distort history, that much we can agree on.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            You were the one asking: “On what date in 1947 did the Arabs start this civil war?”

            Knowing perfectly well that the civil war started in the context of the UN Partition Plan vote on Nov. 29, and not in the context of Lehi execution of 5 Palestinian Arabs. But as you’ve repeatedly shown, your historic revisionism relies on ignoring (or distorting) the context of events. Otherwise, you wouldn’t adopt such counterfactual narrative.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You’re begging the question.

            All I’ve done is state the facts.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            You mean twist the facts to fit your false narrative.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            In case you continue with your historic revisionism. Here’s a little inconvenient historic fact for you: Palestinian Arabs officially admitted starting the civil war. Jamal Hussieni, the spokesman representing the Palestinian Arabs (Arab Higher Committee) stated this at a UN Security Council on Feb. 16, 1948:

            “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight”

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            There is no record of such a UNSC meeting at http://unispal.un.org, nor
            can I find any trace of it at http://documents.un.org/ or
            http://unbisnet.un.org/.

            And the fact remains that Jewish terrorists murdered five young Arabs 10 days before the date you claim the Arabs started the civil war by attacking Jews. In fact, the handful of attacks that occurred immediately after Resolution 181 was passed, according to Hagannah Intelligence Service itself, in retaliation for the murders by Lehi.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            I see that now you advanced from the tactic of distorting historic facts to fit your false narrative into the area of DENYING historic facts to fit your false narrative. That’s certainly going to get you far in this discussion. And you claim that you’re a journalist? Ha!

            Yet the historic fact remains. The quote is from Security Council Official Recrods, S/Aganda/58 (April 16, 1948)

            Here is another quote by the Arab High Committee spokesman to the UN, from April 23, 1948:

            “We have never concealed the fact that we began the fighting. We began it because we were always under the impression, as we are now, that we were fighting in self-defence. We therefore believe that we are quite justified. However, if the whole situation is to be reviewed and if the wrong is to be made right, then we should be the first to accept a truce”

            So you see, it is not I who claims that the Arabs started the civil war, they claimed so themselves (apparently before they realized it doesn’t suit their false victimhood narrative so well)

            Here is the document, in case you claim this one doesn’t exist also. Look at p.14: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxtaXNqdWRlcmlhc3xneDoyMmUzYjA5MmFmYmI0NzNl

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You can continue making statements “distorting historic facts”, yet the facts remain precisely as I have stated them.

            As for the quote, you claim it is “from Security Council Official Recrods, S/Aganda/58 (April 16, 1948)” (sic). But, again, there is no record of such a UNSC meeting at http://unispal.un.org, nor can I find any trace of it at http://documents.un.org/ or
            http://unbisnet.un.org/.

            You seem to think you’ve provided a link to this document. I would point out to you that you claim the quote is from a meeting record from April 16, while the meeting record you provided a link to is from April 23, the 287th meeting of the UNSC. See, unlike your claimed source for the quote, this document is easily found simply by entering the document symbol, S/PV.287, following a backslash after undocs.org (that is, http://undocs.org/S/PV.287).

            If you want to try again to provide verification of your claimed source, you are welcome to it.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            I explicitly stated these are two separate events where Palestinian Arab representatives admitted they started the civil war – On April 16 and on April 23. I cited the sources (and even provided the document for April 23). But you can stick to your false narrative, and continue with your historic revisionism and denial of history. It won’t get you far.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            I apologize. In my hasty read of your comment, I thought you meant that the link was to prove the existence of the comment I actually inquired about. Regarding the two comments:

            1) Again, I can find no actual record of this document. This I would like to do because, if it exists and the quote is accurate, I would like to see the context from which it was taken.

            That aside, the quote, along with the second one, is irrelevant to the fact that the attacks that occurred immediately following the adoption of Resolution 181–which claimed were the incidents of violence that started the civil war–were judged by the HIS itself to be in retaliation for the murder of several young Palestinian men by Jewish terrorists the week before.

            2) To be clear, your argument here is that when Jamal Bey Husseini said “We have never concealed the fact that we began the fighting”, he meant that the Arabs started the civil war immediately after the adoption of Resolution 181. Correct?

          • Larisa

            That awkward moment where Hammond admits that he considers expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed, and that he wishes they’d shut up about it, it’s getting boring. He’s not a bigot, though, and as an award-winning journalist he would never apply double-standards.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            I’ve no interest in debating a strawman argument. I challenge you to quote me where you claim I “admit” such a thing.

            Good luck with that impossible challenge.

          • Larisa

            I would certainly say that you’re trivializing the expulsion of the Jews as a mere “talking point” that you keep hearing about to the extent that it seems to annoy you, whereas the expulsion of a similar number of Palestinians is an injustice that you’ve devoted your life to.

            Isn’t this a double-standard? If someone spoke so callously about the Nakba, you’d (quite understandably) be outraged. Surely an ethnic cleansing of a very similar scale and scope but with different victims is just as tragic and should be treated similar gravity.

          • http://geopolitics.us TheBigPicture X

            Except that Jews never started any hostilities in Arab countries. That’s quite a significant difference.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            What annoys me is hypocrites who rightly condemn the expulsions of Jews from Arab states in order to try to defend the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Arabs from Palestine by Zionist forces.

            The only double standard here is your own.

            And, no, if someone pointed out the fact that the Nakba was a common talking point of the Palestinians, I wouldn’t be outraged. How ridiculous.

          • Larisa

            Oh, sorry, I see that you mention earlier in this post that it was a reprehensible act. My mistake. I do think that it’s odd that roughly the same number of people suffering a very similar experience has got so little attention other than as a “Zionist talking point”, though. Surely an injustice is an injustice and both should be rectified.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Oh, there was no “mistake”. You were deliberately making a false accusation.

            Yes, injustices against both Jews and Arabs should be rectified. Glad we agree on that. Shall we take that as an acknowledgement that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was a grave injustice requiring rectification?

          • Larisa

            Interesting that you make the accusation that I was intentionally misrepresenting your views when, if one only reads the post that I replied to, you seem to be referring to the expulsion of almost a million people as something that you wish they’d shut up about. Context is everything, and I agree that it was lazy of me not to read the rest of the thread and just take a small soundbite (of course, I’m not an award-winning journalist, so getting lazy and taking soundbites without investigating the context is not quite so ridiculous when I do it ;))

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            There is no way you could honestly have taken anything I said to be an “admission” that I believe it is “perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

            I repeat, there was no “mistake”. There was only you making a lying accusation.

          • Larisa

            You can believe that all you want, it’s not the silliest belief you hold ;) ;) But no, I only saw the last post and it seemed very hypocritical that you would treat one ethnic cleansing as a talking point that people talk too much about.

            The fact that I corrected myself immediately when I saw your earlier post should probably have tipped you off, since it wouldn’t make much sense to intentionally make an accusation just to immediately rectify it and apologize ;)

            Honestly, I’m sure if someone said that the Nakba is a Palestinian talking point and you keep hearing about it again and again, you’d be offended unless you had seen the context ;)

            I try to keep my accusations of doublestandards and not-so-careful journalism on your part as reasonable as possible, hence my immediate apology for my mistake/”false accusation”.

            I’m sure if you had made a journalistic mistake, or were possibly practicing a doublestandard without realizing it, you’d value the feedback, wouldn’t you? Surprised you’re taking this so personally.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            It is just not possible for you to have honestly read my comment as an “admission” that I Believe any such thing. You made a lying accusation, plain and simple, only withdrawing it after realizing your lying accusation would be easily recognized as such by anyone who read my previous comment illustrating it’s falseness.

            There was no “mistake”.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            There was no “mistake”. It is just not possible that you could have read what I actually said and interpreted it as
            an “admission” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”. There is no way any honest and reasonable person could possibly have arrived at that conclusion based on my comments. You had malicious intent and only withdrew the lying accusation after realizing that anyone actually reading my comments would immediately see right through it.

          • Larisa

            Sure, feel free to tell me that you’re aware of my true intentions and that I’m a liar ;) The one post I read most certainly sounded like that, and if that had been all you had to say, I would have stood by my conclusions ENTIRELY. Out of context, that soundbite makes you sound like a bigot.

            It’s also very funny that even though I saw your other post and rapidly apologized for misunderstanding you and taking your comment out of context, that you’re now convinced that I’m a vicious liar with the intention to do you harm ;) (I would think, if this was the case that I would not have rushed to apologize when I saw your previous post. Hmmmm.)

            On the other hand, if this is how you draw your conclusions about people’s intentions, based on paranoia and a “they’re out to get me/my preferred side!” mentality, presuming the most nefarious possible intentions about people with a very limited amount of available knowledge, then actually, that kinda explains a lot about this post and your political views in general. Not enough knowledge of the subject matter (me, in this case, which is a subject I would profess to know a lot about ;)), and jumping to conclusions in order to assign nefarious intents to people when there are none.

          • Larisa

            “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.”

            Do I have your permission to pluck this quote out of context, put it on pages regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict where both Zionists and anti-Zionists post, and ask them whether it seems to indicate that the topic of the Jewish expulsion from Arab countries is trivial and boring to you? ;) Out of context, this quote makes you sound like a total monster. Shame you can’t see that, but I already apologized for not reading the context and realizing that was not your intent.

            You seem to not be able to hear how obnoxious and bigoted you sounded when I did not check the context, so perhaps that could act as a wake-up call on that before your paranoia leads you to ridiculous accusations just because you’re annoyed that I’ve been taking the time to review your articles and offer feedback regarding possible mistakes, which apparently you’ve taken as a personal attack. Holding grudges when people take time out of their busy schedules to help you improve the quality of your work, and then telling them that their intention is malicious, isn’t the mark of an award-winning journalist, sweetie.

            Since of course you don’t know me from a cheese sandwich, you might want to stop with the paranoia and the rather rude insults to my character (“in order to attempt to discredit my future posts?” is what I would wonder if I was the type to attribute malicious intentions to complete strangers just for having different political views to myself).

            Some appreciation. Honestly, I’m a new mother, I could be spending my baby’s nap time watching a movie instead of being insulted by someone who claims to be an expert in my inner thoughts :P Despite my rapid apology for my mistake re: your views, I’m sure I won’t be getting an apology for your personal attack.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            It is just not possible for any honest and reasonable person to read that comment of mine and take away from it that I “admit” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

            The malicious intent with which you made that slanderous remark against my character is perfectly transparent.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            It is just not logically possible for your statement that I “admit” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed” to have been a “mistake”.

            There is just no way any honest, reasonable person could read what I actually wrote and take that away from it.

            The inescapable corollary is that you were trying to slander my character.

          • Larisa

            “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.”

            No, really, Hammond, read that one more time.

            Try posting that without any context in any forum where both Palestinians and Israelis will read it, and see what people read into it. No, really, please do. Certainly sounds like trivializing the heck out of one ethnic cleansing. Surprised you can’t see that.

            Of course as soon as I saw that it had been stated in a wider context, I took back my comment, and I apologized for not bothering to check the context of your comment. You of all people should know that sometimes people will get lazy and read things without checking their context ;)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            See my previous comment.

          • Larisa

            BTW, it’s interesting to see that you attribute the most malicious intentions possible, to people that you don’t really know anything about. After all, all you know about me is a screenname and that I’ve spent some time in the last few days poking holes in your work (which I would think a journalist of integrity would appreciate as a chance to hone their craft, and I’m sure on some level you do), and now you think I have some sort of evil agenda ;) Please tell me more about my character, personality and goals, as this could be really funny. Am I a cat person or a dog person?

            If journalism ever loses its charm, you could always consider a career as a TV psychic, since you seem to know me intimately enough (with so little information at your disposal) to make such nasty, paranoid judgment calls.

            It’s interesting that when you as an award-winning journalist actually publish an altered quote without checking its context, you can recognize that this was an innocent mistake, but when a sleep-deprived new mother sees a rather offensive sentence and doesn’t sufficiently check the context to realize that you did not mean ill intent, she must be on a campaign to slander you. I wonder if your easy willingness to attribute nefarious intentions to people might perhaps cloud your work?

            If I were the paranoid type, I’d think that you had a problem with people trying to poke holes in your articles and you were trying to use this as an excuse to discredit me, but I’m sure you’re not the type to shy away from debate and you’re just being genuinely paranoid, not malicious.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            BTW, it’s interesting to see that you attribute the most malicious intentions possible, to people that you don’t really know anything about.

            What an extraordinarily hypocritical remark coming from the individual who took my observation that the expulsion of Jews from Arab states is a common point raised by defenders of Israel’s crimes in discussions about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and turned it into an “admission” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

            I’ve no time for more of your childishness and hypocrisy.

          • Larisa

            Still, how ironic that my mistake, lazily taking a soundbite without reviewing the context at all (a mistake you should sympathize with, all considered, since it’s not exactly above you) would result in your indicating that you are willing to tell people what they REALLY think and assign them malicious intent ;)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            It isn’t a matter of having taken my comment out of context.

            Regardless of the context of the fuller discussion, it is simply not possible for any honest and reasonable person to take that one comment of mine and read it as an “admission” that I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed”.

          • Larisa

            “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.” sounds pretty nasty if that’s all that someone has read.

            Already agreed that I should have read more of the thread before butting in at the last minute and making assumptions based on what sure did sound like a nasty thing to say when just treated as a soundbite, but heck, I’m not an award-winning journalist, I’m a sleep-deprived new mother, so if I take a soundbite out of context without reading everything you’ve said, at least I have a valid excuse for it ;)

            Honestly, I almost feel like you didn’t appreciate me correcting you about that mistaken quote and you’re taking this as a personal vendetta instead of appreciating the opportunity to further hone your craft *sadface*

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I don’t see why the observation should sound “nasty”.

            No, you have no “valid excuse” for making your deliberately false accusation against my character.

            I already thanked you for correcting me on the quote, and you will see I’ve published a correction as a result. The one thing has nothing to do with the other outside of your own mind.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            I fail to see why it “sounds pretty nasty” to observe the fact that defenders of Israel’s ethnic cleansing commonly make it a point of discussion to bring up the expulsion of Jews from Arab states.

            You are being childish. Perhaps if you have to try to excuse your behavior on the grounds of being sleep-deprived, you should stop trolling on the internet and go get some sleep.

          • Larisa

            And yes, it is indeed a tragedy that the civilian population of Palestine paid the price for shitty leaders on both sides (I’m sure you’ll agree that the behaviour of the al-Husseinis was also atrocious). More steps should have been taken on both sides to ensure that the two native peoples of that land could live together in peace, and it is awful that so many people continue to suffer from those mistakes. A Palestinian child being thrown out of their home as their village burns is a tragedy regardless of politics, and if it is possible to rectify those mistakes in a way that ends up in peace and not vengeance, then nothing would bring me greater joy.

            As usual, millions of people suffer because of the decisions of angry men with guns who spend more time shooting than getting to know their neighbours. Worldwide phenomenon that has caused and continues to cause endless suffering.

  • Larisa

    Here’s what Hammond, in his lack of journalistic integrity leaves out: in that interview, Rabin is not offering an admission that the attack on Egypt was with the intention of land-grabbing.

    Another, more sound interpretation of that interview is presented in Ragout, and including the full interview in the context of Hammond’s little soundbite that I suspect he got off the Internet without reading the full interview, considering he too has altered the quote to omit the date, and the various provocations which occurred after May 14th. Hammond is misleadingly stating, either by negligence or intent, that only two divisions were sent, and that those two divisions alone were the only provocation and were used as a pretext. Rabin’s interview suggests otherwise, and perhaps Hammond might want to actually read it instead of taking quotes out of context that he’s found on the Internet. This is journalism, not a high school essay that you’d probably receive a C on.

    ________________________________________________________
    A commentator quotes Israel General Rabin as saying, “I do not think
    Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai on 14 May
    [1967] would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against
    Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    According to the anonymous commentator, and numerous web sites, this
    quote proves that Israel sought war in 1967. However, it does no such
    thing. The crucial point is the date: May 14, several weeks before the
    June 5 beginning of the 1967 War. The quote linked to by my commentator
    omits the date, as do many, but not all, of the web pages I found
    touting this quote.

    Many things happened between May 14 and June 5. Egypt ordered the UN
    peacekeepers to leave, Egypt blockaded Israel’s Red Sea Port. Egypt
    moved another 5 divisions to the Israeli Border, 100,000 troops in all.
    Egyptian dictator Nasser threatened Israel with genocide. Indeed, every
    provocation I mentioned in my previous post happened after May 14.

    Even without more context, it’s fairly clear what Rabin is saying
    here. He’s saying that Nasser may not have initially wanted war, but
    eventually found himself in a situation where he couldn’t back down
    without losing face. He may have hoped that the UN peacekeepers would
    refuse to leave. He may have been goaded by the Soviets, who falsely
    told him that Israel was planning to attack Syria. The histories I’ve
    read say that the war was probably a miscalculation on Nasser’s part,
    but certainly do not suggest that the war was provoked by Israel.

    ________________________________________________
    … Q. Do you think that Nasser pretended to believe in your threats because he was seeking to provoke war?

    A. I do not think that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he
    sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start
    an offensive against Israel. He knew it, and we knew it. This fact
    shows, in my view, that Nasser did not really believe that we were going
    to attack Syria. He was bluffing; he wanted to present himself, at low
    cost, as the savior of Syria and to thus gain broad sympathy in the Arab
    world. We were familiar with this strategem since he had already used
    it in 1960…. But, eight years ago, he had not demanded the withdrawal
    of the UN forces. This time, he felt the need to give more credibility
    to his bluff. Indeed, the propaganda of the anti-Nasser Arab states had
    pushed him by constantly accusing him of “hiding behind the
    international forces”.

    Q. Did he intend, in your view, to close the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping?

    A. Initially, he demanded the withdrawal of the “blue helmets” only
    from the portion of the borders from Rafah to [illegible], and he
    suggested that the UN soldiers be regrouped in Gaza and Sharm-el-Sheikh
    (which commands the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba). Unhappily, Mr. Thant
    obliged him to choose: keep the international forces in all their
    positions or, on the contrary, demand their total and definitive
    withdrawal. I believe that the UN General Secretary even made this
    requirement public before it had reached President Nasser. Nasser, in
    order not to lose face, chose to start the crisis of Aqaba.

    Q. Why did he do this if he did not want war and if he knew, in addition, that your army was superior to his?

    A. This is where our logic does not correspond to that of the Arabs.
    The latter rarely make the distinction between realities and desires.
    Nasser was intoxicated by the explosion of popular enthusiasm in the
    Arab world, as well as by his own propaganda. He finally believed that
    the Egyptian army was not defeated in 1956 by Israel, but only by the
    French-English intervention. He constructed an entire system of thought,
    according to which Israel would not initiate hostilities in 1967
    because it could not count, as in 1956, on the support of foreign
    powers. However, judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai
    after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture
    to be a casus belli.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Here’s what Hammond, in his lack of journalistic integrity leaves out:
      in that interview, Rabin is not offering an admission that the attack on
      Egypt was with the intention of land-grabbing.

      You can argue Rabin was not admitting “X”, but this is irrelevant to the point of my having quoting him, which is that he was admitting “Y”.

      “Y”, of course, being that Israel’s June 5 attack on Egypt was by definition not “preemptive”.

      Thank you for providing the full context of the interview. As anyone can see, I did not take anything out of context. He clearly stated that he didn’t believe that Egypt was going to launch an attack on Israel.

      • Larisa

        Could you kindly explain why you chose to omit the date of May 14th from your post when you quoted the interview? I would be very curious to hear the explanation for that ;) It seems extraordinarily unprofessional, trying to indicate that there were only two divisions, and omitting anything that happened between May 14th and June 5th. The original date was in there for a good reason, and I am very suspicious that you chose to omit it.

        You’re using what Rabin did admit to argue for something that he actually denies, in the very same interview. Seems like rather dishonest journalism, taking one quote out of context to build a case for something that the interview refutes. Again, no journalistic integrity.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

          The purpose of the quote from Rabin is to illustrate the fact that he didn’t believe that Egypt was going to launch an attack on Israel.

          Which it, of course, does.

          • Larisa

            So you’re under the impression that using an interview that, in its whole, contradicts the very premise of your article, is good journalism?

            Reminds me rather of the internet trolls who take quotes from the Talmud or the Quran out of context to defame two world religions. Or, for that matter, anti-Palestinian activists who try to deny the rights of the Palestinian people by taking choice quotes out of context by Palestinian leaders. Presumably you’re aware that this kind of behaviour is wrong when your opponents do it, yet you seem to have no problem doing it yourself. How curious.

            Also you didn’t answer my question as to whether you read the whole interview before using that quote so that you would be aware of its context, and my question as to why you chose to omit the date mentioned in the quote, which was a very crucial point (the number of divisions, events that took place between those dates, etc.) Perhaps you could explain that decision to me? It seems to be done very commonly on anti-Zionist sources using that quote, and it seems more than a coincidence that you used the form of the quote found not in the interview, but found on many an anti-Zionist blog. Of course it seems unlikely that an award-winning journalist would not bother reading the original interview and simply skim the blogosphere, or would just happen to omit that crucial detail in exactly the same manner that so many anti-Zionist blogs choose to, so I presume this was just a strange coincidence? :)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            How does the interview of Rabin in which he states he doesn’t think Egypt was going to attack Israel contradict the premise of the article that Israel’s attack on Egypt wasn’t preemptive?

            It doesn’t, of course.

          • Larisa

            Rabin later explains Israel’s reasoning. I refer you to my original post.

            “Nasser was intoxicated by the explosion of popular enthusiasm in the
            Arab world, as well as by his own propaganda. He finally believed that
            the Egyptian army was not defeated in 1956 by Israel, but only by the
            French-English intervention. He constructed an entire system of thought,
            according to which Israel would not initiate hostilities in 1967
            because it could not count, as in 1956, on the support of foreign
            powers. However, judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai
            after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture
            to be a casus belli.”

            The interpretation of this is mentioned in the link I quoted:

            The crucial point is the date: May 14, several weeks before the
            June 5 beginning of the 1967 War. The quote linked to by my commentator
            omits the date, as do many, but not all, of the web pages I found
            touting this quote.

            Many things happened between May 14 and June 5. Egypt ordered the UN
            peacekeepers to leave, Egypt blockaded Israel’s Red Sea Port. Egypt
            moved another 5 divisions to the Israeli Border, 100,000 troops in all.
            Egyptian dictator Nasser threatened Israel with genocide. Indeed, every
            provocation I mentioned in my previous post happened after May 14.

            Even without more context, it’s fairly clear what Rabin is saying
            here. He’s saying that Nasser may not have initially wanted war, but
            eventually found himself in a situation where he couldn’t back down
            without losing face. He may have hoped that the UN peacekeepers would
            refuse to leave. He may have been goaded by the Soviets, who falsely
            told him that Israel was planning to attack Syria. The histories I’ve
            read say that the war was probably a miscalculation on Nasser’s part,
            but certainly do not suggest that the war was provoked by Israel.

          • Larisa

            Interesting that the version of the quote you’ve presented states that only two divisions were sent to the Sinai, by the way ;) Surely before writing this article you knew how many divisions were sent to the Sinai? I mean, you wouldn’t make moral judgment calls about important historical events of which you know virtually nothing, no award-winning journalist would do that.

            The fact that the version of the quote you found on the blogosphere specified only two divisions should’ve made you suspicious as to its accuracy, since of course you already knew the number of divisions that were sent by June 5, and all other important events that had happened by June 5.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            It doesn’t matter whether we quote Rabin mentioning the two divisions or later where he mentions seven. The point remains the same:

            “However, judging by the seven divisions which he sent to Sinai after the closure of Aqaba, he knew that we would consider his gesture to be a casus belli.”

            The point remains the same: Mentioning the two divisions, Rabin states clearly he doesn’t think that Egypt was going to attack Israel. Then he mentions additional divisions moved into the Sinai and clearly suggests this was done because Nasser thought Israel might attack.

            The fact is — as the full text of the interview from Rabin shows (thanks again for it, BTW) — Israel’s attack was not “preemptive”.

          • Larisa

            You should be checking your primary sources, it’s important as a journalist. I appreciate that you’ve recognized the omission though.

            I appreciate your point, although I think Ragout’s interpretation of events is also insightful (that it would be an exaggeration to say that Israel was the provocateur. It seems like even if in May Nasser did not intend for the events to end in war, by June things has been exacerbated to the extent that he didn’t feel he could back down). But I agree that calling the war preemptive and unavoidable is too black-and-white under the circumstances.

            Do you believe that Israel took the Sinai out of a desire for a Greater Israel, or because they felt that there was potential of a future security issue that would threaten green-line Israel and they took steps that may have been unnecessary? I personally think the former assertion is ridiculous, but a potentially unnecessary step towards Israel’s future was certainly a motivating factor. But the latter is also consistent with the idea that Israel did return the Sinai to Egypt for peace, since a peace treaty would negate Israel’s motivation to keep the Sinai in the first place if its occupation was for the intention of securing the safety of the green line. So even if hypothetically the war was not as directly “preemptive” as history has labelled it, saying that Israel invaded the Sinai out of a desire for land (as you claimed earlier) seems unlikely, and also seems to go against both Rabin’s interview and Begin’s interview.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Yes, it is important to check primary sources. In this case, the quote is well-known. I had no access to Le Monde archives nor could read French. I made a poor judgment in choosing whatever source I found for the quote at the time, needless to say, given its inaccuracy.

            Israel began establishing settlements in the Sinai following its occupation in June 1967, which seems to answer your question and render ridiculous your belief that the suggestion there was a desire for the land is “ridiculous”.

            This does not exclude also the possibility Israel sought it as a bargaining chip. It was obviously both.

          • Larisa

            Do you believe if there were no security concerns towards green-line Israel they still would have had their eye on the Sinai?

            If somebody was coming to kill me and destroy my country, I’d rather they were as far away as possible ;) Makes strategic sense in the context of an inevitable war as Nasser promised to have him as far away as possible from major built-up areas, so I still don’t think this indicates a desire for a Greater Israel, and from the extremely high esteem that Sadat is held in in mainstream Israeli society, I don’t think the peace treaty was part of a nefarious plot or that Israel is just biding its time to take the Sinai back :P

            It’s probably hard for you to imagine how much it meant to the people of Israel to have Sadat say that their children are just as valuable as the children of his own country, and that every child lost on either side is a tragedy to the human race, but even now it is very moving to reflect upon.

          • Larisa

            Also, I notice you didn’t answer my question as to whether you’d read the original interview or why you chose to alter the quote to remove the date (as so many hacks in the blogosphere also coincidentally do). I’ve asked the same question a few times, and I am asking you once more, but I suppose you’ve dodged the questions enough times that now I can reasonably infer the answer.

          • Larisa

            I wonder how many more times I could ask it and you could manage to deflect, repeat the same excuse and not answer the question ;)

          • Larisa

            By the way, is it good journalistic practice for pro-Zionists to pluck out quotes from interviews that later defy the very premise of their articles? Or does this just apply to anti-Zionists?

            I’m wondering because I’d love to be able to say that the “award-winning” Jeremy R. Hammond has given me permission to write contextless nonsense based on altered quotes from interviews that later go on to defy my very premise, and to use primary sources that I never even bothered to read (not that I would stoop so low as to actually do so, but it’s good to know that at least if you’re anti-Zionist it’s apparently okay)

            By the way, do you tend to alter quotes/not read the interviews you quote from very often? You should probably be more careful about that, someone might catch you out ;)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            How does the interview of Rabin in which he states he doesn’t think Egypt was going to attack Israel “defy” the premise of the article that Israel’s attack on Egypt wasn’t preemptive?

            It doesn’t, of course.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            by leaving out the date you are really not making your point, in fact it almost looks like you pulled a pappe and decided to omit facts to fit the conclusion you wanted, not something a history or poli sci guy does, but something a communications major would think is ok.

            You should probably stick to hack journalism and making up lies for a blog.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            I fail to see how quoting Rabin stating plainly that he didn’t think Egypt would attack Israel fails to make the point that Israel’s attack on Egypt wasn’t “preemptive”.

            Perhaps you two ought to look up the definition of “preemptive” so can understand.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            because you took a quote from much earlier, omitted the date and acted like it supported your position when if you quoted the entire quote and showed the date, it actually destroys your supposition.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Actually, anyone can see for themselves that the full text of the interview fully supports the article. Rabin clearly states his belief that Nasser moved seven divisions into the Sinai because he thought Israel might attack Egypt.

            Needless to say, this doesn’t “destroy” the article’s thesis, it strengthens it.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            lmao, do you know what confirmation Bias means?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            If you are trying to imply that what I said in my previous comment is somehow disputable, you are welcome to make that argument. Good luck with that. It’ll be quite difficult, I think, considering the fact that everyone can see for themselves what Rabin said.

          • Ryan Bellerose

            they can also see WHEN he said it, and what context he said it in, unless of course you omit the date, like you did in order to push your fals narrative

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Please see the correction appended to the article.

            Now, like I said, if you have an argument to support your insinuation, you are welcome to make it.

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

    Ah, an ad hominem argument. Brilliant.

    • Larisa

      She’s got a valid point. Do you have any qualifications in political science or history, or is this more of a hobby? Nothing’s listed on your bio, but you seem to be presenting yourself as an expert in both fields.

      Then again, since you either intentionally alter quotes or you don’t read primary sources and prefer to use non-credible sources to find quotes to suit your needs (without realizing that they’ve been altered), and don’t admit to it when caught out, I suppose journalism isn’t your strong suit either.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

        No, actually, the fact that ad hominem arguments are a logical fallacy by definition means it is not a valid point.

        As I noted in a previous comment, I accept responsibility for not verifying the accuracy of the quote from the source where I found it.

        That aside, the full text of the interview supports the thesis of the article.

  • Larisa

    Anyone reading this article should note that Hammond has altered the Rabin quote. The original quote reads:

    “The two divisions he sent to the Sinai on 14 May [1967] would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    For some reason, he has removed the date. I’ve seen this quote altered in the same way many times on the anti-Zionist blogosphere (not exactly a reliable source). I have asked him whether he read the original interview or just plucked a soundbite, and what his motivation was for altering the quote (as, of course, altering a quote is not something that an “award-winning journalist” would do lightly, and the date and the number of divisions is very crucial information). I’ve asked quite a few times now and he has replied to my posts but refused to answer either whether he read the original interview, or why he altered the quote.

    I wouldn’t place too much stock in his journalistic integrity, as he either intentionally altered the quote, or didn’t read the primary source and copy-pasted the altered quote from a source that would certainly not be credible.

    Hammond, perhaps you would like to take this opportunity to respond to my enquiries (or deflect, or delete these posts. Whichever floats your boat.) Did you read the original interview, did you alter the quote of your own accord, and if not, what was the source at which you read the altered quote?

    Being accused of not using credible sources and not checking primary sources is not something that an “award-winning journalist” and an author of books regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would do, I should think.

    I look forward to seeing you show some journalistic integrity, by answering my questions with honesty, and either offering a reasonable explanation towards my concerns or offering an apology for using an altered quote from a non-credible source without reading the primary source (which is, of course, bad journalistic practice).

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      I cited the quote verbatim from whatever source I found it at the time of writing (long ago, don’t recall). I accept responsibility for not verifying the accuracy of the quote as it was cited in the source, without ellipses to indicate the omission of text.

      That said, the full text of the quote and interview changes nothing with regard to the substance of the article.

  • Larisa

    He claims he’s an award-winning journalist, too. I was reading up about Project Censored, and since they’ve also given awards to 9/11 truthers, it’s seems like it’s basically a case of conspiracy theorists giving awards to conspiracy theorists.

    He also claims on a post on his personal site that Ahmadinejad has never denied the Holocaust and asked for a quote. Seriously, it took like 1 minute on Google to find a quote where Ahmadinejad basically said he refused to confirm or deny the Holocaust, that it may or may not have happened, but that if it did it should be open to revision. I asked Hammond whether he agrees that the Holocaust may not have happened and that it should be open to revision; didn’t get an answer on that one yet, I’m really looking forward to him possibly trying to justify Holocaust revisionism, and also hopefully explaining why he couldn’t find these quotes that were ever so easy to find. I mean, really, he’s an “award winning journalist” and a highly qualified expert in his field, and he’s certainly able to find (altered) quotes when it suits him.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      To keep it on topic, I’ll just point out once more the fact that the full text of the interview with Rabin supports the thesis of the article.

  • Ilana Bat Masha

    Readers may also be interested to know that when I read a soundbite of his out of context, and apologized immediately, he accused me of having a malicious secret agenda to defame him. (Ironic, since his own article contained a quote out of context).

    This was the quote:

    “The expulsion of Jews from Arab countries is a common talking point for apologists for the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I hear about it all the time.”

    Once again, Hammond, you’re paranoid, completely wrong about my intentions (spirited debate), and haven’t figured out how nasty your comment sounded without context. You also condemn me so virulently for a mistake which you made yourself; what incredibly hypocrisy.

    I presume I can feel free to screenshot your comment, copy-paste it all over the Internet without any context and entitle it “this is what Jeremy R. Hammond thinks about the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries”, but without stating any interpretation of the soundbite? Since you’re so confident that even without context, it doesn’t make you sound like a nasty bigot, and by my interpreting it as such, it must be evidence of some secret agenda?

    After all, your comment sounded entirely innocuous and it couldn’t possibly be misinterpreted in that fashion.

    Looking forward to you either telling me that it’s okay to do so, or apologizing for attributing me with malicious intent when what you said clearly DID sound bigoted.

    Put your money where your mouth is; if this quote is harmless and didn’t sound bigoted out of context, then you’ll have no problem with it going all over the Internet.

    If it’s not bigoted-sounding, I’m sure no one else will read it that way. If, out of context, it is bigoted-sounding, then your false accusations of malicious intent today have been incredibly unprofessional, hypocritical and childish ;)

    Looking forward to hearing you respond in a manner befitting an award-winning journalist instead of making baseless and offensive claims and trying to silence dissent.

    • Ilana Bat Masha

      And to think, after I asked you 5 or 6 times how it came about that you’d posted an altered quote, and you apologized and wrote a correction, I actually was impressed that when push comes to shove you would behave with integrity; this paranoia and attributing of malicious intent where none existed does not befit a journalist, although it does seem to explain a lot if you see maliciousness where none was present.

      Anyone would look at that quote out of context and think you were a bigot. I apologized for my mistake in taking it out of context, but if you think it wasn’t bigoted-sounding, you are wrong, and perhaps you should get your mind out of Evil Conspiracy By A Person Who Happens to Be Zionist zone. I have no interest in defaming you (other than spreading that quote around to prove the point that it could easily be misinterpreted despite your claim to the contrary, which I’m presuming I’m not going to have to do because you and I both know how it sounded.)

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Your remark that I “admit” I “consider expulsion to be perfectly acceptable as long as Jews are the ones being cleansed” had nothing to do with the “context” in which my actual statement occurred. Regardless of its context, there is no possible way any honest, reasonable person could take that away from I actually said. Your malicious intent to slander my character with that absurd lie was perfectly transparent.

      As for the error in the quotation I provided in the article, I direct readers’ attention to the correction I posted. See above.

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