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Palestine Betrayed

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From my perspective, as an analyst and advocate, that reflects back onto Karsh, who says much of what is true, but again has only viewed the spectrum of ideas through rose-coloured polarized laser narrow lenses - he saw only what he wanted to see.

"a final few offerings"

Up to this point I have concentrated on Ben-Gurion, as he was central to the whole expulsion/war process and is frequently referenced by Karsh as extolling the virtues of retaining the Arab population within some scheme of peaceful co-existence. Again a reminder that what political figures say to different other people can be many faceted, used to argue, persuade, dissimulate, obfuscate, manipulate but very rarely to provide a balanced honest view with an advocacy of a truly legal humanitarian goal. There is far too much evidence that Ben-Gurion, particularly during the period preceding the Arab revolt before World War II discussed frequently and strongly the need to expel the Palestinian population in order to avoid the demographic problem (which ironically plagues the current situation in Israel, especially if one incorporates Gaza as a de facto Israeli protectorate).

To fully deconstruct Karsh's arguments would involve a much longer article than the present one. The topics would still include more on Ben-Gurion, but also on other ideas that Karsh continually brings forth. But the overall themes, of Jewish acceptance and tolerance of the Palestinians, of Ben-Gurion's advocacy of coexistence, and the "massive" military confronting the heroic outgunned Jewish settlers are all part of the canard that Karsh creates.


Karsh frequently uses the word "canard" to describe the historical record created by the new historians. The word itself is defined as "false report; hoax." This does not mean that what is said is a "lie" as a false report or a hoax can be created by manipulation of data - omissions, insertion of hyperbole - "massive " - conjectural statements - " what ifs - maybe "true or not" - dissimulation - concealing and not acknowledging information - obfuscation (the use of big words to confuse the issue) - so Karsh is not accusing the new historians of lying, but of creating a hoax.

The bigger hoax upon analyzing and evaluating Karsh's work is his own attempt to "reclaim the historical truth," whereas in reality he does what he accuses, "to substitute propaganda for incontrovertible facts." Karsh does have "facts", but used as propaganda - the two actually go quite well together when one is creating a hoax. The missing information, the hidden information, the complete and fully analyzed historical record supports the ideas as represented by the "new historians."


One of the particular outcomes of this work is both subtle yet obvious - a nuance of the idea of betrayal. The Israelis have always claimed that there are no leaders to negotiate peace with. This problem started particularly with the brutal British repression of the Arab revolt of 1937-39 and continues through to the present with the few leaders that rise to the occasion being assassinated, imprisoned and tortured, expelled, or bought out to become quisling representatives of the Palestinian people. The message, not stated, is clear from Karsh: the Arabs cannot be trusted as they would betray their own kind - and if they would betray their own kind, how could one expect to negotiate a peace treaty with them now? When one's leaders are continually done away with in one form or another, yes, it is certainly hard to negotiate with them. One could of course be more democratic and give the people of occupied Palestine a referendum on what they wanted for their own future - as if the answer is not already known.

Karsh's writing is a betrayal - a betrayal of truth, morality, and reality. Yes, the Palestinians were betrayed, yes they were betrayed by their own self-proclaimed leaders, but they were also betrayed by the presumption of Zionist moral superiority, by the British, the French and just about anyone else they came in contact with. That betrayal continues today, with the ignorance and arrogance of U.S. support for a militant, unforgiving, immoral occupation of a people who had little say in their own destiny as the imperial overlords fought to control and colonize their lands, farms, fields, towns, and villages, and to expel them in order to create a "pure" Jewish state.

Palestine Betrayed

is a hoax - one that speaks the truth, yet conceals much more than it reveals, and creates a 'neo-revisionist' canard about the Palestinian expulsion. In his own words, "rather than unearth new facts or offer novel interpretations", Karsh has "recycled the standard [Zionist/Israeli] narrative of the conflict." By all means read it, but also read the sources referenced here and follow along with other sources cross-referenced within them.

[1] Baroud, Ramzy. My Father Was a Freedom Fighter - Gaza's Untold Story. Pluto Press, London, 2010. p 32-3.000000000000

[2] Pappe, Ilan. A History of Modern Palestine, 2nd Edition.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006. p. 136.

[3] Cook, Jonathon. Blood and Religion - The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State. Pluto Press, London, 2006. p. 112.

[4] Pappe, ibid. p. 93-4.

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Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and analyst who examines the world through a syncretic lens. His analysis of international and domestic geopolitical ideas and actions incorporates a lifetime of interest in current events, a desire to (more...)

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