Monday, June 10, 2013

A Graves' Oral Story

First, there was the discovery of a "mass grave" in Jaffa.

Then, who were the skeletons?

Then, who killed them, or how did they die?  Irgun?  Hagana?  The Mufti's forces?

Then, when?

Of course, Israel was the first to be referred to as the guilty culprit.



And now?


Experts battle over whether Jaffa's mass graves stem from World War I or 1948

War of Independence historians reject numbers given by Islamic Movement. Skeletons might be those of Egyptian soldiers who fought with the British in WWI.

Last week's news that the Islamic Movement had uncovered six mass graves in Jaffa's Kazkhana Cemetery has sparked rival theories over whether the dead are Arabs killed during the War of Independence...there's another possibility - that the skeletons are of Egyptian soldiers who fought with the British and died 30 years earlier during World War I.

...Jaffa resident Atar Zanib, 80, has told Agence France Presse: "I carried 60 bodies to the cemetery over a period of three or four months .... We would find the people in the street."

Mahmoud Obeid, an Islamic Movement member, interviewed elderly Jaffa residents who had similar stories. Obeid brought some of them to the cemetery and asked them to point out the location of the mass graves. "They immediately pointed to the spot," he says.

[Arab oral history that is called and here's some British oral history-]

Israeli author and journalist Yosef Shavit says that in 1987 in Melbourne he met a British man who said..."after the Irgun [prestate underground militia] attacked Jaffa, several respectable-looking older Arabs arrived at the station and said Irgun soldiers had brought Arab prisoners with them to dig large pits. At night they threw several dozen Arab bodies into them and covered them over hurriedly...

A tall monument stands in the cemetery's western part; it offers another theory on the mass graves. Experts say it's very possible the mass grave that was discovered last week dates to 30 years before the War of's clear it was built by the British to mark the resting places of members of the Egyptian Labor Corps who accompanied the British during World War I. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers who served in the Labor Corps were recruited from villages along the Nile Delta. Many thousands of them died during the war and were buried in mass's possible the mass graves 30 meters away contain the remains of members of the Egyptian Labor Corps, not those killed during the War of Independence...
By the way, most of "Palestinian history" is similar: conjecture, wishful thinking and ... b;ame the Jews first and always.

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