Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Extermination Plan

Yes, senior officials really did expect the upcoming 1948 war to be one wherein the Jews would be exterminated and Tom Segev alerts us, in his typical anti-Israel fashion:

The blind misleading the blind

The oft-used (mis)quote from prior to Israel's Declaration of Independence that has been used as proof that the Arabs were scheming to annihilate Israel.

Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam was an Egyptian diplomat and statesman...and in 1945 was elected the first secretary general of the Arab League...Prior to Israel's declaration of independence, Azzam supplied the Zionists with a sound bite that serves Israeli propaganda to this very day:

"The establishment of a Jewish state would lead to a war of extermination and momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusaders."

...Brendan McKay is a professor of computer science at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is interested in the Middle East, and compiles Wikipedia entries. McKay recently decided to delve into what Azzam really said, to whom, and when...A friend of McKay's who was in Cairo went to the offices of the newspaper, where he was shown the original newspaper, somewhat yellowed and creased, from October 11, 1947. An interview with Azzam appears on the ninth page, as does the quote, although with the addition of several words that have subsequently been omitted from the citation.

"Personally, I hope the Jews do not force us into this war, because it would be a war of extermination and momentous massacre ..."

[The original Arabic:

notice the boot-crushing caricature.]

...McKay uploaded his findings to Wikipedia, and they found their way into an article published by David Barnett and Efraim Karsh in the current issue of the Middle East Quarterly. The two researchers described Azzam's statement as a genocidal threat. Within days, their article was being quoted on a website that features a section entitled "Ask Danny." "Danny" is currently Israel's deputy foreign minister Daniel Ayalon.

...A few weeks before the interview with Akhbar el-Yom, Azzam met with two representatives of the Zionist lobby in London, Abba Eban, who would become foreign minister, and David Horowitz, who would become the governor of the Bank of Israel.  The meeting took place at the Savoy Hotel...

...Horowitz quoted Azzam's gloomy assessment of the situation: "We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we'll succeed, but we'll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it's too late to talk of peaceful solutions."

[Here's from a Jewish Agency Memorandum dated February 2, 1948:


Ben-Gurion, who was informed of the meeting, summed up Azzam's words thus, in a meeting with members of his party: "As we fought against the Crusaders, we will fight against you, and we will erase you from the earth." Since he considered Azzam to be an honest person, Ben-Gurion believed him. He, too, assessed that war was inevitable.

...There is something pathetic about this hunt for historical quotes drawn from newspapers. Azzam used to talk a lot. On May 21, 1948, the Palestine Post offered this statement by him: "Whatever the outcome, the Arabs will stick to their offer of equal citizenship for Jews in Arab Palestine and let them be as Jewish as they like."

A la Segev, he really didn't mean it.

Or he didn't know what he was saying.

Or he said one thing one day and another on another day.

Or he was disguising his real intentions very cleverly.

I guess he was just being an...Arab?


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