The following letter appeared in the Boston Globe on August 5 in response to a factually erroneous letter printed several days earlier from a writer in the UK. The Globe removed a concluding line from the CAMERA letter as submitted which read: “Why the Boston Globe chose to publish such a factually reckless letter is the question.” Unfortunately, the answer may be that highly negative assumptions about Israel and its policies among some at the Globe lead to an automatic acceptance of baseless charges against the country instead of skepticism — and fact-checking.
Wrong on Israel’s role in 1948
WILLIAM GARRETT’S Aug. 2 letter “A tale of two expulsions” was wrong on the facts. Contrary to his charge that Israel ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Palestinian villagers from western Palestine in 1948, the record shows that many fled at the insistence of Arab leaders who believed that their armies would quickly crush the nascent Israel and wanted their brethren temporarily out of the way. While there were isolated cases of Jews driving Arabs out, Jewish leaders repeatedly urged Arabs to remain. A report by a British district superintendent of police in Haifa on April 26, 1948, stated: “Every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe.”
As to Garrett’s claim that even Israel’s own Supreme Court deems Jewish settlements illegal, he’s wrong. The opposite is true. The Elon Moreh case of 1979, the key relevant court decision, set the parameters for establishment of legal settlements. It ruled, for example, that no private Arab land could be taken for settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, but rather, state land was to be used.
COMMITTEE FOR ACCURACY
IN MIDDLE EAST REPORTING