Saturday, July 07, 2007

More Israeli crimes

During the 1950s, the Israelis systematically, and expressly for political reasons, destroyed archaeological evidence of Arab occupation within Israel, including important religious sites.  Meron Rapoport at Haaretz considers a new book by Raz Kletter (my emphasis in red and green):

“As the documents quoted in the book show, only a small part of this devastation occurred in the heat of battle. The vast majority took place later, because the remnants of the Arab past were considered blots on the landscape and evoked facts everyone wanted to forget. ‘The ruins from the Arab villages and Arab neighborhoods, or the blocs of buildings that have stood empty since 1948, arouse harsh associations that cause considerable political damage,’ wrote A. Dotan, from the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry, in an August 1957 letter that is quoted in Kletter's book. A copy was sent to Yeivin in the Department of Antiquities. ‘In the past nine years, many ruins have been cleared ... However, those that remain now stand out even more prominently in sharp contrast to the new landscape. Accordingly, ruins that are irreparable or have no archaeological value should be cleared away.’ The letter, Dotan noted, was written ‘at the instruction of the foreign minister,’ Golda Meir.”


“Kletter's book leaves the impression that the destruction was not accidental and that its perpetrators were aware of its significance. The ideological foundation of the devastation is set forth in the August 1957 Foreign Ministry letter sent at the behest of Golda Meir. After the author of the document, A. Dotan, requested the Ministry of Labor to ‘clear the ruins,’ he specified ‘four types’ of ‘ruins’ and the grounds for their destruction:

‘First, it is necessary to get rid of the ruins in the heart of Jewish communities, in important centers or on central transportation arteries; rapid treatment must be given to the ruins of villages whose residents are in the country, such as Birwe, north of Shfaram, and the ruins of Zippori; in areas where there is no development, such as along the rail line from Jerusalem to Bar Giora, one receives a depressing impression of a once-living civilized land; attention must also be directed to ruins in distinctly tourist areas, such as the ruins of the Circassian village in Caesarea, which is intact but empty ... Accordingly, the Ministry of Labor should assume the mission of clearing the ruins ... It should be taken into account that the participation of nongovernmental elements requires caution, as politically it is desirable for the operation to be executed without anyone grasping its political meaning.’”

Unfortunately, Kletter appears to be following Benny Morris in the new psychopathic way educated Israelis look on Israeli history:

“Kletter says he was surprised to discover the scale of the destruction, but that to some extent he understands those who were behind the operation. The decision not to allow the Palestinian refugees to return was unavoidable, he believes, if the idea was to establish a Jewish state here. Those were the rules of the game in that period, he says, and if the Jewish community had lost in 1948, the Arab victors would likely have treated the Jews in the same way. And because it was impossible to preserve hundreds of abandoned Palestinian towns and villages, there was no choice but to demolish most of them, Kletter maintains.

He also has nothing against the archaeologists who in the early years of the state were concerned almost exclusively with Jewish sites, or in the best case with Christian or Roman sites, and ignored Muslim sites almost completely. It is natural for researchers to be interested first and foremost in their own culture, Kletter says; and besides, relative to the political pressure exerted on them by people like Ben-Gurion, who declaredly wanted to erase the Arab past of this country, they behaved honorably. ‘Early Israeli archaeology has something to be ashamed of and much to be proud of,’ Kletter writes.”

The more truth that comes out about Israeli history, the worse and worse it looks.  Israelis and the apologists for Israel are completely incapable of accepting the implications of the hidden history of Israeli war crimes that is slowly being uncovered.