LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Mel Goldberg’s “A Response to the Muir Article” in your October issue began with a quote that I am sure he was not aware was most aptly applicable to himself. In his case, however, the prison in which he is entrapped may not have been fabricated by himself but by the myths created by Israel sixty years ago and which are clung to religiously by the faithful in the face of an overwhelming body of evidence to the contrary. Such knowledgeable ignorance is not uncommon these days in which serious scholarship is rare.
I could easily refute, with hard evidence, most of the representations made by Mr. Goldberg, but one will suffice. He states, “Had there been no invasion by Arab armies against the Jews, there would be no Arab refugees and the problems of the region since would not have occurred.” Confining ourselves to source material authored solely by Jewish Israelis (Avi Shlaim, Professor of International Relations, Oxford University; Ilan Pappe, Chair in History, University of Exeter; Jeff Halper, Lecturer at Haifa and Ben-Gurion Universities), the historical record clearly shows that the forced transfer of the Arab population from what was to become the state of Israel on May 14, 1948 was contemplated, planned and executed prior to that date. Specifically,
1. “I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it.” David Ben-Gurion, 1938
2. “These operations can be carried out in the following manner: either by destroying villages (by setting fire to them, by blowing them up, and by planting mines in their debris) and especially of those population centers which are difficult to control continuously; or by mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the villages, conducting a search inside them. In case of resistance, the armed forces must be wiped out and the population expelled outside the borders of the state.” Plan Dalet, 10 March, 1948.
3. Between 250,000 and 300,000 Arabs were forcibly expelled pursuant to Plan Dalet and its predecessor plans between December 1947 and May 14, 1948.
4. The notorious massacre at Deir Yassin (over 160 women, old men and children killed) occurred on April 9, 1948 and was one of only several such massacres.
As all of the above took place prior to the invasion of Arab armies on May 15, 1948, the assertion that it was solely the invasion by the Arab armies that caused the refugee problem is patently absurd.