Mahmoud Abbas: outrageous
This blog will focus on Abbas’s astonishing claims concerning Mizrahi Jews:
“When they occupied 78% of Palestine, they were only 650,000 Jews. What were they to do? They said: We need Jews. But the Jews refused to come. Ben-Gurion did not want to bring the Jews of the East.”
This is a re-statement of the propaganda canard that Israel needed the Mizrahi Jews to populate the land and as a source of cheap labour.
This fabricated quote by Ben Gurion contradicts genuine statements he made, such as : “there is no reason to think that Jews from North Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Iran or Aden are fundamentally different from those of Lithuania, Galicia and America. They have deep inside that pioneering spirit…”
Abbas paints a false picture of reluctant ‘Arab Jews’ forced to emigrate to Israel.
“But when he (Ben Gurion) saw how vast the [newly occupied] land was, he was forced to bring in Jews. The Arab Jews did not want to come either – not from Iraq and not from Yemen. From Yemen, in 1949, TWA airplanes… TWA was owned by… By Somalia? By whom? TWA took 50,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel.”
Why the airline TWA, of all carriers, should suddenly pop up in Abbas’s speech is quite bizarre (Alaska Airlines was responsible for airlifting the Jews of Yemen to Israel). Presumably, the reference to Somalian ownership is sarcastic. Everyone knows TWA was US-owned.
Here Abbas’s mendacious version of history promotes a conspiracy between Zionists and Arab regimes (reminiscent of Ken Livingston’s allegation that Zionists made a pact with Nazis). It denies both countries’ records of anti-Jewish persecution, which included forced conversion to Islam in Yemen and pogroms such as the 1941 Farhud in Iraq.
It is galling that not only did Abbas get away with such brazen lies, but that the western media covered for him, choosing to omit or whitewash his distortions.