A Scottish MP caused controversy this week when he attempted to add language to a resolution commemorating the “nakba” saying that it was a Palestinian “self-inflicted tragedy.”
The resolution falsely said that the Palestinian exodus in 1948 was a “mass eviction of over 750,000 people from historic Palestine land, which included the destruction of over 500 towns and villages [which] led to generations of pain for the Palestinian people, who continue to live under a state of occupation”.
There was no mass eviction of 750,000 Palestinians. Most of them fled without seeing a single Jewish soldier.
But the phrasing of a resolution that was clearly false was not the cause of controversy. Richard Lyle, a SNP member of Parliament, was condemned for suggesting an addition to the text saying the exodus was “a self-inflicted tragedy, which must, after all these years, be finally resolved by peaceful means and discussions between the parties involved”.
Lyle was condemned by pro-Palestinian groups. But no one condemned the people who sponsored the bill which was completely against historical fact. Benny Morris summarized the reasons for the flight as follows: “Most of Palestine’s 700,000 ‘refugees’ fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.”
The news media coverage of the controversy was even worse.
Morning Star Online compounded the lie by saying, as fact, “Two thirds of the Palestinian population were exiled after being violently removed from their homes during the first war of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with 450 towns and villages destroyed.” This is completely false.
But the Herald Scotland went way past lies into slander when it wrote,
Nakba, which means catastrophe, is a name used to refer to the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
Historians report this was largely driven by Israeli aggression, including rape and torture, and to a much lesser degree by local Palestinian authorities urging people to flee.
Rape and torture? Not one respected historian reports anything like this. To report this absolute slander as fact is journalistic malpractice.
This should be corrected immediately.