As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, one of the worst crimes in my book is lying about, misrepresenting, or otherwise distorting the historical record.
This habit, of course, is second nature to those with a vested interest in propping up the false historical narrative of political Zionism, and explains the need for, and motivation behind, blogs and websites such as this, which seek to combat Zionist (and Islamophobic) spin as it arises - alas, far too frequently - in the MS media.
Unfortunately, and I find this particularly troubling, such spin, though not necessarily Zionist in motivation, can also crop up in government-endorsed online resources for Higher School Certificate Modern History.
Take, for example, the following highly dubious treatment of the November, 1947 partition of Palestine in a document called Arab-Israeli conflict 1948-1996: 1948: A Year of myth or miracle? by Stephen Dixon of Kirrawee High:
"The United Nations (UN) vote for the partition of Palestine... illustrates well the public and private faces of Israeli policy during the period 1947-49. As the relieved and joyous crowds danced in the streets of Tel Aviv, there was talk of the hand of God miraculously delivering his people." (HSC Online, hsc.csu.edu.au)
One wonders why, in 2013, Dixon is invoking such a musty Eurocentric metaphysical concept as "the hand of God delivering his people" when the Zionist movement of the time was wholly secular in outlook, and in fact, just another European settler-colonial implant in the non-European world.
And where, one wonders, is there mention of the Palestinian Arabs, still the overwhelming majority of Palestine's population at the time? Doesn't it matter what they were thinking, and why?
"On a more terrestrial level, the success of the Zionist enterprise can be attributed to the work of seasoned political in-fighters such as Golda Meir, Abba Eban and, above all, David Ben Gurion. Two examples serve to show how the establishment of the Jewish state was not left to chance or divine whim. As the date for the UN vote neared, the Arabs showed their naivety by eschewing the back-room deals and corridor meetings that are part and parcel of Western diplomacy. Not so the Zionists. Sustained and encouraged by the personal sympathy of President Truman of the USA and the powerful Jewish lobby of the eastern American seaboard, they began a process of intense behind-the-scenes lobbying to maximise the vote in favour of partition. Pressure was placed on the ambassadors of less committed small countries, such as Cuba, Haiti and Liberia, whose votes would help determine the decision. In the case of Liberia, the owner of the American Firestone Rubber Company, which held huge economic interests in the African country, was enlisted to pressure the Liberians to vote for partition." (ibid)
Now I suppose, one should be grateful that the student reading this is at least apprised, however sketchily, of the pressure tactics employed by the usual suspects to get their way. Be that as it may, Dixon's framing of the issue here is hugely problematic.
First, there is no hint here that our "in-fighters" were actually the ruthless Indian fighters who would go on to ethnically cleanse as much of Palestine as they could lay their hands on, leaving the partition resolution far behind in their wake. Nor is there a hint that Truman was motivated at the time largely by the desire to secure Jewish votes in a hard-fought election campaign.
But that's really the least of it.
The Arabs, in Dixon's construction, are simply assumed to have the same clout in the matter as the US Zionists whose dupes, in particular Clark Clifford and David Niles, were strategically positioned in the White House to ensure compliance with Zionist demands. If only these lackadaisical Arab klutzes had hopped off their camels long enough to get down and dirty in true Western style seems to be the gist here.
It appears that Dixon didn't pause long enough to consider whether the Arabs even had such useful things as a direct line to Firestone Rubber. No, they were just plain, bloody clueless!
Finally, the student who consults this text can surely be forgiven, in light of Dixon's presentation of the issue, for taking home the message that any low tactic is permissible in the world of statescraft. To hell with international law, ethical standards, and public probity.
Good one, Mr Dixon!