Brace yourselves, you'll be hearing a lot from the msm this week about Israel's so-called 70th 'Independence Day'.
Oliver Holmes' piece in the Guardian on Arthur Koestler, 'Stubbornly fighting for life': how Arthur Koestler reported the birth of Israel, notes that "Seventy years ago, Israel declared independence, and the Manchester Guardian sent the leftwing intellectual to cover the nascent state. But was he an altogether accurate witness?"
Since he was a hottie for Zionism at the time, the bleeding obvious answer would, of course, be a resounding no:
"Koestler began his Israel dispatches," writes Holmes, "in deserted Haifa... where, weeks before his arrival, he reported that most of the port city's 70,000 Arabs had fled amid fierce fighting with Jewish forces. Koestler's take was that 'it fell because the Arab population, though only slightly inferior in numbers and superior in arms, were utterly demoralised through the desertion of their leaders.' The Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary organisation that went on to become the Israel Defense Forces, had broadcast in Arabic the names of the deserters to demoralise the Arab gunmen, he wrote."
In short, Koestler was to the rabidly Zionist Manchester Guardian what Greg Sheridan is to the rabidly Zionist Australian," and his 'reporting' helped create the Zionist myth that, far from being the victims of a Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing, the Palestinian refugees were responsible for their own plight.
Holmes goes on: "Arabs featured only occasionally in Koestler's articles. 'The native Palestine Arabs,' he said, 'never fought seriously because they had no reason for fighting, having accepted the presence of the Jews with its economic benefit and the de facto partition as accomplished facts.' Travelling down the coastal road from Haifa to Tel Aviv, Koestler said his view was 'confirmed' by Arab farmers in Israel who he said were 'unmolested' while being treated 'with equanimity and trading produce with Jews'. It was not clear if he stopped to speak to them."
Unfortunately, that was the least of Koestler's lies. The following, from Koestler's Promise & Fulfilment (1949), combines Zionist lies with what must surely be the most venomous contempt for the Palestinian victims of Zionist ethnic cleansing ever penned by a journalist at the time:
"A few villages along the road are still populated by Arabs. Some of them are even working in the fields; and a little withered Arab woman is selling oranges to Jewish soldiers out of a basket on her back... But not for long. A few weeks later some Arab lads will start sniping from these villages at Jewish trucks on the road; the Jewish army will herd the villagers together, dynamite their houses, and put the young men into concentration camps; while the old ones will tie a mattress and a brass coffee-pot on the donkey, the old woman will walk ahead leading the donkey by the rein and the old man will ride on it, wrapped in his kefiye, and sunk in solemn meditation about the lost opportunity of raping his youngest grandchild." (pp 199-200)
Fortunately, at least one Zionist writer at the time, S. Yizhar, wrote honestly about Israel's crimes against the Palestinian Arabs in 1948. Yizhar's 1949 novella, Khirbet Khizah, completely destroys the myth that the Palestinians left their ancestral homes and lands for any other reason than to avoid being murdered by marauding Zionist terrorist gangs, bent on seizing control of as much of Palestine - without Palestinians - as they could get away with at the time. (78% as it happens!)
The Khirbet Khizah of the title is a fictional Palestinian village, typifying the fate of the hundreds of Palestinian villages ethnically cleansed and destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948:
"Yes, alas, of course - that was it! Why hadn't I thought of it from the start? Khirbet Khizah was ours. There were the questions of housing and immigrant absorption! Hurray for housing and absorption, in spades: We'll open a canteen, set up a school, and maybe a synagogue. Political parties will come here, and argue about all sorts of things. They'll seed and cultivate the fields, and grow crops. The Hebrew Khirbet Khizah! And who will remember that there was once here that other Khirbet Khizah, from which we evicted and inherited? We came, we shot, we burned, we blew up, we repulsed and shoved off, and we drove into exile. What the hell are we doing in this place?"