30 thoughts on “Study Finds Israelis Question Zionist National Narrative – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. You state:
    56% blame Yasser Arafat for walking away from Israel’s “very generous” offer at Camp David, while only 25% blame both sides equally for the failure of the talks. Books by Clayton Swisher and Aaron David Miller decisively debunk the former notion.
    Maybe Swisher and Miller claim this, but I just read Benny Morris’ new book “1 State, 2 States”, and he says the opposite…that Arafat rejected the Clinton Parameters.
    Considering that Arafat was a man who started bloody civil wars in three countries, Jordan, then Lebanon and then Israel, it is hard to believe that he had suddenly become a man of peace and really wanted to reach an agreement. Morris’s book gives a history of his behavior since Oslo and shows he never intended to reach an agreement.

    You said:
    In the past few decades, the New Historians have begun chipping away at such cherished notions. Today, 47% of Israeli Jews believe that expulsion was either a major, or primary cause of the flight of nearly 700,000 former Arab residents. 41% continue to believe the old notion that Israeli Palestinians left voluntarily.

    I have Dan Kurzman’s book “Genesis 1948” which came out in 1970 and he already says that the story that the Arab leaders told them to leave wasn’t true, although there were localized cases where local leaders did tell them to do it. There had already been two previous mass flights of Arabs from the country, the first in the 1936-1939 Arab rebellion and the second was in 1942 when it was thought Rommel and the Germans would reach the country. So mass flight during war was not a new idea to the Arabs.

    The point is that Israelis were aware that the story of the leaders telling them to leave was not generally true was known decades ago.

    You state:
    47% believe that Palestinian terror is solely or primarily motivated by the inherently violent nature of the Arabs, while only 9% believe it is solely or largely due to Israel’s actions (i.e. the Occupation)


    The problem with your statement is that Arab violence began long before the “occupation” began in 1967. There was mass outbreaks of violence against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-9 (which included, for the first time, attacks on the British who controlled the country), then wars in 1947-1948, 1956 (whatever Israel intended to get out of the war, it was Arab fedayun attacks which killed many Jews which caused the tension leading up to the war)and then in 1967. All of this before the “occupation”.

    The survey states:
    It suggests that the Israeli-Jewish society has changed to become more critical, open and self-reflective, allowing it to adopt less biased narratives.”
    In order to make peace , we have to have two to tango. Has the Palestinian side undergone a similar process and change of narratives? If they haven’t how are they going to be able to compromise?

    1. I just read Benny Morris’ new book “1 State, 2 States”, and he says the opposite

      Omigod, well if Benny Morris makes a claim then it must be unimpeachable as he couldn’t possibly have an ideological or partisan axe to grind, now could he? Couldn’t you at least acknowledge the highly speculative nature of any claim made by Morris about anything related to Arabs??

      Israelis were aware that the story of the leaders telling them to leave was not generally true was known decades ago.

      Possibly, but knowing Arabs didn’t leave because they were told to do so if by far not the same as acknowledging that your own military and political leaders knowingly & physically expelled most of these 700,000 souls.

      There was [sic] mass outbreaks of violence against Jews

      Isn’t it convenient that you omit the mass outbreaks of violence by Jews against Arabs during the same period. The violence did NOT flow one way & you know it or should know it.

      Has the Palestinian side undergone a similar process and change of narratives?

      Surveys of Palestinian attitudes show far more willingness to compromise than similar surveys of Israelis. Not to mention that their respective governments reflect the same views. The PA is more than ready to compromise. The Bibists, not.

  2. and the second was in 1942 when it was thought Rommel and the Germans would reach the country. So mass flight during war was not a new idea to the Arabs.

    Hmmmmm bar_kochba132 I suppose that the Jews in Palestine had a bigger reason to a mass flight in 1942 because of Rommel than the Arabs, who did not like very much their colonial lords, had? Was there mass flight of Arabs in Egypt? By the way Rommel at the best was rather from Palestine. So I suppose your story is a urban legend in the Zionist “history” book.

  3. Well, the question being is: Will it really matter to Israeli Jews to be aware that their country’s founding parents haven’t told the exact truth about the exodus of the Palestinians? Isn’t it far too common that ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is regarded as a legitimate “peace option” by many people? I’m not sure if this survey will change anything.

  4. RE: “47% believe that Palestinian terror is solely or primarily motivated by the inherently violent nature of the Arabs, while only 9% believe it is solely or largely due to Israel’s actions (i.e. the Occupation)”

    MY COMMENT: This seems to me to be the crux of the problem on the Israeli side. Regarding “the inherently violent nature of the Arabs”, it sounds to me like racism (not to mince words). Remember those ‘Injuns’?

    NETANYAHU’S FATHER: “The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert. And why? Because he has no respect for any law. Because in the desert he can do as he pleases.
    The tendency towards conflict is in the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His personality won’t allow him any compromise or agreement. It doesn’t matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay. His existence is one of perpetuate war.”


      Artist: Stevens, Ray
      Song: Ahab the Arab

      Let me tell you about Ahab the Arab
      The sheik of the burning sand
      He had emeralds and rubies just drippin’ off ‘a him
      And a ring on every finger of his hand
      He wore a big ol’ turban wrapped around his head
      And a scimitar by his side
      And, every evenin’, about midnight
      He’d jump on his camel named Clyde, and ride….

      ENTIRE LYRICS – http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/stevens-ray/ahab-the-arab-24871.html

  5. Unfortunately, most of the Israelis and diaspora Jews I know still believe the Zionist narrative. It has been pounded into them for so long.

    Perhaps more surveys and articles like this will help to set things right- offer a more balanced view of the history of the conflict.

    Thanks, Richard, for bringing this stuff to our attention.

  6. I’ve seen this study and have exchanged some e-mails with Rafi. I believe that people shape their views based on their knowledge or ignorance of history (even very recent history). I proposed to Rafi to investigate how new immigrants (who have only shallow context usually) fare compared to native Israeli who’ve been exposed to more narratives throughout their lives. He said he may look into it…

    This is in my mind connected to the current definition of Israel: this country can survive in its current form only as long as both its population and its borders are unsettled. The population aspect is that we constantly need new blood both because we need to “fight the demographic threat” and also because this militaristic life is only suitable for certain individuals (like my grandpa) but after a couple of generations, people get all sorts of other ideas about what’s good in life (like me…). So we need an influx of people with violent or supremacist tendencies, e.g., now they are mostly coming from Brooklyn and France. But maybe the most important aspect, is that you need people who don’t have context and many times come from failed states (e.g., Ukraine) so that you can sell very lousy propaganda to and they will bless their fortunes.

    The borders must be unsettled because, well, if you have to cater for an arbitrarily large population (“the Jewish people”) who may come knocking on your door tomorrow… then you must have the ability to expand territorially at will.

  7. SimmoHurtta-
    I heard that about the mass flight of Arabs during Rommel’s advance in a lecture by an Israeli Professor of History. Those who feared a German conquest were those who opposed the Mufti and the Husseini clan who murdered hundreds of Arabs during the 1936-9 Arab rebellion and who had a lot to fear if the Germans arrived and reinstalled the Mufti into power.

    The Egyptians generally liked Hitler and Nazism so they welcomed the German advance into the country. That is why the British used tanks to overthrow the pro-Nazi Prime Minister King Farouk had appointed in 1942. That is why although Egypt was nominally independent during the war, the British refused to arm the Egyptian army, which was supposedly an ally. Egypt was neutral during the height of the war..

    1. FROM “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict’, published by ‘Jews for Justice in the Middle East’, Third Edition


      Shamir proposes an alliance with the Nazis

      “As late as 1941, the Zionist group LEHI, one of whose leaders, Yitzhak Shamir, was later to become a prime minister of Israel, approached the Nazis, using the name of its parent organization, the Irgun (NMO)…[Their proposal stated:] ‘The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis and bound by a treaty with the German Reich would be in the interests of strengthening the future German nation of power in the Near East… The NMO in Palestine offers to take an active part in the war on Germany’s side’….The Nazis rejected this proposal for an alliance because, it is reported, they considered LEHI’s military power ‘negligable.’ ” Allan Brownfield, “The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs”, July/August 1998.

      SOURCE – http://www.cactus48.com/truth.html
      ALSO AT – http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html

  8. Richard I dont know what you are talking about when you say the PA wants an agreement.
    Read what Olmert said last month after he left office.
    He said he offered Abbas a deal that went much further then Taba in January 2001. He offered the deal in September to Abbas to end the conflict.
    7 months later, he still didn’t hear an answer from Abbas.
    So please stop with your nonsense that the PA wants peace.
    I have 2 words for you. Palestinian Rejectionism. Take it from there.

    1. He said he offered Abbas a deal that went much further then Taba in January 2001.

      Unlike you, I’ve learned not to accept at face value what any israeli politician claims, especially when he’s no longer in any position to implement what he claims he once offered. The only peace offer I ever heard about fr. Olmert to the Palestinians was warmed over Taba. Tell us what was the actual content of this revolutionary attempt to resolve the I-P conflict & then we can talk. Till then, you’re providing little more than hasbara.

  9. Richard, Its not looking good for your facts
    [comment edited for violating comment rules]
    Were the Palestinians expelled?
    Efraim Karsh

    1. Oh Lord, Amy we know you’re desperate when you hasbaraniks quote that master propagandist, Efraim Karsh. By the way, a violation of my comment rules which you need to read. Do not quote hasbaraniks at this site. If you do, either your comment will be deleted or you will lose yr comment privileges.

  10. Richard, Ahmed Qurei admitted what Swisher will not, that the Palestinians indeed rejected the Clinton Parameters while Israel accepted them:
    “We refused to accept the Clinton initiative as a basis for the negotiations. The Israelis said that the Clinton proposals should be the basis, but we rejected it.

    Nuff said who are the rejectionists.

    1. First, Ahmed Qurei was not the leader of the Palestinians at the time of Camp David. Yasser Arafat was. Second, the Clinton Parameters were indeed faulty and Aaron David Miller, who was there (while you weren’t) acknowledges as much. Third, the Palestinians were not the sole guilty party for the failure of Camp David.

  11. Nothing will change for the Palestinians, because its not about their state, its about destroying Israel. The Pals live in bad conditions, because their leaders keep them in it. Its not in the Palestinian leaders best interest to normalize life for their people. If they did, there would be no need for them.

  12. Arafat was a typical Palestinian leader. You know…the ones who send out suicide bombers, but never send their own kids to die.

    1. You’re an ignoramus besides being a poor hasbaranik. Palestinian leaders are murdered along with their children in regular intervals. Arafat didn’t have a child as far as I know. But don’t let the facts get in your way.

  13. We can show sympathy to Palestinians who were hurt because they were victims of their own leadership.

  14. The so called “suffering of the Palestinian people”.
    They chose the path they are on when they launched their terrorist campaign. They must walk down that path. Israel`s hands are clean, all it has done it protect its people from the murderers who hide in amongst their own civilian population.

    1. Amy, you have a severe case of logohrrea. You should see a doctor immediately. I think you’ve published more comments in a single day than any previous hasbaranik. My hat’s off to you.

      Israel’s hands are about as clean as your ideas are cogent.

  15. When will the Israelis learn that the Palestinian Arabs will never grant a divorce to the Jewish state The leftist Jews happen to forget that when a Palestinian terrorist blows up a bus he does not care how many leftist Jews are in it

    1. Palestinian terrorists have not blown up an Israeli bus in ages. When an IDF soldier shells at UN school or Palestinian home he doesn’t care how many peace-loving Palestinians are in it either.

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