30 May 2011

HAIFA and the Nakba

The story below speaks for itself. I grew up, as the son of an Orthodox Rabbi, in a religious Zionist family. When the original fable of the Arabs running away, rather than being expelled, was first told, I can remember it being emphasised that the Mayor of Haifa even begged those wicked Arabs to stay and they wouldn’t. Later it turned out that as the Mayor was asking them to stay, Haganna loudspeakers were telliing them to get out if they valued their lives.

In fact the Irgun militia were rolling bombs down the hills into the Arab quarters and as Ilan Pappe documents in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine the Arabs of Haifa were indeed driven into the sea (the normal Zionist retort to what will happen if Israel becomes democratic) and some drowned. Now the story has been told of how Haganna also participated in the shelling of Arab Haifa and the market, although Ha'aretz has not translated the article into English.

Tony Greenstein

By Shai Fogelman, Haaretz – 26 May 2011

Why did the Arabs of Haifa flee in 1948? Didn’t Haifa’s Jewish mayor ask them to stay? Maybe because Haganah (the primary pre-state Jewish military organization in Palestine) mortar rounds shot at the midst of the civilian crowds in the market, spoke another language. Here is a story that Israeli historians do not like to tell. (HEBREW)

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