Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Jewish Naqba and how its story is suppressed

There is a great article by Michelle Huberman "Where are the Ashkenazim?" that describes how the Ashkenazi liberal elite in Israel have continually downplayed the catastrophe that befell the Jews living in Arab lands after 1948. While the whole world has been brainwashed into accepting the narrative of the Palestinain 'naqba' - where about 600,000 Arabs fled Israel at the request of the invading Arab armies - few people are aware of the far greater number of Jews who were forcibly expelled from their homes in Arab countries.  
The article struck a special chord with me because this subject came up last September in a talk by Dr Noam Leshem who is the archetypal Israeli liberal that Michelle refers to. Leshem, who is apparently employed by BICOM to 'promote Israel' and also 'advises senior Israeli politicians',  actually presents only the standard Palestinian anti-Zionist narrative. A member of the audience asked him specifically about why the Israeli government did not make more political capital from the Jewish naqba. His response was abrupt and rude. He said something like 'that is a dead subject - there is absolutely nothing to be gained from raising it'. The problem for people like him, of course, is that it does not fit in with his narrative, so in the traditional leftist way he simply refuses to acknowledge it.

1 comment:

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

This is not simply an "Ashkenazi" position. After all, the traditional culture of the Ashkenazim is generally overlooked in the media and other cultural institutions in Israel.

And Mizrahim and Sefardim who were what are called "leftists" in Israel typically did not oppose this neglect, especially not neglect of the history of the oppression of Jews in Arab lands. Why was this so? The "left" camp in Israel, which can also be called the anti-national camp, has been obsessively chasing the will-o'-the-wisp of a negotiated peace with the Arabs for many many years. So nothing could be done or should be done, in the "left's" view, that would discourage or deter the Arabs from negotiating a peace accord with Israel. Furthermore, the Israeli "Left" was influenced by the anti-Israel, pro-Arab climate of the world "left." Therefore, in order to stay in step with their supposed or hoped for ideological allies, or even co-thinkers, they adopted the world's "left's" pro-Arab views. The Israeli communists (PaKaP) had been habitually pro-Arab back in the 1930s, since that was the Comintern and USSR position. The Communists especially, for the most part, did not change their anti-Zionist views after the establishment of the State of Israel, although the USSR and Communists elsewhere had supported Israeli independence at the time.