Last month, a book was published titled What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Elan Journo, who argues that the Palestinians must not be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination, and that the US should provide Israel with the political backing needed to suppress any semblance of resistance to Israel’s occupation regime.
Having received an advance review copy, I wrote a rejoinder e-book titled Exposing a Zionist Hoax: How Elan Journo’s “What Justice Demands” Deceives Readers about the Palestine Conflict. (Which I managed to publish the same day that Journo’s book was published.)
My book systematically deconstructs the Zionist propaganda Journo tries to pass off to his readers as historical fact, exposing the lies and deceptions that drip off practically every page.
Earlier this month, a blogger named Sheri Oz published a post attempting to challenge my book, charging that it is my book, not Journo’s, that’s the hoax. I responded with a rejoinder post showing how Oz, too, lied in order to defend the lies Journo presents in his book.
Now Oz has acknowledged that the key piece of supposed evidence she presented to support her accusation against me was false. Yet, bewilderingly, in a second blog post attempting to challenge Exposing a Zionist Hoax, she persists her allegation that I’m the deceiver.
And, once again, Oz fails to provide any substantive criticisms against my book. Instead, she resorts to pure obfuscation in a vain effort to sustain a charge I’ve already shown to be entirely dependent upon a malicious lie.
Now, this is not about me or Sheri Oz or Elan Journo. It is about fact versus fiction. It is about understanding the true nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict, its origins, and the reasons for its persistence, so that we can envision a path to peace and make that vision a reality.
So let’s review the facts.
The Zionist Lie: The Arabs of Palestine Were Not Known as “Palestinians” Before Israel Was Established
In his hoax What Justice Demands, Elan Journo tries to deny the existence of the Palestinian national movement prior to the 1960s, going so far as to lie that the term “Palestinian” didn’t even come into popular use until “the late 1960s”.
In other words, Journo claims that prior to Israel’s establishment, the Arabs of Palestine were not known as “Palestinians” and had no aspirations to have an independent state of their own. Therefore, according to this standard Zionist propaganda talking point, the Palestinians’ complaint that the creation of Israel prevented them from having a state of their own is not a legitimate grievance.
But Journo is a crude propagandist and a liar. In my rejoinder book Exposing a Zionist Hoax, I observed:
The truth is that, naturally, during the Mandate period, when the British controlled the formerly Ottoman territory of Palestine, both Arab and Jewish inhabitants were called “Palestinians”.
To support that statement, I cited page 43 of the report of the British Peel Commission of 1937, where one can find a reference to “Palestinians, Arab and Jew.” There are in fact numerous other instances throughout the report where Arabs are referred to as “Palestinian”, but it sufficed to present just the one. (For additional instances, see my first post.)
So, to be clear, Journo’s claim is a lie.
Yet we observe the Zionist blogger Sheri Oz, instead of joining me in condemning this malicious lie, eager to defend it. In her original post, she falsely claimed:
[Jeremy R. Hammond’s] footnote shows this is supported by the Peel Commission Report. The real truth is that, in the entire document neither Arabs nor Jews are called “Palestinians”. There is not even one instance in which the term “Palestinian” appears in the text.
Since I publicly called her out on this lie, Oz has acknowledged that her statements here are false. In an update amending her first post, she acknowledges, “There truly are multiple references to Jewish and Arab Palestinians” in the Peel Commission Report.
Thus, Oz has acknowledged that Journo’s claim is absolutely false and that what I wrote in Exposing a Zionist Hoax is absolutely true. Yet instead of condemning his lie and apologizing for her false accusation against me, she persists in attacking me!
So there’s a good indication of her character for you.
Now, let me also point out that she has taken issue with me calling her a liar. She would have us believe it was just an innocent “mistake”. In her update to her original post, she says, “I directed readers of my post to look at the Report itself online and anyone who did that would find I was wrong. So if I did lie, then I must be very stupid and bad at lying.”
As explanation, she offers, “I mistyped ‘Palestinian’ when I did a word-search of the entire document.”
She’ll get no argument from me that she’s very bad at lying.
It may very well be that she mistyped “Palestinian”, but, to be sure, her claim that the report does not support what I wrote is a lie, and a malicious one at that.
Remember, her whole purpose in claiming that the report doesn’t say what I said it says is to support her charge that my book and not Journo’s is the hoax.
I take her at her word when she says she mistyped the word, but the fact remains that I provided her with a source and a page number, and she claimed to have checked my reference and found me to have fabricated when, in fact, she did not check my reference!
So, yes, she lied, and with malicious intent. Her explanation only goes to show how overeager she was to try to “debunk” what I was saying rather than listening and approaching the matter with an open mind.
Despite acknowledging that her claim was false, she unapologetically adds that this “does not change the substance of the remainder of this article”—as though the remainder of her post contained any substantive criticisms of my book!
As I’ve already demonstrated in my first post, it did not.
In her update to her first post, despite admitting that her key claim was false, Oz insists that “Hammond misrepresents history in order to delegitimize the State of Israel”. Then she promises a second attempt, which she has now published, and which we’ll now turn our attention to because it’s such a useful illustration of how Zionists sustain their worldview through willful ignorance and deception.
The Zionist Lie: There Was No Palestinian National Movement Before Israel Was Established
As already explained, Elan Journo’s lie that Arabs were not known as “Palestinians” until the 1960s was intended to support his lie that there was no Palestinian national movement until that same decade.
I incontrovertibly demonstrate that to be a lie in Exposing a Zionist Hoax, and yet in her second post, Sheri Oz persists in defending this lie. And once again her means of doing so is to falsely claim that one of the sources I cited to debunk Journo’s lie does not show that the Palestinian national movement existed well prior to Israel’s establishment.
In Exposing a Zionist Hoax, immediately after pointing out that both Arabs and Jews were known as “Palestinians” during the Mandate, I wrote (emphasis added for my purposes here):
And, of course, the Arab Palestinians had a very strong sense of nationalism dating back to the earliest origins of the conflict. One of their main objections to the League of Nations Mandate forced upon them after World War I was the fact that the British occupation regime was forcibly preventing them from exercising their right to self-determination despite Britain having promised the Arabs that if they supported the war effort against the Ottoman Empire, their reward would be independence. As the British Shaw Commission of 1929 observed, “active recruiting was carried on in Palestine for the Sherifian Army, our allies, the recruits being given to understand that they were fighting in a national cause and to liberate their country from the Turks.”
So there you have it.
The Shaw Commission’s observation that Arab Palestinians joined the British in their war effort against the Ottoman Empire for “a nationalist cause and to liberate their country from the Turks” fully supports my statement that “the Arab Palestinians had a very strong sense of nationalism” dating back even before the Mandate era.
That was from page 17 of Exposing a Zionist Hoax, where I just touched briefly on the matter of Journo’s lie that no Palestinian national movement existed until the 1960s. Later in the book, I devote a whole subchapter to it, providing additional proofs that there was indeed a strong sense of nationalism among the Arab Palestinians.
- The Peel Commission also acknowledged that it was “to secure independence that they assisted British forces and threw in their lot with the Allies”.
- Moreover, “volunteers from Palestine were among the first to join in a revolt which had a single end in view—the independence of the Arab lands, including Palestine.”
- They had put their trust in the promise of the British “that it was the solemn purpose of the Allies to further the cause of Arab self-determination and to establish Arab national governments.”
- The Palestine Arab Delegation to London in 1922 demanded that the British government respect their right to self-determination and called for “the immediate creation of a National Government which shall be responsible to a Parliament all of whose members are elected by the people of the country—Moslems, Christians, and Jews.”
- When the British government rejected their appeal, they once again reiterated that nothing short of “giving the People of Palestine full control of their own affairs could be acceptable.”
- When Great Britain once again rejected their demand to recognize their right to self-determination, they once again wrote back to insist on the establishment of “an independent government the same as Mesopotamia [Iraq and Syria] and the Hedjaz [Western Saudi Arabia]”.
- The Peel Commission observed that the Palestinians “refused to co-operate in any form of government other than a national government responsible to the Palestinian people.”
- By 1925, the Peel Commission observed, “The dominant force in the mind of educated [Palestinian] Arabs was the spirit of Arab nationalism.”
- The Shaw Commission observed that the Palestinians insisted on “the creation of an independent State”, or at the very least, “the establishment of a representative government in Palestine.”
- In 1930, the Arab delegation again went to London to insist on national independence and the establishment of a “democratic Government in which all inhabitants will participate in proportion to numbers.”
These proofs are more than sufficient to establish that what I wrote is true, that indeed during the Mandate era, and even prior to the British occupation of Palestine, the Arabs of the region had a very strong sense of nationalism—a desire to achieve their independence and exercise their right to self-determination.
But what does Sheri Oz do? Does she join me in condemning Journo’s malicious lie, intended to justify the rejection by the British government and Zionist leadership of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination?
No. Instead, she tries to defend Journo’s malicious lie by preposterously suggesting that I provided no evidence to support my statement that “the Arab Palestinians had a very strong sense of nationalism dating back to the earliest origins of the conflict”!
So let’s observe how she tries to sustain Journo’s absurd lie that this was not so, and the absurd lie that I did not substantiate my statement that the Arabs indeed had a strong sense of nationalism prior to Israel’s establishment.
In her first post, Oz tried to argue that the Shaw Commission report does not support my statement since it also says that “Palestine is an artificial conception”.
In my rejoinder post, I pointed out that this statement of the Commission does not “belie my statement that ‘the Arab Palestinians had a very strong sense of nationalism dating back to the earliest origins of the conflict’”.
Oz has no response to that, other than to ask, “Does this statement even make sense?”
Evidently, she has difficulty reconciling the Commission’s observation that “Palestine is an artificial conception” with the quotes I provided proving the existence of a Palestinian national movement during the Mandate era. She rhetorically inquires, “If Palestine was an artificial conception, then having a strong sense of nationalism to an artificial conception seems to me to be a bit — off, perhaps?”
Note that the effect of this ostensible puzzlement is to deny that there was a Palestinian national movement—despite the numerous proofs I’d already provided her in Exposing a Zionist Hoax (and which, assuming she’s actually read the book, as she claims, she is perfectly well aware of).
But, then, if you consider that every state is an artificial conception, there remains very little to puzzle about! The fact remains the Arabs of Palestine had a very strong sense of nationalism.
Oz’s further response is to say, “I have no idea what Hammond is referring to when he writes: ‘the earliest origins of the conflict’.”
But, of course, I answered that question right within the context from which quoted me!
Obviously, I was referring to the Mandate era, as explicitly clarified right within that same paragraph. (Recall I’d written, “And, of course, the Arab Palestinians had a very strong sense of nationalism dating back to the earliest origins of the conflict. One of their main objections to the League of Nations Mandate forced upon them after World War I….”)
So we may dispense with her feigned puzzlement, as well.
Next she opines that I “should define ‘very strong sense of nationalism’ because many are confused about this, Arabs included.” Then she posts some YouTube videos featuring Arabs speaking on the subject and writes:
In an 1996 television discussion with Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, he makes it clear there was no Palestinian people but an Arab people – their nationalism, according to him is Arab and not Palestinian….
In fact, leader of the Italian Muslim community, Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, explains how a so-called Palestinian People is a recent invention made up for political purposes….
This still might not be sufficient to prod Hammond into re-examining his basic assumptions about Arabs as Palestinians. He does not have to change his mind, but he should really contend with claims of Arabs, themselves, that being Palestinian is a political invention and not a longstanding identity.
So what is Oz’s actual argument here?
She has none!
She just suggests that I should clarify what I mean by “sense of nationalism” and that I must “contend with claims of Arabs, themselves, that being Palestinian is a political invention and not a longstanding identity.”
That is to say, she fails to identify any factual or logical error on my part, but simply obfuscates the whole point.
First of all, just as I was clear about the time period I was referring to, I was also already very clear right in my original context about what I meant when I said that the Palestinians had “a very strong sense of nationalism”.
As I explicitly indicated, I meant that they desired to exercise “their right to self-determination” and had fought for “a national cause” in order to “liberate their country from the Turks”!
I also explicitly state later in my book — which, again, Oz claims to have read — that this means that they demanded that Palestine be recognized as an independent state.
Second of all, Oz here is simply reiterating the very same argument I’d already sufficiently “contended” with in my first post!
In her first post, she had asserted:
[T]he Arabs never saw themselves as Palestinians and they never saw what was referred to as Palestine as a unit separate from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The Peel Commission Report also makes this claim on page 6. After having helped free the land from the Turks, the Arabs residing in Palestine were upset at the splitting up between Britain and the French of what they had considered indivisible. They were supposed to have been citizens of a Greater Syria. Not a Palestine that had never existed for them as a separate entity.
Here is what the Peel Commission Report says about it on page 6. Read it and judge for yourself whether it disproves or supports my statement that there existed a strong sense of nationalism among Palestinians:
But, poor and neglected though it was, to the Arabs who lived in it, Palestine — or, more strictly speaking, Syria, of which Palestine had been a part since the days of Nebuchadnezzar — was still their country, their home, the land in which their people for centuries past had lived and left their graves.
This is what Sheri Oz offers as evidence that the Arab Palestinians didn’t have “a very strong sense of nationalism” during the Mandate era!
Furthermore, as I had already pointed out in my first post:
It’s true that, early on, the Arabs of Palestine viewed themselves as part of the larger region of Syria, but as illustrated in the quote from the Shaw Commission report [that Arab Palestinians fought with the British “in a national cause and to liberate their country from the Turks”], they eventually came to demand that Palestine’s independence be recognized. (The idea of Palestine being part of a greater Syria essentially became moot in 1943, when the independence of Syria and Lebanon was recognized.)
There’s nothing left to “contend” with! I have already provided sufficient proofs that what I wrote is true.
Neither the opinion of some Arab member of Israel’s legislature nor some Muslim leader in Italy matter. What matters is the actual documentary record, which clearly demonstrates that the Arabs of Palestine did indeed have a very strong sense of nationalism during the Mandate era.
All that Sheri Oz has managed to demonstrate in her second attempt to challenge my book is how she sustains her worldview through willful ignorance and deliberate obfuscation.
She goes on to once again deny that “a Palestinian people” existed. Sure, “they were technically Palestinian”, she allows. But, she maintains, my statement that there was a strong sense of nationalism among them “is presumptuous and a topic that is one for debate”!
Of course, as I’ve just shown, it is neither presumptuous nor debatable.
On the contrary, as I’ve shown in Exposing a Zionist Hoax and once again right here, it is a simple historical fact that the Arab Palestinians had a very strong sense of nationalism during the Mandate era.
And, of course, Oz’s purpose in denying that fact is simply to defend the rejection by the British and Zionist leadership of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
The Zionist Lie: Ethnic Cleansing Never Happened
The next Zionist lie that Oz sets out to defend is that there was no ethnic cleansing of Arabs by Zionist forces during the war of 1948.
In his hoax What Justice Demands, Elan Journo, in addition to denying the existence of the Palestinian national movement, denies that Palestine was ethnically cleansed.
In Exposing a Zionist Hoax, after pointing out that, today, about one-fifth of Israel’s population is Arab, I wrote:
Of course, the Arab population in the area today known as Israel would be much higher if it wasn’t for the ethnic cleansing. And it wasn’t just that Arab Palestinians were expelled from their homes; the Zionist forces went to great lengths to ensure that Arab refugees would never be able to return by systematically wiping their villages off the map—more than 500 by the war’s end.
Then I quoted statements made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1969:
We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. . . . Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. . . . There is not one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.
In my endnote, I cited pages 311 to 312 of another of my books, Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, where I provided the full quote as follows (with the portions I omitted in Exposing a Zionist Hoax presented here in italics):
We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country we bought the lands from the Arabs. Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat—in the place of Jibta, Sarid—in the place of Haneifs, and Kefar Yehoshua—in the place of Tell Shaman. There is not one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.
My citation in Obstacle to Peace was page 14 of Edward Said’s book The Question of Palestine, where he in turn cites the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, April 4, 1969.
Then, in Obstacle to Peace, I further explained:
The “considerable areas” where Jews legally purchased land amounted to less than 7 percent of the territory of Palestine. The rest of the country was conquered through violence, with Arab villages cleansed of their inhabitants before being wiped completely off the map.
I explain this fact, also, in Exposing a Zionist Hoax, which, again, Sheri Oz claims to have read.
In fact, I elaborate at some length about how the Zionists exploited feudalistic Ottoman land laws that deprived Arab peasants of their property rights to purchase most of the land they acquired, which, again, came to less than 7 percent of the land in Palestine.
Furthermore, while I only just touch on the subject of ethnic cleansing where I quote Dayan, on pages 17 to 18, there’s a whole subchapter titled “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, which runs 27 pages, providing the necessary context as well as 10 pages focused specifically on the actual ethnic cleansing operations during the 1948 war!
So how does Sheri Oz respond to my observation about hundreds of Palestinian villages being wiped off the map during the 1948 war?
For starters, she completely ignores the main section of my book where I show my readers that Journo’s claim that no ethnic cleansing occurred is a lie.
Instead, she focusing only where I briefly just touch on it earlier in the book, where I quote Dayan acknowledging that Arab villages were wiped off the map — literally — in order for the “Jewish state” to be created.
Oz correctly surmises that my source for the Dayan quote was Edward Said, although she refers to a paper he wrote in 1979, whereas I was referring to his book originally published the same year. Then she accuses me of having “misused” the quote because I’d omitted Dayan’s statement about having purchased land in “considerable areas” of the country.
But the reason I omitted certain portions of the quote in Exposing a Zionist Hoax is simply that those portions were not relevant to the point. For brevity’s sake, I omitted that sentence simply because I did not feel the need to reiterate to my readers, as I did in Obstacle to Peace, that what Dayan meant by “considerable areas” amounted to less than 7 percent of the land in Palestine, with all of the rest having been conquered through war.
Sheri Oz would evidently have her readers believe that all of the land that comprises Israel was obtained by Jews through purchase. But that is false.
Contrary to the premise the argument Oz uses to level her charge of “misusing” the quote, when Dayan spoke of Jewish villages being built in the place of Arab villages, he was not only speaking about places where Jews had purchased land.
The actual context of his statement falsifies that interpretation. That is, it’s not me who’s taken Dayan’s words out of context by omitting the sentence about buying land, but Sheri Oz who’s taking that one sentence out of context by claiming that the rest of his statement did not also apply to the villages destroyed during the 1948 war.
To spell it out again, here is the fundamental truth that Oz is trying to obfuscate with her vain chare of deceitful cherry-picking on my part: When Moshe Dayan said that Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages and that there isn’t any area that did not formerly have an Arab population, he was clearly referring to all of the territory that became the “Jewish state”, and not merely the 7 percent that was obtained through land purchases!
In other words, although he specifically referred to land buying, his acknowledgment was also logically inclusive of the destruction of Arab villages during the 1948 war.
Sheri Oz would have her blog readers believe that I omitted Dayan’s statement about purchasing land to deny the fact that it occurred, even though in fact I discuss the Jews’ land purchases elsewhere in Exposing a Zionist Hoax at considerable length!
And, of course, I did include Dayan’s statement about purchasing land in the source I cite, my book Obstacle to Peace. I simply felt no need to go over that again in Exposing a Zionist Hoax.
(And far from wishing to conceal that statement of Dayan’s from my readers, one reason I cited Obstacle to Peace in my endnote is because I’d like readers of Exposing a Zionist Hoax to read this book of mine, too, where I answer precisely Oz’s objection to my use of the quote!)
So, did I omit the sentence to deceive my readers? No. I omitted it, along with the part where he names villages, for brevity’s sake, because with or without it, my point remained the same!
Oz also takes issue with the translation presented by Edward Said. She cites a different translation, arguing that Dayan really said “a region of land” and not “this country”. He really said “a considerable number of places” and not “considerable areas of the country”. And he really ended by saying, “There isn’t any place that was established in an area where there had not at one time been an Arab settlement.”
She argues this, too, as though her alternative translation somehow belies the point for which I was quoting Dayan. But how so?
The fact remains that Dayan was talking about the land area of the “Jewish state” and acknowledged that this area was already inhabited by Arabs when the Jewish immigrants arrived, that Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages, and that there isn’t any place in Israel that didn’t have a former Arab population.
I am perfectly content to use her translation and the full unabridged quotation because it still supports my point that hundreds of Arab villages were wiped off the map during the 1948 war.
And that’s it! That’s the best that Sherri Oz can do to try to support her accusation that it’s my book, not Journo’s, tha’s the hoax. So, to sum it all up:
- Journo lies in What Justice Demands that the Arabs were not known as “Palestinians” until the 1960s. I observed in Exposing a Zionist Hoax that in fact both Arabs and Jews were known as “Palestinians” during the Mandate era, as shown in the Peel Commission report. Sheri Oz tried to defend Journo’s lie by herself lying that she’d checked my source and that the word “Palestinians” does not appear on the page I cited. I called her out on her bluff, and she subsequently acknowledged that, indeed, Arabs were known as “Palestinians” during the Mandate—which is to say she acknowledged that I am right and Journo is wrong, even while she persists in attacking my work while refusing to criticize Journo for lying.
- Journo lies that there was no Palestinian national movement until the 1960s. I observed in my book that there was in fact a very strong sense of nationalism among the Arabs of Palestine, quoting clear statements to that effect from the Peel Commission and Shaw Commission reports. Sheri Oz tried to defend Journo’s lie by absurdly claiming that the Shaw Commission report does not provide evidence of any sense of nationalism among Arab Palestinians, which anyone can see is false. I called her out on her bluff and in my first post provided additional quotes from both reports that she had simply ignored and still has no answer to, which quotes clearly show that the claim of Journo’s that she’s defending is a lie. Instead of acknowledging that Journo’s claim is a lie, Oz instead doubled down on her denial in order to try to sustain her vain attack on my work and hence to sustain her Zionist self-delusion.
- Journo lies that there was no ethnic cleansing of Arabs in order for the “Jewish state” to be established. I observed that Arabs were displaced from their homes during the Mandate period due to the Zionists’ exploitation of Ottoman land laws, that less than 7 percent of the land was acquired through purchase, and that the rest of what became Israel was acquired by war and ethnic cleansing. Sheri Oz ignores the actual section of the book where I demonstrate that ethnic cleansing occurred and instead tries to sustain Journo’s lie that it didn’t by falsely accusing me of misquoting Moshe Dayan, even though the full text of her own preferred translation still supports the point I was making that hundreds of Arab villages were wiped off the map during the 1948 war.
Oz offers no other substantive arguments. After two attempts, that was the best she could do.
She concludes her second attempt to challenge my book by calling my response to her first attempt a “tirade” and saying, “I do wonder about someone who goes on and on about lying and hypocrisy.”
She is referring to my concluding thoughts from my first post, which she quotes, and which are also appropriate to conclude this second post of mine:
I, for one, am not going to sit by and watch people like Journo and Oz resort to outright lying in order to defend egregious crimes against humanity!
Take a stand against this hypocrisy! Only by understanding the truth about the nature of the conflict can we hope to ever resolve it. Arm yourself with the knowledge to become an effective voice for a just peace.
There’s nothing to “wonder” about these words of mine. I just don’t like dishonest hypocrites like Elan Journo and Sheri Oz who try to defend the atrocious crimes that have been committed against the Palestinians by the Zionists and their beloved “Jewish state”.
So what is there not to understand?
Join me in taking a stand against their malicious lies and deceptions. Empower yourself with the knowledge to become an effective voice for peace: