Netanyahu Fooled his People to Get Re-Elected Using the Remnants of the IDF Terrorist Retrieved from Syria

 

Netanyahu lied- only half of the body of the IDF terrorist Baumel retrieved from Syria through Russia

When the news of Russian help extended to Netanyahu to win the elections went as far as extracting the remains of an IDF terrorist killed in Lebanon and buried in Yarmouk Camp graveyard south of Damascus back in April earlier this year, many Syrians, Palestinians, and other Arabs felt heart-broken and disappointed; it was more like a backstab to the Syrians and Palestinians by their Russian ally and a betray of trust, usually this would include releasing numerous Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrian women, men, and most importantly children held in Israeli prisons.

Netanyahu needed any help to win the elections back in May to remain out of prison on charges of fraud, like all other Israeli officials, usual exchanges would include at least releasing a number of the children and women, and even men kidnapped by Israel and held in detention centers across occupied Palestine. But there was no exchange.

Liar Netanyahu shows fake emotions to family of IDF terrorist Baumel

At a later stage Netanyahu, possibly under pressure from Putin, released two prisoners, one of who is a Palestinian who didn’t want to go to Syria in the first place, whose his family are in the occupied Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Zionists call it Hebron), and a drug dealer who has already spent his 11 years sentence in the Israeli prisons and was set to be released in a couple of months completing his sentence without any deal!

Thousands of children, women, and innocent men held with no justification by an occupation force and under the heinous silence of the United Nations and its many organs which are more focused to investigate bogus and fake news against Syria instead of focusing on real people held in miserable situations under the whole world’s watchful eyes.

That’s for the background of this story; what was revealed today should deliver a blow to the already embattled Netanyahu in regards with the snatching of the body of the IDF terrorist from Syria by Russia. Khalid Jibril, head of security and military in the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command), in an interview with Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel, revealed that what the Russians managed to extract was only the upper half of the remains of the body of the Israeli IDF terrorist and even that was missing its jaw.

In other words, not only did Netanyahu falsely claim he got the remains of the terrorist, he only got less than half after desecrating the remnants and fooling his family, and the public, just to get reelected.

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Mr. Jibril challenged the Israeli leadership to deny this information, he added: ‘When they need to have these bodies back they need to pay the price for that which is releasing those in the (Israeli) occupation prisons, Syrians, Palestinians, or Arabs.’

The timing of this exposure is essential as the Israelis are preparing for the second round of elections and Netanyahu’s chances should grow slimmer with this news especially when used by his opponents.

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Nakba II is Here

nakba II.jpg

Reported by Gilad Atzmon

 The Israeli media reported yesterday that the Jewish State is “actively pushing Palestinian emigration from Gaza.” A senior Israeli official confirmed that Jerusalem is looking for other countries to take in Gazans.

 Times of Israel reported that  “Israel is actively promoting the emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and is working to find other countries who may be willing to absorb them.” We are basically dealing here with a systematic forced removal of the indigenous population from a given territory by a powerful settler state. In Yiddish as well as English such an act  is called ethnic cleansing  and is considered a crime against humanity under the statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 In a similar fashion to the German (Nazi) Government at the time of the   Haavara agreement (1933) the Jewish State  is encouraging  Gazans to ‘willingly’ leave their land. The Israeli official confirmed that Israel “is ready to carry the costs of helping Gazans emigrate, and would even be willing to consider allowing them to use an Israeli air field close to Gaza to allow them to leave for their new host countries.”

 I guess that Jewish State is making a real effort to redefine the notion of Jewish ‘kindness.’

 According to the Israeli official “Israeli National Security Council has been spearheading the effort, with Netanyahu’s blessing, for about a year. The program has been discussed in the security cabinet several times.” However the official confirmed that despite the Israeli communication with  European leaders and even countries in the region, so far, no country has agreed to participate in the Israeli crime and absorb  the ethnically cleansed Gazans.

Maybe those reluctant  European leaders and countries in the region are waiting to see whether Israel is willing to absorb the many suspects involved with the current Epstein’s #pedogate as this scandal is quickly  unfolding  into a global  crime syndicate saga.

Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep

Image result for Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep
Brian Cloughley
August 6, 2019
© Photo: Flickr / Official Photo by Caleb Smith

In the US House of Representatives on 23 July there was an overwhelming vote condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement which has the objective of encouraging the government of Israel to meet “its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

There is nothing morally or legally questionable in any of these aims.  But the United States Congress does not concern itself with morality or legality if these are inconsistent with its policy concerning Israel, which, as enunciated by Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, is based on the conviction that “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats.”  Fox News reported that the condemnatory resolution “has been pushed by AIPAC, the influential Israel lobby in Washington,” which explains a great deal, as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a very powerful organisation, with deep pockets and wide-spreading hands.

In February 2019 The Intercept noted  that “AIPAC, on its own website, recruits members to join its ‘Congressional Club,’ and commit to give at least $5,000 per election cycle.” In a film called The Lobby “Eric Gallagher, a top official at AIPAC from 2010 to 2015, tells an Al Jazeera reporter that AIPAC gets results.”  A secret recording revealed that “Getting $38 billion in security aid to Israel matters, which is what AIPAC just did. Everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress.”

And AIPAC influences Congress and other agencies extremely efficiently, even to the extent of managing to have Al Jazeera refrain from broadcasting the US-focused version of The Lobby.The Director of Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, Clayton Swisher, said that pressure included “pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington threatening to convince Congress to register the network as ‘foreign agents,’ and false accusations of anti-Semitism against the producers of the documentary.”  That’s all you need:  the mere mention of anti-Semitism makes everyone suck their teeth, roll their eyes, and leap out of the way.

It so happened that the day before Congress condemned an initiative aimed at having Israel recognise the rights of Palestinians and abide by international law, the Israelis carried out an operation of destruction that was specifically aimed against the rights of Palestinians and was contrary to international law.  As the BBC reported, it involved 200 Israeli soldiers and 700 police, weapons at the ready, deploying to the Palestinian village of Wadi Hummus at 4 in the morning of July 22, along with bulldozers and excavators that proceeded to destroy Palestinian homes.

There wasn’t a word of objection from the US Administration whose Tweeter-in-Chief had made his views on Israel crystal-clear on 16 July when he announced that the four non-white female Members of Congress whom he loathes to the point of psychosis are “a bunch of Communists [who] hate Israel.”  Moreover, they “talk about Israel like they’re a bunch of   thugs, not victims of the entire region.”  On the other hand, the European Union stated that “Israel’s settlement policy, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, is illegal under international law. In line with the EU’s long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions.”  Fat chance of that — just as there is no possibility that the United states or the United Kingdom will support pursuit of international law when it is violated by Israel.

Britain is on its way out of the European Union, so has no say in EU policy, but in any case it wouldn’t agree about criticism of Israel because the governing Conservative Party fosters an organisation called ‘Conservative Friends of Israel’ (CFI) whose members constitute some eighty per cent of Conservative Members of Parliament.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Trump-loving new prime minister, is a fervid supporter of CFI which supported him in his bid to be head of the Conservative party. On 23 July, after his selection to be leader and thus prime minister, the CFI’s Chairmen, Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Pickles, and Honorary President Lord Polak declared that “From his refusal to boycott Israeli goods in his time as Mayor of London through to his instrumental role as Foreign Secretary…  Boris has a long history of standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel and the Jewish community. Mr Johnson continued to display his resolute support… reiterating his deep support for Israel and pledging to be a champion for Jews in Britain and around the world.”

One of Johnson’s first ministerial appointments was of Ms Priti Patel to be Home Secretary. She had resigned from the Cabinet of PM Theresa May in November 2017 because it had been discovered that she had been telling lies, which wasn’t in itself unusual, but the circumstances were intriguing.  As the BBC headlined about the then head of International Development :  “Priti Patel quits cabinet over Israel meetings row” which involved her apologising to the prime minister “after unauthorised meetings in August with Israeli politicians — including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — came to light. But it later emerged she had two further meetings without government officials present in September.”  Not only that, but in a media interview “she gave the false impression that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the Foreign Office knew about her meetings in Israel.”

It’s one of these irregular verbs which were met with much laughter during the marvellous BBC series ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ — ‘I make a misstatement;  she gives a false impression;  he is in prison for telling lies.’

And it was decidedly strange that the egregious Lord Polak, he of the statement that Boris Johnson stands “shoulder to shoulder with Israel” accompanied Patel at 13 of her 14 meetings with Israeli officials during August and September. What on earth could have been going on?

Of course she had no reason to worry about having to resign for telling lies, because at the time of her disgrace Boris Johnson told the BBC that “Priti Patel has been a very good colleague and friend for a long time and a first class secretary of state for international development. It’s been a real pleasure working with her and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her.”  The man has the gift of prophecy.

Then Johnson appointed Michael Gove to his Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a weird appointment that gives a lot of power and very little responsibility. Gove had been demonstrably disloyal to Johnson during the first leadership struggle, in what the Daily Telegraph called a “spectacular act of treachery” but all was forgiven because, as recorded approvingly by the Conservative Friends of Israel he believes that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are “two sides of the same coin”, which means that anybody who criticises Israel’s nationalistic persecution of Palestinians is an anti-Semite. He believes that “the test for any civilised society is whether it stands with the Jewish people, and whether it stands with Israel. It is a pleasure to stand with the Jewish people. It is a duty to stand with Israel.”

The Palestinians are not going to get one tiny bit of support from either the United States or Britain when their houses are bulldozed to rubble.  They can expect no criticism from Washington or London when their children are killed in Gaza by Israeli soldiers.

The West Bank of the Jordan River, between Israel and Jordan, was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Then it annexed East Jerusalem. Both areas are defined in international law as occupied territory.  Although this is ignored by the US and Britain it was intriguing that in a minor but telling legal finding in Canada on 30 July, a judge ruled that wines made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank should not carry labels that say “Product of Israel” because of course the settlements are built on Palestinian land.

But there’s no point in telling that to the Israeli-supporting wine connoisseur Donald Trump or the US Congress or any member of Britain’s governing Conservative party, because international law means nothing when there are other priorities.

حملة وزير القوات: «البعبع» الفلسطيني مجدداً

حملة وزير القوات: «البعبع» الفلسطيني مجدداً

الحريري تائه بين وزير حليف في حكومته، وموقف شارعه المتضامن مع الفلسطينيين (هيثم الموسوي)

فراس الشوفي

18 تموز 2019

بدا تردّد وزير العمل كميل بو سليمان، بعد اندلاع الاحتجاجات في المخيمات الفلسطينية، نابعاً من «قلة معرفة» بالواقع الفلسطيني ــ اللبناني، ومن إصرار قواتي على منافسة التيار الوطني الحر شعبياً. «العقلاء» تدخّلوا للملمة الأزمة، فيما يبقى ناقصاً تحويل خلاصات لجنة الحوار إلى قوانين

عندما قرّر وزير العمل كميل بو سليمان، أن «يطبّق القانون»، كما يقول، لم يكن لديه أدنى معرفة بديهية بالواقع الفلسطيني في لبنان. وهذا ليس تجنّياً، بل إن الوزير لم يخفِ الأمر عن عددٍ من المسؤولين اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، في اللقاءات التي حصلت في الأيام الماضية. مثلاً، لم يكن يعرف أن الفلسطينيين في لبنان لديهم «خصوصية» تحديداً في موضوع العمل، ولا يمكن معاملتهم معاملة الأجانب! وهو، إن لم يكن يدري، تجاهل وجود لجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني التابعة لرئاسة الحكومة، وفي عضويتها نواب ممثّلون للكتل النيابية، من بينها حزب القوات اللبنانية، ولم يكلّف نفسه عناء سؤالها عن رأيها. وبعيداً عن اطلاعه السياسي، غاب عن الوزير أن القوانين التي عُدِّلَت عام 2010، في ما يخصّ عمل الفلسطينيين، لم تتحوّل إلى مراسيم تطبيقية.

أما ما لم يكن يعرفه الوزير، أو تجاهله ربّما، فهو احتمالات ردود الفعل في المخيّمات الفلسطينية، أو كيف سيتصرّف آلاف العمّال الفلسطينيين، الذين لا تنافس غالبيتهم المطلقة العمال اللبنانيين، ولا المهن اللبنانية، حين تنقطع أرزاقهم فجأة؟ ماذا عن الوزير السابق طوني كرم، عضو لجنة الحوار، أو حتى المسؤول القواتي إيلي الهندي، وهو يتابع الملفّ الفلسطيني، ألا يعرفان؟

طبعاً، ليس من الموضوعية تحميل مسؤولية «الدعسة الناقصة» في ملفٍّ متفجّر من هذا النوع، لأبو سليمان وحده. مع أن وزير العمل تحديداً، في ظلّ هشاشة القوانين، لديه هامش واسع لإدارة عمل الفلسطينيين في لبنان. إلا أن الحملة التي أطلقها، جزء من توجّه حكومي، تحت مسمّى ضبط العمالة الأجنبية في لبنان، تستهدف أولاً ضبط العمالة السورية، وتصيب في طريقها العمالة الفلسطينية، من دون أدنى تقدير للنتائج، وللظروف السياسية الخطيرة التي تتركها تفاعلات ما يسمى «صفقة القرن». والدليل على قصر النظر الحكومي في معالجة أيٍّ من الملفّات، اللجوء والعمالة السورية، أو الفلسطيني، حالة الارتباك التي تعيشها الدولة والسلطة السياسية، ومحاولة لملمة «جنوح» الحملات الأخيرة بأقل الخسائر الممكنة، مع بدء التحركات الشعبية في المخيمات الفلسطينية، والاعتراض اللبناني الواسع من أصحاب المصالح.

مثلاً، لو رفع بو سليمان سمّاعة الهاتف، وسأل المدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عباس إبراهيم، أو المعنيين في استخبارات الجيش بالملف الفلسطيني، لسمع من مصدرين معنيين، تنبيهاً عن طفولية خطوة من هذا النوع وخطورتها.

لكن بو سليمان كان مستعجلاً. لم يعنه أن بعض المصالح الفلسطينية التي أقفلها، لديها عدد كبير من العمّال اللبنانيين. يريد تسجيل النّقاط لحساب جعجع، في سباق «ألعاب القوى»، الذي يخوضه الأخير مع وزير الخارجية جبران باسيل لاستنهاض العصبيات في الساحة المسيحية. هال جعجع أن يكسب باسيل معركة الشعبوية، رافعاً راية مواجهة النزوح السوري في لبنان (من بيروت!). ولأن رئيس القوات، الصديق الصدوق للسلطة الفلسطينية وحليف المحور الغربي – الخليجي (الذي يمنع عودة النازحين السوريين إلى ديارهم)، لن يستطيع الاستثمار في الملفّ السوري، جاءه الملفّ الفلسطيني على طبقٍ من فضّة. وهذا الاستنتاج، يمكن سماعه على لسان أبرز السياسيين والأمنيين في البلاد، وقادة الفصائل الفلسطينية. بعضهم يذهب أبعد من ذلك، فيقول إن وزير العمل عندما بدأ يتجاوب مع المتدخلين لوقف التدقيق على الفلسطينيين، كان يأتيه مرسال معراب، ليرفع من معنوياته ويشدّ أزره.

منذ أيام، والغليان يسود في المخيمات الفلسطينية، من البارد والبداوي في الشمال، إلى الرشيدية والبص في الجنوب. وللعلم، فإن هبّة الشارع الفلسطيني لا تحرّكها الفصائل. بل إن واقع الحال اليومي والمعاناة الفلسطينية المتواصلة منذ عقود طويلة، مع الحملات الأخيرة، كافية ليخرج الفلسطينيون العاديون عن صوابهم. وعلى العكس مما يحاول البعض تسويقه، فإن الفصائل من خلال تنسيقها مع الجيش اللبناني، تحاول قيادة التحركات الشعبية ومنع خروجها عن السيطرة. حتى إن إجراءات الجيش في الأيام الماضية، ومنعه الفلسطينيين من الخروج من المخيمات وتنفيذ اعتصاماتهم في المدن، لاقتها الفصائل بمحاولات تهدئة الفلسطينيين بالتوازي مع الاتصالات السياسية وتدخّلات «العقلاء» لإيجاد مخرج للأزمة.

القوات تريد تسجيل النقاط لحساب جعجع، في سباقه مع باسيل في الساحة المسيحية

ففي مقابل الغليان الفلسطيني، ينمو شارع لبناني مضاد، مستحضراً ذاكرة الحرب اللبنانية، وعصبيات لا تعنيها المعلومات والدراسات العلمية حول تأثير الوجود الفلسطيني على العمالة اللبنانية والاقتصاد. وعلى الهامش، يراقب المعنيون كيفية تفاعل اللاجئين السوريين مع الاحتجاجات الفلسطينية. يخشى هؤلاء أن تنتقل عدوى الشارع من المخيمات الفلسطينية إلى مخيمات النازحين السوريين في المناطق. إذا كان الفلسطينيون منضبطين إجمالاً في المخيمات بوجود قيادات سياسية يمكن أن تُسهم في ضبط التحركّات، فمن سيضبط تحركات النازحين السوريين؟ وعلى أي مساحة جغرافية؟ وهل هناك من يريد زجّ الجيش في مآزق مجانية؟

قد يبدو «العقلاء» في هذا المأزق، معدودين على الأصابع: حزب الله والرئيس نبيه برّي، وطبعاً الأجهزة الأمنية، وعلى رأسها الأمن العام والجيش، بانتظار الموقف «المتأخر» لرئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، الذي من المفترض أن يعلنه اليوم أو غداً، في ضوء المشاورات السياسية مع اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، وعضو اللجنة المركزية في حركة فتح عزام الأحمد موفد الرئيس محمود عباس، الذي وصل ليل أمس إلى بيروت.

أما الرئيس سعد الحريري، فتائه هو الآخر. فهو لا يستطيع التعبير عن مواقف حادة معاكسة لوزير في حكومته يتبع حليفه القوات، بينما لا يستطيع القفز فوق المزاج الشعبي لشارعه الذي يتعاطف مع الفلسطينيين.

الآن، خيارات الحكومة باتت ضيّقة، ولا أحد يجرؤ على التراجع العلني. لذلك، يبدو حلّاً، الانكفاء التدريجي عن حفلة التسرّع تلك، عملاً بالرؤية شبه المشتركة التي نتجت من المشاورات مع بري والنائبة بهية الحريري ولقاء إبراهيم مع وفد رجال الأعمال الفلسطينيين. وهذا الحلّ يتضمن أوّلاً وقف التدقيق على الفلسطينيين وإعطاء مهلة ستة أشهر لتسوية الأوضاع القانونية، بالتوازي مع ترك لجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني لإنجاز ورشتها، والشروع بإصدار المراسيم اللازمة لتنظيم عمل الفلسطينيين بأقرب وقتٍ ممكن. والأهم، وقف التعامل مع الفلسطيني كلاجئ مرة، وأجنبي أحياناً أخرى، ونزع هذه الورقة من يد وزير العمل وتنظيمها بالقانون

«انتفاضة» المخيمات «غير مفهومة» لوزير العمل!

الأخبار

الأربعاء 17 تموز 2019

خاض اللاجئون الفلسطينيّون أمس، جولة جديدة من الضغط على الحكومة اللبنانيّة ووزارة العمل للتراجع عن تطبيق خطّتها بشأن «مكافحة العمالة الأجنبيّة غير الشرعيّة». فيما «استغرب» وزير العمل كميل أبو سليمان ردة الفعل الفلسطينيّة «غير المفهومة» والتي «لا معنى لها».

«انتفاضة» المخيمات «غير مفهومة» لوزير العمل!

احتجاحات في مخيم برج البراجنة (هيثم الموسوي)

التحرّكات الشعبيّة، استمرّت متقدّمة بخطوة على اللقاءات السياسيّة التي تقوم بها قيادات الفصائل الفلسطينية في لبنان. إذ شهد أمس، تجمّعات عدة على مداخل المخيّمات الفلسطينيّة بالكوفية والعلم الفلسطيني وإحراق الإطارات المطاطيّة، فيما مُنعت تظاهرة دعا إليها «ائتلاف حق العمل للاجئين الفلسطينيين والمؤسسات والجمعيات العاملة بالوسط الفلسطيني في لبنان» من التوجّه إلى ساحة النجمة حيث كان المجلس النيابي يناقش مشروع الموازنة. اكتفى المتظاهرون بالتجمّع تحت جسر الكولا، بالرغم من إفادة ناشطين عن تضييق أمني منع كثيرين من الوصول إلى نقطة التجمّع.

على صعيد الحراك السياسي للفصائل الفلسطينيّة، وللجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني، توصّلت النقاشات إلى موافقة مبدئيّة من وزير العمل كميل أبو سليمان على ما اقترحه الجانب الفلسطيني بشأن «فصل حصول العمال على إجازة عمل عن شرط إرفاقها بعقد عمل مع ربّ العمل يوقّع لدى كاتب بالعدل»، وتجديد تأكيده الموافقة على ما اقترح أول من أمس حيال «خفض المبلغ المتوجّب على صاحب المؤسسة الفلسطيني دفعه كمساهمة في رأس مال المؤسسة إلى ربع القيمة (من مئة مليون ليرة إلى 25 مليوناً)». هاتان الموافقتان المبدئيّتان لم تقترنا بقرار أو نص مكتوب من جانب الوزارة، لكنّهما ترافقتا مع رفض لاقتراح الجانب الفلسطيني «تمديد مهلة السماح إلى ستة أشهر يتمكّن خلالها العامل وربّ العمل الفلسطينيّان من ترتيب أوضاعهما، وإلى حين إصدار القرارات المطلوبة، كما المراسيم التنظيميّة الخاصّة بالقانونين 129 (تعديل قانون العمل) و128 (تعديل قانون الضمان الاجتماعي) التي أُقرّت عام 2010».

أبو سليمان اعتبر في سلسلة «تغريدات» أن «ردة الفعل الفلسطينيّة غير مفهومة ولا معنى لها، وأن الخطة لا تستهدف الفلسطينيين ولا علاقة لها بصفقة القرن ولا بنظرية المؤامرات»، معلناً أنه «من أصل 550 مخالفة لقانون العمل ضُبطت منذ الأربعاء الماضي، ثمة فقط مخالفتان تعودان لمؤسستين كبيرتين يملكهما فلسطينيّون». كما أعرب عن استعداده لإبداء «مرونة لمساعدة الإخوان الفلسطينيين على الحصول على إجازات عمل، يحصلون عليها مجاناً لأنهم معفيون من رسومها، وبشأن بعض المستندات المطلوبة للحصول عليها، فنحن مستعدّون لتسهيل الأمر ضمن القانون».

أبو سليمان: الخطة لا علاقة لها بصفقة القرن ولا بنظرية المؤامرات

السفير الفلسطيني في لبنان أشرف دبور، وجّه من جانبه رسالة إلى «أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني في لبنان»، متمنيّاً فيها «إفساح المجال أمام الحوار الهادئ والبنّاء، الذي تجريه القيادة السياسية الفلسطينية مع الجهات الرسمية اللبنانية لمعالجة التأثيرات السلبية على حقهم في العيش الكريم نتيجة قانون العمل للخروج بنتائج عملية وإيجابية سيتلمّسها أهلنا قريباً جداً».

وفي هذا السياق، أكدت النائبة بهيّة الحريري أن «الأجواء إيجابية والرئيس الحريري لديه كامل الثقة بالوزير كميل ابو سليمان»، بغياب أي موقف للرئيس سعد الحريري. وحضر ممثل عن «حركة أمل» في اللقاء الذي عقد أول من أمس في السفارة الفلسطينية في بيروت، فيما زار عضو مجلس قيادة الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي بهاء أبو كروم مقرّ السفارة الفلسطينية والتقى دبور، معرباً عن «موقف الحزب الثابت تجاه حق اللاجئين في العمل، واتصالات تجريها قيادة الحزب ووزراؤه للمساعدة في احتواء التداعيات الأخيرة وإعطاء فرصة للحوار والمعالجات الهادئة».

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Israel’s Scheme to Bury the Nakba. “The Ethnic Cleansing oF Palestine”

July 10, 2019

Israel’s 1947-48 Nakba against the Palestinian people was and remains one of history’s great crimes — what Ilan Pappe called “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” in his book by this title.

Establishment of the Jewish state came at the expense of the Palestinian people, their descendants and refugee population.

The final master plan’s goal aimed to create a state with maximum Jews and minimum Arabs — by any means, including mass murder of defenseless people.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their homeland, many thousands slaughtered in cold blood.

The six-month campaign beginning in late 1947 destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

According to Nuremberg Principles, ethnically cleansing people from their land is a high crime against humanity.

Israeli accountability was never forthcoming for mass-murder; destruction of homes, villages, crops and other property; countless atrocities; showing no mercy to defenseless men, women, children.

Nuremberg-level crimes were  expunged from official Israeli historiography, replaced by the myth that Palestinians left voluntarily, fearing harm from invading Arab armies.

A Palestinian shared memories of that nightmarish experience, saying the following:

“I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try.”

“First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries.”

“My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days.”

“The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen.”

“I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?”

“We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills. I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt’s two-year-old son, sick with typhoid.”

Survivors remember the horror of Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, soldiers representing the soon to be announced Israeli state entered the village violently. They machine-gunned houses randomly. Many inside were slaughtered.

Remaining villagers were assembled and murdered in cold blood. Among them were children, infants, the elderly and women, some raped before slaughtered. Estimates placed the death toll at up to 120.

An eyewitness recounted the horror as follows, saying:

“I was (there) when the Jews attacked…(They) closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us.”

“Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge.”

“The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They enter(ed) houses and kill(ed) women and children indiscriminately. The (village) youths…fought bravely.”

Fighting killed dozens more. Many other villages met the same fate. It was well planned, systematic slaughter — a pattern Israel followed throughout its history with much more powerful and banned weapons.

According to a Haaretz investigative report, Israel’s ministry of war’s secretive security department (Malmab) has been tasked with making the Nabka disappear, saying:

Its teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents…conceal(ing) (them) as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.”

Haaretz learned Malmab (a Hebrew acronym) “concealed testimony from IDF generals about” about mass slaughter of Palestinians and destruction of their towns and villages, as well as dispossession of Bedouins during Israel’s first 10 years of statehood.

Former security department head Yehiel Horev told Haaretz he began the project to erase Israel’s ugly past — even though detailed information about the Nakba has been published.

His aim and others involved was and continues to be an effort to reinvent history, a common practice in many countries with disturbing pasts authorities want expunged from the public record — notably burying the historical record of horrific mistreatment of Black African slaves and Native Americans by US ruling authorities.

Documents on Israel’s nuclear weapons development and hostile relations with regional countries, along with on the Nabka, are concealed in vaults.

Haaretz’s detailed account is titled “Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs” — historical documents concealed from public view.

Along with burying Israel’s ugly past, Malmab aims to undermine the credibility of published documents.

History the way it should be published and taught isn’t pretty. The truth is there for historians seeking it.

Pappe’s “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” and Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” reveal the public record citizens of these countries, and everyone else, have a right to know.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs

By Hagar Shezaf

Since early last decade, Defense Ministry teams have scoured local archives and removed troves of historic documents to conceal proof of the Nakba

July 05, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –   Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

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Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

“At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.

An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”

“The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

The Israeli version

One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

Read a translation of the document here

This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ‘whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ‘friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”

An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

Short fuse

In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:

Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”

Peled: “All, all. Yes.”

Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”

Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”

Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”

Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”

Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”

Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”

Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”

Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”

Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”

Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:

Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”

Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”

Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”

Lev Tov: “That were standing?”

Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”

Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”

Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

Crates in vaults

The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.

The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.

“In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.

One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.

A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

“A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered…. The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

Nuclear excuse

It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.

“I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”

In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”

In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”

Unauthorized secrecy

About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.

Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”

Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.

Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”

The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

What Malmab says

Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.

“I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”

From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

“What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?

“The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?

“I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.

“The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?

“I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.

“If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.

This article was originally published by “Haaretz” –

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