Sunday, July 24, 2016

Reading Exodus by Leon Uris: Part 7

Continuing from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6 let us continuing looking at the 1958 novel Exodus by Leon Uris. With the United Nations agreeing to partition Palestine in November 1947 tensions between the Yishuv and the Palestinians allied with the surrounding Arab nations break out into war.

Gan Dafna Besieged

Mohammad Kassi sent his men to go to Abu Yesha to prepare to seize Gan Dafna.
The Arabs of Abu Yesha resented the presence of the irregulars. They had been neighbors of the people of Yad El for decades; their homes had been built by the Jews. They were not angry and had no desire to fight... (p. 491.)
So these people went to Taha to ask him to stop the irregulars. However Taha chose to be silent about these irregulars.
His silence sealed the fate of Abu Yesha, for the fellaheen [Palestinian peasants] were helpless without leadership. They quietly submitted to the occupation. (p. 491.)
Why would these Palestinians be "helpless without leadership"? Do they not have their own individual initiatives and interests that they pursue? This is a denial of the Palestinians' own initiative. This is an unrealistic stereotype of Palestinians.

Kassi's irregulars proceed to attack Gan Dafna while station in Fort Esther and Abu Yesha. Ari hoped that the Palestinians in Abu Yesha would turn against Kassi's irregulars. It is stated that the Palestinians in Gan Dafna had no desire to fight Gan Dafna and that some sent food to them but were caught doing so.
There was anger in Abu Yesha but it was no more than grumbling on an individual level. Then four Abu Yesha Arabs were caught by the irregulars running food up to Gan Dafna. [They were executed.] ... From that point on Abu Yesha was completely subdued. Ari had guessed wrong. (p. 491.)
With Gan Dafna besieged from Fort Esther and Abu Yesha all the inhabitants of Gan Dafna, even the children, rally together to fight the Palestinians and irregulars from outside Palestine seeking to dissolve by force the dream of a Jewish state.
Everyone knew his job. They switched onto emergency footing quickly and quietly. All children over the age of ten were assigned to an active part in the village defense. (p. 491.)
The shelling from Fort Esther continued for ten days inevitably claiming victims.
Gan Dafna drew its first casualties when a shell exploded near the entrance of a shelter and killed two children. (p. 493.)
The headquarters of the Haganah in Tel Aviv sent its recommendation that the children in these borderline settlements near the border to be evacuated closer to the sea.
On the one hand, the farmers would fight more fiercely with their children close by. On the other hand, massacre was a horrible specter to contemplate. (p. 493.)
Evacuation by sea in the event of complete defeat is viewed as a possibility too terrible to contemplate.
The evacuation of the children was a doubly painful thing for these pioneers, for it became symbolic of further retreat. Most of them had fled from former horror to come to this place and their farms were the last line of retreat. Beyond Palestine there was no hope. (p. 493.)
Nevertheless the children were evacuated.

Nationalist Faith 

Worried about the children being evacuated Kitty and Jordana share their worries about the children with each other. Eventually Jordana ends up talking about faith.
"I have been telling myself over and over that they are going to come through all right. Then I began thinking of the thousands of things that can go wrong."
"It is impossible not to think about it," Jordana said, "but it is in the hands of God now."
"God? Yes, He does special things here," Kitty said.
"If you don't get religion in Palestine, I doubt that you'll get it anywhere," Jordana said. "I cannot remember the time that we have not lived on faith. We actually have little else to sustain us."
Coming from Jordana Ben Canaan, the words sounded strange, yet--not strange at all. On the surface Jordana did not appear to harbor a deep faith ... but what else could give her the power to exist under this constant tension if it were not faith? (p. 497.)

Nationalist Archaeology

Kitty and Jordana continue their conversation. Jordana ends up talking about archaeology. The author makes Jordana cite the archaeological remains of Jews living in Palestine as a reason why Jews must live on this particular land.
[Jordana:] "...We went out on an archaeological expedition together into the Negev Desert. We were trying to find the exact route of Moses and the ten tribes in the in the Wilderness of Zin and Paran."
[Kitty:] "I hear it's pretty desolate out there."
[Jordana:] "No, actually there are ruins of hundreds of Nabataean cities. The cisterns still have water in them. If you run in luck you can find all kinds of antiquities."
[Kitty:] "It sounds exciting."
[Jordana:] "It is, but it is terribly hard work. David loves digging for ruins. He feels the glory of our people all around us. Like so many others ... that is why the Jews can never be separated from this land. [Jordana states her hope that she and David will graduate from Hebrew University,] ... and then we shall excavate a big, big Hebrew city. ..." (p. 498-9.)
This is nationalism. Nationalism never existed before the present modern era. The Jews of the Biblical era did not have nationalism. The dream of a Jewish state only began in the modern era. It only began to arise as a political movement from around the 1880s partly in response to deadly anti-Semitic pogroms in the Russian Empire.

Before the modern era Jews lived all over the world but they did not have nationalism so they had no particular longing to migrate to the Holy Land. Their homes was wherever they happened to live. Even when in 1292 King Edward I viciously expelled Jews out of England ethnically cleansing the Kingdom, in that severe and horrifying distress those innocent Jews did not think to migrate to Palestine and set up a Jewish state there. Instead they mainly moved to the Netherlands and France. They did this because the dream of nationalism never existed among them. Instead the dream of creating a Jewish state did not take root among any large section of the Jewish community until the 1880s. Nationalism is a modern idea.

The author then has Jordana suggest that those who grew up in Palestine among the Yishuv are incapable of living anywhere else.
It seems that we sabras are a strange breed made for fighting. We cannot adjust to living in other places. They all come back to Palestine sooner or later--but they grow old so quickly here. (p. 499.)
This is a vague statement which is difficult to verify. It cannot be literally true.

The Battle of Gan Dafna

The Arab militiamen then advance to attack Gan Dafna. The cataclysmic and harrowing battle begins. The initial attack is repulsed. After this Zev Gilboa advances against the Arab militiamen but he is fatally wounded by gunfire. Zev is unable to return to his comrades and is unable to walk being trapped within barbed wire. Seeing this Ari throws a couple of grenades to Zev. When the Arab militiamen arrive to the wounded Zev he blows himself up to get the militiamen.

Arabs Slurred as Superstitious

One minor character, Yarkoni, is described as fighting elsewhere. While his exploits are described Palestinians and Arabs in general are vilified and denigrated as superstitious people.
Yarkoni had lived in Morocco and he knew his enemy. The Arab was a superstitious man, with an unnatural fear of the dark. Yarkoni used the darkness like extra troops. The Palmach night patrols, merely by shooting off firecrackers, kept the Arab population in a panic. (p. 509.)
Also note how Palestinians, Moroccans and the Arab militiamen are equated as being part of the same people. Alleged behavior among Moroccans is used to explain alleged behavior among Palestinians and Arabs from the surrounding nations fighting the Yishuv.

The Palestinian Refugees

Pages 510-1 contain a fictionalized account of the Davidka being used. It is noted that its loud noise intimidating the Palestinians and the Arabs who fought the Yishuv. It is notably triumphalist written with a flavor of humor that the other side would probably not appreciate.
The Arabs quaked in terror as the Jews revenged some of the hundred years of torment. (p. 512.)
On the third day of battle Ari spreads a rumor among the informers insisting that the rain was caused by the Yishuv using a nuclear bomb. This rumor caused many of the Palestinians of Safed to flee for their lives.
The Little David roared and the rain turned to a deluge and the panic was on. Inside of two hours the roads out of Safed were clogged with fleeing Arabs. (p. 513.)
These were fleeing Palestinian civilians. These Palestinian refugees hoped that once the war ended they would return home. After the war ended in 1949 the Israeli government refused to let them return. This remains the case to this day.
Ari's men were thrown off the Acropolis by irregulars and a handful of angry Safed Arabs. He [Ari] lost heavily but the Safed population continued to run. (p. 513.)
Those Palestinians of Safed were angry because they were being thrown out of their homes. No wonder they were angry.

Despite just previously stating that some of the Palestinians of Safed were fighting the Palmach personnel earlier, the Palestinians of Safed are slurred as cowards unwilling to fight for their land.  
Now those who had for decades tormented and murdered the Cabalists in wild mobs had their chance to stand and fight, but they fled in the face of the Jewish wrath. ... When he [Ari] arrived he was astounded to discover that the Arabs had abandoned the Taggart fort, a position it would have been impossible to take. With the fort in his hands, the conquest of Safed was complete. (p. 513.)
... the stampede of Safed's population had opened a new and tragic chapter--it began the creation of Arab refugees. (p. 514.)
Meaning Palestinian refugees. The fighters from other Arab nations could merely go home to among the various Arab countries after the war. But the Palestinian refugees who wanted to return home after the war were not allowed to return by the Israeli government.

It is mentioned that a plane piloted by South Africans and Americans surreptitiously sent arms to the Yishuv at a rendezvous point that was carefully hidden after receiving the arms. (p. 514.)
At that point a fantastic events took place. The Arabs suddenly announced, to the general astonishment, that the entire population wished to leave. The procedure followed the curious pattern of Safed and many of the villages. It was a strange spectacle to see whole Arab populations stampeding for the Lebanese border, with no one pursuing them. (p. 515.)
There was nothing mysterious about this mass flight. The Palestinians were afraid of the forces of the Yishuv and fled to protect themselves. Furthermore in real life many of the Palestinians were forcibly expelled by the forces of the Yishuv. The expulsion of Palestinians from Ramle and Lydda being but one example. Regardless of the precise circumstances the Palestinian refugees fled they were restricted from returning to their homes by the Israeli government after the war ended.

Fall of Beth Ha-Arava

Beth Ha-Arava, a town of the Yishuv near the Dead Sea, is mentioned. An allusion to the legend of the "empty land" is made.
When the Jews came to this place no living thing had grown in the alkaline soil in all of history. .... they built a modern farm. (p. 517.)
In actual fact most towns of the Yishuv were built on inhabited land that had been purchased. Often such land was purchased by the Jewish National Fund.

Beth Ha-Arava was quite isolated from the rest of the Yishuv so the town fell to the Arab Legion and they were expelled. (p. 517.)


The Israeli Declaration of Independence is described. (pp. 517-20.)

During the declaration it is mentioned that the new State of Israel "will safeguard holy places of all religions" (p. 519). Actually during the Israeli War of Independence many Palestinian Christian churches were desecrated and sacked by the armed forces of the Yishuv.

At times the Yishuv's victory over the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab nations is presented as inexplicable. But elsewhere one factor in the Arab nations' defeat is alluded to, namely lack of coordination.
If there was a master plan there was no master commander, for each Arab country had its own idea of who should run the armies and each Arab country had its own idea of who should rule Palestine afterward. (p. 520.)
There was no miracle victory in 1947-9. The Yishuv were more able to coordinate themselves and work together to defeat the Palestinians and hold back advances by the surrounding Arab nations. The Arab nations had to move their forces over long distances to reach the battlefield. The Yishuv were close to the front lines and could quickly protect their positions.

The Deir Yassin Massacre 

The infamous Deir Yassin massacre is alluded to in this fictionalized massacre.
Then the blackest blot on the Jewish record occurred. The Maccabees were given the high Arab village of Neve Sadij to hold. In a strange and inexplicable sequence of events a panic broke out among Maccabee troops and they opened a wild and unnecessary firing. Once started it could not be stopped. More than two hundred Arab civilians were massacred. With the Neve Sadij massacre the Maccabees, who had proved so valuable, had fixed a stigma on the young nation that would take decades to erase. (p. 523.)
This is a fictionalized account. Most likely it alludes to the Deir Yassin massacre of April 9, 1948 which occurred before the Israeli declaration of independence.

The Yishuv's Triumph

An ambush against Syrian soldiers in Dagania A is mentioned that successfully repulsed them never to return. (p. 524.)

It is mentioned that a rifleman shot down an airplane belonging to Syria in Ayelet Hashahar. (p. 525.)

It is stated that some in Lebanon were sympathetic to the State of Israel.
The Lebanese, mostly Christian Arabs, had some leaders who were sympathetic to Zionism, and these people had little desire to fight. (p. 525.)
French officials had drawn up Lebanon's borders to make sure that there would be a Christian majority there hoping to use them to rule over the diverse people of Lebanon. Long after the novel was published the State of Israel would invade Lebanon and ally themselves with allies from among the Lebanese.

It is stated that Ari mastered how to wage war against the Palestinians and the Arab armies.
He evolved a "defense-offense" plan: those settlements not under direct pressure organized offenses and took objectives rather than sitting and waiting for an attack. (p. 525.)
It is stated that Ein Gev was compelled to live their lives underground due to Syrian bombardment. (p. 525.)

It is mentioned that a ship embarking from Italy to send arms to the Arabs is cunningly sabotaged by Barak Ben Canaan. (pp. 527-30.)

The Destruction of Abu Yesha

Later Ari meets Avidan who used to be the leader of the Haganah. They discuss the war situation. During their dialog it is implied that Palestinian villages in Nazareth and the Galilee region were spared because they were Christians and willing to live in peace with the newly established state created by the Yishuv.
[Avidan:] "If we take Nazareth I think we've got it all. We'll have the whole Galilee then, all the roads from east to west."
[Ari:] "What about the Arab villages in the area?"
[Avidan:] "Mostly Christian, as you know. They've already sent delegations down here to see us. They've asked Kawukji to leave. At any rate, they're not interested in fighting."
[Ari:] "Good." (p. 531.)
Avidan orders Ari to capture Abu Yesha. (p. 532.)

Ari objects saying he knew the people of Abu Yesha since he was young and that he is persuaded that they are not a threat. Avidan does not share Ari's optimistic view. Avidan insists that the Palestinians have given him no choice but to expel them refusing to take responsibility for his orders of expulsion.
We've begged the Palestine Arabs a thousand times to stay out of this fight. No one wants to drive them from their homes. Those villages that have shown loyalty have been left alone. But the others have left us no choice. (p. 533.)
And so Ari Ben Canaan, Ben Ami and Yarkoni plan for "the removal of Abu Yesha as an Arab base." (p. 533.) In other words the Palestinian village was to be destroyed. 

It is mentioned that Arab positions were quickly seized by Ari's fighters. It is mentioned that the Palestinians and Arabs there fled to Lebanon. (p. 535.)

David Ben Ari takes command of the destruction of Abu Yesha. (p. 536.)

There follows a violent battle to clear out the Palestinians holding out in the village of Abu Yesha. All the Palestinians there, about 100 of them, are killed in the battle. Seventeen Palmach soldiers are killed in the battle. (p. 536.)

Ari is reluctant to do so but he orders the destruction of Abu Yesha.
"What is going to become of their fields? ... What will become of them ... where will they go ...? ... Is the house by the stream?"
"No," David said. "Try to remember it as it was."
"What will become of them? They are my friends." ... [David states that he would give the order if Ari would not do so. Then Ari announced he would do it. And so Ari] looked at the village for the last time. "Destroy Abu Yesha." (p. 537.)
With the buildings demolished it is less likely that the Palestinian refugees who had fled earlier would be able to return to their homes. Those Palestinians became refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. They were citizens of Mandatory Palestine but now that Mandatory Palestine no longer existed they were rendered stateless. They made it clear that they wanted to return home but the Israeli government refused to let them return.

The Battle of Jerusalem

Meanwhile war erupted in Jerusalem. The commander of the Palmach forces there not only fought against the Palestinians and the allied Arabs from the surrounding nations, but were hampered by the fact that the ultra-Orthodox Jews wanted nothing to do with the creation of a Jewish state and made their feelings clear .
He was further burdened by the fact that a large part of the population, ultra-Orthodox and fanatical Jews, not only refused to fight, but obstructed the efforts of the Haganah to protect them. (p. 538.)
It is mentioned that the forces of the Yishuv were sustained by finding ancient cisterns. It is implied that the discovery of these cisterns was miraculous.
Cisterns two and three thousand years old were known to exist under Jerusalem. The Jews located them, tore the covers from them and discovered that, as if by a miracle, they still held water. Until emergency pipelines could be built, these ancient cisterns were all that kept the Jews from dying of thirst. (p. 539.)
David Ben Ami is moved by the situation in Jerusalem and proposes making a sixteen kilometer route that bypasses Arab held Latrun to send supplies to the forces of the Yishuv in Jerusalem. His girlfriend, Jordana, begs him not to go and fight the war in some other ways. David does not listen her and he volunteers to carry out his proposal.

Jordana becomes very worried about her beloved David. She is then told that David died in battle after leading a charge in an attempt to capture Mount Zion. (p. 545.)

The Akiva (Altalena) Affair

The Altalena affair of June 1948 is alluded to in the novel. A jurisdictional dispute arose between the Israel Defense Force, formerly the Palmach, on the one hand against the Irgun who are represented by the Maccabees in the novel. The Irgun had acquired their own arms and it was being delivered on the ship, the Altalena. The IDF insisted that these arms should be handed over to them as the militias of the Yishuv had to now unify themselves. The Irgun refused to accept this and insisted on keeping their arms and distributing them to Irgun personnel only. As the Altalena approached the shore the IDF decided it was unacceptable and attacked the Altalena. Seventeen Irgun personnel and three Palmach personnel were killed in the battle. The Irgun got the message and merged with the Israel Defense Force.

In the novel this affair is related in a fictionalized story in which the ship is replaced by a plane named the Akiva. The Palmach sent fighter planes which shot the plane down. (pp. 546-7.)

The Maccabees (Irgun) Assessed

With the end of this fictional Akiva incident the author seems to sum up his opinion of the Maccabees possibly revealing his views of the Irgun. The author assesses that while the Maccabees' attacks were effective against the British they were unable to forge among themselves the discipline necessary to triumph in a full scale war as opposed to the Palmach.
Once the British were gone, terror tactics lost their usefulness and the Maccabees appeared unable to accept the discipline that a field army required. (p. 547.)
The author writes that the Maccabees were only able to accomplish one prominent victory, namely at Jaffa. The massacre in Neve Sadij (the fictionalized Deir Yassin) is mentioned.
Their massacre at the village of Neve Sadij remained as the one great black mark against the Jews. (p. 547.)
We cannot blame all Jews for what happened in that massacre. Those who committed it are responsible.

In fact there were other killings committed by the forces of the Yishuv. The King David Hotel bombing for instance which was mentioned earlier in this novel. It seems strange that the bombing seems to be overlooked in this passage. Of course there were other incidents as well as is seen here and here all of which are ignored in the statement above.

The author seems to share his assessment of the Irgun here.
After the Akiva incident they remained as an angry, defiant, political group whose basic tenet was that force conquered all problems. (p. 547.)
At first the State of Israel was ruled by left leaning parties. After the election of 1978 the heirs of the Irgun, namely the Likud party led by Menachem Begin, was elected to power and since then Likud has been in power most of the time in the State of Israel.

Israeli Victory

The flawless Ari appears again. He leads an IDF attack against the forces led by Kawukji in the north.
With the fall of Nazareth the hostile Arab villages in the central Galilee collapsed and Kawukji led a flight to the Lebanese border. The Israelis commanded the entire Galilee and all its roads. (p. 548.)
And it was not only those who took up arms against the Yishuv who fled. Many Palestinians fled as refugees over the border in Lebanon. Many others also fled to Syria, Jordan, the West Bank occupied by Jordan and the Gaza Strip administered, but not claimed by, Egypt. They were citizens of Palestine but Palestine no longer existed as a political entity. The Palestinians wanted to go home. The Arab nations wanted the Palestinians to return to their homes. The Arab nations did not ask to have all these Palestinian refugees to have fled to them for protection from the forces of the Yishuv. But the Israeli government would not allow them to return even after the war ended.

The author boasts that Israeli forces had the ability to sweep into Beirut and Damascus.
With Kawukji banished, the Jews [the State of Israel's military forces] pulled back to their own borders, although there had been little to stop them from going clear to Beirut and Damascus. (p. 549.)
That is not a miracle victory. That statement indicates that the State of Israel was militarily superior compared with the surrounding Arab nations.

The Egyptian front in the south collapsed and turned into a rout. During one truce a certain Egyptian officer named Nasser managed to escape encirclement by Israeli forces. (p. 550.)

As the Israeli military advanced into the Sinai the British insisted that they remain in what had been Mandatory Palestine.
In warning, the British sent Spitfire fighters into the sky to gun the Israelis. It seemed only fitting somehow that the last shots of the War of Liberation were against the British. The Israeli Air Force brought down six British fighter jets. (p. 550.)
After the Arab nations were defeated by the newly established State of Israel the Arab nations' governments were discredited and lost respect from their peoples. In 1952 the King of Egypt was overthrown in a military coup. The author compares those who took over in Egypt as being like Nazis even though the Egyptian people did not commit the genocide of the Holocaust.
Farouk was thrown out of Egypt by a clique of militarists who spoke the pages of an Arab Mein Kampf. Intrigue and murder, the old Arab game, raged at full force. (p. 550.)
And so Arabs are once again stereotyped in this novel as being violent. As though violence had not broken out in other nations as well.

What About the Palestinian Refugees?

But while the State of Israel emerged militarily triumphant and had succeeded in carving out their position as an independent state politically there were still problems to deal with. About 750,000 Palestinians had been expelled by the forces of the Yishuv and these Palestinian refugees demanded that they be allowed to return to their homes in the land now ruled by the State of Israel. The Arab nations did not ask for these Palestinians to come into their lands since their homes were in what had now become the State of Israel. The Arab nations insisted that the State of Israel should take responsibility for casting these Palestinians out of their homes and let them return. What would the Israeli government do about this? How is the author of this novel going to respond to this situation?
The Arab people of Palestine had long ago accepted the return of the Jews and were prepared to live in peace and benefit from the progress which had been brought after a thousand sterile years. (p. 551.)
This belittles the Palestinians who lived there in the thousand years before Jews, mainly from Europe and Russia, began to migrate there. Palestine was the home of its people. To say that they were "sterile years" is a slur against the people who lived there.

While it is well known that there was a Jewish presence there in centuries past these Jews from Europe and Russia had never lived there before. They had no previous connection with the land of Palestine within living memory. But the Palestinians had lived there since birth.

The author asserts the Palestinians were maliciously misled by their leaders into having irrational fears of the Yishuv.
They were victimized by racist polemics and filled with a fear of a militant "Zionism" that never existed. Arab leaders exploited their ignorance for their own willful purposes. (p. 551.)
The expulsion of about 750,000 Palestinians out of the newly established State of Israel in 1947-9 confirmed the worst fears of the Palestinians. The Palestinian refugees who desperately tried to rebuild their lives where they had sought refuge in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and elsewhere needed no polemicist to be scared of the State of Israel. That they were expelled from their homes and that the Israeli government refused to let their return to their homes after the war was more than enough to confirm their fears of the State of Israel. They spoke out to the Arabs of the surrounding nations to try and go home in the land now claimed by the State of Israel.

The author then tries to address the issue of the Palestinian refugees who had been expelled by the State of Israel and who yearned to return to their homes.
The aftermath of the War of Liberation involved one of the thorniest dilemmas of the century--the Arab refugee problem. More than half a million Palestine Arabs had fled from their homes to neighboring Arab states. All discussion of the disposition of these people became bogged down in furious arguments, accusations, confusion, nationalism, and incrimination. The issue became so involved and mired that it turned into a political time bomb.

Barak Ben Canaan was called upon once more to serve his country. The government of Israel asked him to make a complete study of this apparently insolvable situation. He made a painstaking investigation and his findings filled several hundred pages. In a short summary, Barak shed light on what appeared to be a hopelessly confused problem. (p. 551.) 
So the author writes Barak's response to this issue which is referred to as "one of the thorniest dilemmas of the century", "this apparently insolvable situation" and "a hopelessly confused problem."

The author's Barak complains that the neighboring Arab governments are complaining about the Palestinian refugees.
[Barak Ben Canaan's report:] The Arabs have gone to great lengths to describe the plight of these war victims and to keep the refugee camps as working models to demonstrate to the world Jewish cruelty. Indeed, those who visit these wretched souls are certain to be touched by their plight. The Arabs would have the world believe that the Palestine Arab refugee is unique. (p. 552.)
Those refugees wanted to go back to their in the land ruled by the State of Israel. Barak responds to the Palestinian refugees' earnest desire to go home.
[Barak Ben Canaan's report:] ... it is inconceivable that Israel could even consider resettlement of a hostile minority, pledged to destroy the State. (p. 553.)
In other words the Israeli government does not want the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. This is not complicated. This is the important phrase. The rest of this section merely expands upon this statement.
[Barak Ben Canaan's report:] There is much lush, fertile, and empty land in the seven million square miles of the Arab world. The Tigris-Euphrates Valley, one example, has some of the richest unused land in the world. It is inhabited by a handful of Bedouins. This section alone could take not only the half million but ten million others as well. (p. 553.)
So not only was Palestine supposedly empty, the author seems to think parts of Iraq is empty as well. Iraq is the home of ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians, the Akkadians and the Babylonians. Iraq was continuously inhabited since Biblical times. How can the author imagine that a land like that could be empty? There was no empty land in Iraq or Mandatory Palestine.

The author has Barak deny that the Palestinian refugees had any love for the land they lived on, the properties they owned, the land they were born in. It is insisted that if they loved their land they would not have left. In fact they were expelled and forced to leave by the forces of the Yishuv.
[Barak Ben Canaan's report:] The Arabs argue that the Palestine refugees hemselves do not want to be resettled but want their farms in Palestine back. This is sheer nonsense. The Arabs have cried crocodile tears over the great love these poor fellaheen have for their lost homes. ...

If the Arabs of Palestine loved their land, they could not have been forced from it--much less run from it without real cause. The Arabs had little to live for, much less to fight for. This is not the reaction of a man who loves his land. A man who loves his land, as the Arabs profess, will stand and die for it. (pp. 553-4.)
The author has Barak ridicule the Arab governments for claiming that the State of Israel had expansionist intentions.
[Barak Ben Canaan's report:] The Arabs tell the world that the State of Israel has expansionist ideas. Exactly how a nation of less than a million people can expand against fifty million is an interesting question. (p. 554.)
On October 29, 1956, two years before the novel's publication, the State of Israel advanced into the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and in just nine days seized control of it. In this conflict the State of Israel was allied with Britain and France and those governments wanted to punish the Egyptian government for nationalizing the Suez Canal. The State of Israel occupied the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula until March 1957 only withdrawing due to political pressure from President Eisenhower. Israel's military was clearly far superior to Egypt's forces.

Furthermore the author himself denounced the United Nations' partition plan as "an abortion" of a plan (p. 448). Clearly the author thought the Yishuv should have been allowed to rule over more of Mandatory Palestine.

Also the author boasted that the forces of the Yishuv could expand into Beirut or Damascus (p. 549). This statement that the State of Israel did not have expansionist intentions is hard to take seriously even when this novel was first published.

And after the novel's publication the State of Israel advanced into the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula in the Six Day War of 1967. The State of Israel was persuaded to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt after enduring the Yom Kippur War. The rest of the land acquired in 1967 remains under Israeli occupation to this day regardless of the views of the majority population in those lands. Then in 1982 the State of Israel advanced into Lebanon and ruled over parts of southern Lebanon until 2000. 

The author then has Barak offer to make the Arabs civilized like themselves. This statement accuses Arabs of being uncivilized.
[Barak Ben Canaan's report:] Israel today stands as the greatest single instrument for bringing the Arab people out of the Dark Ages. Only when the Arab people get leadership willing to grasp the hand extended in friendship will they begin to solve the problems which have kept them in moral and physical destitution. (p. 554.)
It is the Arab people who will advance themselves. They do not need outsiders to do it for them. This is true with any other people as well.

At this point book 4 of the novel ends.

To be continued...

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