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The Great Masquerade

June 2, 2010

Taken from The New York Times, May 11, 1997:

“In Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharatt’s personal diaries, there is an excerpt from May of 1955 in which he quotes Moshe Dayan as follows: “[Israel] must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument with which to keep its morale high and to retain its moral tension. Toward this end it may, no — it must — invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge…And above all — let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space.” Quoted in Livia Rokach, “Israel’s Sacred Terrorism.”

“Moshe Dayan, the celebrated commander who, as Defense Minister in 1967, gave the order to conquer the Golan…[said] many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland…[Dayan stated] ‘They didn’t even try to hide their greed for the land…We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was…The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.’”

I don’t feel that a commentary is necessary.  There are enough commentators out there trying to re-cast events and facts in their own particular vision of the world as it is.  Nothing like getting it from the horse’s mouth.

It is incredible that in such an age of ‘evidence’ overload, reaching the facts at their true source has become so unbelievably hampered by the multitude of attempts en route aiming to steer that journey off its course.

This site aims to encourage logical, reasoned and courteous discussion unmarred by the malignant stamp of sophistry. Any responses breaching any of these principles will be merrily chucked into the shredder and recycled to make Gandhi cardboard cut-outs.

Really.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2010 11:56 am

    I wrote a senior paper on the Israel/Palestine conflict, with quotes made up entirely from Israeli newspapers as well as other sources, such as journals, and nationally popular Rabbis – they damn themselves, in my opinion. Too bad no one wants to scratch the surface of lies in order to find the truth.

  2. Levantine permalink
    June 2, 2010 12:35 pm

    I abhor the misrepresentation of any data. I would be much more likely to respect or trust in a representation of evidence or data which acknowledges both the supporting and refuting evidence, than one which selectively portrays self-supporting evidence and merely makes me question the competence of the writer/reporter. In the long-term, hiding refuting evidence will only harm the person selectively hiding it; evidence against one’s position is valuable as it can force us to address shortcomings in our own argument or position. How else can progress be achieved?

    No-one ever got anywhere from only ever being sweetened with reassurances and compliments.

    After a defeat of whatever kind, the Arabs have (had) a tradition of holding themselves to account for where they went wrong and what they could have done better. Irrespective of the crimes of an enemy against them, ultimately all that mattered was their own shortcoming – after all, you cannot control the strengths or flaws of an opponent through criticising them, but you can make the best of either through self-development. The new culture of blameshifting – both imported from colonialists and cultivated in situ through (in my belief) the decaying of intellect and general humanity – has much to answer for. I don’t think there would be as much conflict in that region if the Arabs had not stopped asking themselves: where did we go wrong?

    I believe that historic Jews similarly had a more noble position in the past, but I’m not informed enough on the matter to risk expounding.

    • June 2, 2010 1:26 pm

      Hmm, what you say about the Arab’s holding themselves to account is very interesting. I have known several Palestinians who viewed this trouble in that manner. One in particular thought it was divine retribution against the Arabs for the way they had treated their daughters, wives, sisters etc. He thought that collectively, many women were never given land that belonged to them or they were promised, being instead passed over for men, and that was why this conflict was happening. Interesting, but I’m in no position to make any kind of informed comment about that, and really, I don’t see how anyone could.

      I think what is even more damaging than misinformation and outright lies is the subtle wordplay the media outlets use. For instance, I can’t remember where I read this, but the use of the phrase “Palestinian aggression” is often used repeatedly, up to 15 times or so in short US news pieces about the conflict. Well, it might not be an outright lie in some cases, but it’s an ingenious and insidious way of turning people’s minds subconsciously in one direction.

      Really interesting post, thanks!

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