The Tribune has chosen (March 7th) to publish a paid political advertisement from the American Jewish Committee titled "The Other Refugees." In doing so, it has consented to print a series of defamatory lies that have long since been exposed as such by serious scholars of Middle Eastern history. Arab Jews were not "forced to flee for their lives" from Arab countries after the founding of Israel in 1948. The goal of Israel's leaders was to encourage them to emigrate, and many did so by choice. Others were provoked by increasing tensions between Israel and Arab governments, to which Israel's foreign policies clearly contributed greatly, and by design. In Egypt and Iraq, Israeli agents launched terrorist attacks against Jews and blamed them on Arabs, in order to provoke fear and eventual flight. This effort was ultimately successful. In Morocco, the government simply begged Jews to stay. This effort was unsuccessful. In Yemen, Israeli planes swooped down upon the Jewish population and transported it to Israel. In no case was systematic terror perpetrated by an Arab government or population against its Jewish citizens. In Algeria, Jewish emigration was provoked by violent Arab resistance to French colonialist rule, and most Jews moved to France, not Israel.
Indeed, the only truly systematic terror, expropriation, and flight was committed by Israel against the Palestinians. Yet, the AJC repeats the old canard that in 1948 "Arab leaders encouraged (the Palestinians) to fight and then flee Israel with the expectation of a quick return." This charge has been exposed as pure historical propaganda, even by Jewish Israeli historians, but will simply not be allowed to die as long as it is of use to Israel's defenders. While Jewish organizations receive billions from Jewish holocaust reparations, these false accusations serve as a transparent means of justifying the denial of compensation to the Palestinians, whose right of return the AJC claims will bring about "Israel's national suicide." In any event, it appears that support for Israel has brought about the intellectual suicide of AJC leaders who, knowingly or unknowingly, resort to lies in their unbending support of Israel's policies of continued expansion and dispossession.