Pluto author Ben White has written an editorial for Al Jazeera on a new propaganda initiative from the Israeli government. He writes how the new initiative is ‘taking direct aim at the core issue of Palestinian refugees through a manipulation of the stories of Jews who left Arab countries in the years after 1948.’
Quoting the article at length:
The main instigator of this ‘Justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries’ campaign – the name of a recent conference in Jerusalem – is Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, whose previous efforts have included laughing in the face of international law over dinner jazz.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Ayalon “called for the recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries… to counter the ‘Arab narrative’ of the Israeli- Arab conflict”. Ynet called it a “new hasbara campaign”.
But while some Israeli officials clearly have high hopes for this approach, talking up Jewish refugees as a way of ‘balancing out’ or neutralising Palestinian claims is a strategy long criticised by many Zionists.
Back in April, former director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry Alon Liel criticised the new focus, saying that “to define [Jews from Arab countries] as refugees is exaggerated”. Iraqi-Israeli former Knesset Speaker Shlomo Hillel has stated: “I do not regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”
To read the rest of White’s editorial, follow this link. His books can be purchased from the Pluto website through following the links below.
Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy
Ben White. Foreword by Haneen Zoabi
Argues that Israel’s insistence on declaring itself a Jewish state leads to discrimination, segregation and a guarantee of continued conflict.
“This book debunks convincingly and forcefully the myth of Israel being ‘the only democracy’ in the Middle East. As this book shows, the treatment of the Palestinians in Israel is the ultimate proof that the Jewish State is anything but democratic.” – Professor Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and Out of the Frame
“Essential reading to understand why there can never be peace unless Palestinian citizens of Israel are granted full equality, something they are systematically denied by Israel’s aggressive, and increasingly unrestrained Zionist ethnocracy.” – Ali Abunimah, Co-founder of Electronic Intifada, author of One Country
A Beginner’s Guide
Indispensable introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict, examining the current structures of Israeli domination.
“A very strong and clear voice that does not shun from exposing in full, and in a most accessible manner, the essence of Zionism and Israeli policies in Palestine. In a world confused by competing narratives, disinformation and fabrication, this book is an excellent guide for understanding the magnitude of the crimes committed against the Palestinians and the nature of their present suffering and oppression.” – Professor Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, Israeli historian and author of ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ (2007)
“This book deals rationally and cogently with a topic that almost always generates considerable heat even just with book titles. The reader may not agree with everything that White asserts but it is a highly commendable effort to throw light on a fraught subject.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate