Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fabricated Ben Gurion Quote Used in Pro-Palestinian Evangelical Film

The Committee on Accuracy on Middle East Reporting's blog exposes a glaring inaccuracy in the 2010 documentary "With God On Our Side." The film produced by Rooftop Production LLC is an evangelical response to Christian Zionism.

The film's Facebook page describes the production:
With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God's chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel's security as a whole.
The accompanying study guide to the film was mostly taken from evangelical pastor Stephen Sizer's book, Zion’s Christian Soldiers (Downers Grove, IVP). Sizer, as previously noted in this blog is Vicar of Christ Church in Surrey, UK and has recently been part of a pro-Palestinian forum of speakers in Malaysia which include pro-Hamas speakers and noted anti-Semitic apologists.

With God On Our Side assails Christian Zionists for their alleged failure to think through their support of Israel. According to the CAMERA blog, the film is a "jaundiced summary of Israeli history."

In one scene of this propaganda piece, the narrator reports the following:
In a letter to his son in 1937 David Ben Gurion, who would later become the first Prime Minister of Israel, stated “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as war.”
According to the CAMERA post, that even though this quite fits well with producer Porter Speakman's agenda, it’s nothing but a fabrication. It's a fake quote that was debunked well before the 2010 release date of With God On Our Side.

I quote from a portion of a  letter from Benney Morris to the Independent, UK dated November 2006 that  proves the usage of the Ben Gurion quote in With God on Our Side is a fabrication:

Hari quotes David Ben-Gurion as saying in 1937: ‘I support compulsory transfer ... The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war.’ The first part of the quote (‘I support compulsory transfer’) is genuine; the rest (‘The Arabs will have to go ... such as a war’) is an invention, pure and simple, either by Hari or by whomever he is quoting (Ilan Pappe?)
 It is true that Ben-Gurion in 1937-38 supported the transfer of the Arabs out of the area of the Jewish state-to-be – which was precisely the recommendation of the British Royal (Peel) Commission from July 1937, which investigated the Palestine problem. The commission concluded that the only fair settlement was by way of partition, with the Jews receiving less than 20 per cent of Palestine, but that, for it to be viable, the 20 per cent should be cleared of potentially hostile, disloyal Arabs. (Britain, incidentally, at the end of World War II supported the expulsion to Germany of the German Sudeten minority, which had helped Hitler destroy and occupy Czechoslovakia – for precisely the same reasons.) The Arabs, then and later, rejected the principle of partition as well as the specific Peel proposals.
Neither Ben-Gurion nor the Zionist movement ‘planned’ the displacement of the 700,000-odd Arabs who moved or were removed from their homes in 1948. There was no such plan or blanket policy. Transfer was never adopted by the Zionist movement as part of its platform; on the contrary, the movement always accepted that the Jewish state that arose would contain a sizeable Arab minority.
But in 1947-48 the Palestinian Arabs, joined by invading Arab states’ armies from outside, launched a war whose aim – which they (and even Pappe, Israel’s Lord Haw-Haw) have never denied – was to destroy the nascent state of Israel (and quite probably its inhabitants as well). But – what can you do? – the Arabs were beaten. And in the course of beating them, the Israelis drove out the Palestinians, who were not ‘totally innocent ... peasants’ (a ludicrous phrase). Their villages and towns served as the bases from which their militiamen and armies attacked Jewish communities and convoys.
The ‘innocent’ Palestinians were the aggressors – and dispossession was the price they paid for their aggression. In the circumstances, had the Jews not driven them out, Israel would not have arisen and its (Jewish) population would have been slaughtered – or, at the least, the Jewish state would have been established with a considerable Fifth Column in its midst and rendered mortally unstable. (Conversely, had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN Partition Resolution, refrained from violence, and gone on with their lives as loyal Israeli citizens, nothing would have happened to them.)
Nonetheless, Israel emerged from the 1948 War with a 160,000-strong Arab minority (alongside 700,000 Jews) – a fact that tends to undermine the charge that there was a blanket policy of ethnic cleansing.
It is important that evangelicals who view the film With God On Our Side are equipped with factual information that  debunk the lies and deliberate historical inaccuracies that are found in the Rooftop Productions film.

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