Daniel Haboucha is an aspiring writer and social activist. He recently
graduated from law school in Montreal, Canada, and is currently living in
Jerusalem as a 2012-13 Dorot Fellow.
Though his father and his entire family were forced to leave Egypt in the
early 1960s, abandoning their community, their country of birth, and much
of their property, Daniel has published a lengthy article in Times of
Israel opposing the recently launched campaign to win international
recognition for the plight of the approximately 700,000 Arab Jews, or
Mizrahim, who fled their homes following Israel s establishment in 1948.
As some of the information he provides is implausible I added a comment
to his article asking for clarification, to which he has not yet
Click here for his article
My comment is repeated below
Dear Daniel Haboucha.
I would appreciate your clarification of the following.
1. What is the source of your statement "When Yitzhak Rabin wrote a
description in his memoirs of how he personally oversaw the expulsion of
nearly 70,000 Palestinian civilians from Lydda and Ramle during a week of
fighting in June 1948, Israeli authorities went so far as to censor the
censor the testimony of their former prime minister"?
Please correct me if I am wrong but to the best of my knowledge Rabin did
not oversee the expulsion from Lydda. The officer in charge was Yigal
The portion of Rabin's memoirs that was censored referring to
"driving out" was introduced in a translation from Hebrew by
journalist Peretz Kidron, who passed it on to David Shipler of The New
York Times, who published it on 23 October 1979. This is consequently a
third hand quotation which was contradicted by a first hand statement by
Yigal Allon in an interview with The New York Times two days later. He
said "I was his [Rabin's] commander and my knowledge of the facts is
therefore more accurate," I did not ask the late Ben-Gurion for
permission to expel the population of Lydda. I did not receive such
permission and did not give such orders.
If you are interested in learning more FACTS facts about the
circumstances of the expulsion of Arabs from Lydda as observed by a
participant in the Israel army operation, I refer you to
2. Your statement that in declaring Judaism to be a nationality, Zionism
transformed Jews in Arab countries from members of a deeply rooted
religious minority into enemy nationals. is puzzling.
When was Judaism declared to be a nationality and by whom? Are you saying
that Herzl's Zionism is the root cause of all the animosity to Jews in
Arab countries and that Zionism and the creation of Israel are
3. You say that many Arab countries have indeed already invited Jews to
4. You state "Given that the expulsion of the Arab Jews took place
after that of the Palestinians, the former can hardly be said to have
caused the latter. If anything, it could be argued that the expulsion of
the Palestinians precipitated that of the Arab Jews, which would only
inculpate Israel further".
Your statement is seen to be mistaken when viewed in the context of the
Arab rejection of the UN partition resolution and the invasion of the
newly declared state of Israel by the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan,
Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon as well as the Arab Liberation Army
commanded by Fawzi al-Kaukji; seven armies in all which preceded the Arab
flight. It must also be seen in the context of Arab villages like Abu
Ghosh which did not attack Israel.
5. Your categorical statement that the Israeli government has
demonstrated an aversion to peace talks, is contradicted by President
Abbas' adamant refusal to meet for the purpose of negotiating peace
unless Israel agrees in advance to the return of the Arab refugees and
withdrawal to the 1967 lines as well as the offers made by Barak and
I look forward to your response.