Senator Lee Rhiannon - a member of the Greens Party holding a pivotal position in Australian politics - authorised and printed a deceptive and misleading pamphlet which was distributed at a protest rally addressed by her last Sunday in Sydney "against Israeli Apartheid and commemorating Al Nakba 68 years on."
The pamphlet purported to quote a statement by Israel's then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1969:
We came to a region of land that was inhabited by Arabs and we set up a Jewish State … Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages
What Dayan actually said – which Senator Rhiannon was apparently not prepared to disclose – was:
We came to a region that was inhabited by Arabs, and we set up a Jewish state. In many places, we purchased the land from Arabs and set up Jewish villages where there had once been Arab villages.
God forbid that those present should learn that Jews had actually purchased land from its Arab owners. Better to maintain the canard repeated in Palestinian text books and media that
...the Zionist gangs stole Palestine...
Moshe Aumann in his seminal work "Land ownership in Palestine 1880-1948" states that in 1948:
8.6 per cent of the land was owned by Jews and 3.3 per cent by Israeli Arabs, while 16.9 per cent had been abandoned by Arab owners who imprudently heeded the call from neighbouring countries to "get out of the way" while the invading Arab armies made short shrift of Israel. The rest of the land-over 70 per cent-had been vested in the Mandatory Power, and accordingly reverted to the State of Israel as its legal heir. (Government of Palestine, Survey of Palestine, 1946, British Government Printer, p. 257.) The greater part of this 70 per cent consisted of the Negev, some 3,144,250 acres all told, or close to 50 per cent of the 6,580,000 acres in all of Mandatory Palestine. Known as Crown or State Lands, this was mostly uninhabited arid or semi-arid territory, inherited originally by the Mandatory Government from Turkey. In 1948 it passed to the Government of Israel. These lands had not been owned by Arab farmers-neither under the British Mandate nor under the preceding regime.
Senator Rhiannon has a Parliamentary staff to assist her in ensuring everything that issues in her name as a Senator is totally and completely accurate.
She has let her emotions cloud her judgement in what can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to paper over the fact that Jews bought land in Palestine they settled on.
Another pamphlet containing four maps was handed out at the rally – supposedly documenting Palestinian loss of land between 1946 and 2000.
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