Washington Post's Palestinian Propaganda Falsifies History and the Bible

By Leo Rennert

At first blush, it seems a fairly innocent tale - even an inspiring one.

Najwa Dajani joined with family members to pray at the grave of her father Dr. Fouad Dajani.

In its Feb. 29 2012 edition, the Washington Post runs an article ( by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg about Tel Aviv naming a square in memory of an Arab physician who treated both Arabs and Jews before Israel's War of Independence in 1948. The occasion also marked a homecoming for a daughter and a son of Fouad Dajani to their ancestral neighborhood of Jaffa ("In Israel, a square for a Palestinian doctor" page A11).

But Greenberg badly misuses the dedication ceremony to inject his piece with anti-Israel poison pills in an attempt to undermine the very legitimacy of Israel's nationhood.

Greenberg reports that the physician's daughter Najwa Dajani, 75, arrived from her current home in Jordan. She "had not been back since she left for Cairo with her mother and siblings in January 1948 as fighting raged between Arabs and Jews in the war that accompanied the creation of Israel," Greenberg writes.

This, of course, stands history on its head. It makes it seem that Israel's creation prompted the 1948 war, when it actually was a concerted aggression against the nascent Jewish state by half a dozen Arab armies intent on its destruction. Israel was on solid, internationally sanctioned legal ground to plant its flag on Tel Aviv and Jaffa under the 1947 UN partition plan. The UN called for creation of two states -- one Jewish, one Arab. Israel accepted partition; the Arabs flouted the UN mandate and went to war against the Jewish state.

Greenberg's formulation of 1948 as a "war that accompanied the creation of Israel," is in sync with Palestinian propaganda that this was a Naqba -- a Palestinian catastrophe due to Jews claiming their nationhood -- a myth that ignores the historic fact that it was Arab rejection of the two-state UN mandate that fostered the 1948 war.

In the same propagandistic vein, Greenberg misreads and misrepresents history when he writes that the Dajani family's decision to leave in January, 1948, four months before Israel's Declaration of Independence, was "part of a mass Palestinian exodus, supposed to be temporary until the hostilities died down, but became a lifelong exile."

Again, Greenberg jettisons factual history by failing to tell readers that the family left before Israel's creation because, with many thousands of other Arabs, they were urged in Arab radio broadcasts to decamp and get out of the way of an Arab military offensive to wipe out the Jewish state and then return to an Arab-ruled single state in what had been British Mandate Palestine -- despite repeated pleas by Israeli leaders to stay put and become citizens with full civil and political rights in the new Israel.

With Greenberg, the sad tale of the Dajani family is turned into Palestinian victimhood rather than the outcome of massive self-inflicted wounds by Arab leaders. The 1948 debacle was caused entirely by Arab rejectionism, not by Israel's creation.

Not content to engage in revisionist history, Greenberg goes on to revise the Bible as well -- again to suit Palestinian mythology.

He quotes Omar, the surviving family son, as remarking at the dedication of the square, while "choking back tears, that he hoped the day's events would be "an example to the two peoples, descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, to whom God promised this land."

Sorry, Omar, but God did NOT promise "this land" equally to Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, and to Ishmael, the son of Abraham and his concubine, Hagar. The Bible couldn't be clearer that "this land," i.e. Israel, was solely the inheritance of Isaac and his descendants.

As is told in Chapter 25 of Genesis, verses 5 and 6: When Abraham neared death, he "gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines (including Hagar), that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and he sent them away from Isaac, his son, while he yet lived, eastward unto the east country (i.e. Arabia).

In other words, the Biblical Holy Land was promised exclusively to Isaac and his descendants. At the same time, Ishmael was given great gifts, including inheritance of lands elsewhere for "12 princes according to their nations," as we read in verse 15 of Chapter 25.

The Bible couldn't be clearer about the political separation of Abraham's two sons. Each was to reign over his own nation. Call it the Biblical version of the two-state solution.

Thus, Omar Dajani was flat wrong in asserting co-equal divine claims by the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael to "this land." Isaac's descendants, and only his descendants, are given Biblical title to "this land."

Which poses a familiar challenge to journalists. Do you run with a quote which is demonstrably a lie, but is an integral part of the story? The answer is yes, but if you do, you have a concurrent responsibility to point out to readers that son Omar was engaged in Biblical revisionism to suit a Palestinian agenda. Without such a cautionary signal, Greenberg becomes an enabler of Biblical falsification.

One last comment about Greenberg's unfortunate misuse of a worthy example of Arab-Jewish co-existence: The Dajani pater familias deserves kudos for treating Arabs and Jews alike. But so does Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem and many other top-of-the line Israeli hospitals, which continue to treat without distinction Arab and Jewish patients, including many ailing Palestinians from Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Shouldn't their remarkable example also prompt equal coverage in the Washington Post? Of course, it should. But sadly, such exemplary Israeli medical stories go unreported by Greenberg and the Washington Post.

A journalistic selectivity which tells worlds about the paper's anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian bias in its news columns.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief of McClatchy Newspapers.
This article appeared February 29, 2012 in the American Thinker palestinian_propaganda_falsifies_history_and_the_bible.html


These are some of the comments of the original article by Joel Greenberg that added useful information:

JackArmstrong 2/29/2012 1:57 PM AST

I can understand Greenberg wanting to ingratiate himself with the Arabs in Israel in order to continue to have access to their communities, but he unfortunately does so at the expense of journalistic integrity.

He insists on referring to Israel’s “Palestinian history”, assigning a fake label to create a fanciful and misleading past. There is no “Palestinian history” as there never was a “Palestine”. The name – originally Philistina – was created by the conquering Romans to slander Israel, which had repeatedly fought off attacks by invading Philistines. This was later adopted by the temporary British occupiers in the early 1900s and modified to “Palestine” – also done to negate the land’s three thousand year Jewish history. The Arabs in the region never considered themselves “Palestinians” or referred to the area as “Palestine” until it became a politically useful tool as leverage against Israel after 1948.

What Greenberg is actually referring to in his article is the Arabic history in the region, since the family he mentions are Arabs, not “Palestinians”. He might have also used the term Muslims – just as Israelis are often lumped together as Jews (properly Judeans) – although, just as there are Muslim and Christian Israelis, there are also Christian Arabs. But insisting on using the misnomer “Palestinian” and creating a false “Palestinian history” to push a biased political goal is conduct unbecoming a journalist, and Greenberg should exhibit better judgment.

gulfsout 2/28/2012 8:41 AM AST

This is a great story and one that could ease tensions; however, there is one point that needs to be made: when the writer refers to a "Palestinian past," he is in error. The doctor whose memory is honored would have considered himself an Arab, but most definitely NOT a Palestinian. The term was not used to describe the Arab population, but was brought into use in the 1960s as the Palestinian Liberation Organization developed. Search your own archives at the Washington Post and tell me when the first time was that your own newspaper referred to the Arabs residing in what became Israel, Jordan and (at that time) part of Egypt (Gaza) as "Palestinians."

I also challenge the statement that the doctor's and his family's departure was "temporary until the hostilities died down." Anyone familiar with the history knows that while the departure of those Arabs who fled in 1948 was indeed supposed to be "temporary," it was scheduled to end when the Jews were driven into the sea.

Sadly, perhaps the most important part of the article is the reference to the family's insistence that the Israeli flags be removed from the immediate area because they did not wish to be seen as, essentially, acknowledging Israel's right to exist. Until that attitude changes, peace is out of reach.

sizeVinja 2/27/2012 4:32 PM AST

Interesting that even Joel Greenberg, who usually doesn't miss an opportunity to portray Israel in a negative light, doesn't claim that the Jews expelled this family from Haifa. They apparently left voluntarily just like thousands of other Arabs. For more information about how and why the Arabs left Haifa at the time that Israel became a state, read Efraim Karsh's "Palestine Betrayed."

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