My suggestion for Kasrils theme tune: Mud, mud, glorious mud, there's nothing quite like it...
Response to Kasrils
No doubt, it is in the service of justice, as he sees it, that Kasrils (7 April) is prepared to treat historical truth, context and methodological integrity as so much bourgeois hypocrisy.
In the same vein Ilan Pappe, a historian whom Kasrils quotes with approval, writes “My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the "truth" when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers”.
That history is about establishing truth, not assuming it and then tailoring one’s story to fit a preconceived narrative, escapes Pappe - and clearly Kasrils, for Kasrils follows this formula with shameless abandon.
He quotes “eyewitnesses” who not only claim rape by Israeli soldiers, but butchering and slaughtering by the most brutal means possible. Kasrils rubs in the gory details: he quotes “disembowelled furniture”, a beautiful Israeli girl with “criminal” eyes. He asserts without qualification that “ 254 men, women and children were butchered there (Deir Yassin) by Zionist forces” and that this was but one episode in a long list of others – including Jenin, where it was unambiguously demonstrated that no massacre took place.
Now to a few facts. Sharif Kananah, of Bir Zeit (a Palestinian) University, in a detailed study arrived at an estimate of 110-120 villagers killed. Most accounts accept that rough figure and not 250 plus, which was inflated for propaganda purposes and now used without question by Kasrils.
Mohommad Radwan, an eyewitness involved in the fighting, stated “"There were no rapes. It's all lies. There were no pregnant women who were slit open. It was propaganda that... Arabs put out so Arab armies would invade,". Ayish Zeidan, a teenager, claimed “The Arab radio at the time talked of women being killed and raped, but this is not true. I believe that most of those who were killed were among the fighters and the women and children who helped the fighters."
In the course of the fighting over that period there were a number of “atrocities” committed by both sides These included the killing (and mutilating) of 78 doctors, nurses, patients and Haganah militia by Arab irregulars while attempting to reach Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus and the massacre of about 130 Jews when the Kfar Etzion finally fell to the Arabs.
I certainly have my own commitments to