Israeli security forces in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Haram al-Sharif compound in the old city of Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images
Sir, – David Abrahamson claims that the 1948 colonial war against the Palestinian people was “Israel’s defensive war of independence” (December 4th). A Jewish Israeli (and Irish) citizen, I have researched the Zionist colonisation of Palestine for many years. Contrary to his claim that it was the UN General Assembly vote to accept resolution 181, which called for the partition of British-ruled Mandate Palestine, that led to the declaration of war by the region’s Arab states, the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands during the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) had mostly preceded the 1948 war.
Among the myths debunked by the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe in Ten Myths About Israel is the myth of “the (Jewish) few against the (Arab) many”, as he outlines the Zionist superiority in terms of both imperialist support and weaponry. Pappe also highlights the extent of planning for the colonisation of Palestine so that the Zionists could take “as much of Palestine as possible with as few (existing) inhabitants as was practical”.
Readers should realise, as do many Jewish, Irish and international supporters of Palestinian freedom, that Israel has been a colonising power all along, rather than merely waging “a defensive war of independence”. – Yours, etc,
Dr RONIT LENTIN,