Monday, April 15, 2013

15-Apr-13: Back to North Carolina for a moment before moving on to more constructive things...

[Image Source]
Earlier today, we wrote here about a shabby blog post published by a certain Omid Safi who is a prominent figure in the world of Islamic studies in the US. He holds a professorial position at the University of North Carolina where he is described as a "core faculty" member in the Department of Religious Studies where he and his colleagues are
dedicated to the study of religions as historical and cultural phenomena. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding religious traditions from around the world: their history, sacred texts, beliefs, rituals, and institutions [website]
To illustrate his spleen-rich spinning of the Deir Yassin story so beloved of Palestinian Arab polemicists (who invoke it in their justification of the endless acts of Arab terrorism carried out in its name in the last six decades), he brings a photograph of dead bodies. Piles and piles of dead bodies. The culprits? Well, he leaves readers in little doubt as the title of his post declaims: "Zionist atrocities at Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, 65 years ago…and today".

But we and several others pointed out that the picture came from Wikipedia and showed a Nazi concentration camp in 1945; the dead bodies were not Palestinian Arabs or any other sort of Arabs. It was a stupid mistake, and he ought to have apologized as if his academic career depended on it.

Instead, the author of the What Would Muhammad Do? blog simply replaced it with a different photo during this morning, and rubbed out the reader comments, one of which we supplied, that had excoriated him for the naked attempt to deceive.

An apology? Sure - coming right up.

Now we would think that an academic caught red-handed in the performance of counter-factual stunt like this (we're trying to stay polite) would take the greatest of care from this moment onwards. Which is why we want you to know - and the authorities at the University of North Carolina too, if possible - that Omid Safi is now illustrating his story about an alleged massacre from 1948 with a photo of dead Arabs killed by other Arabs in Lebanon in 1982. (Thanks to Elder of Ziyon for the alert.)

Most people won't notice. He knows that. And most people don't pay that much attention to fine details of history. So it's certain that the spinning and the misappropriation of history will just keep going on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is from Marco de la Rosa

A video (linked at shows an interview with Hazem Nusseibeh, part of one of the most prominent Arab-Palestinian families in Jerusalem. In 1948 he was an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service's Arabic news. In the interview with the BBC, he admitted that he was instructed by the prominent Arab-Palestinian leader, Hussein Khalidi, to fabricate claims of atrocities at Deir Yassin in order to encourage Arab regimes to invade the nascent Jewish State in 1948.

He made this damning admission to explain why the Arabs had failed to crush Israel in the 1948 war. He said "This was our biggest mistake, because Palestinians instead of fighting had fled in terror and abandoned the country in huge numbers after hearing the false atrocity claims.

Nusseibeh described an encounter at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem's Old City with Deir Yassin survivors and Arab-Palestinian leaders, including Hussein Khalidi... He recounted, "I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story." He said, "We must make the most of this. So we wrote a press release stating that at Deir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped, all sorts of atrocities...".

In the video clip, Abu Mahmud (a Deir Yassin resident in 1948), told the BBC that the villagers protested against the atrocity claims. We said, "There was no rape. "But Khalidi said, "We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews." This false press statement was released to Dana Schmidt, a New York Times correspondent, leading to an article on April 12, 1948, falsely claiming that a massacre took place at Deir Yassin. It was reprinted worldwide and even foolishly cited in Israel by leftist sources (as 'proof' of 'Israeli atrocities' by Irgun and Lehi forces to libel them politically).

Dr. Hazem Nusseibeh was a representative of Jordan at the Mixed Armistice Commission and was Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also the Permanent Ambassador of Jordan to the UN and authored several books, including The Ideas of Arab Nationalism, Palestine and the United Nations and A History of Modern Jordan.