Remembering the Sons of Eilaboun

Gilad Atzmon on the truth behind the Zionist project.
Remembering the Sons of Eilaboun

The truth of the Nakba has been hidden for many decades. Not many people except the Palestinians are aware of the scale of 1948 ethnic expulsions and even fewer are aware of the atrocities occasionally performed by the nascent Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As a young Israeli pupil I was taught to believe that the “Arabs” (this is what we called them) just run for their lives. We were told that no one forced “them” to do so – they were just a bunch of cowards. We were taught that they are not as attached to the land as we, the Israelis, are. While they fled for their lives without fighting back, we, the “chosens,” schlepped all the way back to Zion after 2,000 years to reclaim “our” historic land.

The truth about the hundreds of massacres of Palestinian villagers committed by a young and well-trained enthusiastic IDF was absolutely hidden. There wasn’t even a hint that such a thing took place. We knew of only one massacre, the one in Deir Yassin. We were aware of it because the so-called “left” Israeli leadership used it to vilify their right wing political rivals – namely Menahem Begin who was directly responsible for this very massacre.

In the last decade, the horrifying exposure of Israeli brutality in the Nakba has started to filter through. Nowadays we know that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was an orchestrated operation that was planned well in advance. As we learn in the early Zionist texts, the intention to wipe out the Palestinian existence in the Holy Land was apparent from the very beginning of the movement. The national Jewish aspiration was all about the erection of a Jews-only state in Palestine. The indigenous habitants on the land had to be expelled for the Zionist project to prevail.

It is rather obvious that the scale of Israeli atrocities in the Nakba is far from being fully explored. This alone may also explain why many of us tend to believe that Israelis are becoming more and more vicious as time goes by. We tend to believe that Israelis have ethically deteriorated. The truth of the matter is pretty devastating. Israel was born into a colossal sin. The birth of the Jewish state was a tragedy involved with an endless chain of barbarian massacres and other war crimes. As we learn from Hisham Zreiq’s film Sons Of Eilaboun, the first Israelis –the 1948 IDF soldiers – were at least as sinister as their grandsons in Gaza 2009.

Sons of Eilaboun is a story of one small village in the Galilee, one village among many. It is a story of one massacre, one massacre among many. It is a story of a small community that is tormented and traumatized for generations. Sons of Eilaboun is, in fact, the story of Palestine.

With very minimal means, Zreiq manages to deliver a very deep and authentic reading of Palestinian history. He also manages to portray the intense emotional impact of the Nakba on those who survived the horror. It is a documentation of villagers that were dispossessed and have run for their lives. But it is also an unusual story of a small Palestinian community that managed to return (thanks to UN intervention) only to find out that their houses were looted and they were left with nothing. As if this is not enough they soon found out that Israeli invaders had poked out their beloved brothers’ and sons’ eyes. One may expect that just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz Israelis soldiers would be slightly more compassionate.

You better see it to believe it.

Gilad Atzmon is a London-based jazz musician, writer and activist. His books have been translated into 22 languages. www.sonsofeilaboun.com, www.palestinethinktank.com

220 comments on the article “Remembering the Sons of Eilaboun”

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Justin123

Israel = 100% wrong Palestinians = 100% right Black and white thinking = main cause of violence Adbusters = Part of the problem, on this issue

Justin123

Israel = 100% wrong Palestinians = 100% right Black and white thinking = main cause of violence Adbusters = Part of the problem, on this issue

Ginsberg

Comparing Israel and Palestine to two sides of the same coin is to utterly ignore the widely accepted facts on the matter. Israel is an aggressor and Palestine is a clear victim occupied for 60 YEARS by white, European religious zealots who claim that "God gave them" Palestine. Whenever religious nuts stare saying "God" gave them something you know that's a red flag for crimes against humanity. And the inherent implication about the Jewish religion is pretty damning here as well: That God thinks Jews are superior? Divine right? Gosh where have we heard this kind of talk before? Really? Is this what Jews really think? That they are "Chosen" above all other people on earth to be "special", to get whatever they point their fingers at? You have to be kidding me. It's surprising that this wasn't covered in Bill Mahers Religulous but then once you realize that the movie was made by Jews you understand why critical analysis of Judaism or satire of that religion in any meaningful scope was expunged from the film. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how this all works. No, your faulty logic is inane at best criminal at worst Would you tell a rape victim that she should give half her body to the rapist cause he thought her skirt length implied that her body should rightfully be his? That he was entitled to rape her? Would you say they are just two sides of the same coin? How bout the Nazi death camps? Would you simply say "it takes two to tango" and the Nazi's really did have a good point and simply needed to negotiate with the prison campers about how many of them would be executed? Maybe they could have come to an arrangement? Say only 3.5 million would be the agreed upon number? That's what your logic extrapolates out to. By suggesting that the Israeli's aren't 100 percent wrong you suggest that crime is acceptable. That the Nazis are acceptable, that Jews should have died and so on. Fact is crime does happen as Gilad points out (in this case it's Jewish crime). Aggressors do take things that aren't theirs. People do murder and rape and it's enormously irresponsible of you to pull such preposterous and offensive wool not only over our eyes but yours as well. Then again, as one person already mentioned, you are likely paid by the IDF to do exactly that. Such a waste of a young mind..

Ginsberg

Comparing Israel and Palestine to two sides of the same coin is to utterly ignore the widely accepted facts on the matter. Israel is an aggressor and Palestine is a clear victim occupied for 60 YEARS by white, European religious zealots who claim that "God gave them" Palestine. Whenever religious nuts stare saying "God" gave them something you know that's a red flag for crimes against humanity. And the inherent implication about the Jewish religion is pretty damning here as well: That God thinks Jews are superior? Divine right? Gosh where have we heard this kind of talk before? Really? Is this what Jews really think? That they are "Chosen" above all other people on earth to be "special", to get whatever they point their fingers at? You have to be kidding me. It's surprising that this wasn't covered in Bill Mahers Religulous but then once you realize that the movie was made by Jews you understand why critical analysis of Judaism or satire of that religion in any meaningful scope was expunged from the film. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how this all works. No, your faulty logic is inane at best criminal at worst Would you tell a rape victim that she should give half her body to the rapist cause he thought her skirt length implied that her body should rightfully be his? That he was entitled to rape her? Would you say they are just two sides of the same coin? How bout the Nazi death camps? Would you simply say "it takes two to tango" and the Nazi's really did have a good point and simply needed to negotiate with the prison campers about how many of them would be executed? Maybe they could have come to an arrangement? Say only 3.5 million would be the agreed upon number? That's what your logic extrapolates out to. By suggesting that the Israeli's aren't 100 percent wrong you suggest that crime is acceptable. That the Nazis are acceptable, that Jews should have died and so on. Fact is crime does happen as Gilad points out (in this case it's Jewish crime). Aggressors do take things that aren't theirs. People do murder and rape and it's enormously irresponsible of you to pull such preposterous and offensive wool not only over our eyes but yours as well. Then again, as one person already mentioned, you are likely paid by the IDF to do exactly that. Such a waste of a young mind..

Ryan B

it's well known the IDF and Mossad employ hundreds of students and recruits to comb the internet and news sites and pose as normal people writing in to defend Israel. it's like they are so desperate to keep up the illusion they have to work around the clock. but everyone knows exactly what they are doing.

Ryan B

it's well known the IDF and Mossad employ hundreds of students and recruits to comb the internet and news sites and pose as normal people writing in to defend Israel. it's like they are so desperate to keep up the illusion they have to work around the clock. but everyone knows exactly what they are doing.

justin123

Ginsburg, in reading your reply, one might assume that the Palestinians are a secular society, the majority of which does not think that killing Israeli civilians is justified. You might get the impression that countries like Syria, Lebanon and Egypt do not exist, and never started a war in the region. Now, you're smart enough to know that the Palestinians are no innocents themselves, but neither you nor anybody else ever seems to want to say it. Both Israel and the Palestinians compete for the hearts and minds of the rest of the world. Both of them are dishonest in their narrative, and selectively ignore history to make their side seem better. Israel whitewashes the forced relocation of Palestinians and the ongoing settlement construction. Palestinians like to sweep the fact that advocating violence against Israeli citizens is a normal part of their children's religious education. This conflict has many causes, but its sustaining energy has come from the fact that these killers have done such a good job at polarizing people's opinions for one side or the other. If you want to ensure that there is no peace, that bombs continue to explode, and that history remains whitewashed, then by all means, go all-in for one side and say that the others are inhuman, and deserve the worst.

justin123

Ginsburg, in reading your reply, one might assume that the Palestinians are a secular society, the majority of which does not think that killing Israeli civilians is justified. You might get the impression that countries like Syria, Lebanon and Egypt do not exist, and never started a war in the region. Now, you're smart enough to know that the Palestinians are no innocents themselves, but neither you nor anybody else ever seems to want to say it. Both Israel and the Palestinians compete for the hearts and minds of the rest of the world. Both of them are dishonest in their narrative, and selectively ignore history to make their side seem better. Israel whitewashes the forced relocation of Palestinians and the ongoing settlement construction. Palestinians like to sweep the fact that advocating violence against Israeli citizens is a normal part of their children's religious education. This conflict has many causes, but its sustaining energy has come from the fact that these killers have done such a good job at polarizing people's opinions for one side or the other. If you want to ensure that there is no peace, that bombs continue to explode, and that history remains whitewashed, then by all means, go all-in for one side and say that the others are inhuman, and deserve the worst.

Ginsburg

Once again you fail to miss the salient point that not I only but many others are making. It is utterly disingenuous to try to equate the violence done by Israel to the resistance from the people who are being victimized. I'm all for seeing with equanimity the reality of a situation anywhere on earth but lets not whitewash the genocide of Palestine by equating it with a few freedom fighters cornered and clawing back in defense against the world's fourth most powerful military and possibly THE most powerful propaganda machine on earth. What is belied by your logic is a blatant racisism. You honestly are blind to how much you have bought the Judeo-Supremecist narrative likely from the time you were a little kid watching Hollywood garbage on the subject of anything Jewish. Start here: Simply replace the main characters of this drama with the British and India. Or if you like The Germans and the Jewish resistance. Or any number of examples where it would be irresponsible let alone bigoted to hold both sides in equal esteem. The analogy is apt: would you suggest that the Jewish Resistance should be blamed for the holocaust? Should a woman be blamed for being raped? A home owner sued for not taking care of an invader who has killed her children? Come to your senses young fella and admit that you have been brain washed by Zionist propaganda. The same people in "Shindler's List" couldn't possibly be responsible for perpetrating the same horrors on another? Could they? Sadly it has always be so. History is replete with the repeated mistakes of those who fail to appreciate the true measure of fact. Denial my friend, denial is what will lead to more violence. Denial of the truth and the denial of JUSTICE without which there can be no PEACE as the old adage goes. Think about it guy.

Ginsburg

Once again you fail to miss the salient point that not I only but many others are making. It is utterly disingenuous to try to equate the violence done by Israel to the resistance from the people who are being victimized. I'm all for seeing with equanimity the reality of a situation anywhere on earth but lets not whitewash the genocide of Palestine by equating it with a few freedom fighters cornered and clawing back in defense against the world's fourth most powerful military and possibly THE most powerful propaganda machine on earth. What is belied by your logic is a blatant racisism. You honestly are blind to how much you have bought the Judeo-Supremecist narrative likely from the time you were a little kid watching Hollywood garbage on the subject of anything Jewish. Start here: Simply replace the main characters of this drama with the British and India. Or if you like The Germans and the Jewish resistance. Or any number of examples where it would be irresponsible let alone bigoted to hold both sides in equal esteem. The analogy is apt: would you suggest that the Jewish Resistance should be blamed for the holocaust? Should a woman be blamed for being raped? A home owner sued for not taking care of an invader who has killed her children? Come to your senses young fella and admit that you have been brain washed by Zionist propaganda. The same people in "Shindler's List" couldn't possibly be responsible for perpetrating the same horrors on another? Could they? Sadly it has always be so. History is replete with the repeated mistakes of those who fail to appreciate the true measure of fact. Denial my friend, denial is what will lead to more violence. Denial of the truth and the denial of JUSTICE without which there can be no PEACE as the old adage goes. Think about it guy.

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