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”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 220

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Anonymous

Ginsburg, I'm not pro Israel. I'm pro Israeli-Palestinian peace. I'm not pro giving the Palestinians everything they want, including the dismantling of Israel, as many here seem to be. I'm ridiculously pissed that the idiot Netanyahu is refusing to do the simplest of tasks - stopping settlements - to open the door to the peace process. Bombing Gaza last year was the stupidest and worst thing Israel has done in my lifetime. I'm not going to defend the indefensible. And that includes pro-violent thinking that you are unwittingly espousing. "Hollywood garbage on the subject of anything Jewish." I'm not sure what this refers to. Maybe movies about the holocaust? I know more about judaism from my friends who are jewish. "What is belied by your logic is a blatant racisism..." Which racism? The racism that is part of Palestinian schooling? Or do you think that that is just a PR creation from Mossad too? "Denial my friend, denial is what will lead to more violence." I haven't denied anything you've said. I'm just a bit confused by it. As to the India/Britain, Germany/Holocaust analogies, there's an enormous difference. I don't recall the Nazis or the British ever engaging in a series of peace talks with the people they oppressed, nor do I recall those people being the ones who rejected the offer of autonomy. My view is that Israel needs to give up a number of things, and that the Palestinians don't need to give up anything of substance. The Palestinians merely need to renounce violence against civilians. Are they willing to do that? Not yet. I hear you saying that that fact is not important enough to counter ye olde zionist propoganda. I think that, thus, your thinking is a recipe for more dead people.

Anonymous

Ginsburg, I'm not pro Israel. I'm pro Israeli-Palestinian peace. I'm not pro giving the Palestinians everything they want, including the dismantling of Israel, as many here seem to be. I'm ridiculously pissed that the idiot Netanyahu is refusing to do the simplest of tasks - stopping settlements - to open the door to the peace process. Bombing Gaza last year was the stupidest and worst thing Israel has done in my lifetime. I'm not going to defend the indefensible. And that includes pro-violent thinking that you are unwittingly espousing. "Hollywood garbage on the subject of anything Jewish." I'm not sure what this refers to. Maybe movies about the holocaust? I know more about judaism from my friends who are jewish. "What is belied by your logic is a blatant racisism..." Which racism? The racism that is part of Palestinian schooling? Or do you think that that is just a PR creation from Mossad too? "Denial my friend, denial is what will lead to more violence." I haven't denied anything you've said. I'm just a bit confused by it. As to the India/Britain, Germany/Holocaust analogies, there's an enormous difference. I don't recall the Nazis or the British ever engaging in a series of peace talks with the people they oppressed, nor do I recall those people being the ones who rejected the offer of autonomy. My view is that Israel needs to give up a number of things, and that the Palestinians don't need to give up anything of substance. The Palestinians merely need to renounce violence against civilians. Are they willing to do that? Not yet. I hear you saying that that fact is not important enough to counter ye olde zionist propoganda. I think that, thus, your thinking is a recipe for more dead people.

Justin123

Also, Schindlers list was a bit of a trite movie. If you didn't assume that people who disagree with you only do so because of holocaust-sympathies, then you would probably do a better job of defending your position.

Justin123

Also, Schindlers list was a bit of a trite movie. If you didn't assume that people who disagree with you only do so because of holocaust-sympathies, then you would probably do a better job of defending your position.

Mahmoud

There's no unfounded assumption in Ginsberg analysis of the effect of Hollywood on political culture in the west. Read Jack Shaheens "Reel Bad Arabs" as well as Finklestien's "Holocaust Industry" to gain some basic insight into how the "Holocaust" and the incessant portrayal of jewish "victimhood" is integral to the occupation and genocide of Palestine by Zionist Jews since Israel's invention in 1948. It's actually pretty straight forward from a propaganda perspective. Fairly rudimentary tenants of psy-ops being employed by IDF, Mossad, AIPAC, ADL, etc. Culturally Hollywood functions to reify the political assumptions, and dogma of it's main power brokers who, it's no secret, are largely Zionist in their sympathies. The cycle is fed by a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish political establishment and the Jewish cultural establishment with the lemming-like "American public" used as an accelerant to spread historical revisionism, paranoia and outright racist, colonialist beliefes throughout the consciousness of the west. Hollywood is the best thing that happened to Zionism or, if you like, that was HIJACKED by Zionism. Schindler's list is a crystalline example of this. It won numerous awards including best picture at the Oscars and was widely regarded as one of the most "important" films of it's decade if not the century if the Hollywood press is to be believed. Never mind that the movie is utter schlock. Basically a simplistic comic book literally in black and white. The ending is possibly one of the most blatant and irresponsible pieces of film making ever foisted on a tenderized audience: A full color infomercial for Israel with sweet looking old people walking beautifully in the sunset through golden hills in "Israel" in a candlelight procession. Never mind that they are literally walking over the mass-graves of Palestinians who these same sweet, old, "victims" murdered with their own hands. The irony is so preposterous it would be laughable if it weren't so sick. Did Steven Spielberg decide to show Jews in New York walking in a candlelight procession? Or, say, Caracas? Or Jews at the nationally funded Holocaust Museum in our Nation's capital (a place conspicuously lacking of such a museum for events that actually happened in our country like SLAVERY!) Did Spielberg chose London or even Berlin for god's sake? No he deliberately chose "Israel." And it highlights very well the message of both the political and cultural establishment of Zionist Jewry: "We can steal Palestine with impunity because of what happened to us in Europe." And it must be brought up again and again and again lest anyone challenge this insane assumption. Hence the need every year for four or five Holocaust movies, especially around Oscar time. Watch. See if it isn't true. Are there four or five movies about American Slavery? The Armenian holocaust? The brutality of Stalin and all the stories of Communist Russia? The black and white tales of good and bad in Sub Saharan Africa? Not on your life and you know damn well why. Did you not see who won best actress last year? Kate Winslet for "The Reader." Kinda makes that that Ricky Gervais show "Extras" look pretty prescient now doesn't it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEnjiGwVw6o

Mahmoud

There's no unfounded assumption in Ginsberg analysis of the effect of Hollywood on political culture in the west. Read Jack Shaheens "Reel Bad Arabs" as well as Finklestien's "Holocaust Industry" to gain some basic insight into how the "Holocaust" and the incessant portrayal of jewish "victimhood" is integral to the occupation and genocide of Palestine by Zionist Jews since Israel's invention in 1948. It's actually pretty straight forward from a propaganda perspective. Fairly rudimentary tenants of psy-ops being employed by IDF, Mossad, AIPAC, ADL, etc. Culturally Hollywood functions to reify the political assumptions, and dogma of it's main power brokers who, it's no secret, are largely Zionist in their sympathies. The cycle is fed by a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish political establishment and the Jewish cultural establishment with the lemming-like "American public" used as an accelerant to spread historical revisionism, paranoia and outright racist, colonialist beliefes throughout the consciousness of the west. Hollywood is the best thing that happened to Zionism or, if you like, that was HIJACKED by Zionism. Schindler's list is a crystalline example of this. It won numerous awards including best picture at the Oscars and was widely regarded as one of the most "important" films of it's decade if not the century if the Hollywood press is to be believed. Never mind that the movie is utter schlock. Basically a simplistic comic book literally in black and white. The ending is possibly one of the most blatant and irresponsible pieces of film making ever foisted on a tenderized audience: A full color infomercial for Israel with sweet looking old people walking beautifully in the sunset through golden hills in "Israel" in a candlelight procession. Never mind that they are literally walking over the mass-graves of Palestinians who these same sweet, old, "victims" murdered with their own hands. The irony is so preposterous it would be laughable if it weren't so sick. Did Steven Spielberg decide to show Jews in New York walking in a candlelight procession? Or, say, Caracas? Or Jews at the nationally funded Holocaust Museum in our Nation's capital (a place conspicuously lacking of such a museum for events that actually happened in our country like SLAVERY!) Did Spielberg chose London or even Berlin for god's sake? No he deliberately chose "Israel." And it highlights very well the message of both the political and cultural establishment of Zionist Jewry: "We can steal Palestine with impunity because of what happened to us in Europe." And it must be brought up again and again and again lest anyone challenge this insane assumption. Hence the need every year for four or five Holocaust movies, especially around Oscar time. Watch. See if it isn't true. Are there four or five movies about American Slavery? The Armenian holocaust? The brutality of Stalin and all the stories of Communist Russia? The black and white tales of good and bad in Sub Saharan Africa? Not on your life and you know damn well why. Did you not see who won best actress last year? Kate Winslet for "The Reader." Kinda makes that that Ricky Gervais show "Extras" look pretty prescient now doesn't it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEnjiGwVw6o

Hala

Bravo, Mahmoud. Your analysis and comments on the "schlock" Holocaust fims are first class. Especially the comment about the procession of sweet old survivors walking over the destruction that was necessary to cleanse Palestine of the natives who, as Jabotinsky so well stated in his 1923 opus "On the Iron Wall," would never give up their "inheritance." I too am a WWII survivor, although my story would never make a Hollywood film since I am only a Christian, like so many other millions who were slaughtered by the Nazis or the Soviets. We do not count. I do not watch Holocaust films since I was there myself and consider it sacreligious to make entertainment out of such a horrendous event. Documentaries are what truly portray history. The films are painfully obvious propaganda tools to make us feel sorry for a certain group of people who are at present guilty of "holocausting" a native population who had never harmed them.

Hala

Bravo, Mahmoud. Your analysis and comments on the "schlock" Holocaust fims are first class. Especially the comment about the procession of sweet old survivors walking over the destruction that was necessary to cleanse Palestine of the natives who, as Jabotinsky so well stated in his 1923 opus "On the Iron Wall," would never give up their "inheritance." I too am a WWII survivor, although my story would never make a Hollywood film since I am only a Christian, like so many other millions who were slaughtered by the Nazis or the Soviets. We do not count. I do not watch Holocaust films since I was there myself and consider it sacreligious to make entertainment out of such a horrendous event. Documentaries are what truly portray history. The films are painfully obvious propaganda tools to make us feel sorry for a certain group of people who are at present guilty of "holocausting" a native population who had never harmed them.

tyler 2

No offense justin123, but you've unwittingly bought into the official line on the "peace process". If you read up on what a joke that "process" has been you'll understand that the "negotiations" have consisted of time wasting strategies, outright bullying, and ridiculous offers demanding huge territorial concessions. The New York Times wouldn't even publish a map of the territory offered to Arafat - Palestine was to consist of tiny bantustans, pimples on the giant ass of Israel (so much for so-called "offers of autonomy"). Israel's official policy throughout the process has been to create and maintain a "permanent neocolonial dependency" in Palestine (quote from Israel policy documents). Read up on treaties made by the US government with Native Americans, and you'll see a lot of similarities.

Of course the Nazis engaged in "peace negotiations", it allowed them to gauge the strength and confidence of the next country they were going to attack! Ever heard of the Hitler/Stalin pact? You have to realize, a military force with hugely superior fighting power has no interest in peace. Even when they say they want "security" for their people, they are lying - how do you think IDF motivates dumb kids to slaughter Palestinian refugees who are living like animals in the occupied territories?

If Israel wanted peace, they could enact it overnight. They would simply abide by the longstanding UN resolution 242, immediately stop all settlement and encroachment, recognize an autonomous Palestinian state, and stop all blockades of basic human necessities. It's really that simple. Palestinians can't possibly "win". All they can hope for is a return to agrarian life in a homeland that is a fraction of what it once was.

Finally, Palestinians can "renounce violence" for the rest of eternity and it won't make a damn difference. You honestly believe some Israeli guys are waiting for an "official Palestinian spokesman" to make such an announcement, and then they'll end this slaughter? Israel is just like the U.S., their entire economy rests on warring. If they stopped attacking, what would all of its citizens do? If Mossad had to stop dealing weapons to much of the world, they would lose hundreds of millions of dollars each year. If the phantom enemy of Islamic fundamentalism disappeared, who would they attack?

tyler 2

No offense justin123, but you've unwittingly bought into the official line on the "peace process". If you read up on what a joke that "process" has been you'll understand that the "negotiations" have consisted of time wasting strategies, outright bullying, and ridiculous offers demanding huge territorial concessions. The New York Times wouldn't even publish a map of the territory offered to Arafat - Palestine was to consist of tiny bantustans, pimples on the giant ass of Israel (so much for so-called "offers of autonomy"). Israel's official policy throughout the process has been to create and maintain a "permanent neocolonial dependency" in Palestine (quote from Israel policy documents). Read up on treaties made by the US government with Native Americans, and you'll see a lot of similarities.

Of course the Nazis engaged in "peace negotiations", it allowed them to gauge the strength and confidence of the next country they were going to attack! Ever heard of the Hitler/Stalin pact? You have to realize, a military force with hugely superior fighting power has no interest in peace. Even when they say they want "security" for their people, they are lying - how do you think IDF motivates dumb kids to slaughter Palestinian refugees who are living like animals in the occupied territories?

If Israel wanted peace, they could enact it overnight. They would simply abide by the longstanding UN resolution 242, immediately stop all settlement and encroachment, recognize an autonomous Palestinian state, and stop all blockades of basic human necessities. It's really that simple. Palestinians can't possibly "win". All they can hope for is a return to agrarian life in a homeland that is a fraction of what it once was.

Finally, Palestinians can "renounce violence" for the rest of eternity and it won't make a damn difference. You honestly believe some Israeli guys are waiting for an "official Palestinian spokesman" to make such an announcement, and then they'll end this slaughter? Israel is just like the U.S., their entire economy rests on warring. If they stopped attacking, what would all of its citizens do? If Mossad had to stop dealing weapons to much of the world, they would lose hundreds of millions of dollars each year. If the phantom enemy of Islamic fundamentalism disappeared, who would they attack?

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