From the Editors
[The following response was issued by the Journal of Palestine Studies on 27 March 2012.]
On 3 November 2011, the self-appointed media watchdog CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) informed the Journal of Palestine Studies of an incorrect citation in an article by Ilan Pappé (“The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”) published in its autumn 2006 issue. The incorrect citation referred to a quotation by Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion supporting the expulsion (“transfer”) of Arabs from Palestine. CAMERA asked JPS to “issue a correction stating that the quote attributed to Ben-Gurion does not appear in the references cited” in JPS and its website “to prevent further erroneous uses of this quote.”
CAMERA’s accusations (e.g., 3 February 2012) that Pappé “invented” or “fabricated” the quotation, suggesting that the Zionist leader had never supported transfer, led JPS to have the original source—Ben-Gurion’s 5 October 1937 letter to his son—translated into English. The letter fully validates Pappé’s reading of Ben-Gurion’s position on transfer and the essential accuracy of his article. While JPS regrets the lapses of citation, the 2006 article, fully consonant with the historical record, remains in our view an excellent summation of Zionist planning behind the Palestinian expulsions of 1948.
In the links below, readers will find JPS’s official response to CAMERA (published in the winter 2012 issue), the full English translation of Ben-Gurion’s letter (to our knowledge never published before), the original Hebrew (from the Ben-Gurion Archives), and a link to Pappé’s article. Because CAMERA has cited Benny Morris in support of its position (also in an article by a CAMERA official 12 November 2011), we are posting a long 2004 interview with Morris which unequivocally corroborates Ben-Gurion’s “transferist” aims. Be sure to check back, as we will be publishing other materials related to the controversy in the coming weeks.
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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