Monday, September 27, 2010


The Maghen Abraham Synagogue in Beirut. According to the Age this synagogue was "all but razed by Israeli shelling." They call this "razed"?

The unrelenting campaign among Palestinians and their sympathisers to reinvent history continues.

Recently, Melanie Phillips reported in The airbrushing of Middle East history on a London Guardian article about a Christian theme park in Mallorca which referred to "a cast of extras in the costumes of Romans and early Palestinians". This is more than somewhat problematic because there were no early Palestinians around in Roman times but one supposes that the fact that the area was mainly populated by Jews living in the Jewish homeland at that time is somewhat, er ... inconvenient to The Guardian and its fellow travellers.

The Melbourne Age is one of the Guardian's bedfellows and, true to form, it's Saturday Travel supplement article on Lebanon - Middle East Meets West (at page 12) included, inter alia, the following two comments:-
... construction has paused intermittently, including in 2006 when neighbouring Israel started dropping bombs on southern Beirut.

The city's main Jewish synagogue, Maghen Abraham, is slowly being restored... Built in the early 1900s by the then sizeable Jewish community, it was reportedly protected by the PLO during the 1975-76 fighting, and then, according to the Associated Press, all but razed by Israeli shelling.

Get that?

Not a mention about Hizbullah terrorists crossing the border and shelling Israeli towns at the start of the conflict. Those pesky Jews just "started dropping bombs on southern Beirut."

Then there’s the matter of who really did destroy Beirut's only (not main) Jewish synagogue, Maghen Abraham and whether it really was “protected” by the PLO during the 1975-76 fighting. For that matter, whether it was really "all but razed by Israeli shelling" given the photographic evidence above.

(visual evidence is always a difficult matter for the propandists - see the vision of the peaceful thugs who travelled on the Mavi Marmara and you'll know why)

It turns out that the reports that the synagogue was protected by the PLO and then damaged by Israeli shelling came from reporters from the Lebanese side during the civil war. The main story came from one Robert Fisk but anyone who knows Fisk will tell you that even Yasser Arafat would have provided more objective coverage.

So was the synagogue damaged by Israelis?

According to Israel’s left wing Haaretz newspaper, often quoted by The Guardian and sometimes Age reporters, the story is somewhat different - Renovation work underway at Beirut's main synagogue:
The synagogue was seriously damaged during the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war, when looters took its Torah ark and prayer benches, and even gutted its electrical system.
There is a truthful aspect to this part of the Age story but it sits way in the background and refers to the most often ignored aspect of the narrative of the region.

It's true that, like many Arab countries, Lebanon once had a sizeable Jewish community and now it has very few Jews. It's strange however, that we only discover a small scrap of information about the dispossession and the exile of the Jews from Arab lands as an incidental part of a story on how Lebanon is being rebuilt after the war that Hizbullah started against the Jews in 2006.

Never mind what caused 800,000 Jews to become refugees from various Arab lands and never mind the story of how many of them rebuilt their lives in the Jewish homeland. And, as is usual with the Age, it seems that stories about buildings in Arab lands are far more important than are those about Jewish lives.

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