In a recent letter , Medhat Credi berated the government of Israel for being opposed to both a just peace and making concessions for peace. To validate his accusation, he recounted an anti-Zionist lie that Max Nordau, poet and novelist, and Theodore Herzl, pivotal leader of Zionism --both men cherished in the Zionist movement-- were so benighted as to be unaware that Palestinian Arabs were living in Palestine.
The following paragraph appears in a booklet on Palestinian history, 1880-1946, (American Academic Association for Peace in the Middle East, 1973):
"There is the old canard that it came as a surprise to the Zionists of Herzl's time when they learned that there were any people already inhabiting their Promised Land, which they had conceived as entirely empty of human beings. And there is the equally absurd legend that the Zionists, at the turn of the century, planned to drive out the existing inhabitants of the land. It is at least clear that these stories cannot both be true. And we have in Herzl's novel, Old-New Land, his projected vision of mutually profitable relations between the two peoples, Jews and Palestinians, after settlement on the land by the Jews."
Israel-bashing material must have been scarce if Mr. Credi had to resort to an accusation known to be a lie for at least 20 years. Now there is available to him a mint-fresh concoction on current affairs.
This new lie originates in Tunis, courtesy of the PLO. In a broadcast from PLO headquarters, the commentator states that Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, in a U.S. interview, told a reporter of the Israel Army Radio, "The war that our men fought in the region against Saddam Hussein was fought for Israel. Our men fought to destroy Israel's main enemy in the region."
The U.S.-based reporter for the Israel Army Radio has said that neither she nor any representative of her station has ever spoken to Gen. Schwarzkopf. A spokesman for the U.S. commander has said that such an interview never took place.
Edith Parker, Irvington
July 1, 1991
For a rebuttal see