A story the BBC will not tell

There are some Middle East stories which, despite its generously staffed Jerusalem Bureau, the BBC does not attempt to tell. Whilst its accounts of the War of Independence inevitably include mention of the fact that some of the local Arab population left their homes, the Jewish communities which fell to the invading Arab armies and the resulting evacuation or expulsion of their populations remain concealed from BBC audiences. This is one such story.

In 1884 an aspiring Jewish farmer purchased land to the west of the B’not Yaakov bridge in the Galilee, on the main highway leading to Damascus. His farm – named ‘Rose of the Jordan’ – did not succeed as planned and in 1890 he abandoned the venture, selling the land to a group of pioneers composed of residents of the ancient town of Tsfat (Safed) and First Aliyah immigrants from Russia, who together established a farming community named Mishmar HaYarden – Guardian of the Jordan. 

Mishmar HaYarden

The community’s isolation, together with the many deaths from fever and frequent attacks by Bedouin in the area did not make for an easy or very prosperous life and during the First World War a nearby big battle between the British and Ottoman armies severely damaged Mishmar HaYarden. When Israel declared independence in May 1948, there were some 25 families living there and attacks by the Syrian army immediately following that declaration brought about the evacuation of the community’s children and non-combatants. 

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Layout of Mishmar HaYarden in 1948

On June 6th 1948 Mishmar HaYarden came under heavy attack by the Syrian army but the residents who had stayed to defend it managed to repel that initial barrage, which was followed by subsequent ones. The village’s commander Nathan Adler wrote:

“The flow of soldiers from the mountain across the way does not stop and our weaponry does not reach there to stop them from crossing the Jordan River. Even the mines set the night before do not stop them. The lines of the enemy attacking become more and more dense. It is already eleven in the morning and from the headquarters they are still promising us reinforcements are coming.”

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Nathan Adler’s letter, June 1948

On June 10th 1948 Mishmar HaYarden finally fell to the Syrian army. Fourteen of its defenders had been killed and the twenty-nine men and women who remained were taken prisoner by the Syrians. They remained prisoners of war for thirteen months until the Armistice Agreement was signed in 1949. Once released, they found that they had nowhere to return to: their village of 58 years had been razed to the ground by the Syrians. 

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Monument Mishmar HaYarden

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A letter from the POWs in prison in Syria

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Residents of Mishmar HaYarden

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The foundations of one of the homes in Mishmar HaYarden

Mishmar HaYarden was eventually re-established as a moshav, some 2 km to the south-west of its original site. Tens of other communities were also depopulated during the War of Independence due to attacks by the invading armies from surrounding Arab countries, including those in Gush Etzion, some in the Negev and the Jordan Valley and several Jerusalem neighbourhoods. That aspect of the War of Independence is not mentioned in the BBC’s narrative of events. 

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33 comments on “A story the BBC will not tell

  1. The BBC’s reporting is symptomatic of the left-wing bias of so much of the public media in the West. We will have to fight the war on disinformation on two fronts: Against Islamic propaganda, and also against equivocation by the Left. See http://www.amazon.com/dp/b00c61zeo8

  2. And why does the BBC fail to report the full fact? It keeps telling us it is unbiased, but has never released the Balen Report, paid for with licence payers money, OUR money.
    Brutus is an honourable man and the BBC is unbiased!

  3. About 60 defender agasint 2,500 syrian troops. They managed to hold up for 6 days. They actually saved israel Upper Gallile from the Syrian army.

  4. Here’s another story I bet the BBC will not cover:

    Big crowds expected at Closer to Israel parade

    Thousands of people are expected to flock to central London today for British Jewry’s biggest solidarity event with Israel for five years.

    Closer to Israel, a celebration of the country’s 65th anniversary, will begin outside Hyde Park at midday, followed by a two-hour gathering in Trafalgar Square from 2pm.

    “We’ve got 50 communal organisations in the parade, with at least 1,500 participants from right across the community,” said Douglas Krikler, chairman of the planning committee.

    Spectators are being encouraged to gather at three viewing points — outside the Ritz Hotel at Green Park, by Eros in Piccadilly Circus and in the Haymarket. A fleet of open-top buses, floats depicting scenes of Israel and the band of the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade will lead the way, with street entertainers performing along the route.

    Harel Skaat, who sang for Israel in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, is the headline musical act in Trafalgar Square, while speakers will include the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, Israel ambassador Daniel Taub and an as yet unnamed UK Cabinet minister.

    Mr Krikler said that the Community Security Trust was working hand in hand with police and other agencies to ensure a peaceful event. “We look forward to welcoming record numbers of participants,” he added. “We have even arranged for the sun to shine.”

    • Update:

      Big crowds at Closer to Israel parade

      Thousands of people flocked to central London today for British Jewry’s biggest solidarity event with Israel for five years.

      Closer to Israel, a celebration of the country’s 65th anniversary, began outside Hyde Park at midday, followed by a two-hour gathering in Trafalgar Square from 2pm.

      “We are absolutely delighted. It was really exhilarating to see over 50 organisations come together with such joy and enthusiasm,” said Douglas Krikler, spokesman of the planning committee…

      See photos of here of Trafalgar Square full!
      https://twitter.com/ClosertoIsrael

      How does the BBC justify not reporting on the event?

  5. The Syrians were (belatedly) acting on the instructions of the UN Security Council Resolution 42 of the 5th Mar 1948 “Appeals to all Governments and peoples, particularly in and around Palestine, to take all possible action to prevent or reduce such disorders as are now occurring in Palestine.” Eight votes to nil. The “Disturbances” mentioned were ethnic cleansing being carried out on a huge scale by the Zionists.

    After the Zionists had defied everything they’d been allowed to do, did the Syrians hang the illegal combatants and booby-trap their bodies? The Zionists did that for no good reason whatsoever, pure terror for profit!

    • ‘Nick’ you forgot to add that the vote was 8 to none with 3 abstentions.
      The countries that abstained were Argentina, United Kingdom, and (oh look) SYRIA.
      Are you seriously suggesting that Syria abides by UN Resolutions?

      Your usual mix of half-truth and fiction that does not stand up to analysis or comparison with historical fact.

      • Syria was indeed very reluctant to put its totally ineffective army into the field against forces trained in WW2, manned by a lot of the most enthusiastic mercenaries and armed with enormous quantities of war-surplus, right up to B-17 bombers.

        Similarly the UK was busy keeping its head down – 100,000 of its troops had been beaten by a terrorist force that had the reach to attack London (June 1947) and Washington (Dec 1947).

        A terrorist force that had pulled off the biggest cowardly bombing ever (not exceeded until Pan-Am 103, 40 years later).

        A terrorist force that had no compunction in hanging its captives and booby-trapping their bodies (isn’t it strange that the awful Hamas has never behaved like this – Shalit was better treated than the doctors and teachers and children routinely kidnapped and sometimes tortured by Israel).

        In addition, we know that the Syrian “forces” were acting under the unanimous instruction of the UN Security Council.

        Meanwhile, even while bemoaning this tiny intrusion by an Arab army, the article leads us to suppose that it was part of a much bigger operation.

        When in fact, all the other battles, large and small, were fought on land outside what the Zionists have been (not) been illegally granted.

        Gush Etzion in particular was a fortress to which the Zionists didn’t even claim they should be allowed to hold, it was far outside the partition line. If Jews wished to live there, they would have to do so as citizens of some state other than Israel.

        • ‘Nick’ please I grew up in a seaside resort and the smell of candyfloss and donkey droppings are as nauseating as ever. When you have excluded those substances from your post what is left? zilch!

          Now one more time are you, ‘Nick’, seriously suggesting that Syria abides by UN Resolutions?

          • On this occasion, Syria was complying with a UNSC resolution.

            So it is simple propaganda and trickery to paint their pathetic attempt to engage the Zionists as aggression.

            Meanwhile, of course, Israel complies with no UN resolutions, or the UN Charter it signed or even the promises it made.

          • ‘Nick’ so you claim that “On this occasion, Syria was complying with a UNSC resolution” I wonder why Syria would comply with a UN Resolution that gave it the opportunity to attack Israel, but chooses not to comply with other UN Resolutions.

            “Meanwhile, of course, Israel complies with no UN resolutions, or the UN Charter it signed..” ‘Nick’ even by your abysmal standards of truth and logic that is such a sweeping generalisation as to be beyond belief. Are you really suggesting in your rush to attack Israel that Israel does not comply with any UN Resolution or any part of the UN Charter? If you really believe such nonsense then clearly you are in desperate need of therapy and or medication.

            Get well soon ‘Nick’

          • ‘Nick’ so you claim that “On this occasion, Syria was complying with a UNSC resolution” I wonder why Syria would comply with a UN Resolution that gave it the opportunity to attack Israel, but chooses not to comply with other UN Resolutions.

            Syria is a law-abiding member of the international community. Was then and is now.

            Whereas Israel is not – and has no intention of being – the only country in the world that has no borders and freely attacks any other nation!

            Are you really suggesting in your rush to attack Israel that Israel does not comply with any UN Resolution or any part of the UN Charter? If you really believe such nonsense then clearly you are in desperate need of therapy and or medication.

            When you’re ready to show me where Syria defies the will of the rest of the world, or where Israel complies with it, then I’ll sure you’ll get back to me.

          • How about the fact — you disgusting fascist troll — that Israel has signed & ratified peace deals with both Egypt and Jordan?!
            Israel also accepts the “Blue Line”(as its frontier with Lebanon).
            So there goes your “no borders” lie.
            As for Syria: two months ago the UNGA passed a resolution demanding regime change in Syria, and transferring its recognition of Syria unto the SNC.
            So? Has Assad stepped down? Has he stopped slaughtering his own citizens?
            And this, being merely a recent example.
            Fuck off, troll..

          • There seems no point in arguing with someone as angry and as personal – and with such a loose regard for the known facts.

            Israel has not declared its borders – except in their Declaration of Independence (and repeated letters to the UN in 1948/1949) saying that it was sticking the UNGA 181 partition.

            Israel does not respect any borders and has never attempted to use the dispute-resolution processes that everyone else attempts to use.

            Now we move onto an opinion – Israel never had any intention of sticking with any borders, the whole Middle East can be (and regularly is) defined as Israel and is under severe threat from it. In fact, the whole world is threatened, something else the BBC knows but doesn’t broadcast.

          • Ah… Now we’ve arrived at the most naked form of your Nazism: Israel “threatens the whole world”… How charming!
            Are you “threatened”, fascist swine? Whom exactly does Israel “threaten”?
            And as I had expected you COMPLETELY ignored the signed and mutually acceded treaties Israel has with Egypt, Jordan, demarcating its borders. Borders that have not been altered once(!) since.
            So when IS Assad stepping down? There’s a UNGA resolution, after all… Some “dispute resolution”…

        • “If Jews wished to live there, they would have to do so as citizens of some state other than Israel.” Which is exactly what the Partition Plan expected–that each demographic majority would have a substantial minority population, and those unhappy with being a minority would have the option to (peacefully) move to the state wherein they would be a majority. UN Res. 42 called for the SC and neighboring countries to consult and to “to prevent or reduce such disorders as are now occurring in Palestine.” In short, the reason Syria abstained was because the resolution was directed at neighboring countries who were sending Arab fighters across the border to help the local Arabs slaughter Jews. Syria was one of the biggest offenders in this regard. As for your earlier garbage — “the biggest cowardly bombing” — since when did attacking British Army HQ become cowardly? It was a legitimate military target and the fact that British arrogance got people killed when they refused to evacuate does not make the Jewish fighters cowardly–it makes the British army brass stupid. Get over yourself, you whiny historically illiterate twit.

          • The Partition Plan was grossly unjust and totally in defiance of the UN Charter, but it did stress that people must not be ethnically cleansed:

            “No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State) shall be allowed except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be paid previous to dispossession.”

            However, the people in Kfar Etzion were not prepared to accept the sovereignty of the portion they were living in and armed themselves against it.

            Such defiance proves that the Zionists had no intention of abiding by the Partition.

            As if we didn’t always know that! The Zionist state has never abided by anything since!

          • Arab state own words refusing to accept the partition plan is prove enought. Nicks efforts to put the balme on Israle is pathetic but suit arab lies as we knew them for so many years and know them today.

    • Syria is a law-abiding member of the international community. Was then and is now?

      hahaha that was a good joke. now lets see
      tha massacare of Hama in 1981 Between Thursday, April 23, 1981, and Sunday, April 26 1981, security forces executed at least 350 residents of the city and injured 600 more,[1] chosen randomly among the male population over the age of 14.
      Than the massacare of Hama in 1982 .10,000 -20,000 syrian dead (Syrian Human Rights Committee)say the number was 40,000 a small number comparing to the close to 100,000 syrian killed in the last 2 years.
      Occupation of Lebnon .
      Bombing Israel population in northern israel for years until 1967 .
      All of these are indeed according to internationla law. LOL

      • Syria, as best I know, has always been a law-abiding member of the International community (I’m not sure why its never been challenged on the chemical weapons, but then there is much better evidence of a much more capable Israeli capacity).

        I don’t know of any UN resolutions on Hama and I don’t know of any war-crimes indictments.

        I’m very much in favour of war-crimes indictments (provided they’re processed in an even-handed fashion) – how about you?

        Do you want to see people firing rockets appear in front of court at the Hague?

        Why is the BBC not discussing what it would take to put Syrian war-criminals in front of a court in the Hague?

        Can it be that the BBC has been ordered not to discuss justice for Syrian people in case every word they say applies much more to justice for Palestinian people?

          • That is absolute rubbish and you must surely know it, or you are deliberately lying. Obtain and post the proof of what you stated about who controls the BBC. If you cannot prove it to be correct, withdraw it!

          • Anything had happen and will happen in M.E or in Muslim nation the blame go to Zionism, I remember the Iranian blaming Shah that he is Zionism than when the nation did revolt against Shah Regime and later on the Egyptian and other Arabs nation blame that the Khomeini regime is Zionism and in other side Khomeini regime blamed the Egyptian regime is Zionism ,I am wondering who are those Zionism that have that much power but they cannot make end to this conflict between Israeli and Arabs, the problem is not Zionism or State of Israel the problem is the culture of hate and murders, once Queen Elizabeth was too much worry about British interest in M.E and Winston Churchill told her you not need to be worry because the Muslim by their culture will make guarantee our interest in M.E and he was right ,By the way before the British colonized the M.E there were not conflict between Jews and Muslim and Muslim believed that land belong to Jews and they did not oppose to Jewish State until the British took over of M.E.

        • “there is much better evidence of a much more capable Israeli capacity [for chemical weapons use]” — Care to back up that assertion? Proof by assertion is no proof at all.

  6. we must not worry anymore, decapitations and islamic culture have arrived in Central London

    • A lie. Winston Churchill said that a lie goes round the world before the truth has got out of bed and put its trousers on. Lies are knowingly spread by those who hate Israel and of course. Jews, that are eagerly taken up as truth and spread by such people. Provide incontrovertible proof of what you allege, or withdraw it.

          • You responded to “decapitations and islamic culture have arrived in Central London” with “a lie” — clearly the news reports support the statement you appear to have characterized as a lie.

  7. Since the 16 century the policy of British Empire has been divided and ruling on them and since then that policy is still continue, The British has been aware of every detail of history in every part of the world but for their interest they ignore the rights of any nation, Do not forget what British did to Jews whom had survived in ww2 and do not forget the BBC is the biggest propaganda that will provide the interest of British Empire in planet earth.

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