On the Lebanon road, Arab villagers stream from Palestine during the fighting in Galilee, Nov. 4, 1948. (AP/Jim Pringle)

The sentence in question with the false claim defaming the State of Israel has been deleted, although there is no editor’s note explaining the revision.

Following an exchange of emails between CAMERA UK and British daily The Times, the editors removed the ahistorical claim that the flight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948-49 war was due to Israeli aggression, “rape and torture,” Adam Levick of CAMERA-UK, a media watchdog, reported.

A May 26th article in The Times, by Scottish political editor Kieran Andrews, was based on recent comments by Richard Lyle (member of the Scottish Parliament) referring to the ‘Nakba’ as a “self-inflicted tragedy,” Levick said. The Times editor provided “background” to the article on the reason the local Arabs fled during the war, saying:

“Historians argue that it was largely driven by Israeli aggression, including rape and torture, and to a much lesser degree by local Palestinian authorities urging people to flee.”

As CAMERA-UK noted, “there are no serious, non-propagandistic historians who have made such a claim – and in fact, when pressed, editors couldn’t provide the name of even one historian who holds this view.”

The watchdog confirmed that the sentence in question with the false claim defaming the State of Israel has been deleted, although there is no editor’s note explaining the revision.

“Nonetheless, we commend The Times – which is normally one of the fairest UK media outlets on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – on ultimately upholding our complaint and removing the sentence,” Levick wrote.

Israel’s War of Independence: Historical Background

On May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared the establishment of Israel, a Jewish state in the biblical homeland of the Jewish people. Immediately following Israel’s birth as a nation, five neighboring Arab nations – Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan and Iraq – declared war on the fledgling state, and thus began Israel’s War of Independence.

Although Israel emerged victorious, more Israelis died during the War of Independence than in any of the other war; more than 4,000 soldiers and 2,000 civilians lost their lives fighting for independence – approximately one percent of the total population at the time. Fifteen thousand were wounded. Arab losses are estimated at about 2,000 regular invading troops and an unknown number of irregular Arab forces.

The day that the modern State of Israel declared independence is observed by its enemies as Nakba Day. ‘Nakba ‘is Arabic for ‘catastrophe.’

Why Did the Arabs Flee?

In 1948, the local Arab leaders advised their constituents to leave the country, assuring them that the Arabs would be victorious in annihilating the Jewish state, after which they could all return to their homes.

Last but not least, there was no “Palestinian” nation that fought against the Israelis – they were all local Arabs, no different than those in the surrounding countries.

‘Palestine’ was the Greco-Roman name for a region. In the year 135 AC, it became the official name of one of the provinces of the Roman Empire in an attempt to obliterate the connection between the Jewish people and Judea – the land they had inhabited for over 1,000 years.

Indeed, there was never any mention on the part of the Arabs in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) of a Palestinian nation while Jordan controlled the territory and while Egypt ruled the Gaza Strip. That false narrative began after the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel, threatened with destruction by the surrounding Arab countries, achieved a miraculous victory, capturing the Sinai and the Golan Heights and liberating eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, the biblical homeland of the Jewish People.

Who are the Palestinians?

In fact, prior to 1948, the term “Palestinian” referred to all inhabitants of the Land of Israel, including Jews. The Jerusalem Post was called The Palestine Post; the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra was the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, etc. Jews born in the Land of Israel were called Palestinians.

Many archaeological discoveries in recent years confirm Jewish history in the Land of Israel for thousands of years.