Joan Peters (Joan Peters Caro nee Friedman), 78, the author of the infamous and viciously anti-Palestinian book “From Time Immemorial,” died this week, according to an announcement from a relative posted on Facebook. Click to view Obituary.
The premise of the Peters book is that the Christian and Muslims who were forced to flee Palestine in the face of terrorist attacks by the Jewish-led militias the Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gang were in fact little more than a “population transfer” that was “justified.”
Peters argued that the Palestinians who lost their lands and homes to the State of Israel during the fighting that began in the 1940s and ended with Palestine’s near destruction in 1948, were replaced by Jews from Arab countries who entered Israel.
Pro-Israel activists and anti-Arab racists have long argued that the Jewish Arabs were forced to leave the Arab World and fled to Israel for safety. The truth, of course, is that Jewish Arabs were enticed to leave by Israel which sought to build up its population. In 1947, the population of the proposed “Jewish State” in the partition of Palestine was only 50 percent Jewish and 50 percent non-Jewish. In order to create the Jewish State in 1948, the Jewish militias had to force non-Jews to flee, not just from the proposed partitioned Jewish State but from the areas of the proposed partitioned Palestinian State that Jewish militias and terrorist organizations conquered during the wear.
Israel in 1948 consisted not only of the area set aside for the Jewish State under the UN Partition but also half of the area set aside for the Arab State and most of Jerusalem, which was designated to be an international zone.
Israel has never recognized the United Nations resolution urging it to return the lands it acquired in conflict both in 1948 and in 1967 and today leads the fight to block the creation of a Palestinian State that would be the home to Muslims and Christians from Palestine who were expelled by Israel.
In the pro-Israel atmosphere of the United States, books that aggressively defended Israel and Jewish claims to Palestine, and that viciously berated the rightful claims of Christians and Muslims to lands in Israel, were celebrated in the biased American news media and in the equally biased and racist American book publishing industry.
Although Peters’ book was celebrated, it was a partisan support that fueled sales, not the accuracy of its content. And it fed the conflict and did not bring either side together.
Click here to read Noam Chomsky’s review of the book which was originally published in 1984.
But that’s not unusual in America, which has always had a bias against Muslims and Christians from the Middle East.
The racist book “From Time Immemorial” was heavily promoted by journalists who were her friends and who embraced her sometimes hateful views of Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians.
Although members of the Arab American community opposed the book and its ugly contents, they do not celebrate anyone’s death. They wish only that she might have dedicated her life to embrace a genuinely more positive objective that would have brought peace not divisions to Palestine and Israel.
The conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine has created an extremist movement of fanatics on both sides who reject peace based on Two-States. Yet peace based on Two-States is exactly what is needed to protect Jews, Christians and Muslims in Palestine.
The book, From Time Immemorial, created much suffering for Palestinians and Arabs, and fueled the divisions that kept the two sides apart. Naturally, it received the National Jewish Book Award for Israel.
May she rest in peace.
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