Chamblee54

We Can Forgive The Arabs

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on June 4, 2020


The facebook meme showed a quote about American deaths in a mid-east war, and how Israel is willing to make the *scarifice.* PG remembered a quote from long ago. Something about how the thing Israel hates most is being forced to kill Arab children. Who said it, and when? Veteran readers of this blog should know where this is going. This is a repost.

Golda Meir is a matriarch of the State of Israel. Her wikiquote page has this: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” The attribution says this: “as quoted in A Land of Our Own : An Oral Autobiography (1973) edited by Marie Syrkin, p. 242.” There is a remarkable second attribution. “Harvey Rachlin was unable to find a primary source for this quote and the one below. The Mystery Of Golda’s Golden Gems”

” The one below” is wiki-listed as a “variant” of the first quote. “We can forgive [them] for killing our children. We cannot forgive them from forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with [them] when they love their children more than they hate us.” “As attributed in an Anti-Defamation League advertisement Ad that ran in the Hollywood Reporter.” The source: “Golda Meir (1957.)

The ADL Ad was reported on August 19, 2014. This was during an Israeli visit to Gaza. It was preceded by Bob Schieffer, on a CBS broadcast in July 2014. “Last week, I found a quote of many years ago by Golda Meir, one of Israel’s early leaders, which might have been said yesterday. “We can forgive the Arabs …” Mr. Schieffer did not give a source for the quote.

When dealing with a quote, you should ask questions. Did they really say it? When and where did they say it? What was the context? What was the original language, and can we trust the translation? Many, many famous quotes fail these simple tests. Brainy Quote is not a valid source.

The Mystery Of Golda’s Golden Gems takes a critical look. It turns out that the Schieffer/ADL team was using a combination of two quotes. These were the quotes investigated by Harvey Rachlin. “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”

“… many of these cite as their source A Land of Our Own: An Oral Autobiography. … The quote appears, along with several others, on the last page of the book’s text (before the index) under the heading “On Peace.” Its source is given as: National Press Club, Washington, 1957. I wrote to the National Press Club in an effort to obtain a copy of Meir’s 1957 speech. The response I received was that Meir, who at the time was Israel’s foreign minister, did not speak there in 1957….”

“…Curiously, most of the books I looked at, as well as Meir’s own autobiography, My Life, contained no mention of these two most famous Meir quotes. Nor was either of them included in The New York Times’s 4,883-word December 9, 1978 obituary of Meir – although Times reporter Israel Shenker found room for more than three dozen other quotes from Meir.”

“My investigation took a turn when I found a 1970 collection of Meir quotes titled As Good As Golda: The Warmth and Wisdom of Israel’s Prime Minister. In this book there are two quotes that bear close resemblance to the pair in question: “Peace will come when Nasser loves his own children more than he hates the Israelis” and “What we hold against Nasser is not only the killing of our sons but forcing them for the sake of Israel’s survival to kill others.”

“Strangely, there are no citations for any of the quotes in the book, and while I found these two exact quotes in other books (all published in or after 1970) none of the citations were from original sources. Even more bizarre is that As Good As Golda was compiled and edited by Israel and Mary Shenker – yes, the same Israel Shenker who several years later would write the massive New York Times obituary that contained dozens of Meir quotes but, notably, not her two most famous ones. …”

“… In August 2014, in the wake of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza, the ADL placed an ad … The ad had both Meir quotes strung together with the singular attribution “Golda Meir (1957).” The ADL did not respond to repeated requests from The Jewish Press for a statement as to whether the organization possessed any verification of the quotes and why they ran together, as though they were part of the same statement.”

Harvey Rachlin comes to the conclusion that there is no way to verify these quotes from Golda Meir. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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