Monday 5 December 2016

Debunking the Palestine myth

Published 30/04/2010 | 05:00

Zion Evrony (Letters, April 27) tries to propagate the old "Israel made the desert bloom" canard with his use of the Mark Twain quote: "Desolate and unlovely. . . hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. The hills barren and dull, the valleys unsightly deserts."

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Unfortunately for Mr Evrony, the deserts were blooming long before the arrival of the Zionists.

Writing in 1891, cultural Zionist Ahad Ha'am put the 'Palestine as a wasteland' fallacy to bed. "We abroad are used to believing the Eretz Yisrael is now almost totally desolate, a desert that is not sowed. . . but in truth that is not the case. Throughout the country it is difficult to find fields that are not sowed. Only sand dunes and stony mountains. . . are not cultivated."

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