Debunking the Palestine myth
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."
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."