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Akiva Orr: Stampede the Jews to Israel

The back cover of Akiva Orr's book, Israel: Politics, Myths and Identity Crises, presents this brief biography:

Akiva Orr was born in Berlin in 1931, served in the Israeli army in 1948, and after the war read mathematics and physics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  He left the Israeli Communist Party in 1962 to start, with others, the Matzpen Group.  He conducts private research into artificial intelligence in Israel.

Akiva Orr has also published two other books:

Peace, Peace, and No Peace, with M. Machover, Hebrew, Israel, 1962.
The unJewish State, Ithaca Press, London, 1983.

The following passage from Akiva Orr throws light on what is to most Ukrainians a mysterious phenomenon the virulent and gratuitous attacks upon Ukrainians and Ukraine that can be seen to emanate in an incessant stream from Jewish sources.  The hypothesis which is strengthened by a reading of the following passage is that these attacks are motivated, in large part, by the desire to in Akiva Orr's words "stampede the Jews to Israel."  This has been Israeli policy since the founding of the State, it has been a successful policy, and it is the policy which is being adhered to today.  The favorite Jewish refrain of Ukrainian anti-Semitism is largely imagined, and partly incited, as a tool of Israeli policy to steal Ukrainian brains and talent for Israel.  Thus, for example, Morley Safer's The Ugly Face of Freedom of October 23, 1994, is a variant of the bomb which Israeli agents threw into Baghdad's Mas-uda Shemtov Synagogue several decades ago:

The [following] incident occurred in 1970, when I was speaking in Scarborough [England] at a fringe meeting of the Liberal Party annual conference.  I explained that the conflict between Israel and the Arab world was essentially a conflict over lands and independence between Jewish immigrants and the indigenous Palestinian population.  Until 1948 Palestine was populated by an Arab majority which was expropriated, exploited, and partially expelled by the Zionist immigrants from Europe.  The immigrant settlers transformed the indigenous majority into a minority discriminated against in its own country, and imposed upon it a discriminatory state apparatus, namely a 'Jewish state'.  No wonder the natives were restless.  This came as a total revelation to the audience of some 500, who were used to apologetic versions of the Palestine conflict, in which Israel was presented as a small, democratic state created by the Jews who escaped from Auschwitz, a state that made 'the desert bloom', and that was beleaguered by the surrounding Arab states for the sheer fact that it was Jewish.

A lively session of questions from the audience followed.  Suddenly someone at the back of the hall stood up and shouted, emotionally: 'Israel expelled the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 as a response to the Jews who were expelled from the Arab states.  This amounted to a "population transfer", which had occurred more than once this century and was a legitimate, if cruel, way of settling minority problems.'  I replied that in 1948 Jews were not expelled from countries like Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, but induced to leave by Zionist emissaries from Israel who often used dirty tricks like throwing bombs into synagogues to create the impression of anti-Jewish persecution to stampede the Jews to Israel.

This answer outraged my heckler even more, and he shouted in an agitated voice: 'You are a liar, no Jew ever threw a bomb into a Jewish synagogue.'  The audience weren't used to seeing someone denounce a speaker as a 'liar'.  Being British, they assumed such an accusation was based on solid information capable of withstanding a libel charge.  The ball was now in my court, but having encountered this charge many times before I was well prepared.  I had copies of the Israeli weekly Haolam Ha-zeh (of 20 April and 1 June 1966) with me, which published details, with photographs, of these events.  Some Iraqi Jews who had become disabled as a result of the bombs thrown by Israeli agents into the Mas-uda Shemtov Synagogue in Baghdad had sued the Israeli government for damages, in Israel.  The government had preferred to settle out of court and pay damages, but the legal exchanges had reached the Israeli press and had been published by some magazines.  When I read out the details of the case from the Israeli magazine all eyes turned back towards my adversary.  I demonstrated convincingly that I was not a liar.  What would he say now?

There was a moment of silence and then he blurted out: 'You see, unlike the Arab countries Israel is a democratic state.  You can publish everything in the press there.'  The audience burst into laughter; I didn't.

Akiva Orr, Israel: Politics, Myths and Identity Crises, Pluto Press, London and Boulder Colorado, 1994, pp. 5-6.


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