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August 8, 2009

A lengthy article by Oakland Ross in the Toronto Star, "Damaging Israeli Misquote Finally Corrected: Record set straight seven years after Israel's top soldier was accused of trashing Palestinians," reviews the history of a statement falsely ascribed to Moshe Ya'alon, the former Israeli chief of staff, and proffers the newspaper's apology for having made that ascription.

The Star blasts the alleged 2002 statement as "trashing," "incendiary" and "a harsh, unyielding verdict on the fate of a thwarted nation." The Star says it "reinforced the worst suspicions of Israel's critics" by making Israelis look like "heartless aggressors." Not surprisingly, given the damage it did, the quote appears to have been invented by Henry Siegman, someone known for his "demonization of Israel."

So, just what was the ghastly statement Ya'alon never made?

Drum roll, please: "The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people."

With the record now clear that Ya'alon did not say this in 2002, I would like to say it on my own behalf in 2009. Here goes: The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.

There, I did it.

It sums up my understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict and accurately represents my views. The world may quote me on it without fear of contradiction. (August 8, 2009)

Russian version
An introduction to MAOF
Haim Goldman

Dear Friends,

Would you believe that the undersigned has anything in common with

-- Professor Victor Davis Hanson (Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University),
-- Dr Charles Krauthammer, (Washington Post, Time, The Weekly Standard),
-- Caroline Glick (Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post),
-- Jonathan Tobin (Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent).

Amazingly, the editors of the MAOF website decided that the missives of the undersigned are worthy of translation and posting along the articles written by these distinguished authors.

The first letter was published without the consent of the undersigned.
However, after thorough examination of the laudable attitude of MAOF and of the excellent contents of the website, the undersigned had most graciously granted his permission for publication of his missives in both English and Russian.

“Analytical Group MAOF” [1] is an organisation founded about ten years ago by Russian-speaking Jewish intellectuals. The attitude of MAOF is definitely pro-Zionist -- unambiguously and unapologetically.

One of MAOF’s primary purposes is providing information and analysis about Middle-Eastern and world affairs as well as about Israel’s history, values and dilemmas. In addition to extensive publication activity in various media, MAOF also organises excursions and seminars. While the vast majority of the contents of the MAOF website is in Russian, texts originally written in English are provided in the original [2] as well as in Russian.

There are arguably about 250 millions of Russian-speakers worldwide and many of them do not read English. The indisputable motivation for the author’s permission was to grant those millions of disadvantaged people the grand benefit of reading the author’s ruminations. If the author is ever maliciously accused that his tacit motivation for authorising the publication was his craving to be listed along with the above-mentioned distinguished writers, his plea will definitely be “nolo contendere”.

The editors of MAOF expressed their gratitude by granting the undersigned a privilege that no other author got – the opportunity to review and correct the Russian translation before publication. The original letters of the undersigned are at [3] and their Russian version is at [4]. At of today, only two letters are posted but several other letters are pending translation.

You are kindly ENCOURAGED TO RECOMMEND the MAOF website to your friends and colleagues worldwide, particularly those who speak Russian. Those who do not enjoy the benefit of proficiency in the exquisite Russian language can find many thought-provoking and inspiring articles about Middle-Eastern and world affairs in the English section [2].


Haim Goldman


[2] section.php3? sid=37&num=25
[3] authorg.php3? id=2107&type=a
[4] authorg.php3? id=2166&type=a