Muslims in Minnesota are lobbying political leaders to step up their efforts to end the war in the Gaza Strip and refocus attention to the Israeli blockade of the area. Supporters gathered on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul to support their efforts. Fuad Hannon, a representative from the Muslim Students Association at the University of Minnesota, discusses the demands of the group and his own families’ personal stake in the region.
VIDEOGRAPHER: Grace Kelly
EDITOR: Noah Kunin
This is a sensitive subject at any time, especially now. Please watch the entire video before commenting or sending feedback.
I felt it important to include the final quote recited by Hannon, despite the fact that the attribution is false. Supporters on both sides of the issue believe in certain false quotes and false histories that help them support their position.
The false quote that David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, once contended that “the old will die and the young will forget” in reference to the Palestinian refugees is frequently used by anti-Zionists.
You can find this quote all over the web – including reputable Middle Eastern news sites. The quote, when sourced, is cited to Professor Michael Bar Zohar’s Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157. This citation is usually seen as authoritative, as Professor Bar Zohar is an official biographer of David Ben-Gurion and was himself a member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.
As this piece moved through our fact checking process, we tracked down a copy of the book. The quote doesn’t exist. We have that exact version now and that quote isn’t on page 157, nor 167 nor 147. Nor is the quote a rough paraphrase ofthe content of those pages.
There are other quotes on the subject by Ben-Gurion in the same book. On page 148, Ben-Gurion is meeting with his ministers to discuss the settlement plan put forth by Count Bernadotte in 1948. While there was some disagreement as to land swaps, the group was unanimous in their objection to Palestinian refugees returning. In a moment of anger, Ben-Gurion exclaims: “We must do everything to ensure that they never do return!”
Engineering crews are ordered to “destroy abandoned Arab villages situated at strategic points. In August, the United States threatened to apply sanctions against Israel if the Arab refugees were not allowed to return to their homes. But Ben-Gurion had only one thing in his mind – the military preparations to extend the frontiers, to seize the Negev and the rest of the Galilee and to obtain access to Jerusalem. Nothing could turn him from these plans.”
- Professor Michael Bar Zohar’s Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 148.