Another July

Sandy Tolan, whose new book, The Lemon Tree, I’ve mentioned before on this blog, contributes a brief primer on a history that started fifty-eight years ago this month Salon:

The expulsions of the Palestinians from Lydda and Ramla began en masse on July 13 and continued for three days. The Arabs of al-Ramla, who had surrendered without incident, were put on buses and driven to the front lines of the fighting, where (like the Arabs of Lydda) they were ordered out and told to walk.

From Lydda, Palestinians were marched out of town and toward the hills in the general direction of the Christian hill town of Ramallah, more than 20 miles away. Jewish soldiers would later recall a desire to punish the Arabs of Lydda for their aborted uprising; some soldiers confiscated gold from the refugees, and shot in the air behind them to speed their departure. (That same month in an Israeli cabinet meeting, as the historian Benny Morris has documented, minister Aharon Cohen declared that Israeli troops in Lydda had been “ordered” to “take from the expelled Arabs every watch, piece of jewelry or money … so that, arriving completely destitute, they would become a burden on the Arab legion,” the army of King Abdullah of neighboring Transjordan.)

Read the whole thing here. Well worth putting up with the blasted ads.

Thanks to Najlae for the link.

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