I originally encountered this phony quotation in a pro-Arab publication about two or three years ago. Although it purportedly dates back to 1956, I have only been able to find it used in just the past few years. Using a very substantial library on Israeli history I could not find ANY mention of a general Merham ... indeed, could not find a mention of anyone in Israel with that name. Neither the quotation, nor any military exploits that might have been the occasion for it, can be found in histories of the Suez crisis nor in biographies of Ariel Sharon. The only place I can find a General Merham mentioned is a repetition of this dubious quotation, no other information about such a person seems to exist anywhere.
There are enough devout Orthodox Jews in the Israeli Army - even in the squads and regiments commanded by Sharon in his military career - that a crime such as what is described could possibly have remained concealed or that some of his troops wouldn't have mutinied or the like.
posted on 12/25/2003 8:04:26 PM PST
I bothered to make a point of trying to track this phony quote. The earliest dated appearance (in English) is in The Palestine Chronicle
, a PLO website, where it appears for an article dated Saturday, April 6, 2002; http://www.palestinechronicle.com/story.php?sid=2002040618433546
The article, by Tariq Al-Maeena, attributes this quotation to some guy, identified only as Omar, on a fishing trip.
Thereafter the quotation is picked up and ruthlessly reprinted - without any mention of Omar or the fishing trip - by numerous pro-Arab or anti-Jewish media; always in exactly the same words - not even showing whatever flexibility there might be if they had found the quote in its original language and translated it themselves. The Palestine Chronicle's search engine, nor any other reference tool, mentions a General Ouze Merham except in connection with this phony quote.
If there were any truth to this quote it would have shown up in some of the biographies of Sharon, especially those by his (numerous) political rivals and enemies in Israel, but even those people didn't use it which means it must have been very obviously fake.
posted on 12/26/2003 7:26:37 AM PST
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