Just when writing the previous post, the author of From Time Immemorial of 1984, Joan Peters (or what was her later name, Joan Caro) passed away at the age of 78. The book tried to entertain two popular myths about the origins of the Israel-Palestine conflict applying pseudo-scholarship, first that there was no population present when Zionist Jews started buying land in Palestine, and second that, after 1948, rather Jews were refugees from neighboring states seeking shelter in Israel, not Palestinians who pretended to be expelled. Both myths were spread widely in post-WWII Europe. I vividly remember that, when a child in Germany, parents, other relatives and teachers, who had probably seen the Exodus movie by Otto Preminger of 1960, taught me that “the Jews made the desert bloom” something what common Arabs would never be able to accomplish.
It was Norman Finkelstein’s first subject of debunking a hoax, clearly a scientific fraud; first in his PhD dissertation at Princeton, then, as part of a broader correction of other history distorters, in Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict of 1995. When Alan Dershowitz later plagiarized Joan Peters in his apologetic trash publication The Case of Israel of 2004, Finkelstein could not resist to limit his criticizm to Dershowitz’s distortions but publicly pointed to plagiarism. He ultimately lost his position at DePaul University in Chicago. See Noam Chomsky’s view of what happened here.
Joan Peters has not written anything before or after From Time Immemorial and one wonders whether she has actually authored the propaganda book or who had commissioned it. Her daughter, Lore Peters, reported that, during her mother’s final illness, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, called her and conveyed get-well wishes from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who “wanted my mother to know how grateful he was for all she had done for Israel.”
Joan Peters died on January 6, 2015 after having suffered a stroke. May she rest in peace.
10 January 2015 @ 4:10 pm.
Update 18 January 2015.
See more interesting information and two most important links to proof of Alan Dershowitz’s plagiarism here.