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Murders & Massacres from Both Sides

In response to:

Einstein as a Jew and a Philosopher from the May 7, 2015 issue

To the Editors:

In “Einstein as a Jew and a Philosopher” [NYR, May 7], Freeman Dyson stated: “In 1929, when some Palestinian Arabs organized a violent opposition to Jewish settlement and killed some Jews, the British colonial government suppressed the rebellion….” This is the version that Einstein, his biographer, and the reviewer most probably adopted due, primarily, to having been exposed to pro-Jewish media and historiography. In fact, both sides perpetrated murders and massacres spontaneously and simultaneously; and the number of Jewish and Arab casualties was approximately equal: circa 130. This has been definitely established by 1929: Year Zero of the Jewish–Arab Conflict (Jerusalem: Keter, 2013, in Hebrew), by Professor Hillel Cohen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (three of whose books have been translated into Arabic).

Henry Wassermann
Professor Emeritus
The Open University of Israel

Freeman Dyson replies:

I am grateful to Professors Wassermann and Cohen for correcting my mistake, and more importantly, for correcting the widely accepted history of the 1929 Arab Revolt.