Myths and Historiography of the 1948 Palestine War Revisited: The Case of Lydda. By Alon Kadish and Avraham Sela. The Middle East Journal, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Autumn 2005).
Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948. By Benny Morris. The Middle East Journal, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Winter 1986).
On July 13, 1948, thousands of Arabs left their homes in Lydda (now Lod) and marched in the heat of the summer toward Ramallah, then held by the Arab Legion. Why they did this has been the subject of great historical and political debate.
Mula Cohen, however, was unaware of this directive. In his memoirs To Give and To Receive, Mula Cohen writes “Let me be clear: I do not deny that it was I, as head of the brigade, who made the decision, and only after did I receive the permission of the commanders of Operation Dani.” Yigal Allon accepted Cohen’s view that the only way to hold Lydda was to expel the residents. Allon and Yitzhak Rabin, his deputy, argued about it and went to Ben-Gurion. They were perhaps aware of the directive and of the fact that they needed to obtain his permission, since at the time he was also serving as defense minister.