Poor little Israel, the eternal bloody victim -- or so they would have the rest of the world believe.
How did this story begin?
(accompanying photographs may or may not show up depending on the type of computer you use, the browser, or ... to be honest, I really don't know the reason).
In 1895, Herzl, the founder of Zionism, wrote in his diary:
Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)Founder of the Zionist Movement
"We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back." (America And The Founding Of Israel, p. 49, Righteous Victims, p. 21-22)
In 1897 Herzl outlined one of the most important goals for Zionism during the first Zionist Congress convention held in Basle, Switzerland:
"We have an important task before us. We have met here to lay the foundation-stone of the house that will some day shelter the Jewish people. . . We have to aim at securing legal, international guarantees for our work." (Israel: A History, p. 14)
And on September 3rd, 1897 he also wrote:
"Were I to sum up the Basle Congress in a word-- which I shall GUARD AGAINST PRONOUNCING PUBLICLY-- it would be this: At Basle I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, and certainly in fifty, everyone will know it." (Israel: A History, p. 15)
Moshe Smilansky, 1890:
Moshe Smilansky, a Zionist writer and Labor leader who emigrated to Palestine in 1890:
"Let us not be familiar with the Arab fellahin [peasants] lest our children adopt their ways and learn from their ugly deeds. Let all those who are loyal to the Torah avoid ugliness and that which resembles it and keep their distance from the fellahin and their base attributes." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 7)
However, all did not agree!
Yitzhak Epstein at the Zionist Congress, 1905:
In 1905, during the Zionist Congress convention at Basle (Switzerland), Yitzhak Epstein delivered a lecture about the "Arab question" :
"Among the difficult questions connected to the idea of the renaissance of our people on its soil there is one which is equal to all others: the question of our relations with the Arabs. . . . We have FORGOTTEN one small matter: There is in our beloved land an entire nation, which has occupied it for hundreds of years and has never thought to leave it. . . .
We are making a GREAT psychological error with regard to a great, assertive, and jealous people. While we feel a deep love for the land of our forefathers, we forgot that the nation who lives in it today has a sensitive heart and loving soul. The Arab, like every man, is tied to his native land with strong bonds." (Righteous Victims, p. 57)
Smilansky wrote in "Hapoel Hatzair" in the spring edition of 1908:
"Either the Land of Israel of Israel belongs in the national sense to those Arabs who settled there in recent years [before 1908], and then we have no place there and we must say explicitly: The land of our fathers is lost to us. [Or] if the land of Israel belongs to us, the the Jewish people, then our national interests come before all else. . . . it is not possible for one country to serve as the homeland of two peoples." (Righteous Victims, p. 58)
Smilansky said in 1914:
"We must not forget that we are dealing here with a semi-savage people, which has extremely primitive concepts. And this is his nature: If he senses in you power- he will submit and will hide his hatred for you. And if he senses weakness- he will dominate you .... Moreover ... owing to the many tourists and urban Christians, there developed among the Arabs base values which are not common other primitive people ... to lie, to cheat, to harbor grave [unfounded] suspicions and to tell tales.... and a hidden hatred for the Jews. These Semites- they are anti-Semites." (Righteous Victims, p. 43)
Achad Ha'am, 1891:
Achad Ha'am (1856-1927) Father of Cultural Zionism
In a pamphlet under the heading line of "Truth from Eretz Yisrael" published in 1891, Achad Ha'Am wrote of how Jewish settlers at the time treated the indigenous Palestinian people:
"[The Jewish settlers] treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly, beat them shamelessly for no sufficient reason, and even take pride in doing so. The Jews were slaves in the land of their Exile, and suddenly they found themselves with unlimited freedom, wild freedom that ONLY exists in a land like Turkey. This sudden change has produced in their hearts an inclination towards repressive tyranny, as always happens when slave rules." 'Ahad Ha'Am warned: "We are used to thinking of the Arabs as primitive men of the desert, as a donkey-like nation that neither sees nor understands what is going around it. But this is a GREAT ERROR. The Arab, like all sons of Sham, has sharp and crafty mind . . . Should time come when life of our people in Palestine imposes to a smaller or greater extent on the natives, they WILL NOT easily step aside." (One Palestine Complete, p. 104)
Achad Ha'Am warned that Jewish settlers must under no circumstances arouse the wrath of the natives, he said:
"Yet what do our brethren do in Palestine? Just the very opposite! Serfs they were in the lands of the Diaspora and suddenly they find themselves in unrestricted freedom and this change has awakened in them an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination ..."
The same lack of understanding he found in the boycott of Arab labour proclaimed by Jewish labour ... "Apart from the political danger, I can't put up with the idea that our brethren are morally capable of behaving in such a way to humans of another people, and unwittingly the thought comes to my mind: if it is so now, what will be our relation to the others if in truth we shall achieve at the end of times power in Eretz Yisrael? And if this be the Messiah: I do not wish to see his coming." (UN: The Origins And Evolution of Palestine Problem, section II)
Israel Zangwill, 1905:
"Palestine proper has already its inhabitants. The pashalik of Jerusalem is already twice as thickly populated as the United States, having fifty-two souls to the square mile, and not 25% of them Jews ..... [We] must be prepared either to drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population, mostly Mohammedan and accustomed for centuries to despise us." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 7- 10, and Righteous Victims, p. 140)
In 1920, Zangwill clearly acknowledged the existence of Palestinians, but not as a people since they were not exploiting Palestine's resource. He said:
"If Lord Shaftesbury was literally inexact in describing Palestine as a country without a people, he was essentially correct, for there is no Arab people living in intimate fusion with the country, utilizing its resources and stamping it with a characteristic impress: there is at best an Arab encampment." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 6)
Zangwill also wrote in an article published in "Voice Of Jerusalem" in 1920, that Palestinians' cultural "backwardness" as a justification for the removal of the population. He stated:
"We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction ..... And therefore we must generally persuade them to 'trek.' After all, they have all Arabia with its million square miles .... There is no particular reason for the Arabs to cling to these few kilometers. 'To fold their tents and silently steal away' is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 14, and Righteous Victims, p. 140)
In a public meeting in 1919 Zangwill made a remark about the Palestinian Arabs:
"Many are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 14)
Meir Dizengoff, 1909:
"How can Jews, who demand emancipation in Russia, rob rights and act selfishly toward other workers upon coming to Eretz Israel? If it is possible for many a people to hide fairness and justice behind cannon smoke, how and behind what shall we hide fairness and justice? We should absolutely not deceive ourselves with terrible visions. We shall never possess cannons, even if the goyim shall bear arms against one another for ever. Therefore, we cannot but settle in our land fairly and justly, to live and let live. " (Meir Dizengoff (writing as "Dromi") "The Workers Question," Hatzvi, September 21, 22, 1909)
Arthur Ruppin wrote in 1913:
Arthur Ruppin (1876-1943) Made practical Zionism possible
"Land is the most necessary thing for establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands .... we are bound in each case ... to remove the peasants who cultivate the land." (Righteous Victims, p. 61)
Ruppin stated that he
"had come to the conviction and conclusion that there is no way of reaching a peace agreement with the [Palestinian] Arabs without abandoning our fundamental demands." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 52)
Addressing Ussishkin (see below), he then went on to say:
"I also entertained dreams like yours. I once said, Iraq will absorb the Arabs of the Land of Israel and all the people of the world would recognize our justified demands ..... But .... how could you conceive that [Palestinian] Arabs would abandon the Land of Israel and go to Baghdad? What is it in for them? In Baghdad the fellah receives 3 or 4 piastre [local currency] as a daily wage. Here [meaning Palestine] the fellah receives 12-15 piastres. There he is living in object poverty, but not here. Why should he go to Iraq? Is this only because it is an Arab country, and he will still fight for its Arabness ... and the condition of the agriculture in Iraq could not be described as the Garden Of Eden." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 52)
Even after the Balfour Declaration, the British were beginning to have serious doubts:
When the question of the British Mandate over Palestine was discussed in Parliament, it became clear that opinion in the House of Lords was strongly opposed to the Balfour Declaration, as illustrated by the words of Lord Sydenham in reply to Lord Balfour:
"... the harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country - Arab all around in the hinterland - may never be remedied ... what we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far that sore will extend." (UN: The Origins And Evolution Of Palestine Problem, section IV)
While the Zionist leadership was discussing the morality of "transferring" the Palestinian people in December 1918, Yitzhak Avigdor Wilkansky, an agronomist and advisor at the Palestine Office in JAFFA, felt that, for practical reasons, it was:
"impossible to evict the fellahin [Palestinian Arab peasants], even if we wanted to. Nevertheless, if it were possible, I would commit an INJUSTICE towards the [Palestinian] Arabs. There are those among us who are opposed to this form the point of view of supreme righteousness and morality. . . .[But] when you enter into the midst of the Arab nation and do not allow it to unit, here too you are taking its life. . . . Why don't our moralists dwell on this point? We must be either complete vegetarians or meat eaters: not one-half, one-third, or one-quarter vegetarian." (Righteous Victims, p. 140-141 & America And The Founding Of Israel, p. 71)
Edward Mandell House, US President Wilson's aid, wrote Lord Balfour predicting the outcome of future implementation of the Balfour Declaration:
"It is all bad and I told Balfour so. They are making [the Middle East] a breeding place for future war." (Righteous Victims, p. 73)
In 1930, Arthur Ruppin stated that the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian Arabs was inevitable if Zionism was to become a reality. He wrote:
"[Palestinian dispossession is inevitable because] land is the vital condition for our settlement in Palestine. But since there is hardly any land which is worth cultivating that is not already being cultivated, it is found that whatever we purchase land and settle it, by necessity its present cultivators are turned away . . . In the future it will be much more difficult to purchase land, as sparsely populated land hardly exists. What remains is densely [Palestinian Arab] populated land." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p.11)
Moshe Sharett, 1914:
Moshe Sharett (1894-1965) Second Prime Minister of Israel
We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it, that governs it by the virtue of its language and savage culture ..... Recently there has been appearing in our newspapers the clarification about "the mutual misunderstanding" between us and the Arabs, about "common interests" [and] about "the possibility of unity and peace between two fraternal peoples." ..... [But] we must not allow ourselves to be deluded by such illusive hopes ..... for if we cease to look upon our land, the Land of Israel, as ours alone and we allow a partner into our estate- all content and meaning will be lost to our enterprise. (Righteous Victims, p. 91)
Chaim Weizmann, 1925:
Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) First President of Israel
Palestine must be built up without violating the legitimate interests of the Arabs.. Palestine is not Rhodesia... 600,0000 Arabs live there, who before the sense of justice of the world have exactly the same rights to their homes as we have to our National Home. [Chaim Weizmann, addressing the Fourteenth Zionist Congress in Vienna, 1925, quoted in Tessler, Mark, A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1994 p. 181]
Chaim Weizmann, 1947:
"There must not be one law for the Jew and another for the Arabs....In saying this, I do not assume that there are tendencies toward inequality or discrimination. It is merely a timely warning which is particularly necessary because we shall have a very large Arab minority. I am certain that the world will judge the Jewish State by what it will do with the Arabs, just as the Jewish people at large will be judged by what we do or fail to do in this state where we have been given such a wonderful opportunity after thousands of years of wandering and suffering." (Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, Page 566 - written in December 1947)
David Ben Gurion, 1934:
“We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland” (David Ben-Gurion to Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami 1934), quoted in Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs: From Peace to War, London: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 140).
Ze'ev Jabotinsky, 1923:
Ze'ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) Founder of the Haganah
"The Arabs loved their country as much as the Jews did. Instinctively, they understood Zionist aspirations very well, and their decision to resist them was only natural ..... There was no misunderstanding between Jew and Arab, but a natural conflict. .... No Agreement was possible with the Palestinian Arab; they would accept Zionism only when they found themselves up against an 'iron wall,' when they realize they had no alternative but to accept Jewish settlement." (America And The Founding Of Israel, p. 90)
Just before Jabotinsky's death in 1940, he justified "transferring" the Palestinian people out of their homes as follows:
"The world has become accustomed to the idea of mass migrations and has become fond of them." He later added, "Hitler--- as odious as he is to us---has given this idea a good name in the world." (One Palestine Complete, p. 407)
David Ben Gurion, 1919:
David Ben Gurion (1886-1973)First Prime Minister of Israel
"Everybody sees the problem in the relations between the Jews and the [Palestinian] Arabs. But not everybody sees that there's no solution to it. There is no solution! . . . The conflict between the interests of the Jews and the interests of the [Palestinian] Arabs in Palestine cannot be resolved by sophisms. I don't know any Arabs who would agree to Palestine being ours---even if we learn Arabic . . .and I have no need to learn Arabic. On the other hand, I don't see why 'Mustafa' should learn Hebrew. . . . There's a national question here. We want the country to be ours. The Arabs want the country to be theirs." (One Palestine Complete, p. 116)
Not too surprisingly, this led to the two following remarks:
“We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
“If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”
Menachem Ussishkin, 1938:
In 1938 Menachem Ussishkin commented on the partition plan proposed by the British Peel Commission in 1937:
"We cannot begin the Jewish state with a population of which the [Palestinian] Arabs living on their lands constitute almost half and where the Jews exist on the land in very small numbers and they are all crowded in Tel Aviv and its vicinity .... and the worst is not only the [Palestinian] Arabs here constitute 50 percent or 45 percent but 75 percent of the land is in the hands of the [Palestinian] Arabs. Such a state cannot survive even for half an hour ..... The question is not whether they will be majority or a minority in Parliament. You know that even a small minority could disrupt the whole order of parliamentary life..... therefore I would say to the [Peel] Commission and the government that we would not accept reduced Land of Israel without you giving us the land, on the one hand, and removing the largest number of [Palestinian] Arabs-particularly the peasants- on the other before we come forward to take the reins of government in our lands even provisionally." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 111-112; see also Righteous Victims, p. 143-144)
Yosef Weitz, 1940:
"it must be clear that there is no room in the country for both [Arab and Jewish] peoples . . . If the [Palestinian] Arabs leave it, the country will become wide and spacious for us . . . The only solution [after the end of WW II] is a Land of Israel, at least a western land of Israel [i.e. Palestine since Transjordan is the eastern portion], without [Palestinian] Arabs. There is no room here for compromises . . . There is no way but to transfer the [Palestinian] Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for [the Palestinian Arabs of] Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one [Bedouin] tribe. The transfer must be directed at Iraq, Syria, and even Transjordan [eastern portion of Eretz Yisrael]. For this goal funds will be found . . . An only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers and the Jewish problem will cease to exist. There is no other solution." (Benny Morris, p. 27 & Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 131-132)
And one year later, in 1941:
"Once again I come face to face with the land settlement difficulties that emanate from the existence of two people in close proximity . . . . We have clashing interests with the [Palestinian] Arabs everywhere, and these interests will go and clash increasingly. . . . and once again the answer from inside me is heard: only [Palestinian Arab] population transfer and evacuating this country so it would become exclusively for us [Jews] is the solution. This idea does not leave me in these days and I find comfort in it in the face of enormous difficulties in the way of land-buying and settlement." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 132)
Aharon Cizling, 1948:
During the course of the 1948 war, reports of WAR CRIMES (perpetrated by the Israeli soldiers at al-Dawayima northwest of Hebron) reached the Israeli Cabinet. These atrocities shocked Aharon Cizling, and during a Cabinet meeting he stated:
"I've received a letter on the subject. I must say that I have known what things have been like for some time and I have raised the issue several times already here. However after reading this letter I couldn't sleep last night. I felt the things that were going on were hurting my soul, the soul of my family and all of us here. I could not imagine where we came from and to where are we going. . . . I often disagree when the term Nazi was applied to the British. I wouldn't like to use the term, even though the British committed Nazi crimes. But now Jews too have behaved like Nazis and my entire being has been shaken. . . . Obviously we have to conceal these actions from the public, and I agree that we should not even reveal that we're investigating them. But they must be investigated. . . ." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 26 & Benny Morris, p. 233)
Cizling empathized with the plight of the Palestinian refugees. He said during a Cabinet meeting:
"We still do not properly appreciate what kind of enemy we are now nurturing outside the borders of our state. Our enemies, the Arab states, are mere nothing compared with those hundreds of thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs who will be moved by hatred and hopelessness and infinite hostility to wage war on us, regardless of any agreement we might be reached. . . . " (1949, The First Israelis, p. 31)
Yigal Allon, on the 1948 war:
ONLY five days left . . . until 15 May . We regarded it as imperative to CLEANSE [of Palestinian Arabs] the interior of the Galilee and create JEWISH territorial continuity in the whole of the Upper Galilee. The protracted battles reduced our forces, and we faced major tasks in blocking [prospective Syrian and Lebanese] invasion routes. We, therefore, looked for a means that would not oblige us to use force to DRIVE OUT tens of thousands of hostile [Palestinian] Arabs left in the Galilee and who, in the event of an invasion, could strike at us from behind. We tried to utilize a stratagem that exploited the [Arabs] defeat in Safad and in area cleared by [Operation] Broom - a stratagem that WORKED WONDERFULLY.
I gathered the Jewish mukhtars [Kibbutz chiefs], who had ties with the different [local Palestinian] Arab villages, and I asked them to WHISPER in the ears of several [Palestinian] Arabs that a giant Jewish reinforcement had reached the Galilee and were about to CLEAN OUT the villages of Hula, [and] to advise them as friends, to FLEE while they could. And rumour spread throughout Hula that the time had come to flee. The flight encompassed tens of thousands. The stratagem FULLY achieved its objective . . . and we were able to deploy ourselves in face of the [prospective] invaders along the borders, with out fear for our rear." (Benny Morris, p. 122)
One day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun and Israel's future Prime Minster between 1977-1983, proclaimed:
Menachem Begin (1913-1992)
"The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever." (Iron Wall p. 25 & Simha Flapan, p. 32)
Soon after Menachem Begin and the Likud party won the Israeli election in 1977, the government's foreign policy was stated as follows:
"the Jewish people have unchallengeable, eternal, historic right to the Land of Israel [including the West Bank and Gaza Strip], the inheritance of their forefathers," and pledged to build rural and urban exclusive Jewish colonies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." (Iron Wall, p. 354-355) This is a typical Zionist argument where the Bible or the "Word of God" is being used to achieve political objectives.
Moshe Dayan stated in an oration at the funeral of an Israeli farmer killed by a Palestinian Arab in April 1956:
Moshe Dayan (1915-1981 ) Israeli military commander
". . . Let us not today fling accusation at the murderers. What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.
We should demand his blood not from the [Palestinian] Arabs of Gaza but from ourselves. . . . Let us make our reckoning today. We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood."
While planning the attack on Egypt in 1956, Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan were trying to work out a plan to internally destabilize Lebanon in favor of Christian-Maronite government, and in that regard Dayan proposed:
"All that is required is to find an officer, even a captain [later to be Sa'ed Haddad] would do, to win his heart or buy him with money to get him to agreed to declare himself the savior of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, occupy the necessary territory, create a Christian regime that will ally itself with Israel. The territory from Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel, and everything will fall into place." (Iron Wall, p. 133-134)
Dayan once remarked "describing Israel's relationship with the United States":
"Our American friends offer us money, arms, and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice." (Iron Wall, p. 316)
Everyone there should move, should run, should grab more hills, expand the territory. Everything that's grabbed, will be in our hands. Everything we don't grab will be in their hands.
Rabbi Yaacov Perrin
“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”
Ehud Barak, military hero and former Israeli prime minister, was once caught off guard by a reporter's question:
Ehud Barak (1942 -) military commander; later PM of Israel
"What would you have done, sir, if you had been born a Palestinian?"
Barak thought a moment and replied candidly,"I imagine that if I were a Palestinian of the right age, I would, at some stage, have joined one of the terror organizations."
Zionist groups had not been distinguished in their physical resistance to anti-Semites in Europe but they were gladiatorial in their assaults on Palestinian communities. (Arthur Neslen, 2006)
The methods of ethnic cleansing are myriad: land theft, destruction of agricultural land and resources, economic strangulation, crippling restrictions on commerce, home demolition, residency permit revocation, outright deportation, arrest, assassination, family separation, movement restriction, destruction of census and land ownership records, theft of tax monies, starvation. Israel wants all of the land of Palestine, including all of the West Bank and Gaza, but it cannot have a majority Jewish state in all of this land as long as the Palestinians are there. Hence the slow strangulation. (Kathleen Christison, 2006)
And it goes on day by day. We support injustice with our silence.