after the 1967 war which it initiated, refused to
vacate the West Bank, Gaza and East
Jerusalem, all of which it had occupied, the UN evaded
its responsibility to get the illegal occupation vacated and
instead the Palestinians were pressured to negotiate” with
the occupier, Israel. Now the UN is evading its responsibility again by its
Secretary General saying that Hamas and Israel should go back to the
negotiating table to work out a truce deal providing for lifting of the
crippling siege of Gaza by Israel
U.N Secretary General is to be commended for some plain
speaking on Gaza. Regrettably, the “solutions” he suggests make no sense and
are self-defeating. In essence the UN is evading its responsibilities to the Palestinian
people once again.
When Israel, after the 1967 war which it initiated, refused
to vacate the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, all of which it had occupied,
the UN evaded its responsibility to get the illegal occupation
vacated and instead the Palestinians were pressured to “negotiate”
with the occupier, Israel. Now the UN is evading its responsibility again by
its Secretary General saying that Hamas and Israel should go
back to the negotiating table to work out a truce deal
providing for lifting of the crippling siege of Gaza by Israel
There are four distinct components of the problem.
Ending the carnage being perpetuated by Israel with its
current military action.
Freeing Gazans from the crippling, strangling and illegal
siege and blockade of Gaza.
Dealing with the rockets being fired by Hamas into
Establishing a truce.
The UN can and must call on Israel to end its current military
operations in Gaza and lift the siege and blockade of Gaza. It is the bounden
duty of the UN to call on Israel, a child of its own creation, to abide by
Indeed, seeing that the “peace negotiations process” has merely
been used by Israel to grab more land allotted to a Palestinian state by the
UN, construct more illegal Israeli settlements thereon and inflict unbearable and
cruel suffering on the Palestinians, it is time for the UN to go further and
discharge its responsibilities and take all necessary steps to end the illegal
occupation of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
The UN cannot ask Gazans to desist from exercising the
internationally recognized right of occupied people to resist the occupation,
by force if necessary.
There is no obligation on Hamas to end the firing of
rockets into Israel even if Israel ends its current military operations in Gaza
and lifts the siege and blockade of Gaza. Gazans are, first and foremost,
Palestinians and Gaza is an integral part of the Palestinian state mandated by
the UN. Hamas demands include the ending of the continuing illegal Israeli occupation
of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in addition to ending its occupation of
Gaza and its illegal siege and blockade of it.
For the immediate present, a truce is desperately needed.
But it is as ridiculous and unjust to the Palestinians to ask both the parties
to “go back to the negotiating table”, as Ban Ki.moon has done, as it was to
ask Palestinians to negotiate with the occupier the terms and conditions for ending
the occupation. The UN evaded its responsibilities then and it is doing it once
On the face of it, there appears to be an insoluble
Here is where the UN can come in. Though it cannot ask
Hamas to desist from exercising its right to resist the illegal occupation by
firing rockets into Israel, it can call on both parties to agree to a truce
formulated by the UN, which would include:
Israel and Hamas to forthwith cease violence against each
Israel to start lifting its siege and blockade of Gaza
and complete the process within 90 days.
If Israel and the UN want Israeli citizens to live in
peace and security after the 90 day period, it is for Israel, and the UN, to
see that Israel vacates its illegal occupation of West Bank, Gaza and East
Jerusalem and recognizes an independent and sovereign state of Palestine within
the 1967 borders which the Palestinians (both
Hamas and Fatah) have already agreed to.
"Ethnic cleansing and “reclaiming” biblical lands go hand in hand for the Zionists and has been going on from a little before the creation of Israel to date. What is going on now in Gaza is a continuation of this project, a work in progress."
In the Orwellian world that
we live in today, everything is upside down.
Take the case of what is
happening in Israel and Palestine
The narrative, repeated ad
nauseam in the Western media and by US political leaders is that militant
Palestinian terrorists are firing thousands of rockets into Israel, frightening
innocent Israeli men, women and children and disrupting their lives by forcing
them to run time and again into air raid shelters when the sirens sound to warn
them of incoming rockets. This leaves the peace loving Israeli government with
no alternative but to take military action to wipe out the rocket
manufacturing, launching and storage sites and the tunnels Hamas uses to
infiltrate into Israel.
US President and various
Congressmen have spoken forcefully about
deeper reveals a different story. It becomes clear that the present slaughter
being carried out by Israel in Gaza has very little, if anything, to do with
Hamas raining down rockets on Israel, but has more, much more to do with an innocent
sounding, eye catching, heart tugging, emotion lade little phrase coined a very
long time back: “A land without people for a people without land.” It was
common among Zionists at the end of the nineteenth, and the beginning of the
twentieth century and was associated with the movement to establish a Jewish
homeland in Palestine
leaders have openly stated that their goal is to reclaim the biblical lands and
establish Eretz Yisraeel in the whole of Palestine complete with Judea and
Samaria. Originally the goal was to extend the boundaries of Greater Israel to
include Jordan but for some years this is not mentioned.
It was also
understood by the Zionists that to establish a Jewish state they would have to
expel those already residing there. And this they started doing as soon as the
boundaries of the Israeli state the UN proposed became known.
by Jewish historians themselves, aided by the opening of many historical and
military documents archived by the Israel, and British governments, have
provided a disturbing and troubling picture.
month before the creation of Israel, on April 19, 1948, the Stern Gang and
Irgun and other Jewish para military forces started their ethnic cleansing in
Dir Yasein. 240 men, women and children of this peaceful village were
slaughtered. It included rapes and mutilations.
By the end
of the 1948 War, hundreds of Arab villages had been completely depopulated.
Their house and buildings were bulldozed or blown up primarily for the purpose
of preventing the return of their owners. Benny Morris lists 369 Palestinian
villages and towns destroyed, while Professor Walid Khalidi, leading a team of
field researchers, in an exhaustive study, describes the destruction of each of
418 villages or hamlets which are listed on an index of Palestinian cities of
other massacres and perhaps two to three thousands, essentially defenseless,
Palestinians, were massacred, according to Haifa University historian Ilan
into existence on May 15, 1948
Ethnic cleansing and “reclaiming” biblical lands
go hand in hand for the Zionists and has been going on from a little before the
creation of Israel to date. What is going on now in Gaza is a continuation of
this project, a work in progress.
little bit of information about Gaza and Hamas.
Gaza was not
included within the boundaries drawn up for an Israeli state by the UN.
war that followed Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, the
Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement of 24 February 1949 established the separation
line between Egyptian and Israeli forces, and established what became the
present boundary between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Parts of Gaza now fell
within the jurisdiction and control of Israel. The truncated Gaza strip came
under the control of Egypt.
Gaza, as it exists today, is
a small strip pf land situated at the southernmost corner of Israel on the
eastern coast. It is about 41 km in length, 8-12 km in width, with a land mass
of 363 square km. (140 square miles).On this small strip live about 2 million
people, making it one of the most densely populated area in the world.
In 1967 Gaza
was OCCUPIED by Israel in a war initiated by Israel. It remains OCCUPIED by
Oslo accords, officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, D.C., on 13
September 1993, the civil administration of Gaza came under the newly created
Palestinian National Authority (PNA) but remained under the tight control of
founded in 1987
of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is a socio economic, religious
and political entity.
formed essentially to oppose Fatah and offer Palestinians an alternative.
It differed fundamentally
from Fatah. The latter chose to adopt peace negotiations crafted by the Quartet
(the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) with
the US as an “honest broker”. Hamas on the other believed that to Israel the peace
process was just a cover which Israel was using to stall ending the occupation,
grab more Palestinian land, build more Israeli settlements on Palestinian land
and transfer Israelis from Israel to the occupied territories.
its charter, it was founded to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and
to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank,
and the Gaza Strip. (This has changed. See Hamas Changes its Charter Stance
further into the article)
popular among Palestinians because of its social services to Palestinians in
the occupied territories. Such services are not generally provided by the
Palestinian Authority. Israeli scholar Reuven Paz estimates that 90% of Hamas
activities revolve around "social, welfare, cultural, and educational
activities". Social services include running relief programs and funding
schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports
Israel and US initially helped Hamas to grow. They wanted to use it as a
counter to the secular Fatah, weaken it. The old tried and tested strategy of
divide and rule. But Hamas succeeded far beyond what they had imagined.
Israel deployed its armed forces from within Gaza to other areas. Israel also
evacuated all Israeli citizens, some forcibly, from within Gaza and resettled
them elsewhere. This ended Israel’s physical presence in Gaza but Israel retained
full control over the territory, turning it into a tightly controlled open air
prison for Gazans. Nothing and no person came into Gaza nor anything or any
person left Gaza without Israel’s permission.
Palestinian parliamentary elections held on January 25, 2006, Hamas won a
plurality of 42.9% of the total vote and 74 out of 132 total seats (56%).When
Hamas assumed power the next month, the Israeli government, the United States
and the EU, refused to recognize its right to govern the Palestinian Authority. Even though the elections were held under inernational observers wo pronounced it to be a fair election.
Gaza election, Hamas leader sent a letter addressed to George W. Bush where he
among other things declared that Hamas would accept a state on the 1967 borders
including a truce. However, the Bush administration did not reply.
Quartet on the Middle East (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and
the United Nations) stated that assistance to the Palestinian Authority would
only continue if Hamas renounced violence, recognized Israel, and accepted
previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, which Hamas refused to do. The Quartet
then imposed a freeze on all international aid to the Palestinian territories.
under this pressure, PA declared a state of emergency, dissolved the unity
government and formed a new government without Hamas participation. PNA security
forces in the West Bank arrested a number of Hamas members.
relationship between Hamas and the PA unraveled.
Hamas shifted its attention to Gaza and,
by the middle of June, Hamas fully
controlled the Gaza Strip.
Israel has progressively squeezed Gaza tighter and tighter.
HAMAS CHANGES ITS CHARTER STANCE
what is stated in its Charter, Hamas no longer has as its goal the ending of
Israel as a State and is prepared to accept its existence (even though it
continues to deny that Israel has any inherent right to exist, much a right to exist as a Jewish state.)
election manifesto for the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, Hamas omitted
a call for an end to Israel, though it did still call for armed struggle
against the occupation.
elections in 2006, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar did not rule out the
possibility of accepting a "temporary two-state solution"
Xinhua has reported
that Al-Zahar "did not rule out the possibility of having Jews, Muslims
and Christians living under the sovereignty of an Islamic state"
2006, Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, said that if a Palestinian
state was formed within the 1967 lines, Hamas was willing to declare a truce
that could last as long as 20 years, and stated that Hamas will never recognize
the "usurper Zionist government" and will continue "jihad-like
movement until the liberation of Jerusalem".
February 2006, Hamas offered Israel a 10-year truce "in return for a
complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West
Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem," and recognition of Palestinian rights
including the "right of return"
2006, Hamas released its official legislative program. The document clearly
signaled that Hamas could refer the issue of recognizing Israel to a national
referendum. Under the heading "Recognition of Israel," it stated
simply: "The question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of
one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian
This was a
major shift away from their 1988 charter.
A few months
later, via Maryland's Jerome Segal, the group sent a letter to U.S. President
George Bush stating they "don't mind having a Palestinian state in the
1967 borders", and asked for direct negotiations. Segal emphasized
that a state within the 1967 borders and a truce for many years could be considered
Hamas' de facto recognition of Israel.
In an April
2008 meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter, an understanding was reached in which Hamas agreed it would respect the
creation of a Palestinian state in the territory seized by Israel in the 1967
Six-Day War, provided this is ratified by the Palestinian people in a
referendum. Hamas later publicly offered a long-term truce with Israel if
Israel agreed to return to its 1967 borders and grant the "right of
return" to all Palestinian refugees.
In November 2008, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
re-stated that Hamas was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967
borders, and offered Israel a long-term truce "if Israel recognized the
Palestinians' national rights"
In 2009, in
a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Haniyeh repeated his group's
support for a two-state settlement based on 1967 borders: "We would never
thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from]
June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital."
2009, Khaled Meshal, Hamas's political bureau chief, said the organization was
willing to cooperate with "a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which
included a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders", provided that
Palestinian refugees hold the right to return to Israel and that East Jerusalem
be the new nation's capital.
diplomat and former British ambassador to the United Nations Sir Jeremy
Greenstock stated in early 2009 that the Hamas charter was "drawn up by a
Hamas-linked imam some [twenty] years ago and has never been adopted since
Hamas was elected as the Palestinian government in 2006".
1, 2010, Ismail Haniyeh again repeated, "We accept a Palestinian state on
the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian
prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees," and "Hamas
will respect the results [of a referendum] regardless of whether it differs
with its ideology and principles."
2012, according to the Palestinian authority, Hamas forswore the use of
violence. Evidence for this was provided by an eruption of violence from
Islamic Jihad in March 2012 after an Israeli assassination of a Jihad leader,
during which Hamas refrained from attacking Israel. "Israel—despite its
mantra that because Hamas is sovereign in Gaza it is responsible for what goes
on there—almost seems to understand," wrote Israeli journalists Avi
Issacharoff and Amos Harel, "and has not bombed Hamas offices or
Khaled Meshaal indicated to Robert Pastor, senior adviser to the Carter Center,
that the Charter is "a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot
be changed for internal reasons". Hamas do not use the Charter on
their website and prefer to use their election manifesto to put forth their
Pastor states that those who quote the charter rather than more
recent Hamas statements may be using the Charter as an excuse to ignore Hamas.
Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, has questioned the use of the charter by
Israel and its supporters to brand Hamas as a fundamentalist, terrorist,
racist, anti-Semitic organization and claims that they have taken parts of the
charter out of context for propaganda purposes. He claims that they dwell on
the charter and ignore that Hamas has changed its views with time.
ISRAEL’S UNFOUNDED CLAIM OF ‘EXISTENTIAL
All this is
ignored by Israel. It continues to claim that the firing of rockets by Hamas,
coupled to what is stated in Hamas charter, poses an existential threat to its
existence and it is imperative for Israel to protect its citizens by destroying
in Gaza the rocket manufacturing units, the cache of weapons, the storage
sites, and command centers. Under the latter it includes homes of prominent
unfounded argument Israel has been playing havoc with the lives of the Gazans.
(What Israel has done in and to Gaza and its citizens, why any cease fire without
conditions is worse than useless and how lasting and genuine peace can be
brought to that once blessed and now cursed land – all this in part II of the
From a post on Facebook by Workers
Solidarity Movement (Ireland)'s photo.
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think "Do I know any Davids in Gaza?"
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
In this series will be
published articles from the past, to show how people do
not seem to learn from the past, how nothing seems to have changed, how what is
being said now was said so many years back. Plus, it will remind you of
important event and facts you maay not know or may have forgotten.
This second post in
the series was written by William Martin in 2005 and was first published in Counterpunch
and subsequently reproduced by Justice for Palestinians Committee on its member’s only website.
Ben Gurion: �We Must Expel the Arabs and Take Their Place�
By William Martin
On 11 October 1961 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion declared
in the Israeli Knesset:
'The Arabs' exit from Palestine...began immediately after the UN
resolution, from the areas earmarked for the Jewish state. And we have explicit
documents testifying that they left Palestine following instructions by the
Arab leaders, with the Mufti at their head, under the assumption that the
invasion of the Arab armies at the expiration of the Mandate will destroy the
Jewish state and push all the Jews into the sea, dead or alive'.
Thus, Mr Ben Gurion is asserting that it is his perception that 1) there were
directions from the neighboring Arab states and the Mufti in Jerusalem for the
indigenous Arabs of Palestine to evacuate their homes and lands on the promise
that the Arab armies would destroy the nascent Jewish state, and, further, 2)
that those armies intended to "push all the Jews into the sea, dead or
alive". The phrase "push all the Jews into the sea, dead or
alive" has acquired a life of its own as it is invoked by Zionist supporters
on a daily basis in order to justify the aggressive policies of Israel as well
as its recalcitrance in continuing the occupation of the Palestinians of the
West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
It is a highly emotive phrase invoking images of the Holocaust, though adapted
to a Mediterranean setting.
Mr Ben Gurion gives no attribution for this phrase, nor does he claim that it
is a quote from an Arab source. It is expressed here as if it is his personal
surmise as to the Arab army's intentions.
The phrase has been variously attributed by Zionist supporters to Yasser
Arafat, Gamel Abdul Nasser, or any other of Israel's enemies, but none
whom I have challenged, including U S Congressman Henry Waxman who made the
claim in a letter to me, attributing the phrase to Nasser, have been able
to provide any documentation of support for their claim. This 1961 speech
certainly predates Arafat's 1968 ascension to the head of the PLO. The phrase
is very much entrenched in the thinking of Israelsupporters and is taken
as a factual basis for an Arab intent of Genocide and of their own potential
The speech by Mr. Ben Gurion appears to be the origin of the phrase. A search
of the speeches of Gamel Abdul Nasser fails to reveal it, nor does it reveal
any other than a pragmatics approach to his dealing with Israel. This
phrase is sufficiently dramatic and threatening so that if it was in fact
uttered by a significant Arab leader, it would be prominent and easily found in
any competent historical treatment, which it is not. The phrase, thus, has a
Jewish origin and not an Arab origin. Mr Ben Gurion is the originator of the
phrase, in all likelihood.
Mr. Ben Gurion's first claim that the Arab exodus from Palestine was
provoked by directives from the leaders of the surrounding Arab states has been
shown by overwhelming historical research to be false.
Since the early 1980's a new generation of professional historians, many,
though not all, Israeli, and recognized as professionally competent within
their own society, as well as to a wider audience, and aided in no small
measure by the opening of many historical and military documents archived by
the Israel, and British governments, and to a lesser extent, Arab governments,
have provided a revised historical perspective as a challenge to the official
Israeli history of the origin of the state of Israel. These newly released
documents have been systematically mined by Ben Gurion University Professor of
History, Benny Morris, as well as others.
One telling document uncovered by Professor Benny Morris is "The
Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947 1/6/1948"
dated 30 June, 1948 and was produced by the Israeli Defense Forces Intelligence
Service during the first weeks of the truce (11 June 9 July) of 1948. It
analyzes the numbers of refugees, the stages of the exodus, the causes,
destination and problems of absorption in the host countries. The appendix
contains the village by village breakdown in terms of numbers of initial inhabitants,
their destinations and the causes of their flight.
On the eve of the UN Partition Plan Resolution of 29 Nov 1947, according
to the report, there were 219 Arab villages and four Arab, or partly Arab,
towns in the area designated for the Jewish state, with a total Arab population
of 340,000 Arab residents. By June 1, 180 of these towns had been
evacuated, with 239,000 Arabs fleeing the areas of the Jewish state. A further
152,000 Arabs, from 70 villages and three towns (Jaffa, Jenin, and Acre),
had fled their homes in the areas designated for Palestinian Arab statehood in
the Partition Resolution. Thus by June 1, according to the report, the refugee
total was 391,000, with an error of 10 to 15%.
The UN gives a figure of 750,000 800,000 Palestinian refugees by the end of
1948, so that the period covered by the Intelligence Service Report is one in
which roughly one half the refugee population was generated.
The report then outlines eleven (I will list five) of what the IDF Intelligence
Service regarded, in June 1948, as the factors which precipitated the exodus,
listing them in order of importance as:
a. Direct hostile Jewish [Haganah/IDF] operations against Arab settlements.
(The Haganah was the army of the Yeshuv, or Jewish community in Palestine,
and was the precursor of the Israeli Defense Force, or IDF.)
b. The effect of our [Haganah/IDF] hostile operations on nearby Arab
settlements (especially the fall of large neighboring centers).
c. Operations of the Jewish dissidents [Menachem Begin's Irgun and Yitzhak
Shamir's Stern Gang, also known as the Irgun Tzvai Leumi and the Lehi, resp.].
d. Jewish whispering operations [psychological warfare] aimed at frightening
away Arab inhabitants.
e. Ultimate expulsion orders [by Haganah/IDF].
The Intelligence Service then gives a detailed breakdown and explanation of
these factors, stressing that "without doubt, hostile [Haganah/IDF]
operations were the main cause of the movement of the population". The
wave of emigration in each district, explains the report, "followed hard
upon the increase and expansion of our [Haganah/IDF] operations in that
district. The departure of the British of course, helped the Arab evacuation,
but it appears that the British withdrawal freed our hands for action more than
it influenced the Arab immigration directly."
The report cites "surprise, protracted mortar barrages, and the use of
loudspeakers broadcasting threatening messages, factors which had a strong
influence in precipitation flight". "An attack on one village or town
often affected its neighbors. The evacuation of a certain village because of an
attack by us prompted in its wake many neighboring villages to flee", the
report states. "The fall of Tiberias, Safad, Samakh, Jaffa, and Acre engendered
in their wake many waves of emigrants."
The report concludes that "It is possible to say that at least 55% of the
total of the exodus was caused by our Haganah/IDF operations and by their
influence. the effects of the operations of the dissidents Jewish organizations
[the Irgun and the Stern Gang] directly caused some 15% of the
emigration." The Intelligence Service states that the activities of the
Irgun and Stern were especially important in the Jaffa-Tel Aviv area, in the
coastal plain to the north, and around Jerusalem. The report cites the
"special effect" of the Irgun and Stern Gang operations in Deir
The action at Deir Yassin, especially greatly affected the thinking of the
Arabs; not a little of the immediate flight during our [Haganah/IDF] attacks,
especially in the central and southern areas was due to this factor which can
be described as a decisive accelerating factor.
Recall that the Deir Yassin massacre, which occurred on April 9 1948,
claimed the lives of about 240 men women and children of this peaceful village
and included rapes and mutilations. See, The Deir Yassin Massacre. There were
other massacres, perhaps two to three thousands, essentially defenseless,
Palestinians were massacred, according to Haifa University historian
Ilan Pappe, however the Deir Yassin massacre was widely publicized and became,
in some ways, the signature of the Irgun and the Stern Gang.
Altogether the report states, Jewish [Haganah/IDF, Irgun, Stern] military
accounted for 70% if the Arab exodus from Palestine.
In direct contradiction to Ben Gurion, the report states "the Arab
institutions attempted to struggle against the phenomenon of flight and
evacuation, and to curb the waves of emigration". The Arab Higher
Committee imposed restrictions, and issued threats, punishments, and propaganda
in the radio and press to curb the emigration, and also tried to mobilize the
governments in the neighboring Arab states to assist in this effort, as both
shared the same interest.
"More than once", the report states, "[Haganah/IDF units were forced]
to expel inhabitants [after they had returned to their homes]".
Thus in sum, this document, which is only one of many to have surfaced in
consequence of the historical research of the last 20 years completely refutes
Ben Gurion's claim and reveals it to have no basis in fact.
Mr Ben Gurion was lying through his teeth, to put it plainly.
It should be observed that the Jewish agency in Palestine declared
itself a state on May 14, 1948. It was the next day, May 15 that the first
of five Arab armies or contingents of armies entered Palestine. Thus,
approximately half of the 1948 refugees fled or were extirpated before the
first foreign Arab soldier set foot in Palestine. The time line is
important: the Deir Yassin Massacre occurred on April 9, the expulsion of Arabs
from the cities of Jaffe, Haifa, Tiberias, and Safid occurred at the end
of April and in the first days of May. The flight of the Palestinian refugees,
thus, was not set in motion by the entrance of the Arab armies as is often
Nor should we take from Mr Ben Gurion's statement that the concept of
Palestinian evacuation was confined to the years 1947 - 1948. The concept of
transfer of the indigenous Arab population to make way for a Jewish state was
intrinsic to the thinking of the Zionist leaders from its initial inception.
Thus Theodor Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, said in 1892:
[We shall] spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it
employment. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must
be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.
And in 1937, Ben Gurion stated:
The compulsory transfer of Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state
could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on our own feet
during the days of the First andSecond Temple.
And in a letter to his son, also in 1937, he stated:
We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to
guarantee our own right to settle in those places then we have force at our
And in early 1948 Ben Gurion wrote in his War Diary,
"During the assault we must be ready to strike the decisive blow; that is,
either to destroy the towns or expel its inhabitants so our people can replace
And in February 1948, Ben Gurion told Yoseph Weitz, director of the settlement
of the Jewish National Fund and head of the official Transfer Committee of
The war will give us land. The concept of 'ours' and 'not ours' are peace
concepts, only, in war they lose their whole meaning.
In fact, the concept of transfer, a euphemism for expulsion, was embraced by
the entire Jewish leadership from the earliest stages of Zionism until the 1948
extirpation of the indigenous population. Transfer committees were actually set
up from 1937 on until 1948 in order to study ways of ridingPalestine of as
many Arabs as possible.
By the end of the 1948 War, hundreds of Arab villages had been completely
depopulated. Their house and buildings were bulldozed of blown up primarily for
the purpose of preventing the return of their owners. Benny Morris lists 369
Palestinian villages and towns destroyed, while Professor Walid Khalidi,
leading a team of field researchers, in an exhaustive study, describes the
destruction of each of 418 villages or hamlets which are listed on an index of
Palestinian cities of 1945.
Quoting from Ilan Pappe's book, A History of Modern Palestine:
[W]hen winter was over and the spring of 1949 warmed a particularly frozen
Palestine, the land which we have described reconstructing a period stretching
over 250 years had changed beyond recognition. The countryside, the rural heart
of Palestine, with its colourful and picturesque villages was ruined. Half
the villages had been destroyed, flattened by Israeli bulldozers which had been
at work since August 1948 when the government had decided to either turn them
into cultivated land or to build new Jewish settlements on their remains. A
naming committee granted the new settlements Hebraized versions of the original
Arab names . David Ben Gurion explained that this was done as part of an
attempt to prevent future claim to the villages. It was also supported by the
Israeli archeologists, who had authorized the names as returning the map to
something resembling 'ancient Israel'.
Of equal importance, in engendering what Arafat called an Israeli "Masada
complex" is the common pro-Zionist interpretation of the 1968 PLO Charter
as calling for the destruction of the state of Israel in which the term
"destruction" is interpreted as "pushing all the Jews into the
sea, dead or alive."
Though the document calls for armed struggle, there is nothing in it
incompatible with the establishment of a secular democratic state which
recognizes and respects the three major religions.
Indeed, article 16 of the document states:
The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual viewpoint, will prepare an
atmosphere of tranquility and peace for the Holy Land in the shade of which all
the Holy Places will be safeguarded, and freedom of worship and visitation to
all will be guaranteed, without distinction or discrimination of race, colour,
language or religion.
And article 19 states:
The partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel is
fundamentally null and void, because it is contrary to the wish of the people
of Palestine and its natural right to a homeland, and contradicts the
principles embodied in the Charter of the UN, the first of which is the right
Under American pressure, Arafat and the PLO eventually amended the PLO Charter
so as to accept the reality of a Jewish state on 80% of historical Palestine leaving
room for a Palestinian state on the remainder. However, one democratic state
based on non-discrimination with equal rights for Jews, Christians and Moslems
is closer to American values than a state created specifically for one
ethnicity whose laws uphold the superior rights of one race or ethnicity,
namely the Jewish one, over that of another, namely the minority Palestinian
citizens of Israel. In amending the PLO Charter so as to accept the two state
solution, we have actually moved away from basic American values of
non-discrimination based on race. Those liberals who worked for the dissolution
of the white supremacists governments of Rhodesia and South
Africa need to explain their slavish devotion to the state of Israelwhich
is based on Jewish supremacy.
The Zionists did not drive the Palestinians into the sea, but they did drive
them from their homes and villages and ancestral lands and from Palestine and
into squalid refugee camps, and in the process massacred two to three thousand.
The irony of Ben Gurion's statement should not escape us. Ben Gurion and the
Zionists demand deference for a fictitious intention on the part of the
Palestinian and Arabs while ignoring or denying the very real expulsion of the
Much of the perception of Israel and much of its popular support rest
on the myth of the purity of Israeland much of that can be traced directly
to David Ben Gurion's distortions of truth. The unambiguous historical evidence
is that the state of Israel was founded upon terrorism and the ethnic
cleansing of the indigenous Arab population. There is nothing pure or righteous
*http://www.counterpunch.org, March 11, 2005.
**William James Martin teaches in the Mathematics Department at the University of Florida.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In continuation of our efforts to fill the void left by the
mainstream media, present to as many people as possible important facts, views,
analysis and interpretation about the situation in Palestine and encourage
constructive dialogue and discussion, we are posting the following. Please post
your comments and views on this site or just send them email@example.com. Also, kindly circulate widely, forward extensively,
publish or refer to in your mailings and put on your web-sites. And send to us,
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our group. Thank you.
In this series will be published articles from the past, to show
how people do not seem to learn from the past, how nothing seems to have
changed, how what is being said now was said so many years back. Plus, it will remind you of important event and facts you maay not know or may have forgotten.
We start with what the editor and manager of this blog wrote way
back in 2006
Aug 23, 2006
I first learnt about
the Jews when I was just a little boy of 10. There was a picture in the
Illustrated Weekly of India. It depicted Kristallnacht! Even at that
young age I was interested in political events. The picture, specially the
title, caught my eye. I was shocked at what I read. Living in the midst of
bloody Hindu-Muslim riots of Bombay , I well knew the fear each community felt
in the area of the city in which it was a minority. People got killed. Houses
and businesses got burnt. In my childish ignorance I thought it happened only
in Bombay . And here I was reading about it happening in Germany to the Jews.
My heart went out to them.
I then learnt more
about their sufferings, their humiliations, mass murders, curfews, special
badges, permits to move from one place to another. These appeared in small
paragraphs in the Times of India. How terrible, I thought. I sympathized with
the Jews and was very, very angry at the Germans for treating them in such a
About five years later
I distinctly remember reading about the brave resistance put up by the Jews of
the Warsaw Ghettos against their tormentors. They were hailed as freedom
fighters and resistance heroes. I was filled with admiration at their bravery
and indomitable spirit. There were reports of how they were supplied with food,
clothing, men and weapons through underground tunnels (sewers). Movies were
made in their honor and I cheered and clapped along with the rest of the
audience at their heroic deeds as they flashed on the silver screen.
But not very long
thereafter, faces of Jews began to appear on “WANTED --TERRORIST” posters put
out by the British during British Mandate years. The former freedom fighters
had become terrorists!
And, a short time
later, those whose faces had appeared as terrorists on British posters, became
the heroes of Israel when it was formally established. At least two of them, Menachem
Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, went on to
become prime ministers of Israel . Many of these “terrorists” have streets in
Israel named after them in their honor.
It can be argued that
all this was a long time back and that 9/11 has changed all that. Israel now no
longer condones terrorism of any kind. It understands what terrorism is and
wants to wipe it out.
Well, Israel’s new
foreign minister, Tzipin Livni, is the daughter of the man who was the chief
operations officer of the Zionist Irgun Tsvai Leumi, the terrorist organization
that dynamited, on the orders of Menachim Begin, the King David Hotel in
Jerusalem more than half a century back, in July ‘46, killing 91 people, mostly
Granted that the sins
of the fathers should not be visited on their children and the appointment of
Tzipin Livni as Israel’s foreign minister cannot be faulted simply because of
who her father was.
But then how is one to
explain the putting up by the Israelis, in July 2006, of a plaque honoring the
blowing up of the hotel as a deed of ‘resistance’ to the British Mandate
government (which, it must be remembered, was put in place by the League of
Perhaps the Israelis
felt a need to counterbalance the bust and plaque displayed in the UN building
in Manhattan in honor of Count Folk Bernadette. He it was who saved 21 thousand
prisoners from German camps during World War II and whom the UN sent as its
envoy to Palestine to mediate and supervise the cease-fire there but was
murdered by Jewish terrorists.
very same Israelis insist on calling the brave Palestinians who have been
heroically resisting the illegal, brutal, belligerent, 39-year-old Israeli
occupation of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem as “terrorists”!!
By the simple
expedient of so labeling them “terrorists”, and playing into the world-wide
fixation with terrorists and terrorism after 9/11, the Israelis have arrogated
to themselves the right to slaughter and massacre the Palestinians, wipe out
their villages, incarcerate and assassinate their leaders, kidnap,
detain and torture their young men, women and children, bomb out or bulldoze
their homes, sometimes with residents still inside, confiscate their lands,
steal and collar their water, uproot their olive groves and orchards, destroy
their farmlands, rip out their roads, demolish their bridges and
infrastructure, impose closures and curfews, some lasting for days, restrict
their movements, humiliate and even kill them at checkpoints, deport them and
prevent refugees from returning to their homes.
What greater irony can
there be than this? And how shameful that the US should be complicit in this
and the international community should watch impotently.
So then, ask yourself:
Are there any resistance heroes left in this world or are they all just
terrorists? More specifically, are the Palestinians “terrorists” or are they
heroic, indomitable freedom fighters exercising their right to resist and
overthrow a long standing and brutal occupation and neutralize state terrorism
of the worst kind?
A favorite line of
Official Washington goes: “Perception is reality!” — a misguided notion
that makes the U.S. mainstream media particularly vulnerable to
“perception management.” And no one does that better than the Israelis when
justifying the slaughter of Palestinians, as Danny Schechter notes.
There is an art of
war and there is an art to selling war – to one’s own people and to the world
Israel is a master
on both tracks. When we speak of the “only democracy” in the Middle East, it is
often forgotten, perhaps deliberately, that the country is run by a War or
“Security” Cabinet. It is, and has been, in effect, a military regime with as
many powerful religious fanatics as its Iranian nemesis.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
its “independence” in 1948, it has remained dependent on a
large, now over $3 billion per annum and counting,” foreign aid” payment from the
United States, far, far MORE than many poor countries that desperately
need that aid but don’t get it.
subsidy, Israel has its own advanced military industrial and technology complex
upgrading and customizing weaponry in military and aerospace industries.
escalating war on Gaza is only the latest, following on the heels of
seven “recognized” wars, two Palestinian intifadas, many reprisal operations
and countless covert operations including interventions and assassinations.
Its capacity to
punish and its willingness to use advanced weapons in areas dense with
civilians like Gaza is terrifying – and it is so by design. The United States
may have used “shock and awe” in Iraq to launch its war there, but Israel has
routinized it with 2,360 air strikes in its 2008-2009 “Cast Lead”campaign in
Gaza alone. So far there has been well over l,000 sorties in this latest bloody
blitzkrieg. Is it any surprise that of all its military branches it is the Air
Force that is dominated the most by extremists and West Bank settlers.
And, in all of its
conflicts, Tel Aviv invents and then seizes a constantly reinforced “moral”
high ground, immediately positioning itself as a victim and defending its
actions as DEFENSIVE. That view is then relentlessly streamed 24/7 to the
public by lobby groups, PR firms and government agencies to and through a
well-orchestrated network of political allies and supporters worldwide.
This is not new,
says Israeli historian Ilan Pappe: “The Israeli propaganda machine attempts
again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext
it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for
another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.”
As in all of
its conflicts, propaganda operations designed to win over the press and public
opinion, enjoy as much priority as its military operations. Today, military-led
units and student groups/cyber armies attempt to dominate the on-line discourse
about the war, repeatedly emphasizing prefabricated, market-tested
message points, like blaming Gaza for rejecting a cease-fire that it is
repeatedly claimed Israel supported.
In these propaganda
dispatches, there is little or no mention of the human slaughter borne by the
Palestinians, the lack of proportionality in the casualties and the alternative
approaches that might resolve the crisis (and the underlying injustices).
The major U.S.
media seems to embrace the Israeli narrative without question or without
independent reporting or analysis, much less critically.
In many of these
accounts, Hamas is described only as “militants,” not a party or elected
government. The perennial message: Israel is being reasonable, while Hamas is
irresponsible and even wants the death of its own people. It’s always all their
fault! You never hear what Hamas is saying – or trying to say – except in
selected snippets of overheated rhetoric used to demonize them.
Israel has moved
beyond PR to PM, or “perception management.” Inside Israel, Neve Gordin says
the situation is worse, with repeated calls for MORE military
escalation amid neo-genocidal demands for a final solution as in “destroy them
all, once and for all.”
In a piece on
“Israel’s War Echo Chamber,” he writes: “the public debate today is not whether
or not to stop the air strikes but rather whether or not to deploy ground
forces. In an opinion column, Channel 2′s military correspondent Ronnie Daniel
claimed that only ‘a ground operation will extract a heavy enough price from
Hamas’ in order to ensure a longer period of peace for Israel. The following day
Channel 2′s anchor pondered: ‘We wanted Hamas to fall on its knees and so far
this has not happened’; and Daniel responded, ‘So far it’s not happening, and
the conclusion, in my opinion, is that it has not received enough.’”
Amira Hess, the
gutsy Israeli correspondent for Ha’aretz, explains: “Both sides (Hamas and
Israel) say they are firing in self-defense. We know that war is a continuation of politics by
other means. Israel’s policy is clear (if not to consumers of Israeli media):
Cut Gaza off even more, thwart any possibility of Palestinian unity and divert
attention from the accelerating colonialist drive in the West Bank.
“And Hamas? It
wants to boost its standing as a resistance movement after the blows it took as
a governing movement. Maybe it really thinks it can change the Palestinian
leadership’s entire strategy vis-a-vis the Israeli occupation. Maybe it wants
the world (and the Arab states) to awaken from its slumber.
“Still, with all
due respect to Clausewitz, rational calculations are not the
only explanation. Let’s not forget the missile envy — whose is bigger, longer, more
impressive and reaches farther? The boys play with their toys and we’ve gotten
used to calling it policy.”
In all of this
swamp of hawkish sludge, what do we make of an alternative explanation embraced
by critical writers who follow these events most knowledgably – when we hear
from them at all. Here’s a peace activist, Richard Silverstein:
talk about the faux ceasefire. Really a fraudulent ceasefire. Egypt’s
ceasefire with no one. My Israeli source, who was consulted as part of the
negotiations, tells me that this was not, in reality, an Egyptian proposal. It
was, in fact, an Israeli proposal presented in the guise of an Egyptian
proposal. Israel wrote the ceasefire protocol. The Egyptians rubber-stamped it
and put it out under their letterhead as if it was their own.
typically called the ceasefire ‘one-sided,’ meaning
Israel honored it and Hamas didn’t. But it was ‘one-sided’ in a way she
hadn’t considered. Only one-side prepared the ceasefire and essentially
presented it to itself and accepted it. The other side wasn’t consulted.
“The contents of
the ceasefire proposal were a fraud as well. They promised and delivered
nothing. They only called for a cessation of hostilities on the part of Israel
and Hamas. The same document has been signed in the past only to see Israel
violate it almost as soon as the ink was dry. There were no provisions for
easing the Israeli siege. No provision to open the border with Egypt. Most
importantly, the ceasefire didn’t address any underlying issues between the
parties. It was a guarantor for resuming hostilities at the earliest
possible opportunity: these wars have come at two-year intervals over the past
six years. The next one will be in 2016, if not sooner.”
The Israel newspaper,
Haaretz, reported that neither Hamas’ military nor political wings were
consulted. So, if this is not a charade, what is? The goal was not to engage
Hamas in a peace process, but to create a one-sided media narrative as a
pretext and ultimatum for more war. It turns out that Tony Blair, the former
pro-Iraq War British Prime Minister, and representative of the so-called
“quartet,” arranged the phone call between Israeli and Egyptian officials.
This does not mean
that eventually there won’t be negotiations of some kind between the warring
parties. Christiane Amanpour spoke with a former Israeliintelligence chief
on CNN. He called for negotiations with Hamas.
“Hamas is a very
bad option, undoubtedly. But there are worse options than Hamas,” Efraim
Halevy, former Mossad chief, said.
“And we already
know what some of them might be, especially one of them: the ISIS – which is
operating now in the northern Iraq and central Iraq – has its tentacles in the
Gaza Strip too.”
Halevy said that
just as in Europe, ISIS is recruiting in Gaza. It is “inconvenient
politically,” Halevy said, for both Israel and Hamas to admit that they
negotiate. But the truth, he said, is that they have already been doing it for
“We have coined a
new method of diplomacy in the twenty-first century: we don’t meet with them,
we don’t talk to them, but we listen to them. Each one listens to the other
side. Somehow in the end an understanding is crafted. …
“We have had
several rounds with Hamas in recent years, and the previous rounds ended up in
agreements … arrangements, as it was called – ‘arrangements,’ not even
Who knows if such
an “arrangement” may be possible now, as it seems clear that Hamas has many
rockets yet to fire into Israel.The countries most heavily propagandized by
Israel are blindly supportive, but that is not the case uniformly around the
world. Israeli fanaticism slowly but surely erodes global support for its
Right now, thanks
to bullish TV news programming, war has become a form of militainmentfor
Israeli spectators. The Atlantic’s Debra Kamin reports from the Golan Heights:
“People come here every day to see the show,” says Marom, 54, a retired Israel defense
Forces colonel who now works in the tourism industry and regularly brings
groups to this point to gaze down on Syria’s bloodletting. “For people visiting
the area, it’s interesting. They feel that they are a part of it. They can go
home and tell their friends, ‘I was on the border and I saw a battle.’”
“High above a valley in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israeli tourists
have a panoramic view of this strategically important location, which is also
known as the Gateway to Damascus. Tour groups, fresh from jaunts to the area’s
wineries, cherry markets, and artisanal chocolate shops, stop here by the
dozens each day armed with binoculars and cameras, eager for a glimpse of smoke
and even carnage.”
Has this what we’ve
come to? Sadly, yes,
Newsdissector Danny Schechter blogs at Newsdissector.net and edits Mediachannel.org. He made the film “Weapons of Mass Deception” about media coverage in Iraq, and wrote two books about media misrepresentations there. Comments to email@example.com
Gulamhusein A. Abba is an 83-year-old writer with more than 52 years in journalism. He is originally from Bombay (now Mumbai), where his writings have been published in almost all the important news media, in English, Urdu, Gujarati and Marathi, and where he functioned in various capacities, including reporter, news and political analyst, columnist, editor and publisher.
He was also a trade unionist,
peace and justice activist and took part in political activities.
As a trade unionist he oragnized the maritime petty officers and the film studio workers.
He founded and was the Chairman of the Rule of Law Committee and Taxi Users' Association
In the US, he is the chairman of Justice for Palestinians Committee, and, The Danbury Committee for World Peace.
In May of 2011, The Danbury Bar Association conferred on him the prestigious Honorary AMERICAN DREAM AWARD.