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Menachem Ussishkin-A Brief Biography & Quotes
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Posted on October 23, 2001
BASED On Declassified Israeli Documents & Personal Diaries


Menachem Ussishkin was one of the leading and founding fathers of Zionism, from 1923 until 1941 he was the powerful chairman and member of the Jewish National Fund, the president of the 20th Zionist Congress, the permanent president of World Zionist Organization's Zionist Action Committee, and a member of the Jewish Agency Executive.

Famous Quotes

In 1904, before Zionism matured into a powerful political force, Manachem Ussishkin stated that:

"[Land is acquired] by force --- that is, by conquest in war, or in other words, by ROBBING land form its owner; . . . by expropriation via government authority; or by purchase. . . [The Zionist movement was limited to the third choice] until at some point we become rulers." (Righteous Victims, p. 38)

In April 28, 1930 Menachem Ussishkin stated in an address to journalists in Jerusalem:

"We must continually raise the demand that our land be returned to our possession .... If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a great and NOBLER ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs fellahin [peasants]." (Righteous Victims, p. 141)

On May 19, 1936, Menachem Ussishkin declared:

"What we can demand today is that all Transjordan be included in the Land of Israel. . . on condition that Transjordan would be either be made available for Jewish colonization or for the resettlement of those [Palestinian] Arabs, whose lands [in Palestine] we would purchase. Against this, the most conscientious person could not argue . . . For the [Palestinian] Arabs of the Galilee, Transjordan is a province . . . this will be for the resettlement of Palestine's Arabs. This the land problem. . . . Now the [Palestinian] Arabs DO NOT WANT want us because we want to be the rulers. I will fight for this. I will make sure that we will be the landlords of this land . . . . because this country belongs to us not to them . . . " (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 51)

In 1937 Menachem Ussishkin wrote about the proposed ethnic cleansing by the Peel Commission:

"We cannot start the Jewish state with .... half the population being Arab . . . Such a state cannot survive even half an hour. And about transferring sixty thousand Arab families he said: "It is most moral ..... I am ready to come an defend ... it before the Almighty." (Righteous Victims, p. 143-144 and Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 37)

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)

The Zionist historian Lousis Lipsky wrote describing the personality of Manachem Ussishkin :
"There are many obstinate Zionists in the early days but none had his arrogance. He was rude and despotic, paternal and sentimental. . . . Had he been asked he would have said he could not stomach the Arabs or the English. He ignored them both as long as possible." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 48)
It is worth noting that Ussishkin also stated that the frontiers of the Land of Israel stretched from the "GREAT SEA" [the Mediterranean] to the Euphrates and were not Balfour frontiers. These wider frontiers are clearly "drawn on the wall map of my Jewish National Fund Office." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 85)

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Post Your Comment

Posted by Pierre on June 16, 2009 #80549

The cousin of Ussishkin's wife married a christian and lived in Beirut. Ussishkin was so offended that she married a non-jew that he forbade his wife to have any contacts with her cousin. And so it was.
The two cousins only saw each other again in 1941, after Ussishkin's death.
Posted by MARTHA GOMEZ on October 30, 2007 #22596

Certainly Ussiskin was an interesting person