Yosef Weitz was a Polish Jew who settled in Palestine in 1908. Weitz was the prime mover behind the first and second Transfer Committees (1937-48), and between 1932 and 1948 he was the powerful director of the Jewish National Fund's Land Settlement Department. The UN GA proposed partition plan, and the coming hostilities, provided Weitz the opportunity to set in motion long-nurtured plans of "transferring" (Ethnic Cleaning) the Palestinian people out of their homes, farms, and businesses. His diary (contained in five volumes located in the Zionist Archives in Jerusalem was started from 1932 and continued until his death in 1970) is replete with injunctions not to "miss the opportunities" offered by the 1948 war. The diary documents a great deal of incriminating confessions and evidence of many WAR CRIMES, looting, and atrocities perpetrated by "Jewish state's" army.
According to Benny Morris, Yosef Weitz was described as the following:
"Through 1948 he had ready access to cabinet ministers .... and often, he [referring to Weitz] he met with Ben-Gurion ... Weitz's connections also encompassed the Yishuv's military brass, especially on the level of district, area and battalion commanders, [in short] Weitz was well-placed to shape and influence decision-making regarding the Arab population on the national level and to oversee the implementation of policy on the local level." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 182)
Yosef Weitz did not only advocate "transferring" the Palestinian people so the "Jewish state" would become a "Jewish majority", he also envisioned the "transfer" as a useful tool that could dispossess them from their lands. He stated in a meeting with the Transfer Committee on November 15, 1937:
"...the transfer of [Palestinian] Arab population from the area of the Jewish state does not serve only one aim--to diminish the Arab population. It also serves a second, no less important, aim which is to advocate land presently held and cultivated by the [Palestinian] Arabs and thus to release it for Jewish inhabitants." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 94-95)
Weitz was obsessed with "transferring" the Palestinian people to neighboring Arab countries in a way that consumed all his thoughts. He wrote in his diary on December 20, 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)
Wetz' obsession continues, "transfer" was on his tongue day and night. Note how he had articulated the importance of "transferring" the Palestinian people out of their homes, and how he had justified it. On March 18, 1941 Yosef Weitz recorded in his diary while visiting Jewish colonies in the Jordan Valley:
"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)
Weitz articulated the most important Zionist pillar, which is a "Jewish majority" in Palestine. On a similar visit nearby Mishmar Ha'emek (15 miles south of Haifa) a few day later, Weitz recorded:
"I am increasingly consumed by despair. The Zionist idea is the answer to the Jewish question in the Land of Israel; only in the land of Israel, but not that the [Palestinian] Arabs should remain a majority. The complete evacuation of the country from its other inhabitants and handing it over to the Jewish people is the answer." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 132)
When a "Jewish majority" in Palestine was not attainable based on Jewish immigration and natural population growth, Zionists advocated the use of force to ethnically cleanse and to dispossess the Palestinian people. Click here if you wish to learn more about this subject.
Because of his obsession in "transferring" (Ethnic Cleansing) the Palestinian people out of their homes, he was also aware of all the difficulties that may arise. On the other hand, that did not stop him, which he used as an excuse to work even harder. On Jun 26, 1941, Yosef Weitz was on a journey nearby al-Qubab in central Palestine, and he wrote in his diary:
"Through out the journey my reflections were focused on that plan, about which I have been thinking for year; the plan . . . . of evacuating the country for us [Jews]. I know that difficulties . . . but only through population transfer will redemption come. . . . There is no room for us with our neighbours. . . . development is a very slow process . . . . They [the Palestinian Arabs] are too many and too much rooted [in the country] . . . . the only way is to cut and eradicate them from the roots. I feel that this is the truth. . . . I am beginning to understand the essence of the MIRACLE which should happen with the arrival of the Messiah; MIRACLE does not happen in evolution, but all of a sudden, in one moment. . . . I can see the enormous difficulties but this should not deflect us from our aim; on the contrary, we must double our efforts to overcome the difficulties and find a listening ear, first in America, then in Britain and then in the neighboring countries. There the money will make it. People and money will be transferred there. We will set up an apparatus from the Yishuv manned by distinguished experts and these will supervise the [Palestinian] Arab transfer and resettlement and a second apparatus will receive the [Jewish] redeemers and plant them in the land. . . . I pondered these measures all the way from Tel Aviv and also while visiting near Ramat Hasharon and K'afr Azar. This is the aim, the redemption, and the dream." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 134)
In similar passion, he also spoke about expanding the "Jewish state's" borders to include areas in Lebanon and Syria. While meeting Menachem Ussishkin on June 22, 1941, Yosef Weitz wrote:
"The land of Israel is not small at all, if only the Arabs will be removed, and if its frontiers would be enlarged a little; to the north all the way to Litani [River in Lebanon], and to the east including the Golan Heights . . . . while the [Palestinian] Arabs be transferred to northern Syria and Iraq. . . . From now on we must work out a secret plan based on the removal of the [Palestinian] Arabs from here . . . [and] . . . to include it into American political circles. . . . today we have no other alternative. . . . We will not live here with Arabs." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 134-135)
In the summer of 1941, Yosef Weitz toured the country side in central Palestine, and in his diary he recorded seeing:
"LARGE [Palestinian Arab] villages crowded in population and surrounded by cultivated land growing olives, grapes, figs, sesame, and maize fields . . . . Would we be able to maintain scattered settlements among these existing [Palestinian Arab] villages that will always be larger than ours? And is there any possibility of buying their [land]?. . . . . and once again I hear that voice inside me called: evacuate this country." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 133)
As the majority of Zionists, Yosef Weitz envisioned a "Jewish state" on parts of "Eretz Yisrael" as a jumping ground for a "complete redemption." He wrote in his diary one day after the vote on the UN GA partition plan resolution in November 1947:
"The creation of the Hebrew State in part of the country [Eretz Yisrael] is the beginning of complete redemption. ....How should we solve the question of the [Palestinian] Arabs who constitute half of the state population? ..... I have been working day and night in these days on the calculation of the land in the Hebrew state ..... Indeed we still need to redeem much until most of the cultivated land will be our property." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 182)
As late as 1947, after almost half a century of tireless and relentless effort, the collective ownership of the Jewish National Fund (which constituted one-half of all Zionists and Jewish land ownership) amounted to a mere 3.5% of Palestine. Yosef Weitz was in a good position to know that:
"without taking action to TRANSFER [the Palestinian Arab] population, we will not be able to solve our question by [land] buying." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 133)
Yosef Weitz also noted on the same date that the BULK of the cultivable land in the "Jewish state", allotted by UN GA proposed Partition in December 1947, was owned by the Palestinian people. He wrote:
"[most of the land is] not Jewish-owned or even in the category of the state domain whose ownership could be automatically assumed by a successor government. Thus, of 13,500,000 dunums (6,000,000 of which were desert and 7,500,000 dunums of cultivable land) in the Jewish state according to the Partition plan, ONLY 1,500,000 dunums were Jewish owned." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 183)
"I gave instructions not to miss the opportunities in the turbulent hour." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 184)
"Isn't now the time to be rid of them? Why continue to keep in our midst these thorn at a time when they pose a danger to us? Our people are weighing up a solution." (Benny Morris, p. 55)
Yosef Weitz wrote in his diary on the 20th of February 1948 about the bedouins crossing Baysan valley to Transjordan
"It is possible that now is the time to implement our original plan: transfer them there." (Benny Morris)
"Not taking upon themselves the responsibility of preventing the infiltration of irregulars .... They must be forced to leave their villages until peace comes." (Benny Morris, p. 56)
In April, Weitz started to lobby the Israeli Cabinet in favor of his obsession ("transfer"). He met Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv on April 4 1948, and asked for audience to discuss the :
"question of evacuating/clearing out the [Palestinian] Arabs. ...[ten days later] [we] must direct our war towards the removal of as many Arabs as possible from boundaries of out state. The guarding of their property after their removal is a secondary question, [Weitz recorded] Finally it was agreed that I would submit a proposal for [Palestinian Arab] removal from localities based on my considerations." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 186)
And on April 18, 1948 he started to build a list of which villages should be ethnically cleanse first. He wrote:
"I made a summery of a list of the [Palestinian] Arab villages which in my opinion must be cleared out in order to complete Jewish regions. I also made a summery of the places that have land disputes and must be settled by military means." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 186)
Weitz explained why Palestinians were fleeing. According to him all what that it took was "several shells ... whistle over them", and that was enough. On April 21, 1948 Weitz wrote in his diary:
"Our army is steadily conquering [Palestinian] Arab villages and their inhabitants afraid and fleeing like mice. You have no idea what happened in the [Palestinian] Arab villages. It is enough that during the night several shells will whistle over them and they flee for their lives. Villages are steadily emptying, and if we continue on this course --and we shall certainly do so as our strength increases-- then villages will empty of their inhabitants." (Israel: A History, p. 174)
Weitz also described how fear was used by Haganah commanders to "encourage" Palestinians into flight. On April 24, 1948 Weitz wrote in his diary regarding the ethnic cleansing of a couple of Palestinian villages in the Haifa area:
"I was happy to hear from him [a Haganah officer] that this line was being adopted by the commander . . . to frighten the [Palestinian] Arabs so long as flight-induced fear was upon them." (Israel: A History, p. 173)
Ironically, may Israelis, Zionists, and Jews still believe (or maybe they want to believe) that the Palestinian people willfully abandoned their homes, farms, and business. For your information, the author of "Israel : A History", Martin Gilbert, is an ardent Zionist, so do not jump to conclusion by calling him an anti-Zionist. Click here if you read our response to this argument.
On April 28, 1948 he also wrote:
In the following quote note how Weitz was pressuring local leaders to encourage Palestinian flight. On May 4, 1948 he wrote in his diary regarding Beisan valley:
"The Beit Shean [Beisan] Valley is the gate for out state in the Galilee .... I told them [referring Beisan Valley Jewish representatives] that its clearing [of the Palestinian Arabs] is the need of the hour." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 187)
In August 1948, Yosef Weitz stated his opposition to any future Palestinian return to their home, farms, and business, he wrote:
"If the policy want is that they should not be allowed to return, [then] there is no need to cultivate land beyond what is needed for our existence. It is possible that Jews would be settled in some abandoned] villages and that there are [Palestinian] villages that should be destroyed so that they do not attract their [Palestinian] refugees to return. What can be bought [from Palestinians] should be bought . . . [But] first we must set policy: [Palestinian] Arabs who abandoned [their homes, farms, and business] should not [be allowed to] return." (Benny Morris, p. 148-9)
In late November 1948, Weitz recorded that two of his officials at the Jewish National Fund complained that "the army continues to destroy villages in the Galilee, which we are interested in [settling Jewish immigrants]." In that regards, Weitz was wondering if it's not a "greater revenge" if the "abandoned" Palestinian properties could be used by the "homeless" Jewish refugees. He wrote the following month during a visit to al-Zeeb (14 km north of Acre):
Soon after war's end in 1949, Yosef Weitz pleaded with Ben-Gurion to take a firm and unequivocal stand against any possibility of restoring the Palestinian refugees to their homes. In September, he proposed a series of measures which would drive the refugees far from the border areas, deep into the Arab hinterland. He insisted that Palestinian refugees:
"[The village had been] completely leveled and I now wonder if it was good that it was destroyed and would it not have been a greater revenge had we now settled Jews in the village houses. . . [The empty houses are] good for settlement of [our Jewish] brothers who wondered for generation upon generation, refugees. . . steeped in suffering and sorrow, as they, at last, find a roof over their heads. This was [the reason for] our war." (Benny Morris, p. 169)
We wonder what Palestinians have done to deserve Weitz's vengeful feelings?
". . . must be harassed continually." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 29-30)
As if their mere existence is a "security" threat to the "Jewish state"?
In mid-1949 the Transfer Committee (whom Yosef Weitz was one of its three influential members) recommended that if Israel was to be completed to repatriate Palestinian refugees in the future, she must categorically refuse to return them to their villages--- only to the the towns, where they should not exceed 15% of the Jewish population. (1949, The First Israelis, p. 29-30)
Ironically, the Palestinian population in the "Jewish state" was reduced to that number after the 1948 war. The question that begs to be asked: Was that a coincidence? or Was it the Almighty's work?
In 1949 Yosef Weitz described his dismay at the increase number of the Oriental Jews. He stated:
"You know that we do not have a common language with them. Our culture level is not theirs. Their way of life is medieval. . . . While I was talking to Yosef Shprintsak, he expressed anxiety about preserving our cultural standards given the massive immigration from the Orient. There are indeed grounds for anxiety, but what's the use? Can we stop it?" Yaakov Zrubavel, head of the Middle East Department of the Jewish Agency, concurred. " Perhaps these are not the Jews we would like to see coming here [Jewish state], but we can hardly tell them not to come. . . ." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 156)
Often racists people exhibit the following pattern:
It's only that are racist against other races, they are also racist within their own racial or religious group as well.
Weitz, Ben-Gurion, Sharett, and Jabotinsky were racist as well. According to Sharett, he favored European Jews over Arab Jews since they were "the salt of the earth", click here if you wish to learn more about this subject.
Weitz was jubilant that Palestinians are no longer a majority in "Eretz Yisrael"; finally the obsession is no longer there. He wrote in 1949:
"[During the British Mandate period, the JNF had purchased land] crumb by crumb. But now a great change has taken place before our eyes. The spirit of Israel, in a giant thrust, has burst through the obstacles, and has conquered the keys to the land, and the road to fulfillment has been freed from its bonds and its guardians-enemies [referring to the Palestinians]. Now, only now, the hour has come for planning considered [regional] plans . . . The abandoned lands will never return to their absentee [Palestinian Arab] owners." (Benny Morris, p. 179)
By war's end in 1949, Yosef Weitz feared that the "infiltrating" (a common Israeli term that refers to returning) Palestinian refugees were coming back to their homes. He wrote Moshe Sharett that this "problem" is causing him a "great anxiety". He wrote:
"Every day our men encounter familiar faces, people who had been absent, and now they are walking about freely, step by step, returning to their villages. I fear that while you are discussing the issue in Laussanne and in other places, the problem is (unfortunately) solving itself---the refugees are coming back! And our government has taken no action to stop infiltration. There seems to be no authority, either military or civilian. We've loosened the rope, and the Arab, with his sly cunning, senses it and knows how to take advantage of it." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 31)
Despite that Yosef Weitz was instrumental in formulating and implementing the "transfer solution" to the "Palestinian Arab problem", it should be noted that he was among the few (along with Moshe Sharett and Aharon Cizling) to warn that the "Palestinian refugee problem" would not solve itself in due course of time, contrary to other Zionist leaders such as Ben-Gurion, Begin, and Golda Meir. He feared that:
"The ring of embittered [Palestinian] Arabs surrounding us with hatred and vengeance on all sides will not be loosened for many years to come, and we will act as a barrier to a genuine peace between us and our neighbors." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 31) In the latter part of 1949, Weitz proposed an extensive project of aiding Christian Palestinian Arabs to emigrate to South America. He wanted to purchase lands for them in the province of Mendoza. Actually, he went to Argentina to study the feasibility of the project first hand, however, he later noted that nothing came out of his proposal since the Israeli government was unable to make up its mind. (1949, The First Israelis, p. 63-64)
When it was possible Yosef Weitz often preferred purchasing Palestinian Arab lands rather than expropriating it (click here to view a map illustrating land ownership distribution per district as of 1945). On the other hand, Ben-Gurion always thought that such policy was a waste of money and eventually it would drive up the price of the land. Weitz continued to purchase land even after war's end, among other reasons, because he feared that the Jewish National Fund and its entire staff would become superfluous and be closed down. He noted bitterly in his diary:
"Ben-Gurion's way of thinking is that the [Jewish] state is above everything, and that the Zionist Federation is only there to serve it, and should exist only as long as it is need." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 85-86)
When the first Israeli Knesset convened in 1949, two elected Palestinian Arab-Israelis to the Knesset were present wearing their tradition headdress, he wrote in his diary:
"It chilled the heart and angered the soul," then he asked himself how these Palestinian Arab-Israelis MKs felt when they swore allegiance to the "Jewish state." He noted in his diary, "Isn't filled with lies and deceit? No. Nevertheless, I do not want there to be many of them. Perhaps they will integrate into society. But it will take several generations before they become loyal to the [Jewish] state." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 43)