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Yigal Allon-A Brief Biography & Quotes
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Posted on October 24, 2001
BASED On Declassified Israeli Documents & Personal Diaries

1918-1980

Yigal Allon (Paicovitch) born in 1918 in Kfar Tavor, Palestine. He became the commander of the Haganah's Palmach (strike force) between 1945-1948. During the 1948 war, he commanded several military operations (i.e. Operation Yiftah, Dani, and Yoav), and he became famous for being one of the engines behind cleansing the MOST populated Palestinian areas (i.e. Lydda, Ramla, Safad, Hebron hills, Faluja pocket). Allon later became Minister of Labour in 1961-1968, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister between 1974-1977.

Famous Quotes

Yigal Allon described the affect of psychological warfare on the Palestinian Arabs in the Galilee panhandle during the 1948 war:

"The echo of the fall of [Palestinian] Arab Safad carried far . . . The confidence of thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs of the Hula [Valley] was shaken . . . We had ONLY five days left . . . until 15 May [1948]. 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)

Similarly, Allon also stated:

"We looked for means which would not obligate us to use force in order to get tens of thousands of sulky [Palestinian] Arabs who remained in Galilee to flee, for in case of an Arab invasion, they would attack us from rear." (Simha Flapan, p. 96)

A Palmach (the Israeli strike force) report, written by Yigal Allon soon after Operation Dani in the first half of July 1948, stated that the expulsion of the Lydda and Ramle Palestinian inhabitants, beside relieving Tel Aviv of a potential, long-term threat, had:

"clogged the routes of the advance of the [Transjordan Arab] Legion and had foisted upon the Arab economy the problem of "maintaining another 45,000 souls . . . Moreover, the phenomenon of the flight of tens of thousands will no doubt cause demoralsation in every Arab area [the refugees] reach . . . This victory will yet have great effect on other sectors." (Benny Morris, p. 211 & Israel: A History, p. 218)

And in response to the above report, a Mapam party co-leader, Meir Ya'ari, criticized Allon's use of tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees to achieve a military strategic goals, he stated:

"Many of us are LOSING their [human] image . . How easily they speak of how it is possible and permissible to take women, children, and old men and to fill the road with them because such is the imperative of strategy. And this we say, the members of Hashomer Hatzair, who remember who used this means against our people during the Second World] war. . . . I am appalled." (Benny Morris, p. 211)

During the course of the 1948 war, Yigal Allon submitted a detailed plan to Ben-Gurion for the military conquest of the West Bank, arguing that the Jordan River would provide the best strategic border. He believed that a substantial part of the Palestinian population would flee east because of the military operations, he stated:

"Our offensive has to leave the way open for the army and the refugees to retreat. We shall easily find the reason or, to be more accurate, the pretexts, to justify our offensive, as we did up to now" (emphasis added). (Simha Flapan, p. 114)

Yigal Allon wrote in an article published just before the outbreak of the 1967 war:

"In. . .a new war, we must avoid the HISTORIC MISTAKE of the War of Independence [the 1948 war]. . . and MUST NOT cease fighting until we achieve total victory, the territorial fulfillment of the Land Of Israel." (Righteous Victims, p. 321)


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