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'Transfer' (Ethnic Cleansing) Zionist Quotes
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Posted on December 3, 2001
BASED On Declassified Israeli Documents & Personal Diaries

The concept of "transferring" European Jews to Palestine and "transferring" the Palestinian people out is central to Zionism. Ben-Gurion, the 1st Israeli Prime Minister, eloquently articulated this essential Zionist pillar, he stated in 1944:

"Zionism is a TRANSFER of the Jews. Regarding the TRANSFER of the [Palestinian] Arabs this is much easier than any other TRANSFER. There are Arab states in the vicinity . . . . and it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are removed [to these states] this will improve their condition and not the contrary." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 159)

When a "Jewish majority" was impossible to achieve based on Jewish immigration and natural growth, Zionists had concluded that forcible "population transfer" (Ethnic Cleansing) was the only solution to what they referred to as the "Arab Problem." To excuse the "Jewish state" from any WAR CRIMES perpetrated against the Palestinian people (specially the ones committed during the 1948 war), Zionists have concocted a myth that the Palestinian people had willingly left their homes, farms, and businesses, and as a result they have forfeited their right to return.

Related Links

Famous Ethnic Cleansing Quotes

David Ben-Gurion

On July 12, 1937, Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary explaining the benefits of the compulsory population transfer (which was proposed in British Peel Commission):

"The compulsory transfer of the [Palestinian] Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the first and second Temples. . . We are given an opportunity which we never dared to dream of in our wildest imaginings. This is MORE than a state, government and sovereignty----this is national consolidation in a free homeland." (Righteous Victims, p. 142)

Similarly on August 7, 1937 he also stated to the Zionist Assembly during their debate of the Peel Commission:

". . . In many parts of the country new settlement will not be possible without transferring the [Palestinian] Arab fellahin. . . it is important that this plan comes from the [British Peel] Commission and not from us. . . . Jewish power, which grows steadily, will also increase our possibilities to carry out the transfer on a large scale. You must remember, that this system embodies an important humane and Zionist idea, to transfer parts of a people to their country and to settle empty lands. We believe that this action will also bring us closer to an agreement with the Arabs." (Righteous Victims, p. 143)

On the same subject, Ben-Gurion wrote in 1937:

"With compulsory transfer we [would] have a vast area [for settlement] .... I support compulsory transfer. I don't see anything immoral in it." (Righteous Victims, p. 144)

And in 1938, he also wrote:

"With compulsory transfer we [would] have vast areas .... I support compulsory [population] transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it. But compulsory transfer could only be carried out by England .... Had its implementation been dependent merely on our proposal I would have proposed; but this would be dangerous to propose when the British government has disassociated itself from compulsory transfer. .... But this question should not be removed from the agenda because it is central question. There are two issues here : 1) sovereignty and 2) the removal of a certain number of Arabs, and we must insist on both of them." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, 117)

On July 30, 1937 Yosef Bankover, a founding member and leader of Kibbutz Hameuhad movement and a member of Haganah's regional command of the coastal and central districts, stated that Ben-Gurion would accept the proposed Peel Commission partition plan under two conditions: 1) unlimited Jewish immigration 2) Compulsory population transfer for Palestinians. He stated that :

"Ben-Gurion said yesterday that he was prepared to accept the [Peel partition] proposal of the Royal commission but on two conditions: [Jewish] sovereignty and compulsory transfer ..... As for the compulsory transfer-- as a member of Kibbutz Ramat Hakovsh [founded in 1932 in central Palestine] I would be very pleased if it would be possible to be rid of the pleasant neighborliness of the people of Miski, Tirah, and Qalqilyah." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 70)

And regarding the Peel Commission, on June 9, 1937 he also stated:

"In my opinion we must insist on the Peel Commission proposal, which sees in the transfer the only solution to this problem. And I have now to say that it is worthwhile that the Jewish people should bear the greatest material sacrifices in order to ensure the success of transfer." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 70)

Ben-Gurion explained how compulsory population transfer could be implemented. He said in 1937:

".... because we will not be able to countenance large uninhabited areas absorb tens of thousands of Jews remaining empty .... And if we have to use force we shall use it without hesitation -- but only if we have no choice. We do not want and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places. Our whole desire is based on the assumption --- which has been collaborated in the course of all our activity in the country -- that there is enough room for us and the Arabs in the country and that if we have to use force - not in order to dispossess the Arabs from the Negev or Transjordan but in order to assure ourselves of the right, which is our due to settle there- then we have the force." (Righteous Victims, p. 142)

Ben-Gurion became obsessed about "transferring" the Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine, and he started to contemplate the mechanics and potential problems that could arise if "transfer" to be implemented. Ben-Gurion contemplated the "Arab Question" in "Eretz Yisrael" and wrote:

"We have to examine, first, if this transfer is practical, and secondly, if it is necessary. It is impossible to imagine general evacuation without compulsion, and brutal compulsion, There are of course sections of the non-Jewish population of the Land of Israel which will not resist transfer under adequate conditions to certain neighboring countries, such as the Druze, a number of Bedouin tribes in the Jordan Valley and the south, the Circassians and perhaps even the Metwalis [the Sh'ite of the Galilee]. But it would be very difficult to bring about resettlement of other sections of the [Palestinian] Arab populations such as the fellahin and the urban populations in neighboring Arab countries by transferring them voluntarily, whatever economic inducements are offered to them." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians. 129)

Similarly, he also added

"The possibility of large-scale transfer of a population by force was demonstrated, when the Greeks and the Turks were transferred [after WW I]. In the present war [referring to WW II] the idea of transferring a population is gaining more sympathy as a practical and the most secure means of solving the dangerous and painful problem of national minorities. The war has already brought the resettlement of many people eastern and southern Europe, and in the plans for the postwar settlements the idea of a large-scale population transfer in central, eastern, and southern Europe increasingly occupies a respectable place." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians. 129)

On December 19, 1947, Ben-Gurion advised the Haganah on the rules of engagement with the Palestinian population. He stated:

"we adopt the system of aggressive defense; with every Arab attack we must respond with a decisive blow: the destruction of the place or the expulsion of the residents along with the seizure of the place." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 176-177 and Israel: A History, p. 156)

Ben-Gurion was happy and sad when the U.N. voted to Partition Palestine into two states, Palestinian and Jewish. He was happy because "finally" Jews could have a "country" of their own. On the other hand, he was sad because they have "lost" almost half of Palestine, and because they would have to contend with a sizable Palestinian minority, well over 45% of the total population. In the following few quotes, you will see how he also stated that a "Jewish state" cannot survive being 60% Jewish; implying that something aught to be done to remedy the so called "Arab demographic problem". He stated on November 30, 1947:

"In my heart, there was joy mixed with sadness: joy that the nations at last acknowledged that we are a nation with a state, and sadness that we lost half of the country, Judea and Samaria, and , in addition, that we [would] have [in our state] 400,000 [Palestinian] Arabs." (Righteous Victims, p. 190)

While addressing the Central Committee of the Histadrut on December 30, 1947, Ben-Gurion stated:

"In the area allocated to the Jewish State there are not more than 520,000 Jews and about 350,000 non-Jews, mostly Arabs. Together with the Jews of Jerusalem, the total population of the Jewish State at the time of its establishment, will be about one million, including almost 40% non-Jews. such a [population] composition does not provide a stable basis for a Jewish State. This [demographic] fact must be viewed in all its clarity and acuteness. With such a [population] composition, there cannot even be absolute certainty that control will remain in the hands of the Jewish majority .... There can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60%." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 176)

According to Sefer Toldot Ha-Haganah, the official history of the Haganah, it clearly stated how Palestinian villages and population should be dealt with. It stated:

"[Palestinian Arab] villages inside the Jewish state that resist 'should be destroyed .... and their inhabitants expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state.' Meanwhile, 'Palestinian residents of the urban quarters which dominate access to or egress from towns should be expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state in the event of their resistance.' " (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 178)

Ben-Gurion was enchanted that Jerusalem's neighboring Palestinian communities had been emptied. He stated to the Mapai Council on February 8, 1948:

"From your entry into Jerusalem, through Lifta, Romema [East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood]. . . there are no [Palestinian] Arab. One hundred percent Jews. Since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, it has not been Jewish as it is now. In many [Palestinian] Arab neighborhoods in the west one sees not a single [Palestinian] Arab. I do not assume that this will change. . . . What had happened in Jerusalem. . . . is likely to happen in many parts of the country. . . in the six, eight, or ten months of the campaign there will certainly be great changes in the composition of the population in the country." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 180-181)

In a speech addressing the Zionist Action Committee on April 6, 1948, Ben-Gurion clearly stated that war could be used as an instrument to solve the so called "Arab demographic problem". He stated:

"We will not be able to win the war if we do not, during the war, populate upper and lower, eastern and western Galilee, the Negev and Jerusalem area, even if only in an artificial way, in a military way. . . . I believe that war will also bring in its wake a great change in the distribution of [Palestinian] Arab population." (Benny Morris, p. 181 & Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 181)

Ben-Gurion clearly never believed in static borders, but dynamic ones as described in the Bible. He stated during a discussion with his aides:

"Before the founding of the state, on the eve of its creation, our main interests was self-defense. To a large extent, the creation of the state was an act of self-defense. . . . Many think that we're still at the same stage. But now the issue at hand is conquest, not self-defense. As for setting the borders--- it's an open-ended matter. In the Bible as well as in our history, there all kinds of definitions of the country's borders, so there's no real limit. Bo border is absolute. If it's a desert--- it could just as well be the other side. If it's sea, it could also be across the sea. The world has always been this way. Only the terms have changed. If they should find a way of reaching other stars, well then, perhaps the whole earth will no longer suffice." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 6)

It has been customary among all Zionists leaders to use the Bible to justify perpetrating WAR CRIMES. Regardless of the methods used to build the "Jewish state", the quote above is a classical example how the Bible is used to achieve political objectives.

During the same visit to Haifa, Ben-Gurion was told that Abba Khoushi, a labor leader and an official in the Haifa's City Hall, was trying to persuade Palestinians city to stay. Ben-Gurion reportedly said:

"Doesn't he have anything more important to do?" (Benny Morris, p. 328)

On June 16, 1948, there were calls by members of the MAPAM party for the return of Jaffa's "peace minded" Palestinian refugees, and in response, Ben-Gurion stated during a Cabinet meeting:

"I do not accept the version [i.e. policy] that [we] should encourage their return. . . I believe we should prevent their return . . . We must settle Jaffa, Jaffa will become a Jewish city. . . . The return of [Palestinian] Arabs to Jaffa [would be] not just foolish." If the [Palestinian] Arabs were allowed to return, to Jaffa and elsewhere, " and the war is renewed, our chances of ending the war as we wish to end it will be reduced. . . . Meanwhile, we must prevent at all costs their return," he said, and, leaving no doubt in the ministers' minds about his views on the ultimate fate of the [Palestinian] refugees, he added: "I will be for them not returning after the war." (Benny Morris, p. 141 & 1949, The First Israelis, p. 75)

Similarly, Moshe Sharett agreed with Ben-Gurion on rejecting Palestinian refugees return, and stated during the same Cabinet meeting:

"Can we imagine a return to the status quo ante?" He asked. It was inconceivable. Rather, the government should now perused the Yishuv (Palestinian Jews before 1948) of "the enormous importance of this [demographic] change in terms of the solidity of the state structure and [of] the solution of crucial social and political problems." Israel should be ready to pay compensation for the abandoned land but "they will not return. [That] is out policy. They are not returning." (Benny Morris, p. 141)

Although an important document dating July 16, 1948 is still classified by the Israeli censorship, there is enough information to indicate the link in Ben-Gurion's mind between the concept of "transfer" and war. It was at the time that Ben-Gurion stated that he:

"was not surprised" at the Arab exodus and that "we should prevent Arab return at any cost." He also cited ones again the Turkish-Greek war crime as an "example" in which the Turks "expelled the Greeks from Anatolia." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 191-192)

It is extremely ironic to point out that this is the SECOND time in history when Turks are cited as an "example" to justify perpetrating WAR CRIMES. The first was used by the earliest Zionist leaders (such as Chaim Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, and Moshe Sharett), and the second was used by Hitler when he cited the Turkish genocide of 1.5 million Armenians (during WW I) as a precedent for the holocaust, click here if you wish to learn more about the Armenian genocide.

When Ezra Danin, a Cabinet member, proposed installing a puppet Palestinian Government in the Triangle area (northwest of the occupied West Bank), Ben-Gurion had impatiently declared on October 21, 1948 that Palestinians in Israel were good for one thing, running away. He said:

"The Arabs of the land of Israel [ Palestinians] have only one function left to them -- to run away." (Benny Morris, p. 218)

With no emotions, ten days later, while Ben-Gurion was on a tour of the Galilee, he describes Palestinian exodus in his dairy as follows:

"and many more still will flee." (Benny Morris, p. 218)

On September 26, 1948, he proposed the Israeli provisional government that Israel should attack the West Bank. Again, he had reiterated how a war could be used as an instrument to "transfer" population, and he used Lydda's and Ramla's occupation and the subsequent expulsion of their population as a precedent. According to a detail plan of the operation recorded in his diary, Israeli forces would take:

"Bethlehem, and Hebron, where there are about a hundred thousand [Palestinian] Arabs. I assume that most of the Arabs of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron would flee, like the [Palestinian] Arabs of Lydda, Jaffa, Tiberias, and Safad, and we will control the whole breadth of the country up to the Jordan." In another entry he writes: "It is not impossible . . . that we will be able to conquer the way to the Negev, Eilat, and the Dead Sea, and to secure the Negev for ourselves; also to broaden the corridor to Jerusalem, from north to south; to liberate the rest of Jerusalem and to take the Old City; to seize all of central and western Galilee and to expand the borders of the state in all directions" (emphasis added). (Simha Flapan, p. 48 & 1949, The First Israelis, p. 14)

Ironically, when Chaim Laskov proposed the occupation of most of the West Bank in July 1958, Ben-Gurion objected because in his opinion Palestinians have learned that lesson already, simply they won't run away. He wrote in his diary:

"This time the [Palestinian] Arabs on the West Bank will not run away!," meaning if the Palestinians would flee as a result of war (as what already happened during the 1948 war), he would not mind the occupation and annexation of the West Bank. (Iron Wall, p. 200)

During a meeting for the Mapai party center on July 24, 1948, Ben-Gurion clearly stated his thoughts and attitude towards the Palestinian Arabs, especially in the light of their behavior and flight during the war. He said:

"Meanwhile, [a return of Palestinian refugees] is out of the question until we sit together beside a [peace conference] table . . . and they will respect us to the degree that we respect them and I doubt whether they deserve respect as we do. Because, nevertheless, we did not flee en mass, [And] so far no Arab Einstein has risen and [they] have not created what we have built in this country and [they] have not fought as we are fighting . . . we are dealing here with a collective murderer." (Benny Morris, p. 331)

So in Ben-Gurion's opinion, the absence of an Arab Einstein, the fleeing of Palestinian Arabs during war, and not fighting are good reasons for not respecting Palestinians' rights? It also could be argued that the Christen Crusaders, in comparison to Jewish Zionism, had said similar things about Muslims and Arabs as well. However, after 200 years of Crusaders' occupation, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, Arabs produced their versions of Einstein (in Cordoba, Seville, Cairo, Toledo, Baghdad, ... etc.), and fought well under Saladin's command. Along with the subsequent Mongol and Tatar invasions, the Crusade genocide became a sad footnote in the human history. If history shall be used as an example, then it's too early to ride off Arabs only after five decades of ethnic cleansing and dispossession.

Moshe Sharett

Moshe Sharett, the first Israeli foreign minister, wrote in 1914:

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 ceases 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)

Moshe Sharett, director of the Jewish Agency's Political Department, declared in 1947:

"Transfer could be the crowning achievements, the final stage in the development of [our] policy, but certainly not the point of departure. By [speaking publicly and prematurely] we could mobilizing vast forces against the matter and cause it to fail, in advance." (Righteous Victims, p. 254)

And also he added:

"[W]hen the Jewish state is established--it is very possible that the result will be transfer of [the Palestinian] Arabs." (Righteous Victims, p. 254)

In August 18 1948, Moshe Sharett wrote to Chaim Weizmann, explaining the Israeli government's determination to block the Palestinian Arab refugees' return:

"With regard to the refugees, we are determined to be adamant while the war lasts. Once the return tide starts, it will be impossible to stem it, and it will prove our undoing. As for the future, we are equally determined to explore all possibilities of getting rid, once and for all, of the huge [Palestinian] Arab minority [referring to the Palestinian Israeli citizens of Israel] which originally threatened us. What can be achieved in this period of storm and stress [referring to the 1948 war] will be quite unattainable once conditions get stabilized. A group of people [headed by Yosef Weitz] has already started working on the study of resettlement possibilities [for the Palestinian refugees] in other lands . . . What such permanent resettlement of 'Israeli' Arabs in the neighboring territories will mean in terms of making land available in Israel for settlement of our own people requires no emphasis." (Benny Morris, p. 149-150)

During the armistice negotiation with Jordan, Israel pressured H.M. King Abdullah to concede sovereignty over Wadi 'Ara area (nearby Tulkarm and Jinin), and Moshe Sharett assumed that the Palestinian Arabs inhabiting the land would be expelled, he said:

"I imagine that the INTENTION is to get rid of them. The interests of security demand that we get rid of them." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 28)

In response to an announcement made by the Jewish Agency in mid-1949 that Israel would be willing to take back Palestinian refugees, and even to compensate them when the war ends, Moshe Sharett instructed his Director General not to repeat such an announcement, and in that regard he stated:

"We must not be understood to say that once the war is over they [referring to Palestinian refugees] can return. .... We'll keep every option open." Then days later Sharett wrote Dr. Nahum Goldmann that
"the most spectacular event in the contemporary history of Palestine, in a way more spectacular than the creation of the [Palestinian] Arab population. . . . The opportunities opened up by the present reality for a lasting and radical solution of the most vexing problem of the Jewish state [referring to the Palestinian Arabs inhabiting area allotted to the "Jewish state" by the 1947 UN Partition plan], are so far-reaching, as to take one's breath away. The reversion of the status quo ante is unthinkable." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 29)

Cleansing Lydda & Ramla

The cleansing of Lydda and Ramla has been organized into a separate section, click here for details.

Menachem Ussishkin

In 1904, before Zionism matured into a powerful political force, Menachem 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,Manachem 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 population of which the Arab living on their lands constitute almost half and the Jews exists 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)

Moshe Dayan

Soon after the 1967 war, Moshe Dayan wrote in his memories regarding the ethnic cleansing and destruction of the 'Imwas, Bayt Nuba, Yalu, and big portion of the West Bank city of Qalqilya:

"[houses were destroyed] not in battle, but as punishment . . . and in order to CHASE AWAY the inhabitants . . . contrary to government policy." (Righteous Victims, p. 328)

In September 1967 Moshe Dayan told senior staff in the Israeli Occupation Army in the West Bank that some 200,000 Palestinian Arabs had left the West Bank and Gaza Strip:

"we must understand the motives and causes of the continued emigration of the [Palestinian] Arabs, from both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and not to undermine these cause after all, we want to create a new map." (Righteous Victims, p. 338)

On 30 July 1973 Moshe Dayan said to Time Magazine:

"There is no more Palestine. Finished . . ." (Iron Wall, p. 316)

and in April 1973 from the peaks of Massada he proclaimed a vision:

"a new State of Israel with broad frontiers, strong and solid, with the authority of the Israel Government extending from the Jordan [river] to the Suez Canal." (Iron Wall, p. 316)

Miscellanies

Cleansing Lydda & Ramla, click here for details.

In 1895, Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, wrote in his diary:

"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)

Just prior to the British conquest of Palestine, Chaim Weizmann wrote describing the indigenous Palestinians:

"[the indigenous population was akin to] the rocks of Judea, as obstacles that had to be cleared on a difficult path." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 17)

By war's end in 1949, Chaim Weizmann commented on the EXODUS of the Palestinian Arabs out of their homes, farms, and businesses:

" a miraculous clearing of the land: the miraculous simplification of Israel's task." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 175)

Ze'ev Jabotinsky stated in a letter to one of his Revisionist colleagues in the United States dated November 1939:

"There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews of Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 29)

Israel Zangwill, who had visited Palestine in 1897 and came face-to-face with the demographic reality, stated :

"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)

The socialist Zionist Hahman Syrkin, the ideological founder of Socialist Zionism, proposed in pamphlet entitled "The Jewish Question and the Socialist Jewish State" which was published in 1898 that:

"Palestine thinly populated, in which the Jews constituted today 10 percent of the population, must be evacuated for the Jews." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 11)

In October 1882, Validimir Dubnow, one of the earliest Zionist pioneers in Palestine, wrote to his brother articulating the ultimate goals of the Zionist movement:

"The ultimate goal . . . is, in time, to take over the Land of Israel and to restore to the Jews the political independence they have been deprived of for these two thousand years. . . . The Jews will yet arise and, arms in hand (if need be), declare that they are the masters of their ancient homeland." (Righteous Victims, p. 49)

In October 1882 Ben-Yehuda and Yehiel Michal Pines, few of the earliest Zionist pioneers in Palestine, wrote describing the indigenous Palestinians:

". . . There are now only five hundred [thousand] Arabs, who are not very strong, and from whom we shall easily take away the country if only we do it through stratagems [and] without drawing upon us their hostility before we become a the strong and papules ones." (Righteous Victims, p. 49)

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)

In 1919 Lord Balfour, the father of the Balfour Declaration, justified the usurpation of Palestinians right of self determination as the following:

"Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-old traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder important then the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 [Palestinian] Arabs who now inhabit the ancient land." (Righteous Victims, p. 75)

As early as October 25, 1919 Winston Churchill predicted that Zionism implied the clearing of the indigenous population, he wrote:

"there are the Jews, whom we are pledged to introduce into Palestine, and who take it for granted the the local [Palestinian] population will be cleared out to suit their convenience." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 15)

In 1938 Berl Katzneslon, the influential Mapai leader, stated his opinion of the demographic make up of the Jewish states upon the implementation of the partition proposed by the Peel Commission:

"There is the question of how the army, the police, and the civil service will function and how a state can be run if part of its population is disloyal .....[and the Palestinian Arabs will get equal rights as Jews] ... only a small minority of [the Palestinian] Arabs will remain in the country." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 115)

Chaim Weizmann wrote in a letter dated April 28, 1939 to the American Zionist leader Solomon Goldman about the possibility of acquisition of a large tract of land belonging to the Palestinian Arab Druze in the Galilee and eastern Carmel:

"The realization of this project would mean the emigration of 10,000 [Palestinian] Arabs [to Jabal al-Druze in Syria], the acquisition of 300,000 dunums. . . . It would also create a significant precedent if 10,000 [Palestinian] Arabs were to emigrate peacefully of their own volition, which no doubt would be followed by others." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 167) Ironically, what actually happened during the 1948 war was almost the complete opposite. The Palestinian Druze Arabs were the ones who were permitted to stay (among other minorities too like Shi'ites and Maronite Christians), especially in and around the Haifa and al-Carmel area.

This was seconded by Avraham Katznelson, another influential Mapai leader, who also said:

"more moral, from the viewpoint of universal human ethics, than the emptying of the Jewish state of the [Palestinian] Arabs and their transfer elsewhere .... This requires [the use of] force." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 192)

The following is a discussion between MAPAI secretariat regarding demographic make up of the "Jewish state" soon after the 1948 war:

Shlomo Levi, MK: " . . . The large number of [Palestinian] Arabs in the country worries me. The time come when we will be the minority in the State of Israel. There are now 170,000 [Palestinian] Arabs in the country, including 22,000 school-age children. The natural increase among [Palestinians] Arabs is high and keeps growing, especially if we give them all the economic advantages which we are intending to give: health, education and big benefits. There is no such rate of natural increase anywhere in the world, and we have to give careful thought to this imminent danger. Such an increase could match our immigration. . . . We may reach the point when the interests of [Palestinian] Arabs rather than of the Jews will determine the character of the country. . . ."
Eliyahu Camreli, MK: "I'm not willing to accept a single [Palestinian] Arab, and not only an Arab but any gentile. I want the State of Israel to be entirety Jewish, the descendents of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. . . ."
Yehiel Duvdenvany, MK: "If there was any way of solving the problem way of transfer [the Israeli propaganda term for ethnic cleansing] of the remaining 170,000 [Palestinian] Arabs we would do so. . . ."
David Hakohen, MK: "We didn't plan the departure of the [Palestinian] Arabs. It was a miracle. . . ."
Z. Onn: "The landscape is more beautiful----I enjoy it, especially, when traveling between Haifa and Tel Aviv, and there is not a single [Palestinian] Arab to be seen." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 46-47)

On August 14, 1948 Yigael Yadin (1917-1985, he was one of the founding members of the Haganah and Israel's chief of staff between 1948-1951) wrote Moshe Sharett advocating a non-return policy for the Palestinian refugees based on political and military reasons, he wrote:

"Because of the spread of diseases among the [Palestinian] Arab refugees, I propose that [we] declare a quarantine on all our conquered areas. We will thus be able to more strongly oppose the demand for the return of the [Palestinian] Arab refugees and all infiltration by [Palestinian] Arabs [back] into the abandoned villages---in addition to our opposition [to the return] on understandable military and political ground." (Benny Morris, p. 139-140)

At the start of the First Truce (June 11 - July 8) during the 1948 war, the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Middle East Department noted the Arab leaders' calls for the return to Palestine of 300,000 Palestinian refugees. It also noted the trickle of Palestinian refugees "infiltrating" back to their villages. The Department conjectured that a major reason for this return of Palestinians was their desire:

"to harvest the [summer] crops. . . The [Palestinian] Arabs in their places of wandering are suffering from real hunger." But this harvest-geared return, the department warned, could "in time bring in its wake [Palestinian Arab re-]settlement in the villages, something which might seriously endanger many of the achievements we accomplished during the first six months of the war. It is not for nothing that Arabs spokesmen are . . . demanding the return . . . [of the Palestinian refugees], because this would not only ease their burden but would weigh us down considerably." (Benny Morris, p. 140)

Prior to the start of Operation Hiram in northern Palestine in October 1948, the Foreign Ministry advised the Israeli Army to make sure that the Galilee should be as clear as possible of Palestinian Arabs, and Christian Palestinians should be favored upon deciding whether to expel or not to expel Palestinians from the area, the report stated:

"to try during conquest [to make sure] that no [Palestinian] Arabs inhabitants remain in the Galilee and certainly that no refugees from other places remains there. Truth to tell, concerning the attitude to the Christian [Palestinian Arabs] and the problem of whether to discriminate in their favor and to leave them in their villages, clear instructions were not given [by us?] and we did not express an opinion." (Benny Morris, p. 226)

As Operation Hiram was being concluded in late October 1948, some internal Palestinian refugees remained in al-Rama, east of Acre. A former resident of Ghuwayr Abu Shusha (north of Tiberias) described his experience of being ethnically cleansed to Lebanon as the following:

"The people in Ar Rama were ordered to assemble at the centre of the village. A Jewish soldier stood on top of a rise and addressed us. He ordered the [Palestinian] Druze present . . . to go back to their homes. . . . Then he ordered the rest of us to leave to Lebanon . . . Although I was given a permission to stay by my friend, Abu Musa [a Local Israeli Jewish officer], I could not remain without the rest of my tribe [or hamula in Arabic] who were forced to flee." Unlike the Ar Rama Palestinian Christian community, these non-resident did not remain but moved off to Lebanon. (Benny Morris, p. 227)

Similarly, a Palestinian refugee from Sha'ab (east of Acre) described his experience as the following:

"The Jews grouped us with the other [Palestinian Arab] villagers, separating us from women. We remained all day in the village [al-Bi'na] courtyard . . . we were thirsty and hungry." Two Palestinian villagers, he recalled, were taken aside and shot dead, and the other Palestinian refugees were robbed from their valuables. Some "200" men were selected and driven off, presumably to a POW camp. The refugee went on to say:
"It was almost night . . . [The] al-Bi'na mukhtar asked the Jews to permit us to stay overnight . . . rather then travel [northwards] at night with our old men, women, and children. The Jews rejected the mukhtar's request and gave us [i.e., the refugees] half an hour to leave . . . When half an hour passed, the Jews began to shoot in the air . . . they injured my nine-year old son in the knee. We walked a few hours until we reached Sajur . . . We were terrified, the road was full of people in every direction you looked . . . all in a hurry to get to Lebanon." A few days later, after a brief stay in the Palestinian Druze village of Beit Jann, they reached Lebanon. (Benny Morris, p. 227-8)

As the Israeli Army was entering Eilabun (Palestinian Maronite Christian village) on October 30, 1948, the soldiers went on rampage in the village looting Palestinians properties. In a letter dated January 21st, 1949 sent to the Israeli Minority Affair Ministry by Faraj Diab Surur, the Eilabun's Mukhtar, along with other village notables described the looting and the ethnic cleansing of their village by the Israeli soldiers as the following:

"When the [Israeli] commander selected 12 youngsters (shabab) and sent them to another place, then he ordered that the assembled inhabitants to be led to [al-]Maghar and the priest asked him to leave the women and babies and to take only men, but he refused, and led the assembled inhabitants---some 800 in number--- to [al-]Maghar preceded by military vehicles. . . . He himself stayed on with another two soldiers until they killed the 12 youngsters in the streets of the village and then they joined the army going to [al-]Maghar. He led them to [al-]Frarradiya. When they reached Kafr 'Inan they were joined by an armored car that fired upon them [refugees] . . . killing one of the old men, Sam'an ash Shufani, 60 years old, and injured three women . . . At [al-]Frarradiya [the Israeli soldiers] robbed the inhabitants of IL 500 and the women of their Jewelry, and took 42 youngsters and sent them to a detention camp, and the rest the next day were led to Meirun, and afterward to the Lebanon borders. During this whole time they were given food only once. Imagine then how the babies screamed and the cries of the pregnant and weaning mothers."

Subsequently, the Israeli Army looted the Palestinian Maronite village of Eilabun. In early 1949, many of these refugees were allowed back to their homes after relentless lobbying by Aharon Cizling (the Israeli Agriculture Minister) in the Israeli Cabinet. It is worth noting that these returnees were among the few hundreds to be allowed back to their homes, farms, and businesses, however, the mass majority of the Palestinian people are still dispossessed and homeless since the 1948 war. (Benny Morris, p. 229-230)

As the Israelis rampaged the friendly Palestinian village of Huj (northeast of Gaza), Yitzhak Avira (an old-time Haganah Intelligence Service officer) registered a complained against the continued destruction of the village. He wrote Ezra Danin (a member of the 1st and 2nd Transfer Committees and a Haganah Intelligence Officer) on August 16, 1948 that:

"recently a view has come to prevail among us that the [Palestinian] Arabs are nothing. Every [Palestinian] Arab is a murderer, all of them should be slaughtered, all the [Palestinian] villages that are conquered should be burned . . . I . . . see a danger in the prevalence of an attitude that everything of theirs should be murdered, destroyed, and made to vanish."

Danin Answered: "War is complicated and lacking in sentimentality. If the commanders believe that by destruction, murder, and human suffering they will reach their goal more quickly---I would not stand in their way. If we do not hurry up and do [things]---our enemies will do these things to us." (Benny Morris, p. 167)

It is worth noting that Palestinian inhabitants of Huj had collaborated openly with the Haganah and the Israeli Army before and during the 1948 war, however, such good will did not save them from being ethnically cleansed. Similarly, Zarnuqa (the hometown of the Islamic Jihad founder Fathi al-Shikaki) inhabitants had a comparable experience with the Israelis, and paid the price of their collaboration by being driven out of their village under the threat of the gun towards neighboring Yibna. Sadly, Yibna's people, who were not yet occupied, drove them back to Israeli occupied Zarnuqa, so they became unwanted people by both sides camping in the wadis between the two towns. This is a typical story of collaborators who outlive their usefulness. (Benny Morris, p. 127)

As the Israeli soldiers were occupying the al-Dawayima (northwest of Hebron), the solders perpetrated a mostly unknown massacre on October 28-29, 1948. According the Shabtai Kaplan, a MAPAM party member, and eyewitness accounts, he describe the atrocity to Al Hamishmar editor as the following:

"The first wave of conquerors [89th Battalion of the 8th Brigade] killed about 80-100 [male Palestinian] Arabs, women and children. The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was no a house without dead," Kaplan wrote. Kaplan's informant , who arrived immediately afterwards in the second wave, reported that the [Palestinian] Arab men and women who remained were then closed off in the houses "without food and water." Sappers arrived to blow up the the houses. "One commander ordered a sapper to put two old women in a certain house . . . and to blow up the house with them. The sapper refused . . . The commander then ordered his men to put in the old women and the evil deed was done. One soldier boasted that he had raped a [Palestinian] woman and then shot her. One woman, with a newborn baby in her arms, was employed to clean the courtyard where the soldiers ate. She worked a day or two. In the end they shot her and her baby." The soldier witness, according to Kaplan, said that "cultured officers . . . had turned into base murderers and this not in the heat of the battle . . . but out of system of expulsion and destruction. The lest [Palestinian] Arabs remained---the better. This principle is the political motor of the expulsion and atrocities."
Kaplan under stood that MAPAM in this respect was in bind. The matter could not be publicized; it would harm the State and MAPAM would lambasted for it. (Benny Morris, p. 222-3)

The Israeli Operation Command for the Northern Front Carmel described the flight of the Palestinian refugees into Lebanon (soon after the concluding of Operation Hiram) as the following:

"They abandoned the villages of their birth and that of their ancestors an go into exile . . . Women, children, babies, donkeys -- everything moves, in silence and grief, northwards, without looking to right or left. Wife does not find her husband and child does not find his father . . . no one knows the goal of his trek. Many possessions are scattered by the paths; the more the refugees walk, the more tired they grow --- and they throw away what they had tried to save on their way into exile. Suddenly, every object seems to them petty, superfluous, unimportant as against chasing fear and the urge to save life and limb. [click here for a picture depicting the scene]

I saw a boy aged eight walking northwards pushing along two assess in front of him. His father and brother had died in the battle and his mother was lost. I saw a woman holding a two-week-old baby in her arm and a baby two years old in her left arm and a four-year-old girl following in her wake, clutching at her dress [click here for a picture depicting the scene].

[Near Sa'sa' northwest of Safad,] I saw suddenly by the roadside a tall man, bent over, scarping with his fingernails in the hard, rocky soil. I stopped. I saw a small hollow in the ground, dug out by hand, with fingernails, under an olive tree. The man laid down the body of a baby who had died in the arms of his mother, and covered it with soil and small stones." Near Tarshiha [northeast of Acre], Carmel saw a 16-year-old youth "sitting by the roadside, naked as the day he was born and smiling at our passing car." Carmel described how some of the Israeli soldiers, regarding the [Palestinian] refugee columns with astonishment and shock and "with great sadness," went down into the wadis and gave the [Palestinian] refugees bread and tea. " I knew [of] a unit in which no soldier ate anything that day because all [the food] sent it by the company kitchen was taken down to the wadi." (Benny Morris, p. 231-2)

An officer of the police national headquarters, who had visited the villages of Elabun and Mrar (in the Galilee) in November 1948, reported:

"All the inhabitants of Elabun were deported, except for four villagers who are Greek Orthodox, and a small number of old people and children. The total number of inhabitants left in the village is 52. The priests complained bitterly about the expulsion of the villagers and demanded their return. . . . In Mrar, most of the inhabitants remained, except for many of the Muslims." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 28)

On May 10, 1948, Aharon Cohen, the director during the war of the Arab Department of the newly formed MAPAM party, wrote in a memorandum to the party's Political Committee:

"There is a reason to believe that what is being done . . . is being done out of certain political objectives and not only out of military necessities, as they claim sometimes. In fact, the transfer of the [Palestinian] Arabs from the boundaries of the Jewish state is being implemented . . . the evacuation/clearing out of [Palestinian] Arab villages is not always done out of military necessity. The complete destruction of the villages is not always done only because there are no sufficient forces to maintain a garrison." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 181)

On July 24 the Mapai Center held a full-scale debate regarding the Palestinian Arab question against the background of the ethnic cleansing of Ramla and Lydda. The majority apparently backed Ben-Gurion's policies of population transfer or ethnic cleansing. Shlomo Lavi, one of the influential leaders of the Mapai party, said that:

"the ... transfer of the [Palestinian] Arabs out of the country in my eyes is one of the moss just, moral and correct that can be done. I have thought of this for many years." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 192)

This was seconded by Avraham Katznelson, another influential Mapai leader, who also said:

"more moral, from the viewpoint of universal human ethics, than the emptying of the Jewish state of the [Palestinian] Arabs and their transfer elsewhere .... This requires [the use of] force." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 192)

In an interview with the Sunday Times Golda Meir, Israel's Prime Minister between 1969-1974, stated in June 1969:

"It is not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them, they did not exist." (Iron Wall, p. 311)


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Post Your Comment

Posted by joe on June 13, 2010 #115266

Ethnic cleaning= Transfer does anyone see this problem with these words!?
Posted by haifa on May 13, 2009 #76995

Laissa damouni

There is still a damouni family living in Haifa. They own an electronics shop in wadi al-nisnas.

go to al-awda.org and contact them, I can assure you that you will get a reply from a relative.
Posted by mark t on August 8, 2008 #48519

"What is so frustrating and alarming is that our government officials, when commenting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, appear to be ignorant or deluding themselves about the historical record. That record is voluminous and irrefutable."

"Our government" is wishful thinking. Your politicians are under the control of a nefarious lobby that were they to object to its agenda would ruin their reputation using blackmail and would have them voted out of office using financial incentives. Your media can not inform you, for it is not yours. Your country is on a death grip. Read the book, "They Dare to Speak Out", by ex USA congressman Paul Finley.
Posted by Henry Clifford on April 4, 2008 #33692

What is so frustrating and alarming is that our government officials, when commenting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, appear to be ignorant or deluding themselves about the historical record. That record is voluminous and irrefutable.
Posted by james on February 13, 2008 #29065

love one another...that is what it breaks down to ...and live in peace..as brothers and sisters on the earth, the land is for everyone !!!
Posted by tobygr on December 22, 2007 #25777

It is self-evident that no-one has the right to take someone elses land.

This kind of thing may have been acceptable in the 19th century, by the mid 20th century it certainly wasn؟t.

israel didnt exist before 1948. palestine did.

That simple fact alone tells you were justice lies in this matter!

The population of Palestine, predominantly agricultural, was about 690,000 in 1914 (535,000 Muslims; 70,000 Christians, most of whom were Arabs; and 85,000 Jews)." (encyclopedia britannica).

there was no substantial jewish population until after ww2 when jews were 'imported'. often they were financed by wealthy zionists. wealthy zionists who incidentally, decided to remain were they where!

the chinese have used similar tactics (massive immigration) to subjugate tibet. a similar crime against humanity!

to claim someone elses land because your ancestors once lived there is merely unreasonable.

but to claim it because god gave it to you is insane.
Posted by nelson on November 10, 2007 #23266

i am a 38yr old christianman in search of the truth. i sympathize with the palistinian people .i believe in the fact that they should use what ever foce or what ever meanspossible to keep or recapture there lands.
Posted by Larissa on March 15, 2007 #14421

My name is Larissa Damouni, I live in Australia. My grandparents were from Carmel in Haifa. They fled from Palestine with their children in 1948, so my father was born in Sour in 1950. My grandfather (Salim Damouni) passed away before i was born and my grandmother has also passed away. My father doesn't know if anyone from our family died as a result of the Jews occupying Palestine and his brothers and sisters were very young. Is there a list anywhere of peoples names or does anyone know?