Ethnic cleansing and destruction of 'Imwas, June 17, 1967. Note the Israeli officer to the left directing Palestinians out of their village 'Imwas.
For the moment, let's assume that the Palestinian refugees were not terrorized out of their homes, but left based on their free will. The questions that many Palestinians ask:
- Is that a good reason to confiscate their homes, farms, and businesses?
- Is that a good reason to block their return to their homes?
- Is that a good reason to nullify their citizenship in the country they were born?
Let us pose the question the other way around. For a very long time, the Zionist movement encouraged Jews from Europe and the Middle East to emigrate to Israel:
- Is that a good reason to confiscate their homes, farms, and businesses in their respective countries?
- Is that a good reason to block their return to their homes if they choose to do so?
- Is that a good reason to nullify their citizenship in the countries they were born?
The just and fair answer to all of these questions is a big fat no. Nobody has the right to usurp the political and civil rights of another citizen PERIOD, regardless of the circumstances.
Neither the Israeli Army boot camps, nor the Israeli schools dares to disclose the truth to its subjects. The truth is most Palestinians were terrorized out of their homes, farms, and businesses. PalestineRemembered.com is fortunate to receive pictures portraying the terror that came upon the Palestinian people, click here to witness the ethnic cleansing and destruction of 'Imwas. It should be noted that what happened to 'Imwas by the Israeli Army was a copycat war crime to what already happened to other 450 Palestinian towns during the 1948 war.
Since the inception of Zionism, its leaders have been keen on creating a "Jewish State" based on a "Jewish majority" by mass immigration of Jews to Palestine, primarily European Jews fleeing from anti-Semitic Tsarist Russia and Nazi Germany. When a "Jewish majority" was impossible to achieve, based on Jewish immigration and natural growth, Zionist leaders (such as Ben Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and Chaim Weizmann) concluded that "population transfer" was the only solution to what they referred to as the "Arab Problem." Year after year, the plan to cleanse Palestine away from its indigenous people became known as the "transfer solution." David Ben-Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister, eloquently articulated the "transfer solution" as the following:
- In a joint meeting between the Jewish Agency Executive and Zionist Action
Committee on June 12th, 1938:
"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).
- In a speech addressing the Central Committee of the Histadrut on December
"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 & Benny Morris p. 28)
- And on February 8th, 1948, Ben-Gurion also stated to the Mapai Council:
"From your entry into Jerusalem, through Lifta, Romema [East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood]. . . there are no [Palestinian] Arabs. 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 6th, 1948:
"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 ..... I believe that war will also bring in its wake a great change in the distribution of Arab population." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 181)
- In speech to the Jewish Agency on June 12, 1948, Ben-Gurion stated:
"I am for compulsory transfer; I don't see anything immoral in it." For tactical reasons, he was against proposing it at the moment, but "we have to state the principle of compulsory transfer without insisting on its immediate implementation." (Simha Flapan, p. 103)
- Click here for more "Transfer" (Ethnic Cleansing) quotes from Zionist leaders.
For the moment, assume that the above evidence is nothing but an Arab propaganda. We ask the reader to contemplate what Yitzhak Rabin, one of Israel's Prime Ministers, had written in his diary soon after the occupation of Lydda and al-Ramla on July 10th-11th, 1948:
"After attacking Lydda [later called Lod] and then Ramla, .... What would they do with the 50,000 civilians living in the two cities ..... Not even Ben-Gurion could offer a solution .... and during the discussion at operation headquarters, he [Ben-Gurion] remained silent, as was his habit in such situations. Clearly, we could not leave [Lydda's] hostile and armed populace in our rear, where it could endangered the supply route [to the troops who were] advancing eastward.
Ben-Gurion would repeat the question: What is to be done with the population?, waving his hand in a gesture which said: Drive them out! [garesh otem in Hebrew]. 'Driving out' is a term with a harsh ring, .... Psychologically, this was on of the most difficult actions we undertook". (Soldier Of Peace, p. 140-141 & Benny Morris, p. 207) .
Later, Rabin underlined the cruelty of the operation as mirrored in the reaction of his soldiers. He stated during an interview (which is still censored in Israeli publications to this day) with David Shipler from the New York Times on October 22, 1979:
"Great Suffering was inflicted upon the men taking part in the eviction action. [They] included youth-movement graduates who had been inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humaneness. The eviction action went beyond the concepts they were used to. There were some fellows who refused to take part. . . Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action . . . to explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action." (Simha Flapan, p. 101)
Just before the 1948 war, the residents of the twin cities, Lydda and al-Ramla, almost constituted 20% of the total urban population in central Palestine, inclusive of Tel-Aviv. Currently, the former residents and their descendents number at least a half a million, who mostly live in deplorable refugee camps in and around Amman (Jordan) and Ramallah (the occupied West Bank). According to Rabin, the decision to ethnically cleanse the twin cities was an agonizing decision, however, his guilty conscious did not stop him from placing a similar order against three nearby villages ('Imwas, Yalu, and Bayt Nuba ) 19 years later. The exodus from Lydda and al- Ramla was portrayed firsthand by Ismail Shammout, the renowned Palestinians artist from Lydda itself, click here to view his exodus gallery. To learn more about the ethnic cleansing of Lydda and al-Ramla based on declassified Israeli archives, we suggest clicking here as well .
In order to excuse themselves from any responsibility of war crimes, Zionists have concocted a myth that Palestinians were ordered by their leaders to abandon their homes. As it will be proven below, this version of events was conclusively proven wrong based on Israeli declassified documents. According to the Israeli historian Benny Morris:
- 'In general, during the first months of the war until April 1948 the
Palestinian leadership struggled, if not very manfully, against the exodus: "The AHC [Arab Higher Committee] decided .... to adopt measures to weaken
the exodus by imposing restrictions, penalties, threats, propaganda in the press
[and] on the radio .... [The AHC] tried to obtain the help of neighboring
countries in this context ..... [The AHC] especially tried to prevent the flight
of army-age young males," according to IDF intelligence'. (Benny
Morris, p. 60)
- 'Whatever the reasoning and attitude of the Arab states' leaders, I have found
no contemporary evidence to show that either the leaders of the Arab states or
the Mufti [Hajj Amin al-Husseini] ordered or directly encouraged the mass exodus
during April . It may be worth noting that for decades the policy of the
Palestinian Arab leaders had been to hold fast to the soil of Palestine and to
resist the eviction and displacement of Arab communities'. (Benny
Morris, p. 66)
- 'In Kafr Saba [early May 1948], the locals, under threat from Haganah attack,
wanted to leave, but were ordered to stay by the ALA [Arab Liberation Army]
garrison. According to Haganah sources, the ALA, with the population of Ramallah
about to take flight, blocked all roads into the Triangle: "The Arab military
leaders are trying to stem the flood of refugees and taking stern and ruthless
measures against them." Arab radio broadcast, picked up by the Haganah,
conveyed orders from the ALA to all Arabs who had left their homes to
"return within three days. The commander of Ramallah assembled the mukhtars
[official leaders] from the area" and demanded they strengthen morale in the their villages.
The local ALA commanders turned back trucks which were coming to take families
out of Ramallah. .... Haganah intelligence on May 6 reported that "Radio
Jerusalem in its Arabic broadcast (14:00 hours, 5 May) and Damascus [Radio]
(19:45 hours, 5 May) announced in the name of the Supreme Headquarters: 'Every
Arab must defend his home and property .... Those who leave their places will be
punished and their homes will be destroyed.'. The announcement was signed by [Fawzi
Morris, p. 68-69)
Similarly, Simha Flapan (the Israeli writer and politician) stated according to declassified Israeli document and to the November 6th, 1948 edition of the Israeli newspaper Davar:
". . . after April 1948, the flight acquired massive dimensions. Abd al-Rahman Azzam Pasha, secretary general of the Arab League, and King Abdullah both issued public calls to the Arabs not to leave their homes. Fawzi al-Qawukji, commander of the Arab Liberation Army, was give instructions to stop the flight by force and to requisition transport for this purpose. The Arab government decided to allow entry only to women and children and to send back all men of military age (between eighteen and fifty). Mohammad Adib al-Umri, deputy director of Ramallah broadcasting station, appealed to the Arabs to stop the flight from Jenin, Tulkarm, and other towns in the Triangle that were bombed by the Israelis. On May 10, Radio Jerusalem broadcasted orders on its Arab program from Arab commanders and AHC to stop the mass flight from Jerusalem and the vicinity." (Simha Flapan, p. 86-87)
Click here to view the original letter sent by the Arab Higher Committee [AHC] on March 8, 1948 urging the Egyptian government to deny entry for the Palestinian refugees unless in emergency situations.
- 'The various National Committees issued bans on flight. The Ramle National
Committee set up pickets at the exits to the town to prevent Arabs departing.
The inhabitants of the villages east of Majdal (Beit
Daras, the Sawafirs, ..etc)
were warned not to allow in with their belongings. On 15 May , Faiz Idris,
AHC's "inspector for public safety," issued ordered to militiamen to
help the invading Arab armies and to fight against " the Fifth column and
the rumor-mongers, who are causing the flight of the Arab population' (Benny
Morris, p. 69)
- 'On 10-11 May , the AHC [Arab Higher Committee] called on officials,
doctors, and engineers who had left the country to return on 14-15 May,
repeating the call, warned the the officials who did not return would lose their
" moral right to hold these administrative jobs in the future." Arab
governments began to bar entry to the refugee -as happened, for example, on the
Lebanese border in the middle of May'. (Benny
Morris, p. 69)
- 'The fall of Safad and the flight of its inhabitants shocked the
[Palestinian] Arab villagers of the Hula Valley, to the north. [Yegal] Allon
launched a psychological warfare campaign ("If you don't flee immediately, you will
all be slaughtered, your daughters will be raped," are the like), and almost all the villagers fled to Lebanon and
Victims, p. 213)
- According to a Jewish Agency's Arab section report from January 3, 1948,
at the beginning of the flight:
"The Arab exodus from Palestine continues, mainly to the countries of the West. Of late, the Arab Higher Executive has succeeded in imposing close scrutiny on those leaving for Arab countries in the Middle East." Prior to the declaration of the "Jewish state," the Arab League's political committee, meeting in Sofar, Lebanon, recommended that the Arab states " the doors to . . . women and children and old people if events in Palestine make it necessary." (Simha Flapan, p. 85)
Farther proof of ethnic cleansing (as if more evidence is needed) comes from Glubb Pasha, the British officer of the Jordanian army during the 1948 war, was on the spot at the time and therefore was in a position to know what is going on. He said:
"The story which Jewish publicity at first persuaded the world to accept , that the [Palestinian] Arab refugees left voluntarily, is not true. Voluntary emigrants do not leave their homes with only the clothes they stand in. People who decided to leave house do not do so in such a hurry that they lose other members of their family -- husband losing sight of his wife, or parents of their children. The fact is that the majority left in panic flight, to escape massacre. They were in fact helped on their way by the occasional massacres--not of very many at a time, but just enough to keep them running." (Bitter Harvest, p. 95)
As Moshe Sharett was ending his career in the mid-1950s, he came to the conclusion that Israel cannot be ruled without deceit as if it's essential for the Jewish state's survival. He wrote just before resigning:
"I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered. . . In the end, history will justify both the stratagems and deceit and the acts of adventurism. All I know is that I, Moshe Sharett, am not capable of them, and I am therefore unsuited to lead this country" (Simha Flapan, p. 52-53). In other word, what Moshe Sharett is saying that the "Jewish state" is incapable of surviving without lying to its citizens and the rest of the world; in fact it has been national security for the "Jewish state" to do so. This form of carefully crafted deception and lies is known in Israel by its Hebrew name: The art of Hasbarah.
Finally, it must be emphasized that Israel tried Adolf Eichmann for atrocities committed as a Nazi leader, it included charges of forcible expulsion (ethnic cleansing), which were classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity. It's ironic how often Israelis and Zionists are selective in the interpretation of war crimes against humanity in a way that fits their political agenda.
- Zionist Quotes: "Transfer" (Ethnic Cleansing)
- Zionist Quotes: LOOTING, Plunder, & Destruction
- Listen to an interview with the former Israeli Foreign Minister (Shlomo Ben-Ami) admitting that it is a concocted myth that Palestinians willingly left their homes, farms and businesses during the 1948 war (starting from minute 49:20).
- In Search of Palestine - Edward Said's Return Home (BBC)
- Ha'aretz: It took a village: Haganah collected detailed intelligence information about hundreds of Arab villages
- Washington Times: When Israel expelled Palestinians
- Zionism, Antisemitism, and the People of Palestine By Noel Ignatiev
- Israeli textbook offers Palestinian view
- Cleansing Jaffa: Detailed eyewitness account By Shukri Salameh
- Video: An Israeli's eye witness account proving how Palestinians were ethnically cleansed out of their homes, farms, and businesses
- This land was theirs By Hannah Mermelstein (Jewish American)
- Ha'aretz Daily: Survival of the fittest, an interview with Benny Morris
- Testimony of Amnon Neumann, a 948 Palmach soldier describing the occupation of the Negev villages Duration: 13 min 53 sec