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

Israel Zangwill was a prominent Anglo-Jewish writer often quoted in the British press as a spokesman for Zionism and one of the earliest organizers of the Zionist movement in Britain who visited Palestine as early as 1897.

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Israel Zangwill, who had visited Palestine in 1897 and came face-to-face with the demographic reality. He stated in 1905 in a speech to a Zionist group in Manchester that:

"[Palestine is] ALREADY TWICE AS THICKLY POPULATED AS THE UNITED STATES" (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 10)

And he also added :

"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)

In 1920, Israel Zangwill clearly acknowledged the existence of Palestinians, but not as a people since they were not exploiting Palestine's resource. He said:

"If the Lord Shaftesbury was literally inexact in describing Palestine as a country without a people, he was essentially correct, for there is no Arab people living in intimate fusion with the country, utilizing its resources and stamping it with a characteristic impress: there is at best an Arab encampment." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 6)

Zangwill also wrote in an article published in "Voice Of Jerusalem" in 1920, that Palestinians' cultural "backwardness" as a justification for the removal of the population. He stated:

"We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction ..... And therefore we must generally persuade them to 'trek.' After all, they have all Arabia with its million square miles .... There is no particular reason for the Arabs to cling to these few kilometers. 'To fold their tents and silently steal away' is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 14, and Righteous Victims, p. 140)

In a public meeting in 1919 Zangwill made a remark about the Palestinian Arabs:

"many are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 14)

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