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What Zionism has meant for Palestinians

Photo from the Palestinian 'Nakba' in 1948
Photo from the Palestinian 'Nakba' in 1948

“If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a greater and nobler ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of Arab fellahin.”

Menahem Ussishkin, chair of Jewish National Fund, 1930.

There is a lot of discussion about Zionism at the moment: how to define it, what it means to be anti-Zionist and whether that equates to antisemitism, and so on. But there has been a notable, and instructive, absence in these debates: an understanding of what Zionism has meant for Palestinians.

Let us first consider some definitions of Zionism that have been suggested recently.

On BBC Radio 4 earlier this month, senior journalist at The Guardian Jonathan Freedland defined a Zionist as someone who is “no more or no less than somebody who supports the existence of a Jewish home in Palestine”, before clarifying that he specifically meant a “Jewish state in Palestine”. For Times columnist David Aaronovitch, “Zionism is just support for the idea of a Jewish state.”

Meanwhile, a proposed change in the Labour party’s rules being advocated by the Jewish Labour Movement states: “Zionism is no single concept other than the basic expression of the national identity of the Jewish people, a right to which all people are entitled.”

According to the head of pro-Israel lobby group BICOM, James Sorene, “Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.” Elsewhere, BICOM was pithier: Zionism is “a movement for the national self-determination and liberation of Jews.”

Note how many of these definitions are explicitly and assertively simple: “no more or no less”, “just”, “no single concept other than”. In other words, do not ask any further questions. Don’t complicate things. And above all, don’t mention the Palestinians.

Take an article published by the BBC in the last 24 hours on ‘What’s the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?’ While the piece reflects a variety of opinions, even references to Palestinians (let alone quoting one) are few and far between.

The best it gets is this: “Some anti-Zionists say Zionism itself is a racist ideology, because of how, in their view, the Palestinian people have been treated by the Israeli state.” But there is a complete lack of specifics. How are Palestinians treated by the Israeli state?

Or take this item by BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat, which attempts to define terms such as antisemitism and Zionism. “After the Holocaust, Jewish people were allocated land to settle on. They considered the region of Israel their homeland. However, many of the Arab people who were already living in Palestine and the surrounding areas found it unfair.”

What did they find ‘unfair’? The Palestinians’ objections are unexplained, and thus appear irrational, or even prejudiced.

So let us recall some basic history. In 1897, when the first Zionist Congress was held in Basle, the population of Palestine was approximately 96 percent Arab and 4 percent Jewish. At the time of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, Jews were still less than 10 per cent of Palestine’s population.

Thus while Zionism may have been conceived of as a movement for Jewish self-determination – and as we’ve seen, that is certainly how it is presented today – in Palestine itself, the creation of a Jewish state directly contradicted the principles of self-determination.

Zionist activists knew that, of course. The Zionist Organisation in London, in the early days of the British Mandate, said the ‘problem’ with democracy is that it

too commonly means majority rule without regard to diversities of types or stages of civilisation or differences of quality…if the crude arithmetical conception of democracy were to be applied now or at some early stage in the future to Palestinian conditions, the majority that would rule would be the Arab majority.

 

Even by 1947, after waves of Jewish immigration, Palestinian Arabs still constituted two-thirds of Palestine’s population. That same year, a senior U.S. State Department official warned that plans to create a Jewish state in Palestine “ignore such principles as self-determination and majority rule.”

There was thus only one way of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine; removing the land’s non-Jewish inhabitants. In 1947-’49, around 85-90 percent of Palestinians who lived in what became Israel were expelled. Four out of five Palestinian communities were ethnically cleansed.

The Palestinians describe this as the Nakba, Arabic for catastrophe.

These Palestinian refugees, from thriving cities, towns, and villages, were expelled, and prevented from returning – by force, and by legislation. Their lands and properties were expropriated. Refugees who attempted to go home were shot dead.

This is all historical fact, though many continue to deny it. But more disturbingly, some accept what happened – but believe it was worth it.

Winston Churchill thought so, even ahead of time. In 1937, he told the Palestine Royal Commission: “I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race… has come in and taken their place.”

Not many people will put it like that these days. But consider the words of Jonathan Freedland, who accepts the “reality” of the Nakba, but believes Israel should “defend it all the same”. For Freedland, creating a Jewish state in Palestine “was a moral necessity even if…it was bought at a horribly high moral price.”

The price, of course, was paid by the Palestinians, and is still being paid. As one Palestinian student wrote in The New York Times recently, his “relatives…did not deserve to be expelled from their homes”, and “nor do any of the Palestinians who are still being uprooted because of Israeli government policies.”

For the Palestinians, Zionism has meant dispossession, exile, colonisation, and apartheid. The absence of these facts from current discussions therefore mirrors the violent ‘disappearing’ of Palestinians that, in the words of one Israeli historian “lay at the heart of the Zionist dream, and was also a necessary condition of its realization.”                        

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  • kena liebe contreras

    Great article!

  • Blake

    In the words of Gilad Aztmon: Palestinians are at the forefront of the battle for humanity; alone they faced Zionist evil. However, the time has changed, & it isn’t just Gaza or the W.Bank anymore. We are all Palestinians, because we share the same enemy. We are all tired of Zionist driven expansionist wars. We don’t want ‘Israeli officials’ to preach to us about Western interests. We don’t want to see our elected politicians dancing to Jewish Lobby’s irritating tune. It is time to emancipate humanity from Zionist grip.

    • peepsqueek

      The banner of Islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass, and 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs live in Israel proper as citizens on land that hypocritical activists say was ethnically cleansed. It does not sound like humanity is being held up by Jews. There are 28 other conflicts and borders wars in the world today involving Muslim leaders and Muslims regimes. Do you have any concerns about them be emancipated?

      • Mehdi Patel

        saladin let the jews return to jerusalem…jews keep betraying the countries that helped them in the past..india..persia..arabs…germany..uk us…france….can u explain this phenomenon??

        • peepsqueek

          Why don’t you ask a pertinent question that I can answer in one paragraph. As for Saladin, he was of Kurdish origin. Lets get current-
          Kurd Net Daily Online News: 
”For years the 30 million Kurds spread across those territories have been the world’s largest ethnic group without an independent homeland. Only the Kurds in Iraq, who displaced Iraqi forces in the 1990s when a U.S. and British no-fly zone was in place against Saddam Hussein, have managed to carved out an area of real autonomy.”
          All the Kurdish Jews have moved to Israel.

          • WHW

            and you wonder why the kurds resort to attacking the turkish govt.? or is that ok with you. the Palestinians had a home and it was taken away. the kurds never had one. but are fighting daily for one. should they be bombed and terrorised as well? (well, they are anyway)

          • peepsqueek

            The geographical area of Palestine has changed hands more than a Las Vegas gambler. Palestinians are not a specific people. Before 1948, both Palestinian Jews, Arabs, and others used the British Passport Palestinian for travel because they did not have a Country of their own. It sounds strange because there were already 22 independent “Arab Countries”, in which Jews were later encouraged to leave as they now had a Country of their own, and came to Israel. Can you tell me what County was listed on Arab passports used in the West Bank from 1948 to 1967?

            -UNRWA definition of a Palestine refugee in 1952: “A Palestine refugee is [a person] whose normal residence was Palestine for a [minimum period of two years] preceding the outbreak of the conflict in 1948 and who, as a result of this conflict has lost both his home and his means of livelihood.”

            The definition of “refugees” omitted the reference to persons of Arab origin in the 1948 General Assembly proposal, and opened the possibility of [including stateless persons who had been residents of Palestine].

          • Blake

            Of course they are and your spam is nothing but slavic tripe not backed up by your own ashkenaz historians

          • peepsqueek

            I repeat, If you had any contradictory evidence, you would have posted it. What is your cultural and historic identity, so that the readers can get an idea where you are coming from??

          • What ‘Palestinians?’ The designation for Arabs living in the Palestine Mandate was not even mentioned until the Soviets gave Arafat the idea after the Six Day War. Before that, the term referred to Jews living there. The Jerusalem Post was actually once called the Palestine Post!

            There’s also the little matter of the original partition of the Mandate in 1922, and the agreement Britain, the Mandatory Power made with the League of Nations known as the San Remo Accord. Britain gave the Arabs 78% of Mandatory Palestine for their state, with the Jordan River as the boundary ( which is why it was originally called Trans-Jordan). Every Jew living East of the Jordan was removed from their land, although th eBrits did not do the same with Arabs living west of the Jordan. Thus Jews have a perfect right to live anywhere in Judea and Samaria, something not only recognized by San Remo but by UN Resolution 242 and by Article 80 of th eUN Charter which reaffirmed that right.

            Of course, 78% wasn’t enough…they and their modern apologists like the author simply want Israel to disappear in hopes the restive Muslim world will leave them in peace, a fool’s appeasement.

            Let’s also not forget that the ‘Palestinian Nakba’ is a mourning of a failed attempt at genocide, And that Britain did its part to make it happen by arming the Egyptian, Iraqi and Jordanian armies with modern weaponry in spite of their open declaration of jihad with its goal to massacre every Jew. And that the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem was carried out by the Jordanian Arab Legion commanded by British officers under the anti-semitic Col. John Glubb…in 1948 less than 3 years after Auschwitz was liberated. By comparison, over one hundred thousand Arabs chose to stay in Israel and became citizens with full legal rights under Israel’s laws.

            There were almost one million Jews ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after 1948, After everything they owned was plundered, something most authorities value at almost a trillion US dollars in today’s money. I don’t see any of these conscience cowboys oh so concerned about justice for them.

            The revisionist nonsense of this article would be shameful if the author and those on this board whom think like him were possessed of an ounce of the ability to feel shame, let alone simple human decency.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Sorry, that’s a false narrative. The true one is that the Palestinians have been in Palestine continuously for over ten thousand years under many name, rulers, and religions, far longer than anything called Jewish even existed, including the last two thousand years, when the invader European ZioNazis certainly weren’t, if ever.

          • No facts, and no answers to the ones I gave, all of which are historical record. I think we’ll let the readers think for themselves and decide who’s got the false narrative.

            I can’t wait for you clowns to try another jihad…and have an epic fail.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            I’m not Arab or Muslim. I just despise lying thugs who invade other people’s countries with vast floods of crimes against humanity like these…

            Over 750,000 people driven off their ancestral lands

            Over 600 Arab villages and towns BULLDOZED

            Ordered the attack on over 700,000 Arab Jews to drive them into conquered Palestine

    • Gilad Atzmon, a radical far Lefty Jew who hasn’t lived in Israel for years and whom even the far Left UK Guardian calls an anti-semite! We all know there’s nice living to be made by self-hating Jews like that, especially in Europe.Great source, garbage brain.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/sep/25/gilad-atzmon-antisemitism-the-left

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        So good, decent Jewish people who don’t approve of Zionist crimes against humanity are “self-hating Jews”? Isn’t another one of your silly slurs is calling opposition to Zionist crimes “anti-Semitism”? While Arabs are the true Semites, and the Ashkenazi can’t be by the 40 peculiarly suffered genetic diseases they have?

  • James Phillips

    Would most Israelis support an independent Arab Palestine, made up of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, if it renounced war and became a demilitarized state like Costa Rica?

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      No, they wouldn’t. Why are they so busily stealing the West Bank from the Arabs?

      • How can someone steal something that was theirs in the first place from somebody who never owned it?

        • TecumsehUnfaced

          The alien Ashkenazi-Khazars invader thugs never owned anything in Palestine legitimately. Only the Arabs living there for millennia did, and that includes the Arab Jews.

          • Sheer horse manure. For details, see my post upthread on the San Remo Accords, and Article 80 of the UN Charter. Not only that, but Gilo,Mo’idin, Ariel, the entire Gush Etzion bloc and most of Hebron and East Jerusalem along with a lot of other communities were built in the 1920’s AFTER the San Remo Accord on land they legally purchased from the Arab muktars.

            The vast majority of Arabs were fallahin who owned no land . They were essentially serfs. And in any event, the San Remo Accords gave them a country of their own anyway. In fact, most of the Arabs whom call themselves ‘Palestinians’ hold Jordanian citizenship – including Mahmoud Abbas.

            With the exception of small communities like Jaffa and a few villages, most of the Arabs whom call themselves ‘Palestinians’ now came from Egypt, Syria, and the Hejaz. The Jews already had established communities in Tsfat (Safed) Jerusalem and Hebron at that time. The Ottoman censuses bear this out. The Arabs only began coming to ‘Palestine’ an Ottoman villayat (a tax farm) in any numbers after the Sultan encouraged Jewish migration in hopes that the Jews would bring some prosperity to the region, which they did. And in hopes of the Sultanate getting a badly needed loan from the Rothschilds, which they didn’t, although the Rothchilds did finance Jewish settlement.

            As for the Khazars,that mythology dear to all Jew hater’s hearts, the Khazars were a kingdom in Central Asia that converted to Judaism. The Jews in Europe ( whom separated into two cultures, Sephardi and Ashkenazim) were products of the Roman diaspora in 70CE. They were not Khazars., and were in Europe long before the Khazars converted to Judaism in the12th century or so..

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Who cares what foreign thieves pretend to get rights except clowns like these?

            https://cbsatlanta.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/drunk-birthday-clown.jpg?w=309&h=309&crop=1

            This particular clown can’t figure out why the Ashkenazi suddenly appeared in Eastern Europe with their peculiar language and genetic diseases at the fall of the Khazar Empire.

          • No facts, and no answer to the ones I gave. Typical of simple minded Jew haters.

            Be a nice boy, go read another chapter of Mein Kampf and let the adults talk.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Silly Zionist propaganda that claims that people have no rights over their homeland, but foreigners do?

            Then you yammer yourself with “Jew haters” and “Mein Kampf”?

            You claim without any reason that Ashkenazi with their peculiar language, diseases, time and place of appearance are somehow Semites?

            You are certainly a clown of a “nice boy”.

          • I have no time for people that deal in fantasy. I think I’ve given you quite enough attention.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            You’ve got enough fantasy all by yourself, the ridiculous idea that you alien European country-stealers have any right in Palestine.

            So shove you simple-minded racism back among your fellow country-stealers, and stop pretending to be other than a looter of other people.

          • janbn

            I do believe that there would be no objection to a Jewish state had it not depended on the dispossession of the people already on the land. The ethnic cleansing was the fatal flaw.

          • What ethnic cleansing? The majority of Arabs (including Mahmoud Abbas) left voluntarily because they thought the Arab armies would massacre the Jews, after which they could return and have their share of the spoils. That’s exactly what the Arab countries and Haj-amin al-Husseni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem told them to do. tapes of those radio broadcasts still exist.

            Why else do you think those who actually owned any property brought those silly house keys with them?

            After the war, 150,000 Arabs still remained in what became Israel and became full citizens with full legal rights. The few who were actually removed were Arabs who were fighting on the Arab side in a war for Israel’s survival. Any nation would have removed them.

            The real ethnic cleansing occurred on the Arab side, where almost a million Jews were ethnically cleansed after all of their property was looted. Most arrived in Israel with the clothes on their backs, if that and resettled at Israel’s expense. No UNWA for the Jews!

            That property has been conservatively valued by most experts as close to a trillion dollars US in today’s money. Let’s see a settlement on those claims before we start talking about anything else, shall we?

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            No, they left because of the reign of murder, massacres, and terror instituted against the Palestinians civilians by the imported army of Ashkenazi thugs.

            Those thugs declared that they were stealing Palestine and drove nearly 80% of the indigenous people from their villages.

            Actually, the expulsion of the Arab Jews was another machination of the evil thug Ben-Gurion by which he planned to fool and terrorize the Arab Jews into Palestine to serve the vicious European ZioNazi invaders of Palestine as laborers and farmers. It was Ben-Gurion who ordered the Zionist assaults on the Arab Jews.

            Zionist crimes against the Jews
            http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2013/11/11/zionist-crimes-against-the-jews

            Zionist terror against the Jews
            http://www.inminds.co.uk/jews-of-iraq.html

            All planned and ordered by the evil thug David Ben-Gurion
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Million_Plan

            Thanks for reminding us that the assault of the evil European ZioNazi invaders was not just against the people of Palestine but against all the Arab Jews. Thanks for reminding us of the vast evil of the European ZioNazi thugs in forcing two Million Arab (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) people from their homes.

            If you don’t want to hear refutation from me, don’t tell lies and stop peddling the ZioNazi con game.

          • ‘Refutation?’ Keep lying to yourself but don’t waste anyone else’s time.

            The first link is some anti-Semitic cesspool, the second cites Ilan Pappe, a far left Israel hating Jew and academic fraud who lives in Europe, makes his living from folks like you and whom has been debunked repeatedly. And the third on Wikipedia says nothing remotely like what you’re representing, except that the Jews in Israel wanted to save as many of their persecuted countrymen as possible, especially in light of the Holocaust and the Baghdad pogrom by the Nazi-loving Arab regime that took power during WWII

            I realize you don’t care, Jew hater that you are, but to represent that what the Arab states did to their Jewish citizens had anything to do with some Israeli plot is not only a lie but repulsively cruel. after the Arab defeat, Israel was faced not only with refugees from the Holocaust but destitute refugees from the Arab nations> Both were a severe strain on a brand new country in financial difficulty, but Israel refused no one and took them all in and cared for them at it’s own expense. No UNRWA for Jews…

            A gutless anonymous cockroach like you doesn’t bother me, but you really need professional help.

            Israel stays, and prospers. Deal with it.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            What a silly rant!

            Israel squirms and rots with evil. Deal with it.

          • janbn

            What you wrote would have come as a great surprise to Avi, my late brother-in-law, who was a member of the Palmach. On a visit to his birthplace in America in 1952 he spoke of how in May 1948 the Palmach went under cover of night into the Arab villages on the border with Lebanon. They forced every man, woman and child, including the elderly and the infirm, from their homes and at gunpoint forced them to walk barefoot across the border into Lebanon. They were barefoot because they weren’t even given time to put on their shoes that had been left by the door or to take any of their belongings. Anyone trying to come back to get his family’s belongings was called an infiltrator and was shot on sight. I didn’t ask him if he killed anyone. Like the “good Germans” of only a few years earlier, I just didn’t want to know. It was 1952 when I heard his revelation. I had bought the official Israeli story that every Arab fled because he was told to do so. I wanted to believe that what the Palmach did was just a one time event. But it wasn’t. The ethnic cleansing and the accompanying massacres took place all over Israel.

            The land of one of the ethnically cleansed villages was taken by the kibbutz where Avi and his family lived. An archival photo on an Israeli government web site showed stones being built for a new road at the kibbutz. The stones were the stones of the homes that the Jewish forces blew up.

            As for the Jews in Arab countries, that was equally bad but you have to understand that the dispossession of the Jews from Arab countries, often with the connivance of the Israelis, took place after the Arabs of Israel were dispossessed. I suggest that you Google Naeim Giladi who wrote about the Iraqi Jews and how the Israelis frightened them into leaving Iraq.

            I believe that both peoples should be allowed to return. Neither people should have been kicked out and those in Israel who fled in fear from the conflict, as people always do in conflict, should be allowed to return or to be fully compensated for their losses.

            Finally, I would like to ask you how you think that Israel could have become a Jewish state if not one Arab and left his or her home? It could not have happened. They had to go and I think that you know that.

          • The fact remains that almost a million Jews were ethnically cleansed from their homes in the Arab world after everything they owned was plundered. As I mentioned earlier, there definitely were instances where the circumstances of what was a war for survival necessitated what you describe above, IF it happened, but for the sake of argument I’ll assume it did. But the fact remains that Israel’s policy was not ethnic cleansing and that 150,000 Arabs stayed in Israel and became citizens with full legal rights. No Jews were given that choice and none remain, because that WAS the official policy of the Arabs.

            You also fail to mention that a great many Arabs left voluntarily, exactly as the Arab countries and their leader, Grand Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini told them to. That’s also a matter of historical record.

            The responsibility for Arab refugees is solely the fault of the Arab States who attacked Israel with genocide in mind, There’s no arguing that point.

            No mosques in Israel were destroyed, but over 28 historic synagogues in the Arab occupied part of Jerusalem was, Jewish tombstones from the Mount of Olives were used to pave streets and the Kotel, the holiest spot in Judaism was used as a latrine and a garbage dump.

            Since you like stories, here’s one, about Gush Etzion. And it’s historical fact. Gush Etzion was,built on land in Judea legally purchased from the Arab Mukhtars. It was surrounded by Jordan’s Arab legion commended by British officers. The residents had a home made mortar, a few rifles and a pistols pitted against a fully armed professional army, complete with armored cars.

            The residents were offered safe conduct to the Jewish lines provided they surrendered, and since they had women, children and elderly people and were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, they agreed. The end result was that a 160 or so able bodied Jewish men were executed after their surrender in cold blood, and the rest were taken to a Jordanian military prison where they were kept in unspeakable conditions until 1950. The entire community was looted by the Arab troops and then burned to the ground.

            1950 was also the year when all Arabs in Judea and Samaria were given Jordanian citizenship by Jordan’s parliament, including the so-called ‘refugees.’ Most still hold it, including Mahmoud Abbas. So it’s not like they have no country or nationality of their own.

            The fact also remains that thanks to Arab Jew hatred, we both know the Jews can’t return home and that allowing Arabs who claim to be refugees to swamp Israel would be a death sentence for Israel.

            Let’s resolve it this way, shall we? The most conservative estimates of the property, bank accounts and businesses plundered from the Jews in the Arab world amounts to around a trillion dollars US in today’s money. (And BTW,Israel released to their owner any and all bank accounts left in Israel by those Arabs whom left to their owners as of 1950. That’s also a historical fact). Since neither can ‘go home’ as you put it, let’s have an honest accounting of all claims and have the responsible party pay up to those whom can document their losses..

            Let me know when you get the Arabs to agree to that eminently fair solution.

          • janbn

            You are right. Many of the Palestinians left even before the state was declared. My Palestinian friend, born in 1947, was one of those whose family left. When I asked why they fled, her answer had only two words: Deir Yassin.
            On April 9, 1948 the Irgun attacked the village of Deir Yassin slaughtering at least 100 men, women and children. The news of the massacre spread like wildfire and, as happens in every conflict, people flee. In this case my friend’s family, a family that had been on the land since at least the mid 1500s, fled to Jordan fearing that they too could become the victims of the Irgun. It should be noted that this is one of the few conflicts from which people fled that they are not allowed to return. The home in which my friend and her family lived is still there in Jerusalem, a home which is now the residence of a Jewish family. When my friend, who has no desire to return to the land of her birth, went on a visit she saw the house and asked the people living there if she could just look inside. They slammed the door in the face of this gentle woman. By the way, she is not a Muslim but a Christian. Even though she has no desire to return to the land of her birth, I believe that she has far more right to return than do I, who because I am Jewish, can “return” to a land where to my knowledge not one member of my biological family ever set foot except as a tourist.

            As for your saying that Israel destroyed no mosques, you are sadly uninformed. In 1948 Israel destroyed at least 500 villages including their mosques. Just Google it and you will find an article written for Haaretz by Meron Rapoport that starts with these words. “Hundreds of former mosques around the country were destroyed or serve other purposes. Most were turned into synagogues or museums, a few became storerooms, at least two are cafes, and one became a cowshed.”

            I think that you should acknowledge the fact that the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries began after the Jews expelled the Arabs. Furthermore, there is no doubt that the new state of Israel wanted the Jews from Arab countries to come into the country. I suggest that you Google Naeim Giladi who wrote about the Jews of Iraq and how the Israelis frightened them into leaving.

            The question that must be asked is this. What if not one of the Arabs had left their home? What if they stayed in their homes and on their lands and made it quite clear that under no circumstances would they leave? How could there have been a majority Jewish state? The answer is that there could not have been a majority Jewish state and one way or another, the new government would have had to find a way to get rid of them.

            I believe that both Israel and the Arab countries were wrong in expelling people. Ethnic cleansing is a war crime and the leaders of any country, whether ir was israel or the Arab countries, that expelled the people living there should have been taken to The Hague. charged, tried and convicted of those crimes.

            It also must be remembered that the Arab countries were not the only countries to expel and mistreat Jews. Some of my ancestors were expelled from Spain along with Muslims during the Inquisition while in later years my great grandparents, the descendants of those who were expelled from Spain left Russia and Poland because of the pogroms. For whatever the unholy reason, Jews were treated badly in many countries, not just the Arab countries.

          • Ah, Deir Yassin, the Arab excuse for everything! Too bad it’s sheer BS.

            Deir Yassin was a strategic fortified outpost, and part of the Arab plot to cut off Jerusalem and leave it and it’s people at the mercy of the Arab marauders . Arab irregulars and later, Iraqi and Jordanian troops were actively using it as a post to fire on the Jewish Quarters of Bet Hakerem and Yefe Nof.

            Haganah intelligence found out that fortifications were being constructed in the village, trenches being dug and a large quantity of arms being stockpiled. Kind of a different picture than the ‘peaceful Arab village ‘ you paint! Deir Yassin was an important fortified strategic target that needed to be taken out.

            Before Deir Yassin was attacked, even the Arabs whom call themselves ‘Palestinians’ admit that the inhabitants were warned that an attack was imminent and to at least let non-combatants evacuate. Here’s a direct quote from an Arab League publication entitled ‘Israeli Aggression’ :

            “On the night of April 9, 1948, the peaceful Arab village of Deir
            Yassin was surprised by a loudspeaker, which called on the population to
            evacuate it immediately.”

            Except the village wasn’t so peaceful, and they opened fire., including most of the men in the village. Again, even researchers like Bir Zeit’s University professor Sharif Kanaana admits this. So your characterization of this as a bunch of peaceful civilians massacred without warning by the Evil JOOOS is an Arabian Nights fantasy. Civilians do get killed in war, especially when they refuse to leave a battle zone when given the chance and instead join in the fight.

            of course, people like Hitler ally Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti as well as the Arab aggressors embroidered what happened at Deir Yassin with all sorts of lurid tales about atrocities.The idea was to inflame the Arabs to massacre the Jews. Instead it backfired because a lot of them simply fled. Although Ben-Gurion did find it useful to besmirch his political opponents on the Right.

            It’s a dead giveaway that you quote Ha’aretz as a source of anything, a far Left paper no one in Israel takes serious except that very narrow spectrum, and of course, leftist anti-Israel Jews living overseas. The fact remains that ethnic cleansing was the official policy of the Arabs not the Jews, That’s why there are virtually no Jews left in the Arab countries and over 1 million Arabs in Israel who live there as full citizens.So your friend didn’t have to leave. She and her family rolled the dice that the Arabs would successfully commit genocide against the Jews and they lost.

            When you make aggressive war against another country and you lose, bad things happen, including loss of territory. The generation of Germans that followed Hitler could tell you all about that.

            Oh, and the what ifs? I love to play this game too!

            What if the Arabs had been satisfied with the 78% of Palestine called Jordan the British and the League of Nations gifted them with in the 1922 San Remo accords and had been content to leave the Jews in peace? What if they had abided by the 1919 agreement between Feisal and Chaim Weitzman? What if they hadn’t attacked Israel in the first place, which is what actually caused the refugee problem?

            What if the majority of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine had told Haj-Amin Husseini to go fly as kite and had made common cause with the Jews instead of foreign Arab aggressors as some of them did?

            What if the Arabs had done what Israel did and taken in their refugees that became refugees solely because of their attempt at genocide and integrate them into their countries instead of cynically using them as an aggressive sore and an excuse to continue hostilities?

            What if?

            As for an actual fair settlement for the grievances of refugees ON BOTH SIDES, it’s quite telling that you ignored my suggestion of what one would look like. When your pals the Arabs get ready to write a few checks to reimburse what they stole, apologize for the failed genocide and make a real peace that would actually benefit them a lot more than Israel because of Israel’s expertise in agriculture, water use and technology we might have something to talk about. With the exception of Egypt’s al-Sissi, so far that’s not happening.

            Until it is, don’t even bother me with ‘what ifs’ OK?

          • janbn

            Do you believe that there was no influence placed on delegates to San Remo by Zionists? Do you believe that the San Remo Accords came about without any influence by important Jewish Zionists?

          • You have it absolutely wrong.

            The Brits wanted a kingdom for Abdullah, the son of the Sharif of Mecca, the one Lawrence of Arabia wasn’t queer for (the one he was queer for, Ali, got Iraq, formerly a bunch of Ottoman provinces in Mesopotamia). It was not the ‘Zionists’ who put pressure on the Brits but the Arabs, and it was the Brits who petitioned the League of Nations to alter the Mandate and give 78% of the Palestine Mandate to the Hashemites. According to the original terms of the Mandate, the Jews were supposed to have all of Palestine for a state, which was why many Jews had already settled east of the Jordan. These Jews were removed from their homes and farms by the British after Sanremo, although no Arabs were removed from the area west of the Jordan, which included all of Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank).

            Does that sound like the ‘Zionists’ successfully pressured anybody? To lose 78% of Palestine and have Jews totally removed from most of it?

            This was the original Two State Solution, with the Jordan River as the natural boundary, and as part of San Remo and as a consolation prize for giving up most of Palestine, the Jews were assured by the Brits and the League of Nations that everything west of the Jordan would be their state which is exactly why communities lush Gush Etzion, Ariel, Gilo, and others were built after San Remo on legally purchased land.

            Of course, the Arabs weren’t satisfied with 78%, they wanted it all and wanted the Jews dead. That’s why they attempted a genocide in 1948 and succeeded in ethnically cleansing every Jew from Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem in 1948…a 19-year theft even the UN didn’t recognize, although they did nothing about it.

            Read up on the massacres that were committed in Gush Etzion and elsewhere by the Arabs in 1948, and how Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after that. You’ll soon see who the thief is and who used undue pressure (the Arabs had the oil and Britain wanted it) if you have any objectivity at all.

        • TecumsehUnfaced
    • And the odds of that happening? ZIP. By the way,what you’re talking about was what Oslo was supposed to be an agreement for.. I think we’ve seen how ‘peaceful’ the PLO and Hamas are by now and what their word is worth. Do you really think the Israelis are stupid enough to make the same mistake twice? Would you?

      Even Faisal Husseini, Arafat’s commissar in East Jerusalem admitted openly that Oslo was just ‘a Trojan Horse to trick the Jews and destroy Israel.’

    • Fasdunkle

      arabs have been offered that before, they rejected it

      • James Phillips

        Well, it’s the best deal they’re ever going to get! Israel isn’t going to acquiesce in its own erasure and the IDF is too strong to be overcome. Time for the Palestinian leadership to accept the best offer available, and declare an end to this pointless war.

      • James Phillips

        Well, it’s the best deal they’re ever going to get! Israel isn’t going to acquiesce in its own erasure and the IDF is too strong to be overcome. Time for the Palestinian leadership to accept the best offer available, and declare an end to this pointless war.