In pondering the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict I have found that very few people actually have a basic
understanding of the conflict nor could they define it in even rough
Thus one sometines hears that it is all about
Arab/Palestinian ‘terrorism’ and suicide bombings and the ultimate
goal of the terrorists-Palestinians is to ‘push all the Jews into the
sea, dead or alive” and that their motives are those of anti-Semitism
and hatred of Jews. Those who hold this view see the conflict as one of
the survival of the Jewish state amid a sea of irrational hatred.
That is the view of the Zionists, and the one they would like for the world to accept.
also hears that the conflict is a religious one between Jews and Arabs
and that it has been continuous for ‘thousands of years’.
Neither is correct.
first Palestinian suicide bombing occurred in 1994, 40 days after the
massacre by the Brooklyn native Baruch Goldstein of 29 praying Muslims
at the Al Ibrahim Mosque in Hebron. The ’67 War and the Israeli
occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip was 25
years old at that time. Thus an entire generation of Palestinians had
grown to maturity knowing nothing but occupation before the first
suicide bomber struck.
The phrase, “push all the Jews into the
sea, dead or alive”, can be traced to a 1961 speech to the Knesset
delivered by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. This apparently was the
first use of this phrase by a significant political personality, and
thus, for all intents and purposes, the phrase has a Jewish and not an
Arab origin. The propagation of this emotional phrase throughout the
Israeli-Palestinian debate has its source the Israeli Prime Minister
himself. (See 'Who is Pushing Whom into the Sea'?)
view that the conflict is religious and that it has been ongoing for
thousands of years is inaccurate. For approximately 2000 years Jews and
Arabs enjoyed a harmonious relation, and for four hundred years up
until World War I, as citizens of the Ottoman empire with equal rights.
Indeed, Jews enjoyed high government position within the Ottoman Empire.
occurred in 1896 with the publication of Theodore Herzl’s book, The
Jewish State, in which Herzl propounded the idea of inevitability,
immutability, permanence, and omnipresence of anti-Semitism and argued
that the only solution was a separate state for Jews.
understanding of the inevitability of anti-Semitism was possibly self
fulfilling, for rather that opposing anti-Semitism in the first half of
the 20th century, the Zionists found common cause with Hitler, Eichmann
and the Nazis and used anti-Semitism and Nazism as a means of achieving
their end which was the establishment of a Jewish state. The two
reactionary movements shared the view that German Jews were living
there as a ‘foreign race’ and that the racial divide was essential to
maintain. (Historian Lenny Brenner has written three excellent books on
the Zionists-Nazi collaboration.) The Zionist’s use of Nazism involved,
among other things, the blocking of avenues of escape to other
countries of Europe’s Jews and diverting them to Palestine, even as
the death trains began to roll in Europe. The rise of Nazism and Hitler
to power was never, or almost never, opposed by the Zionist prior to
the establishment of Israel.
History might have been very
different had the Zionists component of Jewry opposed Nazism and there
might never have been a Holocaust. And there might never have been a
state of Israel, as many of the Zionists well understood.
Lenni Brenner puts it:
of all of the active Jewish opponents of the boycott idea [of Nazi
Germany], the most important was the world Zionists Organization (WZO).
It not only bought German wares; it sold them, and even sought out new
customers for Hitler and his industrialist backers.
The WZO saw
Hitler’s victory in much the same way as its German affiliate, the ZVfD
[the German Zionist Organization]: not primarily as a defeat for all
Jewry, but as positive proof of the bankruptcy of assimilation and
liberalism.’ [Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators] Zionist
collaboration with the Nazis, as well as with the Fascists and
Mussolini is a deep and extensive topic and must be abandoned here.
a region of Argentina as well as Ethiopia were considered by Herzl,
Palestine was the site for which there was the greatest consensus. Of
the indigenous Palestinians, of which there were about a million at the
time living in Palestine, he said:
shall] spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying
it employment. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the
poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”
Thus the concept of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionism was introduced.
is not rocket science. If you want to create a state exclusively of
European Jews in the heart of the Middle East, you must first get rid
of the Arabs.
Herzl went on the found the World Zionists
Organization, whose intent was to establish a Jewish state in Palestine
and to make itself into proto-government from which the actual state
government would seamlessly emerge upon the establishment of the Jewish
Though the world seems not to understand the intent of the
Zionist program, there was no misunderstanding among the Zionists
In his 1923 book, The Iron Wall, Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder to the “Revisionists” wing of Zionism, wrote:
can be no discussion of voluntary reconciliation between the Arabs, not
now and not in the foreseeable future. All well-meaning people, with
the exception of those blind from birth, understood long ago the
complete impossibility of arriving at a voluntary agreement with the
Arabs of Palestine for the transformation of Palestine from an Arab
country to a country with a Jewish majority.
"Any native people
view their country as their national home, of which they will be the
complete masters. They will never voluntarily allow a new master. So it
is for the Arabs. Compromisers among us try to convince us that the
Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked with hidden
formulations of our basic goals. I flatly refuse to accept this view of
the Palestinian Arabs.
"The Palestinians will struggle in this
way until there is hardly a spark of hope....it matters not what kind
of words we use to explain our colonization. Colonization has its own
integral and inescapable meaning understood by every Jew and every
Arab. Colonization has only one goal. This is in the nature of things.
To change that nature is impossible. It has been necessary to carry on
colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs and the same
conditions exist now.
"A voluntary agreement is inconceivable.
All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance
of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and
develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall
which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab
policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.
through the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate, external force is a
necessity for the establishing in the country conditions of rule and
defense through which the local population, regardless of what it
wishes, will be deprived of the possibility of impeding our
colonization, administratively or physically. Force must play its role
– with strength and without indulgence. In this, there are no
meaningful differences between our militarists and our vegetarians. One
prefers an Iron Wall of Jewish bayonets; the other an Iron Wall of
“If you wish to colonize a land in which
people are already living, you must provide a garrison for that land,…
. Or else? Or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed
force which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or
prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible. Zionism is a
colonization adventure and there fore it stands or it falls by the
question of armed force. It is important to speak Hebrew but,
unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else
I am through with playing at colonization.
"To the hackneyed
reproach that this point is unethical, I answer – absolutely untrue.
This is our ethic. There is no other ethic. As long as there is the
faintest spark of hope for the Arabs to impede us, they will not sell
these hopes – not for any sweet words not for any tasty morsel. Because
this (the Palestinians) is not a rabble but a people, a living people.
And no people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful
questions, except when there is no hope left, until we have removed
every opening visible in the Iron Wall."
‘Revisionists’ advocated the revision of the British Mandate for
Palestine to include the east bank of the Jordan, now the state of
Jordan, as well as the west bank, the Jordan River forming the eastern
boundary of the mandate at that time. The ‘Revisionist’ transformed
over time into the present day Lukud party, the right wing party of
Menachem Begin, who regarded Zabotinsky as his model and philosophical
father, of Yitzchak Shamir, who became the leader of the Revisionists
at the time of Zabotinsky’s death, of Ariel Sharon, and of Benjamin
Thus in 1937, Ben Gurion stated:
compulsory transfer of Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish
state could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on
our own feet during the days of the First and Second Temple.”
And in a letter to his son, also in 1937, he stated:
must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force,
to guarantee our own right to settle in those places then we have
force at our disposal.”
And in early 1948 Ben Gurion wrote in his War Diary,
the assault we must be ready to strike the decisive blow; that is,
either to destroy the towns or expel its inhabitants so our people can
And in February 1948, Ben Gurion told
Yoseph Weitz, director of the settlement of the Jewish National Fund
and head of the official Transfer Committee of 1948:
war will give us land. The concept of 'ours' and 'not ours' are peace
concepts, only, in war they lose their whole meaning.”
in 1940, Joseph Weitz, who was head of land purchasing for the World
Jewish Organization, and head of one of several ‘transfer committees’
(committees to study ways of transferring the Arabs from Palestine)
ourselves it must be clear that here is no room for both peoples
together in this country. We shall not achieve our goal if the Arabs
are in this country. There is no other way than to transfer the Arabs
from here to neighboring countries – all of them. Not one village, not
one tribe, should be left.”
And in 1983, Raphael Eytan, then chief of staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, said,
declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one
centimeter of Eretz Israel …Force is all they do or ever will
understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come
crawling to us on all fours….When we have settled the land, all the
Arab will be able to do will be to scurry around like drugged
cockroaches in a bottle.”
Exactly why the indigenous
people of Palestine do not have right to live on the land of their and
their ancestors births, or why the colonial European Jews have this
right, Mr. Eytan is silent.
And in 2002. Moshe Yaalon, chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force, said,
“The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”
the time that Israel declared itself a state in May of 1948 and the
summer of 2005, Israel killed 50,000 Palestinians, according to Israeli
Historian Ilan Pappe. And since October of 2000, Israel has killed 6348
Palestinians, according to the web site, “If American Knew”. The latter
figure averages to about 2 Palestinians killed per day by Israel
(1.932, by my calculation.)
One thing is certain: Israel is not the victim, as it is constantly screaming, but the victimizer.
What then is the conflict all about? What is the theme that runs through the entire history of Zionism?
is about the ongoing program of Zionism to destroy the Palestinians as
a people and to assume possession of their ancestral land.
are Zionists who would settle for a two state solution and a withdrawal
of the Israel presence to the 1967 borders allowing a mini-Palestinian
state on the remaining 22% of Palestine. But the reality on the ground
is that Israel has expanded beyond the point of retreat with 300,000
settlers in the West Bank, 183,000 in East Jerusalem, as of this
writing, with 200 or more settlements in the West Bank some twice the
size of Manhattan containing their own, schools, universities, shopping
malls and the billions of dollars of invested infrastructure, both
private and public, and a segregated, for-Jews-only, highway system,
300 miles long, cutting up the West Bank with Palestinians imprisoned
between these disjoint concrete and asphalt barriers.
whatever the views of these moderate Zionists, who call for contraction
to the ’67 borders, the dynamics of Israel is and has always been
expansion. The centrifugal forces pushing the expansion are multivaried
and complicated. They are religious, they are military, they are for
want of security, they are from want of power for its own sake, but
they are persistent and they have an entire century of momentum and a
century of Zionism on the move.
What the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict is all about then is the destruction of the Palestinian people
and their evacuation and the complete takeover of Palestine to the
Jordan River by the Jewish state. And what hangs win the balance is
whether or not the Palestinians will be destroyed and eliminated as a
people with a distinct culture and history and with an attachment to
the land of their birth and their parent’s and ancestor’s births.
The Palestine Chronicle