ISL(RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 24.9.21
Imagine that in 1980 a pro South Africa apartheid rally took place in France. The participants shouted; “Long live white South Africa”! “Long live the white race”! “Support our white heroes killing the black terrorists”! South Africa is the promise land that belongs to the white race”!
A counter demonstration also took place. The participants chanted: “Down with the apartheid!” “Boycott and divest South Africa!” Free South Africa”! The police detained some people from both groups. The court found that the first group only expressed their right to freedom of expression while the second group are anti-whites racists. What would you think about this judge and his judgment?
Just replace the name of the country to Israel. Imagine that the first group is the pro Zionists defending the war crimes of Israel and accusing everyone that oppose the racist state of Ant-Semitism and you will see the similarity.
These days the struggle between the open supporters of the Zionist apartheid and the anti-Zionists takes different forms, one of them is the Durban II conference and on the other side the racist Anti-Durban conference organized by the Zionists. The friends of the Zionist apartheid boycott the second Durban conference at a time when Bennett the far right Prime Minister of Israel has announced: “I oppose a Palestinian state — I think it would be a terrible mistake,” he said. “I won’t do that”(1). The UN recognizes that apartheid is a crime against humanity (The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid) and the Durban’s new conference is taking places days after the PM of Israel Bennett declared that he opposes a Palestinian state and thus he supports an apartheid state from the river to the sea. No amount of manipulation about what Israel and the Zionists call anti-Semitism can hide the nature of the Zionist apartheid. So what we have in Durban is a semi dual power situation. It is not a real dual power because the UN is a forum controlled by the imperialists and this forum will not imposed any sanctions against Israel the front line of the imperialists in the Middle East.
To defend their crimes the Zionists tell lies on many issues. One of them is the ethnic cleansing of 1947-8 aimed at creating a state with Jewish Zionist majority.
One of the oldest slogan of the Zionists is that Palestine was an empty land waiting for the people without a land to return to their promise land. Since that in reality Palestine was populated by the native Palestinians, the Zionists had to expel them from their land by carrying out over 30 massacres and then say that the Palestinians left of their own free will. No wonder the American ruling class love Israel as it does what the European settler colonialists in North America did to the native Indians and to the black slaves.
According to the Zionist ADL: “The Palestinian refugee issue originated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, when five Arab armies invaded the State of Israel just hours after it was established. During the ensuing war, as many as 750,000 Palestinian Arabs fled their homes in the newly created state as a result of many factors. Some of the Palestinian Arabs who fled did so to avoid the ongoing war or at the urging of Arab leaders, and expected to return after a quick and certain Arab victory over the new Jewish state. Other Palestinians were forced to flee by individuals or groups fighting for Israel.“
This narrative is deceptions on three major points. The first one is that the Palestinian refugee issue originated in 1948. The second lie is that some of the Palestinian Arabs who fled at the urging of Arab leaders and the third lie is that Palestinians were forced to flee by individuals or groups fighting for Israel and not by an organized plan.
On the first lie: the idea of transferring the native Palestinians began already with Herzl and continued in the 1920s, 1930s and the1940s before the 1948 war.
“According to conventional Zionist historiography, Herzl thought little about Arabs, but what he did have to say about them reflected benign and progressive, albeit paternalistic, liberal sentiment. Herzl, like most Zionists before World War I, believed that Ottoman imperial assent was the key to the success of the Zionist enterprise. The local Arabs constituted little more than an extension of the Palestinian landscape, and their hostility to the Zionists, like malaria, swampy soil and stony fields, would all be cleared away in due course through the appropriate combination of technology and humanitarian zeal” (2)
“Eliezer Be’eri, among other scholars, has refuted the myth that Herzl saw Palestine as a “land without a nation for a nation without a land.” (Be’eri attributes that notorious phrase to Israel Zangwill.) Moreover, there were a few cases of Zionist leaders directly addressing the Arab question, such as Leo Motzkin’s address at the Second Zionist Congress of 1898, at which he spoke of a Palestinian population of some 650,000, occupying Palestine’s most fertile lands, or Max Nordau’s speech at the 1905 Congress, when he proposed a Zionist alliance with the Ottoman Empire against what he saw as a destabilizing Arab nationalism”.(3)
Herzl wrote: “We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates 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 own 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 discreetly and circumspectly. The property owners may believe that they are cheating us, selling to us at more than [the land is] worth. But nothing will be sold back to them”. (4)
During Herzl’s life when the Zionist movement was still in its infancy proposals for the transfer of the Palestinians were made by Zangwill and later on by Ruppin and Motzkin:
“It was in the early 1910s that two leading Zionists, Arthur Ruppin and Leo Motzkin put forward transfer proposals, the former in a private letter and the latter in the course of a lecture to a Conference of German Zionists which was subsequently published in a German Jewish newspaper. However, the main proposer of transfer at this period was Zangwill, who,after he had returned to the Zionist fold, wrote a number of articles and delivered a number of lectures on this subject” (5)
In the early 1930’s Ben Gurion and Haim Weizmann came with proposals for the transfer of the Palestinians:
“A number of proposals being made to transfer Arabs, to Transjordan. These included proposals by bodies such as the Jewish National Fund (J.N.F.), by individuals such as Weizmann and BenGurion, and by non-Jews, such as Drummond Shiels who was then British Assistant Colonial Secretary. Such transfer was particularly suggested for those Arabs in Western Palestine who were living on land being purchased by the Zionists. In fact, even before this time such Arabs were often transferred. Many Kibbutzim of “Hashomer Hazair”, an extreme left-wing movement, who would publicly vehemently condemn Arab transfer, were established on land from which Arabs had been transferred”. (6)
Following the report of the British Peel’s commission for the partition of Palestine:”The Peel Commission recommendations were thoroughly debated in a number of forums both Jewish and non-Jewish. Some of the Zionist leaders also confided their secret thoughts on the subject to their private diaries and in confidential correspondence and closed meetings. Their comments on compulsory transfer were interesting. Ben-Gurion’s observations in his private diary on compulsory transfer were extremely enthusiastic and he stressed the importance of Arab transfer from the Jewish State. Weizmann in his letters and meetings of that period displayed a similar enthusiasm on this subject. At the 20th Zionist Congress which took place about a month after the publication of this Report, many of the participants spoke in favour of “of transfer. The one who strongly opposed the Transfer was Zabotinsky” (7)
“Towards the end of 1939, the Second World War began, and already at the beginning of 1942, reports of the mass murder of European Jewry began to reach the West. Possibly due to this fact, many non-Jews began to speak out in public or publish articles in favour of the transfer of Arabs from Palestine. Prominent Jews also came out in favour, although generally they would only do so in closed forums! Even some members of “Brit Shalom” who outwardly advocated a Bi-National (Jewish-Arab) State in Palestine proposed voluntary Arab transfer from Palestine” (8)
In December 1940, Joseph Weitz, director of the Jewish National Fund’s Lands Department, which was tasked with acquiring land for the Zionist enterprise in Palestine, wrote in his diary:
“There is no way besides transferring the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, and to transfer all of them, save perhaps for [the Arabs of] Bethlehem, Nazareth and Old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one [bedouin] tribe. And only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers and the Jewish problem will cease to exist. There is no other solution”.
“However, even the main-stream Revisionists, who until this time had followed Jabotinsky’s strong opposition to transfer (although some historians now suggest that in private he supported transfer) began to change their views on this subject. A committee known as the “American Resettlement Committee” was established (at the same address as the American Revisionists Headquarters!) and in 1943 they placed a whole-page advertisement in the “New York Times” proposing the transfer of Arabs from Palestine. Furthermore, during the 1940s, the Revisionists endorsed the principle of Arab transfer, certainly on a voluntary basis” (9)
Thus the Zionist planned the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians long before the war of 1948 and they removed most of the Palestinians living in the part allocated to the Zionists, according to the partition plan of 1947, already before May 1948. The Zionists usually add to the first lie another supplementary lie that were the Palestinians to accept the 1947 partition plan there would be no refugees. This is also a lie because for the Zionists the aim was to form a Zionist state with a Jewish majority, and this was impossible without the transfer of the Palestinians from the part allocated to the Zionists according to the partition plan. At that time less than half a million Jews lived in the part allocated to the Zionist state and 410,000 Palestinians.
The Zionists love to call the war of 1948 a war of liberation. This forms a false impression that it was a war against British imperialism. In this plot there were assisted by the Russian Stalinists who spread the lie that the war of 1948 was a war of national liberation. One of the symptoms of degeneration process of the Fourth International after the assassination of Trotsky was the inability to take the side of the Arabs in the war of 1948. At that time the FI was led by Michel Pablo whose political line was the subordination of the FI to the Stalinists and to their propaganda.
But anyone who is not politically blind knows that during what the Zionist call the “Jewish revolt”, the rebellion of the Zionist terrorist organizations was not aimed at removing the British but to force them to change the white paper of 1939, which restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine and promised an independent state within 10 years, which meant a state with Palestinian majority. As a matter of fact Ben Gurion wanted the British to remain for further 10 to 20 years with the hope that in such a period the demographic balance would be tilted in favor of the Zionists. Thus the essence of the war of the Zionists was against the Palestinian people. It is not an historical accident that the Zionist state was established at the same time that South Africa’s apartheid was formed.
The second lie is that some of the Palestinian Arabs who fled did so to avoid the ongoing war or at the urging of Arab leaders! “Benny Morris in his book the birth of the Palestinian refugee’s problem investigated this subject very carefully and did not find any evidence of Arab leaders issuing calls to the Palestinians’ Arab to leave their homes and villages or any trace of radio or press campaign urging them to flee” (10)
The third lie is that only some individuals and groups expelled the Palestinians.
In the real world On March 10, 1948, Zionist political and military leaders, including Ben-Gurion, met in Tel Aviv and formally adopted Plan Dalet (or Plan D). The operational military orders specified which Palestinian population centers should be targeted and laid out in detail a blueprint for their forcible depopulation and destruction. It called for:
“Mounting operations against enemy population centers located inside or near our defensive system in order to prevent them from being used as bases by an active armed force. These operations can be divided into the following categories:Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state”. (11)
Thus it was impossible for the Zionists to form a state with Jewish majority without the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and at the same time it is impossible for the Palestinian refugees to return as long as the Zionist apartheid state from the river to the sea exists. It is impossible to support the right of self-determination for the Palestinians and for the Zionist Jews in Palestine. One has to take side of the oppressed native people or of the settler colonialists.
We in the RCIT stand unconditionally with the Palestinians. A socialist democratic state from the river to the sea will enable the return of the Palestinian refugees, and at the same time give equal civil rights to the Israeli Jews who would like to live in this country but not as colonialists.
Down with the Zionist apartheid state!
For the right of return of the Palestinian refugees!
For a Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!
2 Derek J. Penslar Herzl and the Palestinian Arabs: Myth and Counter-Myth Journal of Israeli History Politics, Society, Culture Volume 24, 2005
4 Herzl, Complete Diaries, 88–9
5 Chaim Simons A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895 – 1947
10 Avi Shlaim The debate about 1948 International Journal of Middle East Studies Vol 27/No 3 August 1985