Zionism and the Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora

Yossi Schwartz, the ISL(RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 3.10.2021

Those who believe the Zionist myths will not change their support for racist Zionism and will continue to claim that those who call Israel an apartheid state are racist anti-Semites. No rational argument nor the facts will change their mind. For a long time, the Zionists’ false narrative dominated in the imperialist states. However, with every passing day the isolation of the Zionists is growing in the universities, the trade unions and even in the British labor party in spite of its right-wing bureaucracy. Those who see the brutal nature of Israel need factual information going back to the very origin of the issue of the Palestinian refugees and for them this article is intended, from the belly of the beast.

An essential element in the Zionist ultra-nationalistic myth is that the Jews have been a nation in exile for over 2000 years. Like all ultra-nationalists they argue that their nation has existed for thousands of years and will continue to exist forever. For example, Israel Hanukoglu a Dr. from the Israel Science and Technology Directory shamelessly writes:

Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store.”The people of modern-day Israel share the same language and culture shaped by the Jewish heritage and religion passed through generations starting with the founding father Abraham (ca. 1800 BCE). Thus, Jews have had a continuous presence in the land of Israel for the past 3,300 years.” [1]

What this charlatan forgets to tell us is that most likely the Jews in Palestine during the second temple (516 BCE to c. 70 CE) did not speak Hebrew but Aramaic and for sure the Jews did not speak Hebrew since the Roman destruction of the second temple. They spoke the languages of the people they lived among them. The Jews in Poland spoke Polish. Today the American Jews that make up half of the Jews today speak English (or Yiddish for the ultra-orthodox) and not Hebrew. Hebrew as a spoken language was recreated at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, by the Zionists for their colonial project, thus the claim that the Jews have used Hebrew for more than 2000 years is a simple lie. 

The Jews who lived in Palestine spoke Arabic after the Arab conquest of Palestine more than 1300 years ago. Prior to the Zionists, the Jews who lived in Palestine considered themselves Arabs and so they were considered by the Muslims and Christian Arabs of Palestine. 

“Arab–Jew was a living reality in Palestine, a local identity of belonging to people and place beyond residence location. This identity survived the collapse of the Ottoman Empire but not the 1948 war. Until then, Arab Palestinians defined their compatriot Jews as natives [Abna al-Balad] and Arab-born Jews [Yahud Awlad Arab]” [2]

It is true that the ancient Israelites were a nation and had a kingdom based on slavery like other nations of that period. However, nations are not an eternal formation. Like everything else they come to exist and end to exist. They are formed from non-nations like tribes, or as result of a split from another nation. At the same time some other nations stop to exist and disappear. Where are the Israelites who were exiled by Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria in 733 BCE today? And their exile was completed by Sargon II with the destruction of the kingdom Of Israel in 722 BCE? The simple answer is that they assimilated into other nations.

The Jews who were exiled by the Roman stopped being a nation and have lived as religious communities. In Europe they continued to exist and practice Judaism because of the unique function they had as pre capitalist financiers and traders. [3] The Jews in the Arab and Muslim countries were very small religious communities as a growing number of Jews converted to Islam. Those who remained Jews did not constitute a nation but non-Muslim Arabs and Jewish religious communities.

After the French revolution the gates for assimilation were opened for the Jews, but this process was interrupted with the rise of the new forms of Anti-Semitism. In the USA the process of assimilation continues. 

In the Arab countries the Jews were considered by themselves and by the Muslim and Christian Arabs as Arab Jews. The separation of the Jews in these countries was the work of the colonialists and the Zionists:

“In a time of resurgent populism and white nationalism in the West, Massoud Hayoun’s book When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History is a daring and rejuvenating book. Massoud Hayoun is a young journalist based in Los Angeles who has worked for Al Jazeera English and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown online while writing a weekly column on foreign affairs for Pacific Standard.

Written in the form of a historical memoir, Hayoun, who identifies himself as a Jewish Arab, traces his family history before and after World War II to illustrate how Jewish Arabs were maliciously separated from their societies and how their identities were used in a game of colonial domination. He argues that Jewish Arabs lived and worked alongside their Muslim and Christian Arab neighbors in relative peace until colonialism, white supremacy and Zionism disrupted Arab society and fractured it into various groups, which, among other things, separated the identity of Arab from Jew Throughout, Hayoun weaves established historical scholarship with his family’s personal history to give context to their experiences, especially as their Jewish Arab world begins to fragment. He shows how French and British colonial schools impacted Jewish children by teaching them to identify with the colonizer rather than their immediate communities. He also discusses the Universal Israelite Alliance headquartered in France, whose mission was to “civilize” Jewish Arabs by removing their Arabness. The Israelite Alliance perceived Jewish Arabs as primitive and, horrifyingly to them, indistinguishable from the Muslims. Thus, the Alliance schools sought to Europeanize their students, emphasizing how the Jewish Arab community was beneficial to their colonizing mission. Because Jewish Arabs had “Oriental physiognomies,” they naturally possessed a “talent for assimilation,” which could be used to colonize their Muslim counterparts across North Africa. The external exploitation of indigenous Jewish Arab communities would continue with Zionism—Hayoun provides an alarming overview of Zionist efforts to sow dissension and encourage Jewish Arab outmigration from Egypt and Iraq to the new state of Israel…” [4]

Exile, Refugees and Diaspora 

The exile of a nation or large part of it out of the country they lived in is called a diaspora. For example, the Palestinian refugees who live in different countries live in the diaspora. As a general law people who live in the diaspora within a few generations become part of the local population and no longer live in a diaspora. For example the ancient Israelites exiled by Assyria, British citizens who were banished to North America or Australia, and the Afro-Americans do not live today fully in the diaspora even though the latter are still discriminated against.

From very early times the duty to protect refugees has been recognized. Cities of refuge were an old custom. The Jewish bible mention six such cities: Golan, Ramoth, and Bosor, on the east (left bank) of the Jordan Riverand Kedesh, Shechem, and Hebron on the western (right) side.

“Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan, 42 to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionally killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life. 43 The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites“. [5]

So, they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah”. [6]

Respect for refugees and asylum seekers and appreciation of those who provide refuge have a particular place in sharia, and Islam pays special attention to the suffering of forced migrants: “And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are people who do not know.” [7]

Throughout the Middle Ages cathedrals, abbeys, monasteries, shrines and local places of worship acted as sanctuaries in which fugitives, victims of war and local conflict, could secure protection. Abolition of ‘church’ sanctuary in the seventeenth century reflected the weakening of the religious establishment. [8]

In 1681 King Charles II of England offered ‘an asylum’ to the persecuted Calvinist minority of France. This is probably the first time in which authorities in a modern state provided protection to citizens of another state; and it marked the birth of the refugee as a category of persons later to be recognized in the bourgeois international law. [9]

The difference between refugees and the exiled is that the refugees seek asylum in a foreign country out of fear of political persecution while the exiled are those who were removed by force from their country and became refugees. The Jews who escaped Nazi Germany were refugees from Germany. The Palestinians became refugees after they were exiled. 

“Today, of the 13 million Palestinians worldwide, over half are refugees from 1948 or their descendants. The number of those displaced in 1967 and their descendants is around one million. Since 1967, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been forced into secondary or tertiary displacement, both as a result of Israeli actions in the 1967 occupied lands and as a result of tensions, poverty, discrimination and conflict in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. As of the 1970s, about 700,000 have been forced to flee the Arab world, largely as a consequence of discrimination and often overt persecution. Today, some two million Palestinian refugees are estimated reside outside UNRWA’s area of operation; of these, some 900,000 are elsewhere in the Arab region, some 300,000 each in Europe and the Americas.” [10]

Initially, the United States pressured Israel to admit about 400,000 refugees (a figure lowered to 250,000 and then 100,000). Israel’s offer to annex Gaza and absorb its 200,000 refugees was retracted. Since then, no state has effectively pressured or challenged Israel on the refugees’ right of return. The United Nations (and especially the imperialist member states) adopted the idea that other solutions would have to resolve the Palestinian refugee question… What other solution? That they should somehow simply stop being recognized as refugees.

“Israel argues that all refugees – and it disputes the numbers – should relinquish any aspirations to return to occupied Palestine of 1948, and instead be absorbed by Arab host countries or by a future Palestinian state that they act to prevent its establishment. It disavows moral responsibility by arguing that 800,000 Mizrahi Jews were displaced from Arab countries between 1945 and 1956 (most of whom settled in Israel) and insists Palestinians left willingly.” [11]

“On January 14, 2021, outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompano tweeted about Palestinian refugees, proclaiming “(less than) 200,000 Arabs displaced in 1948 are still alive and most others are not refugees by any rational criteria.” A month earlier, on December 11, a group of 22 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that he instruct the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to declassify a report on the approximate number of Palestinian refugees, with the intention of redefining and disenfranchising millions of Palestinian refugees of their refugee status. The intent behind the request is made evident by the letter, which states, “The issue of the so-called Palestinian ‘right of return’ of 5.3 million refugees to Israel as part of any ‘peace deal’ is an unrealistic demand, and we do not believe it accurately reflects the number of actual Palestinian refugees. Just like your courageous action to bring about unprecedented peace between several Gulf States and Israel, it is time to end the fiction of the ‘right of return’ and bring the conflict one step closer [to] conclusion.” Although Trump did not declassify the report before leaving office on January 20, both the letter and Pompano’s tweet highlight ongoing efforts by far-right politicians in the U.S. and Israel to do away with Palestinian refugee rights by essentially defining Palestinian refugees out of existence”. [12]

Thus, while they claim that Jews have lived in the diaspora for thousands of years the hypocritical Zionists deny that the Palestinian refugees who were exiled by the Zionists less than 80 years ago do not live in the diaspora.

At the same time the Zionists deny that the American Jews are part of the American nation. According to the Zionists, American Jews belong to the Jewish nation and they live in the American diaspora. This crooked argument is providing weapons to the real Anti-Semites who argue that the Jews are a foreign element in the American nation and a fifth column. 

The Zionists’ Plans to Remove the Palestinians from their Land

According to conventional Zionist historiography, Herzl, like most Zionists before World War I, believed that Ottoman imperial assent was the key to the success of the Zionist colonial enterprise, and that the Palestinians 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.

In reality already in 1895, at the time when he was just sketching out his vision of the future Jewish state, he was planning the expulsion of the Palestinians, as can be proven by his diary, which was not published until after his death. In the diary he 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.” [13]

It was not Herzl alone who had the idea of stealing the Palestinians’ properties and expelling them from their country: “This is not to say that the Zionists were ignorant of the native population. 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. By and large, however, most Zionists denied the Arab presence or refused to consider it seriously, while a small minority nervously kept track of Jewish–Arab clashes and predicted future, and more serious, confrontations” [14]

“The Revisionist activist Joseph Nedava, who in 1972 published a brief article on “Herzl and the Arab Problem.” Departing from mainstream Zionist historiography, Nedava claimed that Herzl was well aware of Palestine’s native population and its resistance to a substantial Jewish presence. Thus, Nedava accounts for Herzl’s opposition to piecemeal infiltration of settlers, which only stimulates native anger and his insistence upon a charter, issued by the Ottoman sultan or one of the European Great Powers that will usher in unstoppable mass immigration”. [15]

“Benny Morris’ addition of a chapter on “The Idea of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Thinking” in the recently published revised edition of his classic monograph on the origins of the Palestinian refugee problem. In that chapter, Morris refers to Herzl’s diary entry and to the published musings on the desirability of transfer by the likes of Motzkin and Zangwill. Unlike Teveth, who presents these expressions as idiosyncratic and without long-lasting importance, Morris claims that a subtle and subterranean discourse of transfer was already forming within the Zionist movement before World War I but that it was kept under wraps lest it poison relations between the fragile Yishuv, on the one hand, and Palestine’s native population and Ottoman suzerain, on the other. Morris’s inclusion of this material represents a response to the work of Nur Masalha and other anti-Zionist writers who claim that plans to expel Palestinian Arabs were central to Zionist thinking from the movement’s inception and were formulated by none other than the father of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl.” [16]

The Palestinian revolutionary uprising that began in 1936 forced the British imperialists to form an inquiry commission known as Peel Commission that offered to divide the country and to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from the part allocated to the Zionist state.

Under the stress of the World War the British Government made promises to Arabs and Jews in order to obtain their support. On the strength of those promises both parties formed certain expectations. The application to Palestine of the Mandate System in general and of the specific Mandate in particular implies the belief that the obligations thus undertaken towards the Arabs and the Jews respectively would prove in course of time to be mutually compatible owing to the conciliatory effect on the Palestinian Arabs of the material prosperity which Jewish immigration would bring in Palestine as a whole. That belief has not been justified, and there seems to be no hope of its being justified in the futureThe problem cannot be solved by giving either the Arabs or the Jews all they want. The answer to the question which of them in the end will govern Palestine must be neither. No fair-minded statesman can think it right either that 400,000 Jews, whose entry into Palestine has been facilitated by the British Government and approved by the League of Nations, should be handed over to Arab rule, or that, if the Jews should become a majority, a million Arabs should be handed over to their rule. But while neither race can fairly rule all Palestine, each race might justly rule part of it… If Partition is to be effective in promoting a final settlement it must mean more than drawing a frontier and establishing two States. Sooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population. The Treaties should provide that, if Arab owners of land in the Jewish State or Jewish owners of land in the Arab State should wish to sell their land and any plantations or crops thereon, the Government of the State concerned should be responsible for the purchase of such land, plantations and crops at a price to be fixed, if requires, by the Mandatory Administration. For this purpose, a loan should, if required, be guaranteed for a reasonable amount.

The political aspect of the land problem is still more important. Owing to the fact that there has been no census since 1931 it is impossible to calculate with any precision the distribution of population between the Arab and Jewish areas; but, according to an approximate estimate, in the area allocated to the Jewish State (excluding the urban districts to be retained for a period under Mandatory Administration) there are now about 225,000 Arabs. In the area allocated to the Arab State there are only about 1,250 Jews; but there are about 125,000 Jews as against 85,000 Arabs in Jerusalem and Haifa. The existence of these minorities clearly constitutes the most serious hindrance to the smooth and successful operation of Partition. If the settlement is to be clean and final, the question must be boldly faced and firmly dealt with. It calls for the highest statesmanship on the part of all concerned” [17]

“While the Arabs including the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Husseini rejected this plan because among other reason the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, the Zionist leadership except Ben Gurion rejected it because they wanted the whole country. Opposition to the plan, headed by Golda Meir, was expressed at the 20th Zionist Congress, when a group argued the proposed Jewish state was too tiny to absorb the millions of refugees from Europe: better to reject it, they argued, and fight for something better. To Ben-Gurion, however, the Peel Commission offered a beginning. A Jewish majority in a small state was infinitely better, he felt, than a Jewish minority in a British or Arab one. But this battle, unhappily, was one Ben-Gurion – fighting alongside Chaim Weizmann – lost. Soon too the British, rejected by the Zionists and condemned by the Arabs – for whom any land given to Jews was anathema – resorted to form. Backing away from their own partition plan, they drastically limited immigration. Only 75,000 Jews would be allowed” [18]

To be sure no one of the Zionist leaders objected in 1937 to the ethnic cleansing of 225,000 Palestinians and Ben Gurion accepted the plan as a stage on the road of getting the entire country. We know this because of a letter he wrote to his son Amos. The following is the letter from David Ben-Gurion to his son Amos, written 5 October 1937. Obtained from the Ben-Gurion Archives in Hebrew, and translated into English by the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut.

5 October 1937

Dear Amos,

…”Of course, the partition of the country gives me no pleasure. But the country that they [the Royal (Peel) Commission] are partitioning is not in our actual possession; it is in the possession of the Arabs and the English. What is in our actual possession is a small portion, less than what they [the Peel Commission] are proposing for a Jewish state. If I were an Arab I would have been very indignant. But in this proposed partition we will get more than what we already have, though of course much less than we merit and desire. The question is: would we obtain more without partition? If things were to remain as they are [emphasis in original], would this satisfy our feelings? What we really want is not that the land remains whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish [emphasis original]. A unified Eretz Israeli would be no source of satisfaction for me–if it were Arab.

From our standpoint, the status quo is deadly poison. We want to change the status quo [emphasis original]. But how can this change come about? How can this land become ours? The decisive question is: Does the establishment of a Jewish state [in only part of Palestine] advance or retard the conversion of this country into a Jewish country? My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country. We shall admit into the state all the Jews we can. We firmly believe that we can admit more than two million Jews. We shall build a multi-faceted Jewish economy– agricultural, industrial, and maritime. We shall organize an advanced defense force—a superior army which I have no doubt will be one of the best armies in the world. At that point I am confident that we would not fail in settling in the remaining parts of the country, through agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or through some other means.” [19]

“In 1947 there were 1.3m Arabs in Palestine, being 2/3 of the population of the Mandate. The Jews had 1/3 of the population and 6% of the land (20% of the productive land). According to a 1946 Census, just less than 50% of the population in that area designated by UN 181 for the Jewish state was Jewish (although by 1948 it was over 55%). In the area designated for the Palestinian state but ultimately captured by Israel and incorporated into its state, the population was 97% Palestinian. By the end of the fighting there were 165,000 Palestinians left within Israel. 119,000 were Muslim, 35,000 Christian, 15,000 Druze. 32,000 were urban/town dwellers, 120,000 villagers, 18,000 nomads. 30,000 were internal refugees,” By May, 1949 there were nearly 800,000 refugees camped near Israel’s borders.” [20] 

“Changes in the urban Arab population figures (1947/1949) show the impact on the cities: Jerusalem: 75,000/3,500; Jaffa: 70,000/3,600; Haifa: 71,000/2,900; Lydda-amlah:35,000/2,000; Acre 15,000 /3,500; Tiberias:5,300/0; Safed: 9,500/0.” [21]

Menachem Begin was called a fascist and a terrorist by the left-wing Zionists. When he became Prime Minister in 1977, he opened the archives to Israeli researchers, hoping to show that what the Irgun did was not different from what the mainstream Jewish army [Haganah] did. These archives included cabinet minutes, private memoranda from the Jewish Agency and other Zionist organizations, military communications, and Ben-Gurion’s extensive diaries. Arabs had always argued that the departure of the Palestinian population (perhaps 90% of those in green line Israel) was not an accident. They had alleged that there was a systematic plan to expel the Palestinians. The Israelis denied the existence of such a plan, and said the Arabs had left voluntarily as part of a military plan to exterminate the Jewish population. Opening the archives produced a new assessment of this period. The research rejected both positions but raised new controversies. One involved a military communiqué (Plan Dalet or Plan D) issued in March 1948. The first to publish his research was Benny Morris in 1988.

Even before the document Plan D was discovered it was known that the Zionists committed at least 30 massacres in order to force the Palestinians to flee from Palestine. The most known one was Deir Yassin (Today Kfar Sha’ul). This village made a non-fighting agreement with the Zionists, but on April 9, 1948 the forces of Irgun and Lehi attacked the village. The Irgun/Lehi forces went through the village with dynamite and grenades and sten guns. They killed in cold blood between 110 and 254 Palestinians.

Meir Pa’el, a young Palmach commando at Deir Yassin wrote a report to the Haganah commander: “It was noon when the battle ended and the shooting stopped. Things had become quiet, but the village had not surrendered. The Etzel [Irgun] and Lehi [Stern] irregulars left the places in which they had been hiding and started carrying out cleaning up operations in the houses. They fired with all the arms they had, and threw explosives into the houses. They also shot everyone they saw in the houses, including women and children–indeed the commanders made no attempt to check the disgraceful acts of slaughter. I myself and a number of inhabitants begged the commanders to give orders to their men to stop shooting, but our efforts were unsuccessful. In the meantime, some twenty-five men had been brought out of the

houses: they were loaded into the freight truck and led in a ‘victory parade,’ like a Roman triumph, through to Mhaneh Yahuda and Zakron Yosef quarters [of Jerusalem]. At the end of the parade, they were taken to a stone quarry between Giv’at Sha’ul and Deir Yassin and shot in cold blood.” [22]

Yigal Alon, writing on May 10, a month after Deir Yassin wrote: “There were before us only five days, before the threatening date, the 15th of May. We saw a need to claim the inner Galilee and to create a Jewish territorial succession in the entire area of the upper Galilee. The long battles had weakened our forces, and before us stood great duties of blocking the routes of the [anticipated] Arab invasion. We therefore looked for means which did not force us into employing force, in order to cause the tens of thousands of sulky Arabs who remained in Galilee to flee, for in case of an Arab invasion these were likely to strike us from the rear. We tried to use a tactic which took advantage of the impression created by the fall of Safed and the [Arab] defeat in the area which was cleaned by Operation Metateh–a tactic which worked miraculously well. I gathered all the Jewish mukhtars [mayors] who have contact with Arabs in different villages, and asked them to whisper in the ears of some Arabs, that a great Jewish reinforcement has arrived in Galilee and that it is going to burn all villages of the Huleh. They should suggest to these Arabs, as their friends, escape while there is time…The flight numbered myriads.” [23]

Yitahak Rabin wrote on Lydda and Ramleh: “While the fighting was still in progress, we had to grapple with a troublesome problem, for whose solution we could not draw upon any previous experience: the fate of the civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000. Not even Ben-Gurion could offer any solution, and during the discussions at operational headquarters, he remained silent, as was his habit in such situations. Clearly, we could not leave Lod’s hostile and armed populace in our rear, where it could endanger the supply route to Yiftach (another brigade), which was advancing eastward. We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question: ‘What is to be done with the population?’ B.G. waved his hand in a gesture which said, ‘Drive them out!’ Allon and I held a consultation. I agreed that it was essential to drive the inhabitants out. We took them on foot towards the Beit Horon Road, assuming that the legion would be obliged to look after them, thereby shouldering logistic difficulties which would burden its fighting capacity, making things easier for us. ‘Driving out’ is a term with a harsh ring. Psychologically, this was one of the most difficult actions we undertook. The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the 10 to 15 miles to the point where they met up with the legion. The inhabitants of Ramle watched and learned the lesson. Their leaders agreed to be evacuated voluntarily, on condition that the evacuation was carried out by vehicles. Buses took them to Latrun, and from there, they were evacuated by the legion. Great suffering was inflicted upon the men taking part in the eviction action. Soldiers of the Yiftach Brigade included youth-movement graduates, who had been inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humanness. The eviction action went beyond the concepts they were used to. There were some fellows who refused to take part in the expulsion action. Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action, to remove the bitterness of these youth-movement groups, and explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action” [24]

David Shipler of the NYT wrote: “JERUSALEM, Oct. 22 — A censorship board composed of five Cabinet members prohibited former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin from including in his memoirs a first‐person account of the expulsion of 50,000 Palestinian civilians from their homes near Tel Aviv during the 1948 Arab‐Israeli war.” [25]

Plan D states: “a fixed defensive system to preserve our settlements, vital economic projects, and property, which will enable us to provide government services within the borders of the state (based on defending the regions of the state on the one hand and on blocking the main access routes from enemy territory to territory of the state, on the other).” Jewish forces were to mount “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 carried out in the following manner: either by destroying villages (by setting fire to them, by blowing them up, and by planting mines in their debris), and especially of those population centers which are difficult to control continuously; or by mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village, conducting a search inside it. In case of resistance, the armed force must be wiped out and the population expelled outside the borders of the state.” Note: Enemy bases refers to Arab villages or quarters in three categories: 1. those in the security zone (surrounding Jewish settlements or strategic routes) 2. Those on the borders of territory designated to become Arab Palestine 3. Those within the Jewish state.” [26]

Thus, unlike the Zionist colonialist settlers’ myth about a people living in exile more than 2000 years, the Palestinian refugees are a nation in exile with the right of return to their lands. This of course will not happen unless the Palestinians will be part of a victorious Arab revolution led by the working class in alliance with the poor peasants. The Zionist apartheid state from the river to the sea must be crashed and replaced by a socialist free Palestine from the river to the sea. A state that will open widely its gates to the Palestinian refugees and where the Jews who will accept this state will be granted equal civil rights but not the right to form a separate state.

The different reformist and centrists who support the right of self-determination to the Zionist settler colonialists in one form or another are simply charlatans and an obstacle on the road of freedom for the Palestinians and the Arab revolution.


1 https://www.science.co.il/israel-history/

2 Menachem Klein Arab Jew in Palestine: Israel Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Fall 2014), pp. 134-153

3 Abram Leon “The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation”

4 Mark Wagner What Do You Know? Dhimmi, Jewish Legal Status under Muslim Rule NOVEMBER 30, 2018

5 Deuteronomy 4:43 

6 Joshua 20:7

7 Suras of the Koran 9: 6 

8 Philip Marfleet Understanding ‘Sanctuary’: Faith and Traditions of Asylum https://academic-oup-com.ezprimo1.idc.ac.il/jrs/article/24/3/440/1573358?searchresult=1 

9 Ibid 

10 Francesca P Albanese and Lex Takkenberg ” Rethinking solutions for Palestinian Refugees A much-needed paradigm shift and an opportunity towards its realization” May 2021 https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/wp135-rethinking-solutions-for-palestinian-refugees_2021.pdf

11 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-11104284 

12 https://www.mei.edu/publications/palestinian-refugees-myth-vs-reality 

13 Herzl’s diary entry of 12 June 1895,

14 Derek J. Penslar Herzl and the Palestinian Arabs: Myth and Counter-Myth

15 Ibid 

16 Ibid 

17 https://unispal.un.org/dpa/dpr/unispal.nsf/561c6ee353d740fb8525607d00581829/08e38a718201458b052565700072b358?OpenDocument 

18 el-commission/?gclid=CjwKCAjwqeWKBhBFEiwABo_XBpfgBP6lKfm06BK7QPWkg54JLE-HZGygqHI-W-2YZTcDhPXpgrDZTxoCuwQQAvD_BwE

19 https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/2013/04/the-ben-gurion-letter/

20 Israel: A Country Study, p. 50)

21 Figures from Ian Lustick, Arabs in the Jewish State, 1980).

22 Pa’il, Meir and Isseroff, Ami (1998). “Meir Pail’s Eyewitness Account”, October 1, 1998, https://web.archive.org/web/20080419084659/http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch/dy/dypail.htm 

23 Yigal Alon Book of Palmach, cited in Helen Chapin Metz: Israel: a country study p. 49 

24 NYT, 10-23-79

25 https://www.nytimes.com/1979/10/23/archives/israel-bars-rabin-from-relating-48-eviction-of-arabs-sympathy-for.html

26 “Walid Khalidi Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine, Journal of Palestine Studies,” Autumn 1988, Appendix B 

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top