Presentation on theme: "Born of War, or Design? D ebating the Palestinian Exodus of 1948."— Presentation transcript:
Born of War, or Design? D ebating the Palestinian Exodus of 1948
In 1948 the Palestinians became a disinherited people…. The reality was that of an Arab community in a state of terror facing a ruthless Israeli army whose path to victory was paved not only by its exploits,… but also by the intimidation and at times atrocities it perpetrated against the civilian Arab community. A panic stricken Arab community was uprooted under the impact of massacres that would be carved into the Arabs’ monument of grief and hatred,…the less [sic] Arabs remained, the better; this principle is the political motor for the expulsions and atrocities. Shlomo Ben-Ami pp. 42-43
The New Historians Challenging the Seven Myths of Israeli Historiography on 1948 Zionists accepted Partition / hoped for peace Palestinians rejected Partition / planned for war Arab states united to expel Jews from Palestine War erupted because of the Arab invasion A defenseless Israel faced an Arab Goliath Israel sought peace, Arabs rejected it Palestinians fled voluntarily planning to return as conquerors
What is the Relationship between Transfer Thinking and Transfer? “There is no room for both peoples in this country. After the Arabs are transferred, the country will be wide open for us…not a single village or a single tribe must be left…there is no other solution” Yosef Weitz (1940)
Born of War, Or Design? Is there a relationship between expressions of support for transfer prior to 1947-48, and actual transfer in 1947-48 and after?
Zionist Dilemma How do you construct a Jewish state in a territory overwhelmingly Arab / Palestinian?
Benny Morris / 4 Options 1) Further immigration 2) Apartheid, that is a Zionist minority lording it over the Palestinian majority 3) Partition (Create a Jewish state and an Arab State) 4)“Transfer” the Arab Palestinians from Palestine Benny Morris “Revisiting,” pp. 39-40
Herzl and Transfer “ We must expropriate gently…We shall try and spirit the penniless population across the border…Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly” Theodor Herzl Diaries (1895)
Arthur Ruppin / Jewish National Fund “ Land is the most necessary thing for establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case [of land purchase] to remove the peasants who cultivate the land, both owners and tenants." 1913
Berl Katznelson “ The matter of population transfer has provoked a debate among us: Is it permitted or forbidden? My conscience is absolutely clear in this respect. A remote neighbor is better than a close enemy. They will not lose from being transferred and we most certainly will not lose from it…. But it never crossed my mind that transfer to outside the Land of Israel would mean merely to the vicinity of Nablus, I have always believed and still believe that they were destined to be transferred to Syria or Iraq.” 1938
Menachem Ussishkin / Transfer? “We must continually raise the demand that our land be returned to our possession.... If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place… We cannot start the Jewish state with...half the population being Arab…Such a state cannot survive even half an hour... It [transfer] is most moral... I am ready to come and defend... it before the Almighty. Menachem Ussishkin 1930 / 1938
Ben-Gurion a ‘Transferist’? “The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had….Any doubt on our part about the necessity of this transfer…may lose us an historic opportunity ….I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see in it anything immoral.” David Ben-Gurion Diaries (1937) Speech (1938)
Transfer – Yosef Weitz “There is no room for both peoples in this country. After the Arabs are transferred, the country will be wide open for us…not a single village or a single tribe must be left…there is no other solution” Yosef Weitz (1940)
Bi-National State? “Palestine should be neither Jewish nor Arab. It should be a bi-national state in which Jews and Arabs share full equality…. the inhabitants of this country, both Arabs and Jews have not only the right but the duty to participate…in the government of their common homeland.” Judah Magnes Testimony (1946) Speech (1930)
Plan Dalet (April, 1948) “ The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlements and concentrations which are located outside the borders (of the Hebrew state) against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.” Opening to Plan Dalet (1948)
Where Did Refugees Go? Place # (est) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jordan/W. Bank 400,000 Gaza 200,000 Lebanon 120,000 Syria 75,000
“There are circumstances that justify ethnic cleansing. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them…. It was necessary to cleanse the border areas and main roads…to cleanse the villages…I know it doesn’t sound nice, but that’s the term we used at the time.” Benny Morris Ha’aretz Interview (2004)
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