65 YEARS...The NAKBA
1. PRELUDE TO DISASTER
"We shall try to spirit the penniless [Palestinian] population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country... expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly." - Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism
The Emergence of Political Zionism, Conflict Between Early Zionist Colonists & Palestinian Arabs, & "Transfer" (Late 19th, Early 20th Century)
"You are no doubt aware of the JNF's activity in this respect. Now a transfer of a completely different scope will have to be carried out. In many parts of the country new settlement will not be possible without transferring the Arab fellahin." He added: "Jewish power [in Palestine], which grows steadily, will also increase our possibilities to carry out this transfer on a large scale."
"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."
"All understood that discretion and circumspection were called for: Talk of transferring the Arabs, even with Palestinian and outside Arab leaders' agreement, would only put them on their guard and antagonize them, and quite probably needlessly antagonize the Arabs' Ottoman coreligionists, who ruled the country."
"Ben Gurion always refrained from issuing clear or written expulsion orders; he preferred that his generals 'understand' what he wanted done. He wished to avoid going down in history as the 'great expeller.'"
World War I: The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence & The Balfour Declaration (1914-1918)
"For 'a national home for the Jewish people' is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish State; nor can the erection of such a Jewish State be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the 'civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.' The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission's conference with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase."
The British Mandate for Palestine (1923-1948)
The Arab Revolt in Palestine (1936-1939)
"[...introduced] a new dimension into the conflict... Now, for the first time, massive bombs were placed in crowded Arab centers, and dozens of people were indiscriminately murdered and maimed - for the first time more or less matching the numbers of Jews murdered in Arab pogroms and rioting of 1929 and 1936. This 'innovation' soon found Arab imitators and became something of a 'tradition': during the coming decades Palestine's (and, later, Israel's) marketplaces, bus stations, movie theaters, and other public buildings became routine targets, lending a particularly brutal flavor to the conflict."
The Irgun & Lehi: Zionist Terrorism on the Rise (1937-1948)
World War II & The Holocaust (1939-1945)
2. THE NAKBA: CREATING ISRAEL ON THE RUINS OF PALESTINE
"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. [Yigal] Allon repeated his question, 'What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'... I agreed that it was essential to drive the inhabitants out." - Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
The United Nations Partition Plan (November 1947)
See here for maps of the distribution of Jewish settlements in 1947, the Arab and Jewish states called for under the 1947 Partition Plan, and subsequent Israeli expansionism
Beginnings of Civil War & Ethnic Cleansing (December 1947-May 1948)
"If we will receive in time the arms we have already purchased, and maybe even receive some of that promised to us by the UN, we will be able not only to defend [ourselves] but also to inflict death blows on the Syrians in their own country - and take over Palestine as a whole. I am in no doubt of this. We can face all the Arab forces. This is not a mystical belief but a cold and rational calculation based on practical examination." (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 46)
"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."
"Men stepped on their friends and women on their own children. The boats in the port were soon filled with living cargo. The overcrowding in them was horrible. Many turned over and sank with all their passengers." (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 96)
British Withdrawal, Israeli Independence, & The Arab-Israeli War of 1948
(May 15, 1948 - March 1949)
"This could not be a serious war. There was no concentration of forces, no accumulation of ammunition or equipment. There was no reconnaissance, no intelligence, no plans. Yet we were actually on the battleï¬�eld... The only conclusion that could be drawn was that this was a political war, or rather a state of war and no-war. There was to be advance without victory and retreat without defeat.",
"We will establish a Christian state in Lebanon, the southern border of which will be the Litani River. We will break Transjordan [Jordan], bomb Amman and destroy its army, and then Syria falls, and if Egypt will still continue to fight - we will bombard Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis and Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical times." (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 144)
The same day, the Israelis received a shipment of weaponry from Eastern Europe, ensuring the supremacy of Israeli artillery for the rest of the war. (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 144)
"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. [Commander Yigal] Allon repeated his question, 'What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'"
Rabin added, "I agreed that it was essential to drive the inhabitants out."
Massacres & Atrocities Against Palestinian Civilians
"They took us out one after the other; shot an old man and when one of his daughters cried, she was shot too. Then they called my brother Muhammad, and shot him in front [of] us, and when my mother yelled, bending over him - carrying my little sister Hudra in her hands, still breastfeeding her - they shot her too." (Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 90)
"In some cases four or five people were executed, in others the numbers were 70, 80, 100. There was also a great deal of arbitrary killing. Two old men are spotted walking in a field - they are shot. A woman is found in an abandoned village - she is shot. There are cases such as the village of Dawayima [in the Hebron region], in which a column entered the village with all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.
"The worst cases were Saliha (70-80 killed), Deir Yassin (100-110), Lod (250), Dawayima (hundreds) and perhaps Abu Shusha (70). There is no unequivocal proof of a large-scale massacre at Tantura, but war crimes were perpetrated there. At Jaffa there was a massacre about which nothing had been known until now. The same at Arab al Muwassi, in the north. About half of the acts of massacre were part of Operation Hiram [in the north, in October 1948]: at Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Eilaboun, Arab al Muwasi, Deir al Asad, Majdal Krum, Sasa. In Operation Hiram there was a unusually high concentration of executions of people against a wall or next to a well in an orderly fashion.
"That can't be chance. It's a pattern. Apparently, various officers who took part in the operation understood that the expulsion order they received permitted them to do these deeds in order to encourage the population to take to the roads. The fact is that no one was punished for these acts of murder. Ben-Gurion silenced the matter. He covered up for the officers who did the massacres."
The Right of Return
See here for more on Palestinian refugees and the right of return
Palestinian Population Centers Systematically Destroyed or Repopulated with Jewish Immigrants, Theft & Destruction of Property
(See here for interactive map of Palestinian population centers destroyed during Israel's creation)
3. THE ONGOING NAKBA: 1948 TO PRESENT
"We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them in the countries where they came from." - Rabbi Dov Lior, leading member of the religious Zionist movement, head of the settler Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria, and chief rabbi of the settlement of Kiryat Arba, 2008.
Palestinians Who Remained Inside Israel
The June 1967 War: The Nakba Redux
Post-1967: Occupation, Settlements, Walls & Apartheid
The "Judaization" of East Jerusalem: Ethnic Cleansing by Bureaucracy
"Many of the national and municipal policies in Jerusalem were designed to limit or diminish the non-Jewish population of Jerusalem. According to Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, the Israeli Government used a combination of zoning restrictions on building by Palestinians, confiscation of Palestinian lands, and demolition of Palestinian homes to 'contain' non-Jewish neighborhoods while simultaneously permitting Jewish settlement in predominantly Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem."
"Since 1967, Israel has failed to provide Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem with the necessary planning framework to meet their basic housing and infrastructure needs. Only 13 percent of the annexed municipal area is currently zoned by the Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction, much of which is already built-up. It is only within this area that Palestinians can apply for building permits, but the number of permits granted per year to Palestinians does not begin to meet the existing demand for housing and the requirements related to formal land registration prevent many from applying. As a result, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem find themselves confronting a serious shortage in housing and other basic infrastructure. Many residents have been left with no choice other than to build structures 'illegally' and therefore risk demolition and displacement."
Stifling of Palestinian Movement & Economic Activity
Israel's West Bank Wall
65 Years of Apartheid in the Holy Land
"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits While Israeli settlements flourish, Palestinians under Israeli control live in a time warp - not just separate, not just unequal, but sometimes even pushed off their lands and out of their homes."
The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem: 1947-1949, by Benny Morris (1989)
The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, by Benny Morris (2004)
Survival of the Fittest, Haaretz newspaper interview with Benny Morris (2004)
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, by Ilan Pappe (2006)
The Question of Palestine, by Edward Said (1992)
The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, by Rashid Khalidi (2006)
All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, by Walid Khalidi (1992, 2006)
Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948, by Walid Khalidi (1984)
War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, edited by Avi Shlaim and Eugene L. Rogan (2007)
The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, by Avi Shlaim (2000)
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, by Norman G. Finkelstein (2003)
The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, by Simha Flapan (1988)
One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate, by Tom Segev (2001)
Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question, edited by Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens (1988)
The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, by Noam Chomsky (1983)
Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy, by Ben White (2011)
The Right to Return: The Case of the Palestinians, Amnesty International Policy Statement (2001)
Off the Map: Land and Housing Rights Violations in Israel's Unrecognized Bedouin Villages, Human Rights Watch (2008)