Early Zionist terrorism

These kind of people who blow up subways and buses
are not people you can negotiate with, or reason with, or appease.

President George W. Bush

How standards, and memories, change.
These days it seems that terrorism in the Mideast is, for many,
exclusively associated with extremist Muslim elements.
It was not always so.
The Zionists did their share of it, back during the days when
Britain was the occupying power in Palestine and
the conventional forces of Zionism were weak.
The leaders of Zionism’s two main terrorist organizations
each went on to become prime minister of Israel,
contrary to assertions that
terrorism was rejected by the Zionist mainstream.
In fact, the current President Bush’s father
negotiated with, and possibly even reasoned with, one of them,
Yitzhak Shamir,
while Jimmy Carter did the same with the other,
Menachem Begin.

It seems useful to recall this early Zionist terrorism,
if for no other reason than to provide background information
for the question:
Is the current Palestinian terrorism against the Israelis
any more immoral than
the Zionist terrorism against the Palestinians and the British
in the 1930s and 1940s?

To recall Zionist activities of that time,
excerpts from Israeli historian Benny Morris‘s
Righteous Victims:
A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881–2001

appear below, from the green start line to the red end line,
divided into sections
  1. Overview

  2. The 1937 revolt

  3. During the Second World War

  4. The King David Hotel bombing

  5. The British decision to leave Palestine

  6. The 1948 civil war

  7. The assassination of Count Bernadotte

These excerpts are deliberately selective.
I have omitted almost all mention
of what the Palestinians were doing.
That is partially justified by my view that the Palestinians
were fighting an essentially defensive insurgency
against a group invading their homeland and displacing them.
Also, the negative acts of the Palestinians
seem to get full play in America’s media—
I don’t think anyone can plead ignorance of them.
This is an attempt to redress the balance.

I have done some light editing, for (hopefully) clarity,
and have added some emphasis, headings, links to relevant web pages,
and, occasionally, paragraph numbers.
There are a few comments in square brackets and this color.
After the excerpts from Morris
there is a short defensive comment of my own.

0. Overview
[RV, page 681 (657 in the 1999 hardback edition)]
The Zionists [of the 1930s] proved brutally innovative.
While the Haganah generally cleaved to the defensive,
the dissident right-wing organizations,
the IZL [Irgun Z’vai Leumi, or just Irgun,
whose leaders included Israeli prime minister-to-be
Menachem Begin]
and LHI [Lohamei Herut Israel, Lehi, or “the Stern gang,”
whose leaders included Israeli prime minister-to-be
Yitzhak Shamir],
introduced into Palestine (in 1937–38 and 1947–48)
what is now the standard equipment of modern terrorism,
  • the camouflaged bomb in the market place and bus station,

  • the car- and truck-bomb, and

  • the drive-by shooting with automatic weapons
(though not the suicide bomber,
which was an Arab innovation of the 1980s and 1990s)
[i.e., fifteen years after the 1967 war,
and after the never-yield-an-inch Likud government
of Menachem Begin came into power in Israel]

1. The 1937 revolt
[RV, page 147]
[In 1937] Britain’s problems in Palestine were aggravated by
the advent of Jewish terrorism.
Until mid-1937
the Jews had almost completely adhered to the policy of restraint
But the upsurge of Arab terrorism in October 1937
triggered a wave of Irgun bombings against Arab crowds and buses,
introducing a new dimension into the conflict.
Before, Arabs (and, less frequently, and usually in retaliation, Jews)
had sniped at cars and pedestrians and occasionally lobbed a grenade,
often killing or injuring a few bystanders or passengers.
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 the 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 bombs of 1937–38 sowed terror in the Arab population
and substantially increased its casualties.
Until 1937 almost all of these
had been caused by British security forces
(including British-directed Jewish supernumeraries)
and were mostly among the actual rebels,
but from now on,
a substantial proportion would be caused by Jews
and suffered by random victims.
The bombs do not appear in any way
to have curtailed Arab terrorism,
but they do appear to have helped persuade moderate Arabs
of the need to resist Zionism and to support the rebellion.

The first Irgun attack occurred on November 11, 1937,
killing two Arabs at a bus depot near Jaffa Street in Jerusalem,
and wounding five.
Three days later a number of Arabs were killed
in simultaneous attacks around the country—
a day that the Irgun thereafter commemorated as the
“Day of the Breaking of the Havlaga (restraint).”
On July 6, 1938, an Irgun operative dressed as an Arab
placed two large milk cans filled with TNT and shrapnel
in the Arab market in downtown Haifa.
The subsequent explosions
killed twenty-one and wounded fifty-two.
On July 15 another bomb
killed ten Arabs and wounded more than thirty
in David Street in Jerusalem’s Old City.
A second bomb in the Haifa market—
this time disguised as a large can of sour cucumbers—
on July 25, 1938,
killed at least thirty-nine Arabs and injured at least seventy.
On August 26, a bomb in Jaffa’s vegetable market
killed twenty-four Arabs and wounded thirty-nine.
The bombings were condemned by the Jewish Agency
and the Yishuv’s middle-of-the-road and left-wing political parties and press,
which at first refused to believe that the terrorists were Jews.

2. During the Second World War
[RV, page 171]
On November 6, 1944, Lord Moyne, the British minister resident in the Middle East, was shot dead by LHI terrorists in Cairo.


[Parenthetical to the subject of this post,
but nonetheless of general interest,
Morris also observes on page 171:

In Washington the [political] battle for [American] support
was decisively won by the Zionists, because of
  • the impact of the Holocaust,

  • effective propaganda, and

  • the electoral and financial clout
    of the five million American Jews.]
[For a look at how American Jews lobbied President Harry Truman, see this.]

[RV, pages 174–176]
The Haganah and Palmah
were to join the simmering anti-British struggle,
but only after the war ended.
The first note had been struck years before by the LHI—
led initially by Avraham (“Yair”) Stern
which believed that Britain was
Zionism’s main obstacle and
an accomplice in the Nazi crimes against the Jews
and, paradoxically,
even tried to establish an anti-British alliance with Germany. [!!!]

On February 1, 1944,
several days after Menachem Begin took over command of the IZL,
it announced the resumption of the struggle against Britain.
The Irgun [IZL] felt that the war against the Nazis
had been decided;
London was now the problem.
It immediately began blowing up or attacking
government immigration and income tax offices and police buildings.
The LHI also launched a number of spectacular attacks;
on August 8 they even tried to assassinate
the high commissioner, Sir Harold MacMichael.


[I]n May 1945 the IZL bombed British targets,
including police stations, telephone poles,
and the IPC (Iraq Petroleum Company) pipeline....
In July the LHI came out of hibernation, and,
following an agreement with the IZL,
a joint team of sappers blew up a bridge...
Next they turned their attention to Labor-affiliated
Jewish targets, robbing banks and Histadrut affiliates
of money and stocks of explosives.

On the night of October 9, 1945,
the Palmah raided the British detention camp at Atlit
and freed 208 illegal immigrants.
In November, Palmah sapper squads sabotaged railway tracks
at 153 points around Palestine;
a British patrol vessel was sunk; and,
in response to the capture of a ship
carrying illegal immigrants by the Royal Navy,
two British coast guard stations were blown up.
Periodically during the following months
the Haganah, IZL, and LHI attacked more British targets.
The most spectacular attack was by Palmah squads
on the night of June 17, 1946,
when eleven bridges were blown up simultaneously.

3. The King David Hotel bombing
[RV, page 179]

Publication of the report
[in 1946 of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry]
did nothing to stop Jewish attacks on British targets,
culminating in the Palmah’s “Night of the Bridges” (1946-06-17).
On 06-29, in response, the British launched “Operation Agatha,”
aimed at seriously reducing Jewish military capabilities.
Haganah intelligence had obtained advance warning,
and most commanders escaped the dragnet.
The operation, in which hundreds were arrested,
including four members of the Jewish Agency Executive,
only marginally affected the Haganah’s strength
and did nothing to improve Britain’s image in the United States
[where Jews are always right]....

However, the operation also provoked a desire for revenge,
as the IZL, rather ironically,
took up the cudgels for its sometime enemy, the Haganah, on 07-22.
Without coordinating with the Haganah,
IZL sappers placed a number of bomb-laden milk containers
in the basement of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem,
which served as a British military and administrative headquarters.
The resulting explosion,
which demolished an entire wing of the building
and killed ninety-one people—Britons, Arabs, and Jews—
was the biggest terrorist action in the organization’s history.
The IZL subsequently claimed it had given the occupants ample warning,
but they had failed to evacuate the building;
the British maintained that no such warning had been issued.
[Jews claim to have high moral standards.
I invite the reader to read this account
of the “justification” for the King David Hotel bombing
and form his own opinion.
Note also that the person who ordered this act of terrorism,
IZL leader Menachem Begin,
rather than being ostracized and marginalized,
was later elected by Israelis as their prime minister.]

In response,
the commander of the British forces in Palestine, Lt. Gen. Sir Evelyn Barker,
issued a nonfraternization order in which
he accused all of Palestine’s Jews of complicity in the outrage.
Personnel were banned from frequenting any Jewish home or business
or having “any social intercourse with any Jew,”
in order to punish “the Jews in a way the race dislikes as much as any,
by striking at their pockets.”
Barker was subsequently rebuked by [Clement] Attlee
but was not removed from his command.

[Notice the rather stunning restraint showed by the British.
When, in contrast, in 2006
Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight,
Israel went apeshit (sorry, but how else to describe it?),
killing hundreds, if not thousands, of totally innocent civilians
and causing tens of billions of dollars of property damage,
while Israeli leaders said the reason was, quite simply,
to teach the Muslims a lesson.
What if the British in 1946 had taken the same attitude,
and killed hundreds of innocent Jews “to teach them a lesson”?
Can you imagine the outcry by Jews worldwide?

Yes, I know the Holocaust was a terrible thing,
but I don’t think it justifies
Israel’s subsequent mistreatment of the Palestinians and others,
who really were not responsible for the historic suffering claimed by the Jews
(a suffering often mentioned by opinion-leaders,
as if it somehow justifies Israel’s heinous actions).
Two wrongs don’t make a right.]

4. The British decision to leave Palestine
[RV, pages 180–81]
On February 14, 1947,
the British cabinet decided, in effect, to
wash its hands of Palestine and
dump the problem in the lap of the United Nations.
IZL and LHI adherents claim
it was their constant attacks
that persuaded the British to cast off the burden.

The Haganah operations of 1945–46 have also been seen
as portending a clash with the main Zionist militia
that Whitehall was unwilling to contemplate,
while the struggle against illegal immigration
[of Jews into Palestine]
was a headache of major proportions.
Most historians agree that given the Cold War context,
in which the need for Anglo-American amity was seen as paramount,
and Britain’s insolvency,
Whitehall could ill afford to alienate Washington
over a highly emotional issue that,
when all was said and done,
was not a vital British interest.

The political developments of 1947 were played out
against a background of Jewish violence and reprisals
spiraling almost out of control.
Efforts to block and punish illegal immigration
took on new, bloody dimensions,
though by and large the British displayed restraint and humanity
in the face of terrorism.
With evacuation only months away,
Britain appeared no longer capable of properly governing Palestine
and to have lost the will to continue.
And, without doubt,
the decision to withdraw heightened the terrorists’ expectations.

On March 1, 1947,
IZL gunmen killed more than twenty British servicemen,
twelve of them in a grenade attack on their Officers Club in Tel Aviv,
and injured thirty.

In Britain’s Parliament, meeting in special session on August 12,
there was an all-party consensus to quit Palestine, quickly;
“no British interest” was safeguarded by staying on,
said Churchill.
The judgment of historians familiar with the British state archives is that
“the IZL’s draconian methods,
morally reprehensible as they were,
were decisive

in transforming the evacuation option of February 1947
into a determined resolve to give up the burdens of the Mandate.”

5. The 1948 civil war
[RV, page 198]
In Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem,
in December 1947 and early January 1948,
hundreds of Arab civilians were killed or wounded by IZL terror.
In Jerusalem alone,
37 Arabs were killed and 80 wounded in two bombings.


The LHI also contributed to the carnage.
On January 4, 1948,
it detonated a truck loaded with explosives outside the Jaffa city hall, which housed the local Arab National Committee offices,
demolishing the building and killing 26 persons and wounded many more.

The Haganah [Jewish army] also contributed to the terrorist campaign,
though its intended targets
were what were believed to be Arab terrorist concentrations
rather than civilians.
On the night of January 5,
a Haganah unit blew up part of the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem,
where it suspected an Arab irregulars headquarters was located,
killing 26 civilians.
On February 28 some 30 Arabs died and 70 were wounded
by a car bomb place by a Palmah unit in a garage,
where it suspected similar bombs were being assembled for use against Jews.

[RV, page 201]
On February 29, 1948,
a bomb planted by the LHI near Rehovot
derailed a British troop train traveling from Cairo to Haifa,
killing twenty-seven soldiers.

6. The assassination of Count Bernadotte
[Another notable act of Jewish terrorism,
mentioned only in passing by Morris, was
the assassination on 1948-09-17 of Count Bernadotte,
an assassination approved by Israel’s future prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.]

The reader may note a certain tone running through my comments.
It is this:
Jews seem able to see themselves only as victims.
That attitude, quite simply, is delusional.

Some may see these words as representing hatred.
No, they are not motivated by hate,
but simply by a desire that people, all of us,
understand the world as it really is,
not in an air-brushed way that furthers the goals of one group
at the expense of everyone else.


  1. J. Bowyer Bell
    1. Terror Out of Zion:
      Irgun Zvai Leumi, Lehi and the Palestine Underground, 1929-1949

    2. Terror Out of Zion:
      The Fight for Israeli Independence
    I suspect these are different printings of the same book;
    but each has its own set of reviews at Amazon.

Labels: , ,


The Zionist conquest of Palestine

Here is an excerpt from
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by the Israeli-born historian Ilan Pappé.
The emphasis (except for italicized Arabic words) is added.
The majority of the notes refer to documents in
the archives of the Haganah or the State of Israel.

An important complement to this Israeli point of view
is the book All That Remains by Walid Khalidi,
presenting the picture from the Palestinian point of view,
an angle that seems to be almost ignored by the American “elite”,
or David Brooks’s “educated class”.

Chapter 2
The Drive for an Exclusively Jewish State

Section 2.2
Military Preparations


[I]n June 1938 Jewish troops got their first taste
of what it meant to occupy a Palestinian village:
a Hagana unit and a British company jointly attacked
a village on the border between Israel [sic ?] and Lebanon,
and held it for a few hours. [n. 2.17]

Amatziya Cohen, who took part in the operation,
remembered the British sergeant who showed them how to use bayonets
in attacking defenseless villagers:
‘I think you are all totally ignorant in your Ramat Yochanan
[the training base for the Hagana]
since you do not even know the elementary use of bayonets
when attacking dirty Arabs:
how can you put your left foot in front’
he shouted at Amatziya and his friends after they had returned to base. [n. 2.18]
Had this sergeant been around in 1948, he would have been proud to see
how quickly Jewish troops were mastering the art of attacking villages.

The Hagana also gained valuable military experience in the Second World War,
when many of its members volunteered for the British war effort.
Others who remained behind in Palestine
continued to monitor and infiltrate the 1200 or so Palestinian villages
that had dotted the countryside for hundreds of years.

Section 2.3
The Village Files

[Wikipedia on these files.]

More was needed than just
savoring the excitement of attacking a Palestinian village:
systematic planning was called for.
The suggestion came from
a young bespectacled historian from the Hebrew University
by the name of Ben-Zion Luria,
at the time an employee of the educational department of the Jewish Agency.
Luria pointed out how useful it would be
to have a detailed registry of all Arab villages,
and proposed that the Jewish National Fund (JNF) conduct such an inventory.
‘This would greatly help the redemption of the land,’
he wrote to the JNF. [n. 2.19]
He could not have chosen a better audience:
his initiative to involve the JNF in the prospective ethnic cleansing
was to generate added impetus and zeal to the expulsion plans that followed.

Founded in 1901,
the JNF was the principal Zionist tool for the colonization of Palestine.
It served as the agency the Zionist movement used to buy Palestinian land
upon which it then settled Jewish immigrants.
Inaugurated by the fifth Zionist Congress [Wikipedia, Google],
it spearheaded the Zionization of Palestine throughout the Mandatory years.
From the onset
it was designed to become the ‘custodian’, on behalf of the Jewish people,
of the land the Zionists gained possession of in Palestine.
The JNF maintained this role after the creation of the State of Israel,
with other missions being added to its primary role over time. [n.2.20]

Most of the JNF’s activities during the Mandatory period
and surrounding the Nakba
were closely associated with the name of Yossef Weitz,
the head of its settlement department.
His main priority at the time was
facilitating the eviction of Palestinian tenants
from land bought from absentee landlords who were likely to lie
at some distance from their land or even outside the country,
the Mandate system having created borders where before there were none.
when ownership of a plot of land, or even a whole village, changed hands,
this did not mean that the farmers or villagers themselves had to move. [n. 2.21]
Palestine was an agricultural society,
and the new landlords would need the tenants to continue cultivating his lands.
But with the advent of Zionism all this changed.
Weitz personally visited the newly purchased plot of land
often accompanied by his closest aides,
and encouraged the new Jewish owners to throw out the local tenants,
even if the owner had no use for the entire piece of land.
One of Weitz’s closest aides, Yossef Nachmani, at one point reported to him that ‘unfortunately’ tenants refused to leave
and some of the new Jewish land owners displayed, as he put it,
‘cowardice by pondering the option of allowing them to stay.’ [n. 2.22]
It was the job of Nachmani and other aides
to make sure that such ‘weaknesses’ did not persist:
under their supervision
these evictions quickly became more comprehensive and effective.

The impact of such activities at the time remained limited because
Zionist resources after all were scarce,
Palestinian resistance fierce,
and the British policies restrictive.
By the end of the Mandate in 1948,
the Jewish community owned around 5.8% of the land in Palestine.
But the appetite was for more,
if only for the available resources to expand and new opportunities to open up;
this is why Weitz waxed lyrical when he heard about the village files,
immediately suggesting turning them into a ‘national project.’ [n. 2.23]

All involved became fervent supporters of the ideal.
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, a prominent member of the Zionist leadership,
a historian and later the second president of Israel,
explained in a letter to Moshe Shertock (Sharett),
the head of the political department of the Jewish Agency
(and later Israel’s second prime minister),
that apart from topographically recording the layout of the villages,
the project should also include exposing the ‘Hebraic origins’ of each village.
Furthermore, it was important for the Hagana to know
which of the villages were relatively new,
as some of them had been built ‘only’
during the Egyptian occupation of Palestine in the 1830s. [n. 2.24]

The main endeavor, however, was mapping the villages,
and therefore a topographer from the Hebrew University
working in the Mandatory cartography department
was recruited to the enterprise.
He suggested conducting an aerial photographic survey,
and proudly showed [David] Ben-Gurion two such aerial maps
for the villages of Sindiyana and Sabbarin
(these maps, now in the Israeli State Archives,
are all that remains of these villages after 1948).

The best professional photographers in the country
were now invited to join the initiative.
Yitzhak Shefer, from Tel Aviv, and
Margot Sadeh, the wife of Yitzhak Sadeh, the chief of the Palmach
(the commando units of the Hagana) were recruited too.
The film laboratory operated in Margot’s house
with an irrigation company serving as a front:
the lab had to be hidden from the British authorities
who could have regarded it as
an illegal intelligence effort directed against them.
The British did have prior knowledge of it,
but never succeeded in spotting the secret hideout.
In 1947, this whole cartographic department was moved to the Red House.
[This was a building in Tel Aviv
which served as a headquarters for the Haganah
during the years before Israel’s founding in 1948.]

[n. 2.25]

The end results of both the topographic and Orientalist efforts were
the detailed files the Zionist experts gradually built up
for each of Palestine’s villages.
By the late 1930s, this ‘archive’ was almost complete.
Precise details were recorded about the topographic location of each village,
its access roads, quality of land, water springs, main sources of income,
its socio-political composition, religious affiliations, names of its mukhtars,
its relationship with other villages,
the age of individual men (sixteen to fifty) and many more.
An important category was an index of ‘hostility’
(towards the Zionist project, that is)
decided by the level of the village’s participation in the revolt of 1936.
There was a list of
everyone who had lost someone in the fight against the British.
Particular attention was given to people who had allegedly killed Jews.
As we shall see, in 1948 these last bits of information
fueled the worst atrocities in the villages,
leading to mass executions and torture.

Regular members of the Hagana who were entrusted with
collecting the data on ‘reconnaissance’ journeys into the villages
realized, from the start,
that this was not a mere academic exercise in geography.
One of these was Moshe Pasternak,
who joined one of the early excursions and data collection operations in 1940.
He recalled many years later:
We had to study the basic structure of the Arab village.
This means the structure and how best to attack it.
In the military schools,
I had been taught how to attack a modern European city,
not a primitive village in the Near East.
We could not compare it [an Arab village] to a Polish or an Austrian one.
The Arab village, unlike the European ones,
was built topographically on hills.
That meant we had to find out how best to approach the village from above
or enter it from below.
We had to train our ‘Arabists’
[the Orientalists who operated a network of collaborators]
how best to work with informants. [n. 2.26]
Indeed the problem noted in many of the villages’ files was
how to create collaborationist systems with
the people Pasternak and his friends regarded as primitive and barbaric:
‘People who like to drink coffee and eat rice with their hands,
which made it very difficult to use them as informants.’
In 1948, he remembered, there was a growing sense that
finally they had a proper network of informants in place.
That same year the village files were re-arranged
to become even more systematic.
This was mainly the work of one man, Ezra Danin,
who would play a leading role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. [n.2.27]

In many ways, it was the recruitment of Ezra Danin,
who had been taken out of his successful citrus grove business,
that injected the intelligence work and the organization of the village files
with a new level of efficiency.
Files in the post-1943 era included detailed descriptions of
the husbandry, the cultivated land, the number of trees in plantations,
the quality of each fruit grove (even of each single tree),
the average amount of land per family,
the number of cars, shop owners, members of workshops
and the names of the artisans in each village and their skills. [n. 2.28]
Later, meticulous detail was added about each clan and its political affiliation,
the social stratification between notables and common peasants,
and the names of the civil servants in the Mandatory government.

And as the data collection created its own momentum,
one finds addition details popping up around 1945,
such as the descriptions of village mosques and the names of their imams,
together with such characterizations as ‘he is an ordinary man,’
and even precise accounts of the living rooms
inside the homes of these dignitaries.
Towards the end of the Mandatory period
the information becomes more explicitly militarily oriented:
the number of guards (most villages had none)
and the quantity and quality of the arms at the villagers’ disposal
(generally antiquated or even non-existent). [n. 2.29]

Danin recruited a German Jew named Yaacov Shimoni,
later to become one of Israel’s leading Orientalists,
and put him in charge of special projects inside the villages,
in particular supervising the work of the informants. [n. 2.30]
One of these Danin and Shimoni nicknamed the ‘treasurer’ (ha-gizbar).
This man, who proved a fountain of information for the files’s collectors,
supervised the network of collaboration for them between 1941–45.
He was exposed in 1945 and killed by Palestinian militants. [n. 2.31]

Danin and Shimoni were soon joined by two other people,
Yehoshua Palmon and Tuvia Lishanski.
These, too are names to remember
as they took an active part in preparing for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Lishanski was already busy in the 1940s with
orchestrating campaigns against the tenants who lived on plots of lands
the JNF had brought from present or absentee landlords,
and he directed all his energy towards
intimidating and then forcibly evicting these people
from the lands their families had been cultivating for centuries.

Not far away from the village of Furaydis
and the ‘veteran’ Jewish settlement Zikhron Yaacov,
where today a road connects the coastal highway with Marj Ibn Amir (Emeq Izrael) through Wadi Milk,
lies a youth village (a kind of boarding school for Zionist youth)
called Shefeya.
It was here that in 1944 special units in the service of the village files project received their training
and it was from here that they went out on their reconnaissance missions.
Shefeya looked very much like a spy village in the Cold War:
Jews walking around speaking Arabic
and trying to emulate what they believed were
the customary ways of life and behavior of rural Palestinians. [n. 2.32]

In 2002, one of the first recruits to this special training base
recalled his first reconnaissance mission
to the nearby village of Umm al-Zinat in 1944.
Their aim had been to survey the village and bring back information such as
where the mukhtar lived, where the mosque was located,
where the rich people of the village resided
and who had been active in the 1936 revolt.
This was not a very dangerous mission
as the infiltrators knew they could exploit
the traditional Arab hospitality code
and were even guests at the home of the mukhtar himself.
As they failed to collect in one day all they data they were seeking,
they asked to be invited back.
For their second visit they had been instructed to get
information about the fertility of the land,
the quality of which seemed to have impressed them greatly.
In 1948, Umm al-Zinat was destroyed and all its inhabitants expelled
without any provocation on their part whatsoever.
[n. 2.33]

[What can you call people who say that
the Palestinians left on account of “radio broadcasts”?
Fortunately, this false narrative has been corrected by Norman Finkelstein
in, as I recall, either
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict or
Beyond Chutzpah.]

The final update of the village files took place in 1947.
It focused on creating lists of ‘wanted’ persons in each village.
In 1948 Jewish troops used these lists
for the search-and-arrest operations they carried out
as soon as they had occupied a village.
That is, the men in the village would be lined up
and those appearing on the lists would then be identified,
often by the same person who had informed on them in the first place
but who would now be wearing a cloth sack over his head
with two holes cut out for his eyes so as not to be recognized.
The men who were picked out were often shot on the spot.
Criteria for inclusion in these lists were
involvement in the Palestinian national movement,
having close ties to the leader of the movement,
the Mufti al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni,
and as mentioned,
having participate in actions against the British and the Zionists. [n. 2.34]
Other reasons for being included in the lists
were a variety of allegations, such as
‘known to have travelled to Lebanon’ or
‘arrested by the British authorities
for being a member of a national committee in the village’. [n. 2.35]

The first category, involvement in the Palestinian national movement,
was very liberally defined and could include whole villages.
Affiliation with the Mufti or to the political party he headed was very common.
After all, his party had dominated local Palestinian politics
ever since the British Mandate was officially established in 1923.
The party’s members went on to win national and municipal elections
and hold the prominent positions in the Arab Higher Committee
that became the embryonic government of the Palestinians.
In the eyes of the Zionist experts this constituted a crime.
If we look at the 1947 files, we find that
villages with about 1500 inhabitants
usually had between twenty and thirty such suspects
(for instance, around the southern Carmel mountains, south of Haifa,
Umm al-Zinat had thirty such suspects
and the nearby village of Damun had twenty-five). [n. 2.36]

Yigael Yadin recalled that it was this minute and detailed knowledge
of what was happening in each single Palestinian village
that enabled the Zionist military command in November 1947 to conclude
‘that the Palestine Arabs had nobody to organize them properly.’
The only serious problem was the British:
‘If not for the British, we could have quelled the Arab riot
[the opposition to the UN Partition Resolution in 1947] in one month.’ [n. 2.37]

Labels: ,


1967 was not “a defensive war”

Our whole society seems to be deliberately polluted with misinformation and disinformation concerning
Israel and its relation to the Palestinians.
Take, for example, this statement
from the Washington Times’ 2005-06-06 editorial
“A peace process in grave danger”
(emphasis added):
Israeli society is going through a very difficult period,
as its people engage in a wrenching public debate
over the logistics of how to uproot their fellow countrymen
from territory captured in
a defensive war.

This typifies the Zionist conceit,
that everything the Israelis have done is defensive in nature,
that the Israelis are just poor little innocent victims
of all those mean, nasty Palestinian thugs and terrorists.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.
To see what really happened in the June 1967 Six-Day War,
and how far it was from being “a defensive war,”
here is an extended extract from pages 310–325
of Israeli historian Benny Morris’s
Righteous Victims:
A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001
divided into sections
  1. The Decision To Go To War

  2. The Line-Up

  3. The War Plan

  4. The Air Assault

  5. The Ground Assault on Egypt

  6. The West Bank
Emphasis, links, headings, occasional paragraph numbers,
and comments in this color
have been added; all dates are in June 1967.
[Note also the Wikipedia account.]

1. The Decision To Go To War
[O]n June 2, at a joint meeting of the cabinet and the general staff,
Israel decided in principle on war,
but no date was set....
[O]n June 4, the cabinet gave the army
the green light to attack when ready.

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol had finally been persuaded
by the director of the Mossad,
who had spent the previous three days in Washington
and returned to Tel Aviv certain that the United States
would “bless an operation if we succeed in shattering Nasser.”
American intelligence accurately predicted that Israel
would defeat any possible Arab coalition within a few days,
perhaps a week,
and by the start of June Washington had come round
to the view that war was inevitable.
Israel was given to understand that it could go ahead.
The change in President Lyndon Johnson’s thinking
apparently occurred during the long Memorial Day weekend,
which he spent on his Texas ranch
with a number of Jewish friends and advisors

[Why is this not surprising?]....
The president now expected the Israelis to strike.

2. The Line-Up
The armies were extremely ill-matched.
Israelis, throughout their history,
have tended to see themselves as the “weaker side,”
their army smaller and less well armed than their Arab enemies’.
The truth, in 1967 as at other times, was different.

3. The War Plan
The Six-Day War was in all essentials a clockwork war
carried out by the Israeli Defense Force
against three relatively passive, ineffective Arab armies;
indeed, the Israeli offensives in most areas
proceeded more rapidly than the planners had envisioned.
Throughout, the initiative lay with the IDF;
occasionally, the Arabs “responded” to an Israeli move;
most often they served as rather bewildered, sluggish punching bags.

The main and initial objective of the Israelis
was the destruction of the Egyptian army in Sinai.
From the first it was understood that
the implementation of their plan would be severely circumscribed
by limitations of time imposed by the superpowers.
Before June 5 Foreign Minister Abba Eban estimated that
the IDF would have no more than twenty-four to seventy-two hours
at its disposal.
Israel’s diplomatic missions,
and particularly its delegations in Washington and at the UN,
were ordered to stall for as long as possible,
to allow the IDF to complete its work.


[To the world at large]
Israel’s explicit, publicly stated assumption
was that Egypt was intent on attacking the Negev.
But captured Egyptian documents show that Egypt’s army
was in fact preparing for a defensive battle,
to absorb and repel an initial IDF blow.


Much like the Japanese plan
for war against the United States in 1941,
the IDF battle plan hinged on an aerial master stroke—
this one designed to incapacitate the opponents’ air forces and,
in consequence, render their ground forces vulnerable
to a continuous pounding from the air.
The plan ... was to destroy the Egyptian air force on the ground.
If other Arab states entered the fray,
their air forces would be dealt with similarly.

As originally conceived,
the IDF plan was based on attaining strategic surprise.
But in the circumstances of late May–early June 1967,
this was no longer possible.
The Arabs were expecting an offensive,
and Nasser and Hussein both predicted
it would begin with a massive IAF strike against their air bases.
Nonetheless, two elements in the plan
proved virtually equivalent to strategic surprise:
the timing of the attack and
the direction of approach of the attacking forces.


All of the IAF’s combat units were to be thrown into the assault,
save twelve interceptors left behind to defend Israel’s skies.

4. The Air Assault
Between 0714 and 0730 [on June 5] 183 planes took off.
In this first wave were a full 95 percent
of the IAF’s front-line aircraft....
Approaching their targets,
the attacking Israeli jets soared upward to get into position
for their bombing runs.
The lead foursomes all reached and attacked their targets,
eleven bases in all, at precisely 0745.
They first released their large bombs
at one-third and two-thirds the length of the runways,
ripping up the tarmacs, rendering them useless.
Then they made additional runs,
bombing, rocketing, and machine-gunning the MiGs
waiting on the runways or in their hangers....
The Egyptians were caught almost completely by surprise;
antiaircraft fire was meager and ineffective....
By 0900 the picture was clear.
The IAF had scored a victory of historic proportions....

Thanks to efficient ground crews, the IAF turnaround was rapid.
The second wave, 164 aircraft,
took off about an hour after the return of the first....
At about 1000
Israel’s deputy chief of general staff Ezer Weizman
telephoned his wife and told her:
“We have won the war.”

5. The Ground Assault on Egypt
On the ground, IDF planning called for
a massive offensive against the Egyptian army in Sinai
while leaving relatively sparse defensive forces
on the Jordanian and Syrian fronts.
The aim was to destroy the Egyptian army
and then deal if forced to—and if time and the powers permitted—
with the Syrians and Jordanians.


The ground assault began at 0800 on June 5....
Three divisional task forces ...
crossed the border almost simultaneously
and rapidly overcame the opposition....
The Egyptian commanders had no clear idea of the situation
and no orders what to do—
advance, counterattack, or retreat—
though they had a growing sense that they were
about to be outflanked....
[F]or most of the Egyptian units
the Sinai peninsula had become one giant trap....

6. The West Bank
[A]s things turned out, Israel found itself
almost instantaneously engaged against Jordan and,
at the same time,
so successful against the Egyptians that it was able
to switch to the offensive on the Jordanian front
by the end of Day 1....

[S]ince 1949 David Ben-Gurion had been calling
Israel’s failure to conquer East Jerusalem and,
by extension, the whole of the West Bank
“a lamentation for generations”
a phrase that was in continuous use
among [Israeli right-wing] politicians between 1949 and 1967.
In an article published shortly before the outbreak of the war,
Yigal Allon wrote:
“In ... a new war, we must avoid
the historic mistake of the War of Independence in 1948 ...
must not cease fighting until we achieve total victory,
the territorial fulfillment of the Land of Israel.”


Much of a cabinet meeting [the evening of June 5]
was devoted to the possibility of conquering
the West Bank and East Jerusalem....


A UN Security Council call
for a cease-fire on the Jordanian front
persuaded them [Israel’s cabinet], prodded by Moshe Dayan,
that they had to act fast.
At dawn on June 7 Dayan ordered the IDF to take the Old City....
On June 7–8 Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho
fell to the IDF....
The next morning Israeli sappers blew up
the Abdullah and Hussein Bridges over the Jordan.
Thus, symbolically and physically,
the West Bank was severed from the East.

See The founding of the settlements
for the consequences of this conquest
for the Palestinians and their homeland.

2007 = 1967 + 40

What if Israel Had Turned Back?
New York Times Op-Ed, 2007-06-05

[An excerpt:]


History is full of “what ifs,” and
responsible historians should not indulge in such speculation.
But journalists may.
What if Israel hadn’t taken East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the Six-Day War?
Would the Palestinian situation have found some solution
and Israel be living at least in relative peace with its neighbors?
Would Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism have been avoided?

Perhaps. But the alternate history
is not as outrageous or inconceivable as one might think.
Leading Israeli policy planners
had determined six months before the Six-Day War
that capturing the West Bank would be bad for the country.
Recently declassified Israeli government documents show
that according to these policy planners,
taking over the West Bank would
weaken the relative strength of Israel’s Jewish majority,
encourage Palestinian nationalism and
ultimately lead to violent resistance.


The Six-Day War, 40 Years Later
by Jon Wiener
The Nation, 2007-06-04

[An excerpt:]

Israel went to war 40 years ago this week
more because of “psychological weakness”
than because of a genuine strategic threat--
that’s the conclusion of Tom Segev, one of Israel’s leading historians,
and author of the new book
1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East.


As Israeli forces advanced through the West Bank, Segev shows,
they pressured Palestinians to leave, to flee to Jordan.
“200,000 Palestinians left the West Bank,” he told me,
“and at least half of them were actually forced to leave.
Many are still in Jordan.
When speak about the refugee problem we think about 1948,
but there is a refugee problem from 1967 as well.”

[Cf. Benny Morris, RV-]

Are the Revisionist Takes on the Six Day War Accurate?

by Benny Morris
New Republic, 2007-07-23

1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East
By Tom Segev
Translated by Jessica Cohen
(Metropolitan Books, 673 pp., $35)

This is a lengthy review of the above (plus another book).
Morris includes the following quotation from the book by Segev,
as explanation of the background for Israel’s initiation of the Six Day War:

It was not Nasser’s threats ....
[Segev lists a number of claimed aspects of Israel’s internal conditions,

It was the terrorism;
the sense that there could be no peace.

In the review, Morris responds (but the emphasis is added):
This portrait of Israel in 1966 and early 1967 is skewed.
Palestinian terrorism was meager and trivial
compared with the standards set in the 1970s and 1990s.

[T]he picture that Segev paints
of Israel’s internal conditions in 1966 and early 1967,
with which he tries to “explain” the war, is essentially false.
Segev, a journalist, is overly impressed by newspaper headlines.

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The founding of the settlements

[T]he Six-Day War … gave rise in Israel to
a reborn expansionist spirit
territorial greed—quickly expressed in a settlement enterprise—
that made the prospect of peace that much more remote.

Benny Morris
Righteous Victims (2001 edition)
page 692
(emphasis is added)

The “settlements” that the Israelis have placed
in the area that they conquered in their 1967 war
have caused an incredible amount of world conflict.
For example, consider
  1. Osama bin Laden’s own statement
    of why he launched the 9-11 attacks:
    “[A]fter ... we witnessed
    the oppression and tyranny
    of the American/Israeli coalition
    against our people in Palestine and Lebanon,

    it [the 9/11 attacks] came to my mind.”
  2. the UN General Assembly’s 141-4 votes
    that Israel should build its security fence
    on the internationally recognized 1949 armistice line,
    not to include the territories conquered in 1967,

  3. the passionate, and threatening of violence, measures
    that the settlers and their supporters are now going through
    to try to stop the evacuation just of Gaza,
    even though Gaza has little historical or biblical significance
    to the Hebrews, and

  4. the Intifada itself.
For all the significance that these settlements have,
there is surprisingly little, at least in the U.S.,
attention paid to exactly how they were established
and why their existence is so passionately defended
by so much of the Jewish community.
It seems worthwhile to take a look at their background;
accounts by Benny Morris and J. J. Goldberg follow.

Benny Morris, Righteous Victims

Israeli historian Benny Morris has written an invaluable book,
Righteous Victims:
A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001

which thoroughly (800 pages) studies the topic.
The following (lengthy) description,
from the green start line to the red finish line,
is excerpted from its pages 327–343.
It is divided into sections
  1. Expelling the Palestinians

  2. Deciding to retain the conquered land

  3. The Religious Motivation

  4. The Settlement Process

  5. Palestinian Reaction and Israeli Repression
Headings, emphasis, links,
some comments by me in square brackets and this color,
and some minor reformatting and occasional paragraph numbers
have been added.

For a summary of key events of the 1967 Six-Day War
which led up to these events, see
1967 was not “a defensive war”.

1. Expelling the Palestinians
In general, the war did not leave much physical destruction in its wake.
It was very brief and the fighting in built-up areas was extremely limited.
Israel took care to use its air power and artillery sparingly in populated areas
[in marked contrast to the 2006 war with Lebanon].
But in several locations
Arab houses were deliberately destroyed after the fighting ended.
A number of Israeli Defense Force commanders,
apparently without cabinet authorization,
though most probably with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s approval, tried to
repeat the experience of 1948
[e.g., Operation Dani]
drive Palestinians into exile and
demolish their homes.
some 200–300,000 Arabs
fled or were driven
from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
most of them going to the East Bank of the Jordan,
during the war and in the weeks immediately after.
Another eighty to ninety thousand civilians
fled or were driven from the Golan Heights.

[Cf. 2007-06-04-Wiener-Segev-refugees.]

[In several West Bank villages]
IDF troops systematically destroyed Arab homes.
In addition, four villages in the Latrun salient ...
were leveled and their inhabitants sent into exile.
Dayan later explained that
Israel’s international airport at Lydda had been shelled from the salient,
so Israel could not allow the area to revert to Arab rule.
There may also have been an element of revenge for the events of 1948.
(The destruction, it was understood, would also
facilitate Israel’s retention of the salient
under any future peace settlement.)
An element of revenge for 1948 certainly characterized
the leveling of the village of An Nabi Samwil, north of Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem the Israeli authorities
swiftly exploited the shock of war and conquest
to destroy the so-called Mughrabi Quarter,
a cluster of houses inhabited by Muslims next to the Western Wall....
The result was a large plaza
that afforded a place for assembly in front of Judaism’s holiest shrine.

In three villages ... houses were destroyed
“not in battle, but as punishment ... and
in order to chase away the inhabitants...—
contrary to government ... policy,”

[ellipsis in Morris’s text]
Dayan wrote in his memoirs.
In Qalqilya,
about a third of the homes were razed and
about twelve thousand inhabitants were evicted,
though many then camped out in the environs.
The evictees in both areas were allowed to stay
and later were given cement and tools by the Israeli authorities
to rebuild at least some of their dwellings.

But many thousands of Palestinians now took to the roads.
Perhaps as many as seventy thousand,
mostly from the Jericho area,
fled during the fighting;
tens of thousands more left over the following months.
about one-quarter of the population of the West Bank,
about 200–250,000 people,
went into exile.

Many of them were refugees from 1948 and their descendents
who had lived in camps, mostly around Jericho.
They simply walked to the Jordan River crossings
and made their way on foot to the East Bank.
It is unclear how many were intimidated or forced out
by the Israeli troops
and how many left voluntarily, in panic and fear.
There is some evidence of
IDF soldiers going around with loudspeakers
ordering West Bankers to leave their homes and cross the Jordan.

Some left because
they had relatives or sources of livelihood on the East Bank
and feared being permanently cut off.

Thousands of Arabs
were taken by bus from East Jerusalem to the Allenby Bridge,
though there is no evidence of coercion.
The free Israeli-organized transportation, which began on 1967-06-11,
went on for about a month.
At the bridge they had to sign a document
stating that they were leaving of their own free will.
Perhaps as many as seventy thousand people
emigrated from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world.

On July 2 the Israeli government announced that
it would allow the return of those 1967 refugees who desired to do so,
but no later than August 10, later extended to September 13.
The Jordanian authorities probably pressured many of the refugees,
who constituted an enormous burden,
to sign up to return.
In practice only 14,000 of the 120,000 who applied
were actually allowed by Israel back into the West Bank
by the beginning of September.
After that, only a trickle of “special cases” were allowed back,
perhaps 3,000 in all.

2. Deciding to retain the conquered land
[After the June 1967 war,
in the Israeli cabinet there was]
a consensus not to return to the prewar boundaries
which Foreign Minister Abba Eban, nothing if not a dove,
was to immortalize as “the Auschwitz lines.”


[T]he war unleashed currents within Israeli society
that militated against yielding occupied territory
and against compromise.
fueled by fundamentalist messianism
and primal nationalistic greed,
took hold of a growing minority,
both religious and secular,
getting its cue, and eventually creeping support,
from the government itself.


3. The Religious Motivation
[R]eligious nationalists declared that the “miraculous” conquests
were at’halta dege’ula, the start of divine redemption,
and that the settlement and annexation
of the conquered territories
were a divine command,
in accordance with the teachings
of the historic sage of their movement,
Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook
(Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Palestine during the 1920s),
as interpreted by his son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Hacohen Kook....
On May 14 Zvi Kook had delivered a sermon
bewailing the partition of Palestine and
declaring the situation intolerable.
And on June 7, minutes after the conquest of the Old City,
some of his protégés rushed the elderly rabbi in a jeep
to the Western Wall, where he solemnly announced:
“We hereby inform
the people of Israel and the entire world that
under heavenly command
we have just returned home....
We shall never move out.”

The National Religious Party‘s rabbis, with Kook in the lead,
hailed the IDF conquests as the first peal of the Deliverance,
and the party’s youngsters,
grafting religion onto history,
made ready to usurp from Labor and its kibbutzim and youth movements
the position of torchbearers of Zionism
[see also revisionist Zionism and religious Zionism].
They were the new pioneers,
and the occupied lands would be their frontier.
The admixture of messianism and nationalism
proved heady and powerful.
Casting caution and pragmatism to the winds,
God’s skullcapped legions
forayed into the hills and dales of Judea and Samaria
to choose sites for settlements.
They skirted government policies and army roadblocks
to map out the new “Greater Israel.”
At site after site they coerced the government
into giving way to their pioneering zeal
and acceding to the establishment of a chain of settlements
that would define and secure the new territories.
In March 1974 these cadres and this spirit
were formally consolidated in an extraparliamentary movement,
Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful),
loosely affiliated with the NRP....
The goal was massive, irreversible settlement
leading, inevitably, to annexation.

Both opponents and promoters of this project
immediately understood what was happening:
Settlement spelled a will to permanent retention.

4. The Settlement Process
Jewish settlement proceeded,
both geographically and conceptually,
from politically “easy” areas,
those that had been inhabited by Jews...
to the more problematic areas with dense Arab populations.
The process unfolded gradually
and seemed to advance almost as matter of course,
without any overall plan.
Looking back, some ministers were amazed
by how it had taken them almost unawares,
without a cabinet decision to annex any territory,
except Jerusalem....


[An incident at Hebron] set two precedents.
The settlers [and a military accomplice]
had deliberately deceived
[the commander of Israel’s Central Command].
This pattern was to recur during the following decade
as the movement with impunity
hoodwinked and circumvented the authorities.
Then, the government did not eject the settlers immediately....
there was a reluctance to authorize
the use of force to dislodge Jews—
and the settlers made it clear that only force
could curb their activities.


Almost invariably,
the government provided settlers—
whether state-organized or illegal—

with the wherewithal to carry through with their ventures.
This support was often crucial in the early days.
Troops protected them from attack by Palestinians;
water was trucked or piped in;
electricity generators were supplied.
But even more telling was
the [Israeli] government’s land policy.
A few scattered tracts purchased by Jews before 1948
were immediately available for settlement.
But much of the land in the territories was state owned, and
Israel immediately expropriated [i.e., stole] it all—
in the West Bank
more than 50 percent of the land surface.

Once this happened the indigenous population
of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
lost most of its potential
for natural growth and physical expansion.

In addition the authorities and the settler associations
began to purchase land from local landowners
and arbitrarily to lay hold of uncultivated tracts,
including many bordering on Arab villages and claimed by Arabs.
Frequently Arab-owned lands were expropriated,
on ostensible security grounds,
but were earmarked for settlement.


[H]undreds, and then thousands, of Jews,
driven by ideological motives (“Greater Israel”)
and economic incentives
(free or cheap land, big mortgages at low interest,
outright grants),
began to move to the territories.
By the late 1970s
areas where there had been no Jews became,
physically and demographically, Jewish.


The settlement enterprise was revolutionized
following the Likud victory in the 1977 Knesset elections.
Vast sums of money went into settling the territories....

5. Palestinian Reaction and Israeli Repression

Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
reawakened the Palestinian issue,
largely dormant since 1949.

In the main the Palestinians had endured the first two decades of exile quietly,
“living and partly living” in the Arab states
on handouts from UNRWA and waiting for eventual deliverance at the hands of the Arab armies.


The traumatic demolition of the status quo [by the 1967 war]
reawakened Palestinian identity and
quickened nationalist aspirations
in the conquered territories and in the Arab states.
The hated enemy,
who had driven the Palestinians from their homes in 1948,
was now in control of their lands, and property.
The impotence and dependence of Palestinian existence
was again starkly apparent....

Before the conquered Palestinians managed to catch their breath,
Israel had imposed military government and set up
the usual repressive infrastructure
of occupation and control.


The task of determining
the nature of the regime that developed in the occupied territories
in the weeks and months ahead
was immediately taken up by Defense Minister [Moshe] Dayan,
initially without cabinet approval.
The cabinet preferred not to get involved [!!] and
Dayan emerged as the architect and then the arbiter of policy in the territories.
Some of his decisions resulted in the faits accomplis
that were severely to curtail future governments’ options
on the ultimate fate of the territories.
Because of internal political constraints and external circumstances,
successive Labor-led governments proved unable to decide
on what to do with the territories.
In the absence of a strategy Dayan had to rule on each issue
without knowing whether the territories would be annexed or given up,
or how long the temporary military government was to go on.

Early in the summer of 1967 Dayan rejected the idea of autonomy—
proposed by West Bank notables—
for the inhabitants of the territories,
fearing it would evolve into Palestinian statehood.
He, like the rest of the Labor Party leadership,
firmly opposed such statehood,
deeming it a mortal threat to Israel’s existence.

Side by side with his pragmatic strain—
and despite his desire not to add more than a million Arabs to Israel’s citizenry—
Dayan was also an annexationist.
He was a prime mover in the annexation of Arab East Jerusalem
and its “unification” on June 27 with West Jerusalem.
For deeply felt reasons, both historical and strategic,
he believed Israel should retain control of the West Bank.
He consistently advocated the integration into Israel
of the economies and infrastructure of the territories—

a policy that gradually turned them into >appendages of Israel.>
(Critics were later to refer to this policy as “creeping annexation.”)
The West Bank and Gaza economies were rapidly fused with Israel’s
in a binding, colonial relationship.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians,
rising to somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000
(or 40 percent of the workforce of the two territories) by the mid-1980s,
provided cheap labor—
ironically, many of them, construction workers,
actually built the new settlements.

Alongside “creeping annexation”
Dayan from the start instituted a policy of creeping transfer.
In the course of the war he and the IDF to some extent
pushed along the process by which
200,000 to 300,000 of the inhabitants of the Palestinian territories,
most of them refugee families from 1948, fled to Transjordan.
On June 7, 1967,
when informed that the inhabitants of Tulkarm were fleeing eastward,
“the minister reacted positively.
The roads [eastward] must be left open, he said,
and the advance of the 45th Brigade slowed down...
in this way, he thought,
the population of the West Bank would be reduced
and Israel freed of severe problems.”

In the war’s immediate wake and during the years that followed,
the defense minister and his military government staff
made serious efforts to
bring about the emigration of
as many of the territories’ remaining inhabitants as possible.
The government always denied that there was such a policy
or that such efforts were being made.
But evidence has recently surfaced
that points in the opposite direction.
In September 1967 Dayan told a meeting of the IDF’s senior staff that
some 200,000 Arabs had left the Palestinian territories and
“we must understand the motives and causes
for the continued emigration of the Arabs,
from both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,
and not undermine these causes,
even if they are lack of security and lack of employment,
because after all, we want to create a new map.”
In November he was quoted as saying:
“We want emigration, we want a normal standard of living,
we want to encourage emigration according to a selective program.”
On 1968-07-14, at a meeting in his office, he said:
“The proposed policy [of raising the level of public services in the territories]
may clash with our intention to encourage emigration
from both the Strip and Judea and Samaria.
Anyone who has practical ideas of proposals to encourage emigration—
let him speak up.
No idea or proposal is to be dismissed out of hand.”

Dayan’s mode of thinking was shared by his subordinates.
A meeting of IDF governors in the West Bank
on November 22, 1967, concluded with a decision
“to seek ways to increase Arab emigration from the West Bank...”
[The commander of Israel’s Central Command,] General Narkiss
is quoted as saying:
"We are talking about emigration of the Arabs.
Everything must be done—
even paying them money—
to get them to leave."

Israeli thinking was to some degree governed by
the notion that the Arabs of the territories,
starved of land and resources (primarily water),
and denied the possibility of industrial development,

would gradually drift away.
Though never clearly enunciated,
this was the government’s aim—especially after 1977.

Various economic measures were adopted
to make life difficult for the local population.

These measures also had another purpose.
Dayan and the military government
consistently frustrated industrial development in the territories
so that they would not compete with Israel’s own industries.
Protectionist policy gradually turned the territories
into major buyers of, or dumping grounds for, Israeli goods.
By the 1980s they had become
Israel’s second largest export market
(after the United States).
In agriculture
Israeli experts advised the locals on ways to increase their productivity,
but the military government also took care
to prevent farmers from competing with Israel on home or foreign markets.
The territories’ utility grids—
electricity, telephones, transportation, and water—
were all linked up to Israel’s.
Dayan overcame Labor Party doves
who argued that such integration
would inevitably result in annexation.


After the conquest of the West Bank many of the notables and middle class
hoped for a quick return of Jordanian rule.
During the 1950s and 1960s they had established strong links
with the [Jordanian] monarchy and its bureaucracies;
indeed, they were Jordanian citizens.
In some measure they had repressed their Palestinian identity
and regarded the alternative to Jordanian rule,
a small Palestinian state,
as “artificial” and “economically hopeless.”
the Israelis stifled all efforts toward a return of Jordanian control,
threatening and occasionally carrying out arrests and deportations.
In the routine fashion of conquerors, they also practiced “divide and rule,”
setting nationalists and republicans against pro-Hashemites.


The overwhelming majority of West Bank and Gaza Arabs from the first
hated the occupation.
The first signs of resistance were manifested about a month after the war,
in early July 1967, when Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem
sparked a number of small demonstrations and graffiti.
At the end of the month, twenty Arab notables,
led by Anwar al-Khatib, the former Jordanian governor of Jerusalem,
sent a petition to the authorities protesting against the annexation.
The authorities struck back by temporarily exiling four of the signatories.
In every stage of these Oppressions
We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms:
Our repeated Petitions have been answered
only by repeated injury.

In August and September, there were
larger demonstrations and transport and commercial strikes.
Stone-throwing protesters and baton-wielding Israeli troops clashed.

The initial wave of West Bank protests,
which were relatively widespread though far from universal,
culminated in a call for a general strike.
Though it failed, the Israelis retaliated firmly.
On September 25, they dispatched ‘Abd al-Hamid a Seih,
the chief Muslim religious judge in the West Bank and one of the strike’s organizers,
into open-ended exile.
In Nablus,
the only West Bank town that had universally heeded the strike call,
the Israelis cracked down with a series of collective punishment measures.
These included an indefinite nightlong (5 PM to 7 AM) curfew,
severely hurting those employed outside of town.
public transport was shut down;
twenty shops that had closed during the strike were arbitrarily sealed shut;
the town’s telephone system was closed down;
a daytime curfew was imposed on a number of neighborhoods
with the ostensible aim of facilitating searches
(though the real aim, it was later admitted, was “intimidation”);
the business licenses of some wholesalers were revoked; and
the town’s main outlet to Jordan, the Damiyeh (Adam) Bridge, was closed.
Within days the resistance collapsed.

There was a clear lesson
for the inhabitants of the territories and the Palestinian diaspora
in these events:
Israel intended to stay in the West Bank,
and its rule would not be overthrown or ended
through civil disobedience and civil resistance,
which were easily crushed.
The only real option was armed struggle.

Israelis liked to believe, and tell the world,
that they were running an “enlightened” or “benign” occupation,
qualitatively different from other military occupations
the world had seen.
The truth was radically different.
Like all occupations,
Israel’s was founded on brute force, repression and fear,
collaboration and treachery,
beatings and torture chambers,
and daily intimidation, humiliation, and manipulation.


Military administration,
uncurbed by the civil rights considerations
that applied in Israel,
possessed ample measures to suppress dissidence and protest.
These included
  • curfews;

  • house arrest, with resulting loss of wages;

  • judicial proceedings, ending in prison terms or fines—
    the work of the military courts in the territories,
    and the Supreme Court which backed them,
    will surely go down as a dark age
    in the annals of Israel’s judicial system—
    or expulsions;
  • administrative detentions, or imprisonment without trial,
    for renewable six-month terms; and

  • commercial and school shutdowns,
    usually in response to shopkeepers’ strikes
    or disturbances by students.

By the end of 1969, Israel had sent into indefinite exile
seventy-one West Bankers and Gazans, mostly notables
who had a hand in organizing strikes and demonstrations.
A few of the deportees were teachers or parents
of schoolchildren who had demonstrated....

With the crushing of civil dissent and disobedience in Sept. 1967,
opponents of Israeli rule began to turn to armed resistance—
grenades were thrown at patrols, bombs planted in cities.
The resistance met with quick and brutal repression:
  • midnight sweeps and arrests;

  • beatings, sensory deprivation measures,
    and simple, old-style torture
    to extract information and confessions;

  • a system of military courts which bore no resemblance
    to the administration of justice in Western democracies
    (or, for that matter, in Israel proper);

  • the demolition (or sealing) of suspects’ houses;

  • long periods of administrative detention;

  • deportations—
all were systematically employed.
Most of the measures had been introduced by the British
during their suppression of the Arab rebellion of 1936–39
and were still on the statute books
in the form of “emergency regulations.”


GSS [General Security Service or Shin Bet] officers
who engaged in torture
systematically lied in court
about how confessions were extracted...

Intellectuals ... who warned of the corrupting effects
of occupation were belittled.
Golda Meir, the ever-self-righteous prime minister,
told a Mapai Party meeting:
“I am shocked.
All of me rebels against ... professors and intellectuals
who have introduced the moral issue.
For me the supreme morality is that
the Jewish people has a right to exist.
Without that there is no morality in the world.”
[The obvious response to Meir’s statement is:
Of course “the Jewish people have a right to exist.”
But what does that have to do with
retaining the West Bank territories?
Israel certainly existed from 1948 to 1967 without them,
and the “threat” from Nasser’s army
that was used to “justify” the 1967 war
had nothing to do with them.
So, as usual, Jews are using absolutely false reasoning
to justify their desires for territorial aggrandizement.
The amazing thing, to me,
is that the American body politic and elite
let them get away with such sophistries.]

The war and its aftermath of
occupation, repression, and expansionism
swiftly reignited the tinder of Palestinian nationalism,
propelling thousands of young men ...
into the burgeoning resistance organizations.
At the same time,
much as the growing Zionist enterprise
had helped trigger early Palestinian nationalism [in the 1930s],
so the daily contact and friction
with Israel and Israeli authorities inside the territories
now reawakened it [half a century later].

[End of excerpt from Chapter 7 of Morris’s “Righteous Victims.”]

[Here is a brief excerpt from Chapter 12 of Morris’s “Righteous Victims”
discussing aspects of the twenty years
between Israel’s invasion and the start of the 1987 Intifada;
again, emphasis is added.]

Government policies
subordinated the territories to Israeli economic needs
stultified Palestinian development.
The overall policy was described by analysts Ze’ev Schiff and Ehud Ya‘ari
[on page 92 of Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising—Israel's Third Front]
as one of “sheer despotism, selfishness and greed,”
with the territories serving as a type of “slave market”
for the Israeli economy.

To protect Israeli industries the civil administration [Google]
the civilian arm of the military government—
blocked Arabs from setting up manufacturing plants.
Through a system of permits
(required to travel, to import funds and materials, to construct buildings)
the territories were turned into a vast market, if not a dumping ground,
for Israeli goods.


With little or no indigenous industrial labor or agricultural development,
a large part of the territories’ labor pool was forced to seek work in Israel.
In 1987 some 120,000 West Bank and Gaza Arabs,
or more than 40 percent of the labor force,
were employed in Israel....
[M]ost were denied all social and fringe benefits.


All the universities and most of the other institutions of higher education in the territories
were established in the years of Israeli rule, but
the military government
prevented the growth of an economy to absorb their graduates.


Palestinians interpreted Israel’s settlement policy
and its discriminatory economic policies as signifying
the government’s ultimate intent to dispossess and drive them out
and to replace them with Jews—
a continuation of 1948 by other means.

[End of excerpts from Morris’s “Righteous Victims.”]

J. J. Goldberg, Jewish Power

J. J. Goldberg’s Jewish Power, in its Chapter Six,
“Six Days in June: The Triumph of Jewish Insecurity,”
takes a look at the religious motivations for the settlements.
Below, between the green and red lines,
is an excerpt from pages 155 and 156;
the emphasis is added.

One of the few Orthodox scholars to offer
a deliberate theology of modernism
was the chief rabbi of Palestine during the 1920s and 1930s,
the Polish-born Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook.
Writing in an impenetrably mystical Hebrew,
Kook tried to disprove the traditionalists’ view
of Zionism as heresy.
[See, e.g., Jews Against Zionism and Jews Not Zionists.]
Zionism could not be a rebellion against God, Kook argued,
since its main leaders were secularized liberals
who did not even believe in God.
God must have sent these unbelievers, he reasoned,
to carry out His work
by paving the way for the End of Days
and the final restoration of Jerusalem.

The building of the Jewish state
was not the long-awaited messianic era of redemption,
Kook argued (thus sidestepping any hint of heresy).
But it did look suspiciously like
“the dawn of redemption,” as he put it.

Kook’s theology remained for decades a curiosity,
even among Religious Zionists.
However, the creation of Israel in 1948
made his “dawn of redemption” sound plausible for the first time.
Orthodox Zionist youth groups adopted Kook’s thought.
The seminary he had founded in Jerusalem
(now headed by his son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook),
became a major Israeli religious center.
Israel’s state rabbinate prepared a Kookian prayer
for weekly use in synagogues around the world,
praying for the safety of the state of Israel,
“the first flowering of our redemption.”

With the stunning Israeli victory of 1967,
the elder Rabbi Kook’s ideas resounded through the Orthodox world.
For Orthodox Jews,
the against-the-odds triumph in the Six-Day War
was a miracle that defied natural explanation.
More than that, it represented
a giant step toward redemption:
the entire Holy Land now was under Israeli control
for the first time since biblical days. ...
It seemed to be the final confirmation of Kook’s teachings.

In his Jerusalem seminary,
the younger Rabbi Kook taught that
the End of Days was fast approaching.
Nothing remained except for the Messiah to reveal himself
and build the Third Temple.
That, and preventing Israel’s secular government
from undoing God’s work
by giving away parts of the Holy Land
in what the ruling Labor Party called “territorial comprimise.”

In April 1968 a group of the younger Kook’s students,
led by a German-born firebrand named Rabbi Moshe Levinger,
went to the occupied city of Hebron
and checked into a hotel for Passover.
When the holiday was over the group refused to leave,
declaring that they had “returned to the City of the Patriarchs.”
The Israeli government was confused and divided
by this partisan action,
fearing to leave the militants
in the center of a devoutly Muslim city of fifty thousand,
but unable to muster the political will to dislodge them.
After a weeks-long standoff,
Levinger’s group agreed to leave the hotel
in return for government permission
to set up house on a hill just outside Hebron.

The new Jewish township, Kiryat Arba,
became the first of a network of Jewish settlements
set up through the occupied territories
by the disciples of Rabbi Kook.
Led by Levinger and the aging Zvi Yehuda,
the created a new organization to promote the settlements,
called Gush Emunim (“The Bloc of the Faithful”).
Its central premise:
filling the territories with Jewish settlements
would bring about
the messianic era of final redemption.
Giving away the territories would invite God’s wrath,
perhaps even cause the destruction of Israel
and a third Jewish exile.

[End of excerpt from Goldberg’s “Jewish Power.”]

  1. New York Times, 2005-06-25,
    Anglicans Consider Divesting in Solidarity With Palestinians
    “[T]he decision by the Anglican Church
    to support the contentious move [divestment]
    at such a delicate time in Middle East relations and
    to frame it in terms of morality
    came under sharp attack

    “Abraham H. Foxman,
    the director of the Anti-Defamation League,
    deplored the action by the Anglican Church,
    calling it part of a wide pattern to discredit Israel
    and to do it by
    wrongly framing it as a moral issue.”

    Is it not moral blindness and obtuseness
    to be so unable to see that
    Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians
    is indeed a moral issue?

  2. Kathleen and Bill Christison, 2004-09,
    An Exchange with Bennie Morris

    A fascinating dialog between Morris and the Christisons,
    who have written extensively on the Israel-Palestine conflict
    from a point of view sympathetic to the Palestinians.

  3. J. J. Goldberg, 1996,
    Jewish Power:
    Inside the American Jewish Establishment

  4. Baruch Kimmerling,
    George S. Wise Professor of Sociology
    at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
    Benny Morris’s Shocking Interview

    Here is an excerpt from the History News Network article
    (emphasis added):

    Plan D and the Israelification of the Land
    At the beginning of the 1970s. I had begun to work on research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which, I hoped, would produce a Ph.D. thesis in sociology. The subject was the Zionist ideology of land and its relationship to other political doctrines. In the earlier stages of my research, I was shocked to discover that a major “purification” of the land (the term “ethnic cleansing” was unknown in that period) from its Arab Palestinian inhabitant was done during the 1948 War by the Jewish military and para-military forces. During this research I found, solely based on Israeli sources, that about 350 Arab villages were “abandoned” and their 3.25 million dunums of rural land, were confiscated and became. in several stages, the property of the Israeli state or the Jewish National Fund. I also found that Moshe Dayan, then Minister of Agriculture, disclosed that about 700,000 Arabs who “left” the territories had owned four million dunums of land.

    Another finding was that
    from 1882 until 1948,
    all the Jewish companies
    (including the Jewish National Fund,
    an organ of World Zionist Organization)
    and private individuals in Palestine
    had succeeded in buying
    only about 7 percent of the total lands in British Palestine.
    All the rest was taken by sword and nationalized
    during the 1948 war and after.
    only about 7 percent of Israel land is privately owned,
    about half of it by Arabs.
    Israel is the only “democracy” in the world
    that nationalized almost all if its land and
    prohibited even the leasing of most of agricultural lands
    to non-Jews,

    a situation made possible by
    a complex framework of legal arrangements
    with the Jewish National Fund,
    including the Basic Law: Israel Lands (1960),
    the Israel Lands Law and Israel Lands Administration Law (1960),
    as well as the Covenants
    between the Government of the State of Israel
    and the WZO of 1954 and the JNF of 1961.

    Now the remaining puzzle was
    if this depopulation was a “natural” consequence of the war,
    which led the Arab populations to flee the country,
    as Israel officially states all the time
    while simultaneously accusing the Arab leadership
    of encouraging this flight,
    if it was
    an intentional Jewish policy
    to acquire the maximum amount of territory
    with minimum amount of Arab population.

    Further research showed that
    the military blueprint for the 1948 war
    was the so-called Plan D (Tochnit Daleth).
    General Yigael Yadin,
    Head of the Operations Branch of the Israeli unified armed forces,
    launched it on March 10, 1948.
    The plan expected
    military clashes between
    the state-making Jewish community of colonial Palestine
    with the Arab community and
    the assumed intervention by military forces of the Arab states.
    In the plan’s preamble, Yadin stated:

    “The aim of this plan is
    the control of the area of the Jewish State and
    the defense of its borders
    [as determined by the UN Partition Plan] and
    the clusters of [Jewish] settlements outside the boundaries,
    against regular and irregular enemy forces
    operating from bases outside and inside the Jewish State.”

    Furthermore, the plan suggested the following actions,
    amongst others, in order to reach these goals:

    “Actions against enemy settlements
    located in our, or near our, defense systems
    [i.e., Jewish settlement and localities]
    with the aim of preventing their use
    as bases for active armed forces.
    These actions should be divided into the following types:
    The destruction of villages
    (by fire, blowing up and mining)

    especially of those villages
    over which we cannot gain [permanent] control.
    Gaining of control will be accomplished
    in accordance with the following instructions:
    The encircling of the village and the search of it.
    In the event of resistance -
    the destruction of the resisting forces and
    the expulsion of the population
    beyond the boundaries of the State.”

    The conclusion was that, as in many other cases,
    what seemed at first glance a pure and limited military doctrine,
    proved itself in the case of “Plan D”
    to comprise far-reaching measures that lead to
    a complete demographic, ethnic, social and political
    transformation of Palestine.
    Implementing the spirit of this doctrine,
    the Jewish military forces conquered
    about 20,000 square kilometers of territory
    (compared with the 14,000 square kilometers granted them
    by the UN Partition Resolution) and
    purified [sic] them almost completely
    from their Arab inhabitants.

    About 800,000 Arab inhabitants lived on the territories
    before they fell under Jewish control following the 1948 war.
    Fewer than 100,000 Arabs remained there under Jewish control
    after the cease fire.
    An additional 50,000 were included within the Israeli state’s territory
    following the Israeli-Jordan’s armistice agreements
    that transferred several villages to Israeli rule.

    The military doctrine, the base of Plan D,
    clearly reflected the local Zionist ideological aspirations
    to acquire a maximal Jewish territorial continuum,
    cleansed from Arab presence,
    as a necessary condition for establishing
    an exclusive Jewish nation-state.

  5. Benny Morris, 2001,
    Righteous Victims:
    A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001

  6. Benny Morris, 2005-08-24 New York Times,
    Palestinians on the Right Side of History
    The meat of Morris’s op-ed article:

    [F]or the greater part of ancient history - that past in which the Jewish people anchor their claim to Israel - the Gaza Strip was not part of the Jewish state. The embattled settlers may have screamed last week that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was expelling Jews from part of Eretz Yisrael, "the land of Israel." And the first Hebrew, the patriarch Abraham, may have understood God, at least on paper (or papyrus), to have included this narrow strip of territory in his promised domain.

    But in reality, the Gaza Strip and the coastal towns to its north, for most of the years between, say, 1250 B.C. and 135 A.D. - the era in which the Jews lived in and often ruled the land of Israel - eluded firm Israelite or Judean control and, indeed, Jewish habitation. It is not even clear that the great Hebrew kings David and Solomon, under whom the kingdom reached its vastest expanse, ever directly controlled the Gaza area.

    The Hebrew tribes that crossed the Jordan River and pushed into the Holy Land in the 13th and 12th centuries B.C. settled and established their rule along its hilly central spine, between Ishtamua (present-day Samua), Hebron and Shechem (present-day Nablus). This stretch, with Jerusalem at its center, comprises the area that the Bible and many Israelis now refer to as Judea and Samaria, and the rest of the world calls the West Bank. This is the historical heartland of the Jewish people - and of course today it is largely populated by Arabs, who claim it as their own and are demanding that Israel evacuate it.

    By contrast, the coastal strip to the west, from Rafah north through Gaza to Caesarea, was the land of the strangers, the Gentiles. Paradoxically, Tel Aviv, that ultimate Israeli-Jewish city, serves as the hub of this coastline today, a city of the plain par excellence.

    Thus in a spiritual sense, history served up a terrible irony at the start of the Zionist enterprise. Wishing to return to Shiloh and Bethel, Jerusalem and Hebron, the Jews immigrating to Palestine found its hilly core heavily populated by Arabs. So the early settlers put down roots in the thinly populated coastal plain and interior lowlands (the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys), where land was available and relatively cheap.

    Then, in the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, the Jews established their state in those same lowlands, while Judea and Samaria were occupied by the Jordanian Army, which resisted Israeli takeover. Thus history was reversed: the reborn Jewish state sprang up precisely in those areas that millenniums earlier had been the domain of the Gentiles.

    The Gaza Strip was the exception. It was the only part of the old Gentile coastal plain that was saved for the Arabs, by the Egyptian Army. It changed hands, of course, in 1967 (along with the West Bank); but with the Israeli withdrawal, it will regain a long tradition of evading Jewish control.

    In antiquity, Gaza was part of Biblical Pleshet or Philistia - the domain of the Philistines, a non-Semitic "sea people" hailing from the Greek isles who probably invaded and settled along the coast in the 12th century B.C. (more or less simultaneous with the arrival in the Holy Land of the Hebrews from the east).

    From their towns of Gaza, Ashkelon and Jaffa, the Philistines controlled the coastal plain from 1150 B.C. to 586 B.C., and intermittently challenged Jewish rule over the inland hill country. It was in these forays eastward that the Philistines lost their champion, Goliath, to young David’s pebble and, in turn, slew King Saul and his son Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, displaying their heads on the walls of Beit Shean, in the Jordan Valley.

    Philistia was conquered (along with Judea) by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and the Philistines were exiled and vanished from history. In the second century A.D., after having quashed a Jewish revolt, the Roman rulers renamed the land of Israel - in order to de-Judaize it - Palestina (a derivative of Philistia). They thus gave the Arabs, who were to arrive on the scene five centuries later, the name they were to adopt. In this nominal sense, there is justice in the Palestinian Arabs now gaining possession of ancient Philistia.

    Of course, these historical details are of little interest to the Islamic fundamentalists, who, by most accounts, enjoy majority support in the Gaza Strip. For them, history begins with the conquests of Muhammad and his caliphs in the seventh century. According to Koranic law, all the land they conquered (including not only today’s Palestine but also Spain and Portugal) became inalienable Islamic territory. Or as Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, said recently, the fundamentalists seek to control not just the Gaza Strip and the West Bank; as he put it, "All of Palestine is our land."

    Indeed, probably most Arabs would like to "de-Judaize" all of Palestine, and many, no doubt, see the Gaza evacuation as a first step. But that remains a distant dream. Gaza may be reverting to "Gentile" rule, but whether the West Bank - in which lie the true historical roots of the Jewish people - will do so also is another, and far more painful, question.

  7. Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, 2004,
    Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel
    From an Amazon "Spotlight" review (emphasis added):
    “Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is that
    it draws almost entirely on Israeli sources in Hebrew,
    rather than
    the self-censoring and often apologetic
    English-language press
    which attempts to put as good a light on things as possible,

    largely for the benefit of the diaspora.”

  8. Israel Shahak, 1994,
    Jewish History, Jewish Religion
    From the Booklist review:
    “Shahak, who came to Israel in 1945 after surviving the concentration camp in Belsen during the Holocaust, contends that the potential for Israel’s right-wing Jewish religious movements to seize power represents a threat to the peace of Israel and to the Zionist movement.”

  9. Warren Bass, 2005-07-17 Washington Post,
    Unsettled in Gaza
    From the article:
    “For the first two decades after Israel won the West Bank and Gaza during the Six Day War of 1967,
    a relatively quiescent Palestinian population
    made Israeli rule largely cost-free.
    Two intifadas,
    the worst spree of terrorism in Israel’s history and
    a dead-end peace process have changed all that.”

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