Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance on Muslim Cemetary; ethnic
cleansing of Palestinians
(1) Price Tag: Jewish Terror to stop evacuations - Roy Tov
(2) Wiesenthal Center given approval to build Museum of Tolerance on
Muslim Cemetary; Israel rebuts UNESCO
(3) Architects of Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance threaten to quit, over
nagging by Wiesenthal Center
(4) Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to make space for Jewish immigrants
- Mazin Qumsiyeh
(5) Yosef Weitz: "We will not live here with Arabs"
(6) Muslim student protesters found guilty of disrupting speech by
(1) Price Tag: Jewish Terror to stop evacuations - Roy Tov
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2011 08:18:33 -0700 From: "Roy Tov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jewish Terror Hits Tuba
Jewish Terror Hits Tuba
On a Jewish terrorist attack at the heart of the Zionist stronghold
A few days ago, I published The Palestinian Error, an article where I
claimed it would be an error for the Palestinians to begin a new
negotiation process with Israel since Israel had proved time and again
being a “red-negotiator” (see that article for the definition). Not
surprisingly, I got no comments on that; this type of arguments is
Today, October 3, 2011, my readers can see in real life what I meant.
Yesterday night, a Jewish terrorist attack was conducted on the mosque
of Tuba-Zangariyye, a Bedouin village between Safed and the Golan Heights.
One of three mosques in the village was set on fire. The entire interior
of the mosque went up in flames, causing heavy damage including to holy
books. Graffiti with the words “price tag” was found on the wall of the
“It was a criminal act by bandits, it could have happened everywhere,”
many Zionists are probably claiming, using a Muscovite favorite term to
define the perpetrators. Israel excels in excuses for its crimes.
Unluckily for them, this time the crime was signed: “Price Tag.”
Reluctantly, Zionist politicians were quick to issue condemns.
The term “Price Tag Policy” became public in July 2008, when settler
Itay Zar from "Havat Gilad" referred to the policy as such: "Whenever an
evacuation (of settlers) is carried out - whether it is a bus, a trailer
or a small outpost - we will respond." It refers to illegal actions
carried out by radical right-winged Israeli activists and settlers. The
actions of these Jewish hooligans include demonstrations, blocking of
roads, clashes with Israeli security forces, throwing rocks at
Palestinian cars, torching of Palestinian fields and orchards, and the
destruction and uprooting of trees belonging to Palestinians. The last
is very important since according to certain Ottoman Laws still valid in
Israel, trees can be used to show ownership of land.
One of the worst attacks by Price Tag took place in 2009, when a mosque
was burned in Yasuf, a village located in the West Bank. Graffiti was
sprayed on the building: "Prepare for the price tag."
The new attack took place in Tuba-Zangariyye, which is in the Galilee
and thus enjoys a completely different status. But before expanding on
that, let’s look a bit deeper into “Price Tag.”
Following Rabin’s Assassination, the Israeli public found out all
organizations in Israel were plagued with political police (politruks)
officers, often placed there as Shin Beth moles. One of these crawling
creatures was positioned then in the Bar Ilan University and convinced
Rabin’s assassin to perpetrate his hideous crime. “Agent Champagne” (the
operational code of Avishai Raviv) was part of “HaAgaf Hayehudi” (The
Jewish Department) of the Shin Beth, as it was disclosed in the
subsequent trial of Yigal Amir, the assassin. This is important to this
article because it means that Price Tag is also infiltrated, especially
when the names of several key members are well-known.
It is improbable that the Shin Beth didn’t know about the Price Tag
action in Tuba beforehand. The issue is simple; the public flowing into
organizations like Price Tag is the same kind of people attracted into
becoming Shin Beth agents: ultra-nationalistic, Jewish-supremacists. It
isn’t only that Price Tag is infiltrated; most probably several of its
members are Shin Beth officers in their daily life. There is a real
possibility that Shin Beth officers found a gap in the security of the
mosque and informed their Price Tag friends on how to perpetrate the
crime without being detected.
In any case that fact that so much time after the beginning of its reign
of terror, Price Tag is still well and flourishing, indicates they enjoy
of a silent support of the Israeli Administration, despite public
condemns. (“Bad boys! Bad Boys!” politicians shout on the media but keep
silently providing them with military training and weapons.)
On Bedouins, Palestinians and Israel
The location of this last attack was surprising: it was within the Green
Line and very close to Safed, where the Northern Command of the IDF is
located. Moreover, this is a Bedouin village, rendering the attack a
completely different political value. Tuba and Zangariyye were two
villages when they were conquered in 1948 by the Palmach troops of the
Haganah during Operation Yiftach. Unlike other similar villages in the
area, its denizens decided to stay and collaborate with the Zionists.
Bedouins born within the Green Line are citizens of Israel. Unlike
Jewish citizens they are not forced to enroll to the IDF, but most of
them volunteer. In The Cross of Bethlehem I explained that in further
detail; Israel defines the rights and debts of a citizen toward the
state according to his – or her – ethnic group. Many Bedouins volunteer
to the IDF, but then – unlike the Druze – they are kept within one unit.
The unit is called the Desert Rangers Battalion (Gdud Siur Midbari)
which is part of the Givati Infantry Brigade. Often called the
“Minorities Unit,” it includes also Circassian and even a few
Palestinian soldiers. All of them must volunteer to the IDF. These
soldiers serve mainly as trackers and pathfinders, and often are
attached ad hoc to other military units. The point is that they are
heavily monitored and kept away from strategic units and issues. They
are not trusted.
Beneath the formal acceptance of Bedouins as citizens, they are treated
badly. Last time this reached the headlines was on August 28, 2010, when
minor events regarding unrecognized structures led to clashes between
Bedouins in the Negev and the Israeli Police. But also when not in the
headlines, their lives aren’t easy. The villages of Tuba and Zangariyye
were consolidated into a local council by the Israeli Ministry of
Interior. They are not allowed to vote for a mayor; the last is imposed
by the ministry. Unsurprisingly, the mayor is not a local Bedouin but an
Israeli general, Tzvika Fogel is his name.
Thus we have a small village of Bedouins in the Galilee which is loyal
to the State of Israel to the extent of sending its sons to die for it
(Bedouins and Druze soldiers experience among the highest rate of
casualties in the IDF). They are not allowed to run their affairs by
themselves, they do not enjoy the same facilities and services an
Israeli citizen in nearby Safed would enjoy, and atop all this they are
being brutally targeted by groups closed to Israel’s security services.
If Israel doesn’t trust, and mistreats such loyal citizens, what can the
Palestinians expect to achieve in a negotiation process?
We won’t see the words “Jewish Terror” mentioned in the mainstream media
towards the perpetrators of this attack, despite this being the same
type of activity that justifies the frequent denomination of a very
popular religion as “terrorist” by the same media. It seems
burning-Korans Jews are acceptable citizens in Israel. What would happen
if a Muslim would burn a Torah scroll in a New York Synagogue? Would
then the media then accept the event as placidly as it accepts the Price
Tag terror events?
What’s the price tag for getting such a preferential media treatment?
Mr. Rothschild, could you please inform us?
(2) Wiesenthal Center given approval to build Museum of Tolerance on
Muslim Cemetary; Israel rebuts UNESCO
From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<email@example.com> Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2011
The deadline for replies has been extended until October 14. Please let
us know if you would like to be a part of this effort
Please find attached a letter from concerned archaeologists urging a
stop to construction on the ancient Mamilla Muslim cemetery in
Jerusalem. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) has been
given final approval to build a “Center for Human Dignity - Museum of
Tolerance” on part of the cemetery. Excavations on the Museum site in
preparation for the construction have resulted in the undignified
removal of thousands of human remains, and have been the source of much
opposition and controversy in Israel, the Palestinian Territory, and
around the world. Needless to say, the excavation is at the same time
doing great harm to the many archaeological artifacts at this ancient
place of rest.
Since 2010, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York,
together with the Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery, has
been representing a group of individuals whose ancestors are buried in
the cemetery. We have submitted a Petition for urgent action to several
United Nations officials and organizations, and have continued to press
for action on this matter. So far, Israel has failed to respond to
inquiries from UNESCO and UN Special Rapporteurs about our Petition.
There has, nevertheless, been much support from individuals and groups
world-wide, and diplomats have taken up the issue in the UN General
Assembly and other UN forums. Some 10,000 individuals have signed a
public petition echoing the demands of the Petition. It is now up to
people of conscience worldwide to raise their voices in opposition to
this and other projects planned on the cemetery in order to make clear
that these actions are unacceptable in this context, as they would be
People are generally appalled that a well-known cemetery, especially one
of such magnitude and historical importance, is not respected. As
archaeologists, you are also in a unique position to attest to the harm
that such a project and the excavations that preceded it are doing to
this major cultural heritage site, and to the historical and
archaeological record it contains, and to urge those in the position to
do so to respect and preserve it. We appeal to you to join your
colleagues in the archaeological profession by adding your name to this
letter. CCR will submit the letter to the addressees in mid-October.
CCR, together with ARCH, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the
preservation of cultural heritage around the world, will then publicize
the letter through press releases, email listservs, and to relevant UN
officials. Since we may publish the letter as an advertisement in major
newspapers, your signature will be made public, unless you explicitly
ask that it remains confidential to all but the addressees of the
Education and Outreach Associate
Center for Constitutional Rights
New York, U.S.A.
Dr. Maryvelma O’Neil
Dr. Lamya L. Khalidi
Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery
Institución Milá Y Fontanals (IMF)
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)Barcelona, Spain
(3) Architects of Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance threaten to quit, over
nagging by Wiesenthal Center
October 4, 2011
Architects of Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance threaten to quit
Moves two weeks before construction at contentious site is set to begin.
By Nir Hasson and Noam Dvir
The architects who designed the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem have
threatened to resign, two weeks before construction is scheduled to begin.
According to a municipal official, the architects - Bracha and Michael
Chyutin – threatened to resign Monday over differences with the Los
Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which sponsored and financed the
"The [Wiesenthal] Center drove the architects crazy. It asked for daily
briefings and nagged them to death," the official said.
Municipal sources said city engineer Shlomo Eshkol was making efforts to
persuade the architects to reconsider.
The company running the project, Tafnit Wind, also quit about a month
ago, following differences of opinion with the Wiesenthal Center.
Chyutin Architects was hired to design the museum about a year ago,
after the project's first architect, American architect Frank Gehry,
resigned. Chyutin Architects signed a contract leaving the architectural
copyrights for the plan in the hands of the Wiesenthal Center.
The Wiesenthal Center must now decide whether to forge ahead with
construction based on the existing plans, hire another Israeli or
foreign architect, or abandon the project altogether.
In the past, the museum site - which is partly situated on a
1,000-year-old Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem's Mamilla area - has been
criticized as an inappropriate location for the museum. Arab groups and
an Islamic organization for the preservation of Islamic trust property
took legal steps against the construction, which they said would
severely damage Muslim graves.
The project has also been blasted for its grandiose design.
After prolonged litigation, the High Court of Justice finally agreed to
allow the construction some three years ago. But the project, whose cost
was estimated at a quarter of a billion dollars, was held up after
contributions came to a halt following the world economic crisis.
The Wiesenthal Center said the new plan designed by the Chyutins was
intended to reflect "the current global economic situation," costing
only $100 million.
The structure is expected to feature exhibition spaces, an education
center, a theater, an auditorium, offices, a restaurant and gift shop.
The museum's architects have described the project as an "iconic
structure reflecting transparency and openness [which] creates a visual
interest from near and far ... a jewel in the Jerusalem skyline."
According to the Wiesenthal Center, "The bodies and authorities involved
[in the project] share the vision of establishing the museum and are
acting to implement it."
SWC Museum Corp, which is charged with erecting the structure, "will
continue to act vigorously with the various partners to carry out this
vision and will settle the differences with the architects, but not in
the media or Internet," the Wiesenthal Center said.
The Chyutins were not available for comment by press time.
(4) Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to make space for Jewish immigrants
- Mazin Qumsiyeh
From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2011
From: If Americans Knew
Ethnic cleansing has been an integral part of the Palestinian tragedy
from the earliest days of the Partition of Palestine and the creation of
October marks the anniversaries of 10 massacres of Palestinian villagers
in 1948, as well as a massacre carried out by a unit led by Ariel Sharon
in 1953 and another in 1956 in which Israeli border police killed 48,
including 6 women (one of them pregnant) and 23 children aged 8–17.
To commemorate these dates, we ask you to help fight the ethnic
cleansing of Palestinians by sharing the booklet "Palestinian Right to
Return and Repatriation," by Mazin Qumsiyeh, which details the plight of
Palestinian refugees and lists the many massacres Palestinians suffered
during the creation of Israel.
Please order copies to give out to your neighbors, friends, coworkers or
strangers, on your campuses, in your congregations, on the street, at a
public event or at a private gathering. See our website for suggestions
on getting the word out.
In doing so, perhaps we can help ensure the dead are not erased from
history – and bring justice for the survivors a step closer.
Booklet: Palestinian Refugees Right to Return and Repatriation
Suggested Donation: $1/booklet + USPS postage
(If you can't distribute these yourself, your tax-deductible donations
can cover the cost for students and others who can!)
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES RIGHT TO RETURN AND REPATRIATION
‘Palestinian Refugees Right to Return and Repatriation’ Booklet
Size: 8.5x5.5 Booklet
Status: In Stock; Usually Ships in 1-2 Weeks
In 1948, 804,767 Palestinian men, women, and children were forced to
flee their homes. This photograph shows a train of Palestinians who were
soon to become lifelong refugees.
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Expert on Palestinian refugee rights
Excerpted from Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the
Mazin Qumsiyeh, an Associate Professor at Yale University School of
Medicine, is widely acknowledged as one of the top experts on
Palestinian refugee rights. He is author of Sharing the Land of Canaan:
a vision based on human rights for Israelis and Palestinians, which
explores the history and current efforts towards creating a pluralistic
democracy in Israel/Palestine (book in press by Pluto).
“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we
came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”
- Golda Meir statement to the Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969. ...
Israel’s military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank (including East
Jerusalem) is the most persistent military occupation on earth. But this
35-year-old occupation is only the second stage in the colonization of
the land of Canaan. The first stage, between 1947-1949, generated the
largest population of refugees still unsettled since World War Two, with
the longest displacement in modern history. Until recently, two
competing accounts of this catastrophic event existed. The first
version, advocated by Israeli leaders, holds that the native
Palestinians left present day Israel of their own free will or through
the encouragement of their leaders. This version even indicates that
Israeli leaders desired the Palestinian people to stay within Israel’s
borders. The second version, reported by the Palestinian refugees
themselves, is that they were ethnically cleansed before, during and
after the 1948 war. In their lexicon, the expulsion became known as
Al-Naqba (the Catastrophe) and is the most traumatic event in
Palestinian recorded history. More recently, Israeli historians, such as
Ilan Pappé, Benny Morris, Zeev Sternhall, Avi Shlaim, Simha Flapan, and
Tom Segev, have debunked the established Israeli myths of Israel’s
creation. Using Israeli archives and declassified material, they were
able to discover much of the hidden history of Zionism and they reveal a
factual account of the establishment of Israel.
For example, after opening the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) archives, a
cable was discovered dated October 31, 1948, signed by Major General
Carmel and addressed to all the division and district commanders under
his command. In that cable he stated, “Do all you can to immediately and
quickly purge the conquered territories of all hostile elements in
accordance with the orders issued. The residents should be helped to
leave the areas that have been conquered.” A detailed analysis of such
declassified material is provided by Nur Masalha in his book Expulsion
of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political
Yitzhak Rabin, the future Prime Minister and Noble Prize winner, wrote
in his diary soon after Lydda’s and Ramla’s occupation:
After attacking Lydda and then Ramla...What would they do with the
50,000 civilians living in the two cities...Not even Ben-Gurion could
offer a solution...and during the discussion at operation headquarters,
he [Ben-Gurion] remained silent, as was his habit in such situations.
Clearly, we could not leave hostile and armed populace in our rear,
where it could endanger the supply route [to the troops who were]
advancing eastward...Ben-Gurion would repeat the question: “What is to
be done with the population?,” waving his hand in a gesture which said:
“Drive them out!.” ‘Driving out’ is a term with a harsh ring...
Psychologically, this was one of the most difficult actions we undertook.2
More recently, even Israelis acknowledge this history, though many still
refuse to address its consequences or the need to redress the injustice.
Benny Morris, for example, recognizes the forced removal of Palestinians
but opposes giving those refugees and their descendants the right of return.
Palestinian officials did not demand right of return during the Oslo
peace negotiations, even though all segments of the Palestinian people
continue to demand the implementation of this right. Understanding this
call for the right of return, the origin of the problem and potential
viable solutions is thus essential to any lasting peace.
The estimated population of Palestine in 1893, under the Ottoman Empire,
was 469,000 (98%) Arabs, composed of a mixture of Muslims and
Christians, and 10,000 (2%) Jews. In 1897, the population of Arabs was
563,000 and of Jews was 21,500, slightly shifting the population
proportions to 96% and 4% respectively. In 1912, the estimated
population of Palestine was 525,000 (93%) Arabs and 40,000 (6%) Jews. By
1920, the population of Arabs was 542,000 (90%) and of Jews was 61,000
(10%).3 Thus, in 23 years, only a small number of European Jews had
chosen to come live in Palestine.
Things changed dramatically in the 1920s. Following World War I, the
victorious British took Palestine over from the Ottomans and at the
urging of British Zionists, proceeded to fulfill their 100-year-old
program to bring Jews to create a colony for British interests. In the
16 years after 1920, Jewish immigrants flooded into Palestine, and by
1936, 385,400 Jews (27.8% of the population) were living among 983,200
Arabs.4 Thus, in approximately one generation (40 years), the population
of Jews in Palestine increased from 2% to 28% due to the synergy of the
Zionist program and anti-Jewish actions in Europe.
At the same time that this Jewish ? Zionist population of Palestine was
increasing, the indigenous Arab farming class (Fellahin) was being
increasingly dispossessed by a system of land registration that had
begun under the Ottomans and was now continuing under the British. These
two factors led to a widespread Arab revolt in 1936, which was brutally
put down by the British. While this revolt did cause a temporary decline
in Zionist immigration, its long term consequence was to devastate the
nascent political organization that had begun among the Palestinian
population, eliminating much of its leadership and weakening the
As violence between Zionist immigrants and the indigenous Palestinian
population, and by both groups against the occupying British, continued
to escalate during and following World War II, the United Nations, under
pressure from the United States (under pressure from its own domestic
Zionist lobby), proposed a partition plan in which Palestine would be
divided between the two groups. Under this plan 55 percent of hereditary
Palestine was to be given to a Jewish state, despite the fact that this
largely immigrant group still consisted of only 30 percent of the
population and owned under seven percent of the land. The war that
resulted in 1948 is called “the War of Independence” by Israel, and
“Al-Naqba” — The Catastrophe — by Palestinians, and resulted in a
massive refugee crisis. What is less widely known is that the
dispossession of the Palestinian population actually started in the
months before the war began. And while, as we have stated, some
Palestinian dispossession had begun under the Ottoman occupation, the
bulk of the dispossession, which continues to the present, started in
1947. Preparations for this cleansing began immediately after WWII,
intensified in late 1947 following the UN partition plan and launched
into full onslaught months before May 1948, and well before Arab Armies
were involved.4,5 According to Morris, the waves of refugees originated
in these periods.5
1.From immediately after the partition resolution of November 29, 1947
until March 1948.
2.From the onset of Plan Dalet in April 1948 until June 11, 1948 (the
first truce). The declaration of statehood on May 15, 1948, and
subsequent entry of so-called Arab armies was inconsequential in the
drive as will be discussed below.
3.From July 9, 1948 (the start of Israeli operations labeled Dani and
Dekel that broke the truce) until the end of the second truce (October
4.From October 15, 1948 (breaking of the truce by Israel’s Operation
Hiram) to late November 1948.
5.From November 1948 until 1949 (Israel emptying of villages such as
Al-Faluja and Iraq Al-Manshiya, for example, occurred after the
armistice was signed).
Benny Morris lists 369 Palestinian villages and towns (localities)
ethnically cleansed during these periods. Walid Khalidi and a team of
Palestinian researchers list 418 villages and towns. According to
research by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta6 531 localities (villages and towns)
where Palestinians lived were ethnically cleansed between 1947 and 1950.
The disparity in numbers is due to researchers differing as to what
constitutes a village or a locality. While sometimes researchers count
two villages in one area separately, some researchers combine the two
villages into one entity. But a more significant source of the
discrepancy in numbers is the exclusion by Morris of tribal localities
with no definitive village boundaries. Bedouin tribes are well known to
reside and graze their herds in a certain area even though they may have
had movable dwellings. Abu Sitta included tribal lands because these
tribes constituted a large segment of the refugees (about 100,000) and
these tribes did have fixed territorial areas well known to any
traveler. For the purposes of this discussion we will use Abu Sitta’s
numbers since he lists these localities in detail and with meticulous
analysis with each locality properly charted on a map.
The total inhabitants removed from these localities were estimated
previously at 750,000 and they represented 80% of the Palestinian people
living in the land that became Israel. Numbers are easily calculated
from village statistics conducted by the British in 1944-1945 and
upgrading it to 1948-1949 by considering the known population growth
rates per year (British Mandate measured: 3.8% for Muslims, 2% for
Christians). By including the Bedouins of Beer Sheba, Abu Sitta
calculated the actual number of refugees created (excluding internal
refugees) to be 804,767 among a population of about one million that
inhabited the area that became Israel by 1949. The land cultivated and
used by these depopulated Palestinian villagers was the land that was to
make today’s Israel. After the war, remaining lands owned by the
Palestinians was 7% (1,474,169 dunums, a dunum is about a quarter of an
acre), while Jewish owned or controlled lands went from 8% (1,682,000
dunums) to 85%. This land, which was allocated for use by Jews only,
made the bulk of the “land of Israel.”7
Benny Morris published three books detailing the reasons for the Israeli
? Palestinian conflict and the core issue the displacement of the
Palestinians played in creating the present state of Israel8:
Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli
Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War (1993)
The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1948 (1987)
Jews and Arabs in Palestine ? Israel, 1936-1956 (2000)
Based on declassified and newly opened archives from Israeli government
and military sources, these books detail the removal of many
Palestinians villages to create room for the Jewish State and its intent
to import millions of Jews.
According to Morris and other Israeli historians, the reasons
Palestinians left these localities were:
1.Expulsion by Zionist ? Jewish forces - 122 localities
2.Military assault by Zionist ? Jewish forces - 270 localities
3.Fear of Zionist ? Jewish attack, or of being caught in the fighting,
influence of the fall of neighboring town, and psychological warfare -
4.Abandonment on Arab orders - 6 localities
5.Unknown - 34 localities
213 Palestinian villages and towns (population 413,794, 52% of the
refugees) were “cleansed” while under the “protection” of the British
mandate; that is before the start of the Arab-Israeli war on May 15,
1948. 264 localities with 339,272 inhabitants (42%) were vacated during
1948 War. After signing the Armistice Agreements, 54 localities were
ethnically cleansed (52,001 people or 6% of refugees).
Usually, the cleansing (“Nikayon,” a word used frequently in Israeli
military communications at the time) was initiated by massacres. Plan
Dalet was started to conquer the area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and
it commenced in earnest following the massacre of Deir Yassin on April
9, 1948. This was followed by several other massacres, which terrorized
the Palestinians into leaving. Palestinians were terrorized by 33
massacres in total: Al Abbasiyya (4 May ‘48), Abu Shusha (14 May ‘48),
Ayn az Zaytun (2 May ‘48), Balad ash Sheikh (25 April ‘48), Bayt Daras
(11 May ‘48), Beer Sheba (21 Oct ‘48), Burayr (12 May ‘48), Al Dawayima
(29 Oct ‘48), Deir Yassin (9 April ‘48), Eilaboun (29 Oct ‘48), Haifa
(21 April ‘48), Hawsha (15 April ‘48), Husayniyya (21 April ‘48), Ijzim
(24 July ‘48), Isdud (28 Oct ‘48), Jish (29 Oct ‘48), Al Kabri (21 May
‘48), Al Khisas (18 Dec ‘48), Khubbayza (12 May ‘48), Lydda (10 July
‘48), Majd al Kurum (29 October ‘48), Mannsurat al Khayt (18 Jan ‘48),
Khirbet, Nasir ad Din (12 April ‘48), Qazaza (9 July ‘48), Qisarya (15
Feb ‘48), Sa’sa (30 Oct ‘48), Safsaf (29 Oct ‘48), Saliha (30 Oct ‘48),
Arab al Samniyya (30 Oct ‘48), Al Tantoura (21 May ‘48), Al Tira (16
July ‘48), Al Wa’ra al-Sawda (18 April ‘48), Wadi ‘Ara (27 Feb ‘48).
Over half of these crimes were committed while the area was still under
British mandate and presumed protection. Deir Yassin became the most
famous massacre simply because of its ferocity and the fact that over 20
villagers were taken to a nearby Jewish settlement, paraded as game, and
then killed to incite panic among the Palestinian natives. Menahem
Begin, who later became a Prime Minister of Israel, gloated about the
massacre in his book about this period: “The legend in Deir Yassin
helped us in particular in the saving of Tiberia and the conquest of
Haifa...All the Jewish forces proceeded to advance through Haifa like a
knife through butter. The Arabs began fleeing in panic, shouting Deir
Yassin...Arabs throughout the country were seized by limitless panic and
started to flee for their lives.”9
These were not acts of horror that occurred during combat (and there
were many) but were instead a premeditated plan to cleanse and terrorize
the indigenous Palestinian population. In December 20, 1940 Joseph
Weitz, responsible for Jewish colonization, a senior Zionist official,
and respected member of Ben Gurion’s inner circle wrote in his diary:
...It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both
peoples...If the Arabs leave it, the country will become wide and
spacious for us...The only solution is a Land of Israel, at least a
western land of Israel [i.e. Palestine since Transjordan is the eastern
portion], without Arabs. There is no room here for compromises...There
is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring
countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for Bethlehem,
Nazareth, and the old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one
tribe. The transfer must be directed at Iraq, Syria, and even
Transjordan. For this goal funds will be found...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.10
Joseph Weitz became chair of the Land and Forest department of the
Jewish National Fund. In 1950 he wrote, “The struggle for the redemption
of the land means...the liberation of the land from the hand of the
stranger, from the chains of wilderness; the struggle for its conquest
by settlement, and...the redemption of the settler, both as a human
being and as a Jew, through his deep attachment to the soil he tills.”11
Joseph Weitz’s mentor and leader was Ben Gurion, who became Israel’s
first prime minister. Historians have written extensively about Ben
Gurion’s philosophy and statements regarding the non-Jewish residents in
the “Promised Land.” Ben Gurion encouraged his followers to be
circumspect about openly advocating transfer, because this could then be
used as an argument to limit Jewish immigration due to limited space. We
find him stating things like this in 1938:
With compulsory transfer we [would] have vast areas...I support
compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it. But compulsory
transfer could only be carried out by England...Had its implementation
been dependent merely on our proposal, I would have proposed; but this
would be dangerous to propose when the British government has
disassociated itself from compulsory transfer...But this question should
not be removed from the agenda because it is a central question. There
are two issues here: 1) sovereignty and 2) the removal of a certain
number of Arabs, and we must insist on both of them.12
Here is a testimony of an Israeli soldier who participated in the
massacre at al Duwayima Village, on October 29, 1948:
[They] killed between 80 to 100 Arabs, women and children. To kill the
children they fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one house
without corpses. The men and women of the villages were pushed into
houses without food or water. Then the saboteurs came to dynamite the
houses. One commander ordered a soldier to bring two women into a house
he was about to blow up... Another soldier prided himself upon having
raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death. Another Arab woman
with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of days,
and then they shot her and the baby. Educated and well-mannered
commanders who were considered ‘good guys’...became base murderers, and
this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and
extermination. The fewer the Arabs who remained, the better.13
Morris cites similar testimonies.14 A village elder (Mukhtar) is cited
as handing a list of 580 killed to the Jordanian governor of Hebron at
the time. Morris details the life of Yosef Nachmani, a high-ranking
member of the underground Haganah forces, the precursor to Israeli Army.
Nachmani was also director of the offices of the Jewish National Fund in
Tiberias. Nachmani was responsible for settling land throughout the
Galilee and Jezreel Valley regions. At first, he supported the
Palestinian transfer, but later in his life he underwent a profound
change. One entry in Nachmani’s journal Morris translates, “The acts of
cruelty committed by our soldiers. After they went into Safsaf, the
village and its people raised a white flag. They separated the men from
the women, tied the hands of some 50 to 60 peasants and shot and killed
them, burying them in a single hole. They also raped a number of the
women from the village...In Salha, which raised a white flag, they
carried out a real massacre, killing men and women, about 60 to 70
people. Where did they find such a degree of cruelty like that of the
Nazis? They learned from them.”
Recently released Red Crescent documents also strongly suggest that the
first time biological warfare was used was in Palestine in 1948, when
diseases were spread in Haifa and ‘Akka (Acre).15
Morris, while providing ample evidence for how the ethnic cleansing
happened, still contended that it was not part of a grand scheme of
expulsion. His critics argued that this conclusion is in direct
contradiction to the incredible wealth of data that he presents. Morris
defended his thesis thus:
Certainly Ben-Gurion wanted as few Arabs as possible to remain in
Israel. Certainly the majority of the country’s political and military
leaders were happy to see the Arabs go. Certainly, many officers and
officials did what they could to facilitate departure, including
occasional expulsions (though, as I pointed out in Birth, in most towns
and villages the Haganah ? IDF had no need to issue expulsion orders as
the inhabitants fled before the Jewish troops reached the site; the
inhabitants usually fled with the approach of the advancing Jewish
column or when the first mortar bombs began to hit their homes). But
between what most people want and policy, there is, and was then, a line
In a more recent writing, Morris stated: “Above all, let me reiterate,
the refugee problem was caused by attacks by Jewish forces on Arab
villages and towns and by the inhabitants’ fear of such attacks,
compounded by expulsions, atrocities, and rumors of atrocities — and by
the crucial Israeli Cabinet decision in June 1948 to bar a refugee
Thus, the distinction as to whether a master plan of expulsion existed
or not was as lost to the Palestinian victims as the distinction as to
whether Hitler had a master plan for extermination of European Jewry had
on its victims. ...
Count Folke Bernadotte, former vice chairman of the Swedish Red Cross
successfully challenged Himmler’s plan to deport 20,000 Swedish Jews to
concentration camps during World War II. After WWII he was appointed
Special U.N. Mediator to the Middle East. Bernadotte stated, “It would
be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these
innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to
their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine.”29
For this outspoken support of basic human rights, Zionists assassinated
Bernadotte in Jerusalem September 17, 1948. The head of the Stern
terrorist gang, Nathan Friedman-Yellin, was sentenced to five years
imprisonment for the murder but was quickly pardoned and in 1950 was
elected to the Israeli Knesset. In the same year, the Knesset introduced
laws to ensure refugees are not allowed to return. A massive media
campaign was then launched to ensure that the world did not get the real
story about those unfortunate victims of war and repression. The words
of Nathan Chofshi, 40 years ago, remain true today:
We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we
have to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of
being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil
we committed...we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify
The refugees themselves believed that eventually they would return to
their homes and villages in what became Israel and would live at peace
with their neighbors. Here is how one refugee described his feelings:
Our struggle, as we have proved, has not been merely to live in comfort,
to pursue happiness, to acquire purpose, to create, to sing, to make
love; it has not been merely to enrich our culture, to contribute to
civilization, to leave our imprint in history. But it has been a
struggle for the right to do it in Palestine. In the past we were
repeatedly offered, were we not, the choice of resettlement elsewhere.
More than Palestine, Syria has an abundance of cultivable land to till;
Lebanon has more beautiful hills to build on; Australia a more developed
economy to benefit from; other parts of the world a more splendid red
carpet to welcome us on. But we opted to wait for a return to our
homeland, where we had lived, where we danced the dabke, played the oud,
where the men wore their checkered hattas and the women their
embroidered shirts, where the sun shone in the winter and the smell of
oranges permeated the air and the soul.31
In one survey in the West Bank, 74.9% of refugees stated that the just
solution must include return, 15.6% stated compensation and 6% stated
compensation and return. As for an acceptable solution, 46.2% said
return, 26.8% said compensation, and 18.2% stated improvement in status
of the camps. This is in the West Bank; in Lebanon and Jordan, a higher
percentage of people polled wanted to return to their homeland (surveys
cited in Dr. Adel Samareh ‘Al-Lajioun Al-Falastinyoun: Haq al-awda wa
istidkhal al-hazima29). Another survey showed that 98.7% of the refugees
(93% of among all Palestinians) said they would not accept compensation
as an alternative to return (the Israel ? Palestine Center for Research
and Information, August 2001, http:/ ? www.ipcri.org). Again, a vast
majority (96% to 2%) chose return to their homes and lands and not into
the new Palestinian state. Almost 80% of the refugees lack faith in the
ability of negotiations to produce positive results for them. Over 85%
of the general refugee population would agree to return even if it meant
living under Israeli sovereignty. Pessimism is higher among the older
generation, with 60% believing that they will not return to their native
lands, while in the general population among Palestinians only 23.7%
believe they will not return.
Many of the refugees are camped either along, or within a short distance
of, Israel’s borders in southern Lebanon, in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip, creating a major “infiltration” problem for Israel. For instance,
in the Gaza Strip, the population trebled from 80,000 in 1947 to nearly
240,000 at the end of the 1948 war. This created a massive humanitarian
problem for tens of thousands of destitute refugees crowded into this
small amount of land. In 1956, of the then 300,000 inhabitants of the
Gaza Strip, 215,000 were listed as refugees, occupying eight vast camps.
The Gaza Strip had nearly one-fourth of the total of about 900,000
refugees from historic Palestine, and has become the most densely
populated area on earth.
One of the main obstacles to providing protection to Palestinian
refugees is that the situation for them was not only unique in the sense
that new people established a new nation in their homeland, but that
they were then placed in a legal limbo. When the UN High Commission on
Refugees was established, one of its provisions called for exclusion of
refugees who receive protection under another UN agency. The great
powers (primarily Britain and the US), protecting Israel’s interests,
interpreted this as excluding Palestinian refugees since they were
receiving aid from UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works agency for
Palestinian Refugees). However, UNRWA, as its name and mandate clearly
designated, is a humanitarian organization and its mandate specifically
excluded providing protection. Thus, Palestinian refugees were put in
the awkward position of receiving humanitarian aid, but being excluded
from UN and International programs to provide protection, resettlement,
and other political guarantees that UNHCR is able to afford refugees
such as those in Afghanistan, Bosnia and elsewhere. The UN Commission on
Human Rights itself recognized this anomaly and stated in a report:
Such a result [lack of protection] is particularly disturbing as article
1D [of the UN 1951 Convention on Refugees] explicitly recognizes the
possibility that alternate forms of protection may fail for one reason
or another. The language of article 1D is clear beyond reasonable
dispute on this matter: ‘When such protection or assistance has ceased
for any reason, without the persons being definitively settled in
accordance with relevant resolutions adopted by the general Assembly of
the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the
benefit of this Convention’. There is no discernible reason to refrain
from implementing this inclusionary provision, which should have been
done decades ago.32
Similarly, the UN Commission on Human Rights appointed Special
Rapporteur reported finding Israel in violation of the principles and
bases of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories. With
respect to the plight of the refugees, the report reads:
The plight of Palestinian refugees in these territories has remained a
concern throughout the period of occupation. Most of these refugees were
made homeless as a consequence of the war of 1948, as well as the
simultaneous and subsequent confiscation of their land, properties and
homes, and large-scale demolition of their villages by Israel.
Currently, at least 1,353,547 Palestinian registered refugees and other
holders of the right of return (as well as to compensation and ? or
restitution) reside in the territories subject to this mandate [areas
occupied buy Israel in 1967]. The Special Rapporteur notes that the duty
holder, in the case of this right, is also the Occupying Power and bears
the main responsibility for the return of persons residing in the
occupied Palestinian territories, displaced as a result of the 1948 war,
those from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem displaced in the
war of 1967, and refugees from Gaza and elsewhere during and after the
hostilities of October 1973. The majority of these refugees still live
in 30 camps created after the 1948 war (8 in Gaza and 22 in the West
Bank, including Jerusalem).
The continuing violation of the right of return emerged as a special
concern during the Special Rapporteur’s visit. It is his observation
that it is increasingly a subject of both popular and political
discourse, including in the form of opinion polls, editorials and
petitions, reinforcing the claim to this right. Refugees feel that they
are the subjects of continuing violation while kept in limbo for
political reasons. Although the international community continues to
provide services for Palestinian refugees, they note that there is a
lack of adequate protection because they do not fall under the
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951. Israel bears the
primary responsibility for the implementation of the right of return,
but has not demonstrated willingness to implement it. However, it should
be noted that the plight of the Palestinian refugees has become the
subject of discourse in certain Israeli political and civil society
quarters. For instance, although he did not acknowledge responsibility,
in an October 1999 speech to the Knesset Prime Minister Barak expressed
regret for the suffering of the Palestinian people, including refugees.
It is observed, in particular, that the violation of this right grew
greater during this review period - as with every passing year - and as
the number of right holders grows, the values of their potential
compensation and restitution claims increase, and the political and
logistical aspects of the task become more complex and difficult.33
Indeed it is getting more complicated but not impossible. After all,
Palestinians have basic political and human rights that cannot be easily
Further, research not only shows that the right of the refugees is legal
but also possible. It is a myth that Israelis would have to be displaced
to allow for the return of the refugees. A study on the demography of
Israel34 shows that 78% of Israelis are living in 14 percent of Israel
and that the remaining 86% of the land in Israel is mostly land that
belongs to the refugees on which 22% of the Israelis live. However, 20%
live in city centers, which are mostly Palestinian such as, Beer Al
Saba’, Ashdod, Majdal, Asqalan, Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias and
Safad. Only 2% live in Kibbutzim. Thus, only 154,000 rural Jews control
17,325 square kilometers, which is the home and heritage of five million
Is there any logic to having 5,000 individuals on one square kilometer
in the Gaza Strip while any one of them could look over the barbed wire
and see his land practically empty? If all the Gaza refugees returned to
their homes in southern Palestine, no more than a tiny fraction of
Israeli Jews would be affected. If the refugees of Lebanon returned to
their homes in the Galilee, no more than one percent of Israeli Jews
would be affected. The total number of refugees from Gaza and Lebanon
equals the number of Russian immigrants who came to Israel in the 1990s
to live in the homes of these refugees. What right brings in Russian
Jews and what kind of peace deprives Palestinian refugees the right to
return home? Obviously, neither legal nor logistical objections are the
reason for withholding the implementation of the right to return. This
leaves only one objection, and it has to do with racist and apartheid
An overwhelming body of data clearly demonstrates how and why the
catastrophic situation of Palestinian refugees was created and
perpetuated by Zionist colonization and expansion. This history is now
even accepted by most leading Zionist intellectuals. The refusal to
remedy the situation remains anchored in racist and supremacist
insistence on the desire for a homogenous “Jewish state.” Research shows
that the right of refugees to return to their homes and lands is not
only legal and moral but also feasible. A lasting peace cannot be
achieved without giving the refugees the choice as sanctioned by basic
human rights and international laws and treaties. Of course, choice does
not mean every refugee and his or her descendents will return. Depending
on the compensation offered, this could vary from a minority to a
majority of refugees. Implementing the right of return will advance
peace because it will remove the major injustice done in the past 55
years. It may accelerate a positive trend of integration and evolution
of Israeli society into a pluralistic and democratic state.
1.Masalha, Nur, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’
in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 (Washington D.C.: Institute for
Palestine Studies, 1992).
2.Kurzman, Dan, Soldier of Peace: The Life of Yitzhak Rabin, 1922-1995,
(New York: HarperCollins, 1998), pp. 140-141.
3.McCarthy, Justin, The Population of Palestine, (New York: Columbia
University Press, 1980) p.10, quoting corrected Ottoman figures;
Clifford A. Wright, Facts and Fables: the Arab-Israeli Conflict (London
and New York: Kegan Paul International, 1989); Rashid Khalidi, ‘xxxx’ in
Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens (ed.) Blaming The Victims, (London
and New York: Verso Books, 2001)
4.Cohen, Michael J., The Origin and Evolution of the Arab-Zionist
Conflict, (Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1989) p. 90.
5.Morris, Benny, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem,
1947-1949, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
6.Abu Sitta, Salman, The Palestinian Nakba 1948, The Register of
Depopulated Localities in Palestine, (London: The Palestinian Return
7.Abu Sitta, The Palestinian Nakba 1948
8.Benny Morris, Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration,
Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War (Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1993); Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem,
1947-1948 (Cambridge Middle East Library, 1987 & 1989); Benny Morris,
Correcting a Mistake — Jews and Arabs in Palestine ? Israel, 1936-1956,
(Tel Aviv: Am Oved Publishers, 2000).
9.Begin, The Revolt: Story of the Irgun, (New York: Henry Shuman Inc.,
1951.); Also cited in Fawaz Turki, The Disinherited: Journal of A
Palestinian Exile, 2nd ed (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974), p. 20.
10.Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem 1947-1949, p.
27, and Masalha, Expulsion Of The Palestinians, pp. 131-132.
11.Weitz, Joseph, The Struggle for the land, p.6.
12.Masalha, Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 117.
13.Davar, 9 June 1979.
14.Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, p. 222
15.Abu Sitta, Salman, Al-Haya, 1 February 2003, Israel was the first to
develop and use biological warfare in the Middle East [in Arabic]
16.Morris, Benny, ‘Response to Finkelstein and Masalha’, Journal of
Palestine Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1 (1991), pp. 98-114.
17.Morris, Benny, ‘Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948’ in E. L.
Rogan and A. Schlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the
History of 1948, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 37- 59.
18.Weitz, Joseph, My Diary, Vol. III, p. 293.
19.Ha’aretz, 3 November 2000.
20.Ilan, Armitzur, The origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race: Arms,
Embargo, Military Power and Decision in the 1948 Palestine War, (New
York: New York University Press, 1996), p. 62.
21.Ben Gurion, David, IDF Archives, 121 ? 50 ? 172 as translated and
cited in Marwan Bishara, Palestine ? Israel: Peace or Apartheid,
(London: Zed Books, 2001).
22.Don Peretz, ‘The Arab Refugee Dilemma’, Foreign Affairs, Oct. 1954,
pp. 137-138; also cited in Fawaz Turki, The Disinherited: Journal of a
Palestinian Exile, 2nd ed (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974), pp.
23.Tom Segev, 1949: the First Israelis, translated by Arlen Neal
Weinstein (New York: The Free Press, 1986).
24.Sami Hadawi, Palestinian Rights and Losses in 1948 (London: Saqi
25.Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape: the Buried History of the Holy
Land Since 1948 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), p. 156.
26.Yoseph Elgazi in Zo Hadareh, July 30, 1975.
27.Israel Land Authority Report, Jerusalem 1962, quoted by Lehn p. 114.
28.Kol Ha’ir Weekly Magazine, July 26, 2001, in Hebrew, translation at
29.UN Doc Al 648, 1948
30.Jewish Newsletter, New York, 9 February 1959, cited in Erskine
Childers, ‘The Other Exodus’ in Spectator, London, 12 May 1961.
31.Turki, The Disinherited
32.United Nations Economic and Social Council “Report of the Human
Rights Inquiry Commission established pursuant to commission resolution
S-5 ? 1 of 19 October 2000” E ? CN.4 ? 2001 ? 12 published March 2001.
Available at http://www.badil.org/Press/2001/press167-01.htm
But note that Palestinian rights are actually much more than what could
be accommodated with paragraph 1D as Palestinians have political rights
including self-determination, which are covered under other statutes of
33.Question of the Violation of Human Rights in the Occupied Arab
Territories, Including Palestine: Report on the situation of human
rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, submitted by
Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Special Rapporteur, pursuant to Commission on
Human Rights resolution 1993 ? 2 A. See full report at
34.Salman Abu Sitta, From Refugees to Citizens at Home, (London:
Palestine Land Society and the Palestinian Return Centre, 2001).
Zionist arguments against the right to return
Israeli arguments for rejecting refugee return are now well known. They
are articulated repeatedly by Israeli leaders (e.g. Shimon Peres’s book,
The New Middle East). Below are the three basic arguments.
a) The Palestinians fled their villages and towns in 1948 under orders
from their leaders.
This allegation first surfaced in Zionist discourse in propaganda that
was disseminated to the new Jewish immigrants who were handed much of
the property (lands, homes, belongings) of the Palestinian refugees.
According to Rosemary Sayigh (Palestinians: From Peasants to
Revolutionaries, p. 75), a pamphlet distributed by Israel’s Information
Office in New York City after the war also contained this allegation.
From there it appears to have entered into Zionist thinking and writing
in the West.
This myth has been thoroughly refuted.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) monitored Middle East
broadcasts and its records indicate no such broadcasts.
Many researchers, including Walid Khalidi, Erskine Childers, Benny
Morris, Tom Segev, Simha Flapan and Ilan Pappé, have investigated this
myth and shown it to be without merit. British author Erskine Childers
wrote, “The charge, Israel claimed, was documented but where were the
documents?, no dates, names of stations, or texts of messages were ever
cited.” (Erskine B. Childers, “The Other Exodus”, The Spectator, London,
According to Israeli historians like Benny Morris, a very tiny minority
of localities did have military notice (not necessarily orders) for
residents regarding evacuations. When Arab soldiers were about to
retreat from an area they might warn villagers that they were about to
leave, in case the villagers wanted to flee while they still had
military protection. According to Sayigh: “Only in the case of one or
two cities, for instance, Haifa, could local Arab authorities be said to
have ‘ordered’ flight by organizing evacuation. But in most of the
country there was not even this slight degree of organization.” (Sayigh,
Many Palestinians became acutely aware of the massacres at Deir Yassin
and 33 other localities (some like Tantura actually larger than Deir
Yassin). That fear precipitated much of the exodus and was later highly
praised by Israeli leaders as making their lives much easier.
Israeli historian Arieh Yitzhaqi, for many years a researcher in the
history section of the IDF, lists several Arab villages where the
Israeli military appeared to follow a policy similar to that carried out
by Irgun and Stern forces at Deir Yassin. He cites the attack by the
Carmel Brigade on the village of Balad el-Sheikh and the attack by the
Third Palmach Battalion on the village of Sa’sa’, both resulting in
dozens of civilians killed in their homes (The Journal of Palestine
Studies, Vol. 1, no. 4, summer 1972, p.144, citing Yediot Aharanot,
April 4, 1972).
One Palmach commander admitted firing into rooms containing women and
children (Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 1, n.4, p. 145, citing
Yediot Aharonot, April 4, 1972). In October 1948 some fifty to seventy
men were herded into the mosque in the border town of Hula and
machine-gunned. The mosque was then blown up to entomb them. (See
Hadawi’s Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine, 4th ed., 1991 p.
Zionist forces capitalized on fear resulting from reports of these
atrocities. General Yigal Allon wrote:
“We saw a need to clean the inner Galilee and to create a Jewish
territorial succession in the entire area of the Upper Galilee ...We
therefore looked for means which did not force us into employing force,
in order to cause the tens of thousands of sulky Arabs who remained in
Galilee to flee ...We tried to use a tactic which took advantage of the
impression created by the fall of Safed and the [Arab] defeat in the
area which was cleaned by Operation Metateh - a tactic which worked
miraculously well! I gathered all the Jewish mukhtars, who have contacts
with Arabs in different villages, and asked them to whisper in the ears
of some Arabs, that a great Jewish reinforcement has arrived in Galilee
and that it is going to burn all the villages of Huleh. They should
suggest to these Arabs, as their friends, to escape while there is still
time.” (Yigal Alon, The Book of the Palmach, vol. 2, p.286; quoted in
John W. Mulhall, America and the founding of Israel: an Investigation of
the morality of America’s role).
Where these attacks or the fear of such attacks did not have the desired
“cleansing” effect, the Israeli army was forced to take more direct
measures. This was the case in the Ramle and Lydda area, where residents
were asked to leave (at the point of the gun) after the hostilities
ended. Residents on foot, in buses, in cars, and in trucks were herded
east under the watchful eyes of officers and soldiers like Yitzhak Rabin
(who became Israel’s Prime Minister later). Further detail from Israeli
historians on the cause of the exodus is provided in the main text.
b) There was an exchange of refugees (“Arab” refugees left Israel while
Jewish “refugees” left the Arab countries) and Arab countries should
have resettled those refugees as Israel has resettled Jewish “refugees.”
While some Jews were expelled from Arab countries, the majority left
voluntarily, invited, enticed and even intimidated into going to Israel
to swell the Jewish population as part and parcel of the Zionist
program. Most of this happened not between 1947-1948 (the years of
active violence that resulted in the Palestinian refugees being
ethnically cleansed; see http:/ ? palestineremembered.com) but in the 20
years after. This was always part of the Zionist plan to gather the Jews
regardless of where they lived (not only from Arab countries but all
countries) and settle them on land that belongs to native Palestinians
(Christians and Muslims). Israel has never fought for Jews to stay where
they are or to return to their homelands.
Zionists always claim that Palestinian refugees were intentionally not
absorbed or integrated into Arab lands to which they fled. The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, states that everyone “has the
right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his
country.” The Geneva Conventions stipulate the right of refugees to
return to their homes. U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (adopted in
1948), which specifically applies to Palestinian refugees, states in
Paragraph 11, “the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at
peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest
practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property
of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property
which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be
made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” Israel was
admitted to the U.N. (Resolution 273) as a member-state only on
condition that it abide by Resolution 194. Israel has consistently
refused to do so. It is the will of the Palestinian people that they be
repatriated to their homeland. Criticizing neighboring countries because
they could not absorb more refugees than they have already is an Israeli
attempt to sidestep the real issue of the Palestinian right of return.
In his book The Gun & the Olive Branch, David Hirst describes in detail
covert Israeli operations to scare Iraqi and Egyptian Jews into fleeing
their homes for the “sanctuary” of Israel. Wilbur Crane Eveland, a
former CIA operative, wrote about the Zionist crimes against Arab Jews
in Iraq (Feuerlicht, The Fate of the Jews, 231). Zionists of European
origin, like David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Abba Eban, often made
derogatory statements regarding Arab Jews, whom they considered to be
inferior. The program to bring them in was more motivated more by
ideology than by real interest in their welfare. Israeli historian Tom
Segev devoted almost a fourth of his book to documenting the miserable
treatment these immigrants received (Tom Segev, 1949: the First
Israelis, translated by Arlen Neal Weinstein, Free Press, New York, 1986).
In any case, the Palestinian refugees did not expel Jews from their
homes in Arab countries. In fact, some actions by Mossad and Zionist
agents were needed to increase Jewish flight, according to documents
analyzed by Tom Segev. Palestinian human rights should not be contingent
on the actions of states (Israel or the Arab States) over which they had
no control. There are Israeli Jews of Arab origin who do demand
restitution for their property and Palestinians fully support their
claims and internationally recognized right of return. The Israeli
government, however, has never been willing to fight for their rights,
because it knows that by doing so it would implicitly recognize that
expulsion and dispossession are wrong, whether the victims are Jews or
Palestinians. The governments of Morocco, Egypt, Iraq and Yemen (unlike
Israel) always stated that those who left are welcome to return.
On December 11, 1975, the Iraqi government even took full-page
advertisements in newspapers around the world (New York Times, the
Toronto Star, Le Monde) asking the 140,000 Iraq-born Jews who were in
Israel and around the world to return. Egyptian President Sadat extended
an invitation for Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt in September 1977,
just weeks before his peace trip to Israel (See Chicago Daily News,
September 10-11; also see the Oregonian, Portland, July 18, 1977).
Israel has never extended an invitation to Palestinians to return to
their homeland. In either case, Israeli Jews with claims in Arab
countries should take them up with those countries, and Jews should be
treated with respect, dignity and equality wherever they live. Israel,
however, was not interested in discussing this issue when a peace
agreement with Egypt was signed (Egypt had a sizable Jewish presence).
In summary, there is no validity to the attempt to negate Palestinian
human rights based on the migration of Jews brought into Palestine,
whether from Arab countries or the Soviet Union, under the Zionist
program to colonize Palestine. One has to also remember that Jews from
Arab countries as well as Eastern Europe also settled in the US and
Canada. Their issues and their questions are legitimate areas of
exploration (e.g. Jews have a right to be treated equally in their own
countries, like any other religious group, and this must be defended and
fought for). Their rights also follow international law and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (including their right to chose to
return to their countries) but certainly nullify no other similar rights
for other people, whether Russians or Palestinians. Palestinians who
were ethnically cleansed have inalienable right to repatriation. This
must be their choice and is enshrined in common logic as well as
international law and is not subject to dictates of apartheid and
separation envisioned by a colonial settler movement.
c) It is not practical to return refugees, and Palestinians need to seek
a “reasonable and fair solution” to the refugee problem, i.e., one
acceptable to Israelis. Return of refugees is considered a danger to the
“Jewish character of the state.”
Many Israeli Jews, as well as Zionist supporters abroad, are in fear of
an influx of Palestinians that could alter the character of the state.
Many Palestinians recognize this fear.
It is also important to analyze and honestly examine what the
“character” of the state is and what it means for its citizens. Many
Jews recognize that Israel needs to evolve from a “Jewish state” to a
state of all its citizens, and it eventually will, with or without the
refugees returning. It is only logical to expect that the 1.2 million
current Palestinian citizens of Israel and many of their Jewish
compatriots do not support the national anthem, which talks about Jewish
yearning for a homeland. They are not keen about a state that has no
constitution to protect non-Jews but rather has specific laws to
discriminate against them. The laws ensure that “Jewish only” towns and
villages continue to flourish while remaining Arab towns are besieged,
get fewer or no services, and dwindle. They are not content in a state
that has a law of return giving automatic citizenship to any Jew in the
world who desires it, while denying citizenship to non-Jewish people who
were born and raised there. Many in this latter category are relatives
of those Palestinians who remained, and many of these people have not
seen each other in as long as 50 years. Thus, racist concern over
“diluting Jewish majority” should not be an acceptable basis for
rejecting international law and basic human rights.
In March 2001, the British Joint Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry on
Palestinian Refugees that traveled to the region in September 2000
issued a report. This report includes a preface by Princeton Professor
Richard Falk, historical background, main findings of the refugees’
testimony, general remarks and analysis, recommendations by the
Commission of Enquiry, and information on the establishment of the
Commission of Enquiry as well as annexes containing evidence in detail
and other supporting documents. In the preface, Professor Falk writes,
“The clarity of international law and morality, as pertaining to
Palestinian refugees, is beyond any serious question. It needs to be
appreciated that the obstacles to implementation are exclusively
political - the resistance of Israel, and the unwillingness of the
international community, especially the Western liberal democracies, to
exert significant pressure in support of these Palestinian refugee rights.”
Given the intensity and the unity of refugees’ insistence on
implementation of the right of return, the preface warns that it would
be “a severe mistake of history, with potentially serious
repercussions...[to] negotiate a solution that ignores the underlying
claims of the wide community of Palestinian refugees.” “How to overcome
[the depth of Israeli resistance],” notes Falk, “is a challenge that
should haunt the political imagination of all those genuinely committed
to finding a just and sustainable reconciliation between Israel and
The main theme that the Commission of Enquiry discovered, however, was
the remarkable cohesion and consistency among refugees. “Certain
positions that could be seen to divide the refugees, since they involved
a possible enhancement of their personal interests over other groups of
refugees,” notes the report, “were confronted outright by the refugees
themselves.” Refugees in all areas emphasized that the right of return
must apply to all refugees, regardless of their physical, financial
position or location.
“The main principle is that all Palestinians want this resolution to be
implemented,” stated Khalid al-Azza, “that is the resolution of the
right of refugees to return and to compensation for the 52 years passed
since they left their land, houses, and factories.” Central findings of
the report were presented by Neil Gerrard MP, member of the British
Commission of Enquiry at the House of Commons on July 2, 2001.
(5) Yosef Weitz: "We will not live here with Arabs"
Yosef Weitz (1890–1972) was the director of the Land and Afforestation
Department of the Jewish National Fund. From the 1930s, Weitz played a
major role in acquiring land for the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish
community in Palestine. ...
On June 22, 1941 he wrote in his diary: "The land of Israel is not small
at all, if only the Arabs were removed, and its frontiers enlarged a
little, to the north up to the Litani, and to the east including the
Golan Heights...with the Arabs transferred to northern Syria and
Iraq...Today we have no other alternative...We will not live here with
According to Ilan Pappe, passages in Weitz's diary in April 1948 show
his support for the transfer of Arabs during the 1948 war: "I have
drawn up a list of Arab villages which in my opinion must be cleared out
in order to complete Jewish regions. I have also drawn up a list of land
disputes that must be settled by military means." According to Efraim
Karsh, Ben-Gurion rejected the idea, and no such committee was ever
established. Nevertheless, Nur Masalha and Benny Morris claim
an unofficial Transfer Committee was established in May 1948 composed of
Weitz, Danin and Sasson.Later in life, Weitz's views appear to be more
conciliatory towards the neighboring Arabs and he is reported to have
refused to attend ceremonies of renew Jewish settlements in the West
Bank after the 1967 war. ...
This page was last modified on 31 August 2011 at 18:09.
(6) Muslim student protesters found guilty of disrupting speech by
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 22:43:20 -0700 (PDT) From: Archer Frey
'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges
10 of 'Irvine 11' get community service, probation
Sept. 23, 2011 | Shirley Jahad | KPCC & wires
Jurors on Friday found 10 of the "Irvine 11" Muslim students guilty on
charges that stemmed from the disruption of a speech by the Israeli
ambassador, Michael Oren, to the United States when he visited UC Irvine
in February of last year.
The judge sentenced the 10 defendants to 56 hours of community service
and three years of probation, which will be reduced to one year when the
service is completed.
An 11th defendant, UC Irvine student Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, had his
case tentatively dismissed before the trial on the condition that he
completes 40 hours of community service.
The judge admonished those in the courtroom to hold back their emotions
before the verdict was read, but there were still some gasps and several
inside the courtroom crying. It appeared that most of the courtroom
observers supported the students. On the way out, some observers
whispered "there's no justice."
The trial that's been in headlines around the nation since February has
garnered strong support on both sides.
"There is no First Amendment right to interrupt somebody else’s speech.
Especially in a place which is owned by a university, where the
university gets to control who gets to enter and who can’t. People can’t
just shout down the speaker," Eugene Volokh, a Gary T. Schwartz
professor of law at the UCLA, told KPCC's Patt Morrison shortly before
“They certainly are free to speak to themselves outside—they can picket
this, they can hand out leaflets outside, but they can’t physically go
into the event and drown out the speaker’s voice in a way that the
speaker can no longer be heard,” he added.
There were about 150 people sitting in the courtroom when the verdict
was read. The names of all 10 students charged were read for the first
charge, followed by a guilty verdict, before the same with the second
This case involved the question of First Amendment rights and
censorship, with each side arguing that they were practicing their First
Amendment rights while the other tried to censor them.
The students were each charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy
to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of disturbing a meeting.
During the speech by Ambassador Michael Oren, 11 students stood up and,
one by one, shouted scripted statements while Oren tried to speak. Oren
was eventually able to deliver his 25-minute speech.
"It's a sad day for democracy," said Salam Al-Marayati, president of the
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), on KPCC's "AirTalk." "This is just
a travesty of justice that students cannot protest within their campuses."
Al-Marayati said the protests should have been handled by the school,
not the courts, but that "the politicized nature" of the conflict
between Israel and Muslims over the issue of Palestine led to the
prosecution. Al-Marayati said that prosecutors were "using whatever
technicality they were able to use, in terms of disruption of the peace."
"I think this does not bode well for students who want to speak out,"
Al-Marayati said, "and we want more students to speak out, even if it
defies the authorities of our country and the authorities of the world."
Al-Marayati said that it doesn't make sense that protests of UC tuition
hikes were not prosecuted while this was. He said that he thinks the
line should be drawn at violence or destruction of property, but that
this protest did not cross that line.
Al-Marayati said that you can go and heckle the president of the United
States and be escorted out, and that it would probably be OK to heckle
other ambassadors, but that these students were prosecuted because they
were protesting the Israeli Ambassador.
"There was a conspiracy to disrupt the event. It wasn't a spontaneous
shriek or disruption," said David A. Lehrer, president of Community
Advocates and former head of the Anti-Defamation League. Lehrer argued
that the prosecution was justified. "There was a concerted effort to try
and cover up afterwards, and lie about it." ...