Friday, August 01, 2014

From proto-Zionism to Gaza 2014: a continuous arc


Excerpts from ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’ (Ralph Schoenman):

In 1923 Jabotinsky wrote The Iron Wall, which could be called a benchmark essay for the entire Zionist movement. He set forth bluntly the essential premises of Zionism which had, indeed, been laid out before, if not as eloquently, by Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann and others. Jabotinsky’s reasoning has been cited and reflected in subsequent Zionist advocacy – from nominal “left” to so-called “right”. He wrote as follows:

"There can be no discussion of voluntary reconciliation between us and the Arabs, not now, and not in the foreseeable future. All well-meaning people, with the exception of those blind from birth, understood long ago the complete impossibility of arriving at a voluntary agreement with the Arabs of Palestine for the transformation of Palestine from an Arab country to a country with a Jewish majority. Each of you has some general understanding of the history of colonization. Try to find even one example when the colonization of a country took place with the agreement of the native population. Such an event has never occurred.

The natives will always struggle obstinately against the colonists – and it is all the same whether they are cultured or uncultured. The comrades in arms of [Hernan] Cortez or [Francisco] Pizarro conducted themselves like brigands. The Redskins fought with uncompromising fervor against both evil and good-hearted colonizers. The natives struggled because any kind of colonization anywhere at anytime is inadmissible to any native people.


Any native people view their country as their national home, of which they will be complete masters. They will never voluntarily allow a new master. So it is for the Arabs. Compromisers among us try to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked with hidden formulations of our basic goals. I flatly refuse to accept this view of the Palestinian Arabs.


They have the precise psychology that we have. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux upon his prairie. Each people will struggle against colonizers until the last spark of hope that they can avoid the dangers of conquest and colonization is extinguished. The Palestinians will struggle in this way until there is hardly a spark of hope.


It matters not what kind of words we use to explain our colonization. Colonization has its own integral and inescapable meaning understood by every Jew and by every Arab. Colonization has only one goal. This is in the nature of things. To change that nature is impossible. It has been necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs and the same condition exists now.


Even an agreement with non-Palestinians represents the same kind of fantasy. In order for Arab nationalists of Baghdad and Mecca and Damascus to agree to pay so serious a price they would have to refuse to maintain the Arab character of Palestine.


We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs. Therefore, a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall through which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.


Whether through the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate, external force is a necessity for establishing in the country conditions of rule and defense through which the local population, regardless of what it wishes, will be deprived of the possibility of impeding our colonization, administratively or physically. Force must play its role – with strength and without indulgence. In this, there are no meaningful differences between our militarists and our vegetarians. One prefers an Iron Wall of Jewish bayonets; the other an Iron Wall of English bayonets."


To the hackneyed reproach that this point of view is unethical, I answer, ’absolutely untrue.’ This is our ethic. There is no other ethic. As long as there is the faintest spark of hope for the Arabs to impede us, they will not sell these hopes – not for any sweet words nor for any tasty morsel, because this is not a rabble but a people, a living people. And no people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions, except when there is no hope left, until we have removed every opening visible in the Iron Wall.
 

***
 

In 1940, Joseph Weitz, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, which was responsible for the actual organization of settlements in Palestine, wrote:

"Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this country. We shall not achieve our goal if the Arabs are in this small country. There is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to neighboring countries - all of them. Not one village, not one tribe should be left."

 Joseph Weitz elaborated upon the practical meaning of rendering Palestine “Jewish”:

"There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument: ... the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish ... with a non-Jewish minority limited to fifteen percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary. "

The Koenig Report stated this policy even more bluntly:

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."

 
Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, declaimed: “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.”
 

These are the words of Uri Lubrani, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s special adviser on Arab Affairs, in 1960: “We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters.”

 Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Armed Forces stated:

"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel ... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours."

 Eitan elaborated before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee:

"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle." [my emph.]
 
***

The territorial ambitions of Zionism were clearly spelled out by David Ben Gurion in a speech to a Zionist meeting on October 13, 1936: “We do not suggest that we announce now our final aim which is far reaching – even more so than the Revisionists who oppose Partition. I am unwilling to abandon the great vision, the final vision which is an organic, spiritual and ideological component of my ... Zionist aspirations.”

 
In the same year, Ben Gurion wrote in a letter to his son:

"A partial Jewish State is not the end, but only the beginning. I am certain that we can not be prevented from settling in the other parts of the country and the region." [my emph.]

 In 1937, he declaimed:

“The boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them.” [47] In 1938, he was more explicit: “The boundaries of Zionist aspiration,” he told the World Council of Poale Zion in Tel Aviv, “include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan [West Bank] and the Sinai.”

 Ben Gurion formulated Zionist strategy very clearly:

"After we become a strong force as the result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion. The state will have to preserve order – not by preaching but with machine guns."

 In May of 1948 he presented his strategic aims to the General Staff. “We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria, and Sinai.”
 

When General Yigal Allon asked Ben Gurion, “What is to be done with the population of Lydda and Ramle?” – some 50,000 inhabitants – Ben Gurion, according to his biographer, waved his hand and said, “Drive them out!”

 Yitzhak Rabin, the current Defense Minister, carried out this edict. In Lydda and Ramle, no remnants of Palestinian dwellings remain. Today this area is occupied entirely by the Jewish settler population. Michael Bar Zohar, in his biography of David Ben Gurion, describes Ben Gurion’s first visit to Nazareth. “Ben Gurion looked around in astonishment and said, ’Why are there so many Arabs, why didn’t you drive them out?’”


***

Indeed...

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