Some might think that state genocide is a new phenomenon in Israeli occupied Palestine. I can assure you that this is the very essence of Zionism. The point was, and still is, to occupy the land, get rid of the people by any and every means, and change the topography and the demography of Palestine to favour Jewish supremacy.
The founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl back in 1895 was clear in his vision for a Jewish State in Palestine.
“We shall have to spirit the penniless population across the border … while denying it any employment in our country…Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” (Source: Theodore Herzl Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895)
Joseph Weitz, Director of the Jewish National Fund went even further.
“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 … without Arabs.”
(Source: Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, p. 27).
This call for ethnic cleansing and genocide of the people of Palestine was made official policy in March 10th 1948, when Zionist political and military leaders, including Ben-Gurion, met in Tel Aviv and formally adopted Plan Dalet (or Plan D). It specified which particular Palestinian villages should be targeted and destroyed and it laid out in detail a blueprint for their forcible depopulation and destruction.
They went about deploying Plan Dalet with a vicious savagery that resulted in the depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages and towns and created 750,000 refugees. This kind of wanton destruction was referred to by General Moshe Dayan, no less, who, when addressing the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa (as quoted by Haaretz on April 4 1969), said “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either… There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
Yet, Prime Minister, Golda Meir, while visiting London in June the same year, was quoted in the press, “It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” ..
Sunday Times, June 15th 1969.
Twenty-one years earlier, founding father of Israel and its first Prime Minister, had his own way of dealing with the problem.
“We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
May 1948 to the General Staff. From ‘Ben Gurion” by Michael Ben Zohar, New York 1978.
This theme of killing, displacement and removal continued throughout the short history of the State of Israel and was encouraged by their leaders. There have been many occasions when the extremists in Israel have marched against us Palestinians, carrying aloft signs saying ‘Kill Them All’.
As a matter of course, successive Israeli governments attend so-called ‘peace conferences’ from time to time with the Palestinians. They pretend to agree to certain conditions that would ease the ongoing violence in the occupied territories and to pacify the situation, only to contradict them moments later, before the ink is dry on the paper they are written on.
On February 22nd this year, Israeli Occupation Forces invaded the Palestinian city of Nablus in broad daylight, killing 11 people and injuring a further one hundred plus, on the pretext of looking for suspects. Jordan, in an effort to de-escalate the situation, prior to the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan called a five party conference in Aqaba just four days later on February 26th.
Attendees were the Jordanians, the Egyptians, the Palestinians, the Americans and the Israelis. They all agreed to freeze the building of further settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank for a period of four months. The delegates barely had time to back their bags and go home before Minister of Finance, and a senior member of the Defence Ministry in charge of civilian affairs in the West Bank, Bezalel Smotrich, himself a illegal settler, tweeted,”I have no idea what they spoke about or not in Jordan, But one thing I do know: there will not be a freeze on the building and development in settlements, not even for one day (it is under my authority).”
Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was equally vehement.
“Construction and arrangement in Judea and Samaria (the Jewish name for the occupied West Bank) will continue, according to the original planning and schedule without any changes. There is not and will not be any freezing.”
On the eve of the conference in Aqaba around 400 heavily armed illegal settlers attacked the village of Huwara near Nablus. Incensed by the killing of two of their own by Palestinian resistance fighters from the village, they torched cars, homes, mosques, everything they came upon. This ‘pogrom’ over Huwara was not only applauded by Mr Smotrich, but he called for the total destruction of the entire village of 6000 people. “The Palestinian village of Huwara should be wiped off the earth,” he said. “The Israeli government needs to do it and not private citizens.”
In the meantime, Mr Netanyahu, called upon the settlers not to take the law into their own hands.
To add even more wood to the fire, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) just approved this week the first reading of a bill that calls for the death penalty for any Palestinian who kills an Israeli citizen. Or commits a crime against the state of Israel.
In the land of Israel, self determination is an exclusively Jewish privilege. While the death penalty is exclusive to the Palestinians under its occupation.
Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.
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