by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - August 27, 2007) The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, a book I am currently reading, has impressed me tremendously. The book is to Israel and its 1948 War of Independence what the Pentagon Papers were to the U.S. and its Vietnam debacle. The publication of those Papers was an unprecedented monumental event. It shook and electrified the country by exposing the duplicity of several administrations of both parties that led the nation into the ghastly Vietnam War. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is even more important and more devastating because the historical myths that it exposes have been circulating since the creation of the Zionist state, almost sixty -- yes, sixty, six zero -- years ago! It has not only affected the parties to the struggle, the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it has been a major foreign policy problem for the U.S. and has traumatized the peoples of the Middle East and to a lesser extent peoples around the world!
Ilan Pappé, the author of the book, is one of the Israeli New Historians. When after 30 years the secret political files of the government were declassified in accordance with Israeli law these historians scrutinized and analyzed the archives of the 1948 War of Independence with other relevant data -- documents of the UN and other governments, memoirs of participants, etc. What they uncovered and exposed were scandalous and despicable facts that had been concealed, distorted, suppressed, and whitewashed by the Zionists and a cooperative mainstream media. Shocking? Absolutely! But not surprising. All governments undertake secret agendas while distracting the public by pretending interest in extraneous issues. Yes, for public consumption they create their own realities. Bush's gang was not the originator of that timeworn tactic. He was too incompetent to sustain his nefarious schemes for any length of time.
Twenty more years had to elapse before the secret military archives of Israel were opened. This provided an abundant supply of additional shocking data. That data together with Ben-Gurion's diary and other memoirs, interviews, etc., substantiate the theme of Pappé's book. He learned that the 1948 Israelis were well aware that their military forces were superior to any opposition they would encounter. Therefore they maximized their advantage and exploited it to achieve the goal that the Zionists harbored for a long time. David Ben-Gurion, an early Zionist leader and the first Israeli prime minister, proclaimed back in 1938, "I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it." He never varied from that thought. He headed a group, The Consultancy, that adopted an operational battle plan for war known as Plan Dalet that envisioned the expulsion of the Palestinians from the territories the Zionists would seize. Not only was the indigenous population to be removed but their properties were to be destroyed as well. No trace of the existence of another culture was to remain. Six months was all it took to expel about 800,000, kill an unknown number, and destroy 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods. No exceptions were to be made for urban neighborhoods and villages that had lived peacefully with their Jewish neighbors. All were targeted. Cold-blooded massacres of defenseless individuals including women and children; torture, rape, destruction of homes and crops -- every atrocity was permissible.
The release of the Pentagon Papers was a major media event. It was the top story for days. Its publication was considered so serious by the Nixon administration that The New York Times, the newspaper that initially published them, was enjoined from releasing additional parts of the papers. Other newspapers picked up where The Times was thwarted and a senator put them into the Congressional Record. The publicity that was generated brought the story to the attention of the public. By contrast, Pappé's current book has been virtually ignored by the media. The Zionists, their lobby, their allies, and the mainstream media continue to suppress the truth. But in spite of their efforts the truth has been breaking out via books, the alternate press, and the Internet. Slowly but inexorably more hearts and minds are turning. But can the Palestinians hold on against the crueler and crueler atrocities the desperate Israelis are meting out? Living in a virtual prison, behind walls and electric fences; subjected to unfair taxation, shortages of food and water, border closings, curfews, checkpoints; arbitrary bulldozing of homes, crops and orchards; arrests including torture without cause; obstructed from employment opportunities, adequate education, and health care. And all of the Israeli atrocities have not been listed. So long as the Palestinians hold on the Israelis will devise new and more abominable tactics.
Will justice eventually prevail? I hope so.
If you find our work useful and appreciate its quality, please consider making aMoney is spent to pay for Internet costs, maintenance and upgrade of our computer network, and development of the site.