Likoed Nederland is opgefokt dat de Nederlandse regering subsidie zou hebben gegeven aan George Sluizer voor zijn ‘foute’ documentaire “Homeland”. Maar liefst 100.000 euro. Foei, foei, foei! In deze documentaire zou men foute citaten gebruiken, die allang als fout ontmaskerd zouden zijn. Bijvoorbeeld van Ben Goerion: “Ik ben bereid om zo veel Palestijnen te vermoorden als nodig is.” Wat een drama.
Als die citaten zoveel geld waard zijn, dacht ik, laat ik even mijn foute citaten over Ben Goerion opzoeken. Ik verdien tenminste een subsidie van 10 miljoen.
“The original goal of Zionism was the establishment of a Jewish state in the whole of Palestine. The acceptance of the partition, in the mid-1930s as in 1947, was tactical, not a change in the Zionist dream. ‘I don’t regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as means towards that aim’, Ben-Gurion wrote in 1938. A few months earlier, Ban-Gurion told the Jewish Agency Executive that he supported partition ‘on the basis of the assumption that after we constitute a large force following the establishment of the state – we will cancel the partition of the country and we will expand thought the Land of Israel’ To his wife, Paula, Ben-Gurion wrote: ‘Establish a Jewish stated at once, even if it is not the whole land. The rest will come in the course of time. It must come.’”, B. Morris. 1948 and after : Israel and the Palestinians. Oxford University Press, 1994. p.9
“Ben-Gurion, a pragmatist, from 1937 on, was willing (at least outwardly) to accept partition and the establishment of a Jewish state in only part of the country. In effect, he remained committed to a vision of Jewish sovereignty over all of Palestine as the ultimate goal of Zionism, to be attained by stages. But in the course of 1947-1948, he resigned himself to the inevitability of Jewish sovereignty over only part of Palestine.”, B. Morris. The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited. 2nd ed, Cambridge Middle East studies 18. Cambridge University Press, 2004. p. 15
“To be sure, the Zionist leaders, in public, continued to repeat the old refrain – that there was enough room in the country for the two peoples and that Zionist immigration did not necessitate Arab displacement. Jabotinsky, the leader of the Revisionist movement, had generally supported transfer. But in 1931 he had said: ‘We don’t want to evict even one Arab from the left or right banks of the Jordan. We want them to prosper both economically and culturally’; and six years later he had testified before the Peel Commission that ‘there was no question at all of expelling the Arabs. On the contrary, the idea was that the Land of Israel on both sides of the Jordan [i.e., Palestine and Transjordan] would [ultimately] contain the Arabs . . . and many millions of Jews . . .’ – though he admitted that the Arabs would become a ‘minority.’
But by 1936, the mainstream Zionist leaders were more forthright in their support of transfer. In July, Ben-Gurion, the chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive and de facto leader of the Yishuv, and his deputy, Moshe Shertok (Sharett), the director of the Agency’s Political Department, went to the High Commissioner to plead the Zionist case on immigration, which the Mandatory was considering suspending:
Ben-Gurion asked whether the Government would make it possible for Arab cultivators displaced through Jewish land purchases . . . to be settled in Transjordan. If Transjordan was for the time being a country closed to the Jews [i.e., closed to Jewish settlement], surely it could not be closed to Arabs also.
The High Commissioner thought this a good idea . . .….
Three months later, the Jewish Agency Executive debated the idea. Ben-Gurion observed:
Why can’t we acquire land there for Arabs, who wish to settle in Transjordan? If it was permissible to move an Arab from the Galilee to Judea, why is it impossible to move an Arab from the Hebron area to Transjordan, which is much closer? . . . There are vast expanses of land there and we [in Palestine] are over-crowded . . . We now want to create concentrated areas of Jewish settlement [in Palestine], and by transferring the land-selling Arab to Transjordan, we can solve the problem of this concentration . . . Even the High Commissioner agrees to a transfer to Transjordan if we equip the peasants with land and money . . .”, B. Morris. The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited. 2nd ed, Cambridge Middle East studies 18. Cambridge University Press, 2004. p. 45-46
“The commission preferred that the Arabs move voluntarily and with compensation – but regarded the matter as so important that should the Arabs refuse, the transfer should be ‘compulsory’, that is, it should be carried out by force. Otherwise, the partition settlement would not endure. The recommendations, especially the transfer recommendation, delighted many of the Zionist leaders, including Ben-Gurion. True, the Jews were being given only a small part of their patrimony; but they could use that mini-state as a base or bridgehead for expansion and conquest of the rest of Palestine (and possibly Transjordan as well). Such, at least, was how Ben-Gurion partially explained his acceptance of the offered ‘pittance.’ But Ben-Gurion had another reason: ‘The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the First and Second Temples . . . ,’ Ben-Gurion confided to his diary. ‘We are being given an opportunity that we never dared to dream of in our wildest imaginings. This is more than a state, government and sovereignty – this is national consolidation in an independent homeland.’ Ben-Gurion deemed the transfer recommendation
‘a central point whose importance outweighs all the other positive [points] and counterbalances all the report’s deficiencies and drawbacks . . . We must grab hold of this conclusion [i.e., recommendation] as we grabbed hold of the Balfour Declaration, even more than that – as we grabbed hold of Zionism itself . . . because of all the Commission’s conclusions, this is the one that alone offers some recompense for the tearing away of other parts of the country [and their award to the Arabs] . . . What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times . . . Any doubt on our part about the necessity of this transfer, any doubt we cast about the possibility of its implementation, any hesitancy on our part about its justice, may lose [us] an historic opportunity that may not recur . . . If we do not succeed in removing the Arabs from our midst, when a royal commission proposes this to England, and transferring them to the Arab area – it will not be achievable easily (and perhaps at all) after the [Jewish] state is established . . . This thing must be done now – and the first step – perhaps the crucial [step] – is conditioning ourselves for its implementation.'” , B. Morris. The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited. 2nd ed, Cambridge Middle East studies 18. Cambridge University Press, 2004. p. 45-46
“The Peel report had, for the first time, accorded the idea of transfer an international moral imprimatur. At the same time, its publication triggered a profound and protracted debate in the Zionist leadership: Should the movement renounce its historic claim to the whole of Palestine and accept the principle of partition and the offered 20 per cent of the land? The controversy cut across party lines, with Ben-Gurion’s own Mapai Party split down the middle. For the Revisionist right there was no problem; they claimed Transjordan as well as the whole of Palestine; partition was a non-starter. For the left, represented by Brit Shalom and Hashomer Hatza’ir, the Peel proposals were beside the point; they favoured a binational Arab-Jewish state, not partition. But for the moderate left and centre – the core and mainstream of the movement – the dilemma was profound. The culminating and decisive debate took place in the especially summoned Twentieth Zionist Congress in Zurich August 1937 (the Revisionists did not attend). Ben-Gurion mobilised the Peel transfer proposal in support of acceptance of partition:
‘We must look carefully at the question of whether transfer is possible, necessary, moral and useful. We do not want to dispossess, [but] transfer of populations occurred previously, in the [Jezreel] Valley, in the Sharon [i.e., Coastal Plain] and in other places. You are no doubt aware of the Jewish National Fund’s activity in this respect. Now a transfer of a completely different scope will have to be carried out. In many parts of the country new settlement will not be possible without transferring the Arab peasantry . . . It is important that this plan comes from the Commission and not from us . . . Transfer is what will make possible a comprehensive settlement programme. Thankfully, the Arab people have vast empty areas. Jewish power, which grows steadily, will also increase our possibilities to carry out the transfer on a large scale. You must remember, that this system embodies an important humane and Zionist idea, to transfer parts of a people [i.e., Palestine’s Arabs] to their country [i.e., Transjordan and Iraq] and to settle empty lands . . .'”, B. Morris. The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited. 2nd ed, Cambridge Middle East studies 18. Cambridge University Press, 2004. p. 48
“Ben-Gurion seemed to suggest that the transfer would be compulsory and that not the British but Jewish troops would be carrying it out. Other speakers at the Congress, including Weizmann and Ruppin, spoke in a similar vein, though all preferred a voluntary, agreed transfer, and some, such as Ussishkin, doubted that the whole idea was practicable; the British would not carry it out and would prevent the Jews from doing so. Many, including Berl Katznelson, the Mapai co-leader, opposed the gist of the Peel package, which was partition (while theoretically supporting transfer).”, B. Morris. The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited. 2nd ed, Cambridge Middle East studies 18. Cambridge University Press, 2004. p. 48-49
“I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it.”
David Ben-Gurion to the Jewish Agency Executive, June 1938 Central Zionist Archives, minutes of the meeting of Jewish Agency Executive, 12 June 1938. Geciteerd in: Pappé, I. (2006). The ethnic cleansing of Palestine. p. XI
“Erect a Jewish state at once, even if it is not in the whole land. The rest will come in the course of time. It must come.”, Ben-Gurion, October 1937 in S. Ben-Ami. Scars of war, wounds of peace : the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.22
“Probably the most appealing article in the recommendation of the Commission was that about the ‘forced transfer’ of Arabs from the future Jewish state. To Ben-Gurion this was an ‘unparalleled achievement’. It was ‘the best of all solutions’, according to Berl Katznelson. ‘A distant neighbour’, he said, ‘is better than a close enemy.’ Transfer was such an ideal solution that ‘it must happen some day’, he concluded. A strategy of phases, admittedly always vague and anything but an articulate plan of action, could only prevail if a solution could be found to the demographic problem. ‘Transfer’ was the magic formula.
The idea of transfer for the Arabs had a long pedigree in Zionist thought. Moral scruples hardly intervened in what was normally seen as a realistic and logical solution, a matter of expediency. Israel Zangvill, the founding father of the concept, advocated transfer as early as 1916. For, as he said, ‘if we wish to give a country to a people without a country, it is utter foolishness to allow it to be the country of two peoples. . . . One of the two – a different place must be found either for the Jews or for their neighbours.'”, S. Ben-Ami. Scars of war, wounds of peace : the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.25
“But again, Ben-Gurion’s voice had always a special meaning and relevance. At a Zionist meeting in June 1938 he was as explicit as he could be: ‘I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see in it anything immoral.’ But he also knew that transfer would be possible only in the midst of war, not in ‘normal times’. What might be impossible in such times, he said, ‘is possible in revolutionary times’. The problem was, then, not moral, perhaps not even political; it was a function of timing, and this meant war.”, S. Ben-Ami. Scars of war, wounds of peace : the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.26
“The paradox of the winter of 1947 was that the Jews, who accepted Resolution 181 – the Jewish public acclaimed its endorsement by the UN with genuine outbursts of jubilation – were ready and well deployed to face a war should this be the outcome, and the Arabs, who rejected the Resolution out of hand and made no secret of their intention to subvert it, were not at all prepared for war. Ben-Gurion, who upon his appointment as the ‘defence minister’ of the Jewish Agency in 1946 made it clear that the time had now arrived for ‘a showdown of force, a Jewish military showdown’, had been for some time meticulously preparing for a war he was convinced, at least ever since the Arab Revolt, was inevitable. The Palestinians, who on 1 December 1947 made their views clear when the Arab Higher Committee declared a general strike, were totally unprepared and poorly equipped for an armed conflict. Arab society had been crumbling from within ever since the brutal repression of the 1936-9 Revolt. Leaderless and decapitated of their traditional elites, deeply fragmented, respectful and frightened of the Yishuv’s military power, and disorientated as to their real or achievable objectives, the Palestinians approached the imminent conflict and, as it turned out, their second catastrophe in a decade, in a state of disarray and fatalistic despair.”, S. Ben-Ami. Scars of war, wounds of peace: the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.34-35
“The first major wave of Arab exodus in April–May 1948, essentially in the wake of the Dir Yassin massacre that was perpetrated by Lehi and Irgun with the Haganah’s connivance, and the unfolding of Plan D, might perhaps have taken the leadership of the Yishuv by surprise. But they undoubtedly saw an opportunity to be exploited, a phenomenon to rejoice at – Menachem Begin wrote in his memoirs, The Revolt, that ‘out of evil, however, good came’ – and be encouraged. ‘Doesn’t he have anything more important to do?’ was Ben-Gurion’s reaction when told, during his visit to Haifa on 1 May 1948, that a local Jewish leader was trying to convince the Arabs not to leave. ‘Drive them out!’ was Ben-Gurion’s instruction to Yigal Allon, as recorded by Yitzhak Rabin in a censored passage of his memoirs published in 1979, with regard to the Arabs of Lydda after the city had been taken over on 11 July 1948.”, S. Ben-Ami. Scars of war, wounds of peace: the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.44
“Self-criticism in times of war was not to be an unusual trait in the history of Israel. Nor is it true that the ‘official’ Israeli historiography waited for the ‘new historians’ to acknowledge some, admittedly not all, of the more unpleasant aspects of Israel’s conduct of the war. Yigal Allon and Israel Galili exposed and openly analysed in the Book of the Palmach in the early 1950s the story of ‘Plan D’. And in 1973 Shaul Avigur, a key man in the security establishment, published the full plan in The Book of the Haganah. As a matter of fact, mutatis mutandis, as in the case of the so-called ‘black legend’ about the atrocities committed by the Spanish conquerors in South America that was first revealed and criticised by a Spaniard, Bartolome´ de las Casas, before it became a trigger for the worldwide denunciation of Spain, it was the leaders of the Zionist Left who were first to sound the alarm. Aharon Cohen, the director of Mapam’s Arab Department, confessed to being ‘ashamed and afraid’ at the ‘deliberate eviction’ of the Arabs. In July 1948 his leader, Yaacov Hazan, warned that ‘the robbery, killing, expulsion and rape of the Arabs could reach such proportions that we would no longer be able to stand’. And another member of the party, Aharon Zisling, even exclaimed in November 1948 that ‘Jews too have committed Nazi acts’.
It is not at all clear, as maintained by a conventional Israeli myth, that the Palestinian exodus was encouraged by the Arab states and by local leaders. Benny Morris found no evidence to show ‘that either the leaders of the Arab states or the Mufti ordered or directly encouraged the mass exodus’. Indeed, Morris found evidence to the effect that the local Arab leadership and militia commanders discouraged flight, and Arab radio stations issued calls to the Palestinians to stay put, and even to return to their homes if they had already left. True, there were more than a few cases where local Arab commanders ordered the evacuation of villages. But these seemed to have been tactical decisions taken under very specific military conditions; they did not respond to an overall strategy either of the local Palestinian leaders or of the Arab states.
As a matter of fact, the leaders of the surrounding Arab states, who were reluctant to be drawn into the war, had no particular interest in the Palestinian exodus. For it was precisely that exodus that subjected them to an irresistible popular pressure for a war they were not exactly eager to join. The mass exodus was, however, inadvertently encouraged by the leaders of the Palestinian community when, in their eagerness to trigger the invasion of Palestine by the Arab armies, they blew up out of all proportion the atrocities committed against Arab civilians. The Arab armies came in eventually, but by puffing up the atrocities, local leaders such as Dr Hussein Fakhri Al-Khalidi, the head of the Arab National Committee in Jerusalem who gave explicit instructions to the Palestinian media to inflate the reports, helped enhance the magnitude of an exodus driven by fear and hysteria.
The first major wave of Arab exodus in April-May 1948, essentially in the wake of the Dir Yassin massacre that was perpetrated by Lehi and Irgun with the Haganah’s connivance, and the unfolding of Plan D, might perhaps have taken the leadership of the Yishuv by surprise. But they undoubtedly saw an opportunity to be exploited, a phenomenon to rejoice at – Menachem Begin wrote in his memoirs, The Revolt, that ‘out of evil, however, good came’ – and be encouraged. ‘Doesn’t he have anything more important to do?’ was Ben-Gurion’s reaction when told, during his visit to Haifa on 1 May 1948, that a local Jewish leader was trying to convince the Arabs not to leave. ‘Drive them out!’ was Ben-Gurion’s instruction to Yigal Allon, as recorded by Yitzhak Rabin in a censored passage of his memoirs published in 1979, with regard to the Arabs of Lydda after the city had been taken over on 11 July 1948. At this stage it was probably the unchallenged military superiority of the Yishuv and the consequent collapse of Arab morale that explains the psychosis of flight of a panic-stricken Arab community. Plan D, however, was a major cause for the exodus, for it was strategically driven by the notion of creating Jewish contiguity even beyond the partition lines and, therefore, by the desire to have a Jewish state with the smallest possible number of Arabs.
The debate about whether or not the mass exodus of Palestinians was the result of a Zionist design or the inevitable concomitant of war should not ignore the ideological constructs that motivated the Zionist enterprise. The philosophy of transfer was not a marginal, esoteric article in the mindset and thinking of the main leaders of the Yishuv. These ideological constructs provided a legitimate environment for commanders in the field actively to encourage the eviction of the local population even when no precise orders to that effect were issued by the political leaders. As early as February 1948, that is before the real mass exodus had started but after he witnessed how the Arabs had fled from west Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion could not hide his excitement. Never ‘since the days of the Roman destruction’, he said to a convention of his party, Mapai, was Jerusalem ‘so completely Jewish as today. There are no strangers, one hundred per cent Jews.’ Ben-Gurion did not have to issue particular orders for expulsion. Rather, he established the strategic-ideological framework of the war effort. ‘Certainly there will be great changes in the composition of the population of the country,’ he said in the wake of the Arab exodus from west Jerusalem and later from Haifa.
To Ben-Gurion the war was not just about the physical survival of a small Jewish state, it was about the conquest, the possession and the settlement of the land. Plan D was about enlarging the borders of partition and creating Jewish contiguity. And Operations Yoav and Hiram were conducted in the winter of 1948 when, for all practical purposes, Israel had won its war for survival and it now needed new lands and greater strategic depth. The Jews did not have to buy land any more, but to ‘conquer it’, as Ben-Gurion said to an official of the Jewish National Fund in February 1948. He also instructed that abandoned Arab villages needed to be settled by Jews even before the end of hostilities. Settling the land in a way that created Jewish contiguity and demographic superiority was not to be an enterprise to be executed after the victory. Rather, it was part of the war itself. Villages were destroyed, their populations either evicted or fled, and their lands were settled by immigrants or cultivated by kibbutzim in the course of the war itself. This is how Ben-Gurion put in April 1948: ‘We will not be able to win the war if we do not, during the war, populate Upper and Lower, Eastern and Western Galilee, the Negev and the Jerusalem area.’ And this, he understood, would be facilitated by the ‘great change in the distribution of the Arab population’, a euphemism Ben-Gurion frequently preferred to more blunt expressions.”, S. Ben-Ami. Scars of war, wounds of peace: the Israeli-Arab tragedy. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.43-45
“Peel’s recommendation to transfer at least some 225,000 Arabs out of the lowlands of the proposed Jewish state propelled some of the Zionist leaders into transports of enthusiasm. Immediately with its publication, David Ben-Gurion, the Yishuv’s leader, jotted down in his diary:
‘In my comment on the report immediately after the first reading (from 10.7.37) I ignored a central point whose importance outweighs all the other positive [points] and counterbalances all the report’s deficiencies and drawbacks, and if it does not remain a dead letter, it could give us something that we never had before, even when we were independent, including during the First Commonwealth and also during the Second Commonwealth: The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys proposed for the Jewish state. I ignored this fundamental point out of a prejudice that this [i.e., transfer] is not possible, and that it is not practicable. But the more I look at the commission’s conclusions and the more the gigantic importance of this proposal becomes clear – [the more] I reach the conclusion that the first obstacle to implementing this proposal is – our own failure to come to grips with it and our being prisoners to prejudices and intellectual habits that flourished in our midst in other circumstances. With the evacuation of the Arab community from the valleys we achieve, for the first time in our history, a real Jewish state – an agricultural body of one or more million people, continuous, heavily populated, at one with its land which is completely its own. We achieve the possibility of a giant national settlement, on a large area that is all in the hands of the state . . . As with a magic wand, all the difficulties and defects that preoccupied us until now in our settlement enterprise [will vanish] – the question of Hebrew labor, defense, an organized economy, rational and predetermined exploitation of the land and water. We are given an opportunity that we never dreamed of and could not dare dream of in our most daring imaginings. This is more than a state, more than [self-] government, [more than] sovereignty – this is a national consolidation in a homeland free of handcuffs and external restraints creating power and solidity and rootedness that are more important than any mere political control . . . A continuous block of two and a half million dunams . . . the possibility of the new settlement of fifty or one hundred thousand families . . . when we have a Jewish state in the country and [outside] a Jewish people 16 million strong . . . nothing will be beyond the capabilities of this combination of forces, possibilities, needs and realities. And we must first of all cast off the weakness of thought and will and prejudice – that [says that] this transfer is impracticable. As before, I am aware of the terrible difficulty posed by a foreign force uprooting some 100,000 [sic.] Arabs from the villages they lived in for hundreds of years – will Britain dare carry this out? Certainly it will not do it – if we do not want it, and if we do not push it to do it with our force and with the force of our faith. Even if a maximum amount of pressure is applied – it is possible she may still be deterred . . . It is certainly possible – and [nothing] greater than this has been done for our cause in our time [than Peel proposing transfer]. And we did not propose this – the Royal Commission . . . did . . . and we must grab hold of this conclusion [i.e., recommendation] as we grabbed hold of the Balfour Declaration, even more than that – as we grabbed hold of Zionism itself we must cleave to this conclusion, with all our strength and will and faith – because of all the Commission’s conclusions, this is the one that alone offers some recompense for the tearing away of other parts of the country [i.e., the commission’s apportioning of most of the Land of Israel for Arab sovereignty], and [the proposal] also has great political logic from the Arab perspective, as Transjordan needs settlement and an increase of population and development and money, and the English government – the richest of governments – is required by her Royal Commission to provide the funds needed for this, and in the implementation of this transfer is a great blessing for the Arab state – and for us it is a question of life, existence, protection of culture, [Jewish population] increase, freedom and independence … What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible only in such great hours is not carried out – a whole world is lost . . . Any doubt on our part about the necessity of this transfer, any doubt we cast about the possibility of its implementation, any hesitancy on our part about its justice may lose [us] an historic opportunity that may not recur. The transfer clause in my eyes is more important than all our demands for additional land. This is the largest and most important and most vital additional “”area”” . . . We must distinguish between the importance and urgency of our different demands. We must recognize the most important wisdom of any historical work: The wisdom of what comes first and what later. There are a number of things that [we] struggle for now [but] which we cannot achieve now. For example the Negev. [On the other hand,] the evacuation [of the Arabs from] the [Jezreel] Valley we shall [i.e., must] achieve now – and, if not, perhaps we will never achieve it. If we do not succeed in removing the Arabs from our midst, when a royal commission proposes this to England, and transferring them to the Arab area – it will not be achieveable easily (or perhaps at all) after the [Jewish] state is established, and the rights of the minorities [in it] will [necessarily] be assured, and the whole world that is antagonistic towards us will carefully scrutinize our behavior towards our minorities. This thing must be done now – and the first step – perhaps the crucial [step] – is conditioning ourselves for its implementation.'”, B. Morris. “Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.” In The War for Palestine : Rewriting the History of 1948 / ed. by Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, (2007), P. 37-59. Cambridge University Press, 2007. p.41-43
“Ben-Gurion was not the only Zionist leader who kept anxiously, not to say obsessively, mulling over the possibilities of transfer. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Zionist Organization and the movement’s liberal elder statesman, repeatedly pressed the idea on various interlocutors. The following is a description – possibly penned by Lewis Namier, one of Weizmann’s aides – of Weizmann’s talk with Soviet ambassador to London Ivan Maisky in January 1941. The talk focused on the post-war settlement in Palestine:
‘Dr. Weizmann said he had had . . . a very interesting talk with M. Maisky . . . Mr. Maisky said there would have to be an exchange of populations. Dr. Weizmann said that if half a million Arabs could be transferred, two million Jews could be put in their place. That, of course, would be a first instalment; what might happen afterwards was a matter for history. Mr. Maisky’s comment was that they in Russia had also had to deal with exchanges of population. Dr. Weizmann said that the distance they had to deal with in Palestine would be smaller; they would be transferring the Arabs only into Iraq or Transjordan. Mr. Maisky asked whether some difficulties might not arise in transferring a hill-country population to the plains, and Dr. Weizmann replied that a beginning might be made with the Arabs from the Jordan Valley; but anyhow conditions in Transjordan were not so very different from the Palestine hill-country . . . Dr. Weizmann explained that they were unable to deal with [the Arabs] as, for instance, the Russian authorities would deal with a backward element in their population in the USSR. Nor would they desire to do so.‘”, B. Morris. “Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.” In The War for Palestine : Rewriting the History of 1948 / ed. by Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, (2007), P. 37-59. Cambridge University Press, 2007. p.45-46″
“Ben-Gurion returned to the transfer theme the following month, when he proposed bringing 1 million Jewish immigrants to Palestine’s shores “immediately.” The religious Mizrahi Party’s Moshe Hayim Shapira said that the matter would force the Yishuv to consider transferring Arabs. Ben-Gurion replied: ‘I am opposed that any proposal for transfer should come from our side. I do not reject transfer on moral grounds and I do not reject it on political grounds. If there is a chance for it [I support it]; with regard to the Druse it is possible. It is possible to move all the Druse voluntarily to Jabal Druse [in Syria]. The other [Arabs] – I don’t know. But it must not be a Jewish proposal . . . ‘”, B. Morris. “Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.” In The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948 / ed. by Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, (2007), pag. 37-59. Cambridge University Press. p.47
“Ben-Gurion apart, the documentation that has come to light or been declassified during the past ten years offers a great deal of additional information about the expulsions of 1948. he departure of Arab communities from some sites, departures that were described in The Birth as due to fear or IDF military attack or were simply unexplained, now appear to have been tinged if not characterized by Haganah or IDF expulsion orders and actions (for example, Ein Hod near Haifa and Isdud, today’s Ashdod, near Ashkelon). This means that the proportion of the 700,000 Arabs who took to the roads as a result of expulsions rather than as a result of straightforward military attack or fear of attack, etc. is greater than indicated in The Birth. Similarly, the new documentation has revealed atrocities that I had not been aware of while writing The Birth (for example, at al-Husayniyya, north of the Sea of Galilee, in March, and at Burayr, north of Beersheba, in May). These atrocities are important in understanding the precipitation of various phases of the Arab exodus.
Let me add that with respect to both expulsions and atrocities, we can expect additional revelations as the years pass and as more Israeli records become available. As things stand, the IDFA has a standing policy guideline not to open material explicitly describing expulsions and atrocities. Thus, much IDF material on these subjects remains closed. But IDFA officials, like all officials, occasionally overlook a document with an explicit description or, more frequently, relent when it comes to implicit or indirect descriptions. Thus, the archive may declassify a document carrying an order to expel but keep sealed the following document in which the local commander details how he carried out the order.”, B. Morris. “Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.” In The War for Palestine : Rewriting the History of 1948 / ed. by Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, (2007), P. 37-59. Cambridge University Press, 2007. p.49″
“Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin published his memoirs in 1979. As a commander of the units that forcibly expelled 50,000 Arab men, women and children from Lydda (Lod) and Ramie, Rabin knew exactly what had caused the refugee problem. The Israeli government, however, refused to allow Rabin’s memoirs to be published in Israel until the passages describing this expulsion were excised. The portions that were deleted, however, were published by the New York Times. They included the following:
‘We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon [head of the Palmach] repeated his question: ‘What is to be done with the population?’. B.G. [Ben-Gurion] waved his hand in a gesture which said, ‘Drive them out!’ … Allon and I held a consultation. I agreed it was essential to drive the inhabitants out. We took them on foot towards the Bet Horon Road … ‘Driving out’ is a term with a harsh ring … Psychologically, this was one of the most difficult actions we undertook. The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the 10 to 15 miles to the point where they met up with the Legion … There were some fellows who refused to take part in the expulsion action. Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action, to remove the bitterness of these youth- movement groups, and explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action.’”, I.S. Lustick. “Israeli history: Who is fabricating what?” 39 Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 156 – 66 no. 3 (1997). p. 160 “
“The “cleansing of the Galilee” was the result of high-level policy rather than a random by-product of the war. Central Galilee contained a large number of Arab residents, including refugees from western and eastern Galilee. On 26 September, Ben-Gurion had told the cabinet that, should the fighting be renewed in the north, the Galilee would become “”clean”” and “”empty”” of Arabs. In the event, it was Israel that renewed the fighting, and it was the IDF that carried out the expulsions. Four brigades were concentrated in the north for Operation Hiram.””, A. Shlaim. “Israel and the Arab coalition in 1948.” In The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, eds. E. L. Rogan and A. Shlaim, 79-103. Cambridge University Press, 2007. p. 99