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Liberating Israelis from the mentality of occupation

The occupying identity has become second nature — a state of being. Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian right of return would go a long way toward liberation — of Israelis.

By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein

A father and daughter take part in the annual ’March of Return’ to the demolished Palestinian village of Kabul in Israel. Although Nakba Day is commemorated on May 15, the 'March of Return' occurs on the same day Israel celebrates its Independence Day, according to the Hebrew calendar, May 10, 2011. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A father and daughter take part in the annual ’March of Return’ to the demolished Palestinian village of Kabul in Israel. Although Nakba Day is commemorated on May 15, the ‘March of Return’ occurs on the same day Israel celebrates its Independence Day, according to the Hebrew calendar, May 10, 2011. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

On the 67th Independence Day of the State of Israel, its citizens appear to be further than ever from the “liberation” promised on the day of its founding. A war that was intended to “liberate” us (‘us’ being Jews alone, of course) in 1948 ended in military occupation and the expulsion of most of the Palestinians from the country. Even more severe than that, the occupation turned the Israeli-Jewish collective identity into an occupier’s one, which since then has been, in its great majority, committed to continuing the enterprise of occupation.

The vast majority of Israelis do not question the sacrifice of their sons and daughters in this ongoing war, let alone that they are being turned into Spartan subjects whose goal is to kill the opponent in the name of the holy nation. There is a small but growing number alongside them who are taking civic responsibility and refusing to serve in the Israeli army.

The successful implementation of the occupying identity is reflected in the concealment of the occupation itself. Most of those in the peace camp and the Israeli left refer to the occupation as an undertaking that began in 1967. They have also succeeded in bestowing on the world the derogatory term “settlers,” thereby creating the illusion that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the continuing military control over them, are an anomaly or deviation from a supposedly pure original path.

The fact is that the occupation of 1967 is the obvious culmination of an enterprise that began in the dawning days of Zionist immigration. The segregation between settlers and natives in the name of “redeeming the land” was a guiding principle that reached its ultimate form in the establishment of a Jewish state, by way of expelling most of the Palestinians and turning them into refugees during the Nakba.

Approximately 10,000 people take part in the annual ‘March of Return’ to the demolished Palestinian village of Khubayza in northern Israel. Although Nakba Day is commemorated on May 15, the 'March of Return' occurs on the same day Israel celebrates its Independence Day, according to the Hebrew calendar. April 16, 2013. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Approximately 10,000 people take part in the annual ‘March of Return’ to the demolished Palestinian village of Khubayza in northern Israel. Although Nakba Day is commemorated on May 15, the ‘March of Return’ occurs on the same day Israel celebrates its Independence Day, according to the Hebrew calendar. April 16, 2013. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

That the ministers of education and culture define the Nakba as a day on which Palestinians mourn the founding of the State of Israel not only displays ignorance, it also bolsters Israelis’ sense that Palestinian identity is limited to hatred of Israel and Jews.

The first Zionist leaders in Europe used the term colonialism in order to describe what it was they wished to bring about in Eretz Israel. Colonization continues to this day in the limited but consistent expulsion of Palestinians, the intention to pass a nation-state law, the marginalization of the Arabic language and more. The time has come for a new word in Hebrew, to signify the process of de-colonization that can release us from our identity and reality of occupation. De-colonization must challenge the very origins of Israel and not just seek to address the later symptom of those roots – the occupation of 1967.

The occupying identity has become second nature — a state of being — to Israelis, to the point that any proposal in the direction of peace, which of course requires compromise with the occupied, is presented as an existential threat whose goal is the total destruction of Israel (which alludes to the ultimate destruction that occurred in Europe, without the need to reference it directly). Therefore, Israel’s nationalist right-wing leaders gave up long ago on such threatening talk of peace. Spaces for shared thoughts of the future that will come once the colonialist regime has fallen, have become extremely rare.

Many Israelis view the recognition of Palestinians’ rights, and the idea that they are equal as human beings to Israelis, as expressions of anti-Semitism and self-hatred to the point of posing a genuine existential threat.

On the contrary, we believe that recognition of the Nakba and the right of return for Palestinian refugees present an opportunity for Israelis to be truly free to live in prosperity and security in the long-term, and not just in the gaps between wars.

Eitan Bronstein Aparcio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein are founders of the De-Colonizer organization.

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    1. spencerhr

      Nonsense. The “right of return” will take place the same time Poland grants a right of return to Germans expelled in 1945 – meaning never. The Palestinans need to permanently give up a right of return, like every other refugee group in the world has done (I could name many).

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        Of course that is technically inaccurate. Most of the Tibetan exile community in India are still not citizens of that country (It’s only recently that a few Tibetan exiles have become Indian citizens). Germany granted a right of return to anyone whose ancestors were expelled by the NSDAP, and about 100,000 Israelis have German citizenship.

        Of course, take 2, the Palestinians are not equivalent to the Germans expelled from E. Europe post-WWII, they are equivalent to the populations ethnically cleansed by Germany during the war so they could be replaced with Germans, as that was the agenda of Zionist settlement in Palestine from 1897 on.


        Reply to Comment
        • spencerhr

          So as I see, the Tibetan diaspora in India is slowly but steadily gaining citizenship, and not choosing to live in refugee camps whilst demanding a “right of return” to China.

          In general, no one will receive a “right of return” after 67 years, no matter what circumstances they fled in. The Germans are the best example, but I could also mention the Ukrainians kicked out of Poland (Operation Vistula), the Poles kicked out of Western Ukraine, or for that matter the Jews ethnically cleansed from Arab states. It’s the Palestinians fault that they refused the UN partition plan and chose instead to wage war against the Jews. The “right of return” is a complete delusion which any sane person should recognize as something that will never take place, not in a million years. The “refugees” were just used as pawns in order to destroy Israel, and that’s the case until today. Israel will never agree to its self-destruction, it’s a simple as that.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            It’s the Palestinians fault that they refused the UN partition plan and chose instead to wage war against the Jews.

            There were few armed Palestinians in 1948. Most of them fled to the UN-proposed Arab state, many of whom had to flee or were expelled a second time from Acre, Lydda, and Ashkelon when the IDF overran these cities (along with a number of villages). It was the Haganah that contravened the partition boundaries by invading the “Arab state” and the Corpus Separatum as part of Plan Dalet.

            Considering Zionists claim they are returning to Eretz Israel after a 2000 year absence, you’ve got to really have your head way up your ass to support that movement and tell refugees they have no outstanding grievances with the political actors who displaced them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Dutch Oven

            Did you forget that the Arab militias put a siege on Jerusalem and nearly,starving the 100,000 Jewish residents to death?

            Plan Dalet was put in place to remedy this. It was a military plan, not a political one

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            I might be inclined to buy this if it had been put in place by a native Jewish Palestinian militia but with Zionist officials discussing “transfer” schemes a good 50 years before 1948, any reason is going to look like a pretext. The JNF settlement activities beforehand suggest in the absence of a military conflict Plan Dalet would have been replaced with such alternatives as bribing the peasants to relocate or seizing their land through some spurious legislation. I have no doubt had the Arabs accepted the UN partition the “Arab state” would have faced its own refugee crisis.

            Reply to Comment
      • sh

        “The Palestinans need to permanently give up a right of return, like every other refugee group in the world has done (I could name many)”

        Oh the irony! Are you sure you want to address such a leaky contention to the descendants of world’s most iconic refugee group of all time, who are doing their best to forget their own history with “help” from people like you?

        Reply to Comment
    2. “Many Israelis view the recognition of Palestinians’ rights, and the idea that they are equal as human beings to Israelis, as expressions of anti-Semitism and self-hatred to the point of posing a genuine existential threat.”

      Fear of the other. Fear of sharing power. Fear of losing their women to the other (Lehava, anyone?). The US is still struggling with the legacy of slavery, emancipation, the KKK, reconstruction, Jim Crow/segretation up to and through the civil rights era. There are still huge gaps and problems. I would hope there is a better chance for change here as the problems started less than 100 years ago. There is still time for change. This stranglehold the GoI has on Palestinians is almost as harmful to Israeli Jews – it has lead to an unshakeable sense of entitlement to the point that it has infantalized the populace and turned them into petulant, temper tantruming (with deadly consequences) spoiled children. The change will have to come from outside forces (agree wholeheartedly with Gideon Levy) as the US helped to create this monster and continues to be its biggest enabler.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Pedro X

      The Naqba and the Wrong of Return

      The writer says Israelis should recognize the Naqba and a right of return.

      Who denies that the Palestinian Arabs suffered a catastrophe in 1947 to 1948? The Palestinian Arabs in the 1947-1948 war suffered a self inflicted catastrophe. They rejected peace, a state of their own and residency in Israel for 400,000 Arabs. They embarked on an existential war to destroy the emergent Jewish state and its people. They lost the war to exterminate the new state and its people and dealt a hammer blow to Palestinian Arab society. Large numbers of Arab peoples fled the war, were ordered by Arabs to flee or expelled by Jewish forces. Most who left were not allowed back into Israel. Most became internally displaced.

      Israel after the war proposed to make peace with its Arab neighbors and in exchange for peace and recognition it offered to take back 100,000 refugees. The Arabs would neither negotiate an end to the conflict nor grant Israel recognition. In addition in the wake of the war Arab nations expelled or caused to leave 850,000 Jewish inhabitants from Arab countries, of whom 600,000 settled in Israel. In Arabs in effect achieved a transfer of populations.

      Article 5 of UN General Assembly resolution 194 requested that Israel and the Arab parties resolve all issues by negotiations. The Arabs would not negotiate peace nor settlement of the conflict. The Arabs prepared to go back to war and carried on attacks, wars and wars of attrition against the new Jewish state and it inhabitants.

      The Arabs also rejected article 11 of the same resolution calling upon the parties to permit those refugees who wished to return home and live in peace be permitted to do so at the earliest opportunity. The Arabs rejected the resolution and created 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. They did not permit internal Jewish refugees to return to their homes in Arab occupied areas. They made Gaza and the West Bank to remain ethnically cleansed of all Jews. The Arabs made it clear that the Arab refugees would not return to live in peace in Israel. The Arabs said they would return as conquerors.

      After the war Israel incorporated over time its refugees. The Palestinian Arabs and other Arab states with the help of UNWRA did not resettle Arab refugees living in Arab countries but put them in Ghettos subject often to discriminatory laws. In Gaza and the West Bank many Arabs were put in refugee camps which became slums. No effort was made to create a Palestinian state and deal with problems as the Israeli state did. the goal remained to liquidate the Israeli state.

      General Resolution 194 never became international law. There was never a right of return created. The Arabs themselves blocked the possibility of settling the refugee issue. However the Arabs claim a right of return for not only the Arab refugees of 1948 to come live in Israel but also the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original refugees and other Arabs who signed up for free UNWRA support. Put simply the Arabs seek to liquidate the Israeli state by flooding it with Arabs hostile to its existence.

      The Palestinians wrongfully think that Israel is going to permit a right for Arabs to flood the Israeli state with Arabs who are vehemently hostile to the Jewish state and its people. Israel is not going to commit suicide to allow Arabs to establish one more Arab state in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        1. Three generations have passed since 1948.
        2. It’s not a soccer game and the ‘winner’ doesn’t get to take all.
        3. Human rights issues are involved.
        4. If you believe in the validity of collective punishment of whole societies, fine – just take it to the logical conclusion.

        Reply to Comment
      • Weiss

        You really are psychotic…

        This is an obsession of desperation that will not bear fruit…

        The writing is on the wall and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop the coming Palestinian State.

        Reply to Comment
      • Yeah, Right

        Right of Return is, of course, a component of International Human Rights Law i.e. it is a right that is possessed by the *individual*.

        It therefore makes not one bit of difference that Pedro X points the finger of blame at the Palestinian leadership circa 1947-49 for the disaster that befell the 400,000 Palestinians who were ejected by Israeli forces during that war.

        Whatever the sins of that leadership, it can not – and does not – affect the human rights of those individuals who suffered that catastrophe.

        That catastrophe – which even Pedro X admits those individuals suffered – amounts to an offense against the human rights of those who suffered, and therefore those individuals deserve restitution for their suffering.

        They have to be allowed to return, or they have to be compensated for their loss, and Pedro is not allowed to deny them by arguing the logical fallacy that Their Leaders Were More Venal Than My Leaders, So They Deserve Nothing.

        Human Rights doesn’t work that way, Pedro, because Human Rights aren’t vested in the “leadership”.

        It is vested in the “humans”.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Jello

      Everything in the narrative you advance is consistent with the “Nakba Day” commemorations being expressions of sorrow for the creation of the State of Israel. Everything in your narrative is consistent with desiring to eliminate the State of Israel. Everything in your goals is consistent with turning Israel into yet another failed state in the Middle East where Jews and all other minorities are persecuted. And then you wonder why no one listens to you despite the massive injections of European money your organizations receive to try to push your narrative forward. I wish you many failures and a deeply unhappy and unsuccessful professional life.

      Happy Independence Day!

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        Nakba Day is an expression of sorrow over eviction, expulsion, betrayal and massive loss both material and psychological, none of which is acknowledged let alone recognized by the state. In effect this lack of official acknowledgement enables these factors to continue and helps the Israeli Jewish and also the diaspora Jewish public to pretend it never happened. It’s the back of the coin that boasts a Jewish independent state, a history composed of both success and disaster entwined. The sorrow remains personal, private and ongoing because it has never become part of a political agenda. And when it does and everyone knows the score, a solution that can actually work for all who live here will be seriously sought and found.

        Reply to Comment
        • Jello

          Nakba Day is a political tool used by Palestinian nationalists within Israel and outside of it to mobilize masses to commemorate a narrative and identity whose underlying goal and principle is to mourn the creation of Israel and to wish for its destruction. The “sorrow” of ten thousand people marching is not “personal” or “private”, nor are the speeches made by politicians “personal” or “private”. The “sorrow” of a third generation is not “personal” or “private” because it can not physically be such. It is a politicized event to promote a narrative that rejects living in peace with Israel and it is seen as such accurately by Israelis. No peace will come from mobilizing the Arab masses around the rejection of the existence of the State of Israel. The only people that think that such an event can contribute to any sort of solution are those that see as a solution the destruction of Israel and the ensuing expulsion and oppression of Jews as second class citizens in a failed Arab Muslim state.

          Israeli Jews see the events of 1948 appropriately. The Arabs tried to strangle Israel in its infancy and expel the Jews. They failed. The Arabs ran away or got expelled with the distinction operationally irrelevant given the continued and persistent unwillingness of Arabs to live in peace with a Jewish State. If the authors expect us to apologize for winning and not being massacred they will be waiting for a while.

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            You see hatred and masked intentions everywhere, Jello. In Israel Nakba Day is a day when people walk to the villages of their parents and grandparents to remember them and also to remember their dead and their scattered relatives. If not for Bir’im and Iqrit no-one would know that Israel broke solemn promises even to Palestinian villagers who had had friendly relations with their Jewish neighbours for decades. But we do know because eminent historians, even right-wing ones, have told us. Your constant suspicion of hatred lurking in every Palestinian who writes an article here says more about you than about those who mark the Nakba.

            “The Arabs” are not a homogeneous bloc – not even for the State of Israel, which has since signed peace treaties with some of the Arab governments that sent armies to fight it in 1948. The Nakba is specifically about Palestinians who lived here, not foreign Arab armies who came to “defend” them but in reality were defending their own interests. The only thing preventing Israel from envisaging peace with the Palestinians is its unwillingness to assume responsibility for its actions. Israel should not be shooting live ammunition at protesters and operating a military government in half the country after 67 years of existence. It’s a sign of failure, not success.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jello

            Yes, when I see a few thousand people with Palestinian flags marching in Israel towards a random former village every year mourning the creation of my country I see “hatred and masked intentions”. I see it because it is entirely explicit in every speech made during those events and entirely apparent in the narrative that these political demonstrations promote. The narrative they promote is that Israel should not exist and that they continue to hope to make it so. It is not in the very least hidden except from those that simply refuse to see and hear.

            The “Arabs” were very much a homogenous bloc when they tried to strangle Israel in its infancy. The “Nakba” is specifically Palestinian and it is a specifically Palestinian political event designed to promote the idea that Israel must be destroyed. The only thing preventing peace is the fact, marked annually, that the Palestinians continue to refuse to live in peace with Israel regardless of her borders. That we continue to live and prosper is indeed a failure for them and hence the sorrow they display three generations later. We are not about to apologize for surviving and thriving or feel sorry for them for failing to destroy us.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            The creation of your country was a systematic military assault on civilians. That’s going to leave hard feelings somewhere done the line.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            If you say so Jello. In exactly the same way that Independence Day (and every other Israeli holiday) “is a political tool used by [Israeli] nationalists within Israel and outside of it to mobilize masses to commemorate a narrative and identity whose underlying goal and principle is to [celebrate] the creation of Israel [and the demise of Palestine] and to wish for [the continued denial of the right of Palestinian self-determination].

            Jello do you never have the slightest inkling before you put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, that what will eventually issue forth is replete with double standards?

            Reply to Comment
      • Weiss

        Wow… You are absolutely seething with hatred for anything that deviates from your warped and psychotic perspective…

        What a disgusting person…

        Reply to Comment
    5. Bruce Gould

      This is an article from last year on Ynet about Israeli domestic violence:


      Years ago an Israeli from Yesh Gvul told me that he thought the reason Israel has a problem in this area is the Occupation – he explained to me that it’s widely understood that the Palestinians have no rights, and that creates an atmosphere in which people can look at each other and say to themselves – well, if some people have no rights, maybe it’s ok for this person – my wife, say – to also not have any rights.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      I’ve cone to realize that this “Jello” sees eliminationism, intent to destroy, in absolutely every gesture and thought to the left of Naftali Bennet. So what are the possibilities? He is paranoid or is a wild straw man builder or his definition of destruction involves anything that moves Israel away from rigid and somewhat sadistic Jewish supremacism. Watch out. This is not a person you’re going to have a conversation with that goes somewhere. But observation is indicated.

      Reply to Comment
      • Jello

        Hahahaha. No. I see the desire to destroy/eliminate when such is stated in the explicit/implicit goals of someone. For example, the authors of this article are explicitly dedicated to the elimination of Israel. They say so openly. Those that march to express their sorrow on Israeli Independence Day while waving foreign flags and demanding that it be flooded by millions of Arabs are implicitly calling for the elimination of Israel. This is the only possible outcome consistent with their narratives and declared goals.

        Reply to Comment
        • “Those that march to express their happiness on Nakba Day while waving foreign flags and demanding that it be flooded by millions of Jews are implicitly calling for the elimination of Palestine. This is the only possible outcome consistent with their narratives and declared goals.”

          The continuing course of the zionist enterprise. What could possibly go wrong?

          Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          Jello, I’m struggling with this concept of destruction / elimination. Please quote some other historic examples – because I think a better description of those regimes which have disappeared from the pages of history (e.g. the Byzantine, Ottoman, British, French, German, Belgian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Soviet Empires, the Third Reich, Apartheid South Africa, white rule in Rhodesia, the Confederate States of the US etc, etc), were not destroyed / eliminated, but collapsed or fell apart under their own internal contradictions, or were replaced by successor states that had greater legitimacy because they better (though of course inadequately) encapsulated human rights and national self-determination. Perhaps you might refer to the Roman and Napoleonic Empires as regimes that were destroyed or eliminated and were replaced by inferior regimes but these also entailed imperial overreach and paralysing internal weakness and division. Perhaps the Weimar Republic (perhaps particularly apposite to Israel) is a good example of a regime destroyed by its enemies, but note these were internal, not external, enemies.

          Note: their seems to be a common theme in many of the examples I have quoted (and which might also be relevant to Israel) that their demise was a function of failed colonial domination, military overreach, racism, oppression, denial of democratic and human rights, and the passing of governmental control to out-of-touch, unrepresentative and selfish elites or cadres who were unable to adjust policy in the light of pragmatic needs.

          Reply to Comment
          • Dutch Oven

            More nonsense and hate speech from Bryan
            This one is filled with confirmation bias and conflating causality with correlation

            And made up history
            British and French collapsing? Huh? They merely changed policies.

            And notice the absence of Molslem nations from his list that should include Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon among others. PC at its finest levels of hypocrisy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            I asked Jello to provide me with examples of states that had been destroyed or eliminated (by external enemies), as opposed to collapsing or falling apart or being replaced by other regimes (i.e. as a change of policy). I did not mention “Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon” – not because of PC hypocrisy, or because of any bias in favour of Moslem states, but for the simple reason that to the best of my knowledge, these states have not been destroyed or eliminated, though of course they have changed over the course of history, and will change some more in due course, because that is a historical process. As for your accusation that this was “made up history” and your questioning as to whether “the British and French Empires collapsed” my point was that that these had not been destroyed by external enemies (as Jello claims Israel is facing) but by internal opposition to their policies (e.g. French rule in Vietnam and Algeria, British rule in India, Ireland, America, Kenya etc. etc.) which forced change in these colonial policies. Israel is unlikely to be destroyed by external enemies, but may well be destroyed by the extremism of its own advocates, but we can be certain that in the future it will change, as it has constantly changed up to the present.

            Reply to Comment
    7. New Relic

      When the Palistinians are ready I am sure that they will have their non-militarized principality. But the unrestricted right of returna. Lol. Not happening.

      Reply to Comment
      • Harry

        I really would like to see Israel legislate a death penalty that would be applied to both politically-motivated murder and sedition, plus institute forced exile to Gaza and confiscation of assets for traitors like the nincompoops that wrote this silly sad piece. Jews have a right to live in the land of their ancestors. They’ve fought hard and paid in blood for all of it, and Israel has been far too tolerant with those who wish her harm. Another thing that needs doing is the apprehension of these so-called “Internationals,” who use their foreign passports, pose as tourists and come to stir up trouble. No other country puts up with nonsense like that. Why should Israel? Those clowns who interfere with the border police and the construction of the separation wall and other public safety measures deserve a swift military tribunal and then simple punishment as spies and saboteurs.

        Reply to Comment
        • Jews have a right to live anywhere. However, there were millions of Palestinians in PALESTINE at the time the zionists put their plan into action. If you claim a historic right to the land, are you talking torah or just jive? The zionists were mostly atheists, yet they used the bible to justify their theft. Just a tiny bit of hypocrisy, who would dare question the motives of zionists after the holocaust? Guilt has allowed the murder of the indigenous people of Palestine and theft of their homes and land. The ancient Hebrews were dispersed and dispelled from Palestine as punishment for their continued defiance, perversion and sinfulness. So are you going to only use portions of the Torah for the continual theft, subjugation and occupation of Palestinians, or look at the entire book? The Most High will sort it all out (per the book) and in the meantime it would be honoring the Most High, and doing what is expected of us, to make peace with all of our brethren in Palestine.

          Don’t use the Torah to justify the occupation, but for nothing else. Who do you think is falling for this ponzi scheme, except the right wing Evangelicals around the world (especially Americans with their exceptionally deep pockets, prejudice, racism, etc.).

          Reply to Comment
          • Harry

            The Indigenous people of Palestine.

            Most of them are Jews. The notion of Arabs being “Palestinians didn’t come around until about 1967. Most of today’s so-called Palestinians are the descendants of other plain old Arabs who in-migrated less than 150 years ago after the Jews started making the desert bloom. Also these same nincompoops would like everyone to forget that this domed mosque of theirs was built on top of the ruins of 2 Jewish temples that had preceded it by about 2,000 years. Talk about usurping Jewish land! The Dome of the Rock is so important to their religion that they point their asses towards it when they pray.

            Reply to Comment
          • “The old will die and the young will forget” – Did Ben-Gurion say it?

            Submitted by Asa Winstanley on Sun, 08/11/2013 – 20:35 [Electronic Intifada]

            You’ve likely seen or heard the famous words attributed to Israel’s first prime minister.

            But while “the old will die and the young will forget” is likely an accurate summary of David Ben-Gurion’s hope that the Palestinian refugees would disappear, it is almost certainly not his wording.

            Yet research by The Electronic Intifada has also shown that Ben-Gurion did once write to his son: “We must expel Arabs and take their place.”

            Pro-Israel propaganda group CAMERA last year challenged the validity of this second quotation as part of a campaign against the Journal of Palestine Studies and anti-Zionist academic Ilan Pappe.

            Arthur Ruppin, a key Zionist planner, told a Jewish Agency Executive meeting in 1938: “I do not believe in the transfer of the individual, I believe in the transfer of entire [Palestinian] villages.”

            This quotation is from Nur Masalha’s seminal work Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 (page 113). This important 1992 book draws extensively on declassified Israeli archives in the original Hebrew.

            Professor Masalha’s tireless work shows that Zionists were obsessed with the idea of removing the indigenous people from the land to make way for their colonial project: the “Jewish state.”

            They euphemistically called this “transfer” and, as Masalha shows, often entertained the fantasy that Palestinians would not mind being uprooted from their historical homeland.

            There is no doubt about the historical culmination of these schemes. Over months, from the end of 1947 and on through 1948, some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from the part of historical Palestine that today is known as Israel – under Ben-Gurion’s leadership. Those same refugees and their children have never been permitted to return.

            It is also often forgotten that the expulsions continued after the foundation of the state, and several thousand Palestinians were forcibly removed from al-Majdal –now Ashkelon – to the Gaza Strip in 1950.

            This catastrophe is commemorated by Palestinians today as the Nakba.”

            Palestinian’s futures being determined by zionists as far back as 1882. People have been trying for decades to marginalize, minimize and dispute the existence of Palestinians. Maybe you could find better things to do with your time, start with reading Goliath by Max Blumenthal or The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe or maybe refresh yourself in the Torah regarding the treatment of others.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah. Right

            “Jews have a right to live anywhere.”

            Well, no, that is no more true for Jews than it is for anyone else.

            If you are a foreigner – Jewish or Gentile – and you declare that you have “a right to live in the USA” then you might be in for a very rude shock.

            It’s not your ethnicity that matters. What matters is wether (or not, as the case may be) the US government agrees to give you a Green Card.

            Get that and you can live there.
            Fail to get that Green Card and, no, sorry, you can’t.

            This sense of entitlement is breathtaking in its audacity.

            If you are a citizen of a country then you have a “right” to live there.

            But if you then want to “live someplace else” then that is a privilege bestowed by the country you want to go to, it most definitely is not a right.

            Reply to Comment
          • I don’t believe Jews are entitled in any way or should get a free pass. Citizenship is not a given, it is to be applied for and if approved would be granted at the discretion of the country receiving the application, etc.; I apologize for being so brief.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            “I don’t believe Jews are entitled in any way or should get a free pass.”

            Nor do I. Jews are no more – nor less – “special” than anyone else, and their ethnicity gives then no “right” to live whereever they like on Planet Earth.

            “Citizenship is not a given, it is to be applied for and if approved would be granted at the discretion of the country receiving the application”

            Again, you need to make it perfectly clear that you are talking about foreigners who wish to live Somewhere Else, because that statement of yours does not apply to those whose citizenship comes to them by dint of birth-right.

            An example: both my parents are Australian citizens, and I was born and raised in Australia.

            My Australian citizenship was, indeed, a given. Nobody had to apply for it – least of all me – and no “discretion” was allowed to the Commonwealth of Australia.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Justi

      I checked your organization website. It looks great, and you guys are doing honorable work. I wish you the best of luck as I have no doubt you are facing a backlash. As for the comments section of this webiste, it is unfortunate that it has been mostly hijacked by the crazies who offer nothing to the conversation. I have seen a lot of hate speech in the comments section recently. On one hand, I feel that comments should be monitored for hate speech and on the other, it might be good to not delete the comments just to show the level of hatred and racism prevalent today in Israeli right-wing zionist thinking. Thank you for this article and for acqainting us with your wonderful organization.

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    9. Barry Meridian

      If you gave Palestinians pipes to fix their sewage system they would use them as rocket launchers and then blame the Jews for t
      Ken Kelso 3/16/15 Keep this message at the top of your inbox
      To: Ken Kelso

      If you gave Palestinians pipes to fix their sewage system they would use them as rocket launchers and then blame the Jews for the predicament.

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      • Ben

        Appallingly contemptuous garbage. Your cut and paste came from under what rock? The utterly idiotic JPost talkback forums?

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        • New Relic

          Yes Brian. You are one to criticize others for copying and pasting
          It’s Friday night, don’t you have some guys to meet on Grindr?

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    10. Ben

      I encourage people to pay particular attention to the comments of “Waterlily” above with respect to (1) Torah and (2) schemes of uprooting Palestinians from their land. These comments are informed, intelligent, incisive. Which is why the trivial “Dutch Oven” is desperate to discredit them with trivial invective.

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