By Nizar Sakhnini
The eighteenth century was the heyday of the imperialist lust for world-wide hegemony and control. Wealthy European Ashkenazim, who were facing discrimination in Europe, wanted to use this opportunity in order to establish a state of their own and rid themselves from the discrimination they face in Europe.
Creation of a Jewish State in Palestine could not have happened without the help provided by the imperialist powers. For the imperialist powers, such a state would form a militarized outpost and a base for control of an area that is rich with oil resources.
Napoleon Bonaparte was the first European leader to appreciate the special services a Jewish state would offer in facilitating his imperialist and colonial ambitions and issued an invitation for a Jewish convention for all European Jews in 1807.
Palmerstone of Great Britain was interested in facilitating Jewish immigration to Palestine in 1840. When Britain bought the Egyptian share in the Suez Canal Corp. in 1875, Lord Rothschild (Baron de Rothschild) financed the deal. Two years later, Lord Rotschild financed the first Jewish settlement in Palestine, Betah Tekfa. (For more details, see Mohammad Hassanine Haikal, Secret Negotiations between the Arabs and Israel – in Arabic – pp. 21-51. See also Peter Grose, Israel in the Mind of Ameri ca , New York , Alfred A. Knopf, 1983, p. 8)
Herzl made it clear that if the Great Powers granted Palestine to the Zionists and guaranteed their existence, they would there (in Palestine) “Form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism…” (Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State: An Attempt at a Modern Solution to the Jewish Question., p. 30)
General Shlomo Gazit, a former Israeli Military Intelligence commander, stated that “The geographical location of Israel at the center of the Arab-Muslim Middle East predestines Israel to be a devoted guardian of stability in all the countries surrounding it. Its (role) is to protect the existing regimes: to prevent or halt the processes of radicalization, and to block the expansion of fundamentalist religious zealotry. For this purpose Israel will prevent changes occurring beyond Israel’s borders (which it) will regard as intolerable, to the point of feeling compelled to use all its military power for the sake of their prevention or eradication.” (Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, p. 10)
When the Zionists began to talk about creation of a state in Palestine, the number of Jews living in Palestine did not exceed 10,000. Accordingly, creation of a “Jewish State” in Palestine required Ethnic Cleansing and Land Theft. And this is exactly what started in 1948 and is still going on to this date.
Yossef Weitz, director of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Lands Dept. and a major settlement executive, wrote in his diary in 1940: “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 (after the end of World War II) is a Land of Israel, at least a western Land of Israel (i.e., Palestine), without Arabs. There is no room here for compromises… There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for (the Arabs of) Bethlehem, Nazareth and old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one (Bedouin) tribe. The transfer must be directed at Iraq, Syria and even Transjordan. For this goal funds will be found… And only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers and the Jewish problem will cease to exist. There is no other solution.” (Benny Morris, The Birth of the Refugee problem, 1947–1949, p.27)
According to Weitz, “Transfer does not serve only one aim – to reduce the Arab population – it also serves a second purpose by no means less important, which is: to evict land now cultivated by Arabs and to free it for Jewish settlement.” Therefore, he concluded: “The only solution is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighbouring countries. Not a single village or a single tribe must be let off”. (Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, p. 62)
This is exactly what started in 1948 and is still going on to this date. And after sixty years of wars and bloodshed what was the result for Zionists? The number of Palestinian Arabs within the boundaries of Mandate Palestine is almost equal to the number of Jews and the land is still owned by the Palestinian Arabs.
On 30 March 1976 Palestinians under occupation since 1948 and holding Israeli citizenship held a general strike and demonstrated peacefully against a wave of land confiscation. Six young Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army. The Rabin government, at the time, refused to set up a commission to investigate the killings. Subsequently March 30 was commemorated annually as the Land Day. (Nur Masalha, A Land Without a People: Israel, Transfer and the Palestinians 1949 – 96, London: Faber and Faber ltd., 1997, p. 136)
It is about time for the Jews living in Palestine to admit the fallacy and bankruptcy of the Zionist project and to accept to live in peace and harmony with the Palestinian Arabs as equal people with equal rights and to allow the Refugees to go back to the lands and homes that were stolen from them.
-Nizar Sakhnini contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com