Redemption or Conquest: Zionist Yishuv plans for transfer of Palestinian Arabs in the British Mandate period

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

British Mandate of Palestine, 1920s. Created b...
Image via Wikipedia

Yishuv refers to the Jewish community in Palestine. The British Mandate period was from 1922 to 1948.

This post continues from the same reference (Nur Masalha’s Expulsion of the Palestinians) as in my previous post, and looks at a Palestinian historian’s discussion of the fate of the Palestinian people as planned by the Zionist movement from “the beginning”. Some readers may accuse me of stirring up hatred against the Jews by posting this sort of research. I deny any such charge. The ill-feeling and tensions that have resulted from the events and attitudes described in this and in the previous post don’t have to be “stirred up”. But many people in the West certainly do need to be “waked up” to the other side of the story. Obscenely, one is often accused of “antisemitism” for even daring to raise the Palestinian voice, or even any voice mildly critical of Zionist or Israeli state policies.

The world, and Palestinians and Israelis in particular, are living today with the legacy of the past. Justice, the precondition for peace, can only emerge after all the facts — from both parties — are laid out for all to see. Hiding one side’s story under the rocks of the desert will never extinguish injustice and hatred.  We have lauded Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and National Apologies in cases of other ethnic horror stories. They could never have happened unless both sides — especially that of the defeated — were fully aired.

The General Approach toward the Palestinians in the Mandatory Period

I had not realized until I read this section of Masalha’s account that the current practice of the Israeli government relying on third parties such as the US today (formerly Britain), and other Arab leaders, to facilitate discussions with (or without) Palestinian Arabs, originated in this period. Masalha’s explanation for this is:

At the root of this notion — that Palestinians did not have to be dealt with directly — was the denial of a distinct Palestinian identity or any semblance of Palestinian nationalism. This was unquestionably grounded in the dismissive attitude that had always attended anything relating to Palestinians or Palestinian culture. (p.17)

Population shifts and Arab protests

Jewish population in Palestine, 1917-1940:

  • 1917 = 10% of population; own 2% of the land.
  • 1931 = 17% of population
  • 1940 = 33% of population
  • (1948 Jews owned only 6% of the land — via purchase)

Growing Arab awareness of Zionist aims in Palestine, reinforced by Zionist calls for unrestricted Jewish immigration and unhindered transfer of Arab lands to exclusive Jewish control, triggered escalating protests and resistance that were eventually to culminate in the peasant-based great Arab Rebellion of 1936-39.

So two forces were beginning to collide:

  1. On the one hand it was increasingly clear that a Jewish state was an eventual likelihood (Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate offered real hope for this);
  2. but on the other hand it was becoming increasingly clear that the Palestinian Arab population were intent on keeping their land.

Predictable result: early 1920s saw the first indigenous demonstrations against Jewish immigration.


The Balfour Declaration had not only promised a national home for the Jews; it had also promised that the Palestinian Arabs would not lose any of their rights as a result.

Balfour declaration
Image via Wikipedia

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine . . .

Fears within the British establishment

Edward Montagu, Jewish cabinet minister at the India Office, is cited from the Cabinet Secretariat record Cab 24/24, 1917, held at the PRO (Public Record Office), as expressing his belief that the Zionist drive to create a Jewish state in Palestine would end by “driving out the present inhabitants.

Winston Churchill, pro-Zionist, in his review of Palestinian affairs dated 25 October 1919 wrote:

there are the Jews, whom we are pledged to introduce into Palestine, and who take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience.


Lord Boothby, president of the British-Israel Association and Zionist, publicly insisted that a letter sent to him by Mrs Weizmann supported his recollection that the original draft Balfour Declaration had “made provision for the Arabs to be removed elsewhere, more or less.” This claim was, according to Masalha’s cited reference (Yosef Nedava, “British Plans for the Resettlement of Palestinian Arabs” (Hebrew), Haumah, no. 89 (Winter 1987 / 88). p. 132), supported by Boris Guriel, a senior official in the Weizmann archives, Rehovot.

Masalha does not himself say the claims were accurate. He notes the lack of supporting evidence for them. But he does point out that the Balfour promise was “a delicate issue from the beginning.”

The importance of discretion! (1)

Israel Zangwill had caused political embarrassment with some of his “badly timed” comments as referenced in my previous post. He wrote of another embarrassment caused by his writings in 1917 when some Arabs read an article of his:

… the Arabs had read my article in Pearson’s Magazine, in which I pointed out the difficulty in the existence of the Arab population in the Land of Israel . . . and this caused much agitation among them. Now the Zionists asked me not to raise the question and I agreed for the time being.

The dominant Yishuv grouping in the 1920s, the Ahdut Ha’avodah party, adopted a policy of

avoiding all mention of the Arab question in party manifestos and policy statements.

The wider framework approach — a denial of a distinct Palestinian identity

This brings us back to my opening observation at the beginning of this post. The Zionist response to the growing Palestinian resistance was

to seek — both with the British government and with Arab leaders — a solution outside Palestine within the wider framework of the Arab countries.

And the root of this notion . . . .

At the root of this notion — that Palestinians did not have to be dealt with directly — was the denial of a distinct Palestinian identity or any semblance of Palestinian nationalism. This was unquestionably grounded in the dismissive attitude that had always attended anything relating to Palestinians or Palestinian culture. (p.17)

This explains Chaim Weizmann assessment. . .

. . . that the Palestinians “could be bought off” their land or “suppressed with a little firmness” — in essence, that they were a negligible factor posing no obstacle to Zionist or British plans. For Weizmann, the native population was akin to “the rocks of Judea, as obstacles to be cleared on a difficult path. (p.17)

Here Masalha is citing a letter dated 19 August 1918. He adds, “For more details on Weizmann’s attitude towards the Palestinian Arabs, see his letter to Arthur Balfour . . . dated 30 May 1918, in Doreen Ingrams’ Palestine Papers, 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict (London: John Murray, 1972), pp. 31-32.”

Indicative of David Ben-Gurion’s disdain of Arab culture is his failure to learn ‘the language of the people among whom he lived for almost his entire life’, despite having had an obvious aptitude for languages, having learned (in addition to his native Yiddish-Hebrew) Turkish, English, Russian, French, German, Spanish and ancient Greek.

Thus from the beginning the Zionist enterprise has been undertaken by leaders with little regard for Arab culture, and who have failed to acknowledge among the Palestinian Arabs any distinct identity or semblance of nationalism.

Exceptions: Palestinian nationalism recognized by Zionists

There were a few times when Zionist leaders did in fact recognize a certain national  character or distinct sense of group identity among the Palestinians in their opposition to Zionism.

Once was at the time of the anti-Jewish Arab riots of 1929 (triggered by perceived change in status of the holy places)

Another was during the Great Arab Rebellion 1936-1939, marked by prolonged strikes and fighting.

1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine against the...
Image via Wikipedia

In the wake of the 1929 riots, Ben-Gurion told the joint secretariat of major Zionist groupings, Ahdut Ha’avadoh and Hapo’el Hatza’ir, on 10 November 1929:

The debate as to whether or not an Arab national movement exists is a pointless verbal exercise: the main thing for us is that the movement attracts the masses. We do not regard it as a resurgence movement and its moral worth is dubious. But politically speaking it is a national movement…. The Arab must not and cannot be a Zionist. He could never wish the Jews to become a majority. This is the true antagonism between us and the Arabs. We both want to be the majority.

After the 1936 rebellion, Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, told his Mapai party (29 September) “that the indigenous Palestinians were fighting to keep Palestine as an Arab country:”

the fear is not of losing land, but of losing the homeland of the Arab people, which others want to turn into the homeland of the Jewish people. The Arab is fighting a war that cannot be ignored. He goes out on strike, he is killed, he makes great sacrifices.

Ben-Gurion even said (in a letter to Shertok, 24 July, 1937) that if he were a politically conscious Arab he, too, would protest Jewish immigration that was proceeding at such a pace (60,000 a year) as to ensure a Jewish state in all of Palestine.

But generally when Palestinian nationalism was acknowledged by Zionist leaders, it was usually to compare it to German Nazism.

Yitzhak Tabenkin in his 1936 May Day speech described the Palestinian national movement as a “Nazi” movement, with which there was no possibility of compromise.

Berl Katznelson, addressing Mapai members in 1936, spoke of Palestinian nationalism as “Nazism, and spoke of “typical Arab bloodlust.” In 1937 he spoke of “Arab fascism and imperialism and Arab Hitlerism.”

The Rule: Denial of Palestinian national feeling

But the above were the exceptions, even for Ben-Gurion. The general Zionist view was that the Palestinians were not a distinct people. Rather, they were “Arabs”, “the Arab population” or “Arab community”. Ben-Gurion summed it all up when he said there could be no conflict between Jewish and Palestinian nationalism, because the Jewish nation was not in Palestine, and the Palestinians were not a nation. (p.19)

The significance of the larger Arab nationalist movement

Since the Zionist leaders viewed the Palestinians as nonexistent as a nation and not an integral part of Palestine, they were able in their own minds to subsume the Palestinian “Arab problem” beneath the broader Arab nationalist movement then spreading throughout the Arab world. If Palestinian Arabs could be thought of as “only Arabs” without any sense of attachment to their own homes and lands, they could (according to Zionist leaders) be considered as merely a local part of a much larger body of Arabs.

Thus the Zionist leadership felt quite justified in dealing over the heads of the Palestinian Arabs by discussing their fate with other Arab leaders from the start.

And this is the beginning of Zionist pronouncements being full of references to the “vast Arab territories”, while all the Jews were asking was a mere “few kilometres”. Let the Arab nomads accept offers to sell up and move out. Moshe Beilinson (writer, Labor leader, close associate of Ben-Gurion) wrote in 1929:

Hebrew author and journalist, Dr. Moshe Belinison
Moshe Beilinson (Image via Wikipedia)

There is a fundamental and decisive difference between the situation of the Arabs as a nation and that of the Jews as a nation. Palestine is not needed by the Arabs from the national point of view. They are bound to other centres. There, in Syria, in Iraq, in the Arabian Peninsula lies the homeland of the Arab people.

In addressing the question of Palestinians being deprived of their rights as a result of exclusive Jewish claims to sovereignty over Palestine, Beilinson further wrote:

There is no answer to this question nor can there be, and we are not obliged to provide it because we are not responsible for the fact that a particular individual man was born in a certain place, and not several kilometres away from there.

Ben-Gurion himself stated:

Jerusalem is not the same thing to the Arabs as it is to the Jews. The Arab people inhabits many great lands.

This was said during the 1929 Arab-Jewish riots over changing the status quo with regard to praying rights at Jerusalem’s holy places.

Such assertions were crucial to legitimize Zionism’s denial of the Palestinian Arabs’ entitlement to self-determination in Palestine or even part of Palestine. The wider context of pan-Arabism thus provided Zionism with a moral justification for the transfer of the “Arabs” of Palestine to neighbouring Arab territories. (pp. 20-21)

Zionist transfer plans for the Palestinian Arabs throughout the 1930s and 1940s were based on the belief that Palestinian Arabs should be subsumed in the larger Arab world.

Contradictory, but how it was

In other words, to counter Arab nationalism regarding Palestine, Zionist leaders had the contradictory idea that Palestinian Arab nationalism could be somehow “detached” from Arab nationalism generally, and that Arab nationalism could somehow subsume the Palestinian Arabs. Despite pan-Arab opposition to Zionist colonization in Palestine, Zionist leaders still felt they could deal with Arab leaders to effect the transfer of the Palestinian Arabs.

Excursis into Modern Times

To see evidence of this contradiction working out in today’s (July, 2010’s) developments in, for example, Jordan, see Robert Fisk’s analysis of the Arab nationalist movement in Jordan responding to Palestinian incursions.

Money talks: Zionists leaders buying Arab leaders’ acquiescence

Zionist deals with Arab leaders generally consisted of offering finance, expertise, or international influence in exchange for acquiescence in expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestine, and later, for absorbing the anticipated Palestinian transferees.

Weizmann and Faisal
See wikipedia Faisal_I_of_Iraq #Post_World_War_I for details

A prototype of this arrangement happened in January 1919, between Chaim Weizmann and the Hashemite Emir Faisal. In exchange for Faisal’s acceptance of Jewish immigration into Palestine (as per the Balfour Declaration), the Zionist Organization would provide economic experts to Faisal’s hoped-for new kingdom. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faisal_I_of_Iraq#Post_World_War_I for an extract of Faisal’s diplomatic announcement of this agreement.

Transfer is not mentioned in this particular agreement, but the principle was set: Arab acquiescence in Zionist goals in exchange for Zionist assistance.

Another early attempted deal (1929) was backed by Baron Edmond-James de Rothschild, French financier and patron of early Zionist colonies. Vladimir Jabotinsky wrote in  a letter to a friend that de Rothschild

Edmond James de Rothschild
Edmond James de Rothschild

… is willing to give money to the Arabs in order to enable them to purchase other lands, but on condition that they leave Palestine

Rothschild founded the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA). Shabtai Levi of Haifa, a land purchasing agent for PICA, wrote in his memoirs:

He [Rothschild] advised me to carry on in similar activities, but it is better, he said, not to transfer the Arabs to Syria and Transjordan, as these are part of the Land of Israel, but to Mesopotamia (Iraq). He added that in these cases he would be ready to send the Arabs, at his expense, new agricultural machines and agricultural advisers.

While Zionist leaders sought for solutions to the “Arab problem” within the wider Arab framework, at the same time they were taking concrete steps on the ground in order to facilitate any broader agreement that might be reached.

Hence Ben-Gurion offered the same type of proposal to the Palestinian leader Musa al-Alami on 31 August 1934. In his diary Ben-Gurion noted that:

  • Palestine and Transjordan to become a single Jewish state
  • This was to be linked to a Federation of Arab states
  • And this arrangement would ensure “unlimited [Jewish] immigration and settlement in Transjordan.
Musa al-Alami
Musa al-Alami

Alami’s account of the meeting:

if the Arabs would leave Palestine and Transjordan to the Jews, they [the Arabs] could count on Jewish help, not only in resettling the displaced Palestinians, but for Arab causes in other countries.”


Ben Gurion
Ben Gurion

Ben-Gurion reported that Alami voiced apprehensions regarding the fate of the Palestinians in the Jewish state. Since they were farmers, they would be dispossessed, with nothing to do. Ben-Gurion replied that Zionist policy was to avoid a South African situation where one race were the owners and rulers, and another the workers. Thus Jewish employment could be assured; Arab employment would find new opportunities as a consequence of Zionist colonization and expansion, not only in Palestine, but throughout the Arab federation. Palestinian Arabs were thus assured to “benefit” while being encouraged to look for employment created by Zionist enterprise and to seek residency (euphemism for transfer) to another Arab country such as Iraq.

Redemption or Conquest

These were the terms used by the Zionists themselves to refer to their alternatives for making Palestine an all-Jewish state. They spoke of redemption of “Hebrew Land” and “Hebrew Labor”, mean the acquisition of the land occupied and farmed by Palestinian Arabs for exclusive Jewish ownership, use and employment.

If we want Hebrew redemption 100%, then we must have a 100% Hebrew settlement, a 100% Hebrew farm, and a 100% Hebrew port. (Ben Gurion, at a meeting of Yishuv’s National Council, 5 May 1936. Memoirs)

The transfer issue was raised two weeks later at a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive.

Doctrines of Hebrew Land and Hebrew Labor

These doctrines had early roots in the Zionist movement.

1901: The Jewish National Fund was established as the body for the Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for the purpose of acquiring and administering land in Palestine. Any land it acquired was to be held in perpetual trust for the Jewish people. Non-Jewish labor was not allowed on it.

The Wailing Wall riots (1929) — led to the intensified struggle to enforce the doctrine of Hebrew Labor. Histadrut (federation of Jewish Labor) launched a campaign to physically remove Arab workers employed in Zionist industries in cities.

At this time Jewish society was mobilized to picket Jewish-owned citrus groves that employed Arab labor.

Thus, in 1929, Ben-Gurion wrote of the need for an “iron wall of [Zionist] workers’ settlements surrounding every Hebrew city and town, land and human bridges that would link isolated points,” and which would be capable of enforcing the doctrine of exclusive “Hebrew Labor” and “Hebrew Land.” (pp.24-25)

Mapai leader David Hacohen recalled years later (published in Ha’aretz, 15 November, 1962) of this implementation of the “Hebrew Labor” doctrine (my emphasis):

I remember being one of the first of our comrades [of the Ahdut Ha’avodah] to go to London after the First World War…. There I became a socialist….[in Palestine] I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism, to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my trade union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they not buy at Arab stores; to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there…. To pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash the Arab eggs they had bought; to praise to the skies the Kereen Kayemet [Jewish National Fund] that sent Hankin to Beirut to buy land from absentee effendi [landlords] and to throw the fellahin [peasants] off the land — to buy dozens of dunams — from an Arab is permitted, but to sell, God forbid, one Jewish dunam to an Arab is prohibited.

or Conquest: the necessity of the military option

This is the logo of the Jewish underground org…

The 1936-39 Palestinian rebellion was the pretext for the Zionist leadership (headed by Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party) to strengthen and expand the Yishnuv’s military wing, the Haganah.

The belief was beginning to take hold that the “Arab problem” could be tackled only from a position of military strength and by creating economic, military, and settlement faits accomplis in Arab Palestine. In 1936, Ben-Gurion declared at a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee:

…there is no chance of an understanding with the Arabs unless we first reach an understanding with the English, by which we will become a preponderant force in Palestine. What can drive the Arabs to a mutual understanding with us? …. Facts…. only after we manage to establish a great Jewish fact in this country…only then will the precondition for discussion with the Arabs be met.

[How tiresome this talk of establishing “facts on the ground” as the preliminary to “diplomacy” — what has changed in the last 74 years!]

By the summer of 1937 the Haganah had prepared a military plan [the Avner Plan] for the conquest of Palestine in three stages, with the exception of the Negev, south of Beersheba.

The importance of discretion! (2)

Weizmann in 1931 expressed concern that Zionists’ publicly stated intentions to create a Jewish majority in Palestine could be interpreted by the rest of the world

as an attempt to expel the Arabs from Palestine.

This public concern was declared at the same time he (Weizmann) was actively promoting his plan for transferring the Arabs to neighbouring states (see above).

In 1931 the Zionists decided to endorse, under British pressure, the plan for a “parity” representative legislative council — Jews at the time constituted only 17% of the population and would be so represented in the council.

But by the mid-1930s British pressure for self-government was fading, and the population ratio was shifting more in favour of the Jews, the “parity” slogan was dropped. Not only dropped, it was even denounced by Ben-Gurion as incongruous with Zionist aims in Palestine. In 1968 Ben-Gurion wrote in Ha’aretz (15 March) that none of his writings, or those of his Mapai colleagues, “contained a single idea that could be described in favour of bi-nationalism.”

Ben-Gurion’s public slogan since the 1920’s, “not to rule and not to be ruled in Eretz Yisrael” was belied in the 1930s by his other actions and statements, and shown to be a mere public relations slogan.

Binationalist Jewish groups

The main differences between the many Zionist groups regarding the “Arab problem” were largely “tactical, rhetorical and stylistic”. The basic assumptions for the need for Arab removal were the same. There were a few exceptions.

A number of Jewish groups did indeed favour binationalism. And some of these, with their policies favouring equal rights for Jews and Arabs, held a very prominent profile in western countries. But they had virtually no influence over debates among the Jews within Palestine (the Yishuv) at large.

These marginal Jewish groups included:

  • Brit Shalom (Covenant of Peace)
  • Ihud (Union)

Even here, however, we find that some of the leaders of the Brit Shalom, such as David Werner Senator and Ya’acov Thon, ended up promoting “maximum” transfer.

The main Zionist factions: Labor and Revisionists

Revisionism: Advocated revision of the Mandate to include Transjordan as well as Palestine. Established by Vladimir Jabotinsky in 1925, it has always been known for its maximalist and uncompromising approach.

Labor Zionism: Advocated a more pragmatic, gradualist and flexible approach to the “Arab problem”.

Publicity photo of Zeev Jabotinsky, founder of...
Zeev Jabotinsky — Image via Wikipedia

The Iron Wall of Bayonets — the only solution

Jabotinsky accused Labor Zionism of hypocrisy. Arab resistance was to be expected as the natural response to Zionist ambitions, and must be treated accordingly. Jabotinsky explained:

Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population — an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.

Zionists, he said, believe in an “iron wall”:

In this sense, there is no meaningful difference between our “militarists” and our “vegetarians.” One prefers an iron wall of Jewish bayonets, the other proposes an iron wall of British bayonets, the third proposes an agreement with Baghdad, and appears to be satisfied with Baghdad’s bayonets — a strane and somewhat risky taste — but we all applaud, day and night, the iron wall.

For Jabotinsky, an agreement with the Palestinians as a prelude to a Jewish majority and Jewish state in Palestine, was neither possible nor desirable.

Confrontation was inevitable.

Only an iron wall of armed garrisons would secure a Jewish claim on both sides of the Jordan River.

November 1939, Jabotinsky wrote in a letter to a Revisionist colleague in the USA:

There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews in Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs [he added that Iraq and Saudi Arabia could absorb them.]

He also alluded to the Greco-Turkish “transfer” as “a brutal, coercive action imposed by the victorious Turks but which proved ultimately beneficial to the Greeks.

Jabotinsky, like Weizmann, Ben-Gurion, Katznelson and Tabenkin, “expressed contempt for the indigenous Arabs. Yet, unlike the Labor figures, he did not mince his words:” (p.29)

We Jews, thank God, have nothing to do with the East….The Islamic soul must be broomed out of Eretz-Yisrael.

He described Arabs and Muslims as “yelling rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags.

The Irgun (IZL)

The Irgun Tzvai Leumi (IZL) was the first of two ideological offshoots of Jabotinsky-led Revisionism. The second was the Stern Gang.

The Irgun was formed in 1935 as an underground military organization. In the 1940s it was commanded by Menahem Begin, later Prime Minister of Israel.

The Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael) — or the Stern Gang

The Lehi broke away from the IZL or Irgun in June 1940. It was founded by Avraham Stern, and later commanded by Yitzhak Shamir, another future Prime Minister of Israel.

Avraham (Yair) Stern
Avraham (Yair) Stern — Image via Wikipedia

Stern described the Arabs as

beasts of the desert, not a legitimate people . . . .

The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers. (Stern, 1940)

Stern’s original doctrine called not only for the “transfer” of the Palestinians, but also of all the Transjordanians, Syrians and Lebanese residing in those areas considered as belonging to “the Land of Israel”.

In its memorandum to the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) in 1947, and in its political program of July-August 1948 on the eve of the first Knesset election,

Lehi called for the compulsory evacuation of the entire Arab population of Palestine, preferably to Iraq, and declared it “considers and exchange of the Arab population and the Jews of Arab countries as the best solution for the troubled relationship between the Jewish people and the Arabs.(p.30)

Irgun and Stern terror campaigns

Jabotinsky endorsed the terror campaign launched in the late 1930s by the Irgun,

a campaign that involved such actions as placing bomb-loaded vegetable barrows in crowded Arab markets in Haifa and Jerusalem and firing indiscriminately on Arab civilian houses. (p.30)

Later, from 1944 to 1948, the Irgun launched attacks on the British.

Lehi (Stern) specialized in political assassinations.

Later, during the 1947-48 war, these campaigns intensified and played a significant role in the exodus of Palestinians from what became the State of Israel.

The following two tabs change content below.

Neil Godfrey

Neil is the author of this post. To read more about Neil, see our About page.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!

10 thoughts on “Redemption or Conquest: Zionist Yishuv plans for transfer of Palestinian Arabs in the British Mandate period”

  1. Hey Neil,

    Enjoyed this one. I had a friend that had a old magazine like “Time” from from like 1912 or some crazy old time, and some zionist was talking. Pretty scary stuff. You got the impression they didn’t consider the nomads of Palestine quite “human”. And I remember reading some part where the zionists would buy land from the nomads, with the nomands not really have any “property” understanding. They would sell the land, and then the zionists would put up fences, and the nomads couldn’t understand it. But were eventually booted off the land. Sounds like the USA and the indians. Perhaps the zionists could sell the palestinians some booze or blankets infested with small poxs. Few people realize that jews were pretty much the original group thinking they were the “master race”. It’s some totally crazy stuff. If I had my way, we would find some way to evacuate the people and make jeruselam radio active for 100,000 and anyone that went near it would grow two heads and drop dead.

    Cheers! RichGriese@gmail.com

  2. What the history demonstrates is that what is happening today would have happened anyway even if there was no World War 2 or Holocaust. Today’s Zionist policies — of both left and right — are no different today from what they were before Israel became a state. All this talk of the Holocaust and “never again” in this context is just a convenient selling prop. Others more qualified (Jews) have remarked how Zionist treatment of the Palestinians under the pretext of the Holocaust excuses is obscene. (I’ve used that word twice in relation to this post, now. Oh boy.)

    Most of the early “redemptions” or land sales were from absentee landlords. The Palestinians who had worked on the lands for generations and built their communities and lives around it over that time were suddenly evicted and left with nothing.

    The same racist descriptors are used of the Palestinians today as were used back in the nineteenth century. To excuse racist remarks on the grounds that their targets are “terrorists” also flies against the fact that Zionists were using the same language to describe them before terrorism as we know it began.

    The Zionist Jews are an anachronism. They are one of the last peoples to have clung to those old late-nineteenth century notions of racism and imperialism. They are still playing catch-up long after most other major players left the game in the ashes of Dresden and Hiroshima. As Gilad Atzmon has tried to point out, Zionist Jews are tribal. They have no measured grasp of the reality around them. Their arguments are still today about statistics and playing on fear; the Palestinian arguments are still today about daily life. The two will never meet.

    I hope to get through some more of the book and make the different chapters a more accessible online resource in the near future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Vridar

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading