Ethnic Cleansing Of
The Palestinians Revisited
By Ghali Hassan
30 June, 2004
American war on Iraq has been immensely profitable for few countries.One
of these countries is Israeli. The war on Iraq has been exploited by
Israel to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people, including
full-flagged ethnic cleansing. Israeli leaders have embarked on a unilateral
policy of land confiscation of Palestinians. Israel's crimes against
the Palestinians have increased significantly.
In 1999, the U.S.
and its NATO allies attacked Serbia allegedly to stop the "ethnic
cleansing" of the people of Kosova by the former president of Serbia,
Slobodan Milosevic. The war on Yugoslavia was called the "humanitarian
intervention" by Western media and pundits alike. President Slobodan
Milosevic accused by Western and American policy makers of "wanted
to create an ethnically pure Greater Serbian state". It is a policy
of ethnic cleansing that is widely condemned by all countries, including
the U.S. It follows, if those American and Western defenders of human
rights and morality were honest about their motives to attack Serbia,
why they left the Palestinian people suffering for fifty-six years at
the mercy of Israel's fascist policy of ethnic cleansing?
Gideon Ezra, Israeli
cabinet minister told The Christian Science Monitor, "the more
aggressive the [Iraq] attack is, the more it will help Israel against
the Palestinians. The understanding would be that what is good to do
in Iraq, is also good for here"(1). Some U.S. congressmen have
supported this diversion. Israel is currently seizing large swat of
land in the West Bank and ethnically cleansing defenseless Palestinians
from their homes. Recently, The New York Times reported that, "Israel
is preparing to build new segments of its separation barrier [the Apartheid
wall] around Jewish settlements that would mark the deepest penetration
yet into the West Bank"(2), confiscating people houses and property
and leaving them without their land.
At the early stages
of the creation of Israel in 1948, Palestinians did not "leave
of their own accord", as alleged, Israeli terrorist bands (led
by Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and the likes) embarked
on a war of rapes murders and countless massacres of Palestinians for
the sole purpose of forcing them to flee their land. The deliberate
destruction of villages intended to prevent the return of Palestinians.
During the expulsion
of Palestinians of Ramle village in July 1948, Shmarya Guttman, an intelligence
officer with the IDF, watched the Palestinians who forced to flee into
exile: "Women walked burdened with packages and sacks on their
heads", he wrote in his memoir. "Mothers dragged children
after them...occasionally, you encountered a piercing look from one
of the youngsters...in the column, and the look said: 'We have not yet
surrendered. We shall return to fight you.'" (Cited in Benny Morris,
The Birth of the Refugee Problem, Cambridge University Press 1987).
Unnoticed went the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 Palestinians
forced out of their land by migrant Jews from Eastern Europe. At the
end of the 1948 war, the Zionist occupied 80% of Palestine, followed
by the complete destruction of more than 400 Arab villages.
The Israeli revisionist
historian, Benny Morris bluntly advocated this policy of expulsion of
Palestinians from their land. He writes," the Jewish state could
not have come to existence without the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians".
Further more, Morris believes that "perhaps today's Middle East
would be a healthier, less violent place" if Israel had disposed
all the Palestinians in 1947-1948". If the Nazi programme for the
final solution of the Jewish problem had been complete, for sure there
would be peace today in Palestine. Imagine the reactions, if a German
citizen or an Arab citizen advocates such fascist policy against the
regrets the creation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people,
he sees it as a "necessary evil in pursuit of good". "The
right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes seems natural
and just", he writes, "but this 'right of return' needs to
be weighed against the right to life and well being of the five million
Jews who currently live in Israel"(3). Morris continues to suggest
more ethnic cleansing may be necessary in future to ensure Israel's
survival. He advocates the use of overwhelming force for this immoral
Zionist project. The courage and honesty of Mr. Benny Morris have allowed
us to uncover the truth about Israel's Zionist myth of eradicating the
creating a "pure Jewish state". It is a failed myth, like
Nazism before it. The Palestinian people have survived Israel's long
fascist policy, and they are back to fight for their homeland.
UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions, Israel's crimes
against the Palestinian continue today and nothing has changed since
the process began in 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by
U.S. bombs and sanctions in the name of enforcing UN resolution. Israel
is repeating the same crimes committed against the Palestinian people
more than fifty years ago with disregard to international law.
Under the deception
of "security for Israel" and the widely reported Sharon "disengagement
plan" from Gaza, Israeli leaders are hurrying to confiscate Palestinian
land in the West Bank and build more illegal settlement just south of
Jerusalem. Furthermore, under the disguise of "security fence",
apartheid wall is confiscating Palestinian land with silence. The wall
present movement removes Palestinians and takes their land unprecedented
in modern history of the world. Hundreds of families left homeless.
The wall is committing war crimes of ethnic cleansing. The U.S. war
on Iraq is a convenient diversion from Israel.
Noam Chomsky, America's
foremost critic wrote in The New York Times, "[w]hat this wall
is really doing is taking Palestinian lands. It is also - as the Israeli
sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described Israel's war of 'politicide'
against the Palestinians - helping turn Palestinian communities into
dungeons, next to which the Bantustans of South Africa look like symbols
of freedom, sovereignty and self-determination" (4). Chomsky rightly
called the wall "A Wall as a Weapon".
village of Nu'eman is located within the municipality of Jerusalem.
The wall is near its completion at the southern end of the village,
eventually cutting it from the West Bank. "Already, the Palestinian
residents are unable to reach their places of work, while their children
are unable to go to school. Recently, the bulldozers destroyed the permanent
water pipe leading to the village, and now a makeshift hose is used
to supply water. The villagers' infrastructure of existence has been
and if nothing changes within the near future they will have to leave
the village of 'their own accord'"(5), wrote Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion
University and member of Ta'ayush, Arab-Jewish Partnership.
Likewise, the town
of a-Ram on the outskirts of Jerusalem, "the wall will completely
surround a-Ram from all sides. The inhabitants of a-Ram, east of the
wall, will not only be completely cut off from Jerusalem, but also from
all the townships and villages to their west--their relatives, the schools
which thousands of their children attend, their cemetery and their places
of work. A small part of a-Ram remains outside the wall and will be
cut off from the main part of the town in which they live. The means
of livelihood for many of its 60 thousand inhabitants will disappear"(6),
Israeli veteran peace activist Uri Avnery.
Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport observed in Le Monde Diplomatique
that, "[t]he farmers of Irtah, a village near the West Bank market
town of Tulkarem, can still see their land. But they haven't had access
to it for more than a year because the trenches, walls and barbed wire
of Israel's 'security fence' lie between their hilltop homes and the
fields. Now the Israeli army is threatening officially to confiscate
the 500 dunams [50 hectare] they are forbidden to access"(7). The
expulsion of 1947-1948 from their land revisited with the full knowledge
of those who bombed Milosevic to "defend" human rights. These
are only few of many examples.
While the wall is
a long way from being finished (200km out of a planned 700km have been
built), at the end of its completion, the wall will have confiscated
60% of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and most of the fertile
land and water aquifers. The wall will cut the West Bank into more than
sixteen isolated enclaves, leaving the Palestinians with a series of
non-contiguous and economically unviable cantons, each surrounded by
Israeli territory. Palestine will look like a piece of the famous Swiss
cheese without any organic connections, and amount to about 10% of historical
Palestine without natural water sources.
According to Associated
Press report on 14 June 2004, "[t]he Israeli army has confiscated
thousands of acres of Palestinian land to begin building the barrier
around Ariel [Israeli colonies], even though the United States has yet
to agree to Israel's plan to encompass the settlement. The construction
would effectively make Ariel part of Israel"(8). The propaganda
of the Berlin Wall when it was torn down contradicts with the silence
of Israel's Apartheid Wall being built on Palestinian land.
In the West and
in America in particular, people were misled by the Zionist deception
of "land without people [Palestinians] for people [Jews] without
land". Israel is portrayed as "civilized" and "democratic"
society, with green fields blooming in the desert. On the other hand,
unjustifiably depicted as "militants" and "suicide bombers".
"This is entirely the result of a distorted education, doled out
of millions of youngsters who grow up without any awareness at all that
the Palestinian people have been totally dehumanized to serve a political-ideological
end, namely to keep support high for Israel", wrote Edward Said
(9). The people of the world are denied the truth that Palestine was
a land of green fields, olive trees and orchids long before this Zionist
project. People of the world are misled to believe that Israel needs
to "defend itself" - using helicopter gunships, bulldozers
and tanks paid for by US dollars - against defenseless Palestinian civilians.
Why is the ethnic
cleansing of Palestinians ignored in the "free world" and
Israel is rewarded for its crimes? I believe the following grounds are
relevant. First, at the end of World War II, West European elites needed
to shift the blame of the [Holocaust] crimes against the Jews away from
Europe. The Arabs, and the Palestinians in particular were found to
be convenient. Palestine was used as a payback for Hitler's crimes,
and a place to dispose of the Jews from Europe. Second, Israel is a
giant military base for American imperialism to control vital energy
resources in the Middle East, and dictate world politics. In other words,
Israel is an American-Western investment, and an investment has to be
On the other hand,
Israeli Jews and their supporters are clever in exploiting the Holocaust
as a battering ram to block criticism of Israel's fascist policy against
the Palestinian people. Israel's supporters in the West and especially
in America are hard at work intimidating and bullying journalists, university
professors, independent organizations and any one who dare to criticize
Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. The fear of being accused of
being "anti-Semites" prevented people from taking any moral
action to support the rights of Palestinians. Sadly, Palestinians are
Semites than the Israelis of today.
The veteran English
correspondent Robert Fisk wrote: "Because in much of the Western
world, a vicious campaign of slander is being waged against any journalist
or activist who dares to criticize Israeli policies or those that shape
them. The all-purpose slander of 'anti-Semitism' is now used with
ever-increasing promiscuity against anyone - people who condemn the
wickedness of Palestinian suicide bombings every bit as much as they
do the cruelty of Israel's repeated killing of children - in an attempt
to shut them up"(10). In a word, Israel and its supporters are
intimidating the right of free speech and seriously hindering independent
The famed Spanish genetist Professor Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, of Complutense
University in Madrid, showed in a keynote research paper that the Middle
Eastern Jews and Palestinians are genetically almost identical, and
therefore rivalry between the two races is based "in cultural and
religious, but not in genetic differences"(11). The award for this
honest research is that the paper was ripped out from Human Immunology,
and Professor Arnaiz-Villena has been sacked from the journal's editorial
board. No evidence has been provided to contradict Professor Arnaiz-Villena's
Marla Fisher of
The Orange County Register reported that "a handful of Muslim students
did plan to wear stoles over their gowns, - as do many other graduates
who want to commemorate groups they have ties to. On one side, the stoles
say 'God, increase my knowledge.' On the other side, they have the word
'shahada' written in Arabic. Jewish students and outside groups that
have gotten involved in the controversy, such as the American Jewish
Congress, say the wearing of a garment with that word implies approval
of terrorism and suicide bombings"(12). How can those who pretend
to be fighting against anti-Semitism associate the Muslim confession
of faith with terrorism ignore their own bigotry?
Finally, the Israeli
commentator Ran HaCohen points out, "[t]he use of alleged anti-Semitism
is morally despicable, People abusing this taboo in order to support
Israel's racist and genocidal policy towards the Palestinians do nothing
less than desecrate the memory of those Jewish victims, whose death
is meaningful only inasmuch as it serves as an eternal warning to the
human kind against all kinds of discrimination, racism, and genocide"(13).
The crimes against innocent Jews are exploited to kill
There are countless
examples of Israel's policy of smearing those who detest the persecution
of the Palestinians as anti-Semites. However, we can take comfort that
brave people everywhere, including Israelis, are condemning the unjust
policy of Israel's Ariel Sharon and U.S. President George Bush.People
everywhere are warning that the Israeli government may be contemplating
crimes against humanity on the Palestinians, including ethnic cleansing.
is what Hitler used against innocent people because of their race, religion
and ethnicity. Ethnic cleansing is what Milosevic stands accused of
committed. It is the duty of the civilized people to make it clear to
their leaders that crimes against humanity will not be tolerated. We
must resist any unjust action to prevent such crimes against the Palestinians
from taking place again.
Ghali Hassan lives
in Perth, Western Australia. He can be contacted on: G.Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au
 Ben Lynfield,
Israel sees opportunity in possible US strike on Iraq, The
Christian Science Monitor, August 30, 2002,
 Greg Myre, Israel to extend Barrier deeper into West Bank, New York
Times, June 14, 2004.
 Benny Morris, A new exodus for the Middle East, The Guardian, October
03, 2002. Also The Birth of the Refugee Problem, Cambridge University
 Noam Chomsky, Wall as a Weapon, New York Times, February 23, 2004.
 Neve Gordon, Making more refugees, ZNet.org, June 13, 2004.
 Uri Avnery, Walls and checkpoints: The nightmare comes true,
www.Counterpunch.org, June 14, 2004.
 Meron Rapoport, Israel: Industrial estate along the wall, Le Monde
Diplomatique, June 1004.
 Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Israel Confiscates Thousands of Acres of
Palestinian Land to Build Settlement Wall, The Associated Press
http://www.ap.org, June 14, 2004.
 Edward Said, Crisis for American Jews, www.Counterpunch.org. May
 Robert Fisk, How to shut up critics with single word, The Independent,
October 21, 2002.
 Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al. The origin of Palestinians and their
genetic relatedness with other Mediterranean populations, Human Immunology,
62, 889-900 (2001).
 Marla Jo Fisher, Graduation stole raises tensions, The Orange County
Register, June 18, 2004
 Ran HaCohen, Abusing 'Anti-Semitism', September 29, 2003.