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The Ethnic Cleansing Of
The Palestinians Revisited

By Ghali Hassan

30 June, 2004
Countercurrents.org

The 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 Jews today?

Morris although 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 Palestinians and
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.

Despite countless 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", the
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".

The Palestinian 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 ruined,
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), reported the
Israeli veteran peace activist Uri Avnery.

Furthermore, the 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 Palestinian
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, Palestinians are
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 protected.

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 more
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 reporting.


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 research.

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
innocent Palestinians.

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.

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


Notes:

[1] Ben Lynfield, Israel sees opportunity in possible US strike on Iraq, The
Christian Science Monitor, August 30, 2002,
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0830/p08s01-wome.html
[2] Greg Myre, Israel to extend Barrier deeper into West Bank, New York
Times, June 14, 2004.
[3] Benny Morris, A new exodus for the Middle East, The Guardian, October
03, 2002. Also The Birth of the Refugee Problem, Cambridge University Press
1987, pp.203-210.
[4] Noam Chomsky, Wall as a Weapon, New York Times, February 23, 2004.
[5] Neve Gordon, Making more refugees, ZNet.org, June 13, 2004.
[6] Uri Avnery, Walls and checkpoints: The nightmare comes true,
www.Counterpunch.org, June 14, 2004.
[7] Meron Rapoport, Israel: Industrial estate along the wall, Le Monde
Diplomatique, June 1004.
[8] 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.
[9] Edward Said, Crisis for American Jews, www.Counterpunch.org. May 19,
2002.
[10] Robert Fisk, How to shut up critics with single word, The Independent,
October 21, 2002.
[11] Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al. The origin of Palestinians and their
genetic relatedness with other Mediterranean populations, Human Immunology,
62, 889-900 (2001).
[12] Marla Jo Fisher, Graduation stole raises tensions, The Orange County
Register, June 18, 2004
[13] Ran HaCohen, Abusing 'Anti-Semitism', September 29, 2003.