The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, vol.4, no.3, (July 2008)

The “nakba” (catastrophe) and Zionist mythology*







While the transnational elite, on the occasion of 60 years since the establishment of the Zionist state, showed in every possible way its absolute support for it ―with US presidential candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties in the American political elite competing with each other on who is the most loyal friend of this criminal regime, and the political elite in Britain and other members of the transnational elite following suit - the mythology (on which the historical crime that was the foundation of this state was based), is being demolished every day, particularly  so under the blows of progressive Jewish historians called the  “New Historians”. According to their research, the independence of the Israeli State was not the result of a national liberation struggle, as presented by the Zionist mythology, but of a planned ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (what they call themselves “nakba”), with the aim of establishing a racist state. A state, which survived only thanks to unlimited West, and especially American, support aimed to control the Middle East and its oil resources.


This confirms once again the conclusion which we reached in the past[1] that the historical crime of creating a “pure Jewish” state in Palestine would have been prevented, and hundreds of thousands of lives (the overwhelming majority of them Palestinian) would have been saved, if the condemnation of such a move by prominent Left Jews like Hannah Arendt and Isaac Deutscher and the Left Zionists, who demanded a bi-nationalist state, had been heard[2]. In other words, if the Palestinian land had not been divided (unequally from the very beginning in favour of Zionists!) for the creation of two states but, instead had been used as the foundation for a single multicultural secular state, which would house both the Palestinians and those Jewish refugees, particularly from Europe, who would like to move there. In fact, this is the solution now getting increasing support among progressive anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinians, seeing that the “two-state” solution effectively leads to a Zionist monster and a Palestinian Bantustan. But, let us examine in more detail the Zionist mythology.


First myth: the Palestinians have to blame themselves for the catastrophe.


According to this myth, the catastrophe was due to the fact that the Palestinians and Arab states did not accept the two-state solution imposed by the UN but, instead, the Arab armies attacked the newly established state which, like a new David, defeated the Arab Goliath and immediately increased the share of land granted to them by the UN . Two of the most prominent Young Historians, the Zionist Benny Morris[3] and the non-Zionist academic Ilan Pappé[4] (who, as Eric Rouleau stressed, “was forced ―like so many others to resign from the University of Haifa and go into exile at a British University”) reject this view, after a systematic research based not on secondary sources, as their predecessors did, but on documents from unimpeachable sources such as the archives of the cabinet, the army, the Palmach (shock troops), Zionist organizations, and the diaries of David Ben Gurion, who held the posts of defense and prime minister.


Instead, they argue, the 1948 war was not a David and Goliath struggle, as it was claimed by Zionist propaganda, since the Israeli forces were clearly superior to their adversaries in both manpower and weaponry. Even at the height of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, there were only a few thousand poorly equipped Palestinian fighters, supported by some Arab volunteers from the Fawzi al-Qawuqji liberation army and even when the Arab states intervened on 15 May 1948, their forces were still far inferior to those of the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization (which later formed the core of the IDF), which was able to keep drawing on reinforcements.


Furthermore,  Morris and Pappé both agree that the Arab forces invaded Palestine reluctantly and as a last resort, not in order to destroy the fledgling Jewish state, which they knew they were incapable of doing, but to prevent Israel and Transjordan - "in collusion" according to historian Avi Shlaim - from carving up the territory granted to the Palestinians under the United Nations plan of 29 November 1947.[5] No wonder that Ben Gurion, the father of the Jewish state, had written to Moshe Sharett (Israel's second prime minister, who served between Ben Gurion's two terms) in February 1948, assuring him  "I have no doubt we are capable of occupying all of Palestine.[6]" This boast, which was made three months before the Arab-Israeli war began, and a few weeks before the delivery of massive consignments of arms sent via Prague by the USSR, did not stop him claiming publicly that Israel was threatened by a second Holocaust! It seems that the “Holocaust Industry”, well documented by Norman Finkelstein[7], was already at work.  The same Ben Gurion in the first week of the war in May 1948, enthralled by news of Israeli victories according to Ilan Pappé, wrote in his diary, "We shall establish a Christian state in Lebanon... we shall break Transjordan, bomb its capital, destroy its army... we shall bring Syria to its knees... our air force will attack Port Said, Alexandria, and Cairo, and this will avenge our ancestors who were oppressed by the Egyptians and the Assyrians in Biblical times."


Needless to say, the expansionist process set in motion at that time continued after each new Arab or Palestinian "attack". As a result, Israel today occupies  85% of Palestinian land!


Second myth: there was no ethnic cleansing


According to this myth, the Palestinians left their homes voluntarily in response to calls from the Arab authorities and radio stations another ‘fact’ fabricated by Zionist propaganda, as complete recordings made at the time by the BBC reveal. In fact, Morris and Pappé confirm what has been known since the end of the 1950s, i.e. that it was the Israeli authorities which forced the Palestinians to flee their land through blackmail, threats, brutality, and terror. The statistics collected by Pappé are revealing: in a few months, several dozen massacres and summary executions were recorded; 531 villages out of a thousand were destroyed or converted to accommodate Jewish immigrants; 11 ethnically mixed towns were purged of their Arab inhabitants. In total, 750-800,000 Palestinians were forced into exile between 1947 and 1949 and lost their land and property. According to an official Israeli estimate, the Jewish National Fund seized 300,000 hectares of Arab land, much of which was given to kibbutzim. As Eric Rouleau pointed out, on the basis of   Pappé’s account which clearly showed that the ethnic cleansing was planned and executed in order to extend Israel's territory, i.e. to Judaise it the operation could not have been better planned: the day after the vote on 11 December 1948 on the famous resolution on the "right to return" by the UN General Assembly, the Israeli government adopted the Emergency Absentees' Property law which, added to the law on the cultivation of abandoned lands of 30 June 1948, retrospectively legalized seizures  and forbade the victims of seizures from claiming any compensation on returning home.


A variation of he same myth, also demolished by the New Historians, is that the ethnic cleansing had started after the Holocaust, as the Zionists argued in order to justify it. In fact, it started much earlier. This, as early as the end of the 19th century, Theodor Herzl, who founded modern political Zionism, had suggested that the Ottoman sultan should deport the Palestinians to clear the way for Jewish colonization, something that in 1930 Haim Weizmann also tried to persuade the British (who held the Mandate for Palestine) to do. No wonder therefore that when, in 1938, the British commission under Lord Peel proposed a tiny Jewish state accompanied by a transfer of some Arabs, Ben Gurion declared before the executive committee of the Jewish Agency: "I am in favor of an obligatory transfer, a measure which is by no means immoral."[8] The war of 1948 therefore immediately offered Zionists their big chance to put their plan into action by launching an offensive designed to uproot the indigenous population, six months before the Arab armies intervened. The aim, as stated by Haim Weizmann, Israel's first president, was "making Palestine as Jewish as America is American and England is English".


Third myth: Israel has always been devoted to peace


According to this myth Israel has always been confronted with belligerent Arab States bent on its annihilation. This myth was effectively demolished by Avi Shlaim, a fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and author of a book with the symbolic title The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.[9] The title of his book is taken from the doctrine of the father of the ultranationalist right Zeev Jabotinsky, who in 1923 declared that there should be no negotiations over a peace accord until the Jews had colonized the whole of Palestine behind a wall of iron, since the Arabs only understood the logic of force.


By adopting this doctrine, Israel's political and military leaders on both the right and the left have managed to sabotage successive peace plans, never offering conditions for peace which would be based on the creation of two equal states,[10] the return of land occupied by Zionists since the UN resolution establishing the state of Israel, and the right of return of the millions of Palestinian refugees. The Zionist aim has always been to force the Palestinians to abandon their land under the intolerable pressures to Judaise Palestine-a clearly racist objective, as was stressed by Avraham Burg, who though he has been chairman of the World Zionist Organization in the past, rejects as racist the Old Testament notion that the Jews are God's chosen people. On similar grounds, Shlomo Sand, a professor at Tel Aviv University argues that Israel should not be a Jewish state, but a democratic secular one which belongs to all its citizens —a position close to the Inclusive Democracy stand on the Palestine issue.[11] Yet, it seems that many Zionists still believe this myth, when they implement the Nazi methods of collective punishment and have transformed Gaza into a huge ghetto in which an entire people is being gradually strangled for having voted democratically the wrong way!





* This essay is partly based on an article by Takis Fotopoulos published in the Athens mass circulation daily Eleftherotypia on 24/5/2008


[1] Takis Fotopoulos,Palestine: the hour of truth”, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol.2, No.2 (January 2006).

[2] Stanley Aronowitz, “Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Critics”, Logos, Issue 3.3 (Summer 2004).

[3] Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

[4] Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld Publications, 2006).

[5] See for all the historical material in the text the series of articles by Eric Rouleau, under the general title The ‘ethnic cleansing' of Palestine”, Le Monde diplomatique (English edition), May 2008.

[6] Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006. (quoted by Eric Rouleau)

[8] Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006. (quoted by Eric Rouleau)

[9] Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, (Allen Lane and WW Norton, 2000).

[10] See also Takis Fotopoulos, “Zionism and the transnational elite”, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 2, No. 4 (November 2006).

[11] See Takis Fotopoulos,”Palestine: the hour of truth”.