THE PALESTINIANS EVICTED
As from 29th November 1947, a state of tension had been created between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. The British Government announced its plans to withdraw from Palestine on 15th May 1948.
The State of Israel had been all but born and it now only remained for the Zionists to make sure that when it came into official being, on 15th May1948, it should be as Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first President, promised in 1921 that "Palestine will be as Jewish as England is English." So they set to work on the unarmed defenceless Palestinian Arabs to "persuade" them to leave their homes. Jewish terrorist groups such as Irgun Zwei Leumi were brought in when other methods failed. On 9th April 1948, the Irgun Zwei Leumi led by Menachem Beigin, a former Israeli Cabinet Minister and former leader of the Opposition in the Israeli Parliament, attacked the small Arab village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem. An account of this barbaric massacre was given by Jacques de Reynier, the Chief Delegate of the Inter-national Red Cross, who was able to reach the village and witness the aftermath of the massacre: "Three hundred persons" he said, "were massacred ... without any military reason or provocation of any kind; old men, women, children, newly-born were savagely murdered with grenades and knives by Jewish troops of the Irgun, entirely under the control of their chiefs.'
Dov Joseph, one time Governor of the Israel sector of Jerusalem and later Minister of Justice, called the Deir Yassin massacre
"deliberate and unprovoked attack." Arnold Toynbee described it as comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by Nazis. But Menachem Beigin said "The massacre was not only justified, but there would not have been a state of Israel without the victory at Deir Yassin." Unashamed of their deed and unaffected by world condemnation, the Zionist forces, using loud-speakers, roamed the streets of cities warning Arab inhabitants "The Jericho road is still open," they told Jerusalem Arabs-"Fly from Jerusalem before you are killed, like those in Deir Yassin."
The objective behind the Deir Yassin massacre was to terrify the Arab civilian population, and force them to flee to secure for the Zionists the land without the people. The plan succeeded and they fled in terror, to save their lives. Before May 15th, 1948, while the British Government was still responsible, the Jews had occupied many purely Arab cities like Jaffa and Acre and scores of villages-that were in the territory assigned by the U.N. Resolution for the Arab State-and evicted more than 300,000 inhabitants from their homes. In an attempt to stem this tide, the neighbouring Arab states sent their armies on 15th May 1948 into Palestine. On 15th July 1948 the U.N. imposed a final truce between Israel and the Arabs, by which time Israel had occupied an even larger part of the territory allotted to the Arab State in Palestine. Despite the truce and in defiance of U.N. orders and in violation of the final Armistice Agreement between Israel and Egypt on 24th February 1949, the Israelis, utilising their military superiority, attacked the Egyptian army and occupied still more territory. This included, for interest, the Arab village of Um Rashrash, where the port of Eilat on the Gulf of Akaba was later built, which was occupied on 10th March 1949.16 Yet, years later, the 'right' of free passage to it was to be demanded not only by Israel but, amazingly, by the unknowing misinformed world public opinion.
By 1949, Israel had occupied 78% of the land of Palestine and evicted or caused to flee more than 750,000 Palestinian refugees. It is the plight of the Palestinian refugees, who now number 1.5 millions, and the fate of the Palestinians, who now number 2.5 millions, as a people, which have remained the most pressing problems.
The U.N. Mediator in Palestine, Count Bernadotte, in his report submitted to the General Assembly on 16th September 1948, stated:
"It is, however, undeniable that no settlement can be just and complete if recognition is not accorded to the right of the Arab refugee to return to the home from which he has been dislodged by the hazards and strategy of the armed conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine . It would be an offence against the principle of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine and indeed offer the threat of permanent replacement of the Arab refugees who have been rooted in the land for centuries."
This statement cost Count Bernadotte dearly. On the next day he and his French assistant were assassinated in the Israeli sector of Jerusalem by Jewish terrorists.
On 11th December 1948 the General Assembly discussed Bernadotte's report and resolved: "that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date."8 This resolution has been annually re-affirmed by the U.N. ever since, but Israel continues to defy the U.N. and prevent the return of the refugees to their homes.
It is of interest to note here that Zionist propagandists initiated, in an attempt to shirk their responsibility towards the refugees, a campaign stating that the refugees left their homes of their own free will, obeying orders broadcast to them by their Arab leaders. Erskine Childers, an Irish Journalist and author and at present the President of the Republic of Ireland, devoted months to look into this claim and found it baseless. He examined the American and British monitoring records of all Middle East broadcasts throughout 1948 and reported: "There was not a single order or appeal or suggestion about evacuation from any Arab radio inside or outside Palestine in 1948. There is repeated monitored record of Arab appeals, even flat orders, to the civilians of Palestine to stay put."
An appropriate comment on this lie, which was being repeated by the American Zionist Rabbi Kaplan, is that made by Nathan Chofshi, a Jewish writer who emigrated from Russia to Palestine. He stated:
"If Rabbi Kaplan really wanted to know what happened, we old settlers in Palestine who witnessed the flight could tell him how and in what manner we, Jews, forced the Arabs to leave their cities and villages . Here was a people who lived on its own land for 1300 years. We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And we still dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being ashamed of what we did and of trying to undo some of the evil we committed by helping these unfortunate refugees, we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them."
Last updated 1 January 2000 Written and
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