Renowned Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe's groundbreaking book revisits the formation of the State of Israel. Between 1947 and 1949, over 400 Palestinian villages were deliberately destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint.
Denied for almost six decades, had it happened today it could only have been called "ethnic cleansing". Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord in the course of this war, Ilan Pappe offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population. Indispensable for anyone interested in the current crisis in the Middle East.
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About the Author
Ilan Pappe holds the Chair in Hisotry at the University of Exeter and is Academic Director of the Research Insitute for Peace at Givat Haviva and Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies, Haifa. He is also author of the bestselling A History of Modern Palestine (Cambridge), The Modern Middle East (Routledge), and The Israel/Palestine Question (Routledge).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations, Maps and Tables
1. An 'Alleged' Ethnic Cleansing?
2. The Drive for an Exclusively Jewish State
3. Partition and Destruction: UN Resolution 181 and its Impact
4. Finalising a Master Plan
5. The Blueprint for Ethnic Cleansing: Plan Dalet
6. The Phony War and the Real War over Palestine: May 1948
7. The Escalation of the Cleansing Operations: June--September 1948
8. Completing the Job: October 1948--January 1949
9. Occupation and its Ugly Faces
10. The Memoricide of the Nakba
11. Nakba Denial and the 'Peace Process'
12. Fortress Israel
Maps and Tables
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Pappe, an Israeli historian and a senior lecturer at Haifa University, has written a superb account of the Israeli expulsion of the Palestinians from their land in 1948. He quotes David Ben Gurion, leader of the Zionist movement from the mid-1920 until the 1960s, who wrote in his diary in 1938, ¿I am for compulsory transfer I do not see anything immoral in it.¿ This contradicts the Zionists¿ public claim that they were seizing a land without a people. Pappe writes of the Israelis¿ March 1948 plan for evicting the Palestinians, ¿The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres setting fire to homes, properties and goods expulsion demolition and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.¿ Between 30 March and 15 May 1948, i.e. before any Arab government intervened, Israeli forces seized 200 villages and expelled 250,000 Palestinians. The Israeli leadership stated, ¿The principal objective of the operation is the destruction of Arab villages ¿ the eviction of the villagers.¿ On 9 April, Israeli forces massacred 93 people, including 30 babies, at Deir Yassin. In Haifa, the Israeli commander ordered, ¿Kill any Arab you encounter.¿ This all happened under British rule in Palestine, where Britain had 75,000 troops: Britain¿s Mandate did not end until 14 May. The Labour government connived at the Israeli onslaught, although the British state was legally obliged as the occupier (and also by UN resolution 181) to uphold law and order. Yet the Labour government announced that it would no longer be responsible for law and order and it withdrew all the British policemen. It also forbade the presence of any UN bodies, again breaching the terms of the UN resolution. The government ordered British forces to disarm the few Palestinians who had weapons, promising to protect them from Israeli attacks, then immediately reneged on this promise. On 24 May 1948, Ben Gurion wrote, ¿We will establish a Christian state in Lebanon, the southern border of which will be the Litani River. We will break Transjordan, bomb Amman and destroy its army, and then Syria falls, and if Egypt will still continue to fight ¿ we will bombard Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis and Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical times.¿ These ravings of an insane warmonger hardly betrayed any genuine fear of a `second holocaust¿. The Palestinians were suffering massive expulsion, not trying to destroy the Jewish community. Pappe summarises, ¿When it created its nation-state, the Zionist movement did not wage a war that `tragically but inevitably¿ led to the expulsion of `parts of¿ the indigenous population, but the other way round: the main goal was the ethnic cleansing of all of Palestine, which the movement coveted for its new state. A few weeks after the ethnic cleansing operations began, the neighbouring Arab states sent a small army ¿ small in comparison to their overall military might ¿ to try, in vain, to prevent the ethnic cleansing. The war with the regular Arab armies did not bring the ethnic cleansing operations to a halt until their successful completion in the autumn of 1948.¿ Overall, the Zionist forces uprooted more than half Palestine¿s population, 800,000 people, destroyed 531 villages and emptied eleven urban neighbourhoods of their inhabitants. Pappe concludes that this was ¿a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.¿
In this book, Ilan Pappe shows that the Zionist takeover of Palestine was the same as ethnic cleansing. The truth of this should be obvious to fair-minded and well-informed people, but it's taken until now for this book to be written. Pappe provides detailed information on each community that was cleansed, which can make the book seem a little slow, at least for someone who doesn't know most of the communities to which he's referring. However, on the whole this is a fascinating, long overdue work of historical scholarship.
With meticulous research Ilan Pappe explores the creation of the Zionist State; and in so doing, he exposes the tragic consequences for the Palestinian people forced out of their homeland in 1948 and prevented from ever rfeturning. I lived in Israel for 12 years and had bought into the myths about how the Palestinians left their villages in fear, against the protestations of the newcomer Jewish people who implored them to stay. The realities (backed by documentation) which the writer details are shocking and disturbing (including massacres, rapes, home demolition, and violent forced evacuations) and provide much needed insight into the insidiousness of those early events as well as the ongoing Israeli occupation and humiliation of the indigenous people. An important book for anyone interested in the pursuit for peace in the region. The case for the Palestinians, who have so often been demonized, is given a fair hearing. The reading of this book by Ilan Pappe has increased my understanding on the issues tremendously.
Ilan Pappe has done a courageous piece of work in presenting the reality of what took place in 1948. My only negative comment was that Mr. Pappe did not include in his book people like Martin Buber who represented a different kind of Zionism. On all other accounts, however, he dares to expose the lies that have proliferated since then. I am hopeful that this kind of literature will continue to shake the American Jewish conscience about what is going on in Israel. The fog must be lifted and the truth revealed. This is the only way that we can have real peace in this region.
With experience working in Israel, years of study of the regions history, I have to say that I l learned more in this book than any other source. If you are ready to understand the subject, this book is for you. It's shocking but all statements are well sourced, often from Israeli government sources but also from named eye witnesses both Palestinian and Israeli. It's well written but with the subject, very disturbing and hard to take. It is very true and very disturbing as well.