Each year on May 15th the Palestinians across the world commemorate “Al Nakba Day”. This year it is the 67th commemoration. Al Nakba means the catastrophe, and refers to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, the numerous massacres they perpetrated against Palestinians, the ethnic cleansing, the dispossession, the total destruction of hundreds of Palestinian communities, the forced expulsion, the supplanting of Zionist Jews in place of indigenous Palestinians and the creation of the terrorist entity of Israel that is still spreading havoc, death and destruction in the whole Middle East.
It is commonly believed that Al Nakba started in 1947 after WWII following the illegal UN partition of historic Palestine between Zionists and Palestinians. What is less widely known is the fact that the dispossession and the expulsion of Palestinian population had actually started in early 1920’s while Palestine was still under the Ottoman occupation. The World Zionist Organization started buying farm land from absentee Ottoman feudal lords, evicting Palestinian farmers from their villages, and replacing them with Jews imported from different parts of the world. This dispossession, expulsion, and supplanting intensified immediately after WWII in late 1947, and was launched into a full onslaught after the UN partition plan months before May 1948, and well before the involvement of Arab armies, and is still going on to this very day.
The Zionist project; Greater Israel in the Middle East, was established on “uprooting, expulsion and occupation” colonial ideology. This means forceful uprooting, expulsion and transfer of indigenous Palestinians into other Arab states, and importing Jews from all over the world to occupy the country. The leaders of the World Zionist Organization were fully aware that Palestine was not a land without people, and that the Palestinians would not give up their country to Zionist Jews. So eviction and transfer plans were discussed and concocted since early 1895 when Theodor Herzl first proposed in his diary; “The Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl”, the easiest method of transfer:
“We must expropriate gently … We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country … Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly”
In order to acquire land Zionist leaders decided that forced transfer of Palestinians was unavoidable necessity. Yosef Weitz, a senior Zionist official and a member of Ben Gurion’s inner circle, was the director of the Jewish National Fund’s Lands Department responsible for Jewish colonization in Palestine. In his book “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem 1947-1949” the Israeli historian Benny Morris quoted entries from Weitz’s diary that was entered in December 20th, 1940. Weitz wrote:
“Amongst ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country. After the Arabs are transferred the country will be wide open for us … the only solution is a Land of Israel, at least a western land of Israel without Arabs … there is no room here for compromises … the only way is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighboring countries in Iraq and Syria and even in Transjordan. Not a single village or a single tribe must be left”
In 1948 Weitz was in a political position that allowed him the execution of his radical ideology. In April of the same year, he proposed the formation of a committee, whose main focus was to expel the Palestinians out of the country by all means. In August this committee; called the “Transfer Committee”, was officially formalized. Its job was to supervise the total destruction of evicted Arab villages, rebuild colonial settlements in their place, and settle them with recent Jewish immigrants in order to make any return of Palestinian refugees impossible.
The Zionist considered the Palestinian population and their birth rate as a “demographic bomb” that is threatening the success of their colonizing project. Forced expulsion of Palestinians had been, and still is, an Israeli domestic strategic goal of the highest order. The expulsion of Palestinians has been the central focus of the Zionists since the inception of their imperial movement. Forced expulsion was the central theme for Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky, the founder of the Zionist terrorist group the Irgun. He emphasized this strategic goal in his letters such as the one of November 1939, where he wrote:
“We should instruct American Jewry to mobilize a half billion dollars in order that Iraq and Saudi Arabia will absorb the Palestinian Arabs. There is no choice: The Arabs must make room for the Jews in Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs.”
The Palestinians on the other hand had no inclination of leaving their country. They had fought the Ottoman Empire to gain freedom and independence and not to leave the country to Zionists. They also had resisted the British Mandate and opposed mass Zionist Jewish immigration to Palestine especially during the period between 1936 and 1939 known as the 1936 Palestine Revolt. An estimate of 19,792 Palestinians paid dear life, according to historian Walid Khalidi, during this period.
Realizing that Palestinians are very attached to their country and would not easily abandon it, Zionists resorted to terrorism to scare Palestinians out of the land. Zionist terrorist groups such as the Irgun, Lehi or Stern Gang, Palmach, and the Haganah, launched a terrorist campaign against Palestinian civilians. Food markets, buses, theatres, cafes, and public gatherings were their targets. They had also targeted British troops, vehicles, and offices. The 1946 bombing of King David Hotel; the location of the central offices of the British Mandate authority, by the Irgun terrorist group on orders by their leader, then, Menachem Begin, was one such terror attack.
In 1948 the Zionist launched their pre-planned military offensive in full force against Palestinian cities. Their general plan was called Operation Dalet, and consisted of specific military operations against certain Palestinian cities. Among those were Operation Nahshon against Jerusalem, Operation Chamets against Jaffa and Haifa, Operation Barak against Gaza, Operation Gideon against Jordan, Operation Yiftach against eastern Galilee, and many others against smaller Palestinian targets. The Zionist terrorist groups; Irgun, Lehi, and Palmach, also joined the military assault choosing unarmed small Palestinian villages as their target.
Most of the Palestinian communities were unarmed, and many had raised the white flag in surrender. The Zionist militia would gather few men and children in the center of the town and execute them in cold blood to terrorize the rest of Palestinian residents into flight. In the cities of Lud and Ramleh for example, after gathering residents in the center of the city and executing few of the men, the residents were ordered under the threat of arms to leave the towns.
The Zionist terrorist groups committed many massacres attacking small unarmed villages. They collectively murdered residents in cold blood, raped women and children, and used explosives to flatten homes on top of their residents. These massacres were premeditated plans to cleanse and to terrorize Palestinian population and to drive them out of their villages and towns.
Deir Yassin massacre, committed in April 9th 1948, is probably the most commonly known by the public. Yet many other similar and even worse massacres were committed in the same year such as Mannsurat al Khayt massacre in January, Qisarya and Wadi ‘Ara massacres in February, Khirbet Nasser ad Din, Hawsha, Husayniyya, Haifa, Balad ash Sheikh and Al Wa’ra al-Sawda massacres in April, Al Abbasiyya, Abu Shusha, Ayn Zaytun, Beit Daras, Burayr, Al Kabri, Khubbayza, and Al Tantoura massacres in May, Ijzim, Lud, Ramleh, Qazaza, and Al Tira massacres in July, Beer Sheba, Al Dawayima, Eilaboun, Ishdud, Jish, Majdal Karem, Sa’sa’, Safsaf, Al-Saliha and Arab Al-Samniyya massacres in October, and Al-Khisas massacre in December, just to mention a few in one year only.According to research by historian Dr. Slman Abu Sitta (Abu Sitta, Salman, “The Palestinian Nakba 1948, The Register of Depopulated Localities in Palestine”, London: The Palestinian Return Centre, 2000) a total of 531 Palestinian communities (villages and towns) were ethnically cleansed between 1947 and 1950. Checking the British Mandate statistics records of Palestinian villages conducted between 1944 and 1949 Abu Sitta calculated that about 804,767 Palestinians; 80% of Palestinian residents, were forcefully expelled and made refugees.
After the 1967 Six Days War Israel continued its ethnic cleansing policy known now as the “Quiet Transfer” yet under seemingly legal cover for fear of international condemnation. The destruction of Palestinian communities continues unabated one house at a time. The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) estimates that over 28,000 houses have been demolished in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since 1967 (as of March 2012). According to ICAHD:
"Since 1967 Israel has demolished more than 28,000 Palestinian homes, businesses, livestock facilities and other structures vital to Palestinian life and livelihood in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The motivation for demolishing these homes is purely political, and racially informed: to either drive the Palestinians out of the country altogether (the 'quiet transfer') or to confine the four million residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza to small, crowded, impoverished and disconnected enclaves." (Read the whole report)
"It is impossible to know how many homes exactly because the Israeli authority’s only report on the demolition of 'structures,' which may be homes or may be other structures. When a seven-story apartment building is demolished containing more than 20 housing units that is considered only one demolition."
In addition to the homes demolished by Israel, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged by Israeli bombing and shelling. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that during Israel's Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza 3,540 homes were destroyed in the course of the hostilities, 2,870 homes were severely damaged and 52,900 homes sustained minor damage.
Israeli successive governments did not just violate all UN resolutions regarding the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and for damage and suffering reparations, but have also moved to more extensive level of the Zionist Greater Israel project; a nationwide Arab Nakba misleadingly called the Arab Spring. Zionists and their stooges had created, financed and armed many terrorist groups, who are waging proxy wars against the surrounding Arab States; Iraq, Syria and Lebanon designated by Zionists as parts of their Greater Israel project. This is the same scheme the so-called American pioneers had adopted against the Native American Indians; encouraging in-fights and divide in order to conquer.
Those who don’t study history are condemned to repeat it. Would the Arabs wake up before suffering a total genocide similar to the Native American Indians? One wonders!!!
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|