[44. Quotations are abundant

Edith Parker's quotation [43] from a booklet on Palestinian history by the American Academic Association for Peace in the Middle East is irrelevant. What is important are the views of the Zionists themselves. And if she thinks that these quotations are scarce she is mistaken.

Ms. Parker's quotation raises two issues. First, that the Zionists of Herzl's time knew that there were people in Palestine. Of course, they knew, but "for obvious psychological reasons did not want to see the truth" as Yeshayahu Leibowitz put it. And after "ignorance" turned into full knowledge they resorted to another subterfuge: denying the existence of the Palestinians as a people. "What are the Palestinians? When I came here there were only 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins" (Levi Eshkol); "How can we return the occupied territories? there is nobody to return them to" (Golda Meir); "There was never a 'Palestinian Arab' nation. ...No such entity as Palestine existed. ...Its lands were suitable object for plunder and destruction (Samuel Katz).

The second issue is that the Zionists did not plan to drive out the "inhabitants of the land," as Ms. Parker put it, carefully avoiding to say Palestinians of Palestine. They sure did. "In our country there is room only for Jews. We will say to the Arabs: 'Move over'; if they are not in agreement, if they resist, we will push them by force" (Ben-Gurion); "There is no room for both peoples in this country. ...The only solution is Eretz Israel, or western Eretz Israel, without the Arabs" (Joseph Weitz); "Yigal Allon asked Ben-Gurion what was to be done with the civilian population. Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture of 'drive them out'" (Yitzhak Rabin); "We looked for means which would not obligate us to use force in order to get the tens of thousands of sulky Arabs who remained in Galilee to flee" (Yigal Allon); "The Jews forced the Arabs to leave cities and villages which they did not want to leave of their own free will. Some of them were driven out by force of arms; others, were made to leave by deceit, lying and false promises" (Nathan Chofshi).

Is Ms. Parker aware of these quotations? I don't know, I do know, however, that many Zionists are, but "for obvious reasons" they do not want to see the truth.

July 15, 1991]