A lot has been written lately in this paper about what is going on in Bosnia in terms of ethnic cleansing. And as expected, everybody was indignant. Ironically, this is exactly what happened some 44 years ago in Palestine.
The United Nations partition plan of 1947 stipulated that the Jewish state would include 498,000 Jews and 407,000 indigenous Palestinian Arabs, Christian or Muslim. That is almost 55 percent vs. 45 percent. The Zionists were, of course, happy to have a state but were unhappy about its demographic composition. At the meeting of the Mapai Center on Dec.3, 1947, Ben-Gurion declared, "There can be no stable and strong state so long as it has a majority of only 60 percent." Then the ethnic cleansing began.
An example of this ethnic cleansing was given by Yitzhak Rabin, presently the Prime Minister of Israel. It involved Arab towns of Ramle and Lydda (Lod today). Mr. Rabin's account was deleted from his memoirs, but the New York Times back in 1979 published the censored passage. It partly reads: "We had to grapple with a troublesome problem ... the fate of the civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering 50,000. ... What is to be done with the population? Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said, Drive them out! ... The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force. ... The inhabitants of Ramle watched and learned the lesson."
[This is not an isolated incident. In O Jerusalem, Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, said about the tens of thousands of Arab refugees heading toward Ramallah: "This time their flight was not a result of fear, but of a calculated Israeli policy to drive them out. ...large parts of the population were physically evicted from their homes and ordered onto the road to Ramallah." This "calculated Israeli policy" has succeeded in reducing the non-Jewish population of Israel to about 10 percent.]
The term "population transfer" that is widely used today in Israel by people like Sharon and Rehavam Ze'evi and by Gush Emunim is a code word for ethnic cleansing.
August 30, 1992