A mission to expel and annihilate
GEOFF SIMONS charts the origins of Israeli aggression from the colonial ambitions of its founding fathers.
NEARLY 1,000 Palestinian dead, more than 3,500 wounded, limbless children, babies blasted into pieces, the wounded dying on hospital floors. "We are wading in death, blood and amputees," says Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert.
The Israeli military does its filthy work with impunity.
For day after day, the imprisoned people of Gaza are attacked from land, sea and air. There is no sanctuary, no refuge.
The Israeli forces bomb schools, homes, ambulances in the street, electricity supplies, civilians in cars or waiting for transport and the dead pile up in the mortuaries.
Where is the international outrage? Where is the global disgust for a manifest genocide? The United States, as ever, provides diplomatic cover for the plainly psychopathic juggernaut and restocks Israeli arsenals to facilitate the ongoing slaughter. And did any US arms shipments pass through Britain, as they did during the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon?
Why did this fresh aggression begin? Because, say the Israelis, "we could not tolerate thousands of rockets raining down on civilians" - implying massive casualties. In fact, 20 Israelis around Gaza have been killed in 10 years.
And "the Palestinians broke the ceasefire" - another manifest lie.
Why is there no mention of the Israeli bombing raid on November 4 that killed six Palestinians? Or of the bombing raid on November 17 that killed four more? Why is there no mention of the targeted assassinations perpetrated by the Israelis through the period of the ceasefire?
Why is there so little attention to the endless siege of Gaza, in the West euphemistically called "closures?"
One of the conditions of the ceasefire was that the murderous siege be lifted. But nothing changed.
On one occasion, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went to Israel to press for a minor lifting of the blockade. Under this minimalist US pressure, some "closures" were lifted. Rice went back to Washington and the Israelis reneged, imposing the harsh siege as before.
So the Israelis were again free to shoot Palestinian fishermen, to ram aid ships in international waters and to restrict at whim the flow of UN humanitarian aid. What is the death toll caused by denying men, women and children adequate supplies of food, drinkable water and medical supplies?
It was reported that, over the last three weeks, 750,000 Palestinians, half the population of Gaza, were without running water. How long a person lasts without water is reckoned in days rather than weeks. The sick, for example those with chronic kidney disease, will die sooner.
And the Israelis assert that there is no humanitarian crisis.
The current genocidal behaviour is wholly characteristic of the Israeli state since its inception in 1948.
Many Israeli leaders knew what they were doing. In a remarkable admission, Israel's first prime minister David Ben Gurion said: "If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural. We have taken their country. They only see one thing - we have come here and stolen their country."
The former Israeli defence minister Moshe Dayan said: "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. There is not a single place built in Israel that did not have a former Arab population."
In 1969, prime minister Golda Meir tried to simplify the matter. "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. It is not as if we came here and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."
And the Zionist Yesha'ayahu Ben Porat declared: "One truth is that there is no zionism, no settlement and no Jewish state without evacuating Arabs and expropriating lands."
Israeli racism was never far below the surface. The teacher Aharon Avraham Kabak commented on Arab children from Yemen: "The Yemenite child, after so many generations of idleness, penury, abjectness and servility, brings with him a tendency for delusion, negligence, slowness of movement, with bodily lethargy and weakness of the nerves."
Prominent Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson observed that the "non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness."
And that was not all. "The body of the Jewish embryo is on a higher level than the body of a non-Jew."
In the same vein, Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh declared: "If every single cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA. There is something infinitely more holy about Jewish life than non-Jewish life."
Chaim Weizmann recorded the British support for Jewish racism. "The British told us that there are some hundred thousand negroes ("kushim") and for those (the Palestinians) there is no value."
In this context, Arabs were referred to as "dogs," "savages," "semi-savages" and "yellow rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags."
Therefore, the only Israeli solutions to deal with Palestinians on their own land were ethnic cleansing and extermination - long planned by zionist activists.
The founder of political zionism Theodor Herzl wrote in his diary on June 12 1895: "We shall endeavour to expel the poor population (the Arabs) across the border unnoticed, denying it any employment in our own country."
Writer Moshe Smilansky recorded an 1891 dialogue between two zionists. One says: "We'll take the land from them. We'll harass them until they get out. We'll seize the land. We'll expel them. Let them go back to the Arab countries."
The zionist Israel Zangwill declared in 1920 that the Arabs could not be allowed "to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction (the creation of Israel)" and so they must be made to "trek" out of the country. "The Arabs have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy."
Zionists dubbed their ethnic cleansing plans "transfer." Specific transfer committees were set up in 1937, 1944 and 1948 to arrange the expulsion of the Palestinians. Head of the official 1948 committee Yosef Weitz said: "The only solution is to transfer the Arabs. Not a single village or a single tribe must be left."
The Israelis then framed the Plan Dalet to expel the Palestinians.
The transfer committees were supported by military action to secure the land for Jews. In 1948, Ben Gurion said that the war would "give us the land," declaring that the "concepts of 'ours' and 'not ours' are peace concepts only and, in war, they lose their whole meaning."
There is substantial documentation that the Israeli army perpetrated many massacres in 1948-9 as the ultimate form of ethnic cleansing.
The Israeli military historian Arieh Yitzhaki declared that the Israelis carried out massacres in almost every Arab village.
"From almost each report in the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) archives concerning the conquest of Arab villages, a smell of massacre emanates." Another Israeli historian Uri Milstein commented that every battle in 1948 ended with a massacre.
Former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin boasted of the psychological impact of the famous Deir Yassin massacre in which hundreds of helpless men, women and children were raped, mutilated and slaughtered.
"In the rest of the country, the Arabs began to flee in terror. The legend of Deir Yassin helped us. The Arabs began to flee in panic shouting: 'Deir Yassin'."
Other massacres were perpetrated in Beit Daras, al-Dawayma, Houla, Sharafat, Kafr Qasem, Khan Younis and countless other towns and villages. Salman Abu-Sitta of the London-based Palestinian Return Centre has recorded more than two dozen massacres of Arab civilians that took place in 1948.
In 1953, Ariel Sharon, then commander of the terrorist Unit 101, perpetrated the deliberate massacre of 67 civilians, with many more wounded, in the village of Qibya.
He later wrote in his memoirs: "The orders were utterly clear. Qibya was to be an example to everyone."
The massacres of 1948 and the following years established the methods by which the state of Israel would be consolidated.
Some 20,000 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. One thousand seven hundred civilians were slaughtered with direct Israeli complicity in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. In 2006, the Marwahin refugees were ordered from their homes and then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter gunship and 106 civilians, most of them children, were killed in 1996 in the Israeli bombing of the Qana refugee camp.
In this last case, investigated by UN secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Israelis fired shells to explode in the air and rain down shrapnel on the people below.
The Israelis typically lied about what had happened but were exposed as deliberate murderers by the investigation.
When Boutros-Ghali insisted publishing the damning report against US wishes, he was denied a second term as secretary general.
The Israelis have also frequently slaughtered Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank, events which have been addressed by UN resolutions and statements, the Geneva Conventions, customary humanitarian protocols and other statements of international law.
At a time when Saddam Hussein was being criticised for ignoring 16 UN security council resolutions, some of which were absurdly demanding that he surrender non-existent WMD, Israel was in violation of more than 80.
The violated security council resolutions, spanning the history of the Israeli state, addressed, among other matters, the failure to deal with Jewish terrorism, perpetrating massacres of Arab civilians, carrying out ethnic cleansing (deportations, expulsions), building illegal settlements, bombing Arab states (Iraq, Tunisia, Syria), maintaining illegal occupations, violating ceasefires, inciting violence against civilians, demolishing houses, building an illegal apartheid wall - condemned by the World Court - impeding humanitarian supplies and violating many other aspects of international law.
The language of the security council resolutions is unambiguous and remarkable in view of the US blocking veto.
The security council - at different times "alarmed" and "deeply shocked" - has variously "deplored," "strongly deplored," "condemned," "strongly condemned" and "censured" Israeli actions over a period of more than half a century.
In the context of Israeli actions over decades, the Gaza genocide is typical of a state that is totally indifferent to international law and which sees military slaughter as the only way to solve political problems.
Without the protection of an ethically and legally derelict United States, Israel would be under comprehensive military and other sanctions, with its leaders indicted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Geoff Simons has published The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, and books on other Middle East countries, the United Nations and economic sanctions.