“Transfer” Thinking, or Ethnic Cleansing in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Word File: Ethnic Cleansing

Sample statements (for full source citation, and many more statements, see the Word document above):

Theodor Herzl, 1895:TH

“We must expropriate gently . . . We shall have to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country . . . Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” (Theodore Herzl, The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, Raphael Patai, ed., 1960, vol. I, 88 (June 12, 1895).

Ben Gurion, 1938

“I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see in it anything immoral.” (CAZ 28, protocol of meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive and the Zionist Actions Committee, 12 June 1938).BG

Ben Gurion, 1937:

“With the evacuation of the Arab community from the valleys we achieve, for the first time in our history, a real Jewish state [. . .] We achieve the possibility of a giant national settlement, on a large area that is all in the hands of the state . . . As with a magic wand, all the difficulties and defects that preoccupied us until now in our settlement enterprise [will vanish]. [. . .] We are given an opportunity that we never dreamed of and could not dare dream of in our most daring imaginings. [. . .] A continuous block of two and a half million dunams . . . the possibility of the new settlement of fifty or one hundred thousand families . . . when we have a Jewish state in the country and [outside] a Jewish people 16 million strong we must first of all cast off the weakness of thought and will and prejudice that [says that] this transfer [of the Arab population] is impracticable.”

“. . . Any doubt on our part about the necessity of this transfer, any doubt we cast about the possibility of its implementation, any hesitancy on our part about tis justice may lose [us] an historic opportunity that may not recur.”

“. . . There are a number of things that [we] struggle for now [but] which we cannot achieve now. For example the Negev. [On the other hand] the evacuation [of the Arabs from] the [Jezreel] Valley we shall achieve now–and, if not, perhaps we will never achieve it. [. . . ] This thing must be done now–and the first step–perhaps the crucial [step]–is conditioning ourselves for its implementation.

 Moshe Dayan, 1969:MD

“We came to their country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. […] Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. […] There is not one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

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