Video: Leaders of Israel’s founding movement describe their intentions to take over Palestine and expel the inhabitants

Never Before Campaign – If one wants to know why and how the conflict started in Palestine more than 60 years ago, the “confessions” of Israeli and Zionist leaders should make it very clear.

700,000 Palestinians (more than half of the Palestinian population at the time) were expelled in 1948. More than 600 towns and villages were ethnically cleansed. See the map here. Thousands were killed and maimed.

Here is the list of quotes used in the video, their sources and the context:

1. “There is a country which happens to be called Palestine. A country without people”
Chaim Weismann, 1914

In Context:  “In its initial stage, Zionism was conceived by its pioneers as a movement wholly depending on mechanical factors: there is a country which happens to be called Palestine, a country without people, and, on the other hand, there exists the Jewish people, and it has no country.
Source: Nur Masalha, Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 6

2. “… we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it”
Moshe Sharett, 1914

In Context:  “We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it, that governs it by the virtue of its language and savage culture …..”
Source: Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 91

3. “we must expel all Arabs and take their places”
David Ben-Gurion, commenting on the proposed Peel Commission Partition plan in 1937

In Context:  “We must expel Arabs and take their places …. and, if we have to use force-not to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan, but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places-then we have force at our disposal.”
Source: Nur Masalha, Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 66

4. “I don’t see anything immoral in it”
David Ben-Gurion, 1937

In Context:  “With compulsory transfer we [would] have a vast area [for settlement] …. I support compulsory transfer. I don’t see anything immoral in it.”
Source: Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 144

5. “There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population”
Moshe Dayan, 1969

In Context:  “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 geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.” Source: Address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969

6. “Everyone has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements, because everything we take now will stay ours”
Ariel Sharon, 1998

In Context:  “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours… Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”
Source: Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

7. “If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms Israel…” …”This is natural, we have taken their country”
David Ben-Gurion, 1973

In Context:  “I don’t understand your optimism.,” Ben-Gurion declared. “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them?
Source: Nahum Goldman, The Jewish Paradox, p. 99

8. “There is no more Palestine. Finished.”
Moshe Dayan

In Context:  “There is no more Palestine. Finished . . .” [does it really need a context?]
Source: Avi Shlaim, Iron Wall, p.316

9. “No one has the right to put the Jewish people and the state of Israel on trial”
Ariel Sharon, 2001

In Context: “Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.”
Source: Quoted in BBC News Online, 25 March, 2001

More information on this history. A brochure to distribute: “How Palestine became Israel.”

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