Ralph Schoenman


The Hidden History of Zionism


Chapter 12
Strategy for Conquest

11. Prisons   |   13. Strategy for Revolution


In 1982, while advance preparations were being completed for the invasion of Lebanon and the massacre of Palestinians in the camps around Beirut, Sidon and Tyre, a remarkable document was published in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization. Its author, Oded Yinon, was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry and reflects high-level thinking in the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.

The article, A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s, outlines a timetable for Israel to become the imperial regional power based upon the dissolution of the Arab states. In discussing the vulnerability of the corrupt regimes of the Middle East, Yinon inadvertently exposes the full measure of their betrayal of the needs of the population and their inability to defend themselves or their people against imperial subjugation.


Divide and Rule

Yinon revives the idea of former Labor Foreign Minister Abba Eban that the Arab East is a "mosaic" of ethnic divergence. The form of rule, therefore, appropriate to the region is the Millet system of the Ottoman Empire, wherein administrative rule was based upon local functionaries presiding over discrete ethnic communities.

"This world with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems."[157] Yinon contends that the Arab nation is a fragile shell waiting to be shattered into multiple fragments. Israel must follow through with the policies it has pursued since the inception of Zionism, seeking to purchase local agents among factions and communal groups who will assert themselves against other such communities at Israel’s behest.

This will always be feasible, argues Yinon, because:

The Moslem Arab world is built like a temporary house of cards, put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the 1920’s), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into nineteen states, all made of combinations of minorities and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging. [158]

[Most of the Arabs, 118 million out of 170 million today, live in Africa, primarily in Egypt (45 million).]

The "new" strategy of the eighties is the old imperial dictum of divide and rule, which depends for its success upon the securing of corrupt satraps to do the bidding of an aspiring imperial order.

In this giant and fractured world there are a few wealthy groups and a huge mass of poor people. Most of the Arabs have an average yearly income of $300. Lebanon is torn apart and its economy is falling to pieces; there is no centralized power, but only five de-facto sovereign authorities. [159]


Dissolving Lebanon

Lebanon was the model, prepared for its role by the Israelis for thirty years, as the Sharett diaries revealed. It is the expansionist compulsion set forth by Herzl and Ben Gurion even as it is the logical extension of the Sharett diaries. The dissolution of Lebanon was proposed in 1919, planned in 1936, launched in 1954 and realized in 1982.

Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The subsequent dissolution of Syria and Iraq into ethnically or religiously unique areas, as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run. The dissolution of the military power of these states serves as the primary short-term target. [160]


Fragmenting Syria

“Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor and the Druze who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan [the Golan Heights was occupied by Israel in 1967], and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today."[161] Each Arab state is examined with a view to assessing how it may be disassembled. Wherever minority religious groupings are present in the army, Yinon sees opportunity. Syria is singled out in this respect.

"The Syrian army today is mostly Sunni with an Alawi officer corps, the Iraqi army Shi’ite with Sunni commanders. This has great significance in the long run, and that is why it will not be possible to retain the loyalty of the army for a long time."[162] Yinon proceeds to examine how the "civil war," which had been inflicted on Lebanon by means of financing Major Sa’ad Haddad in the Lebanese South and the Gemayels’ Phalange around Beirut, may be extended to Syria.

Syria is fundamentally no different from Lebanon except in the strong military regime which rules it. But the real civil war taking place nowadays between the Sunni majority and the Shi’ite Alawi ruling minority (a mere 12% of the population) testifies to the severity of the domestic trouble. [163]


The Assault on Iran

The revolutionary insurgency against the Shah of Iran - one of the principal clients of American imperialism, imposed by a C.I.A. coup in 1953 - appeared to open the road to revolution throughout the Middle East. Not only did Israel and its U.S. patron fear the appeal to Shi’ite Muslims throughout the region - who tended to be among the poor and disadvantaged - but the challenge to U.S. domination struck a chord amongst the masses in each ethnic group and nation.

This was the background to the unleashing of an attack by Iraq on Iran’s southern province, Khuzistan, where the oil production and refineries were located. Like Yinon, Israeli and U.S. planners calculated that since Iran’s oil rich province was populated by Iran’s Arab minority, the province could be detached from Iran relatively easily. An attack by Iraq was expected to be met by sympathy from the Arab minority of Khuzistan. Iran is a nation consisting of ethnic groupings: 15 million Persians (Farsi), 12 million Turks, 6 million Arabs, 3 million Kurds, Baluchi, Turkmeni and smaller nationalities.

Almost half of Iran’s population is comprised of a Persian-speaking group and the other half of an ethnically Turkish group. Turkey’s population comprises a Turkish Sunni Moslem majority (some 50%) and two large minorities, 12 million Shi’ite Alawis and 6 million Sunni Kurds. In Afghanistan there are 5 million Shi’ites who constitute one-third of the population. In Sunni Pakistan there are 15 million Shi’ites who endanger the existence of that state. [l64]

The assumption was that Iran, too, could be fragmented, severing the oil producing provinces through invasion. Khomeini had continued the Shah’s policies of oppressing national minorities and the repression visited upon the Arab minority by Khomeini’s provincial governor, Admiral Madani, encouraged the C.I.A. and Israeli Mossad to push the Iraqi regime to invade.

As with the other regimes of the Arab East, rhetoric aside, the military oligarchies and monarchies in power are available to the highest bidder. But the oil workers in Abadan and Ahwaz, the refining cities of Iran’s Khuzistan province, were highly politicized. They had been the backbone of the National Front when Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Corporation in 1952, and the Communist Party of Iran (Tudeh) had a strong presence among the oil workers. It was the general strike led by the oil workers which was decisive in the Iranian revolution which overthrew the Shah in 1979.

Iraq’s invasion backfired. The Arab minority saw it as an attack on the revolution itself. U.S. and Israeli policy now turned to arming both sides, drawing out the war as long as possible, while preventing an Iranian victory.

Yinon is clear about the strategy. "Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon." [165] The United States and the Saudi monarchy (which also supports Syria with a $10 billion subsidy) have coordinated an arms blockade of Iran and the massive supply of arms to Iraq. The Egyptian and Jordanian regimes lead the way in support for Iraq. Meanwhile the Soviet Union and the United States each arm Iraq, as the Soviet bureaucratic leadership seeks to use its influence on the Arab regimes to position itself to make sphere of influence arrangements with U.S. rulers - at the expense of the Arab masses who continue to live in poverty.


Targeting Iraq

Yinon makes explicit Israeli motives in arming Khomeini while the United States arms Iraq: "Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us." [166]

Advanced preparations are in place as the Zionists plan the fragmentation of Iraq in civil war. "The seeds of inner conflict and civil war are apparent today already, especially after the rise of Khomeini to power in Iran, a leader whom the Shi’ites in Iraq view as their natural leader." [167] In discussing the weaknesses of Arab society under the present regimes, Yinon, inadvertently, underlines the extent to which the population is left out of the equation of power and decision making, the unrepresentative nature of the Arab regimes, their consequent vulnerability and the futility of their attempts to protect themselves from Zionist expansion by dependence on U.S. power and influence. When all is said and done, they are all being measured for the same fate.

What is at issue is not if, but when:

Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi’ite and the ruling minority, Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of twenty percent holds the power. In addition, there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren’t for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq’s future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past or of Syria. [168]

The plan to dissolve the Iraqi state is not algebraic. Israel has marked out the number of statelets, where they are to be located and over whom they are to preside.

In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. [169]

Israel seeks to take full advantage of the impact of poverty and the consequent instability of the regimes which must control an alienated population. In this regard the desire of the Zionists to destabilize the Arab regimes and fragment their countries, while not unwelcome to the United States, is met by Pentagon caution as to timing and implementation. There is the constant danger that the wars and manipulated internal divisions required by Zionism and U.S. imperialism to control the region may unleash a popular uprising, as in Iran - and now within the West Bank and Gaza.

The specter of revolutionary change haunts both Israeli and American rulers. It is a prospect, as well, which underlines the critical importance of a revolutionary leadership which will see the struggle through to the end. The P.L.O.’s attempts, for example, to solicit support from the oppressive regimes of the region instead of appealing directly to their suffering populations have led the P.L.O. from one blind alley to another.

The default in leadership is commensurate with the opportunities lost. Describing the oppression meted out by Arab regimes to their own national minorities, Yinon observes: "When this picture is added to the economic one, we see how the entire region is built like a house of cards, unable to withstand its severe problems." [170] Every country analyzed reveals, essentially, the same set of conditions. "All the Arab states east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with inner conflict even more than those of the Maghreb (North Africa)." [171]


Double-Crossing Mubarak

The cynicism with which the Zionists discuss the fiction of their concern for "security" is nowhere more transparent than in Yinon’s assessment of Egypt. The emergence of Sadat after Israel’s seizure of the Sinai, West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights in 1967 presented the United States with the opportunity to prevent the most populous Arab state from remaining an obstacle to Israeli expansion and American control. The removal of Egypt from opposition was a devastating blow, not merely to the Palestinian people but to the entire Arab population.

The return of Egypt to a degree of dependency on imperialism unknown in the days of Farouk was deeply unpopular among Egyptians.

The United States has provided Egypt with nearly $3 billion in aid, loans and disguised subsidy - second only to Israel itself - which underlines the role of the Mubarak government. Yet living standards plummet.

By legitimizing the Israeli colonial state, Sadat betrayed not only the Palestinian people but left the Arab East prey to the designs set forth by Oded Yinon.

What emerges clearly from his strategic analysis is that for the Zionist movement everything is on a timetable, each area marked for conquest or re-conquest and perceived as a target of opportunity, awaiting only the proper relation of forces and the cover of war.

Egypt, in its present domestic political picture is already a corpse, all the more so if we take into account the growing Moslem-Christian rift. Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front. [172]

Sadat’s return of Egypt to its neo-colonial status under Farouk was rewarded by the recovery of the Sinai. In Israeli eyes, however, not for long.

Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts, and it could be driven back to the post-1967 war situation in no more than one day. [173]

Yinon now proceeds to apply the same scalpel to Egypt with which he has already sliced up Lebanon, Syria and Iraq:

Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt. The vision of a Christian Coptic state in Upper Egypt alongside a number of weak states with very localized power and without a centralized government is the key to a historical development which was only set back by the peace agreement but which seems inevitable in the long run. [174]

Camp David, then, was a tactical ploy preparatory to the dissolution of Egypt and of the Sudan:

Sudan, the most torn apart state in the Arab Moslem world today is built upon four groups hostile to each other: an Arab Moslem Sunni minority which rules over a majority of non-Arab Africans, Pagans, and Christians. In Egypt there is a Sunni Moslem majority facing a large minority of Christians which is dominant in upper Egypt: some seven million of them. They will want a state of their own, something like a ’second’ Christian Lebanon in Egypt. [175]

It was in Egypt that Gamal Abdel Nasser had overthrown King Farouk and galvanized the Arab world with his vision of Arab unity. But it was a unity based not on revolutionary struggle throughout the region but on an illusory federation between oligarchical regimes.


Tomorrow the Saudis

If Nasser’s Egypt finished up, in Israel’s vision, "torn apart" like a second Lebanon, Saudi Arabia will be far more vulnerable, for the Monarchy’s days are considered numbered.

The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable, especially in Saudi Arabia.

All the Gulf principalities and Saudi Arabia are built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil. In Kuwait, the Kuwaitis constitute only a quarter of the population. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are the majority but are deprived of power. In the United Arab Emirates, Shi’ites are once again the majority but the Sunnis are in power. [176]

Nor is there much doubt that as goes Arabia so goes the Gulf:

The same is true of Oman and North Yemen. Even in the Marxist [sic] South Yemen there is a sizable Shi’ite minority. In Saudi Arabia half the population is foreign, Egyptian and Yemenite, but a Saudi minority holds power. [177]


Depopulating Palestine

Yinon reserves his most relentless assessment for the Palestinians themselves. He is emphatic in acknowledging that the Palestinian people have never relinquished their desire and will to be sovereign in their country. It is all of Palestine over which Zionism must rule.

Within Israel the distinction between the areas of ’67 and the territories beyond them, those of ’48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. [178]

Not only must Palestinians be driven out of the West Bank and Gaza, but from the Galilee and pre-1967 Israel. They are to be scattered as they were in 1948.

Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders. Judea, Samaria and the Galilee are our sole guarantee for national existence, and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. Rebalancing the country demographically, strategically and economically is the highest and most central aim today. [179]

[Today, the Palestinians within Israeli territorial control - those in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the pre-1967 territorial colonization - number approximately 2.5 million. There are approximately 5.4 million Palestinians today. More than half of the Palestinian people are dispersed and scattered in a Diaspora across the world. A significant number are in the countries of the Arab East, where they are also subjected to every form of persecution and discrimination: 37.8% in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon; and 17.5% in other Arab states.]

The question posed is how to achieve the expulsion of the Palestinian people under Israeli control, particularly as Israel’s entire regional strategy depends upon it: “.Realizing our aims on the Eastern front depends first on the realization of this internal strategic objective." [180]


Jordan: The Short Run

The method by which this is to be accomplished requires a delicate operation, which begins to explain Zionist and American stress on Jordanian representation of the Palestinians.

Jordan constitutes an immediate strategic target in the short run but not in the long run, for it does not constitute a real threat in the long run after its dissolution, the termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians in the short run. [emphasis added].

There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority. [181]

A desert land with small resources, largely dependent on Saudi money and both U.S. and Israeli military protection, Jordan’s Hashemite Monarchy is scarcely sovereign at all. Its rule over the Palestinian majority who inhabit camps even as they make up its civil service, is Draconian. Palestinians have no right to political expression and when deported from the West Bank and Gaza by Israel, they are summoned daily by Jordanian police who harass and abuse them.

The removal of the Hashemite regime is to be accompanied by what Jabotinsky, citing Hitler in 1940, euphemistically had called "population transfer".

"Changing the regime east of the river will also cause the termination of the problem of the territories densely populated with Arabs west of the Jordan [River]. Whether in war or under conditions of peace, emigration from the territories and economic demographic freeze in them, are the guarantees for the coming change on both banks of the river, and we ought to be active in order to accelerate this process in the nearest future.

The autonomy plan ought also to be rejected, as well as any compromise or division of the territories for ... it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river. [182]

Oded Yinon’s program follows the time-honored imperial pattern of "divide and rule". Lebanon, for example, was first targeted in 1919. The cover of war has been a prerequisite for the consummation of these schemes, whether in the short or long term. Neo-colonialism remains the preferred method of imperial rule because occupations spread imperialism thin, as Che Guevara knew.

The Zionists, in particular, with their relatively small population and their total dependence on U.S. imperialism, can only enact their plan for Israeli dominion through neo-colonial schemes in the Arab East, and these require the support of their imperial master.

In this regard, Oded Yinon’s blueprint is the application to the present and near future of the Zionist design pursued by Herzl, Weizman, Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, and, today, by Peres and Shamir. Those who would select among them, offer Palestinians a Hobson’s choice, for the political debate among the Zionist rulers centers on the means and timing of a conquering design.

When, for example, Moshe Dayan took Gaza in 1956, Ben Gurion became angry, informing Dayan, "I didn’t want Gaza with people, but Gaza without people, the Galilee without people." Moshe Dayan, himself, told Zionist youth at a meeting in the Golan Heights in July 1968. "Our fathers had reached the frontiers recognized in the partition plan; the Six-Day War generation has managed to reach Suez, Jordan, and the Golan Heights. This is not the end. After the present cease-fire lines, there will be new ones. They will extend beyond Jordan ... to Lebanon and ... to central Syria as well." [182a] Neo-colonial rule, however, depends, as Oded Yinon makes clear, upon the dialectical relation between military might and hired hands.

Fragmenting the Arab states will proceed under the cover of war - whether a blitzkrieg attack, use of a proxy armed force or covert operations. The ultimate success requires local leaders who can be bought or ensnared.

Zionists, therefore, have given us repeatedly not only their Mein Kampf, but the evidence that the preservation and extension of their rule depends on misleaders among the victim peoples. The "divide-and-rule" schemes of Zionism and their imperial patron are unending.

If the Palestinians and the Arab masses are to withstand these plans for conquest, they will have to remove the corrupt regimes which barter popular aspiration. They will need to forge a revolutionary leadership which speaks openly about the role of these governments, is vocal about Zionist plans, and which shows determination to carry the struggle throughout the region.


The Four “No’s”

Yinon’s ideas are not outlandish. They are advocated by Sharon and Begin’s Minister of Defense, Moshe Arens, and also by the Labor Party.

Y’ben Poret, a ranking official in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, was irritated in 1982 by pious criticisms of the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza: "It is," he declared, "time to rip away the veil of hypocrisy. In the present, as in the past, there is no Zionism, no settlement of the land, no Jewish state, without the removal of all the Arabs, without confiscation." [183] The 1984 political platform of the Labor Party was promoted in full-page ads in the two leading Israeli dailies, Ma’ariv and Ha’aretz.

The ads highlighted the "Four No’s":

The ad advocated an increase in the number of settlements on the West Bank and Gaza, their full funding and protection.

In 1985, the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog, a Labor Party leader, echoed the sentiments of Sharon and Shamir emphasized by Oded Yinon.

We are certainly not willing to make partners of the Palestinians in any way in a land that was holy to our people for thousands of years. There can be no partner with the Jews of this land. [184]

As with Camp David, even a Bantustan on parts of the West Bank and Gaza would be but a prelude to the next "dispersal". Forcing 2.5 million Palestinians into Jordan is, another interim measure, for Israeli "lebensraum" [Hitler’s infamous phrase meaning "living space"] will not be confined by the Jordan River.

It should be clear, under any future political situation or military constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan River and beyond it [emphasis added], as our existential need in this difficult epoch, the nuclear epoch which we shall soon enter. [185]


Palestinian Population Transfer

Yinon’s ideas were also echoed in an important story carried by The Washington Post on its front page on February 7, 1988, under the headline "Expelling Palestinians: It Isn’t a New Idea and It Isn’t Just Kahane’s."

Two Israeli journalists, Yossi Melman, diplomatic correspondent of the Israeli daily, Davar, and Dan Raviv, London-based CBS News correspondent, disclosed that barely two weeks after the end of the June 1967 war, secret Israeli cabinet meetings were convened to discuss the "resettlement of Arabs". The information was obtained from private diaries kept by Ya’acov Herzog, director general of the Prime Minister’s office. The official transcript of the meeting remains secret.

According to the Post article, Prime Minister Menachem Begin recommended the demolition of the refugee camps and the transfer of the Palestinians to the Sinai. Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir and Foreign Minister Abba Eban, both Labor Zionists, disagreed. They called for the transfer of all the refugees "to neighboring Arab countries, mainly Syria and Iraq".

The 1967 cabinet meeting did not reach a decision.

“Sentiment seemed to favor Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon’s proposal that the Palestinians ... should be transported to the Sinai desert,” the Post article states. Accordingly, the Prime Minister’s office, the Defense Ministry and the army jointly set up a "secret unit charged with ‘encouraging’ the departure of the Palestinians for foreign shores". The secret plan was revealed by Ariel Sharon before a Tel Aviv audience in November 1987, when he disclosed the existence of an "organization" which for years had transferred Palestinians to other countries, including Paraguay, with whose government Israel had made the necessary arrangements.

These "transfers" were handled by the Israeli military governor’s office in Gaza. When one of the transferees, Talal ibn-Dimassi, attacked the Israeli consulate in Asuncion, Paraguay, killing the Consul’s secretary, complications ensued:

"The attack in Paraguay put an abrupt end to the secret Israeli plan which the government had hoped would help solve the problem of the Palestinians by exporting them," the Post article states.

Over one million people were contemplated for "transfer". Only 1,000 were successfully sent out.

Melman and Raviv emphasize that the relocation of Palestinians is not new “as the 1967 cabinet discussions show”. They state that a similar scheme would be attractive to a growing number of Israelis ̶as they watch the recent uprising in the West Bank and Gaza”


An Option Long Considered

The authors acknowledge that the removal of the Palestinians has been the central focus of Zionist planning since the inception of the movement. They write:

Since the early days of Zionism, resettlement has been an option for dealing with the problem posed by the large Arab population in the historical land of Israel.

Melman and Raviv recount a series of schemes which were designed to effect the removal of the Palestinian people. The East bank of the Jordan River [the state of Jordan] was contemplated, a scheme indicated in March 1988 in a full-page advertisement republishing a column by George Will which equates Jordan with Palestine. [185a]

Labor Zionists and Revisionists were united on the necessity to transfer the Palestinians elsewhere. Vladimir Jabotinsky spelled out the various efforts made since World War I in a letter written in November 1939.

We should instruct American Jewry to mobilize a half billion dollars in order that Iraq and Saudi Arabia will absorb the Palestinian Arabs. There is no choice: The Arabs must make room for the Jews in Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs.

By 1947, Labor Zionists and Revisionists joined together in the mass expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians. In 1964, a young Israeli colonel named Ariel Sharon instructed his staff to determine "the number of buses, vans and trucks required in case of war to transport ... the Arabs out of northern Israel."

In 1967, Israeli military commanders began the process.

One general sent bulldozers to demolish three Arab villages near Latrun on the road to Jerusalem, expelling their residents.

Such an expulsion order was issued for the West Bank city of Qalqilya and then cancelled.

Since the Uprising began in December 1987, Michael Dekel of the Likud has taken up the call "to transfer the Arabs", and Gideon Patt, a government minister from the Liberal Party, has declared that the Palestinians should be placed on trucks and sent to the border.

Melman and Raviv conclude with the following prognosis:

Kahane’s message - expel the Palestinians or risk losing control of the land of Israel -remains a potent one. And in the absence of a political solution to the Palestinian problem [sic], Israel may be pushed toward desperate measures.


A Warning by Sharon

It is in this context that Ariel Sharon’s declaration of March 24, 1988, is to be assessed. Sharon stated that if the Palestinian uprising continued, Israel would have to make war on its Arab neighbors. The war, he stated, would provide "the circumstances" for the removal of the entire Palestinian population from inside Israel and from the West Bank and Gaza.

That these are not idle remarks or restricted to Sharon became clear when Yossi Ben Aharon, director general of the office of the Prime Minister, declared in Los Angeles:

Israel has acquired a reputation of not waiting until a potential danger becomes actual.

Ben Aharon was referring to the acquisition by Saudi Arabia of silkworm missiles from China intended to menace Iran. The Israeli declaration was taken very seriously by the Saudis, President Mubarak of Egypt and the Reagan administration, inducing a "flurry of diplomatic activity".

The March 23, 1988, New York Times reports:

The Reagan administration has expressed its concern that Israel not conduct any pre-emptive attack on Chinese-built missiles purchased recently by Saudi Arabia ... Israel has not given a definitive reply to the Administration’s appeals to refrain from attacking the Saudi missiles. The missiles ... were discussed during Mr. Shamir’s visit to Washington last week.

Within two days of Ben Aharon’s statement, Hosni Mubarak warned Israel that Egypt "would react to an Israeli attack on Saudi Arabia’s new medium-range missile sites as ’firmly and decisively’ as if it were an attack on Egypt itself". [185b]

This statement was followed by Mubarak with a second declaration in what was described as "a deepening crisis".

Mubarak told reporters that he took a ’grave’ view of reports that Israel was considering a pre-emptive air strike to destroy the missiles.... ’This is a grave, grave matter. An Israeli attack ... would blow up the entire peace process. I warn against any attack on Saudi Arabia which is a sisterly and friendly country. [l85b]

These public responses by President Mubarak indicate that the possibility of an Israeli adventure, intended to provide cover for expulsion of the Palestinians and to fragment Saudi Arabia, the paymaster of the Arab regimes, is not an idle one.

The timing of The Washington Post story of February 7, I 988, may be more than fortuitous. The Israeli authorities have no answer to the uprising of the Palestinian people other than intensified repression.


Israel and U.S. Power

If the Palestinian people face the destruction of their organized existence by Israel, one fact must be stressed: The Zionist state is nothing but the extension of the power of the United States in the region.

Israeli extermination plans, occupations and expansion are on behalf of the principal imperialist power in the world.

Whatever may be the tactical divergences which emerge from time to time between Israel and the United States, there is no Zionist campaign that can sustain itself without the backing of its principal sponsor. The U.S. government between 1949 and 1983, provided $92.2 billion in military aid, economic aid, loans, special grants and tax deductible "bonds and gifts". [186] As Joseph C. Harsh, put it in the August 5, 1982, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.

Few countries in history have been as dependent on another as Israel is on the United States. Israel’s major weapons are from the United States - either as gifts or on long-term, low-interest loans, which few seriously expect to be repaid.

Israel’s survival is underwritten and subsidized from Washington. Without American arms, Israel would lose the quantitative and qualitative advantage which President Reagan has promised to maintain for them. Without the economic subsidy, Israel’s credit would vanish and its economy would collapse.

In other words, Israel can only do what Washington allows it to do. It dare not conduct a single military operation without the tacit consent of Washington. When it does undertake a military offensive, the world assumes correctly that it has Washington’s tacit consent.

The Israeli state is not coextensive with the Jews as a people. Zionism, historically, has been a minority ideology among Jews. A state is but an apparatus which enforces specific economic and social relations. It is a structure of power and its purpose is, however guised, to coerce and to impose obedience.

If, for example, the apartheid state of South Africa had three-fifths less territory or two-thirds less people under its control, it would not be a whit less unjust. An oppressive state is unacceptable whether it presides over a postage stamp or a continent. The Namphy regime in Haiti is no less repugnant because of the relatively small size of that country or of the population over which it rules.

Our attitude toward a state which exploits and demeans its subjects is not conditioned by the extent of its sovereign reach. We know this to be true for Stroessner’s Paraguay or Zhivkov’s Bulgaria. It is no less true of the Zionist state of Israel.

Even if the apartheid Israeli state were anchored on a ship off of Haifa, it would be an outrage. Like the South African state, Pinochet’s Chile or the state in America (run by 2% of the population who control 90% of the national wealth), we owe it no allegiance.


Blood, Sweat and Tears

Nearly fifty years ago, an orator responded not to the occupation of his country or the liquidation of three-fourths of its towns and villages. He was not reacting to massacre, mass imprisonment, detention camps and torture. He did not decry the theft of the land and property of an entire people or their overnight transformation into pauperized refugees existing in tent camps, hunted and persecuted wherever they fled. He did not denounce a forty-year ordeal punctuated by unrelenting bombing, invasion and yet further dispersal. He responded to but a few weeks of sporadic bombing as he declaimed, memorably.

I have nothing to offer you but blood, tears, and sweat. You ask, “What is our policy?” I say it is to wage war, by sea, land and air. With all our might and with all the strength that God can give us to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalog of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, “What is our aim?” I answer in one word - victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory for us, there is no survival, let that be realized, no survival. I feel sure that our cause will not be subject to failure and I feel entitled to claim the aid of all.

And a week later, he declared:

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields. We shall fight in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island were subjugated and starving, we shall carry on the struggle.

What is it that makes it permissible for the head of the Raj, the Imperial Raj, Winston Churchill, to utter these sentiments - but renders them illicit for the Palestinian people? Nothing, but that endemic racism which colors consciousness in our society.

Winston Churchill was a belligerent spokesperson of British imperialism, notably in Palestine and the Arab world. If Churchill can be allowed, demagogically, to sound a call to resist aggression and attack, how much more are the Palestinian people entitled to fight back - to resist occupation, to battle for their survival and social justice.



157. Israel Shahak, trans. & ed., The Zionist Plan For the Middle East (Belmont, Mass.: A.A.U.G., 1982).

158. Ibid., p.5.

159. Ibid.

160. Ibid., p.9.

161. Ibid.

162. Ibid., p.5.

163. Ibid., p.4.

164. Ibid., p.5.

165. Ibid., p.9.

166. Ibid.

167. Ibid., p.4.

168. Ibid.

169. Ibid., p.9.

170. Ibid., p.5.

171. Ibid., p.4.

172. Ibid., p.8.

173. Ibid.

174. Ibid.

175. Ibid., p.4.

176. Ibid., p.4 & p.9.

177. Ibid., p.5.

178. Ibid., p.10.

179. Ibid.

180. Ibid., pp.10-11.

181. Ibid., pp.9-10.

182. Ibid., p.10.

182a. London Sunday Times, June 25, 1969.

183. Israeli Mirror, London.

184. Yosi Berlin, Meichuro Shel Ichud, 1985, p.14.

185. Shahak, The Zionist Plan.

185a. New York Times, March 27, 1988.

185b. The Washington Post, February 7, 1988.

185c. Ibid.

185d. Ibid.

185e. Ibid.

185f. New York Times, March 23, 1988.

185g. Los Angeles Times, March 25, 1988.

185h. Ibid.

186. For a full discussion of the financial relationship between the United States and Israel see Mohammed El Khawas & Samir Abed Rabbo, American Aid to Israel: Nature & Impact (Brattleboro, Vt.: Amana Books, 1984).


Last updated on 4.8.2001