UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) — Digging Deeper LXXXIX: August 3, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
(Oxford: Oneworld, 2006;paperback 2007).
Ilan Pappe argues that thehistory of Israel is not complex, butrather “not complicated at all,” a “simplebut horrific story of the ethnic cleansingof Palestine, a crime against humanitythat Israel has wanted to deny and causethe world to forget” (xviii); recoveringthat history is not only “a greatly overdueact of historiographical reconstruction orprofessional duty,” it is “a moraldecision” (xviii). (Elsewhere, Pappe haswritten: “the Israeli claim of complexityand the Zionist time line as a whole havebeen exposed as propaganda at best.”)]
List of Illustrations, Maps, andTables.
Friends andfamily; “this book . . . is written first andforemost for the Palestinian victims of the1948 ethnic cleansing” (ix-x).
Plan Dalet (“D” in Hebrew), aplan “for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” was completed on Mar. 10,1948, in the “Red House” that was theHQ of Hagana, the Zionist undergroundmilitia (xi-xii). Six months later “morethan half of Palestine’s native population,close to 800,000 people, had beenuprooted, 531 villages had beendestroyed, and eleven urbanneighborhoods had been emptied of theirinhabitants . . . [it was] a clear-cut caseof an ethnic cleansing operation,regarded under international law todayas a crime against humanity” (xiii;between 31 and 37 massacres took place). This “crime” has been “erasedalmost totally from the global publicmemory” (xiii). Those who planned itand carried out are known; “All arefamiliar figures in the pantheon of Israeliheroism” (xiv). The “new history” debatein the 1980s did not go far enoughbecause it used only official Israelisources (xiv-xv). Walid Khalidi’s
All That Remains
 is an almanac of destroyed villages and is an essentialreference (xv-xvi). “In this book, I wantto explore both the mechanism of the1948 ethnic cleansing, and the cognitivesystem that allowed the world to forget,and enabled the perpetrators to deny,the crime the Zionist movementcommitted against the Palestinian peoplein 1948 . . . to make the case for theparadigm of ethnic cleansing and use itto replace the paradigm of war as thebasis for the scholarly research of, andthe public debate about, 1948” (xvi; xvi-xviii). This is a necessary first steptoward reconciliation (xviii).
Ch. 1: An ‘Alleged’ Ethnic Cleansing?
Pappe accepts the Hutchinsonencyclopedia’s definition of ethniccleansing as “expulsion by force in orderto homogenize the ethnically mixedpopulation of a particular region orterritory” and argues that it applies toPalestine in 1948 (1-9).
Ch. 2: The Drive for an Exclusively Jewish State.
“Zionism secularized andnationalized Judaism” by making EretzIsrael not something for the “end of times” but to be realized now (10-11).Palestinians began to sense the danger in1905-1910 (11-12). Zionism’s aim torecreate the Jewish people’s “ancienthomeland” was linked to Europeancolonialism and 19
-century Christianmillenarianism; socialism’s influence wasweak (12-13). The Balfour Declaration of 1917 (13). Zionism’s “violent core”became clear in the 1920s and 1930s(13-15). Orde Wingate, a British officer,transformed the Hagana into “themilitary arm of the Jewish Agency, theZionist governing body in Palestine that