The ethnic cleansing of Palestine (Ilan Pappé) [2006]

IMG_4025 En suverän bok, en klippa att vila alla framtida dispyter mot. Många tror att Israel-Palestina-konflikten är något ogripbart och invecklat; en kulturell konflikt som pågått i tusentals år. Men saken är mycket enkel som Pappé själv skriver. Med stor kunskap och detaljrikedom skildrar han hur palestinierna fördrevs från sina hem, by för by och stad för stad. Han fullständigt pulvriserar myterna kring Israels födelse genom att slå fast att:

  • A) det nybildade landet inte befann sig under något som helst hot från de omgivande, nyligen självständiga arabländerna (särskilt som man redan hade en uppgörelse med regionens starkaste militärmakt, Jordanien),
  • B) landets ledning genomgick flera års trygg ”inskolning” under britternas styre,
  • C) man påbörjade den etniska rensningen flera månader innan självständighetsdagen 15.e maj 1948, det vill säga under britternas styre av Palestina (250 000 människor fördrevs från sina hem innan 15/11),
  • D) ”självständighetskrigets hjältar” (Ben-Gurion framför alla andra) var i själva verket också kallt beräknande massmördare samt
  • E) 1948 presenterar en övergång av Palestinskt styre från en kolonialmakt till en annan.
    • The fact that the expellers were newcomers to the country, and part of a colonization project, relates the case of Palestine to the colonialist history of ethnic cleansing in North and South America, Africa and Australia, where white settlers routinely committed such crimes.

IP anger syftet som sin bok att gå bortom den officiella israeliska doktrinen, som hävdar att konflikten börjar 1967 (Sexdagarskriget), och istället se den etniska rensningen 1948 som källan till dagens problem. Han argumenterar rentav för att ingen bestående fred kan nås så länge inte den delen av historien adresseras.

I am convinced, as my final pages show, that such a painful journey into the past is the only way forward…

Andra viktiga poänger:

  1. ‘Revisionist historians’, med Benny Morris som främsta exempel (denne man som nästan uteslutande förlitar sig på israeliska militära dokument), ifrågasätter den officiella diskursen som menar att palestinierna frivilligt lämnade sina hem (‘voluntary exodus’), men drar sig för att använda orden etnisk rensning.
  2. IP tar det hela ett steg längre, och klargör varför det inte bara var ”påstådd”, utan faktisk, etnisk rensning.
  3. Han kritiserar även den palestinska historieskrivningen (”Al Nakbah” = katastrofen) som diffus och semi-religiös; man måste se de faktiska förhållandena och inte hänfalla åt termer som förbannelse, bestraffning, katastrof, etc
  4. Historia:
    • Palestina under ottomanskt styre -> WW1 (ett världskrig som handlade om stormakternas anspråk på det krackelerande forna storriket) -> brittiskt styre
  5. Balfour-deklarationen:
    • The Balfour Declaration was a letter dated November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. The text of the Balfour Declaration, agreed at a Cabinet meeting on October 31,1917, set out the position of the British Government: ‘His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.’ [På annat håll i boken kommenterar IP att deklarationen samtidigt lovar:] ‘to protect the aspirations of the non-Jewish population – a strange reference to the vast native majority…’
  6. Religion och zionism:
    • Jewish tradition and religion, clearly instruct Jews to await the coming of the promised Messiah at ‘the end of times’ before they can return to Eretz Israel as a sovereign people in a Jewish theocracy, that is, as the obedient servants of God (this is why today several streams of Ultra-Orthodox Jews are either non or anti-Zionist).
    • inre stridigheter bland zionisterna, men:
      • …after [Herzl’s] death, in 1904, the orientation towards Palestine was fixed and consensual.
  7. Storbritanniens roll:
    • After the 1929 uprising, the Labour government in London appeared inclined to embrace the Palestinian demands, but the Zionist lobby succeeded in reorienting the British government comfortably back onto the Balfourian track. This made another uprising inevitable. It duly erupted in 1936 in the form of a popular rebellion fought with such determination that it forced the British government to station more troops in Palestine than there were in the Indian subcontinent. After three years, with brutal and ruthless attacks on the Palestinian countryside, the British military subdued the revolt. The Palestinian leadership was exiled, and the paramilitary units that had sustained the guerilla warfare against the Mandatory forces were disbanded… gave the Jewish forces in 1947 an easy ride into the Palestinian countryside.
    • Wingate succeeded in attaching Hagana troops to the British forces during the Arab revolt so that they could learn even better… also gained valuable military experience in the Second World War… volunteered for the British war effort. [Inskolning av Haganas trupper under britternas trygga ledning, så att de stod fullt redo att ta över när mästarna lämnade 1948.]
    • man bör minnas att utgången av WW2 inte var given på förhand – nazisterna tedde sig oövervinneliga i sitt flerfrontskrig i Europa, Afrika och Atlanten, medan deras japanska fascistbröder gjorde mos av de flesta sydostasiatiska länder. Vad som hände judar (liksom kommunister, andra dissidenter, sinti, handikappade, m.m.) är redan välbekant och tål att reflekteras över. I dessa förutsättningar kurade sig sionisternas ledare tacksamt under britternas skyddande vingar. Men när de bruna lidit nederlag, lät de sig istället ryckas med av de pågående antikolonialistiska strömningarna och utnyttjade det euro-kollektiva ”dåliga samvetet” för att kräva sitt egna judiska land. Ironin är naturligtvis slående – att kolonisera andra människors land och plötsligt kräva självständighet. Men britterna hade större bekymmer på hemmaplan (hotet om revolution; Sovjet gick moraliskt stärkta ur WW2), och hade dessutom just tappat långt värdefullare kolonier än Palestina. Sionisterna utnyttjade detta faktum när de A) började skrika i högan sky om en ”ny förintelse” och B) började rikta sin terror (som de många gånger hade lärt sig av sina forna herrar) mot britterna (bl.a. bombningen av King David Hotel, britternas högkvarter i Jerusalem) för att katalysera britternas reträtt.
  8. ‘Unfair deals’ – FN:s roll:
    • [Om UN Partition Resolution i november 1947, som delade landet i 3: A) palestiniernas del, som utgjorde 42% av landet beboddes av 10 000 judar, B) judarnas del som geografiskt utgjorde 56% och beboddes av knappt 500 000 judar jämte 438 000 palestinier (!) samt knappt 2% av ytan (ffa Jerusalem och kring-orter) som skulle stå under internationellt mandat:]
    • As the Palestinians made up the majority of between eighty and ninety per cent of the total population in the 1920s, they understandably refused at first to accept the British suggestion of parity, let alone one that disadvantaged them in practice – a position that encouraged the Zionist leaders to endorse it. A pattern now emerges: when, in 1928, the Palestinian leadership, apprehensive of the growing Jewish immigration into the country and the expansion of their settlements, agreed to accept the formula as a basis for negotiations, the Zionist leadership quickly rejected it.
    • The Arab League, the regional inter-Arab Organisation, and the Arab Higher Committee (the embryonic Palestinian government) decided to boycott the negotiations with UNSCOP prior to the UN resolution, and did not take part in the deliberations on how best to implement it after November 1947. Into this vacuum the Zionist leadership stepped with ease and confidence… demand UNSCOP allocate them a state comprising over eighty per cent of the land… [as well as demanding Jerusalem as its capital, which UNSCOP under pressure from Catholic countries rejected.]
    • [!!!] One United Nations emissary was different. Count Folke Bernadotte had arrived in Palestine on 20 May and stayed there until Jewish terrorists murdered him in September for having ‘dared’ to put forward a proposal to re-divide the country in half, and to demand the unconditional return of all the refugees… UN General Assembly posthumously adopted his legacy and recommended the unqualified return of all the refugees Israel had expelled.
  9. Förberedelser inför den etniska rensningen:
    • Ben-Gurion’s focus on long-term processes and comprehensive solutions was atypical of most of his colleagues in the Zionist leadership. They still hoped that by purchasing a piece of land here and a few houses there they would be able to establish the envisaged new reality. Ben-Gurion understood early on that this would never be enough…
    • …the Zionist leadership openly declared – two months before the end of the Mandate – it would seek to take over the land and expel the indigenous population by force: Plan Dalet.
    • [Underrättelsetjänsten upprättade enorma register med information om de palestinska byarna; ”…apart from topographically recording the layout of the villages, the project should also include exposing the ‘Hebraic origins’ of each village.”An important category was an index of ‘hostility’… decided by the level of the village’s participation in the revolt of 1936… Particular attention was given to people who had allegedly killed Jews. As we shall see, in 1948 these last bits of information fuelled the worst atrocities in the villages… [but also, civilian measures:] … the quality of each fruit grove (even of each single tree)… meticulous detail was added about each clan and its political affiliation, the social stratification between notables and common peasants… quantity and quality of the arms at the villagers’ disposal (generally antiquated or even non-existent)… In 1948 Jewish troops used these lists for the search-and-arrest operations…
    • [En extremt målmedveten, sammansvetsad och av omvärlden gynnad rörelse ställs mot ett decimerat, splittrat bondesamhälle – resultaten är inte förvånande.] This 1947 map envisaged a Jewish state that anticipated almost to the last dot pre-1967 Israel, i.e., Palestine without the West Bank and the Gaza Strip… During all these deliberations, the Zionist leaders never discussed the possibility of any resistance from the local population: their chief concern was the British and, maybe, the international response…The desperate situation of the indigenous population of Palestine becomes poignantly clear the moment we realise that those who had crushed their liberation movement, the British Mandatory authorities, were now the only ones standing between them and a coolly determined and highly motivated Zionist movement that coveted most of their homeland. But worse was to come as Europe prepared to compensate the Jewish people for the Holocaust…
  10. Den jordanska uppgörelsen:
    • [King Abdullah craved the fertile Palestinian lands; Transjordan was mostly desert full of ‘ungovernable’ Bedouin tribes, while the Saudis were expanding and infringing on his lands.] In reward for their services to the crown, the Hashemites had been granted the kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan that the Mandate system had created.  …crucially it neutralised the strongest army in the Arab world…
    • [Inte ens denna uppgörelse är man beredd att ”respektera”, utan det är under en offensiv mot Västbanken – jordaniernas tilldelade protektorat – som Hagana lider det som mest närmar sig ett nederlag under hela den etniska rensningen.] …tenacious defensive efforts of the Jordanians and the Iraqi forces that helped repel Israeli attacks. It is possible to see this episode from a different angle: by annexing the West Bank, the Jordanians saved 250,000 Palestinians from being ousted – until, that is, they were occupied by Israel in 1967…
  11. Etnisk rensning:
    • skrämmande, herrelöst maskineri:
      • …the political leadership ceases to take an active part as the machinery of expulsion comes into action and rolls on, like a huge bulldozer propelled by its own inertia, only to come to a halt when it has completed its task.
    • fälttågen döptes – mycket suggestivt – till ‘broom’, ‘scissors’, ‘cleansing’, etc.
    • IP beskriver en rutin som Hagana upprepade: en by besegrades, män mellan tio och 50 år radades upp mot en vägg, varpå en informatör/bybo, med huva för ansiktet, pekade ut potentiella upprorsmakare (t.ex. de som ägde vapen, hade uttryckt starka åsikter, varit delaktiga i uppror), varpå dessa avrättades på plats – helst framför de andra.
    • …Haifa was chosen as the first [urban] target… [the Jewish settlers] lived topographically above the Arab neighbourhoods and could easily shell and snipe at them… poured oil mixed with fuel down the roads, which they then ignited. The moment panic-stricken Palestinian residents came running out of their homes to try to extinguish these rivers of fire, they were sprayed by machine-gun fire. [In this context, IP lifts class issues; 15.000 of Haifa’s Palestinian elite – mainly those owning commercial means – escaped.]
    • [Ben-Gurion, to the Jewish Agency Executive:] ‘I believe the majority of the Palestinian masses accept the partition as a fait accompli and do not believe it is possible to overcome or reject it… The decisive majority of them do not want to fight us.
    • [Haifa:] …leaving the only major port in the country in Jewish control was yet another manifestation of the unfair deal the Palestinians were offered in the UN Peace proposal… Haifa was also the last station on the trail of the British pull-out.
    • [Haifa, fortsatt. IP gör instick från nutiden in i sin historieskildring, som nålar i propagandaballongen. Nedan ännu ett exempel på Haganas taktik att omringa fienden på tre fronter, därefter angripa dem för att pressa dem åt ett bestämt håll – i detta fall råkade det vara havet:] The brigade’s officers, aware that people had been advised to gather near the port’s gate, ordered their men to station three-inch mortars on the mountain slopes overlooking the market and the port – where the Rothschild Hospital stands today  – and to bombard the gathering crowds below.
    • All in all, eight Palestinian neighbourhoods and thirty-nine villages were ethnically cleansed in the Greater Jerusalem area, their population transferred to the eastern part of the city.
    • Acre, under belägring av Hagana, drabbas av epidemi av tyfoid feber. Internationella Röda Korset misstänker Hagana, men inget bevisas.
    • Deserted by both the volunteers and the Legionaries, the men of Lydd, armed with some old rifles, took shelter in the Dahamish Mosque in the city centre… Jewish troops went on yet another rampage of murder and pillage, 426 men, women and children were killed (176 bodies were found in the mosque).
    • The people of both cities [Lydd and Ramla] were forced to march, without food and water, to the West Bank, many of them dying from thirst and hunger on the way… 50,000 people had been ‘transferred’ in this inhuman way. Again, the inevitable question present itself: three years after the Holocaust, what went through the minds of those Jews who watched these wretched people pass by?
    • In other words, it took Jewish troops just over a day to turn a district with a population that was ninety-six per cent Palestinian and only four per cent Jewish – with a similar ratio of land ownership – into an area almost exclusively Jewish.
    • de stora antalen flyktingar fördubblar Jordaniens population.
  12. Självständighetsdagen 15:e Maj 1948:
    • For most Palestinians, the date of 15 May 1948 was of no special significance at the time: it was just one more day in the horrific calendar of ethnic cleansing that had started more than five months earlier.
    • [De nyligen självständiga arabländerna drog sig för att ingripa:] There was no lack of volunteers. Many people in the surrounding Arab countries came out and demonstrated against their governments’ inaction… classifying it as pan-Arabism hardly does it justice… Palestine and Algeria became models for a fierce and bold anti-colonialist struggle… though by no means a religious mission.
    • …the Arab League took the decision, on the last day of April, to intervene militarily, but not until the British Mandate had come to an end… on 15 May 1948, and the Jewish Agency immediately declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, officially recognised by the two superpowers of the day, the USA and the USSR. That same day, regular Arab forces entered Palestine.
    • …undermines the Israeli myth that the ‘Arabs’ ran away once the ‘Arab invasion’ began. Almost half of the Arab villages had already been attacked by the time the Arab governments eventually and, as we know, reluctantly decided to send in their troops.
    • …it would need to halt all attempts by Arab forces to invade the Jewish state in the making, while simultaneously carrying out the ethnic cleansing of all the parts of Palestine it would occupy. A highly competent professional army thus became a vital tool in the construction of a solidly Jewish state in ex-Mandatory Palestine… 50,000 troops…small air force and navy, and on the units of tanks, armoured cars and heavy artillery that accompanied them. Facing them were irregular para-military Palestinian outfits that numbered no more than 7,000 troops… Until May 1946, the two sides were poorly equipped. Then the newly founded Israeli army, with the help of the country’s Communist party, received a large shipment of heavy arms from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union [läs på!]… [towards the end of the war] a Jewish force of almost double the number of all the Arab armies combined had little trouble completing the job.
    • This [GRB-FRA arms embargo on Palestine] crippled the Arab armies but hardly affected the Jewish forces, who found a willing furnisher in the Soviet Union…
    • [Om de 10 000 egyptiska soldaterna, varav hälften tillhörde Muslim Brotherhood:] …Orthodox ways of Islam – regarded Palestine as a crucial battlefield in the struggle against European imperialism… Syrian forces were better trained… Lebanese units… Iraqi troops… had been ordered by their government to accept the Jordanian guideline: that is, not to attack the Jewish state, but just to defend the area allocated to King Abdullah, namely the West Bank.
    • [Moshe Sharett, Israels utrikesminister:] We can face all the Arab forces. This is not a mystical belief but a cold and rational calculation based on practical examination.
  13. Ben-Gurion:
    • On 24 May, after Ben-Gurion had met with his advisers, in his diary entry he sounds triumphant and more power-hungry than ever before: We will establish a Christian state in Lebanon, the southern border of which will be the Litani River. We will break Transjordan, bomb Amman and destroy its army, and then Syria falls, and if Egypt will still continue to fight – we will bombard Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis and Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical times.
  14. Omvärldens reaktioner:
    • Already by 12 March 1948, the State Department had drafted a new proposal to the UN, which suggested an international trusteeship over Palestine for five years, during which the two sides would negotiate…Had it not been for highly effective pressure by the Zionist lobby on President Harry Truman, the course of Palestine’s history could have run very differently.
    • Ben-Gurion did not wish the city of Nazareth to be depopulated for the simple reason that he knew the eyes of the Christian world were fixed on the city.
    • At the time, American reporters like Wheeler [Keith Wheeler of The Chicago Sun] were astonished by what ironically he called the Israeli ‘Blietzkrieg‘…
    • For a short and unique period the American administration showed an interest in the subject. Officials in the State Department, in an atypical move, dominated the policy on the refugee issues, while the White House seemed to stand aloof. The inevitable result was a growing dissatisfaction with the basic Israeli position. The US experts saw no legal alternative to the return of the refugees, and were considerably irritated by Israel’s refusal to even discuss the possibility. In May 1949, the State Department conveyed a strong message to the Israeli government that it considered the repatriation of the refugees as a precondition for peace. When the Israeli rejection arrived, the US administration threatened Israel with sanctions, and withheld a promised loan. In response, the Israelis at first suggested taking in 75,000 refugees and allowing the reunification of families for another 25,000. When this was deemed insufficient by Washington, the government suggested taking in the Gaza strip, with its 90,000 indigenous inhabitants and its refugee community of 200,000. Both proposals seemed niggardly but by then, the spring of 1949, a personnel reshuffle in the American State Department reoriented America’s Palestine policy onto a different course that completely sidelined, if not altogether ignored, the refugee question.
    • …unconditional return of the Palestinian refugees was the basis for peace, together with a two-state solution dividing the country equally between the two sides, and the internationalisation of Jerusalem. Everyone involved accepted this comprehensive approach: the US, the UN, the Arab world, the Palestinians and Israel’s foreign minister, Moshe Sharett. But the endeavour was deliberately torpedoed by Israel’s prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and King Abdullah of Jordan, who had set their minds on partitioning what was left of Palestine between them.
  15. Efterförlopp och idag:
    • …the adjective ‘ancient’ is used for every single detail in this site: paths are ‘ancient’, steps are ‘ancient’, and so on. Sataf, in fact, was a Palstinian village expelled and mostly destroyed in 1948.
    • [Om PLO i fredsförhandlingarna:] Of course they had completely misread the tone of the US peace scheme: only Israel was allowed to set the items ofa peace agenda…leaving the Palestinians about fifteen per cent of original Palestine. But that fifteen per cent would be in the form of separate cantons bisected by Israeli highways, settlements, army camps and walls… Crucially, the Israeli plan excluded Jerusalem…
    • Subsequently, after the Sinai had been ceded back to Egypt in 1979 in return for ‘peace’ , in 1982, Israel added southern Lebanon to its mini-empire… The withdrawals in May 2000 from southern Lebanon and, in August 2005, from the Gaza Strip…
    • The significance of the disengagement plan [from Gaza] is the freezing of the peace process. //Dov Weissglas, spokesperson for Ariel Sharon, Ha’aretz.G October 2004 [Genom att dra sig ur Gaza försäkrade man sig om god PR, som tillät dem att flytta fram positionerna på andra områden.]
    • This has kept the percentage of Palestinians down to nearly twenty per cent of Israel’s total population, when we do not include the Occupied Territories.
    • For almost two decades, the State of Israel has been unable to claim an overwhelming Jewish majority, thanks to the influx in the 1980s of Christians from former Soviet Union countries, the increasing number of foreign guest workers and the fact that secular Jews find it more and more difficult to define what their Jewishness amounts to in the ‘Jewish’ state.
    • Apartheid is particularly popular among Mizrahi Jews… although few of them, especially since they come from North African countries, will find themselves leading the comfortable lives their Ashkenazi counterparts enjoy. And they know this – betraying the Arabic heritage and culture has not brought the reward of full acceptance.

Varför är detta viktigt idag?

  • …calls into question the very foundational myths of the State of Israel, and it raises a host of ethical questions that have inescapable implications for the future of the state.
  • Visar att sionisterna emulerar nazisterna, istället för att förskräckas och aldrig begå samma grymma handlingar – mänsklig natur?

IP avslutar med en visionär epilog. Han föreställer sig ett Israel, som vill göra upp med sin historia. Där universiteten och akademikerna är upptagna med att analysera denna enorma etniska rensning; där ekonomerna räknar på kostnaderna för palestinier, där geograferna skildrar de omintetgjorda palestinska byarna och där filosoferna är fullt sysselsatta av att analysera vad en sådan historia kan innebära för ett land på det moraliska planet, osv. Han beskriver på ett tänkvärt sätt de våldsspiraler som satts igång; med ett desperat våldsdåd till följd av den snart 70 år långa ockupationen, som i sin tur följs av militär repression, nya våldsdåd och alltmer hårdnande tag, vilket göder de högerextrema och fascistoida tendenserna i israelisk politik. Det är en lärorik bok, som är ganska enkel att läsa – inte alltför mycket historiopolitiska förkunskaper krävs. Däremot hjälper det om man kan geografin och den lokala historien (jag kan den inte), särskilt som många sidor tillägnas enskilda byar. Recensionen är redan lång och jag vill inte bli tjatig. Vem vet, kanske får vi till en diskussion i kommentarsfältet kring att Pappé är en ”självhatande jude”/”förintelseförnekare”, etc – och då kan jag utveckla närmare vad jag tänker om boken. Avslutar med hans egna ord istället:

  • The problem with Israel was never its Jewishness – Judaism has many faces and many of them provide a solid basis for peace and cohabitation; it is its ethnic Zionist character.
Hagana = defense på hebreiska (försvarsmakten, grundad 1920, övergick i IDF efter självständigheten). Omgavs av ännu mer extrema paramilitära organisationer, såsom Irgun och Stern gang, som genomförde de brutalaste attackerna, våldtäkterna, etc. som Hagana inte ville associeras med.
hasbara = ”förklaring”; benämningen på israelisk statspropaganda
niggardly = ungenerously / cheaply / close-fistedly [derived from the word nigla, unrelated to negro etc]
Läs på:
Zionist socialism/kibbutz?
Soviet involvement?
Folke Bernadotte?
Annonser

~ av bookplanet på november 6, 2013.

2 svar to “The ethnic cleansing of Palestine (Ilan Pappé) [2006]”

  1. […] korrekt rapport. Det var mycket lärorikt, att parallellt med Morgon i Jenin läsa Ilan Pappés The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, som i princip på varje punkt bekräftar boken. De förstärkte varandras budskap och jag kommer […]

  2. […] dyra boken för någon som inte bor i Israel. Ska man som svensk läsa något föreslår jag t.ex. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (om Israels uppståndelse och fördrivandet av palestinierna), alltid eminente Norman Finkelsteins […]

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