By Keith Harvey | Information Clearing House, June 6, 2009
The brutal invasion of Gaza by Israel’s armed forces and the rise of the far right in the Israeli elections that followed has appalled people all over the world. It has also hammered a further nail in the coffin of the idea that a Palestinian state can live in peace alongside the Zionist state. Keith Harvey strips away the last shreds of credibility from the “two-state solution”…
Israel is a state based on ethnic cleansing. The foundation of the state in 1948 was prepared by the bloody, forcible transfer of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their town and villages. Led by David Ben-Gurion, this ethnic cleansing was planned in every detail while the British prepared to hand its Palestinian mandate to a United Nations (UN) still deliberating how to divide the country between the indigenous population and its new colonists.
In 1947, while still under the British mandate rule, Palestine had a population of 1.29 million Arab Palestinians and 608,000 Jews, one-third of whom had arrived after the war. Jews owned a mere 6% of the land. The UN eventually proposed to give them 55%; Jews were to get the “more economically developed part of the country” according to the UNSCOP resolution that recommended partition. 1 In the Jewish state nearly half the population would be Arabs, compared to less than 2% of Jews in the Arab state.
But even this betrayal of Palestinian national rights was unacceptable to Ben-Gurion who sought as much as 80-90% of the territory for the Zionists, a territory in which they intended to be an overwhelming majority. When war broke out in late 1947 the Zionist militias moved swiftly according to their by now well-rehearsed plan. As one historian recently put it:
“Once the decision was taken, it took six months to complete the mission. When it was over, more than half of Palestine’s native population, close to 800,000 people, had been uprooted, 531 villages had been destroyed, and eleven urban neighbourhoods emptied of their inhabitants . . . a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.” 2