Dossier: 'transfer' en verdrijving,

als bepleit door kopstukken binnen de zionistische beweging



Theodor Herzl - architect of contemporary Zionism. 'When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state [Turkey] that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country.' (12 June, 1895; in: Raphael Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl; Volume 1; translated by Harry Zohn; New York [Herzl Press & T. Yoseloff] 1960; pp. 88-89).


David Ben-Gurion - chairman of the Jewish Agency in the 1930s and 1940s, and Prime Minister in 1948. 'Jerusalem is not the same thing to the Arabs as it is to the Jews. The Arab people inhabit many great lands.' (stated in 1929, quoted in Shabatai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Oxford [Oxford University Press] 1985, p.39.); 'If the Arabs would leave Palestine and Transjordan to the Jews, they [the Arabs] could count on Jewish help, not only in resettling the displaced Palestinians, but for Arab causes in other countries.' (according to Musa al-Alami, Palestinian leader, account of a meeting with Ben-Gurion 1934, cited in ibid. pp. 137-40.); 'If it was permissible to move an Arab from the Galilee to Judea, why it is impossible to move an Arab from Hebron to Transjordan, which is much closer? They are vast expanses of land there and we are overcrowded. If the Peel Commission and the London Government accept, we will remove the land problem from the agenda.' (to the Jewish Agency Executive in its meetings held in anticipation of the arrival of the Peel Commission in Palestine, October 1936, quoted in Simha Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, 1917-1947, London [Croom Helm] 1979, p. 261.); 'The compulsory transfer of Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on our own feet during the days of the First and Second Temple [a Galilee free of Arab population].' (Zichronot [Memoirs] Volume 4, pp. 297-99, 12 July 1937); 'What Arab cannot do his math and understand that the immigration at the rate of 60,000 a year means a Jewish state in all of Palestine.' (letter to Moshe Shertok known as Moshe Sharett, Israel's first Foreign Minister, in Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, ibid. pp. 167-68, 24 July 1937); (Ben-Gurion was convinced that few, if any, Palestinians would 'voluntarily' transfer themselves to Transjordan. He also believed that if the Zionists were determined in their effort to put pressure on the mandatory authorities to carry out 'compulsory transfer', the plan could be implemented); 'We must prepare ourselves to carry out [in Hebrew, Lehakhshir it 'Atzmeini Lebetzu'o] the transfer [emphasis in the original].' (quoted in Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, ibid. p. 299); '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.' (A letter to his son, Amos, 5 October 1937, cited in Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, ibid. p. 189); 'The Hebrew State will discuss with the neighbouring Arab states the matter of voluntarily transferring Arab tenant farmers, workers and fellahin [Arabisch voor boeren] from the Jewish State to neighbouring states. For that purpose the Jewish State, or a special company ... will purchase lands in neighbouring states for the resettlement of all those workers and fellahin.' (Protocol of the Jewish Agency Executive meeting of 7 June 1938, in Jerusalem, confidential, Volume 28, Number 51, Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem); 'We have to examine, first, if this transfer is practical and secondary, if it is necessary. It is impossible to imagine general evacuation without compulsion, and brutal compulsion ... The possibility of a large-scale transfer of a population by force was demonstrated when the Greeks and the Turks were transferred [after the First World War]. In the present war [Second World War] the idea of transferring a population is gaining more sympathy as a practical and the most secure means of solving the dangerous and painful problem of national minorities. The war has already brought the resettlement of many people in eastern and southern Europe, and in the plans for post-war settlements the idea of a large-scale population transfer in central, eastern, and southern Europe increasingly occupies a respectable place.' (David Ben-Gurion, 'Lines for Zionist Policy', 15 October 1941); 'We [the Haganah] adopt the system of aggressive defence; during the assault we must respond with a decisive blow: the destruction of the [Arab] place or the expulsion of the residents along with the seizure of the place.' (Ben-Gurion's advice on 19 December 1947, on the eve of the 1948 war, cited in Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel - Myths and Reality, London [Croom Helm] 1987, p. 90); 'The war will give us the land. The concepts of "ours" and "not ours" are peace concepts, only, and in war they lose their whole meaning.' (to Yosef Weitz. David Ben-Gurion, Yoman Hamilhamah, 1948-1949 [War Diary, 1948-1949], Volume 1, entry dated 7 February 1948, Tel Aviv [Ministery of Defense Press] 1980, pp. 210-11); 'We will not be able to win the war if we do not, during the war, populate upper and lower, eastern and western Galilee, the Negev and Jerusalem area. I believe that war will also bring in its wake a great change in the distribution of the Arab population.' - (to the Zionist Actions Committee, 6 April 1948. Ben-Gurion, Behilahem Yisrael [As Israel Fought], Tel Aviv [Mapai Press] 1952, pp. 86-87).


Aharon Cohen - in 1948 Director of the Arab Department of Mapam: 'There is reason to believe that what is being done ... is being done out of certain political objectives and not only out of military necessities, as they [Jewish leaders] claim sometimes. In fact, the "transfer" of the Arabs from the boundaries of the Jewish state is being implemented ... the evacuation/ clearing out of Arab villages is not always done out of military necessity. The complete destruction of villages is not always done because there are "no sufficient forces to maintain garrison".' (Memorandum, 10 May 1948; Aharon Cohen, memorandum entitled 'Our Arab Policy During the War', in Giva'at Haviva, Hashomer Hatza'ir Archives, 10/10/95 (4))


Ahad Ha'am - noted Hebrew essayist: [The Zionists believe that] 'the only language that the Arabs understand is that of force. [The Zionists] behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check the contemptible and dangerous tendency.' (after a visit to Palestine in 1891, quoted in Hans Kohn, Zionism Reconsidered, Londen [Michael Selzer] 1970, p. 195).


Vladimir Jabotinsky - intellectual and ideological mentor of Menachem Begin and present-day Likoed: 'We Jews, thanks God, have nothing to do with the East. The Islamic soul must be broomed out of Eretz Yisrael.' (cited in Ya'acov Shavit, 'The Attitude of Zionist Revisionism towards the Arabs', in Zionism and the Arab Question (Hebrew), p. 74; [The Arabs and Moslems are] 'yelling rabble dressed up in gaudy, savage rags.' (Joseph Schechtman, Rebel and Statesman - The Vladimir Jabotinsky Story, The Early Years, New York [T. Yseloff] 1956, p. 54).


Eli'ezer Kaplan - then Member of the Jewish Agency Executive, Head of its Finance and Administrative Department: 'I shall not enter now into the details of the question of the "transfer" of the Arabs. But it is not fair to compare this proposal to the expulsion of Jews from Germany or any other country. The question here is one of organised transfer of a number of Arabs from a territory which will be the Hebrew state, to another place in the Arab state, that is, to the environment of their own people.' - (Statement made at the Convention of Ihud Po'alie Tzion in August 1937; Al Darchei Mediniyutenu, pp. 82-83).


Berl Katznelson - one of the most popular and influential leaders of the Mapai party (later the ruling Labour party), is often described by liberal Israelis as the conscience of Labour Zionism: 'The matter of population transfer has provoked a debate among us: Is it permitted or forbidden? My conscience is absolutely clear in this respect. A remote neighbour is better than a close enemy. They [the Palestinians] will not lose from it. In the final analysis, this is a political and settlement reform for the benefit of both parties. I have long been of the opinion that this is the best of all solutions.... I have always believed and still believe that they were destined to be transferred to Syria or Iraq.' (at the World Convention of Ihud Po'alei Tzion (the highest forum of the dominant Zionist world labour movement), in August 1937. Al Darchei Mediniyutenu: Mo'atzah 'Olamit Shel Ihud Po'ali Tzion (c.s.), Din Vehesbon Male, 21 July-7 August [1938], [A Full Report about the World Convention of Ihud Po'alei Tzion, c.s.], Tel Aviv [Central Office of Hitahdut Po'alei Tzion Press] 1938; 'What is a compulsory transfer? Compulsory transfer does not mean individual transfer. It means that once we resolved to transfer there should be a political body able to force this or that Arab who would not want to move out. Regarding the transfer of Arab individuals we are always doing this. But the question will be the transfer of much greater quantity of Arabs through an agreement with the Arab states: this is called a compulsory transfer.... We have here a war about principles, and in the same way that we must wage a war for maximum territory, there must also be here a war [for the transfer 'principle'].... We must insist on the principle that it must be a large agreed transfer.' (Protocol of the Jewish Agency Executive meeting of 12 June 1938, Volume 28, number 53, Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem); 'Has [Kibbutz] Merhaviyah not been built on transfer? Were it not for many of these transfers neither Merhavyah or [Kibbutz] Mishmar Ha'emek or other socialist Kibbutzim would have been set up.' (in the early 1940s, to the left-wing Hashomer Hatza'ir about the merits of transfer. He said to them: 'don't stigmatise the concept of transfer and rule it out beforehand.' (cited in Yosef Gorny, Zionism and the Arabs, 1882-1948, Oxford [Clarendon Press] 1987, p. 304).


Golda Meir - then a leader of the Histadrut and later Prime Minister of Israel: 'I, too, would want the Arabs out of the country and my conscience would be absolutely clear.' (debate at the World Convention of Ihud Po'alei Tzion in August 1937).


Edmond James de Rothschild - financier and banker: [Rothschild] 'advised me to carry on [land purchases] and similar activities, but it is better, he said, not to transfer the Arabs to Syria and Transjordan, as these are part of the Land of Israel, but to Mesopotamia (Iraq).' (Comments by Shabtai Levi, a purchasing agent of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, 1934. Nedava, 'Tochniyot Helufel Ochlosin', pp. 164-65).


Moshe Sharett - Foreign Minister, 1948 onwards: 'As for the future, we are equally determined to explore all possibilities of getting rid, once and for all, of the huge Arab minority, which originally threaten us. What can be achieved in this period of storm and stress will be quite unattainable once conditions get stabilised. A group of people from among our senior officers [i.e., the Transfer Committee] has already started working on the study of resettlement possibilities in other lands.' (to Weizmann, president of provisional council of the state of Israel, 18 August 1948. Cited in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49, Cambridge [Cambridge University Press] 1987, pp. 149-50)


Moshe Smilansky - zionist writer and labour leader, who came as a colonist to Palestine in 1890: 'Let us not be too familiar with the Arab fellahin lest our children adopt their ways and learn from their ugly deeds. Let all those who are loyal to the Torah avoid ugliness and that which resembles it and keep their distance from the fellahin and their base attributes.' (Gorny, Zionism and the Arabs, 1882-1948, ibid., pp. 50 and 62).


Yosef Sprintzak - then Secretary General of the Histadrut: 'There is a feeling that faits accomplis are being created ... The question is not whether the Arabs will return or not return. The question is whether the Arabs are [being or have been] expelled or not ... I want to know, who is creating the facts [of expulsion]? And the facts are being created on orders.' (quoted in Benny Morris, 1948 and After - Israel and the Palestinians, Oxford [Clarendon Press] 1990, pp. 42-43); Sprintzak added that 'a line of action ... of expropriating and of emptying the land of Arabs by force.' (statement at a debate of the Mapai Centre on 24 July 1948, held against the background of the Ramle-Lydda expulsions; ibid.).


Avraham Stern - founder of the Stern Terrorist Gang, which Yitzhak Shamir co-commanded: [The Arabs are] 'beasts of the desert, not a legitimate people', and 'The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers.' (1940, cited in Yosef Heller, 'Between Messianism and Realpolitik - Lehi and the Arab Question, 1940-1947', in Israel Gutman, E., Yahdut Zemanenu [Contemporary Jewry], A Research Annual, Volume 1, 1984, p. 225).


Menahem Ussishkin - chairman of the Jewish National Fund and a member of the Jewish Agency Executive: 'We must continuously raise the demand that our land be returned to our possession. If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a greater and nobler ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of Arab fellahin.' (Daor Hayom [Jerusalem], 28 April 1930); 'I would very much like the [Palestine] Arabs to go to Iraq. And I hope they will go there sometime; agricultural conditions in Iraq are better than in the Land of Israel because of the quality of the soil. Secondly, they will be in an Arab state and not in the Jewish state.' (Protocol of the Jewish Agency Executive's meeting on 19 May 1936, confidential, Number 57, Central Zionist Archives, 25/3, pp. 28-29).


Chaim Weizmann - first president of Israel: 'In its initial stage, Zionism was a country conceived by its Jewish pioneers as a movement wholly depending on mechanical factors: there is a country which happens to be called Palestine, a country without a people, and, on the other hand, there exists the Jewish people, and it has no country. What else is necessary, then, than to fit the gem into the ring, to unite this [Jewish] people, with this country? The owners of the country [The Turks] must, therefore be persuaded and convinced that this marriage is advantageous, not only for the [Jewish] people and for the country, but also for themselves.' (to a meeting of the French Zionist Federation, Paris, 28 March 1914, cited in Barnet Litvinoff, ed., The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, Volume. 1, Series B. Paper 24, Jerusalem [Israel University Press], 1983, pp. 115-6); 'By a Jewish National Home I mean the creation of such conditions that as the country is developed we can pour in a considerable number of immigrants, and finally establish such a society in Palestine that Palestine shall be as Jewish as England is English, or America American.' (to the British Zionist Federation, London, 21 September, 1919, cited in Litvinoff, ed., ibid., pp. 256-57); 'The British told us that there are some hundred thousands Negroes [kushim - in the original Hebrew] and for those there is no value.' (protocol of Arthur Ruppin's speech at Jewish Agency Executive, 20 May 1936; in Yosef Heller, Bama'vak Lemedinah, Hamediniyut Hatzionit Bashanim 1936-1948 [The Struggle for the State: The Zionist Policy 1936-1948] Jerusalem, 1984, p. 140).


Yosef Weitz - the head of the Israeli government's official Transfer Committee of 1948 and director of the Jewish National Fund's Settlement Department: 'Amongst ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country. No "development" will bring us closer to our aim to be an independent people in this small country. After the Arabs are transferred, the country will be wide open for us; with the Arabs staying the country will remain narrow and restricted ... There is no room for compromise on this point ... land purchasing ... will not bring about the state; ... The only way is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighbouring countries, all of them, except perhaps Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Old Jerusalem. Not a single village or a single tribe must be left. And the transfer must be done through their absorption in Iraq and Syria and even in Transjordan. For that goal, money will be found - even a lot of money. And only then will the country be able to absorb millions of Jews ... There is no other solution.' (Weitz Diary, A246/7, entry dated 20 December 1940, pp.1090-91, Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem); [I saw] 'large [Arab] villages crowded in population and surrounded by cultivated land growing olives, grapes, figs, sesame, and maize fields ... Would we be able to maintain scattered [Jewish] settlements among these existing [Arab] villages that will always be larger than ours? And is there any possibility of buying their [land]? ... and once again I hear that voice inside me called: evacuate this country.' - (countryside tour in the summer of 1941 took Weitz to a region in central Palestine; Weitz Diary, A246/7, entry dated 17 July 1941, p. 1204, CZA); 'The complete evacuation of the country from its [Arab] inhabitants and handing it to the Jewish people is the answer.' (after touring Jewish settlements in the Esdraelon Valley, ibid, dairy entry dated 20 March 1941, p. 1127); 'I made a summary of a list of the Arab villages, which in my opinion must be cleared out in order to complete Jewish regions. I also made a summary of the places that have land disputes and must be settled by military means.' (ibid., diary entry, 18 April 1948, p. 2358); 'From now on, I shall call it the Transfer Committee. It seems that [Moshe] Shertok [Sharett, the Foreign Minister] took measures approving the appointment of this committee the day before yesterday [on 28 May] in talks with his secretaries. In the evening I discussed the question with Kaplan [the Finance Minister] and he also thinks that the transfer fact should be consolidated and the departing [Arabs] not be allowed to return.' (in late May 1948 Weitz, Ezra Danin and Eliyahu Sasson drew up general outlines for the proposed transfer committee; Weitz Diary, A 246/13, entry dated 28 May 1948, p. 2403, CZA).


Israel Zangwill - an influential British Zionist propagandist who coined the term 'land without a people for people without a land',

[We] 'must be prepared either to drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population, mostly Mohammedan and accustomed for centuries to despise us.' (Manchester, England, April 1905; in Israel Zangwill, Speeches, Articles, and Letters, London [The Soncino Press] 1937, p. 210); [The Palestinians] 'could be "bought off" their land or "suppressed with a little firmness.'; [The Palestinians resemble] 'the rocks of Judea, as obstacles that had to be cleared on a difficult path.' (Jabotinsky's recollections of a conversation with Zangwill in 1916, cited in Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, ibid. p. 56); 'If we wish to give the country to a people without a country, it is utter foolishness to allow it to be the country of two peoples. This can only cause trouble. The Jews will suffer and so will their neighbours. One of the two: a different place must be found either for the Jews or for their neighbours.' (cited in Gorny, Zionism and the Arabs, 1882-1948, ibid. p. 217); 'We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction. And therefore we must gently persuade them to "trek". After all, they have all Arabia with its million square miles ... There is no particular reason for the Arabs to cling to these few kilometers. "To fold their tents" and "silently steal away" is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now.' (1919 ?. Cited in Paul Alsberg, The Arab Question in the Policy of the Zionist Executive before the First World War (Hebrew), Jerusalem [Shivat Tzion] 1955-56, p. 206-7).




Bovenstaande citaten zijn verzameld door de Palestijnse wetenschapper Nur Masalha (Londen), auteur van Expulsion of the Palestinians - The concept of 'Transfer' in Zionist Political Thought, 1182-1948; Washington [Institute for Palestine Studies] 1992, 235 pp.; A Land without a People - Israel, Transfer and the Palestinians, 1949-96; Londen [Faber & Faber] 1997; 246 pp.; Imperial Israel and the Palestinians - The Politics of Expansion; Londen [Pluto Press] 2000; 279 pp.




Verschenen in Soemoed, jaargang 30, nummer 6 (november - december 2002), pp. 13-16