used by the Israelis to force Palestinians out of land they wish to occupy.
The book that I’m challenging you to read completely erased any lingering doubts I may have had about what has taken place here up to and after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Reeling from the guilt and horror of the holocaust, the world supported the wishes and demands of the Israeli Zionists, ignoring or showing indifference to their hidden agenda, and allowed the Palestinians to take the blame for being authors of their own fate and to be painted as terrorists. This book does not advocate anti-Semitism but it does clearly lay the blame for the situation here at the feet of Israeli policy and the indifference and lack of understanding of the rest of the world.
In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Dr. Ilan Pappe describes the attitude of the Palestinians to yet another conquest in 1947-8. “Over the centuries, the country had been passed from one hand to another, sometimes belonging to European or Asian invaders and sometimes to parts of Muslim empires. However, the peoples’ lives had continued more or less unchanged: they toiled the land or conducted their trade wherever they were, and quickly resigned themselves to the new situation until it changed once again. Hence, villagers and city dwellers alike waited patiently to see what it would mean to be part of either a Jewish state or any other new regime that might replace British rule. Most of them had no idea what was in store for them, that what was about to happen would constitute an unprecedented chapter in Palestine’s history: not a mere transition from one ruler to another, but the actual dispossession of the people living on the land.”
The 1948 Israeli War of Independence involved one of the largest forced migrations in modern history. Around a million people were expelled from their homes at gunpoint, civilians were massacred, and hundreds of Palestinian villages destroyed. Denied for almost six decades, had it happened today it could only have been called “ethnic cleaning”.
Ethnic cleansing is defined as expulsion by force in order to homogenise the ethnically mixed population of a particular region or territory. The purpose of expulsion is to cause the evacuation of as many residents as possible by all means at the expeller’s disposal. The end result of such acts is the creation of a refugee problem. Ethnic cleansing has come to be defined as a crime against humanity, punishable by international law. Ethnic cleansing continues here in the Holy Land today.
In his groundbreaking book, renowned Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population, a strategy that continues to the present day. Dr. Pappe’s vivid and timely account sheds new light on the origins and development of the Palestine-Israel conflict, and is indispensable for anyone wanting to understand the situation in the Middle East.
Dr. Pappe, formerly of the University of Haifa, and no longer welcome in his country as a result of his research, holds the Chair in History at the University of Exeter, and is the author of a number of influential books on the Middle East, including A History of Modern Palestine, The Modern Middle East and The Israel/Palestine Question.