SIR – Joshua Rowe in his letter, ‘Sweeping statements are inaccurate and misleading,’ returned to the long-discredited claim which can be paraphrased as: ‘Israel was created from a land without people for a people without land.’ I am glad to be able to correct such propaganda.
History tells a different story in which the removal of indigenous Palestinians was decided by the architect of the plan Joseph Weitz, employee of the World Zionist Organisation and leader of Jewish National Fund. On June 22nd, 1941 Weitz stated: ‘Among ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this small country’ and ‘The only solution is the Land of Israel, or at least the Western Land of Israel without Arabs.’
Prime Minister Ben Gurion gave his agreement and authorised the project with the systematic and routine use of terror and intimidation to create a Jewish state in Palestine accepted by Golda Meir and other leaders as necessary to achieve this aim. The British, faced with such terrorism in mandated Palestine and with a post-war ‘European Jewish refugee problem’ at home, opted for the Balfour Declaration solution of a home for the Jews in far-off Palestine.
In 1945, about 70% of Palestine population was Arab (Muslim and Christian). Only 30% were Jewish. Rowe should recognise that Palestinian-denial is like Holocaust-denial: A cowardly attempt to excuse the apartheid, ethnic cleansing and colonisation of the native population of the Holy Land! Palestine has existed for centuries and there are countless maps and historical references to prove it including the Bible.
During and immediately following the state’s creation in 1948, Israel expropriated approximately 4,244,776 acres of Palestinian land. In the process, more than 400 Palestinian cities and towns were systematically destroyed by Israeli forces or repopulated with Jews.
Most Palestinian population centres, including homes, businesses, houses of worship and vibrant urban centres, were demolished to prevent the return of their owners, now refugees outside of Israel’s pre-1967 borders or internally displaced within them
During the 1948 war, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. During Israel’s 1967 invasion and occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, another 550,000 Palestinians were expelled to live in refugee camps supported by the rest of the world. None of these refugees have ever been allowed to return to their homes or reclaim their property in Israel.
By contrast, Jews from anywhere in the world may ‘return’ to Israel proper or to occupied Palestinian territory, even if neither they nor any of their ancestors were born or had previously lived there. This together with 50+ discriminatory laws is the basis for an apartheid Israel to subjugate non-Jews and seek to control the demographics in favour of Jewish dominance.
Demolitions and displacements of Palestinians both Muslim and Christian from their homes and lands (undeclared annexations) to be replaced by Jewish immigrants from around the world is the never-changing strategy of a colonial Israel without defined or internationally recognised borders.
Anyone who wishes to determine who is the aggressor in this situation should look at the up-to-date record of Israelis and Palestinians killed by someone from the other side since 2000. This website (israelpalestinetimeline.org) catalogues the daily casualty rate, which is by far predominantly Palestinian and a testament to the murderous state that Israel has become, as it pursues its aggressive apartheid colonialist policies established back in 1941.