TORAH, ZIONISM AND PALESTINE
Cover design by Sandi Degenhardt Cover illustration by Tom Eberharter Printed in the United States of America, 1983
Part I TORAH
PART II ZIONISM AND THE PALESTINIANS
AMERICANS FOR MIDDLES EAST PEACE, INC.
P. O. Box 571866
HOUSTON, TX 77257-1866
AMERICANS FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE is a non-profit corporation which seeks to promote, through scholarship and public understanding, an equitable United States foreign policy in the Middle Fast based upon international law, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the Wilsonian principle of self-determination. To this end, Americans for Middle East Peace is pleased to publish this monograph by Dr. Edwin M. Wright.
Pitman Buck, Jr. President
Edwin M Wright
EDWIN M. WRIGHT was born of missionary parents in Tabriz, Iran in 1897. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wooster College in 1918, a Bachelor of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1921 and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1938. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Wooster College in 1958. After his ordination into the Presbytery in 1921 he returned to Iran and began an unusual career which has focused, for some sixty years now, on the Near and Middle East. In Iraq, from 1921 to 1924, he worked in the field of refugee rehabilitation. From 1925 to 1937, in Iran, he worked as an educator and as principal of several American high schools in Hamadan and Resht.
Dr. Wright's service with the United States government began in 1941 in the Office of Strategic Services. From 1942 until 1945 he was an intelligence officer attached to the U.S. Army Middle East Command in Cairo and Tel Aviv. He later served on the General Staff of the Department of Defense at the Pentagon with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1946 he joined the Department of State as Special Assistant to the Director of Near East- African Affairs. While at the Near Fast desk he organized and initiated the first Turkish, Persian and Arabic broadcasts on the Voice of America. Later he was Assistant Dean of the Foreign Service Institute. He served in the Department of State throughout the presidential years of Harry S. Truman. His book, The Great Zionist Cover-up, is a personal testament of his intimate knowledge of the Truman administration's Mideast foreign policy and its ultimate support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. The book has been reposited with the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. In 1964 Dr. Wright was presented the State Department's highest honor for service, the Superior Merit Award, and he has been decorated with the Legion of Merit.
In addition to his service in the Department of State, Dr. Wright has taught at a number of colleges and universities that included the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. Army and Navy academies, the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the University of South Carolina. Between 1938 and 1941 he was appointed a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and taught history at Columbia University. He is the author of many journalistic and encyclopaedic articles and is an outstanding linguist, with fluency in Farsi and Azerbaijani Turkish, a scholarly command of Arabic and conversational skill in Armenian. During his undergraduate and postgraduate education, he studied Hebrew, Greek and Latin.
Dr. Wright is a founder of the Middle East Institute (Washington, D.C.) which he variously served as director, chairman of the board and president. He is now a member emeritus of the institute's board. He is a member of the National Council of Americans for Middle East Under- standing, Inc. (New York) and serves as a contributing editor of the journal, Middle East Insight. He has been honored in Who's Who in America for his knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs, service to his country and to mankind.
Modern Zionism has its roots in the ancient Pentateuch. The Bible or Old Testament - as known to Christians - is both universalistic and particularistic. But it's the latter that determines the exclusiveness of contemporary Zionism. Palestine belongs to the Jewish People and the non- Jewish inhabitants are unwelcome - though it is their ancestral home. This book documents this theme.
Part I: TORAH
When former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles returned from a trip to the Middle East in 1953, he announced, "The Arabs are more fearful of Zionism than of Communism" and that assessment has become increasingly portentous. Irresolute scheming in the United States has confused Judaism, Zionism and the State of Israel. Democracy distinguishes between religion and politics, though the line is blurred at times, as illustrated by the controversy in the public schools between Darwinian evolution and dogma as taught in the biblical book of Genesis.
But no such distinction exists between Judaism, Zionism and the State of Israel. Ancestry of Jews, promises of God to Abraham and later revelations to Moses which detail the basics of Jewish religion and the rules governing personal status and the boundaries of Israel are but different phases of what is called "peoplehood" based on the Brith (Covenant) particularized in the Hebrew Torah.
It is Brith which has given rise to the concept, "The Chosen People," and the world's largest Jewish organization, representing 500,000 members in forty-two nations, is called B'nai B'rith. It was decided early in 1981 to move its international headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Jerusalem. But though the Brith is a biblical term, its concept is alarmingly confusing.
The term "Old Testament" does not describe Jewish sacred scripture. In fact, it's considered insulting, for there is no "New Testament." Sacred Hebrew literature embodies three definite categories: Torah- chiefly Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy; Ketuvim or the sacred writings of Judges, Samuel and Kings; and, Nebivim or the prophets. But the base of Hebrew thought is Torah. It's popularly known as the Law or laws but that's a misnomer for law comes from the Latin lex - a Roman secular concept. Rules are made by men and can be amended, annulled or changed. Torah is totally different. It consists of eternal, unchangeable, absolute oracles delivered by God (Yahweh, Elohim, Adonai) to Abraham, Moses and others.
Indeed, the Talmud, the authoritative body of Jewish tradition, teaches that God delivered the Torah before He created the world and, as creation proceeded, God referred back to Torah to make sure that the universe was being created or constructed according to fiat. The Brith or Covenant is a part of the Torah. First disclosed to Abram (Genesis 15:18), it was completed when God spoke on Mount Sinai to Moses. Its oldest form is found in Exodus 20-23:19 but was later enlarged and restated in early chapters of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 2:9 and elsewhere appears the phrase, "And the Lord said to me," thus giving rise to the popular tradition that Moses wrote the Torah. This was challenged in the 18th century when European Jews were touched by the secular beliefs of the Renaissance, the period of Haskalah or Enlightenment, but Orthodox Jews still cling to traditional views of the Medieval period.
There were no chapters or verse subdivisions of the text in those days. It was a continuous unbroken scroll. There are many repetitions in the Torah for it has been expanded and rewritten several times. The Ha Shema (the Jewish confession of faith-Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41) contains the imperative, "Hear therefore, 0 Israel," and speaks largely of love. But the strident imperatives in Deuteronomy 7:1-24 and Numbers 33:52-56, harsh in tone, are muted in contemporary synagogues and public worship and if non-Jews refer to these chapters they are accused of being anti-Semitic. These Torah-centered imperatives call for the extermination or expulsion of all non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, a national holocaust.
The Covenant of the Holy Community (Kehillah Ha Kodosha) is held to be invalid unless the whole Torah is implemented - up to a thousand generations - so Numbers 33 is God's warning to His people: they must drive out from the Holy Land all non-Jewish inhabitants and if they fail to do so the Covenant is null and void and God will drive out the Jews.
Scholarship for the past century and more has discovered that most of the Torah was written in the Hebrew style of 585 B.C. to 330 B.C., known as the Persian period of the Exile, and describes the contents as a "pious fraud" of the priests following the return of a few Jews with Ezra around 450 B.C. There is skepticism about the accuracy of its historicity, and the phrases "And God said to Moses" or "And God said to me" were merely a literary device used to produce a code of behavior which guaranteed the priests a dominant position in society. At that period there was no king or government and priests used the political vacuum to create a totalitarian theocratic system. Their purpose was to establish a theory of pure racial isolation from the non- Jews. The historical sections dealing with the kings indicate that intermarriage was common between Hebrews and non-Hebrews, from David and Solomon to Esther. The person who found intermarriage to be an abomination unto the Lord, punishable by death (Numbers 25:1-18) was Ezra,1 who lived circa 450 B.C. So contemporary scholars consider much that is in the Torah is a retrojection (i.e., crediting to Moses in, presumably, the 12th century B.C. what Jewish priests thought up in the 6th or 5th centuries, B.C.). This involved considerable deceit.
So the whole story of the ancestry of the Twelve Tribes, their going to Egypt, the entrance into Canaan and settlement, is the wishful thinking of late writers who created these fictions for what they considered to be a "holy purpose." Professor Robert F. Pfeiffer of Harvard, in his Introduction to the Old Testament
(p. 21), sets the date for the canonization of the Torah at about 400 B.C. but it contains borrowings from much earlier, non-Hebrew sources. The Noah story of the Flood is a paraphrase of a portion of the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh; the birth of Moses is an adaptation of the legend of Sargon I of Akkad2 and some of the oldest Torah passages are of Canaanite, non-Hebrew origin. Priests who compiled the Torah did not hesitate to use foreign source material and rework it as they wanted. Then why did they incorporate into the Torah such barbaric passages as those which command the extermination of the gentile inhabitants of Palestine-Canaan? - passages which modern Jews wish to hide. One of the best answers is found in a recent highly scholarly and thorough effort to make sense of the Torah by Norman K. Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh, a work of 916 pages devoted to reconstructing the history of pre-monarchial Israel. He agrees with others that the group that left Egypt circa 1200 B.C. were few in number, probably the origin of the tribe of Levi. They federated with a Sinai tribe (Benjamin), then entered Canaan. By a series of alliances and intermarriage with Canaanites they converted the Canaanites to Yahweh worship. The Canaanites disappeared, not because they were exterminated by the Hebrews - for the Hebrews were also Canaanites - but because they were converted and the tribal federation assumed the name of a Canaanite militant group - the Apiru or Hebrews. The tribal federation was finally completed when Judah joined it in the days of David after he captured Jerusalem about 1000 B.C.
What the Jewish priests of the Ezra school were anxious to produce was a closed society impervious to influence from outside. There had been so much assimilation because of intermarriage and free association that the priests saw the future disappearance of their cult and their influence unless they could build a wall of isolation between Jew and non-Jew. To accomplish this, it was essential to manufacture a past of racial purity and cultural separateness (holiness) and generate an emotion of fear and contempt for the non-Jew. These themes have been hammered into the conscience of Jews for millenia. The Canaanites had to be exterminated by a stroke of the pen, so the priests invented the commands of Yahweh to Moses to kill to the last person the indigenous population when they captured the Holy Land. They then wrote the book of Joshua to describe the ferocious act of that hero and his mighty men. In addition, a series of dietary rules, Sabbath taboos, the death penalty for intermarriage and stories illustrating contempt and hostility for the goyim (gentiles) were incorporated in the code - all of which makes it difficult for the Orthodox Jew to enjoy free association with the goyim who are "uncircumcised and unclean" (Isaiah 52:1).
Unfortunately for the priests but fortunately for the historian, the priests did not - or could not - destroy the older source materials preserved in separate scrolls. As the "Bible" is today, it gives us a false impression of the order of the appearance of these scrolls. In the Bible, it appears the Torah preceded the history of the monarchy but the facts are just the opposite. There are only a few rare insertions made in the Ketuvim and Nabivim referring to Moses or the Torah, while a comparison - side by side - of the contents of the Torah with the other documents reveals a mass of anachronisms and contradictions which give grounds for belief that from Samuel (circa 1040 B.C.) to King Hezekieh (632 B.C.) the Hebrews knew nothing about a Moses or a Torah.3 The final addition to the Torah dates to about 400 B.C.
Whatever the purposes of the priests were in writing the Torah, the Jewish faithful have accepted it at face value as divinely inspired, authoritative, inerrant and operative in the Jewish life style or Hallakah, now recognized in Israel as the state religion and entrusted to the Orthodox (Dati) rabbis as the state cult. This essay has a very limited purpose - to try to trace the influence in Jewish history of the theme, "Expel or kill the non-Hebrew inhabitants of the Promised Land" as one of the conditions for fulfillment of the Covenant. For as threatened in the Brith, if one of the goyim stays alive in Israel, the Covenant is breached and becomes null and void. THIS BELIEF HAS HAD A TRAUMATIC AND DESTRUCTIVE EFFECT IN EVERY EFFORT TO ESTABLISH A JEWISH STATE.
From 586 B.C. to 135 B.C., Jews lived under empires - the Achemenian (Persian), the Alexandrian and the Seleucid - but in 135 B.C., pressed by Parthians in the east and by Romans in the north, the Seleucid Empire shrank and collapsed. It allowed a brief sixty-four years of a political vacuum before the Romans under Pompey captured Jerusalem. This short period witnessed the appearance of a Jewish dynasty - Hyrcan - beginning with John Hyrcanus I (135- 104 B.C.). In the south (modern Jordan) was the Arab-Hellenized semi-autonomous state of Aretas, the Nabatean, which Hyrcanus was able to subdue. This was the ancient Edom with its capital at Petra. Hyrcanus, who tried to enforce the Torah on all his conquered area, commanded all non-Jews to be killed or be expelled or to be ritually circumcised and become Jews. Aretas' son had adopted the Greek name Antipater and was forced to adopt Judaism, as were his subjects. Later, under Aristobulus I (104-103 B.C.), son of Hyrcanus, Galilee was captured along with southern Lebanon and the policy of compulsory Judaization applied there, too.
Aristobulus I was followed by another son of Hyrcanus, Alexander Yannai (103-76 B.C.), who had to reconquer much of the area because revolts had taken place. The Nabatean military governor was another Antipater II, son of the earlier Antipater. To solidify his position, he accepted Judaism ritually and married a Jewish princess, who was the mother of Herod the Great. Jews reproached him as a "half-Jew" and it is plain from the histories of the Herod dynasty that their Judaism was purely political for the purpose of retaining their power base. The young Herod was educated in the court of the Caesars at Rome where religion was a useful political tool. To gain favor with his Jewish subjects he built a magnificent temple in Jerusalem and married Mariamne, the grand-daughter of Hyrcanus II, while at the same time being a faithful ally of any Roman dictator who appeared in Rome. His three sons all inherited titles and lands in Palestine. One son, Herod Antipas, was Tetrarch of Galilee under Tiberias Caesar and a second son, Herod Philip 11, ruled as "king" in Panias, at the source of the Jordan River, a city he renamed Caesarea Philipi. There he built a Roman temple in which he placed statues of Augustus and Tiberias and issued coins with the Temple of Zeus on one side. Those gestures, as Jews, on the part of the Herods were purely to cool off the fanaticism of certain Jewish zealots - but failed to do so. It was during this period that an obscure Galilean, Jesus (Joshua) of Nazareth - whom Pontius Pilate called "King of the Jews" in satire - appeared with his efforts to reform Judaism. He was crucified, to quell the growing revolt of the Jews whenever a "Messiah" appeared. The forced Judaization produced two movements - those of the superficial Hellenized- Romanized rulers and the fanatic Zealots - which led to the bloody war of A.D. 66-70. The fanaticism of the latter resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews.
Part II: ZIONISM AND THE PALESTINIANS
From 63 B.C. to A.D. 1897, any idea of a Jewish state in Palestine was a Messianic dream but in that latter year of the nineteenth century appeared Theodore Herzl's book, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), which led to the establishment of the World Zionist Organization and, eventually, in A.D. 1948, to a new Zionist State of Israel. Herzl had to practice what David Ben-Gurion called "duplicity" to gain support in Europe. It was necessary to portray the future Jewish state in the Zeitgeist of its day - as a colonial adventure.4 The Jewish State outlines how immigration to Palestine is to be organized but of far greater importance to the historian are the Diaries in which Herzl describes his cleverness and tactics and his eventual hopes. A decade earlier the phrase "anti-Semitism" had been coined and this became the pivot around which all Herzl's ideas revolved. Whether or not Herzl recognized it, his ideas were expressed in secular language but were thinly veiled interpretations of Torah dogmas. The Torah divides humankind into the Holy Community of the Covenant and the unclean, uncircumcised goyim. Herzl uses the same sweep- ing division of mankind into Zionists and anti-Semites. Zionists are the persecuted and oppressed Jews who long for a Jewish state of their own. All the rest of humankind are anti- Semites and will eventually destroy the Jew. There is no escape from this universal anti- Semitism. The only hope is for all Jews to migrate to this Jewish state when possible. If Jews do not migrate, but choose to stay where they are after the creation of the state, they are in reality anti-Semites themselves and if they only give money but do not migrate, they are but anti- Semites dressed up in the robes of Jewish philanthropy. So the territory of the Jewish state must be large enough to assure room for all Jews - from Suez to the mountains of Cappodocia (in Anatolia).
To accomplish this, it was essential to become the ally of a superior colonial empire. Herzl's Diaries describe his efforts to sell this program to Great Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm, Victor Emmanuel, the Ottoman Sultan and finally, to Von Plehve in Russia, all of which failed. He was worried lest many Jews would not migrate but he took hope that the greatest ally of Zionism would be anti-Semitism: "The anti-Semites will be our reliable friends, the anti-Semitic nations our allies." Herzl never mentions the Arabs or Palestinians in the above books, though he visited Palestine. But there appears the ghost of the Torah - "Expel the non-Jewish inhabitants from Holy Israel" - in the following passage from the Diaries:
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 employment in our own country ... both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly ....5
but only after the natives had exterminated the dangerous snakes and wild animals with which Jews are unfamiliar. The "natives" must leave the area neat and clean (sauber) for the incoming Jews. In all of Herzl's writings there is only one reference to an Arab, Rashid Bey, who thanks the Jews for bringing civilization to Israel. This Herzlian act of "NOT TO SEE AN ARAB," i.e., of discounting or minimizing the presence of Arabs in Palestine, is typical of much Zionist propaganda.
In Shakespeare's "Macbeth," the blood of Banquo had left an indelible print on Lady Macbeth's hand. She tried to wash it off but it kept reappearing. Finally, in desperation, she exclaimed, "Out damned spot!" but it wouldn't go away. The same is true of Zionism. The "damned spot" is the priestly command to exterminate the non-Jew from the Holy Land. It appeared, with disastrous results, in the Hasmonaean rule; later, during the long period of the Exile, it seems to have evaporated. But with the first documents of Herzl's memoirs, it reappears in secular form. From then on, it appears in repeated statements whenever Zionist propaganda is sounded. After the death of Theodore Herzl, the banner of Zionism was picked up by Chaim Weizman. He persuaded the United Kingdom that a Zionist state in Palestine would serve British imperial interests. In 1917, in a letter to Lord Cecil, Weizmann urged Great Britain, after the conquest of Palestine, "to hold it in trust for the Jews," to withhold majority rule from the Arabs and to suppress any rebellion by the Arabs until sufficient Jews could come and establish a Jewish state. The Arabs were not to be informed of this plan. They were to be cleared out of Palestine in due time.6 Weizmann and his successor have perfected the art of political ventriloquism, i.e., not to label a statement as coming from a Zionist source but to get some influential gentile to repeat it so as to disguise its origin. This art has been perfected in the U.S. Most Zionist propaganda appears in the speeches of politicians who are candidating for office as if the idea were their own. But a little research reveals the fine hand of a Zionist speech writer which is properly camouflaged. Or it may appear in the U.S. mass media or from a churchman who has little or no acquaintance with Zionist plans, goals or methods. Using this device, Weizmann, after strenuous efforts, prevailed upon Lord Balfour in Great Britain to announce the famous Balfour Declaration in 1917 and, thereby, married Zionist ideology to British imperial colonialism. But Zionism played the role of the nagging wife who kept increasing her demands. The reluctant husband kept trying to reduce his commitments, sensing they were damaging to his larger interests. So friction marked the marital history. Great Britain reduced its commitment in 1923 by withdrawing Transjordan from the Palestine Mandate. A group denounced Great Britain as violating the promises and went into opposition, the Revisionist Party.
The exclusiveness of Old Testament particularism was being revived and one of the militant voices was Vladimir Zeev Jabotinski, a Russian Zionist from Odessa. He had served in the British army in the Gallipoli campaign in 1916, and in 1923 organized terror squads to free Palestine of Arabs. He sang of blood sacrifices to redeem Zion and wrote a song to capture the imagination of the liberators: "Silence is filth, give up blood and soul for the sake of the hidden beauty, to die or to conquer the Mount" - meaning Zion. He was expelled for terrorism in 1936.7 With help from the Polish army, Jabotinski arranged in 1938 to train and supply a secret army of Jews to be smuggled into Palestine. One of his foremost zealots is now the prime minister of Israel, Menachem Begin. He had come to Palestine in 1941 with remnants of a Polish army under General Anders. After deserting his post, he organized the Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist underground movement. In 1944, it declared war on the British - the Mandate Government of Palestine. Several British officials were killed including Lord Moyne in Cairo and under the direction of Begin the Arab villagers of Deir Yassin were massacred on April 9, 1948. The Palestinian Arabs were given to understand that if they did not leave voluntarily they would all suffer the same fate. Once again the echoes of the Torah were heard: "I will send my terror before you, and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come,...the Nivite, Canaanite and Hittite...you shall drive them out before you" (Exodus 23:27, 28, 31). 6
The Balfour Declaration had insisted that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities." Zionists were not limited by such conditions and spokesmen began openly demanding the Arabs should be transferred to the Arab states - one spokeswoman being Golda Myerson (later Meir) at the 1937 Zionist conference (The New Judea, August-September 1937). She was later foreign minister and prime minister of Israel. A three-way war was going on between Jews and Arabs with the British caught in between. The latter were preparing to divorce the unnatural marriage of 1917 and in 1939 issued the White Paper limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine. The Zionists concluded that they had gotten all they could from Great Britain and decided to woo a new marriage - this time to the United States. U.S. Jews were strategically located in all phases of U.S. society with two remarkably close friends of President Franklin D. Roosevelt able and willing to play the marriage broker. Rabbi Stephen Wise and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter were supported by a large cast of similarly influential Jews. Evan M. Wilson, a veteran of the U.S. State Department, notes in his book that, "Roosevelt had a tendency to discount the strength of the Arab attachment to Palestine."8 Roosevelt was well aware that most American Jews voted for him. Not only were U.S. Zionists using President Roosevelt to express their views but influential members in the British Labor Party, such as Harold Laski, inserted the following plank in the 1944 British election campaign program:
There is neither hope nor meaning in a 'Jewish National Home' unless we are prepared to let the Jews, if they wish, enter this land [Palestine] in such numbers as to become a majority; and that the Arabs, with handsome compensation for their land, should be encouraged to move out as the Jews move in (R. Meinertzhagen, Middle East Diary), p. 198).
In the meantime, Menachem Begin developed a symbol of his own - a map of Israel - which included southern Lebanon and all of Transjordan crossed by an arm holding a rifle with the words, "Rak Kach, " meaning "Only Thus." This has been called "Gun Zionism."9
While Roosevelt and the British Labor Party were discussing how to "Expel the Arabs," Joseph Weitz, the leader of the Jewish National Fund (an internationally financed organization), was writing in his diary in 1940:
Between ourselves [Zionists] it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country [Palestine] .... We shall not achieve our goal of being an independent people with the Arabs in this small country. The only solution is a Palestine, at least Western Palestine (west of the Jordan river) without Arabs .... And there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe, should be left .... Only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb the millions of our own brethren. There is no other way out.10
A similar attitude appeared in the diary of Yeshayahu Ben-Porat:
It is the duty of Israel's leaders to explain to the public with clarity and courage, a number of facts ... the first of these is that there is no Zionism, no settlements or Jewish State, without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands (Yedioth Aharonot, July 14,1972).
World War 11 produced a temporary truce in Palestine. The Arabs and Palestinians who had not been self-ruling for centuries were poor in planning and organization. Not so the Jews. They entered the British army to learn the use and tactics of modem warfare so, by 1946, they had a far better trained and disciplined force than the Arabs. This force was called the Haganah. It also had agents in many countries getting recruits and supplies preparing for a war. Menachem Begin's Irgun Zvei Leumi had declared war on the British Mandate in December 1944, using terrorist guerilla tactics against the British. (J. Bowyer Bell, Terror Out of Zion.) The British were exhausted by the war and disgusted with getting trapped into a war with the Arabs by Zionist fanatics. So they threw in the towel at the United Nations in 1947 and announced a withdrawal from Palestine on May 15,1948. The Haganah had drawn up a plan called Plan Daleth, to drive out as many Arabs as possible from strategic areas as soon as possible. Menachem Begin and his terrorists, in order to get publicity and a reputation, beat the deadline and on April 9,1948, carried out a surprise attack on the village of Deir Yassin, massacring 254 of its population. In his book, The Revolt: The Story of the Irgun, Begin describes how this produced such terror among Arab villagers that all his troops needed to do thereafter was to approach a village shouting, "Deir Yassin, Deir Yassin!" and the villagers would flee in panic. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel proclaimed its independence and the war spread rapidly. Defense security censorship in Israel has attempted to cover up some of the action under Plan Daleth.11
In publishing his memoirs, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was prohibited by censorship of five Cabinet members from including "a first-person account of the expulsion of 50,000 Palestinian civilians from their homes near Tel Aviv during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war." The full account is found in the New York Times of October 23,1979.12
When Theodore Herzl began modern Zionism around the turn of the century, he met with opposition from the fundamentalists - the Orthodox (Dati) rabbinate. To resolve the difference, he entered into an agreement with them. In any future state they would have wide authority. The Hallakah would be imposed upon all Jewish citizens and enforced by police administration - "Mitzva by Coercion" - and from the outset Israel has had a ministry of religion as one of its principal governing bodies. Only Dati rabbis are tolerated and, though there is a bit of softening toward Reform and Conservative rabbis, Orthodoxy is the recognized religion of Israel. Even the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia are declared to be non-Jews because their rituals and skin color differ from those of European and Oriental ancestry. And it is from the national budget that every Dati rabbi is remunerated. Theocratic tradition takes precedence over democracy where conflict arises.
The National Religious Party is sufficiently weighty that it can force a fall of the government by withdrawing support. This happened in 1976 and collapsed the Rabin government. The political power of the National Religious Party is a Damocles Sword that hangs over every Israeli government on any issue. At the moment it is the abortion issue. One of its rabbis, Moshe Ben Zion Usphizai, spoke out on behalf of the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Using as his authority Joshua's campaign of genocide (Numbers 33:55), he wrote:
And thou shalt exterminate them, for if you allow any to remain, they shall become pricks in your eyes and thorns in your side, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell (Yediot Aharonot, December 20, 1974).
Such is the nature of Israeli religious Zionism, something normally unknown to many American supporters of Israel.
The War of Liberation in 1948 allowed the Israelis to clear out contiguous areas, some of which had been assigned by the United Nations Palestine partition plan to become part of an independent Arab state. The war had also made possible the eviction of about 780,000 Palestinians. Israeli propaganda insists they left because their own leaders urged them to leave. This is disproved by Erskine Childers.13 Plan Daleth was derived from the priestly code which goes back to the Torah, for as soon as the Israeli army cleared an area, the uprooting of the population and the settling of Jews began, as is illustrated in the now well known story of the Christian villagers of Berem and Iqrit.14 By early 1949, major military action ceased.
For the next stage we are indebted to the recent publication of the Personal Diary of Moshe Sharett, former foreign minister and later prime minister of Israel (1954-55), which has reached 2,513 pages so far. The originals are in Hebrew but three brief summaries are now available in English:
(a) Danny Rubenstein, "Agony at the Top," The Jerusalem Quarterly #12, Summer 1979, pp. 74-96.
(b) Livia Rokach, Israel's Sacred Terrorism published in 1980 by the Association of Arab- American University Graduates, Inc., Belmont, MA 02178.
(c) Sabri Jiryis, "Secrets of State: An Analysis of the Diaries of Moshe Sharett," Journal of Palestine Studies #37, Autumn 1980, pp. 35-57.
The (a) and (b) documents make obsolete most of the propaganda issued by Zionist sources in the past thirty-three years. They are a first hand report of Israeli Cabinet discussions that expose the methods, ambitions and plans of the Israeli government. A few quotes illustrate their contents:
(a) Rubenstein, AGONY AT THE TOP. Moshe Dayan's slogan, "You shall live by your sword" and Israel's "mad lust for annexation," (p. 91) and the policy that "war was essential to boost the nation's morale," created "the incarnation of the blackest nightmare" (p. 89). Sharett's diary reflects bitter disillusionment at the methods and goals adopted by his government.
(b) Rokach, ISRAEL'S SACRED TERRORISM.- "The Israeli political/military establishment aimed at pushing the Arab states into military confrontations which the Israeli leaders were invariably certain of winning" so as to annex "new territorial conquests through war" (pp. 4, 5). ISRAEL PLANNED TO ANNEX THE GAZA STRIP AS EARLY AS 1953, TO OCCUPY JORDAN IN 1955, TO INVADE SYRIA IN 1954, TO DESTROY LEBANON BY CREATING A CLIENT CHRISTIAN STATE, THEN OCCUPY AND ANNEX SOUTHERN LEBANON (pp. 24-28). Israel operated a spy/sabotage ring of Egyptian Jews in Cairo, and in July 1954 ordered it to place bombs in U.S. and British buildings to create hostility between Egypt and the U.S. On July 27, the plot backfired. In his diary Sharett describes the stream of lies by top Israeli leaders to divert responsibility (pp. 37-40). In Israel, this is known as the Lavon Affair,
otherwise known as the Lavon Scandal.
In early 1955 the U.S. and Israel were negotiating a security treaty. The negotiations failed. Within Israel, Moshe Dayan led the debate: "We do not need a security pact with the U.S.: such a pact will only constitute an obstacle for us .... The security pact will only handcuff us and deny us a freedom of action .... [WAR] MAKE(S] IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO MAINTAIN A HIGH LEVEL OF TENSION AMONG OUR POPULATION AND IN THE ARMY. [Capitalized emphasis mine.]
Without these actions [of provocation and retaliation] we would have ceased to be a combative people and without the discipline of a combative people we are lost .... This State has no international obligations, no economic problems, the question of peace is nonexistent .... It must calculate its steps narrowmindedly and live on its sword. It must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument .... Toward this end it may, no - it must - invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation and revenge .... And above all - let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space [lebensraum]" (p. 44). Sharett adds:
I have been meditating on the long chain of false incidents and hostilities we have invented, and on the many clashes we have provoked which cost us so much blood, and on the violations of law by our men - all of which brought grave disasters and determined the whole course of events and contributed to the security crisis" (p. 6).
The third summary (c) of the Sharett Diaries is a review by Sabri Jiryis, a former Israeli Arab who spent so much time in Israeli jails - without any charges - that he finally escaped to Beirut. Knowing Hebrew, he has published a study in the Journal of Palestine Studies. The following is from pages 47, 48. It unmasks the Zionist effort to fulfill the commands of the Torah regarding non-Jews.
Sabri Jiryis reviews the Diary of Moshe Sharett regarding the Arabs:
Israel was also exploring the possibilities of settling them in various countries throughout the world, including Brazil, the Argentine, the countries of North Africa, and even the West Bank (pp. 630,1009,1079, 1310, but these efforts seem to have met with little success.
The efforts to settle the Palestinian Arabs elsewhere were not restricted to the refugees of the 1948 war, but also involved the Arab minority who had stayed on in Israel after the establishment of the state. It is quite clear, from the consultations concluded from time to time in Israel, that they were afraid of this minority, and were trying in various ways to mitigate its "danger" to the Jewish state. The Israelis started by trying to induce this minority to emigrate, the Christians to South America and the Muslims to the Arab countries, proposing that a start be made with the inhabitants of the villages of
al-Jish, al-Tira and Qalansuwa (p. 481). But they soon came to the conclusion that there was no hope of de-Arabization, either by absorbing the Arabs in Jewish society or by inducing them to emigrate, because only very few were susceptible to these methods (p. 506). They therefore decided to try to restrict the harm done by the Arab minority by stepping up the security regulations imposed on it by the Military Government and making these regulations more effective, and by Judaizing the areas in which the Arabs lived through settling a Jewish majority in them (for the most part on lands confiscated from the Arabs).
At first the efforts at Judaization concentrated on Nazareth, the largest Arab town in Israel. It was decided to confiscate a large part of land belonging to the town, as a reserve for the future expansion of a Jewish town. This plan was
implemented with the establishment of the Jewish town of Upper Nazareth at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties. The Israeli authorities also made strong efforts to weaken the existing character of the Arab town. For example, while they were showing an interest in the affairs of the Maronites in Lebanon, and thinking of establishing a state for them, we find them making the most strenuous efforts to secure the election of a Muslim mayor of Nazareth, "to make the town less Christian" (p. 432). With the passage of time the plan to Judaize Nazareth was extended, and became known as the Judaization of Galilee Plan, which the Israeli authorities are still implementing.15
The failure of the Zionist plan to move all goyim out of holy Israel was a great disappointment as described by one of the Israeli emissaries sent to Argentina. Argentina agreed to try the experiment of absorbing some of the Palestinian Christians if Israel paid all the expenses of transportation and the building of new settlements. Israel planned to raise the funds for this venture in the United States, thus making America a partner in the deed. But when the emissary went to one of the Palestinian villages and painted in glowing terms the rich lands and Christian co-religionists in Argentina not one Palestinian volunteered to go there. He was told that, though their rocks and hills might not be as productive as Argentina, Palestine had been their home for centuries and they loved their land. They would stay.
Rabbi Wise had persuaded President Roosevelt that it would be easy to move the Arabs from Palestine. Zionists and Israelis still are trying to carry out the priestly command to drive out the former inhabitants by force - in order to fulfill the Brith. The land must be redeemed - in theological language - but in today's Israel the land must be Judaized. Recent Zionist jargon has extended Jewish "law" to accomplish this. The term Judaization is also known and recognized as "creeping annexation." Two Washington Post writers, William Claiborne and Edward Cody, recently visited Israel. They discovered that successive governments there have coined an officially accepted lexicon used to describe the rule of "Judaized" territories. This lexicon is called "Begin's Thesaurus."16 This convenient, new vocabulary makes it possible to describe Israel's actions without referring to normal terms used in international law. The reason is plain. International law condemns many of Israel's actions while the NEWSPEAK Judaizes the language to conform to biblical theocratic precedents found in the Torah. The divine ordinances of the Torah are fundamental in Zionism while international law is a system devised by the goyim, to be ignored.
In 1956, Israel made a secret deal with France and Great Britain to overthrow President Nasser of Egypt and Israel would capture the Sinai Peninsula. The failure of this plan (President Eisenhower forced these tripartite schemers to give up their territorial conquests) plus the cancerous scandal connected with the name of Lavon eventually forced the resignation of the Ben-Gurion government. It was followed by the premiership of Levi Eshkol but the seeds of the June war of 1967 were sown in the 1956 fiasco.17 The Israeli army staff had drawn up a detailed plan for the expansion of Eretz Israel (Greater Israel) based on the assumption that a dramatic defeat of the Arab armies would create another panic among the Palestinians and clear the land for Israeli occupation. The plan was only partially successful. The Palestinian refugees from the prior Zionist conquests of 1948, living in wretched camps, did flee across the Jordan River. But the settled village Arabs and townspeople did not budge. So Israel found itself ruling over
another million Arabs in what, in the NEWSPEAK biblical lexicon, was Samaria and Judea - liberated Israel. These areas, too, had to be Judaized so the policy was instituted of placing semi- military settlements at strategic points which would give Israel control over roads, water and land with the intent of depriving the Palestinians of an independent livelihood and to break their age old control of the land. To enforce this Judaization policy of creeping annexation, the military was placed in control of the areas while the term security was used to justify the overruling of human, civil and traditional rights of the Palestinians.
The United States declared these Zionist settlements "illegal and an obstacle to peace" and Henry Kissinger told the Israelis this was the worst mistake Jews had made in 2500 years.18 The settlement policy fitted Herzl's description perfectly - it was to destroy the basis of Palestinian land control "gently, discreetly and circumspectly" in the name of "security," at the same time fulfilling the Brith of the priestly code. Under the Eshkol and Golda Meir regimes, the process of destroying Palestinian independence was done in small scale units and properly camouflaged. But underneath the thin veneer of "security" a fanatic, messianic, violent movement was generated which called itself Gush Emunim or "The Core (or heart) of the Faith."19 This religious fundamentalism, militant and unabashed Torah-centered, denounces the shallowness of more moderate or "Enlightened" (Haskalah) Jews and claims to be a throwback to the 100% Judaism of the priestly code. A Jew is only a hyphenated Jew if he does not redeem the Holy Land and live on it. The present State of Israel is only the beginning of redemption, its function being to facilitate full redemption of the whole of biblical Israel, and any act to fulfill this religious tenet is absolute. The founder of Gush Emunim, Rabbi A. 1. Kook, extends the concept of the sanctity of the people of Israel (which includes all Jews) to the point that anything a Jew does is in fact "holy" just because he is a Jew rather than a gentile.20 So everything in Israel is holy - the Torah, the state, the people and even the army. This movement has been growing since 1970. It was feebly resisted at first because it brought Judaism into disrepute among moderates and it deeply strengthened Arab attitudes because it was so aggressive and noisy that it undermined Zionist propaganda in the Diaspora. It proved the accuracy of Palestinian accusations against Israeli violence, harassment and intolerance.
Amos Elon describes this movement in The New Republic (April 21, 1979), in an article titled, "The Mad Settlers of the West Bank." Rabbi Kook proclaims that the Kingdom of God is now being established in the land of Israel by the bayonets of the Israeli army. The movement was given permission by the Israeli government to place a settlement at Kiryat Arba near Hebron. Led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger, they are trespassing on lands taken by force from the Arabs but Rabbi Levinger justified his position by Torah. The Arabs are called Ishmaelites - recalling Jehova's command to Abraham to obey his jealous wife Sarah and cast out his first-born son from the Promised Land (Genesis 21:12-26). "Oh God, throw thy wrath upon the goyim who deny Thy name," is the way one rabbi spoke of the Arabs. The Gush Emunim movement is now strengthened by a political party called Techiya, meaning Renaissance.
It calls for the annexation of Israeli occupied Arab areas and that the 1,100,000 Palestinians who live there be expelled because "they are not natives of those areas." By this kind of logic, Jews who migrate from New York to Israel are more "native" than the Arabs whose ancestors have lived on the land for centuries. They claim they have found their "roots." Unrestrained by a secular environment and urged on by political messianic dreams (Zion redeemed), the religious
parties now control the Ministry of Education so the rabbinic seminaries (yeshiva) are amply funded and turning out a new generation of zealots. Their stature increased when Menachem Begin became prime minister in 1977.
An article by Alon Ben-Meir in the Christian Science Monitor of January 9, 1981, describes some of the policies of Gush Emunim and points out its growing influence in Israel. He calls it the "extreme right" which combines religious, economic, political and territorial goals in an extreme and passionate campaign. It is of interest that it has drawn a number of recruits from Brooklyn, New York Jewry. Among the noisiest of recruits to Israel has been Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the gun-toting Jewish Defense League. He and some of his disciples spent time in jail for violating U.S. laws, whereupon he made his aliyah - "going up" - to Israel. He has collected a number of neurotic misfits, including "killer" James Mahon, who converted to Judaism, changed his name to Elie Ha Zeev (The Wolf, joined the vigilantes in Kiryat Arba, made himself a holy terror to Arabs in the Hebron area and got killed in an ambush in Hebron in May 1980.21 American Zionists try to ignore these examples of theocratic barbarity, but every action of these fanatics is justified by quotations from the Brith which greatly embarrasses Jews in the U.S. who present a "laundered" version of the Covenant. Some 250 prominent U.S. Jews, in mid 1980, signed a statement to Begin deploring "extremism" in his policies, while in Israel such behavior goes unchecked.
A recent series of letters published in the Jerusalem Post in the period of January 25-31,1981, illustrate this dilemma.
JERUSALEM POST READERS' LETTERS January 10, 1981 RABBI MEIR KAHANE: FOR AND AGAINST
To the editor of the Jerusalem Post:
Sir:-In your editorial, "Threat named Kahane" (December 18), you suggest that Rabbi Meir Kahane's proposal for Arab emigration from Israel may constitute "sedition" and warrant his arrest.
One wonders, then, what treatment you would have recommended for say, Golda Meir, who, at the 1937 Zionist Congress, argued in favour of 'transferring' the Arabs of Israel to the surrounding Arab states (see New Judea, August-September 1937, pp. 220-224).
Or Yitzhak Rabin who, in 1974, publicly Called for Arab emigration "from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to East Jordan," including a specific proposal for moving 250,000 Gaza Arabs to Jordan (see Christian Science Monitor, June 3, 1974 and Jediot Aharonot, July 3, 1974).
So many Israeli statesmen have at one time or another suggested the need for Arab emigration that it is unrealistic to label such proposals "seditious." -
Sir.-I am afraid I have to challenge Malka Abels' letter of December 29, which expresses a completely dis- torted view of Rabbi Kahane.
The activities of Rabbi Kahane are frightening. They might undermine the very existence of Israel, since they destroy every vestige of hope for coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Moreover, Rabbi Kahane published a letter in The Post (dated August 3) outlining the programme of his party "Kach." In this letter, Rabbi Kahane states: "I want to remove the Arabs of Israel because I do not want to kill them every week as they grow and riot … Because I want to see a Jewish state survive and that is more important to me than equality between Jew and Arab. Someone had better rethink the Declaration" (of Independence).
It would appear-according to Mrs. Abels' letter-that preaching the expulsion of the Arab minority is in accordance with "Tora principles" and "authentic Judaism." On the contrary, the racist ideology preached by Rabbi Kahane and his followers can only be seen as mockery of all ethical principles and true teachings of Tora and Judaism.
-M. GOLAN, Haifa
Rabbi Kahane is a militant Zionist; "Remove the Arabs, or kill them." "Remove the Arabs" is from Herzl. "Kill them" is from a section of the Torah. Rafael Medoff approves the concept as normal and not seditious as many Israeli statesmen have done. M. Golan, like Lady Macbeth, is troubled by the denial of conscience. The plundering Torah passages are embarrassing - a denial of the "true" teachings of Torah and Judaism. But there are numerous sections from the Brith that are contrary to universal suffrage and modern Zionism implements the embarrassing.
Some prominent U.S. Jewish citizens have called attention to the danger of Begin's reasoning. It has been likened to Hitler's nazism or Mussolini's fascism. It is neither, of course. It is Jewish priestly Hallakah and Begin justifies his every idea and act by an appropriate quotation from the Torah or the Talmud.
His first act as prime minister was to go to an illegal settlement - Elon Moreh - and promise to establish more like it. This encouraged acts of violence in Kiryat Arba by the Gush Emunim fanatics who cut down Arab vineyards in Hebron, got arms from the government and established a reign of terror in Arab villages. They were fighters for God and a government of and to themselves.
Earlier reference was made to the Zionist art of ventriloquism whereby a Zionist disguises his idea by getting some prominent gentile to repeat it as his own. It then carries more weight, supposedly. This has become a political ritual in the United States. Candidates for political office recognize how well organized and financed the Jewish vote is, so the White House usually has a "White House Jew" or "Jews" who prepare speeches. Congressmen do the same. This needs no documentation here because it is a political fact known by all in Washington. There are a few exceptions and they too are well known, such as Senator William Fulbright, Senator Charles Percy and Senator Mark Hatfield. The recent ventriloquist for President Carter was Edward Sanders who had two offices - one in the White House and one in the State Department. He, therefore, covered both domestic and foreign policy. Sanders previously had been director of the Israeli lobby, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is officially registered in Washington as a foreign agency of the State of Israel. Carter was in a vise between the Zionists and the realities of the Middle East. He vacillated in the vain hope he could play both games at once - and lost the confidence of both the Zionists and those who understand the realities.
During his presidential candidacy, Ronald Reagan placed on his staff as advisor and speech writer, Rabbi Joseph Churba, a supporter of Israel's extremists and a childhood friend of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Rabbi Churba had been fired in 1975 from his position as defense intelligence officer at Maxwell Air Force Base as a result of repercussions that grew out of the General George Brown speech on October 10, 1974. Churba's credentials are described in Forbes (October 27,1980, p. 53) but the magazine fails to give full credit to Churba's remarkable skill as a ventriloquist. Campaigning for office, Reagan spoke with great authority on the Middle East with most of his passages being verbatim quotes from Churba's literary efforts. Reagan sounded like an echo of Menachem Begin in Israel and more pro-Israel than any American presidential candidate so far. This helped Reagan get into the White House where he too met reality. Candidate Reagan had clearly stated that the Israeli settlements were not illegal but Zionists were afraid that President Reagan might change his mind. So Israel began a feverish rush to place ten more new settlements on Arab land and to "thicken" (NEWSPEAK) others before the president changed his mind or Begin retired. Faced with the hostility to Israel's illegal settlements expressed by most world leaders and hobbled by his quotes from Churba made during the election campaign, President Reagan came up with a typical, political maneuver; he announced that "the settlements were legal but ill-advised and unnecessarily provocative." Thus, the Zionists make hypocrites of U.S. politicians.
During President Reagan's first twenty months in office, Menachem Begin stepped up his policy of state terrorism against the Palestinians under the Sharon-Milson policy. It is described thus by C. Dale White in the July 20,1982, issue of the Methodist Observer.
As a member of a recent interfaith peace mission to Israel and the Occupied Territories under the sponsorship of the American Friends Service Committee and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, I talked at length with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. I came away alarmed at the escalating cycles of violence and repression on the West Bank and the Gaza strip, and the reports of Israeli mobilization for an invasion of Lebanon. I became distressed at the evidence of a pervasive and growing pattern of exploitation of Palestinians by Israeli citizens on the West Bank, the rapid expansion of Israeli settlements, the arming of settlers, the expulsion and deportation of elected leaders, the confiscation and appropriation of Arab property, the demolition of Arab homes, the restriction of academic activities in Palestinian universities, and the meeting of civil strife with deadly force.
This policy was accompanied by repetitive statements from the Begin-Sharon-Shamir government that Jordan was already a Palestinian state to which Palestinians should go - an echo of the ancient Torah theme, Get Out of "Holy Israel." In his column of September 9,1982, Jack Anderson revealed a secret plan of Israel to remove the Palestinians and acquire their land and water resources for more Jewish settlements. Anderson reports that "Harassment of Arabs by armed gangs of Jewish religious zealots is routinely winked at by the occupation authorities" (Appendix V).
Encouraged by the constant flattery of President Reagan and the seeming infatuation of leading congressmen who were insisting on increasing aid to Israel while cutting the budget for U.S. citizens, Prime Minister Begin guessed the atmosphere was favorable to export terror abroad. On June 7, 1981, using U.S. equipment, he violated the airspace of Jordan and Saudi Arabia by bombing the Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak, near Baghdad. On July 17, while Reagan was in Ottawa, Canada, he bombed Beirut, Lebanon. In December, he annexed the Syrian Golan Heights and on June 6, 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. In his diatribe against Reagan on December 20,1982, Begin declared that U.S. Jews had rights and the duty to support Israel. For seventy days the world saw and watched in horror the swath of carnage and destruction left in Lebanon by the Israel Defense Forces, using U.S. armament. When General Ariel Sharon was asked by a congressman whether Israel had violated U.S. terms by such use of these weapons, Sharon glibly replied that Israel had many agreements with many nations but in times of war such agreements can be broken (Mideast Observer, September 1, 1982, p. 3). Thus, anarchy is added to terror. But finally, on August 15,1982, President Reagan lost patience, called Begin and said he was outraged and ordered a stop to the bloodshed and the threatened "holocaust" in West Beirut. The world was shocked a month later by the Sabra and Shatila massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees, in which Israel was implicated. On September 1, 1982, President Reagan presented a U.S. policy based on U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967. The false facade that Israel's Gun-Zionism and U.S. interests were compatible came to an abrupt end.
This brief summary makes no claim to exhaust the available material. It is merely a sign post along a long road indicating the direction of traffic - from Deuteronomy, the Torah and Israel of the past toward the Israel of the future, if it survives at all. The present path of Israel's movement leads to destruction. U.S. blind support for Israel's goals and methods will lead to foreign and domestic disillusionment about the honesty and intelligence of U.S. leadership.
September, 1982 Edwin M. Wright, 445 Bloomington Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691
I. I. F. Stone, "Bible Diplomacy," The Washington Post, August 19, 1977. A Jewish author of luminary stature, after reviewing Zionist premises recited from the Torah, concludes that "Maybe it's time to lock the Holy Book up again, at least until the Israeli-Arab dispute is settled."
II. Samuel Katz, Days of Fire: The Secret History of the Irgun Zvai Leumi; New York: Doubleday, 1968. Depicts Menachem Begin's logo or symbol: Gun-Zionism or How Zion shall be redeemed.
III. David K. Shipler, "Israel Bars Rabin From Relating '48 Eviction of Arabs," The New York Times, October 23,1979. With a wave of his hand David Ben-Gurion gestures to Rabin and Allon to "Drive them (Arabs) out!"
IV. William Claiborne and Edward Cody, "Begin's Thesaurus," The West Bank-Hostage of History, Washington, D.C.: Foundation for Middle East Peace, 1980. p. 16. Lists examples of Zionist NEWSPEAK.
V. Jack Anderson, "Advisers Feared Begin's Intentions," The Daily Record, September 9, 1982. Reveals that secret U.S. State Department documents express fear of Begin's intentions "to expel large numbers of Arabs" from the West Bank.
I. F. Stone
Bible Diplomacy Washington Post, Aug. 19,1977
In the Middle Ages, as everyone knows, the Bible was under lock and key. The clergy kept it away from the masses, lest it confuse them and lead to schism and sedition. Their point of view, repugnant as it is to us, children of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, was not without substance. If the medieval fathers look down from the Heaven in which they so devoutly believed, they must point as justification to the turbulence that broke out after the Bible was translated into the vernacular and common people were encouraged to read it. Dispute over the Word of God burst into flame. The world witnessed its bloodiest religious wars.
Maybe it's time to lock the Holy Book up again, at least until the Israeli-Arab dispute is settled. The trouble is that the Bible is like the Delphic oracle, unendingly ambiguous, and all things to all men, so that - as the old adage has it - the devil can quote Scripture to his purpose.
From a secular point of view, this seems natural in a book made up of many books, written at different stages in the unfolding of a great religious experience. How to explain it from a theological point of view must be left to our ecclesiastical superiors, for if it is literally the Word of God, His contradictions, too, are infinite.
These contradictions now play their part in the efforts at peace in the Middle East. At one end of the spectrum the Bible preaches justice and universal brotherhood. At the other end it contains some of the most primitive and bloodthirsty ethnocentric teachings in human literature. So Menachem Begin, Israel's fundamentalist prime minister and the religious parties on which he depends for a thin and precarious parliamentary majority, claim that they cannot give up the West Bank because God gave it to the Jews.
This can, of course, be supported from Bible texts. Indeed, if we are to go back to a literal reading of Holy Writ for guidance in the Middle Fast conflict, the religious ultras of the Israeli community can find much else along the same lines, and in the same direction, though carried to lengths that would make even the most fanatical among them quail. It is, of course, true that in the final chapter of Numbers God gave the whole of Canaan west of the Jordan to Israel. But if the Word of God is to be taken literally, those who now dwell on the West Bank may tremble. For only three short chapters earlier, the Lord says "ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy their holy places and 'dispossess' them."
Nor is that all. Numbers 33 ends with the fiercest warning of all. If the children of Israel do not dispossess the inhabitants, "I shall do unto you as I thought to do unto them." If the Jews do not drive out the Canaanites, God will drive out the Jews. This is the harsh theology of depopulating a land to make room for one's own.
To base modem politics on fundamentalist readings of the Bible is to invite fundamentalist readings of the Koran. It is to open the doors to a plague of bigotries. Selected scriptural texts were used in less enlightened times to excuse pogroms of Jews, and Holy War against infidels, and the conflict of Catholic and Protestant that made a wasteland of 16th century Germany, and is making a wasteland today of 20th-century Ulster. There is no end to the wickedness that bigotry can draw from Holy Writ. This is not the least of the reasons for remembering that Herzl, the founder of modem Zionism, made separation of church and state a basic principle.
Of course, those who seek Arab-Jewish reconciliation and peace may also find their message in the Bible. Isaiah said, "Zion shall be redeemed by justice," and this means justice, too, for our Arab brothers. But if we are not ready for such healing and fraternal counsels, let us lock the Holy Book up again, until we can show ourselves fit to read it.
IRGUN ZWAI LEUMI BE-EREZ JISRAEL
ORGANISATION MILITAIRE NATIONALE JUIVE D'EREZ JISRAEL
JEWISH NATIONAL MILITARY ORGANISATION OF EREZ JISRAEL
An Irgun poster distribution in Central Europe.
MENACHEM BEGIN'S GOALS AND METHODS
From Samuel Katz's book
DAYS OF FIRE: The Secret History of the Irgun Zvai Leumi New York: Doubleday, 1968
New York Times October 23, 1979
ISRAEL BARS RABIN FROM RELATING '48 EVICTION OF ARABS By David K. Shipler
Special to The New York Times
JERUSALEM, Oct. 22-A censorship board composed of five Cabinet members prohibited former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin from including in his memoirs a first-person account of the expulsion of 50,000 Palestinian civilians from their homes near Tel Aviv during the 1948 Arab- Israeli war.
In it, Mr. Rabin attributes the final decision on expulsion to David Ben-Gurion, one of Israel's founders and its first Prime Minister, who died in 1973. Mr. Rabin says that some Israeli soldiers refused to participate in driving out the Arabs and that afterward, propaganda sessions were required to soothe the consciences of embittered troops.
The account does not appear in either the Hebrew edition of Mr. Rabin's memoirs or in the American edition, which was published in the United States this month by Little, Brown & Company under the title "The Rabin Memoirs."
Sympathy for Palestinians
Although reports of such expulsions have been published by authors not subject to censorship, Israel remains highly sensitive to the issue, especially when it threatens to bolster Palestinian claims to territory that is now part of Israel. The anxiety is particularly acute at a time of growing sympathy for the Palestinians.
The Rabin account involves two Arab towns, Ramle and Lydda, now called Lod. Both are near the Tel Aviv airport and were in strategic positions when the Arabs attacked the new nation in 1948.
Mr. Rabin was then commander of the Harel Brigade, assigned to eliminate Arab Legion bases along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Road. A copy of his manuscript was provided to The New York Times by Peretz Kidron, who translated the book from Hebrew to English.
Under Israeli law, those who have served in government must submit written materials to two sets of censors: the military, which cleared the paragraphs in question, and then a board composed of Cabinet ministers and headed by Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir.
'I Can't Violate the Law'
"I was puzzled," Mr. Rabin said of the deletion. "But they decided and I had to obey because I can't violate the law of the country." He said discussing the order with a reporter would also be illegal.
His narrative opens with a meeting that included him, Mr. Ben-Gurion and Yigal Allon, who later became Foreign Minister. The text is as follows:
"While the fighting was still in progress, we had to grapple with a troublesome problem, for whose solution we could not draw upon any previous experience: the fate of the civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000.
"Not even Ben-Gurion could offer any solution, and during the discussions at operational headquarters, he remained silent, as was his habit in such situations. Clearly, we could not leave Lod's hostile and armed populace in our rear, where it could endanger the supply route to Yiftach [another brigade] which was advancing eastward.
"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question: 'What is to be done with the population?' B.G. waved his hand in a gesture which said, 'Drive them out!'
"Allon and I held a consultation. I agreed that it was essential to drive the inhabitants out. We took them on foot towards the Bet Horon Road, assuming that the legion would be obliged to look after them, thereby shouldering logistic difficulties which would burden its fighting capacity, making things easier for us.
"'Driving out' is a term with a harsh ring," the manuscript continues. "Psychologically, this was one of the most difficult actions we undertook. The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the 10 to 15 miles to the point where they met up with the legion.
"The inhabitants of Ramle watched and learned the lesson. Their leaders agreed to be evacuated voluntarily, on condition that the evacuation was carried out by vehicles. Buses took them to Latrun, and from there, they were evacuated by the legion.
"Great suffering was inflicted upon the men taking part in the eviction action. Soldiers of the Yiftach Brigade included youth - movement graduates, who had been inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humaneness. The eviction action went beyond the concepts they were used to.
"There were some fellows who refused to take part in the expulsion action. Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action, to remove the bitterness of these youth- movement groups, and explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action."
Survivors' Reports Confirmed
Mr. Rabin's account does not differ markedly from others. In "O Jerusalem," Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre described "a calculated Israeli policy" to drive Arab residents from their homes, and they confirmed reports by some survivors that many elderly people and small children died in the overpowering heat during the forced march.
In both "O Jerusalem" and "Genesis 1948" by Dan Kurzman, the eviction from Lod was attributed to the local residents' opening fire on the Israelis shortly after surrendering. Fouzi el-Asmar, in his book "To Be an Arab in Israel," also documented the expulsion, which he witnessed as a child.
Throughout the rest of the country, however, the pattern was mixed. In some places, the Israelis expelled the Palestinians, while in others they encouraged them to stay. Many left in panic after the Israeli massacre at the village of Deir Yassin outside Jerusalem, which remains a name of infamy in the Arab world.
There, contingents of the extremist Stern gang and Irgun attacked the village and lined men, women and children up against walls and shot them, according to Red Cross and British documentation.
Menachem Begin, now the Prime Minister but then the leader of the Irgun, staunchly denied in his book, "The Revolt," that any atrocities had been committed at Deir Yassin by his followers. He said that the village was a legitimate military target and that the story of a massacre was a "lie" spread by "Jewhaters all over the world."
BEGIN'S THESAURUS Arab Land is 'Closed,' Not Seized: Most Residents are 'the Minorities'
Washington Post Foreign Service
JERUSALEM-Since the Israeli Army occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights 13 years ago, successive governments have gradually coined an officially acceptable lexicon used to describe the rule of the territories.
Although derided as "laundered" jargon by critics of the government's post-1967 policies, the terms have become ingrained in the official vocabulary and in usage by Israel's news media.
They were institutionalized in a memorandum issued by the Likud government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and aimed at standardizing the terminology.
Occupied territories became "administered areas," or simply "the areas."
The West Bank, in official usage, is "Judea and Samaria," the Biblical names for the region.
The Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, who make up 98 percent of the territories' population, are referred to as "the minorities." (Only if Israel proper and the occupied territories are combined, do the Arabs represent a minority.)
The term Palestinians is not used to describe the territories' Arab inhabitants, because, officials correctly point out, prestatehood Jewish immigrants in Palestine were also regarded as Palestinians.
Settlements are not enlarged or expanded, according to official jargon, but are "thickened." In the case of one settlement, Maaleh Adumim, that term is used to describe construction of a new town designed for 20,000 settlers.
East Jerusalem was not annexed in 1967, but was "reunified." Annexation is also referred to as "application of Israeli law."
Arab-owned land, according to the lexicon, is "closed" instead of seized.
Violent disturbances in Arab schools and cities are often described in official communiques as "malfunctions."
ADVISERS FEARED BEGIN'S INTENTIONS Jack Anderson, Syndicated Columnist Pg. 4- THE DAILY RECORD, Thursday, Sept. 9, 1982, Wooster, Ohio
WASHINGTON-The story behind President Reagan's sudden firmness with Israel over the West Bank is told in secret State Department dispatches. They make clear what the president's advisers fear Israel might do in the occupied territory unless deterred by the United States.
One secret report seen by my associate Dale Van Atta puts it bluntly and ominously: "There is reason to fear that the Israeli government might capitalize on demonstrations in the occupied territories, or even provoke such demonstrations, in order to expel large numbers of Arabs as 'security risks.' (Israeli) defense officials admit such contingency plans exist."
It's no laughing matter to accuse an ally of willingness to stage a provocation, especially an ally with as much domestic political clout as Israel has. So it is a measure of the concern that top U.S. officials have over Prime Minister Menachem Begin's actions and suspected intentions that they unanimously urged the president to get tough with Israel. If Alexander Haig had still been secretary of state, the president might have held out, at least until after the November elections.
Why would Israel want to expel "large numbers of Arabs" from the West Bank territory it captured in the 1967 war? Simply put, the resources-land and water-of the West Bank cannot support many more than the 800,000 Palestinians and 20,000 Jewish settlers now living there.
Yet Israel continues to build new settlements in the disputed area; one Israeli official has stated publicly that he wants 250,000 Jews living there by 1987. To achieve this goal, about an equal number of Arabs would have to be kicked out.
To buttress their suspicions of Israel's ultimate goal for the West Bank, State Department and CIA experts point to a pattern of repression by Israeli military occupation forces that has emerged over the past 15 years.
Punishment for actual or alleged support of Palestinian terrorist groups has always been draconian: Houses of relatives or sympathizers are blown up, and 24-hour curfews are imposed. Collective punishment on entire villages is often exacted for the crimes of a few inhabitants. Harassment of Arabs by armed gangs of Jewish religious zealots is routinely winked at by the occupation authorities.
The State Department used to send its own observers into the West Bank to investigate allegations of repression, but it stopped the practice when contents of the incriminating cables were leaked, embarrassing both the Israelis and the U.S. government, which did nothing to stop the incidents.
Over the years, I have sent my own reporters to the West Bank-Ron McRae in 1980, Peter Grant in 1981, and Van Atta just a few weeks ago. They talked to both Israeli and Arab sources, and their reports made clear the pattern of Israeli behavior.
I talked to Begin about the West Bank when I was in Jerusalem recently, and this is what he said: Israel is willing to grant "total autonomy" to the West Bank Arabs, allowing them their own civil administration.
But the catch-and it's a big one-is this: Israel would be the protector of the West Bank. There would be no Arab army, only Israeli troops.
By their own civil administrators, Begin presumably meant the village leagues, the organizations of Arabs who are not inflamed by Palestinian nationalism and are willing to live in an Israeli protectorate. Needless to say, they are regarded by fervent Palestinian nationalists as Israeli puppets.
There seems increasing reason to believe that Begin and his top associates intend to keep the West Bank--or, as they persist in calling it, Judea and Samaria. Whether they do it by outright annexation or in the guise of a protectorate, this is sure to keep the Palestinian issue boiling. That's why President Reagan was persuaded to make his rhetorical pre-emptive strike against Begin's suspected intentions.
1. Ezra, 10:1-17.
2. Two volumes by James B. Pritchard are an "indispensable treasure for all who intend to read the Old Testament" critically. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd ed., (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969; Archaeology and the Old Testament, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958).
3. This is not the place to list this vast literature but merely, as illustration, excellent studies are available such as Ernest Trattner, Unraveling the Book of Books, an early volume now surpassed by Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic; John Van Seter, Abraham in Legend and History; W. F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity and Norman K. Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh.
4. Maxime Rodinson, Israel-A Colonial Settler State?, (New York: Monad Press, 1973).
5. The Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl; editor, Ralph Patai, translated by Harry Zohn in 3 vols., (New York and London: Herzl Press, 1960), Vol. 1, p. 88.
6. The primary source documents are cited by Erskine Childers in his article, "Palestine: The Broken Triangle," Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 19 No. 1, 1965, pp. 87-99. See also note
7. Shlomo Avineri, "The Political Thought of Vladimir Jabotinski," The Jerusalem Quarterly #16, Summer 1980, pp. 3-26.
8. Evan M. Wilson, Decision on Palestine, (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1979), p. 55.
9. Appendix II.
10. David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch. (New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977), p. 130. The original Hebrew was in Davar, 29 September, 1967.
11. The Daleth Plan is documented by John H. Davis, former Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, in his book, The Evasive Peace, and by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre in their book, O Jerusalem! Specific reference citations are: The Evasive Peace, 2nd American rev. ed. (Cleveland: Dillon/ Liederbach, 1976), pp. 59, 60;
Jerusalem! (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972), p. 60, pp. 336ff. A more definitive account of Plan Daleth, translated from Hebrew into English, is given by Walid Khalidi, "Plan Daleth-The Zionist Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine," Middle East Forum, Beirut, November 1961.
12. Appendix III.
13. Erskine Childers, "The Other Exodus," The Spectator (London), 12 May, 1961. This article, and Childers' "Palestine: The Broken Triangle," previously referenced, have been fully reproduced in a work by Alan Taylor and Richard Tetlie, Palestine: A Search for Truth, (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1970), pp. 76-96.
14. Edwin M. Wright, A Tale of Two Hamlets: Berem and Iqrit, published bv the Northeast Ohio Committee for Middle East Understanding, PO. Box 16094, Cleveland, Ohio 44116.
15. Sabris Jiryis, "Secrets of State: An Analysis of the Diaries of Moshe Sharett," Journal of Palestine Studies #37, Autumn 1980, pp. 47-48.
16. Appendix IV.
17. David Hirst, op. cit., p. 206ff.
18. Edward Sheehan, The Arab, Israelis and Kissinger: A Secret History of American Diplomacy in the Middle East (New York: Crowell, 1976), p. 118.
19. Michael Shashar, The Jerusalem Quarterly #17, Fall 1980, p. 62ff.
20. Ibid., p. 64
21. Leo Wieseltier, "The Sabbath Ambush," The New Republic, 24 May, 1980, p. 18. Another good article on the Gush Emunim movement is by Ehud Sprinzak in The Jerusalem Quarterly #21, Fall 1981, p. 28ff.
A LATE NOTE-As the manuscript for this book was being finalized for press, a fourth study based upon Moshe Sharett's diary appeared in print. The reference to this study is given below. Avi Shlaim, "Conflicting Approaches to Israel's Relations with the Arabs: Ben Gurion and Sharett, 1953-1956," The Middle Fast Journal Vol. 37 No. 2, Spring 1983, pp. 180-201.