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Part 13. How Israel in 1948 committed Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians, about 400,000 within days in first stage

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Part 13. How Israel in 1948 committed Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians, about 400,000 within days in first stage

Conclusion

Was what happened in Palestine during the 1948 war “ethnic cleansing”?

No more an “Alleged” Crime. Israel ethnically cleansed the Palestinians.

Andrew Bell-Fialkoff, author of Ethnic Cleansing, writes that, while the term “defies easy definition”, it can be generally understood as “the expulsion of an ‘undesirable’ population from a given territory due to religious or ethnic discrimination, political, strategic or ideological considerations, or a combination of these.[99]

The US State Department, in a 1999 report titled Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo: An Accounting, described “the Milosevic regime’s brutal, premeditated, and systematic campaign to expel many Kosovar Albanians from their homeland.[100]

In a February 2007 judgment, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) noted that the term “ethnic cleansing” was used in practice “to mean ‘rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area’”.[101]

By any of these definitions, ethnic cleansing is precisely what occurred in Palestine during the 1948 war.

As Ilan Pappé writes in the beginning of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, “This book is written with the deep conviction that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine must become rooted in our memory and consciousness as a crime against humanity and that it should be excluded from the list of alleged crimes.”[102]

Indeed, what happened in Palestine in 1948 was not an “alleged” ethnic cleansing, as Benny Morris would have us believe. It is regrettable that he seems to have decided that trying to justify Israel’s legitimacy as a “Jewish state” is more important than presenting the public with an honest historical representation of how Israel came into existence.

But far from being “alleged”, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine must today be recognized as an uncontroversial historical fact.

That this ethnic cleansing occurred is indeed today very well documented—including in Benny Morris’s own important contributions to the literature on the subject.

It is also regrettable that the US mainstream media treat the matter as taboo.

This silence must be broken. The means by which the “Jewish state” of Israel came into existence—via the ethnic cleansing of the Arab population of Palestine—must be brought out of the darkness and into the light.

Only by doing so will the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians have any chance of coming to fruition.

Jeremy R. Hammond

Jeremy R. Hammond

Jeremy R. Hammond is an award-winning independent political analyst and editor and publisher of Foreign Policy Journal.

Described by Barron’s as “a writer of rare skill”, he is the author of Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2016), Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis (2012), and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict (2009). Find him on the web at JeremyRHammond.com.


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