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The Bi-national State: The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb Latin
by Uri Avnery 10:26pm Sun Jul 13 '03

No wonder that in these dark times, the bi-national idea is raising its head again in some Israeli left-wing circles. Itג€™s a beautiful and noble idea, imbued with faith in humanity. But, like Isaiahג€™s prophecy, it is an idea for the days of the messiah. If it has any realistic chance at all, this may come in another two or three generations. In the meantime, it is indeed an escape from reality. A dangerous escape, as we shall see.
print article

The Bi-national State: The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb

by Uri Avnery

Author's Note:This is an updated version of an article I wrote two years ago that was published in the respected Journal of Palestine Studies, which is published in the United States under the auspices UC Berkeley.

"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb" prophesied Isaiah (11:6). This is possible in our times, too - provided you bring a new lamb every day.

I am reminded of this cruel joke every time the idea of a bi-national state comes up.

In desperate times, messianic ideas flourish. They permit an escape from the dark present to a better, brighter world; from a feeling of helplessness to a sense of creation.

No wonder that in these dark times, the bi-national idea is raising its head again in some Israeli left-wing circles. Itג€™s a beautiful and noble idea, imbued with faith in humanity. But, like Isaiahג€™s prophecy, it is an idea for the days of the messiah. If it has any realistic chance at all, this may come in another two or three generations. In the meantime, it is indeed an escape from reality. A dangerous escape, as we shall see.

According to the bi-national idea, the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River - Palestine / Eretz Israel - will again constitute one state, as in the days of the British Mandate before 1948. Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, will live there together as equal citizens. The exact form of the regime - bi-national or non-national - is secondary.

All citizens will vote for the same parliament and the same government, serving in the same army and police force, paying the same taxes, sending their children to the same schools, using the same textbooks. An attractive idea, indeed.

It may seem strange that this idealistic vision is reappearing just now, after it has failed the world over. The multi-national Soviet Union has disappeared, and now even the multi-national Russian federation is in danger of falling apart (see Chechnya). Not only Yugoslavia has disintegrated, but so have its fragments. Bosnia, too, has fallen apart and been glued together artificially, with foreign soldiers trying to keep the peace somehow. Serbia has been compelled to give up Kosovo in all but name, and the integrity of Macedonia is in doubt. For a long time now, the unity of Canada has been threatened by movements within the French-speaking population. United Cyprus, with its model bi-national constitution, is barely a memory. And the list is long: Indonesia, the Philippines and many other countries, not to mention our neighbor, Lebanon.

But there is no need to look far away. Our own reality is enough. The immediate roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are more than a hundred years. A fifth generation has been born into it and its whole mental world has been shaped by it. Basically it is a clash between the Zionist movement and the Arab-Palestinian national movement. After a hundred years, the force of Zionism is far from exhausted. Its main thrust - expansion, occupation and settlement - is in full, offensive swing. On the Palestinian side, nationalism (including the Islamic version) is deepening and growing from martyr to martyr. It takes real faith to believe that these two nationalistic peoples will give up the essence of their hopes and turn from total enmity to total peace, giving up their national narratives and being ready to live together as supra-national citizens.

The 20th century has seen several "utopias" that have caused terrible disasters. The communist vision, for example, was based on the assumption that there is a perfect human being or that human beings can be perfected. It clashed with a reality of imperfect human beings. As the German post-communist leader, Gregor Gysi, once told me: "We tried to impose the perfect system on imperfect human beings. So we tried to impose it by force." Thus a system of terror came into being and millions were slaughtered, from the Ukraine to Cambodia.

One must pose three essential questions:

Will both sides accept this solution?

Can a bi-national state function?

Will it put an end to the conflict?

My answer to all three questions is an unqualified ‘noג€™.

There is no chance at all that the present, post-holocaust, Israeli generation, or its successor, will accept this solution, which conflicts absolutely with the myth and the ethos of Israel. The aim of the founders of the State of Israel was that the Jews - or a part of them - could at last take their destiny into their own hands. A bi-national state means the abandonment of this aim, and, in practice, the dismantling of Israel itself. The Jews would return to the traumatic experience of a people without a state throughout the world, with all that that implies. And not as a result of a crushing military defeat, but as a free choice. Not very likely.

And what about the Palestinian side? Some Palestinians do indeed talk longingly of a bi-national state, but I believe that for some of them, at least, this is just a code word for the elimination of the State of Israel, and for some others an escape from bitter reality to the dream of returning to their homes and villages of the past . But the great majority of the Palestinian people want to live, at last, in a national state of their own, a state that expresses their national identity, under their flag and their government, like other peoples.

The chance that the two nations will accept the bi-national idea in the foreseeable future is remote indeed.

Would such a state - if it came into being - be able to function?

There is hardly any multi-national state in the world that really functions properly. (Have I mentioned Switzerland?) Because in order to function properly, one of two conditions must be fulfilled: either all sides cede their national identity or they must have equal economic and political power.

The very opposite is true in this country. There is a gaping inequality between Israelis and Palestinians in almost every respect. The disparity is immense. In a joint state, if it were to be set up, the Jews would dominate the economy and most other aspects of the state, and try very hard to preserve that situation. At this point in time, a bi-national state would be an occupation regime in a new form that would thinly disguise a reality of exploitation and economic, cultural and probably political repression. The situation of the Arab citizens in Israel, after 55 years, is not very encouraging.

Therefore, I do not believe that such a solution, if it were possible at all, would put an end to the conflict. It would only set it on a different track, perhaps more severe and more violent.

All this is known, of course, to the adherents of the bi-national idea. In order to escape the contradiction between their vision and reality, they have developed a theory that goes like this:

In the beginning, the joint state will indeed be some kind of an apartheid state. But the situation will change gradually. In time, the Arabs will become the majority in this state. Even now, some 5.4 million Jews and 4.6 million Arab Palestinians live between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. The Arab birthrate will change the ratio soon. The Palestinian majority will fight for equality. The world will support it, as it supported the South-African struggle against apartheid. Thus we will achieve a real state of equality.

This is a wishful dream. The white racists in South Africa were hated by the whole world. Unlike the Jewish Israelis, they had no powerful base of support. American Jewry has immense political, economic and media might, and they will not lose it for many years to come. Israel continues to rely on - and will do so for a long time - the guilt feelings of the Christian world inspired by the holocaust. At the same time, the Arabs are becoming more and more the bogyman of the Western world. It will be far more difficult for international pressure to influence the Jewish community that will dominate the bi-national state. It will take generations, and in the meantime the expansion of the settlements will go on relentlessly. In a bi-national state every Jew can, of course, settle wherever he or she wants. The Palestinians will continually lose out economically, and the gap between the two peoples will grow.

It can be assumed that the power struggle in the bi-national state will cause severe violence, as it did in South Africa.

The conclusion is: two states are needed for two peoples. This will direct the national feelings of the two peoples into reasonable, constructive channels, that will make co-existence, cooperation and, finally, a genuine reconciliation possible.

The independent political structure of the State of Palestine will put at its disposal international and national barriers against the danger that its far more powerful neighbor would exploit use its economic might to exploit the Palestinian people or even expel them. The Palestinian people will at long last feel that it has a solid base, as did the Jews after the establishment of the State of Israel.

The recent past has shown that even this is extremely difficult to achieve. We still have to overcome much mutual fear, hate, myths and prejudices to make it possible. But those who despair at these obstacles and so adopt the bi-national gospel resemble an athlete who canג€™t manage a 100 yard sprint and therefore enrolls for the marathon.

There is great danger even in propagating this idea. It is said that "the perfect is the enemy of the good." The very mention of the bi-national vision will scare the great majority of Israelis, who are now slowly approaching acceptance of the two-state solution, will arouse their most deep-seated existential anxieties and push them into the arms of the extreme right-wing. It will give the Right a powerful weapon: "What did we tell you? The real aim of the adherents of the two-state solution is to abolish the State of Israel by stages!"

Some of the new advocates of the bi-national solution use a very odd argument. They say: "Sharon declares that he is for the two-state solution, but he means some enclaves comprising 50% of the occupied territories. Therefore we must not support the establishment of a Palestinian state." The simple answer is: should we abandon a good and positive idea just because the enemies of peace pervert it and try to use it for their ends? Logic would dictate the opposite: to expose the perversion of the idea by Sharon and fight for a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 borders.

In the early 50s, when we raised the two-state idea again after the 1948 war, we did not speak of "separation". Today, too, we reject this term absolutely. We speak of two states with an open border between them, with free movement of people and goods (subject, of course, to mutual agreements). I am convinced that, in the light of the geographical and political facts, a natural process will lead to an organic connection, perhaps a federation, and later, by common consent, to a regional community like the European Union.

In the end, we shall reach the objective: to live together in peace, side by side. Perhaps a later generation will one day decide to live in one joint state. But today the propaganda for this utopia diverts attention from the practical, immediate objective, at a time when the whole world has accepted the idea of "two states for two peoples". This remote utopia blocks the way to a solution that is achievable in the near future and sorely necessary, because in the meantime "facts on the ground" are being created.

I am convinced that the 21st century will bring vast changes in the structure of the world and the way of life of human society. The importance of the nation-state will gradually diminish. A world order, world law and world-wide structures will play a central role. I believe that Israel will whole-heartedly take part in the march of humanity. We shall not be tardy. But there is no point in expecting the Israeli public to be 50 years ahead of the times.

www.gush-shalom.org

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The so-called "2 state solution" is no solution Latin
by Henry Lowi, Toronto 1:05am Mon Jul 14 '03

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The so-called "2 state solution" is exposed as a formula for defeat of the Palestininan resistance and the Israeli peace forces; it is a formula for no equality between Arabs and Jews; it is a formula for Zionist domination of all of Palestine - militarily, economically, and politically - with Palestinian Arab self-rule and "autonomy", without national sovereignty; it is a formula for partition of the country that is one economy, and separation of the people from each other, from their jobs, their lands, and their rights; it is a formula for transformation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip into giant refugee camps; it is a formula for an Arab Islamic hell alongside a Jewish Zionist hell.
As all this becomes apparent to more and more democratically-inclined people, then those whose bottom line is defence of the Zionist project reiterate their opposition to a democratic republic, with a constitution that upholds human rights, to which the Palestine refugees may return, and in which Arabs and Jews can live in peace.
What they don't say is that ANY solution that upholds equality and human rights requires the defeat of racism and colonialism. And how to do that is the starting point for any discussion about the way forward.

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The best solution: no state at all Hebrew
by Tom 2:17pm Mon Jul 14 '03

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I'm not afraid to disagree totally with the two
earlier opinions, even being less authoritative
than the ones that expressed their minds. You
need just some logical thinking to agree
-sometimes even this does happening- with the
Lybian life-long leader Colonel Gaddafi: the
only, difficult solution is that of one state. As
every state [quoting some old anarchist thinker]
represents a challenge to the other states,
especially these ones at the other side of the
frontier, it's rather easy to immagine what will
happen after the totally artificial creating of
just another State: the Palestinian one [after
the creating of the "Jewish State" Israel already
showed to be a disaster for the Middle East in
general and for the once so rich jewish people
and jewish cultural].

I really don't understand this lack of some
common sense that brings together some leftwing
israelian thinkers and the ones that are
promoting totally transfer of the palestinian
people outside of Israel.

"Let my people return" should be now, more than
ever, the motto of palestinians and israelians.

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Henry is right Latin
by Miri 8:08pm Mon Jul 14 '03

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I must agree with Henry. The "hebrew-speaking nation" (as the euphemists of today are calling it now) can only continue to exist if the Palestinian refugees are denied their basic democratic right to return to the places from which they were expelled, for otherwise they will inevitably become a minority in all sections of the country, with the probable exception of the city of Tel Aviv (and even here there would be a sizable Arab population in the city of Yaffo). In plain words: what the two-states solution is demanding in actual fact is the perpetuation of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the legal prohibition of intermarriage. What a wonderful message to convey!
So what is the real way out of the apartheid inferno? To put an end to partition, establish a secular democratic republic all over the country -one man, one vote-equal rights for all the citizens- and fully implement the right of return of all the refugees.

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Eutopian Isreal-Palestine Latin
by Zohar 8:10pm Wed Jul 30 '03
[email protected]

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I would like to have a place that I can keep my future children safe while teaching them the equalness of mankind, and especially our neigbours.
I would like to have a country where I can go freely on the surface without anyone disturbing me or wants to kill me.
I would like to have a state that I know that give me my rights to live but not taking this rights of anyone else.

It is a hard situation. Both sides are to blame.
But I am going with the weak side, the one that I know, I would have done the same if I where in the same situation - I would fight the occupiers of my country!!
I would join the Hamas or other militant groups, I even might volunteer as a suicde bomber. But that's not the BEST idea.
But I think that there are better ways then "terrorism". Ways that not attract the full process of missile launchers and tanks. Maybe few cops or soldiers...
It is demonstartions, It is solidarity campaigns around the world, it is also the demolishing of roadblocks or the aparthide wall (if possible).

There is another way.....
.....and I wish there where other Israelies to see that....

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accountant Latin
by ... 11:58pm Wed Jul 30 '03

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we shall continue being stuck in this "low intensity" conflict unless people finally grasp that their enemy is their respected leaders and not the other "side"...

The people are constantly betrayed by their leadership whether it be jewish or gentile, as the leaders are never on the side of the people but on the side of each other.

Jews love to rip arafat for cheating the Palestinians of millions of dollars he's been accumilating in their name.

Guess what, your leadership is just as complacent.but instead of millions... they cheat their people (the Jewish People) of Billions...

time to yell,show me the money

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I hate to tell you this but... Latin
by Devorah 8:42am Mon Aug 11 '03

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The arabs were never expelled from their homes...they left voluntarily at the urging of invading Arab leaders. Despite the Jew's pleadings with them to stay and share the benefits of israel with them, they left, (60% of them without ever SEEING an Israeli soldier)in anticipation of returning to a land full of dead Jews. They hoped to loot all the money, sweat and blood Zionists invested into the land. The Jews were victorious, and hence you have these refugees.. a problem completely brought on by themselves, and their leaders. At least get your facts straight before waving your peace banners and ranting and raving about Zionist Aparteid.

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I hate to tell you Dvora, but... Latin
by Peter Kropotkin 10:33am Mon Aug 11 '03

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Critical Analysis Of The Birth Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem By Benny Morris eMail
To a Friend


Posted on SEPTEMBER-9-2001

The Below article was directly quoted from Righteous Victims
By Benny Morris p. 252-258


Galilee October 1948, Ethnically Cleansed Palestinians on their way to Lebanon

We do not expect every Palestinian or Zionist to agree with everything the revisionist Israeli historian, Benny Morris, has written. However, it should be NOTED that his conclusions were based on declassified Zionist and Haganah archives. It is CRITICAL to digest this article in an open mind (especially if you are a Palestinian), even if you disagree with some of what has been written.

Introduction
Why Palestinians Left Their Homes?
Zionist Transfer Policy
Refugees Flight: In Four Stages
Palestinian Resistance To Expulsion Policy
Israel's Policy After The War


Introduction
Beside the emergence of the State of Israel, the other major result of the 1948 war was the destruction of the Palestinian society and the birth of the refugee problem. About 700,000 [Palestinian] Arabs --the figure was later to be a major point of dispute, the Israelis officially speaking of some 520,000, the Palestinian themselves of 900,000-1,000,000--fled or were ejected from the areas that became the Jewish State and resettled in the territories that became known as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon, with additional small communities in Egypt, Iraq, and the states of the Arabian Peninsula. The war's end found less than half of the Palestinians in their original homes--fewer then 150,000 in Israel, some 400,000 in the West Bank, and 60,000 in the Gaza Strip.

Why Palestinians Left Their Homes?
Why 700,000 people became refugees was subsequently hotly disputed between Israel and its supporters and the Arabs and theirs. Israeli spokesmen--including "official" historians and writers of textbooks-- maintained that Arabs had fled "voluntarily," or because the Arab states' leaders had urged or ordered them to leave [click here to read our response to this claim], to clear the ground for the invasion of May 15, and enable their spokesman to claim that they had been systematically and with premeditation expelled the refugees. Documentation that surfaced in massive quantities during the 1980s in Israeli and Western archives has demonstrated that neither "official" version is accurate or sufficient.
The creation of the [refugees] problem was almost inevitable, given:

the geographical intermixing of the population
the history of the Arab-Jewish hostility since 1917
rejection of both sides of a binominal solution
the depth of the Arab animosity toward the Jews and fears of coming under Jewish rule.
The structural weaknesses that characterized Palestinian society on the eve of the war made it especially susceptible to collapse and flight. It was

poorly organized, with little social or political cohesion,
there were deep divisions between rural and urban population, and
between Muslims and Christians, and
between various elite clans.
The absence of representative leaders, and
national institutions [such as labor unions, health care, defense, tax collections, ..etc.]
As a result of economic and social processes that had begun in the mid-nineteenth century, large parts of the the rural population had been rendered landless by the 1940s. In consequence there was a constant, growing shift of population from the countryside to urban shantytowns and slums; to some degree this led to both physical and psychological divorce from the land. Moreover, 70 or 80 percent of the people were illiterate [reader should not that the public educational system available to Palestinians before 1948 was limited to 25%-30% of total eligible Palestinian student population]. In some measure this resulted in and was mirrored by a low level of political consciousness and activism. The "nationalism" of the urban elite was shared little; if at all, by the urban poor and peasantry.
And finally, the Arab economy in Palestine had failed to make shift from primitive, agriculture economy to a reindustrialize one--as the Yishuv had done. Equally relevant, in towns very few Arab workers were unionized; none, except the small number in British government service, enjoyed the benefit of unemployment insurance. Effectively ejected from Jewish enterprises and farms when Arab factories and offices closed down, they lost their means of livelihood. For some, exile may have become an attractive option, at least until Palestine calmed down.
Zionist Transfer Policy
Another crucial precondition was the penchant among Yishuv leaders to regard transfer as a legitimate solution to the "Arab problem." Recently declassified Zionist documents demonstrated the virtual consensus emerged among the Zionist leadership, the the wake of the publication in July 1937 of the Peel Commission recommendations, in favor of the transfer of at least several hundred thousand Palestinian Arabs--if not all of them-- out of the areas of the Jewish state-to-be. The tone was set by Ben-Gurion himself in June 1938:

"I support compulsory [Palestinian Arab population] transfer. I do not see in it anything immoral."

Ben-Gurion's views did not change--though he was aware of the need, for a tactical reasons, to be discreet. In 1944, at a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive discussing how the Zionist movement should deal with the British Labor Party decision to recommend the transfer of Palestinian Arabs, he said:

"When I heard these things. . . I had to ponder the matter long and hard ....[but] I reached the conclusion that this matter [had best] remain [in the Labor Party Program] . . . Were I asked what should be our program, it would not occur to me to tell them transfer . . . because speaking about the matter might harm [us] . . . in world opinion, because it might give the impression that there is no room in the Land of Israel without ousting the Arabs [and] . . . it would alert and antagonize the Arabs . . ."

Ben-Gurion added,

"The transfer of Arabs is easier than the transfer of any other [people]. There are Arabs states around . . . And it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are transferred this would improve their situation and not the opposite."

None of the members of the Executive opposed or questioned these views; most spoke in favor. Moshe Sharett, director of the Jewish Agency's Political Department, declared:

"Transfer could be the crowning achievements, the final stage in the development of [our] policy, but certainly not the point of departure. By [speaking publicly and prematurely] we could mobilizing vast forces against the matter and cause it to fail, in advance."

And he added:

"[W]hen the Jewish state is established--it is very possible that the result will be transfer of Arabs."

On February 7, 1948, three months into the war, Ben-Gurion told Mapai's Central Committee that in Jerusalem's Western neighborhoods, from which the Arabs had fled or been expelled, he had seen:

"no strangers [Palestinian Arabs]. Not since Jerusalem's destruction in the days of the Romans has it been so Jewish. . . . I do not assume this will change. . . . And what happened in Jerusalem . . . could well happen in great parts of the country . . if we hold one, it is very possible that in coming six to eight or ten months of the war there will take place great changes. . . . Certainly there will be great changes in the composition of the population of the country."

[Click here for more "transfer" (Ethnic Cleansing) Zionist quotes]

Refugees Flight: In Four Stages
These "great changes" took place in four stages. The first was between December 1947 and March 1948, when Yishuv was on the defensive and upper-and middle-class [Palestinian] Arabs--- perhaps as many as seventy-five thousand--- fled, mainly from mixed cities, or sent their dependents to the West Bank, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, or Transjordan. In this context there can be no exaggeration the detrimental effect on the Arab morale of the IZL and LHI bombing campaigns in big towns.
These families had the wherewithal to settle comfortably in Cairo, Nablus, Amman, or Beirut, and in any case most viewed their exile as temporary. As in the exodus of 1936-1939, they expected to return once the hostilities had ended. Many notable families also resented or feared the domination of the Husseinis, and indeed may have feared a Husseini-ruled Palestine as much as they did life under Jewish rule. It was at this time that many of the political leaders and/or their families left the country--- including most members of the AHC [Arab Higher Committee] and of the Haifa National Committee. Jewish-Arab hostilities were only one aspect of a more general breakdown of law and order in Palestine after UN [General Assembly] Partition Resolution. There was also a gradual collapse of public services and a withdrawal of British authority, and an influx of both urban and rural districts of Arab irregulars, who extorted money from prosperous families and occasionally abused people in the streets.

Arabs also abandoned a number of villages in areas earmarked for Jewish statehood and with Jewish majority, such as the coastal plain. In villages on the edge of Jewish urban centers, a combination of fear of the Jews and actual intimidation, principally by the IZL and LHI, prompted flight. In at least case there was also outright expulsion by the Haganah---on February 20 at Caesarea, midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

The flight of the upper and middle classes entailed the closure of schools, clinics and hospitals, businesses, and offices, and in turn engendered unemployment and impoverishment. This was the background of the second stage, the mass flight from urban neighborhood and rural areas overrun by the Jewish forces during spring 1948. The earlier flight of the elite sapped popular morale an gave the masses an example to emulate.

The principle cause of the mass flight of April-June was Jewish military attack, or fear of such attack. Almost every instance---exodus from Haifa on April 21- May 1; from Jaffa during April-early May; from Tiberias on April 17-18; from Safad on May10- was the direct and immediate result of an attack on and conquest of Arab neighborhoods and towns. In no case did a population abandon its homes before an attack; in almost all cases it did so on the very day of the attack and in days immediately following. And flight proved to be contagious. The fall of, and flight from, the big cities---principally Haifa and Jaffa---radiated pessimism and despair to surrounding villages. In the countryside flight by one clan led to that neighborhood clans, and flight from one village to flight from neighboring villages.

Haganah documents described "a psychosis of flight" griping the Palestinian population during this period. The echo of the slaughter on April 9 of the village of Deir Yassin, augmented by Arab atrocity propaganda regarding what happened there, both reinforced and symbolized this. Fear that the same fate might befall them propelled villagers to flight, and this "atrocity factor" was reinforced periodically during the months of fighting by other Jewish massacres, especially in October [such as Safsaf, Sa'sa', 'Ayn al-Zaytun, ..etc.]. Residents of a small number of villagers---more than a dozen---were expelled before the start of the first truce (June 11) by Jewish troops; and some were intimidated by propaganda disseminated by Haganah agents. In most areas there was no need for direct expulsion. Villagers and townspeople usually abandoned hearth and home at the first whiff of grapeshot.

In some areas Arab commanders ordered the villagers to evacuate to clear the ground for military purpose or to prevent the surrender [or collaboration, examples are to many to list]. More than half a dozen villages---just north of Jerusalem and tin the lower Galilee--- were abandoned during those months as a result of such order. Elsewhere, in East Jerusalem and in many villages around the country, the commander ordered women, old people, and children to be sent away to be out of harm's way.

Indeed, psychological preparations for the removal of dependents from the battlefield had begun in 1946-47, when the AHC and the Arab League had periodically endorsed such a move when contemplating the future war in Palestine. Altogether about two to three hundred thousand [Palestinian] Arabs fled their homes during the second stage of the exodus.
During the first stage, there was not Zionist policy to expel the [Palestinian] Arabs or intimidate them into flight, though many Jews, including Ben-Gurion, were happy to see the backs of as many [Palestinian] Arabs as possible. And without a doubt, Jewish-both Haganah and IZL- retaliatory policies and the IZL/LHI terror bombings were precipitants. And there was no Arab policy, aside from sporadic AHC efforts, to stem the tide of the upper-and middle-class departures.
During the second stage, while there was no blanket policy of expulsion, the Haganah's Plan D [Delet] clearly resulted in mass flight. Commanders were authorized to clear the populace out of the villages and certain urban districts, and to raze the villages if they felt a military need. Many commanders identified with the aim of ending up with a Jewish state with a small an [Palestinian] Arab minority as possible. Some generals, such [Yegal] Allon, clearly acted as if driven by such goal [especially in the Galilee panhandle and central region].

On the Arab side there was general confusion at this time about everything concerning the exodus. The governments appear simply not to have understood what was happening and, initially, did not try to stop it. Indeed, Arab Higher Committee [AHC] agents instructed the population of Haifa, after the flight from the town had begun, to continue to leave. But the exodus, as far as the evidence goes, not initiated---as Jewish spokesmen later claimed---by an order from the AHC. It is quite possible that both Arab states and Palestinian leaders were happy to see it happen in order to have a good cause to intervene once the British departed. By early May, some Arab states and the AHC began to take action [to stem the flight]. Transjordan, the AHC, and the ALA [Arab Liberation Army] repeatedly cautioned the inhabitants to stay put and tried to pressure those who had already fled the country to return, to no avail. Meanwhile the Haganah, certainly from mid-May on, adopted a policy of preventing refugees from returning to their homes, using live fire when necessary.
The pan-Arab invasion of May 15 clearly hardened Israel's resolve regarding the Palestinian civilian population, for good military and political reasons. On June 16, the cabinet, without formal vote, resolved to bar the return of refugees. The IDF general staff ordered its units to stop would-be returnees with LIVE FIRE. At some time the army, the settlements, and the JNF [Jewish National Fund] Lands Department took a number of initiatives designed to obviate a return. Abandoned villages were razed or mined or, later, filled with new Jewish immigrants, as were abandoned urban neighborhoods; fields were set alight, and landowners still in place were urged to sell out and leave; and new settlements were established on Arab sites and began to cultivate the abandoned fields.

In the third and fourth stages of the exodus, in July and October-November 1948, about three hundred thousand more [Palestinian] Arabs became refugees, including the sixty thousand inhabitants of Lydda and Ramla who were expelled by IDF troops [based on the orders of Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin]. However, many of Nazareth's [Palestinian] Arabs were allowed to stay, apparently to avert the prospect of negative reactions by Western Christian states [For the same reason Nazareth was the ONLY place where Ben-Gurion gave clear orders to shoot to kill any Jewish looter].

Palestinian Resistance To Expulsion Policy
Israel's readiness to expel the [Palestinian] Arabs was to some degree counterbalanced by a newfound [Palestinian] Arab desire to stay put. By October, villagers in the Galilee had understood that their return was far from imminent. So, during the second half of the war, there far less "spontaneous" flight. Most of this time was due to clear, direct cause, including brutal expulsion and deliberate harassment.

Ben-Gurion clearly wanted as few [Palestinian] Arabs as possible to remain in the Jewish state. But there was still no systematic policy; it was never as far as we know, discussed or decided upon at the Cabinet or IDF general staff meetings. Yet Israeli troops, both in the "Ten Days" in July and during Operation Yaov and Hiram in October-November 1948, were far more inclined to expel Palestinians than they had been during the first half of the war. In Operation Yaov, [Yegal] Allon took care to leave almost no Arab communities alone the lines of Advance. In Operation Hiram, in the north, where Moshe Carmel commanded the Israeli forces, there was confusion and ambivalence. Despite Carmel's October 31 guideline "to assist the Arabs to depart," some units expelled villagers, others left them in place. And while in general the attitude towards Muslim villages was more severe, there were expulsion and massacres of Christians and many Muslim villagers, such as Majd al-Kurum, were allowed to stay. During November, when the IDF cleared the strip from five to fifteen kilo metered deep along the border with Lebanon, for security reasons, both Christians and Muslims were transferred [such as Tabrikha, Kafr Bir'im and al-Mansura].

But while the military attacks or expulsion were the major precipitant to flight, the exodus was, overall, the result of a cumulative process and a set of causes. A Haifa merchant DID NOT ONLY LEAVE only because of :

months of sniping and bombing, or
only because business was getting bad, or
because he saw his neighbor flee, or
because of extortion by Arab irregulars, or
because of the collapse of law and order and the gradual withdrawal of the British, or
because of the Haganah attack, or
because he feared to live under Jewish rule.
He left because of an accumulation of these factors. In the countryside, too, many factors often combined:

isolation among cluster of Jewish settlements,
a feeling of being cut off from [Palestinian] Arab centers,
a lack of direction by national leaders and a feeling of abandonment by the Arab world,
fear of Jewish assault, reports and rumors about massacres by the Jews, and
actual attacks and massacres.
Israel's Policy After The War
From April 1948 onward, the Yishuv was pressed to allow refugees to return. Arab leaders and spokesmen for various groups (inhabitants of Jaffa, Marionettes from the Galilee, and so on) demanded repatriation, as did international figures, including Count Brenadotte [who saved many European Jews citizens from the Nazi Holocaust and on September 17 1948 he was murdered by the Stern gang which was commanded by Yitzhak Shamir] and United States and Britain.
Western pressure brought about two Israeli offers to allow a measure of repatriation as part of an overall peace settlement. In July 1949 Israel said it would take back "100,000" ( 65,000, once those who had already returned or were in the pipeline were deducted), if the Arabs states agreed to resettle the rest in their own lands and conclude a peace settlement. Alternatively, Israel might be willing to incorporate the Gaza Strip into its territories and absorb the Strip's population of 60,000 native inhabitants and 200,000 refugees. In this way, Israel would have done more than its fair share toward resolving the problem---which, its officials tirelessly argued, was not of their making. (OR, as Ben-Gurion was fond of telling Western interlocutors, "Israel did not expel a single Arab.")

The offer was seen by the Arabs as far too little, ands most of the Arab states insisted that Israel take back all the refugees. Egypt was unwilling to hand over the Gaza Strip---its sole territorial gain of the war---even though this would relieved Cairo of the burden of a large, impoverished, subversive population. During the following years of the refugees themselves rejected efforts to resettle them in the Arab states. They wanted to "go home," and the Arab states---save Jordan which gave them citizenship--- did little to absorb them, seeing in them and their misery a useful tool against Israel. Israel refused to allow them back, both because it needed the abandoned lands and houses for new immigrants and because it feared the refugees' potential for destabilization---so the problem remained to plague the Middle Eats, and indeed the world.

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Justification for a two-state solution: Latin
by M. 5:22am Fri Sep 5 '03

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Although I firmly believe that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories MUST end NOW, I also think that it's important to look at HOW the occupation came about in the first place; For starters, when the state of Israel was established in 1948, several Arab states invaded Israel, and the WEST BANK and GAZA STRIP were seized by Jordan and Egypt. In 1967, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria poised their troops at the ready on Israel's borders for an attack. The Israelis launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt. Jordan and Syria, hereby seizing Sinai, WEST BANK, GAZA STRIP, GOLAN HEIGHTS, and EAST JERUSALEM, which, unfortunately has had disastrous consequences for Israel overall. Having said all this, I believe that the fault also lies with the Arab states, who believed that the new state of Israel would be destroyed, and used the Palestinians as pawns to attempt to do so. I also believe that the Arab States also played an important part in the lack of a Palestinian sovereign state. Nonetheless, i believe that the occupation must end NOW
I believe that the ONLY safe, sane solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a TWO-state solution: the Jewish-majority State of Israel, and a Palestinian Arab State ALONGSIDE Israel
that is comprised of the WEST BANK, GAZA STRIP and EAST JERUSALEM, for several reasons:
A.) The birthrate of the Arabs is much, much higher than that of the Israeli jews, and Israel would lose its jewish majority in a short time.
B.) The occupation of the WEST BANK, GAZA STRIP and EAST JERUSALEM, with the building of settlements and housing demolitions, etc, by Israel is extremely harmful to both Israel and the Palestinians alike. It must end immediately.
C.) Israel cannot rely solely on military prowess for survival(in fact, no society can) Israel's survival, especially at this point, depends on a political settlement/agreement with the Palestinians, culminating in the Israeli withdrawal from WEST BANK, GAZA, and EAST JERUSALEM.
D.) The Palestinians are held in fear and contempt by everyone else in the region. Israel CAN'T absorb them for obvious reasons,
and they are NOT wanted by any of the Arab countries.

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