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Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of "Transfer" in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 [Kindle Edition]

Nur Masalha
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the beginning of the Zionist enterprise to found a Jewish national home, or state, in Palestine, Zionists have been confronted with what was called the "Arab problem" — the fact that the "Land of Israel" was already populated. In this meticulous work, Nur Masalha examines one of the proposed solutions to that problem — the transfer of the indigenous Palestinian population to neighboring Arab lands. Masalha's book is the most comprehensive study to date on the concept of "transfer" in Zionist thinking from the late nineteenth century up to the 1948 war. Expulsion of the Palestinians is invaluable for the light it throws on the attitudes towards the Palestinians of the Israeli political and military decision-makers on the eve of the exodus of some 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 war.

Editorial Reviews


"Almost entirely based on declassified Israeli archival material, Dr. Masalha's sober and carefully researched account shows conclusively that "transfer" --- a euphemism for expulsion --- was from the start an integral part of Zionism...impressive and timely book...quietly devastating research." -- Rt. Hon. Lord Gilmour, The Guardian, London

"…(An) impressive and timely book…quietly devastating research." -- Rt. Hon. Lord Gilmour, The Guardian (London)

(Dr. Masalha) shows using documents from the Israeli archives, that the flight of the Arab population from what became Israel in 1948 - which Israel's first president, Chiam Weizmann hailed as 'a miraculous clearing of the land' - was in fact 'less than a miracle than the culmination of over a half century of effort, plans and (in the end) brute force'. -- Edward Mortimer, Financial Times

Almost entirely based on declassified Israeli archival materials, Dr. Masalha's sober and carefully researched account shows conclusively that 'transfer' - a euphemism for expulsion - was from the start an integral part of Zionism....(an) impressive and timely book....quietly devastating research.. -- Rt. Hon. Lord Gilmore, The Guardian [London]

Dr. Masalha's book will excite controversy, not because his conclusions can be challenged - the sources leave no doubt about the facts - but because the book exposes in detail the notion of the Zionist design and the means by which it was important and scrupulous piece of revisionist history. -- Michael Adams, Middle East International

From the Publisher

Nur Masalha is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has taught at both, as well as at the University of Bristol in England.

Product Details

  • File Size: 485 KB
  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Institute for Palestine Studies (May 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081LOBDM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,837 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nur Masalha is a Palestinian Israeli researcher, author, and professor. He has a number of books, but this book is the one which he created his niche in the research of 1948. He details rather extensively over 200 pages the idea of transfer of the indigenous Palestinian population from Palestine in the Zionist ideology. He quotes leading figures of Zionism including all spectrums of the ideology including Ruppin, Jabotinsky, and Ben Gurion. Masalha in conjunction with Norman Finkelstein were the first to expose the fallacies in Benny Morris' original work "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem." I highly recommend this book and all of his books if you are interested in the subject.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating Facts For Zionist Apologists March 2, 2013
It is very obvious from the reviews that professional Zionist apologists do not like this book. One "Austin" chases his own tail trying to prove that the Palestinian population was imported by the Ottomans from Eastern Europe. Alyssa Lappen barks that Masala's book is fiction. Austin makes a big to-do about Ottoman sanjaks and vilayets - as though this disproves the existence of a long settled Palestinian population.

Anyone can read how the Arabs of Palestine exported huge quantities of cotton to Europe in the 1600's and 1700's. Rather a difficult thing to do if the Arabs were never there or were late arrivals, as the Zionists pretend. When the British cotton mills were starved for cotton during the American Civil War in the early 1860's, the English got their cotton from the Arab cotton farmers of Egypt and Palestine. But the first Zionist colony, Petakh Tikvah, was not founded until 1878 and then abandoned until 1882. Somebody was obviously living in Palestine before Zionist fairy tales arrived in the land. The first British High Commissioner in Palestine, the Jew Sir Herbert Samuel, gave a speech around 1920 in which he stated that the incoming Jews would never try to dispossess or expel the "people who had been living on and tilling the soil for a thousand years". The well-informed Jewish High Commissioner did not try to pretend that the Arabs were recent arrivals or Bedouin raiders from the desert. Perhaps he did so because of honesty; perhaps in those times he knew that a bare-faced lie that the Arabs were recent incomers would never sell. Present day Zionists, dealing with historically illiterate numbskulls who believe what Jew TV tells them, have no such problem.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing November 6, 2003
You have to hand it to Nur Masalha for trying to prove that 80 years of Zionist discussions on transferring Arabs preceded and caused the 1948 war and Arab exodus. This effort is an abysmal failure.

For one thing, the supposed Zionist transfer "discussions" Masalha cites were never part of mainstream Zionist political discourse or policy. He claims modern Zionism founder Theodore Herzl seriously discussed transfer. But Herzl merely discussed plans to buy land thereby transferring it from Arab to Jewish owners by legal means of purchase under the Ottoman Land Law of 1858. Herzl saw this as an eminently moral course, one not followed by any previous settlement movement.

He planned for Zionists to pay fair market value--and that's what happened. In fact, Jewish purchasers often paid far more than market value. (Besides, the Ottoman government held more than 80 percent of the land in Israel; it wasn't owned by anyone.)

Another major difficulty is Masalha's avoidance of declared 1948 Arab plans to annihilate the Jewish people and Israel. After all, this caused Arab flight from Israel; Without that war, the 1948 "transfer"--actually a conflict-bred refugee crisis--would not have occurred. And the Arabs declared the war. Masalha's claim that Israel pre-planned this doesn't track with actual events. Indeed, 1 million Arabs hold Israeli citizenship, with all attendant civil rights.

Contrary to Masalha's contention, the "population transfer" idea was not a Jewish, Zionist or Israeli idea. It was born in the 1920s, not the 1890s, and the term was first used to describe a 1920s Turkish-Greek population exchange. In Israel, the concept was first floated in the 1937 by Britain's Peel Commission, not Zionists.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and well supported September 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent and well supported book. I enjoyed reading it and am thankful that Masalha has collected all the facts on the matter. Those who are open to the truth cannot but be moved by the sheer injustice that has accompanied the whole Zionist project and the creation of the state of Israel.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must read May 31, 2012
I have used this book extensively to author much of the materials on Palestine Remembered.

This book is highly focused on the Zionist concept of "Transfer" to solve the "Arab Problem" in Palestine. Based on declassified Israeli and Zionists documents, Masalha CONCLUSIVELY proved how the concept of "transfer" was central and fundamental for the successful realization of Zionism.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very True February 4, 2007
excellent book, it reviews a very critical era in modern history. I like the factual evidence and the sober analysis
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More About the Author

Nur Masalha is a Palestinian historian and academic. He is currently Professor of Religion and Politics and Director of the Centre for Religion and History and the Holy Land Research Project at St Mary's University College (University of Surrey, UK) and Professorial Research Associate, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). He is also the editor of Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal, published by Edinburgh University Press, and the author of many books on Palestine-Israel.
Masalha is also the historian commentator in the award-winning, documentary film "La Terre Parle Arabe" (the Land Speaks Arabic) (2007), directed by Maryse Gargour, which tells the story of the background and build-up to the 1948 Nakba and the expulsion of the Palestinians from the newly-created State of Israel.

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