120 of 143 people found the following review helpful
A needed voice,
This review is from: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Hardcover)This historical account focuses mainly on the period of time from about the 1920's through the British departure from the Palestinian territory in 1948, when their Mandate ended. Pappe presents the Palestinian side of the struggle, which is virtually unknown by most Americans.
I'm a former teacher, and consider myself fairly well-informed on many issues. Jimmy Carter's recent book was the first I'd read on this subject and shocked me into a reality about myself. I had lived my entire life never even considering the possibility that there was a dark side to the state of Israel. The Israelis were intrinsically always good and right, and it was our duty as Americans to defend them from the evil Palestinians. It was pretty much that simple--unquestioning loyalty. Because it was so conveniently packaged and ingrained, I was not even sparked to curiosity. I'm now into my 3rd book, and I've ordered a 4th on the subject. I've got a lot of catching up to do if I'm to get a balanced understanding both sides of this issue.
Pappe's book provides a rather detailed account (drawn from archival Israeli records and mainly oral accounts of displaced Palestinians) describing the plans set in motion by a radical group of Zionists to make Israel a nation for Jews and rid it, entirely if possible, of its Palestinian population. Pappe catalogs the Palestinian villages (providing dates and details of the incidents) targeted by the special Israeli military units. The details of the Plan were developed by a hard core group, and was thinly veiled from general public knowledge. Most of the villages were very small, apolitical, and offered no means of defense. Hundreds of thousands were driven from their homes and villages with only what they could carry. Most villages were totally destroyed burned, dynamited, bulldozed), leaving the inhabitants nothing to come back to. Intimidation, terror, rapes, massacres were all part of the Plan.
While providing details of these military sweeps through cities and countryside, Pappe also covers the larger context. The UN, the press, and the world in general turned its back on the plight of the Palestinian people. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Holocaust, there was no stomach for countries or individuals to point an accusing finger at those who had suffered so horribly at the hands of so many. The heavy burden of guilt of much of the world provided a virtual free pass for the leaders of the Plan to advance their intensive cleansing activities. UN agreements included strict prohibitions against displacement of the existing population. As the Palestinians were driven en masse across the borders to become refugees in neighboring countries, thousands of Jews poured in to inhabit their lands. Though the UN agreement defined strict boundaries for the newly established Israeli state, those boundaries were blatantly ignored by the Plan. Though the UN has verbally opposed this occupation effort, no action has been taken to correct it. Though the UN agreement prohibits discrimination pertaining to rights of citizens within its boundaries, Palestinians have been in fact plagued with countless restrictions limiting their actions and rights which affect almost all aspects of their lives. It is Apartheid.
Pappe covers many of the elements that have worked toward perpetuating this untenable situation. If a long term solution is to be found, one thing is clear. We must give up our knee-jerk conditioning to embrace and defend any action by the Israelis as inherently defensible. They are not saints. Their tactics and actions are not above scrutiny. Allegations of ethnic cleansing and apartheid warrant examination. These methods and tactics are just as reprehensible in Israel/Palestine as in Africa, Germany, or anywhere else. Despite the objections to an open debate, there must be one. The first step is to recognize that the rights of both sides must be given fair consideration. (At this point in time, any criticism of Israel is summarily labeled anti-Sematism. We really must get past this!)
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 14, 2007 2:16:23 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 26, 2007 5:20:27 PM PDT]
Posted on Mar 21, 2007 5:41:54 AM PDT
H. Fox says:
This gives me hope that other open-minded people like this reviewer will pick up one of the many excellent books that detail the violence and racism so evident in the forging of the State of Israel. Of course, one shouldn't conclude that in taking over land and expelling its inhabitants that the Israelis are any worse than countless other groups throughout history, including Euro American "settlers" in the U.S. However, one might hope and expect that people with such a recent experience of crushing oppression would not immediately turn around and visit that oppression on others. As human beings, we can get beyond this.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2007 10:13:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2007 10:13:55 AM PDT
M. Fliegelmann says:
Good old antisemitism is not exclusive to non-Jews. Self haters (i.e. Ilan Pappe) are in the same mind set.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2007 1:41:30 PM PDT
Yes of course Fleigelmann, only a Jewish self hater or antisemite would engage in criticism of Irael. Thank you for bring extradinary intellect to this discussion.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2007 8:24:14 AM PDT
S. Swink says:
"Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country."
--David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky's Fateful Triangle
"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" -David Ben Gurion
"I don't know something called International Principles. I vow that I'll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child's existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I've killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in 1956).... I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian women is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do."--Ariel Sharon, in an interview with General Ouze Merham, 1956
"The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war." --Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972.
"Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don't care. ... What you lot don't understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it." -- Ariel Sharon, 1983
‹ Previous 1 Next ›