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485 of 575 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account of the Zionists' expulsion of the Palestinians, January 25, 2007
This review is from: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Hardcover)
Pappe, an Israeli historian and a senior lecturer at Haifa University, has written a superb account of the Israeli expulsion of the Palestinians from their land in 1948. He quotes David Ben Gurion, leader of the Zionist movement from the mid-1920 until the 1960s, who wrote in his diary in 1938, "I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it." This contradicts the Zionists' public claim that they were seizing a land without a people.

Pappe writes of the Israelis' March 1948 plan for evicting the Palestinians, "The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning."

Between 30 March and 15 May 1948, i.e. before any Arab government intervened, Israeli forces seized 200 villages and expelled 250,000 Palestinians. The Israeli leadership stated, "The principal objective of the operation is the destruction of Arab villages ... the eviction of the villagers." On 9 April, Israeli forces massacred 93 people, including 30 babies, at Deir Yassin. In Haifa, the Israeli commander ordered, "Kill any Arab you encounter."

This all happened under British rule in Palestine, where Britain had 75,000 troops: Britain's Mandate did not end until 14 May. The Labour government connived at the Israeli onslaught, although the British state was legally obliged as the occupier (and also by UN resolution 181) to uphold law and order. Yet the Labour government announced that it would no longer be responsible for law and order and it withdrew all the British policemen. It also forbade the presence of any UN bodies, again breaching the terms of the UN resolution. The government ordered British forces to disarm the few Palestinians who had weapons, promising to protect them from Israeli attacks, then immediately reneged on this promise.

On 24 May 1948, Ben Gurion wrote, "We will establish a Christian state in Lebanon, the southern border of which will be the Litani River. We will break Transjordan, bomb Amman and destroy its army, and then Syria falls, and if Egypt will still continue to fight - we will bombard Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis and Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical times." These ravings of an insane warmonger hardly betrayed any genuine fear of a `second holocaust'. The Palestinians were suffering massive expulsion, not trying to destroy the Jewish community.

Pappe summarises, "When it created its nation-state, the Zionist movement did not wage a war that `tragically but inevitably' led to the expulsion of `parts of' the indigenous population, but the other way round: the main goal was the ethnic cleansing of all of Palestine, which the movement coveted for its new state. A few weeks after the ethnic cleansing operations began, the neighbouring Arab states sent a small army - small in comparison to their overall military might - to try, in vain, to prevent the ethnic cleansing. The war with the regular Arab armies did not bring the ethnic cleansing operations to a halt until their successful completion in the autumn of 1948."

Overall, the Zionist forces uprooted more than half Palestine's population, 800,000 people, destroyed 531 villages and emptied eleven urban neighbourhoods of their inhabitants. Pappe concludes that this was "a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity."
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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 24, 2008 9:26:15 AM PDT
One Truth says:
Pappe is not a historian. He was thrown out of his position as a professor at Haifa University for making up events that both Israeli and Palestinian historians
agreed never happened. His books are ideology not history. there are many excellent books on middle east history and events, this is not one of them.
two books I am reading which I highly recommend are: Once Upon a Country - A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh and One Palestine Complete by Tom Segev.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 11:56:34 PM PDT
Pappe is a respected historian he wasnt fired from Haifa he left because he was offered a professorship at the University of Exeter in the UK.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 8:13:52 PM PDT
Ted C. Shatz says:
I have this book. I've read it. In this book I learned an important Arab term used by the Palestinian people: nakba. This word again confirmed to me the reason why I'm a recovering Jew.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2008 12:06:33 PM PDT
neonpisces says:
What does "Nakba" mean?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 5:49:24 AM PDT
Mr. Pappe WAS fired from Haifa U due to few (but significant) reasons:
1. His failure in the court to prove false statements in his book which concerned real and still-alive (probably, to Mr. Pappe's displeasure) individuals.
2. His false advertisments about Arabs' discrimination in admission to Haifa U (however per cent of Arabs in Haifa U is much higher than their population pie).
This unfortunate guy is a megaloman who tries to buy his place under the sun by any means. Exeter's place was bought by the citated advertisment. What a Judas's successor - but at a farce level!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2009 7:30:09 AM PST
Panola Man says:
"Nakba" is Arabic for catastrophe or disaster. It is often used as being equivalent, physically and morally, to the Hebrew word "shoah". According to Wikipedia: QUOTE Nakba Day (Arabic: يوم النكبة; yawm al-nakba - 15 May) meaning "day of the catastrophe" is an annual day of commemoration for the Palestinian people of the "anniversary of the creation of Israel" which marks the beginning of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, the resulting defeat in the 1948 Palestine War, the loss of land that followed from the war, and their displacement and dispossession as a result . While for Israelis, the 1948 war gave them independence and this day represents the "fulfilment of a historic ideal of the Jewish people" to establish a homeland for the Jewish people, for Palestinians, the day represents "the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of their people who were made homeless as Israel was born." END OF QUOTE Unfortunately, Palestinian land continues to be taken illegally as the result of Israeli state policies and actions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2009 5:41:03 PM PDT
AEWHistory says:
Mr. Shatz, if you've become an apostate because of Pappe then I feel sorry for you. This is akin to selling your home because your realtor tells you that it is worthless, only to find s/he make a killing on the sale. Moreover, arriving at a conclusion on any subject should only happen after the examination of multiple sources. Your definitely gives the indication that you've not done this. As others have mentioned, Pappe was FIRED from his job as an academic (I am a professional historian and I can tell you that Pappe is not a good researcher; he is an ideologue). So enjoy the book, just be sure to file it in the appropriate category: fiction.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2009 3:12:47 PM PDT
Gogol says:
Someone above stated that he left as he was offered a post at the University of Exeter. Are you saying this is not true?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2009 3:58:33 PM PDT
Orwell says:
It means "catastrophe."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2009 6:40:52 AM PST
Sorry for the digression, but as to the question of whether Pappe was fired from the University of Haifa you might consult the university's own statements on the matter:

They are not friendly towards Mr. Pappe's behavior but they state, in part:
"However, Dr. Pappe was never summoned by the disciplinary committee as the committee's chairperson decided not to pursue the complaint. Moreover, and contrary to Dr. Pappe's claim, the university made no attempt to expel him." And, "Despite these violations of academic collegiality and ethics Dr. Pappe never faced disciplinary proceedings nor was his tenured status in any way endangered."
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