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The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
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In this controversial new book, a prominent Israeli historian at Haifa University revisits the formative period of the State of Israel. Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord during the War of Independence, he offers archival evidence to demonstrate that a central plank in Israel's founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population. This book is a passionate plea to acknowledge the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 as the root cause of the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict.

Customer Reviews:

  • ideological bigotry is not history
    First, let's document the crime exposed by Mr. Pappe. In 1947, when Britain wanted out of its League of Nations Mandate over Palestine, the United Nations partitioned the remaining portion of Palestine into two more states, a second Arab state (The first Arab state, Jordan, was carved out of Palestine earlier by the British.)and a Jewish state, i. e. the three-state solution. Most of the land that Jews had the temerity to occupy for more than 3,000 years went into the creation of the two Arab states. All of the West Bank inclusive of the old city of Jerusalem and all of the Gaza Strip plus additional territory were incorporated into the second Arab state, whose Arab population acquired the name "The Palestinians". The "two-state solution" widely referenced today was handed to the The "Palestinian People" unconditionally 60 years ago.

    The Zionists accepted the solution of 1947, and the Arab world, which argued angrily against it at the United Nations, went to war to eliminate it. That war created the Palestinian refugees. Had there been acceptance of "the solution" by the Arabs in 1947, there would have been no Palestinian refugees and Mr. Pappe would need something else to discredit the Jews' claim to a fraction of the land they occupied continuously for more than 3,000 years.

    In the course of the 1947-1948 Arab war against the U. N. "solution", many resident Arabs fled their homes for essentially three reasons.

    (1.)Their leaders told them the Jews were massacring them in an effort to incite them to join the war against their Jewish neighbors.

    (2.)Their leaders told them to vacate so that invading Arab armies could more effectively kill the Jews.

    (3.)Jewish combatants towards the end of the war forced them out in reprisal for the murdering of resident Jews by Arab combatants earlier in the war.

    The first two causes displaced many more Arabs than the third, which is all that people like Pappe will acknowledge. In addition, Pappe and people like him will not acknowledge the comparable number (hundreds of thousands) of Jews who were thrown out of Arab countries in collective punishment for Israel prevailing in the Arab war of rejection of 1947-1948.

    If you want more tunnel-visioned distortions of the history of the Arab-Israel conflict, Pappe's egregiously dishonest book (and many more like it) will server you well.

    ...more info
  • A truthful narration of the biggest robbery of the 20th century
    Ilan Pappe is one of these people that won't cover up the truth just to appease the Israeli government. He was threatened several times and several of his student caused trouble for him during lectures protesting his controversial books. During one of my visits to Jerusalem, one peace activist told me how Ilan Pappe was attacked by some Orthodox Jews in one of his talks at a conference. It was the security or police there that protected him and threatened to not interfere again, until he stops "his attack on the principles & rights of the Jewish people".
    This book is a very powerful narration of what really happened during the "Nakba" or the catastrophe of the creation of the State of Israel, when the Zionists started to spread lies about the land without people for the people without land. At a time when the world was busy rebuilding Europe after WWII, the Zionists were cleansing the Palestinian lands under the protection and supervision of the British. One of the things that were overlooked in this great book was the dirty role of Hitler in this disaster, even though Pappe briefly mentioned the Holocaust. The expulsion of Jews from Germany and the other planned massacres in Europe fueled the massive migration of Jews (especially from Russia & Eastern Europe) to Palestine, in addition to the flow of donations from the wealthy Jews in US & Western Europe sympathizing with jews in general.
    This book is a very good source of truth at a time when the truth is deliberately hidden and falsified.
    ...more info
  • What would this "better land" really look like? Look at today's newspaper!
    I am amused by the statement by the Times Literary Supplement:
    "It has at times an elegiac, even sentimental, character, recalling the lost, obliterated life of the Palestinian Arabs and imagining or regretting what Pappe believes could have been a better land of Palestine."

    Yes, the better land of "Palestine", as recently brought to life by
    the Hamas/Fatah feuding in Gaza. Does anyone seriously think that if
    the land had remained under "Palestinian" control, that this kind of
    behavior would not have simply started in 1945 and continued until today?...more info
  • Nolonger such a big secret.
    This excellent book should be made the subject of a major film because the manner in which the Zionist state was created, and continues to this day to behave, has been deliberately and very successfully obscured by the perpetrators of that continuing crime. It is a disgrace that the governments of the U.S.A. and of Europe should even now be insisting that the Palestinians should 'recognise Israel and rejet violence' (whatever that means) when the Israeli government ignores United Nations resolutions, does not recognise Palestine, acts with extreme violence and brutality on a daily basis against a defenseless population, and continues with ethnic cleansing that, for any other government, would result in charges of crimes against humanity before the International Court of Justice.

    Ilan Pappe is not only a fine researcher and an excellent writer, he is a hero to bring to the world's attention the facts that are so clearly set out in this book. ...more info
  • Outstanding! So well-doucumented that the facts speak for themself
    This book is a must read for those who seek to understand the current situtation between the modern state of Israel and the Palestian people in light of objective historical facts.

    Drawing on public doucments of the State of Israel and the diaries, memoirs and published works of Israeli leaders such as David Ben-Gurion and Menachim Begin, and other crediable and throughly documented sources, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe makes a powerful case that the State of Israel's treatment of the Palestinian civilian population in 1948 was a carefully planned and systematically executed deliberate act of ethnic cleansing. ...more info
  • A masterpiece of scholarship. Should be read aloud to the US Congress.
    The brilliant Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has performed a great service by recording, with the utmost care and integrity, the events in Palestine of the past century. In doing so, he has helped protect fact from the mythology of the latter-day Zionists, and provided a sound basis for a learned examination of the current situation in Israel/Palestine. He is not the only person to have undertaken this task, but his book is perhaps the finest. If Americans knew what was being done in their name and with their money and support, the truth would quite literally set them free....more info
  • Essential Reading for Those Interested in the Mid-East!
    Pappe, an Israeli academic, provides a detailed documentation of why the Mid-East became embroiled in decades of non-stop strife. His material is drawn from personal accounts, Israeli military records, and other written sources. His accounting also documents that Israel's "ethnic cleansing" of Palestine was not the result of voluntary departures nor an act of war.

    The end of the 1948 Palestine-Israel War led to around a million people being expelled from their homes at gunpoint, civilians being massacred in at least 42 instances, and 531 Palestinian villages being destroyed.

    Forcible eviction of the 75-90% Palestinian population from villages was accomplished through bombardment, homes being set on fire at night while occupied, homes and businesses being bulldozed, and mines planted among the rubble to prevent Palestinians from returning. The mission took six months to complete, and has been systematically denied and erased almost totally from global memory. Leaders of this military pogrom include former Prime Ministers Ben Gurion and Yitzak Rabin, and the effort was witnessed by Golda Meir (another Prime Minister).

    Atrocities also included poisoning the water supply for Acre with typhoid, numerous cases of rape, looting food stores and other Palestinian assets.

    Jews had purchased only 6% of Palestine by 1947 when a U.N. special committee gave the Jews over half the territory. The newly founded Israeli army, with the help of the country's Communist party, received a large shipment of heavy arms from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union in May, 1946, and the regular Arab armies bought some of their own. The Jewish forces were about double the Arab armies combined, even more at the start of the conflict. Preceding the war they also set up a network of spies and collaborators, and created detailed files for each village - indicating those Arabs who had opposed them....more info
  • Shattering Israel's founding mythology...
    Pappe's book deals a devastating blow to Israel's founding mythology. He asks readers to..
    "Imagine that not so long ago, in any given country you are familiar with,half of the entire population had been forcibly expelled within a year, half of it's villages and towns wiped out, leaving behind only rubble and stones. Imagine now the possiblity that some how this act will never make it into history books and that all diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict that erupted in that country will totally sideline, if not ignore, this catastrophic event."
    Pappe sheds a powerful beam of light on Isreal's original sin. It is a deeply affecting account of a crime, a crime that those that have drunk the kool aid of Zionist mythology will never have the courage to acknowledge. The tragedy that has befallen the Palestinians is something every person who cares about peace and justice must understand. This book is a good place to start....more info
  • The 1st Ethnic Cleansing was of the Jews in Hebron in 1929
    The 1st and only ethnic cleansing of "Palestine" occurred in Hebron, against native Jews in August of 1929 and resulted in the deaths of scores of Jews, including the expulsion of hundreds from their homes and neighborhoods. Ilan Pappe will not even admit that Arab leaders started the war in 1948, called for the destruction of Israel, and even sent out warnings over the radio for all Arabs to leave. Does any scholar ever ask the question of why 160,000 Arabs were allowed to "stay" in Israel after the war of 1948? Today they have become over 1,000,000 Arab-Israelis....more info
  • so what
    where are all the Jews and Christians that once lived in all of North Africa and Middle East?
    Why was it ok to transfer Muslims from India to Pakistan.
    Why does the world concentrate on the actions of the Jewish People only?
    Since Britian created this mess I suggest the so called Palestinians be allowed settlement in the UK....more info
  • thoughtful straight forward explaination
    This is a thoughtful, straight forward explanation, of the Israeli holocaust against the Palestinian people.
    And author is an Israeli.
    It's an incredibly brave book, in the light of the despicable backlash by the powerful Israeli lobby, to silence the horrors, and war crimes carried out by the Israeli war machine, and the callous, and murderous settlers, during their storm trooper like occupation of Palestinian lands.
    Shame on Israel, after their history of being oppressed and battered as a people, to commit these crimes against humanity, is literally dumbfounding, and unthinkable.
    The only thing that makes it worse, is their virulent constant push to silence all critic's of their acts of TERROR and WAR CRIMES.
    THANK YOU Ilan Pappe, you are a bright light in the literary world.
    ...more info
    It takes great courage and a lot of rigorous research to write, as Dr. Pappe has done, such a compelling and at times chilling account of how hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were brutally dispossessedd of their homes and land in order for a Jewish State to be created in 1948. The beneficiaries of this initial violent chapter of ethnic cleansing by Israel were mostly jewish european immigrants most of whom had never stepped foot in Israel before.

    Tragically this ethnic cleansing continues to day albeit in a more wicked and subtle form: systematic daily abuses and untold misery inflicted on millions of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation declared illegal by numerous UN resolutions. Israel shows its contempt for humanitarian laws and conventions by its thieving Wall, its settlements for Jews only on Palestinian land, its indiscriminate bombardment of civilian infrastructure and killing of innocent people (always described in the pro -Isfael media as confronting militants or terrorists). Recently it has even been taking hostage democratically elected Palestinian MPs, Mayors all tactics intended to make life so miserable for Christians and Moslems living on what is left of original Palestine to make them leave in despair.
    Dr. Pappe is the honourable face of Israel and his cry for truth and justice in Palestine should be heard by the ruling elite in Jerusalem and Washington....more info
  • MUST READ!!!!!!!
    This is a hands-down absolute must read for anyone wishing to understand the Israel/Palestine conflict. Don't even bother to have an opinion until you have read this book. ...more info
  • Chutzpah & Mensch: Both Yiddish
    If I were Jewish, I would be as proud of Ilan Pappe the mensch as I am ashamed of Mr. Chutzpah a.k.a Alan Dershowitz.

    It takes courage to stand up and say unpleasant and unpopular truths as Pappe does. To the Jewish Shoah, Pappe holds up the mirror image of the Palestinian Nakba. That the latter was perpetrated fully consciously and knowingly by Jews only makes the Nakba even less comprehensible.

    Updating and correcting previous work by such people as the Israeli historian Benny Morris, Pappe shows that ethnic-cleansing and genocide of Palestinians was part and parcel of the Zionist enterprise of creating a Jewish-majority state in Arab Palestine.

    See also Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, New and Revised Edition....more info
  • Nazi Rebirth
    10 Stars!!!

    The militant Zionists, in Israel and elswhere, held meetings to discuss
    the Palestinian Question:

    Amazing in what we consider modern times to see stark, savage brutality as a continuing policy of the militant Zionists.

    Amazing still to know that a race of people, the Jews, who have suffered so much find it an ideal, a national program and a continuing process to inflict upon the elderly, the babies and infants, the mothers and fathers and other human beings that same vicious hatred and beastial treatment inflicted by the Nazis of Germany to now being inflicted by the Nazis of Israel.

    Either the Zionists are liars, to themselves or others, that there really is a God and that they are His Chosen People, or they must tremble when they go to sleep nightly knowing the Devine Wrath that will be visited upon them.

    Further, those Jews who remain silent, who do not actively and openly fight against these horrible crimes must, in devine judgement, similarly suffer the Devine Wrath and retribution.

    When it comes to Palestine, and it's Question, as an American I am embarrassed. Long Live Palestine, Long Live the Palestinians. ...more info
  • A book to read!
    This is an excelent book to understand the Israel x Palestine conflict. Illan Pappe show us "the other side of the History" of that conflict....more info
  • Academic assasination
    This book is the prototypical anti-Israeli literature abundant in radical leftist circles. Of course he is a dissaffected Israeli Professor, who has gained his fame and fortune from taking shots at his own country. Much of the statistical information found within its pages is at best inadequate and at worst completely erronious. This book should only be read, in order for one to realize the pseudo intellectual positions taken by those who cast Israel as the aggressor in the Arab-Jewish conflict that is now raging over a century long.

    Books like these have conclusion and provide a contrived argument no matter how absurd the notions are within it, and his narrations are convenient in its message and artificial in what he ignores to put within the discussion... one clearly realizes that this author is bonafide hack, and his book is an academic fraud....more info
  • Among the first Israeli scholars to admit that there was Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine
    This book along with Benny Morris, Tom Segev, and others who are termed the New Historians from Israel admit that during the formative years of the establishment of the nation-state of Israel, a great injustice was done to the Palestinians. Professor Ilan Pappe courageously and meticulously recounts the ethnic cleansing that took place in historic Palestine. Using sources from the great scholars in the field both Israeli and Palestinian, he makes it clear that despite some writers have claimed, this type of ethnic cleansing and transfer of the indigenous population to make way for the Zionist Jewish settlers was deliberate and well planned out. This casts a new light on how we view people like David Ben Gurion and others....more info
  • Good if out of toilet Paper
    This book and many others like it can be classified as hate fiction. It is not based on historical accuracy or merit any real consideration as an academic source. The book is trash. It is a book of hatred and lies.
    Buying this book is contributing to more hatred and violence. I am not pro-Israel but find this book insulting. I had hoped to learn something but realize it is only a propaganda too for Islamic extremist. ...more info
  • A real eye-opener. A ***MUST READ*** book!
    Ilan Pappe has produced an amazing and concise summary of the events of 1947-1949, and has shown how badly we've all been taken in by the Israeli propaganda machine. What had once seemed heroic is now despicable.

    The ethnic cleansing actions described are horrendous. I understand now the basis for what the Palestinian leadership has been saying for years. I have no sympathy for terrorists, but that now includes the Founders of Israel.

    The inner circle of founders (Ben-Gurion, Dayan, Rabin, among others) are plainly portrayed by Pappe as central figures in the systematic uprooting of the Palestinian people, and the destruction of their homeland. Others not mentioned, such as Menachem Begin, are implicated in the atrocities by their known membership in the Haganah, Irgun, or Stern Gang. Non-military activists such as Golda Meir were aware of the cleansing and did nothing to stop it.

    Pappe has meticulously documented his sources, searching the national archives to put together an impressive array of incriminating documentation. Perhaps the most surprising source for much of the material on the inner circle is Ben-Gurion's personal diary. Is it, and the other documents - still available for scholarly study?

    Based on reading this one book, I've come to believe we need a world-wide re-thinking of how to deal with the Middle East....more info
  • A history must be judged differently than a work of fiction
    Most historians at least try, or claim to try, to be as objective as possible in reporting on the facts of historical events. Pappe is not one of them. In one interview he boldly says that he is not interested in the truth. He says:

    " I am not as interested in what happened as in how people see what's happened. ("An Interview of Ilan Papp¨¦," Baudouin Loos, Le Soir [Bruxelles],Nov. 29, 1999)

    I admit that my ideology influences my historical writings...(Ibid)

    Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers. (Ibid) "

    See also the introduction to one of his books, A History of Modern Palestine, where he he unabashedly acknowledges his personal bias and open political partisanship , and more significantly how this impacts on his writing:
    "My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the 'truth' when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers."

    We all like to read books that confirm what we already believe or what we want to believe. But believing a historian who doesn't even claim to be interested in seeking truth is foolish. As is to be expected from an author who is "not as interested in what happened as in how people see what's happened" the book is full of illogical conclusions and omissions that mislead. For a review of how this book distorts the facts see the review by Seth Frantzman appearing in the Middle East Quarterly which is available on line. It is too long to repeat here. In short this book admirably carries out its authors stated goal of trying to "convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers." If you are what Pappe derisively calls a truthseeker, you had best look elsewhere.
    ...more info
  • Haunting
    An elegantly written, exhaustively researched account of the Nakba that will stand as the definitive work on the subject for any lay historian. Pappe' writes with a reserved, almost detached historical precision yet cannot help allowing his grief and rage to break through.

    While the book is stylistically elegant, it's a difficult book to read emotionally, if you have any human feelings. Whatever your understanding of Palestinian history, it will be enriched by Pappe's account. If you aren't moved to compassion for this persecuted people you have a heart of stone, and if it doesn't change your thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict then you have a head of stone. Should be required reading for anyone with even a mild interest in the history of this region....more info
  • A needed voice
    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!)...more info
  • the book that every american should read

    excellent book ! if you don't read this book, you will never understand what has been going on in the middle east for more than 100 years. the injustice done by the western world to the palestinians, the arabs and the muslims is the root cause of the so-called 'middle east crisis' and of the american fiasco in irak. until this wrong has been righted, there will be a state of 'permanent war' between the western world and the arab/muslim world...more info
  • some arabs don't feel "cleansed"
    Israeli Arabs, Bedouins and Druze have been active and loyal citizens from 1948 through today. There are even Arab kenesset members. I'm not saying Arabs are treated as well as Jews, they aren't, but that's a far cry from ethnic cleansing. Even if it could be proven that in 1947 the stern gang wanted to evict all arabs, the hagannah rejected the stern gang and the state of israel rejected its policies. If Israel really wanted to genocidally kill or kick out all Arabs, they wouldn't among things, apologize for botched attacks on murders. This all, of course, to say nothing that while Israeli/Zionist official leaders never called for the removal of Arabs, outside of the Arab citizens of Israel and now the governments of Jordan and Egypt, most Arab countries and especially the Hamas-led PA refuse to even acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist. Don't believe for a second that Israel wouldn't give back all the territories won in the six-day war if a real viable partner for peace appeared among the Palestinians. Israel has already given back the sinai to egypt multiple times, forceably removing cities long before gaza was declared judenrein. People often forget that when Israel was created, and many Palestinians became refugees, Jews who had lived in the surrounding Arab nations were also expelled and became refugees in Israel.

    In other words, if Israel giving Arabs the vote and military service is cleansing, what do we call the forced expulsion of Jews from Arab-controlled land? Certainly by the same definition, Arabs also want "cleansing". It is the Palestinian Arabs who cannot live with the Jews, not the other way around....more info
  • Stunning
    At long last, here's the definitive history of the Palestinian Nakbah. Ilan Pappe wrote a stunning document that Zionist historians will never be able to dispute....more info
  • The Truth at Last
    I have read many books on the Middle East and was growing tired of writers avoiding this period of history in depth. Pappe has nailed the reality of the situation which affected and affects Palestinians still today. No more shrouding the truth in theme parks, "green lungs", and tour MISguides around "ancient" cultivating areas that were as recently as 1948 thriving Palstinian villages-Pappe has written a masterpiece documenting the ethnic cleansing of half of a countries population, without resorting to the murky, misleading language other writers have used to disguise these horrific acts....more info
  • Leftist Drivel
    Ethnic cleansing? The Arab population of Israel and the territories has increased exponentially over the past few decades. In fact, one of the main propaganda points used against Israel is that it can't survive as a Jewish state b/c of the burgeoning Arab population. You can't have it both ways, folks.

    There is NO ethnic cleansing going on in Israel. Quite the opposite, the Arab population is growing at a fast rate.

    This book is leftist drivel. ...more info
  • Courage to tell the Truth
    Ilan Pappe is one of the few Israelis to have the courage to look at Israel's original sin, and he has paid for that courage. This book details the planning and execution of the theft of the Palestinians' land by the Zionists. Well written and documented, by an author who can hardly be called "anti-semitic"....more info
  • From the archives of the IDF
    This is a stunning and relentless collection of evidence. Pappe uses things such as military archives (opened in the 1990s), diary entries from Ben-Gurion, and oral histories from Hagana soldiers and Palestinians. He gives lengthy, village-by-village accounts of the destruction of homes and expulsion of residents. The expulsions were guided by files of the Jewish National Fund, which had been gathering intelligence data on the demographics of the villages for decades.

    It is hard to think of a book that is more opposite of a commonly accepted history than this one. According to Pappe, 1948 was not a desperate fight for survival by a surrounded Jewish enclave, it was a Zionist attack on the countryside. Most of the fighting stemmed from the Hagana's systematic destruction of 400 Palestinian villages. Most refugees were driven out BEFORE the main war started on May 15, 1948. Arab armies did intervene in a haphazard attempt to defend Palestinian sections (as set by the UN partition plan), but they were always out gunned, out numbered and out coordinated by the Hagana. Jordan, in particular, had a secret agreement with the Zionists to annex the West Bank in return for not joining an invasion of Israel. So the most effective Arab army, (and a Jordanian also commanded the pan-Arab "Arab Liberation Army") was not trying to destroy Israel, only protect its own designs on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Among many pieces of evidence, Pappe argues that the Arab attack on Israel was so weak (despite public pronouncements of impending doom from Ben-Gurion) that the Hagana never had to be diverted from its main task of ethnic cleansing. It was able to hold off the sporadic pan-Arab attacks, and depopulate the countryside at the same time. It was assisted in this by large shipments of arms from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, while Britain and France embargoed arms to the Arabs. The private conversations of Ben-Gurion and his associates show great confidence they could defeat the Arab attacks, which amounted to little more than face-saving gestures by Arab governments who were only recently independent themselves.

    There is also a very interesting chapter on the literal erasure of the existence of Palestine. Parks and newly planted forests in Israel now cover the foundations of numerous Palestinian villages. An Israeli "Naming Committee" was formed to give Hebrew names to the features of the countryside that were once Arab, with special attention to creating links to the Israel of 2,000 years ago, while ignoring last week's residents. The Byra forest tourist destination, for example, contains no reference to the six villages that were wiped from the map there.

    For decades, kids in Hebrew schools in the US collected coins to plant trees in Israel. Those same trees now hide stone foundations of nameless villages. Trees in Israeli forests are only 11% indigenous, the rest were planted in recent decades. So not just the people were cleansed, the memory too.

    This book deserves to be the center of an international discussion about Palestine, but a crushing silence is the more likely result....more info
  • Devastating... and essential reading if you want to know what really happened in 1948
    When I started reading this book, I was planning to highlight only the most outstanding passages... the ones that really made the situation clear and/or that described particularly outrageous acts of ethnic cleansing. Well, I ended up highlighting half the book!

    'The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine' is a devastatingly clear picture of what the Zionist leadership had in mind for -- and did to -- the Palestinians living in what was to become the 'Jewish state of Israel.' I cannot imagine that anyone, after reading this book, would fail to agree that the Zionists engaged in nothing short of systematic ethnic cleansing. Pappe documents the atrocities village by village... and shows, by the way, that the attacks by neighboring Arab countries did not commence until the ethnic cleansing campaign was well underway.

    As part of the ethnic cleansing, the Zionists/Israelis not only drove the Palestinians out of their villages by force and demolished their homes and belongings. In many cases, atrocities such as rapes and massacres were carried out. Pappe documents each case; he leaves no doubt that these events occurred. In many cases, his documentation comes from Israeli historical archives.

    Pappe documents how the ethnic cleansing campaign was organized and carried out as part of the Zionist leadership's Plan D (Dalet)... a blueprint for ridding the entire area of its native Palestinian population and replacing it with Jewish villages and (eventually) towns and cities. The goal was to take over all of historic Palestine, not just the areas offered to the Zionists in the U.N. Partition Plan. Many of the ethnic cleansing raids carried out as part of Plan D took place in the areas that were to be kept by the Palestinians for their own future state (which of course never materialized). By the way, the book contains some excellent maps that help readers understand where everything happened and the ultimate geographical results.

    If you want to really understand -- on a visceral level -- how the Palestinians feel and (more importantly) why they feel that way, please read this book. It will blow your mind... and you will never again look at Israel and Palestine the same way....more info
  • Rediculous Twisting of History
    This book is completely misrepresentative of the people and events it attempts to document. It's simply not true....more info