V. The Creation of Israel and the Expulsion of the Palestinians




The War of 1948




When the British left Palestine in 1948 a war broke out. [1] The war of 1948 between the Zionist armed forces against the Palestinians and the Arab states was a war not between an imperialist state (Israel was not yet an imperialist state) and colonies or semi-colonies. It was a war between Israel that was a semi-colony built by settlers colonists on one side while the Palestinians who were an oppressed colonized people and the Arab states that were semi-colonies on the other side. For those who use formal logic it was not easy to choose a side. Today most people that support the Palestinians would agree that it was necessary to stand in the war with the Palestinians and the Arab states. However they will have some difficulties to explain why to side with the Arab states that were “ruled” by kings who clearly were serving the British and French imperialist masters.


The argument that many supporters of the Palestinians just cause advance that it was necessary to stand against Israel in the war because Israel was an oppressor settler colonialist society has a flow. When Britain fought against the 13 American colonies in the American war of independence (1775–1783), the progressive and revolutionary part of humanity were on the side of the American settler colonialists even when these colonialists oppressed the native Indians. It was necessary to defend the Indians against the white settlers and to defend the colonialist settlers against the British Empire because the British Empire was the worse enemy. No one can think that the British Empire fought on the side of the Indians. Those who refused to stand with the American colonialist against imperialism did not help the Indians but the “imperialists”. [2]


The question whether to support or oppose Israel in 1948 relates of course to the question: Do Marxists support the right of self-determination for the Israelis?


Only the working class internationalist outlook that sees the unity of the world through the revolutionary perspective of the workers in the unequal but combined parts can offer the theoretical answer to the war of 1948.


The war of 1948 was situated in the epoch of decay of capitalism. [3] In contrast, the American war of independence was the first stage of the democratic revolution that would be completed with the victory of the North against the South in the Civil War of 1861-1865. Israel, even though it has become an imperialist state, never went through nor can it go through a democratic revolution because of the nature of this period and the nature of Zionism. Israel cannot give the Palestinians equal rights because it would not be a state with Jewish majority of citizens any more. It would lose its legitimization for existence and its whole political and military state apparatus would be threatened. It will lose its military function as the front line of the imperialist in the region. It would therefore mean a suicide of Israel which the beast is of course not willing to do. This is the reason why the demand of one democratic state from the river to the sea cannot be achieved without a socialist revolution.




The Zionists Aim in the 1948 War




If Israel was a progressive society and if it was fighting a revolutionary anti-imperialist war in 1948, as the Stalinists claimed at the time, the outcome in the region would be the weakening of the imperialist control over the region. In the real world the opposite happened.


It is sufficient to read the articles, diaries, speeches of the leading Zionists, including the left-wing Zionists, to realize that the Zionists aim in the war of 1948 was to crash and force the Palestinian to flee their homeland. It also demonstrates that the Zionists were made in the same mold of the South African Afrikaners. This becomes evident from the leading Zionists own words. Let us quote first Vladimir Jabotinsky, the leader of the Revisionist Zionists:


“Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in total, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.” [4]


Later Jabotinsky proclaimed the “iron law of every colonizing movement, a law which knows of no exceptions, a law which existed in all times and under all circumstances. If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else – or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force which will render physically impossible any attempts to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible, not “difficult”, not “dangerous” but IMPOSSIBLE! … Zionism is a colonizing adventure and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force. It is important to build, it is important to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else I am through with playing at colonization.” [5]


Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, said: “There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument (…) the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish (…) with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary.” [6]


David Ben Gurion, future Prime Minister of Israel, already wrote in 1937 in a letter to his son about the Zionist plans for the expulsion of the Palestinian people: “We must expel Arabs and take their places.” [7]


Other quotes from Ben Gurion underline the Zionist expansionist plans: “We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai.” [8]


Yitzhak Rabin reported in his memoirs: “We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!” [9]


The small selection of quotes demonstrates unequivocally the reactionary nature of Zionism as it was planning the creation of the Israeli state and the war of expulsion necessary for it.




Stalinism supported Israel’s reactionary war in 1948




At the time of the 1948 war the Stalinists presented the Zionist war as an anti-imperialist war and thus the creation of Israel as a progressive event. In reality it was a victory for the imperialists and a counter-revolutionary event. [10]


Already in 1943 the Palestinian Communist Party (PKP) was moving toward integration within the organized Jewish Yishuv. While opposing partition and calling for an independent democratic state, it increasingly upheld a bi-national vision, based on “the principle of equal rights of Jews and Arabs for free national, economic and cultural development, without artificial interruptions and in mutual cooperation and brotherhood of nation.” [11] This motion toward political support for Zionism caused a split of the PKP and the left wing, that consisted more of Palestinian patriots known as the National Liberation League, emerged in opposition to the motion of the PKP.


Despite their differences, both factions agreed on one core principle of the bi-national approach: the need to treat members of both national groups equally, whether as citizens in a joint state or as members of national collectives enjoying the same rights within a federal state, or as groups entitled to the right of national self-determination.


The Soviet Stalinists recognized the right of self-determination for the Zionists for the first time in May 1947 in a speech delivered by the USSR’s ambassador at the United Nations, Andrei Gromyko:


It is essential to bear in mind the indisputable fact that the population of Palestine consists of two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Both have historical roots in Palestine. Palestine has become the homeland of both these peoples, each of which plays an important part in the economy and the cultural life of the country. (…) Thus, the solution of the Palestine problem by the establishment of a single Arab-Jewish State with equal rights for the Jews and the Arabs may be considered as one of the possibilities and one of the more noteworthy methods for the solution of this complicated problem. Such a solution of the problem of Palestine’s future might be a sound foundation for the peaceful co-existence and co-operation of the Arab and Jewish populations of Palestine, in the interests of both these peoples and to the advantage of the entire Palestine population and of the peace and security of the Near East. (…) “If this plan proved impossible to implement, in view of the deterioration in the relations between the Jews and the Arabs–and it will be very important to know the special committee’s opinion on this question–then it would be necessary to consider the second plan which, like the first, has its supporters in Palestine, and which provides for the partition of Palestine into two independent autonomous States, one Jewish and one Arab.” [12]


It is interesting to read the account of the Stalinists support for the creation of Israel by Norman Berdichevsky, a fanatic supporter of Israel:


The most famous and colorful personality of the Spanish Republic in exile, the Basque delegate to the Cortes (Spanish Parliament), Dolores Ibarruri, who had gone to the Soviet Union, issued a proclamation in 1948 saluting the new State of Israel and comparing the invading Arab armies to the Fascist uprising that had destroyed the Republic. Just a few months earlier, the hero of the American Left, the great Afro-American folk singer, Paul Robeson had sung in a gala concert in Moscow and electrified the crowd with his rendition of the Yiddish Partisan Fighters Song…”


What this counter-revolutionary did not mention is that while the International Brigades fought the fascists, the Zionists not only condemn the 300 volunteered from Palestine to fight fascism, but they stole Arab lands in what was known as “Tower and stockade” operation during the 1936–39 Arab revolt.


“…The leaders of the Yishuv (Jewish community in Palestine), already in the summer of 1947, intended to purchase arms and sent Dr. Moshe Sneh (the Chief of the European Branch of the Jewish Agency, a leading member of the centrist General Zionist Party who later moved far leftward and became head of the Israeli Communist Party) to Prague in order to improve Jewish defenses. He was surprised by the sympathy towards Zionism and by the interest in arms export on the side of the Czech Government. Sneh met with the Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Clementis, who succeeded the non-Communist and definitely pro-Zionist Jan Masaryk. Sneh and Clementis discussed the possibility of Czech arms provisions for the Jewish state and the Czechs gave their approval.


In January, 1948 Jewish representatives were sent by Ben-Gurion to meet with General Ludvik Svoboda, the Minister of National Defense, and sign the first contract for Czech military aid. Four transport routes were used to Palestine all via Communist countries; a) the Northern route: via Poland and the Baltic Sea, b) the Southern route: via Hungary, Yugoslavia and the Adriatic Sea, c) via Hungary, Romania and the Black Sea, d) by air, via Yugoslavia to Palestine.


At first, a “Skymaster” plane chartered from the U.S. to help in ferrying weapons to Palestine from Europe was forced by the FBI to return to the USA. By the end of May the Israeli Army (IDF) had absorbed about 20,000 Czech rifles, 2,800 machine guns and over 27 million rounds of ammunition. Two weeks later an additional 10,000 rifles, 1,800 machine-guns and 20 million rounds of ammunition arrived. One Czech-Israeli project that alarmed the Western intelligence was the, so called, Czech Brigade, a unit composed of Jewish veterans of “Free Czechoslovakia”, which fought with the British Army during WWII. The Brigade began training in August 1948 at four bases in Czechoslovakia.


Czech assistance to Israel’s military strength comprised a) small arms, b) 84 airplanes –– the outdated Czech built Avia S.199s, Spitfires and Messerschmidts that played a major role in the demoralization of enemy troops; c) military training and technical maintenance. On January 7, 1949, the Israeli air-force, consisting of several Spitfires and Czech built Messerschmidt Bf-109 fighters (transferred secretly from Czech bases to Israel), shot down five British-piloted Spitfires flying for the Egyptian air-force over the Sinai desert causing a major diplomatic embarrassment for the British government.


Even with Czech weapons and Soviet aid, Israel would undoubtedly have been unable to halt the Arab invasion without a massive inflow of manpower. The United States, Canada and Europe provided no more than 3000 volunteers; many of them combat hardened veterans from both the European and Pacific theaters of war plus a few score idealistic youngsters from the Zionist movements with no combat experience or training.


But their numbers were a drop in the bucket compared to more than 200,000 Jewish immigrants from the Soviet dominated countries in Eastern Europe, notably, Poland, Bulgaria (almost 95% of the entire Jewish community) Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the former Baltic States and even the Soviet Union who emigrated to Israel arriving in time to reach the front lines or replenish the depleted ranks of civilian manpower. Without both the arms and manpower sent from the “Socialist Camp”, to aid the nascent Israeli state, it would have been crushed.


In 1947, when Stalin was convinced that the Zionists would evict the British from Palestine, the Party Line turned about face. Following Soviet recognition and aid to Israel in 1948-49, both the Daily Worker and the Yiddish language communist daily in the U.S. Freiheit (Freedom) outdid one another to explain the new party line in that.


“Palestine had become an important settlement of 600,000 souls, having developed a common national economy, a growing national culture and the first elements of Palestinian Jewish statehood and self-government.”


A 1947 CP-USA resolution entitled ‘Work Among the Jewish Masses’ berated the Party’s previous stand and proclaimed that ‘Jewish Marxists have not always displayed a positive attitude to the rights and interests of the Jewish People, to the special needs and problems of our own American Jewish national group and to the interests and rights of the Jewish Community in Palestine.’


The new reality that had been created in Palestine was a “Hebrew nation” that deserved the right to self-determination. Remarkably, the Soviet propaganda machine even praised the far Right underground groups of the Irgun and “Stern Gang” for their campaign of violence against the British authorities.” [13]


As a result the Soviet Union was the first country to legally recognize de jure, the Israeli state. This Stalinist counter-revolutionary policy of giving the Zionist political as well as military support determined the outcome of the war. It enabled Israel to expel most of the Palestinian people from their country while the Zionist robbed their properties. Stalinism – despite its “communist” rhetoric – proved to be a major counter-revolutionary force and an enemy of the international working class and the oppressed masses. It discredited communism for decades in the whole Middle East.




The Palestinian Refugees




In 1947-8 Israel acted to remove most of the Palestinians from their country. According to the Zionist propaganda: “The Palestinians left their homes in 1947-48 for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders' calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the crossfire of a battle. Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN resolution, not a single Palestinian would have become a refugee and an independent Arab state would now exist beside Israel.” [14]


Like on many questions this is a lie in the technique of the big lie which assumes that the more lies a state tells more people will “buy” at least some of the lies.


“In reality “The number of individuals forced to leave their homes during the War of Independence is estimated at 720,000. Most of them settled in refugee camps in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. According to UNRWA, all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered refugees, and therefore today they number over five and a half million. Citizenship of another country, for example, Jordan, does not cancel their refugee status. In other words, only the return of the refugees and their descendants to their homes can cancel this status.” [15]


Arabs who had fled or been driven from their homes in the area that became the state of Israel in 1948-49 had not done so, by and large, on orders from or at the behest of Palestinian or outside Arab leaders, as Israelis were educated to believe”


Zionist forces committed dozens of massacres against Palestinians during what was called the 1948 “war”. Some of these are well-known and have been published while others are not. Below are some of the details of the most notorious massacres committed at the hands of Haganah and its armed wing, the Palmach, as well as the Stern Gang, the Irgun and other Zionist paramilitaries


The following are details of the massacres committed by the Zionists:


The Jerusalem Massacre — 1/10/1937


A member of the Irgun Zionist organisation detonated a bomb in the vegetable market near the Damascus (Nablus) Gate in Jerusalem killing dozens of Palestinian civilians and wounding many others.


* The Haifa Massacre — 6/3/1937


Paramilitaries from the Irgun and Lehi Zionist groups bombed a market in Haifa killing 18 Palestinian civilians and wounding 38.


* The Haifa Massacre — 6/7/1938


Zionist Paramilitaries from the Irgun placed two car bombs in a Haifa market killing 21 Palestinian civilians and wounding 52.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 13/7/1938


10 Palestinian killed and 31 wounded in a massive explosion in the Arab vegetable market in the Old City of Jerusalem.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 15/7/1938


A member of the Irgun Zionist paramilitaries threw a hand grenade in front of a mosque in Jerusalem as worshippers were walking out. 10 were killed and 30 were wounded.


* The Haifa Massacre — 25/7/1938


A car bomb was planted by the Irgun paramilitaries in an Arab market in Haifa which killed 35 Palestinian civilians and wounded 70.


* The Haifa Massacre — 26/7/1938


A member of Irgun threw a hand grenade in a Haifa market killing 47 Palestinian civilians.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 26/8/1938


A car bomb placed by the Irgun Zionist paramilitaries exploded in a Jerusalem Arab market killing 34 civilians and wounding 35.


* The Haifa Massacre — 27/3/1939


The Irgun paramilitaries detonated two bombs in Haifa killing 27 Palestinians and wounding 39.


* The Balad Al-Shaykh Massacre — 12/6/1939


The Haganah paramilitaries raided the city of Balad Al-Shaykh capturing 5 residents who they then killed. The city of Balad Al-Shaykh is a Palestinian city located east of Haifa.


* The Haifa Massacre — 19/6/1939


Zionist paramilitaries threw a hand grenade in a Haifa market killing 9 Palestinians and wounding 4.


* The Haifa Massacre — 20/6/1948


78 Palestinians were killed and 24 wounded by a bomb placed inside a vegetable box in a Haifa vegetable market. The Irgun and Lehi paramilitaries were responsible for this.


* The Al Abbasiyah Massacre — 13/12/1947


A group of Irgun members disguised as British soldiers attacked the village of Al Abbasiyah and opened fire on its residents sitting outside a village café. They also bombed a number of their homes and planted several time bombs. Moreover, British soldiers surrounded the village and allowed the killers to escape from the northern side of the village. They killed 7 and severely wounded 7 others, 2 of whom died later including a 5 year old child.


* The Al-Khasas Massacre — 18/12/194


73 Zionists from the “Maayan Baruch” kibbutz attacked and shot 5 Palestinian workers on their way to work. During the attack, one of the Zionists was stabbed and killed prompting the commander of the Palmach third battalion, Moshe Kelman, to order a retaliatory operation to burn the homes and kill the men in Al-Khasas. The Zionist commander’s report notes that 12 were killed, all of whom were women and children.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 29/12/1947


Irgun paramilitaries threw a barrel full of explosives near Bab al-Amud (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem which resulted in the death of 14 Palestinians and the wounding 27 others.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 30/12/1947


Irgun paramilitaries threw a bomb from a speeding car killing 11 Palestinians.


* The Balad Al-Shaykh Massacre — 31/12/1947


A joint force of the first Palmach battalion and a brigade led by Haim Avinoam attacked the Balad Al-Shaykh village killing 60 civilians, according to Zionist sources. Those killed included children, women and the elderly, and dozens of homes were destroyed.


* Al-Sheikh Break Massacre — 31/12/1947


Zionist paramilitaries groups raided the village of Al-Sheikh Break, killing 40 Palestinians.


* The Jaffa Massacre — 4/1/1948


The Zionist Stern Gang threw a bomb in a crowded plaza in Jaffa, killing 15 people and wounding 98.


* The Al-Saraya Massacre — 4/1/1948


On January 4, 1948 the Irgun Zionist paramilitaries placed a car full of explosives near Al-Saraya in Jaffa which destroyed all that surrounded it, killed 30 Palestinians and wounded several others.


* The Semiramis Massacre — 5/1/1948


The Haganah bombed the Semiramis Hotel located in the Katamon neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The hotel collapsed on its guests, all of whom were Palestinians, killing 19 and wounding over 20.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 7/1/1948


Irgun paramilitaries threw a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, killing 18 civilians and wounding 40 others.


* The Al-Saraya Al-Arabeya Massacre — 8/1/1948


Zionist paramilitaries used a car bomb to kill 70 Palestinian civilians and wound dozens.


* The Ramla Massacre — 15/1/1948


Palmach soldiers and the Haganah bombed one of the Arab neighbourhoods in Ramla.


* The Yazur Massacre — 22/1/1948


Yigael Yadin, a Haganah commander, ordered the Palmach commander, Yigal Allon, to carry out an operation against the village of Yazur. A group from the Palmach attacked a bus near Yazur, wounding the bus driver a several Palestinian passengers. On the same day, another group attacked another bus killing and wounding several people. These attacks by the Palmach and Givati Brigades on Palestinian villages and cars continued for 20 consecutive days while other units detonated bombs near village homes.


Then Haganah paramilitaries decided to attack the village and bomb the ice factory along with two buildings around it. A Haganah group opened fire on the ice factory in the village, while other groups opened fire and used hand grenades on the homes in the village. Moreover, an engineering group bombed the Askandroni building, the ice factory, and killed 15 people.


* The Haifa Massacre — 28/12/1948


Zionist paramilitaries from the Al-Hadar neighbourhood, located at the top of Al-Abbas Street in Haifa, rolled down a barrel filled with explosives destroying homes and killing 20 Arab citizens, as well as wounding 50 others.


* The Tabra Tulkarem Massacre — 10/2/1948


A group of Zionist paramilitaries stopped Palestinian citizens going back to the village of Tabra Tulkarem and opened fire on them, killing 7 and wounding 5 others.


* The Sa’sa’ Massacre — 14/2/1948


A Palmach force raided the village of Sa’sa’ and destroyed 20 inhabited homes, killing 60 villagers, most of whom were women and children.


* The Jerusalem Massacre — 20/2/1948


The Stern Gang stole a British army vehicle, filled it with explosives, and placed it in front of the Al Salam building in Jerusalem. The explosion killed 14 Palestinians and wounded 26.


* The Haifa Masacre — 20/2/1948


Zionist paramilitaries attacked the Palestinian neighbourhoods in Haifa with mortar fire killing 6 and wounding 36 others.


* The Al-Husayniyya Massacre — 13/3/1948


Haganah paramilitaries raided the village of Al-Husayniyya, destroying homes with explosives and killing over 30 families.


* The Abu Kabir Massacre — 31/3/1948


Paramilitaries from Haganah carried out an armed attack on the Abu Kabir neighbourhood in Jaffa. They destroyed homes and killed residents fleeing their homes to seek help.


* The Cairo Train Massacre, Haifa — 31/3/1948


The Stern Gang planted bombs on a Cairo-Haifa train which killed 40 people and wound 60 others on explosion.


* Ramla Massacre — 1/3/1948


Zionist paramilitaries planned and carried out this massacre in March 1948 in a market in the city of Ramla, killing 25 Palestinian civilians.


* The Deir Yassin Massacre — 9/4/1948


A group of 120 from the two Revisionist (“right-wing”) Zionist paramilitaries, the Irgun Zvai Leumi (Irgun) and Lochamei Herut Yisrael (Lehi or Stern Gang) attacked the village of Deir Yassin, accompanied by tanks. About 100–120 of its residents, a great number of whom were women and children, were massacred. The village was a Palestinian Arab town of about 750 located west of Jerusalem. The “massacre” actually occurred in three distinct phases to be discussed below.


On the evening of April 9th, the Irgun leader publicly exaggerated the death toll in order to terrorize Arabs in Palestine. This was near the end of the British Mandate as Arab-Jewish fighting escalated. The 254 figure is almost certainly an exaggeration, but not an Arab exaggeration.


Their top consideration was economic as this was during Abdul Khader al-Husseini’s cutoff of supplies to Jewish West Jerusalem. As attack plans grew, however, they discussed massacring all the villagers or just the males and any other resisters. The purpose was to frighten Palestine’s Arab residents into flight and defeat and to take revenge for attacks and previous atrocities perpetrated against Jewish forces. An order from Irgun Commander-in-Chief Menachem Begin reportedly told them to observe the Geneva Convention. Whether this order was taken seriously or passed along effectively is unclear. It is clear that the night before the attack some were still talking about inflicting large casualties to send a message of fear to the Arabs of Palestine.


* The Qalunya Massacre — 14/4/1948


A force from the Palmach Zionist paramilitary group raided Qalunya, bombed several homes and killed 14 of its residents.


* The Nasir al-Din Massacre — 13/4/1948


A group consisting of forces from the Irgun and Stern Gang in disguise raided the village of Nasir al-Din opening fired on its inhabitants and killing 50 people. On the previous day, both Nasir al-Din and Al-Shaykh Qadumi were attacked and 12 were killed.


* The Tiberias Massacre — 19/4/1948


Zionist paramilitaries bombed a home in Tiberias, killing 14 of its residents.


* The Haifa Massacre — 22/4/1948


Zionist paramilitaries attacked Haifa from Hadar Alkarmel and occupied homes, streets and public buildings killing 50 Palestinians and wounding 200 others. The residents were taken by surprise, so they took their women and children to the marina to move them to the city of Akka during which they were attacked by Zionists paramilitaries who killed 100 civilians and wounded 200 others.


* The Ayn al-Zaytoun Massacre — 4/5/1948


Ayn al-Zaytoun is a Palestinian village on the outskirts of Safed, the population of which was 820. The Jewish writer, Netiva Ben-Yehuda writes in her book “Through the Binding Ropes” about the Ayn al-Zaytoun Massacre saying: “on May 3rd or 4th, 1948, nearly 39 bound prisoners were shot.”


* The Safed Massacre — 13/5/1948


The Haganah slaughtered about 70 young men from Safed, but there are no details about this massacre.


* The Abu Shusha Massacre — 14/5/1948


Zionist paramilitaries committed an ugly massacre in the village of Abu Shusha, killing about 60 of its residents, including men, women, children and the elderly. The massacre ended with the expulsion of all the residents of the village from their homes, which were then gradually demolished.


* The Beit Daras Massacre — 21/5/1948


A Zionist force supported by tanks surrounded the village of Beit Daras and opened fire on it. The people of the village realised the critical situation and decided to endure the fire and defend their homes at any cost, so they urged the women, children and the elderly to leave the village to lessen their losses. The women, children and the elderly headed towards the southern area of the village, and once they reached the outskirts, were met with Zionist gunfire, despite the fact that they were defenceless. A large number of them were killed, and the forces burned down several homes and bombed others.


* The Al-Tantura Massacre — 22/5/1948


This massacre was carried out by the third battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade and the Zionist plan was to attack the village from two sides; the north and south. One brigade was to block the road, while a naval boat blocked the withdraw route by sea. Every attacking unit was provided with a guide from the neighbouring Zikhron Ya’akov settlement, whose residents knew their way around the village, and the brigade leadership kept a reserve unit for emergencies. Al-Tantura did not initiate a battle with the Haganah, but refused their terms, so the attackers took the men to the village graveyard, lined them up, and killed 200–250 of them.” [16]


According to the historian Benny Moris from 1948 to 1956 there were attempts by Palestinians to cross the border to return to their homes and fields. Between 2,700 and 5,000 Palestinians were killed by Israel during this period. [17]


From February of 1948 the Israeli army began systematically depopulating Palestinian communities. On February 15th 1948 all of the residents of the villages of Qisarya, Barrat Qisarya, Khirbat Al-Burj, and Atlit which are near present day Cesarea were forced from their homes. This was the first time during the conflict when villages were completely depopulated. [18]


The practice of depopulating and destroying Palestinian communities was turned into official government policy by “Plan Dalet” which was finalized by the pre-state Jewish leadership in March 1948. It states:


“…operations can be divided into the following categories:


- Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines and debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.


- Mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed forces must be wiped out and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.” [19]


“Israel destroyed 531 villages, 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, and stole 78% of historic Palestine as the first step toward seizing it all for exclusive Jewish use. The value of the stolen properties of the Palestinians: lands, houses, orchards, manufactures; fields, books is many hundreds of billions Dollars. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 Article 11 from1948 is calling for the return of the Palestine refugees to their homes. “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”


Israel refuses to implement the UN resolution on the ground that the refugees are not ready to live peacefully with the Israeli Jews. This is a flimsy argument. The real reason is that the Zionists want an empty land from Palestinians.




The Jewish Refugees




One of the results of the war of 1948 and the ethnic cleansing was a wave of Anti-Jewish feelings in the Arab states. A few days before the endorsement of the voted on the partition plan for Palestine, Heykal Pasha, the Egyptian delegate, warned:


“A million Jews live in peace in Egypt [and other Muslim countries] and enjoy all rights of citizenship. They have no desire to immigrate to Palestine. However, if a Jewish State were established, nobody could prevent disorders. Riots would break out in Palestine, would spread through all the Arab states and might lead to a war between two races.” [20]


“In 1948 the Iraqi government amended the Penal Code of Baghdad, adding Zionism to other forbidden ideologies like communism, whose propagation constituted a punishable offense. Laws in 1950 and 1951 deprived Jews of their Iraqi nationality and their property in Iraq.” [21]


“Prime Minister of Iraq Nuri Sa'id on October 14, 1949, spoke with U.N. officials about the exchange of "100,000 Baghdad Jews and 80,000 other Jews in Iraq for an equivalent number of urban Arab Palestinian refugees." [22]


This was not an anti-Zionist policy but a reactionary Anti-Jewish one that played into the hands of the Zionists. Israel that refused to allow the Palestinian refugees to return and even to compensate them for their stolen properties demand now $250 billion in compensation from the Arab countries and Iran for assets left by Jews forced to flee after the creation of the State of Israel. Among these states is Morocco. However this is a lie.


”Such a ‘demand’ lacks credibility as we easily recall the different phases of Jewish emigration from Morocco,” the petition says. “Moroccan Jewish emigration to Israel began in 1950 with a quota set by the Israeli authorities at just under 25,000 Moroccan Jews a year spreading these lies will only serve hatred and extremism,” concludes the petition. Speaking with Morocco World News, Moroccan-French activist Jacob Cohen criticized Israel’s request, describing it as “cynical.” Cohen said that it was the Israeli intelligence service, known as the Mossad that sent Jewish Moroccans to Israel. In 2017, the founder and chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, Sam Ben-Shitrit, send a letter to Israeli Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel: “We want to state in the clearest way that the Moroccan authorities, for centuries, never expelled the Jews nor confiscated their individual or community property.” [23]


“In Iraq on March 19, 1950, a bomb exploded in the American Cultural Center and Library frequented by Jews in Bagdad. On April 8, 1950 a bomb was thrown at the Jews into El-Dar El-Bida Café, where Jews were celebrating the Passover and four of them were injured. On June 3, 1950 grenade exploded harmlessly in the Jewish area El-Batawin. On June 5, another Jewish building was damaged without causalities by a bomb explosion on El_Rasjid Street. On January 14, 1951 a high-voltage cable damaged by a grenade killed three Jews outside Masouda Shem-Tov Synagogue. These terrorist acts pushed the Jews to leave Iraq. An Iraqi Jew Naim Gilad believes that these actions were the work of a Zionist organization. Standing by itself this can be an imaginary concept. However, Wilbur Crane Eveland, CIA agent stated in 1988 that: “In an attempt to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in the synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel. The Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had “rescued” really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish population.” [24]


Why would a senior officer of the CIA tell such a story when the CIA is friendly to Israel unless it is true?! That this can be the truth we can learn from what is known in Israel as the Lavon Affair. It was a failed Israeli covert operation in Egypt known as Operation Susannah. Israeli military intelligence bombed Egyptian, American and British-owned targets in Egypt in the summer of 1954. After the failure Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon, was forced to resign. Israel admitted responsibility in 2005 when Israeli President Moshe Katzav honored the nine Egyptian Jewish agents who were involved in the bombing. It is the same pattern as in Iraq. For this reason it is possible to believe Naim who wrote that it was Ben Porat who influenced Nuri, the P.M of Iraq, to pass the Anti-Jewish laws to force Iraqi Jews to immigrate to Israel that was in need of cheap labor after it expelled most Arab Palestinians. Altogether around 850,000 Jews from the Arab countries were uprooted and expelled to Israel.


[1] For an extensive analysis of the 1948 war and its background from a Marxist point of view see e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Israel's War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, http://the-isleague.com/1948-war-5-2013/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-s-war-of-1948/

[2] For a Marxist analysis of such complicated scenarios of wars see e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Marxism and War, 30.1.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/marxism-and-war/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (Chapter II), RCIT Books, Vienna 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/; Michael Pröbsting: Dialectics and Wars in the Present Period. Preface to Rudolf Klement's Principles and Tactics in War, June 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/dialectics-war/; Michael Pröbsting: Liberation Struggles and Imperialist Interference. The failure of sectarian “anti-imperialism” in the West: Some general considerations from the Marxist point of view and the example of the democratic revolution in Libya in 2011”, in: RCIT: Revolutionary Communism, No. 5; http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/liberation-struggle-and-imperialism; Rudolf Klement: Principles and Tactics in War (1938); in The New International (Theoretical journal of the Socialist Workers Party, US-American section of the Fourth International), May 1938, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 144-145, https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/revhist/backiss/vol1/no1/printact.html

[3] For an analysis of the decay of capitalism see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Catastrophic Failure of the Theory of “Catastrophism”. On the Marxist Theory of Capitalist Breakdown and its Misinterpretation by the Partido Obrero (Argentina) and its “Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International”, RCIT Pamphlet, May 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-catastrophic-failure-of-the-theory-of-catastrophism/; RCIT: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), Chapter II and III, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 46, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, RCIT Books, Vienna 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/; Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/; Michael Pröbsting: Imperialism, Globalization and the Decline of Capitalism (2008), in: Richard Brenner, Michael Pröbsting, Keith Spencer: The Credit Crunch - A Marxist Analysis, London 2008, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-and-globalization/

[4] Vladimir Jabotinsky: The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs), 1923; reprinted in Lenni Brenner: The Iron Wall. Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, London 1984, p. 148

[5] Vladimir Jabotinsky: The Iron Law, Selected Writings (South Africa); quoted in Lenni Brenner: The Iron Wall. Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, London 1984, p. 56

[6] Quoted in Uri Davis: From Israel: an Apartheid State, p.5

[7] Letter from David Ben-Gurion to his son Amos, written on 5 October 1937, Obtained from the Ben-Gurion Archives in Hebrew, and translated into English by the Institute of Palestine Studies, Beirut

[8] David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben- Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978

[9] Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979; quoted in Steven A. Glazer: The Palestinian Exodus in 1948, in: Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS), Volume 9, Issue 4, 1980, p. 103

[10] For a Marxist analysis of Stalinism we refer readers to Leon Trotsky: The Revolution Betrayed (1936), Pathfinder Press 1972. The RCIT’s analysis is summarized in chapter II in our book Michael Pröbsting: Cuba‘s Revolution Sold Out? The Road from Revolution to the Restoration of Capitalism, Vienna 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/cuba-s-revolution-sold-out/. See also Yossi Schwartz: Was the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen a Deformed Workers State? August 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/south-yemen/; Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/; see also LRCI: The Degenerated Revolution: The Origin and Nature of the Stalinist States, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/stalinism-and-the-degeneration-of-the-revolution/.

[11] Quoted in Ran Greenstein: Class, Nation and Political Organization: The Anti-Zionist Left in Israel/Palestine, in: International Labor and Working-Class History No. 75, Spring 2009, p. 93

[12] UN Debate Regarding the Special Committee on Palestine: Gromyko Statement at UN 1947, May 14, 1947, MidEast Web Historical Documents, http://www.mideastweb.org/gromyko1947.htm

[13] Norman Berdichevsky: Who did what for Israel in 1948? America did nothing, https://www.newenglishreview.org/Norman_Berdichevsky/Israel%3A_From_Darling_of_the_Left_to_Pariah_State/

[14] Mitchell Bard: The Palestinian Refugees: History & Overview, The Exodus of 1947-48, (Updated August 2015), https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/history-and-overview-of-the-palestinian-refugees; Benny Morris: For the record, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jan/14/israel

[15] The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University, http://www.inss.org.il/publication/palestinian-refugees-facts-figures-significance/

[17] Benny Morris (1997): Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War. Clarendon Press, https://books.google.co.il/books?id=YUthqHRF-m8C&redir_esc=y

[18] Pappe, Ilan: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

[19] Ibid

[20] U.N. General Assembly, Second Session, Official Records, Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, Summary Records of Meetings, Lake Success, N.Y., Sept. 25-Nov. 15, 1947, p. 185

[21] Cohen, Jews of the Middle East, pp. 29-35

[22] Telegram from the American embassy in Baghdad to Washington, D.C., Oct. 15, 1949

[24] Wilbur Crane Eveland, “Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East” N.Y. Norton, 1980, pp. 48-49