Palestine: Quotable Quotes


Before [the Palestinians] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived… We are the generation of colonizers, and without the steel helmet and the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree or build a home“.
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, “Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel”

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French… What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct… If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs… As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of nonviolence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.
Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in “A Land of Two Peoples” ed. Mendes-Flohr.

“The past is prophetic in that it asserts that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. How much longer must we play at deadly war games before we heed the plaintive pleas of the unnumbered dead and maimed of past wars?”
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I would have joined a terrorist organization.
Ehud Barak‘s response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.

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!
Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.
Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitx, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we came here and stole their county. Why should they accept that?
David Ben-Gurion, quoted in “The Jewish Paradox” by Nathan Goldman, former President of the World Jewish Congress.

We must expel Arabs and take their places.
David Ben-Gurion, 1937, “Ben-Gurion and the Palestine Arabs”, Oxford University Press, 1985.

Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.
David Ben-Gurion, quoted in “The Jewish Paradox”, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p. 99.

We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.
David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff from “Ben-Gurion, A Biography”, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

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, which appears in Simha Flapan’s “Zionism and the Palestinians”, pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.

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