The Spark February 2010
“…no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of
Israel on trial” – Ariel Sharon
On May 15th 1948 the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel stated that due to a “natural and historic right” a “Jewish state” would be established in the former British Mandate Palestine.
Current Israeli Prime Minister recently echoed that in order for there to be “peace” Palestinians must recognise Israel as a “Jewish State”. Both were seemingly ignorant of an ever increasing Israeli Arab population.
In 1948 Zionist leaders attempted to cleanse their soon to be “Jewish State” of its indigenous population through a campaign of terror that triggered the flight of over 700,000 Palestinians from their land and homes, making them refugees. Yosef Weitz , a high official of the Jewish National Fund, explained that the solution was “the land of Israel without Arabs”, continuing “they must be completely removed…leaving not one village, not one tribe”. The ethnic cleansing campaign was only partially successful and when the State of Israel was established it included 180,000 Palestinian Arabs within its borders. New laws were passed, such as the Absentee Property Law of 1950 and the Land Acquisition Law of 1953, which enabled the Israeli state to take land without the consent of its owners for “security, settlement or essential development purposes.” This land was then expropriated by the state and handed over to organisations such as the Jewish National Fund for settlement by new Jewish immigrants.
Borders where closed and Palestinian Refugees where denied the Right to Return while mass Jewish immigration was encouraged and written into law with the “Law of Return” and the “Nationality Act”. This allowed for those born as Jews, those with Jewish ancestry and even converts to Judaism automatic settlement/citizenship rights in Israel, effectively granting rights to Jewish people in the Diaspora which are continually denied to Palestinians.
In 2003 the “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law” was passed, which makes inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip ineligible for the automatic granting of Israeli citizenship and residency permits that would usually be available through marriage to an Israeli citizen. This was a clear attempt to further address the ever growing Israeli Arab population, this time through marriage. Combine this with recent attempts by the Israeli state to ban Palestinians commemorating “the Nakba”, attempts to make challenging Israel’s right to exist a crime, the attempt to make all citizens take a loyalty oath to the “Jewish” and “Zionist” State and repression of Palestinian political rights and it becomes clear that “Israeli Arabs” are second class citizens. This is exposed further by the fact that in the state of Israel the average Palestinian family’s income is sixty five percent of the average Jewish family’s. A massive fifty percent of Arab children inside Israel live in poverty while Palestinian illiteracy rates are three times higher and infant mortality rates double that of Jewish residents.
Yitzhak Rabin stated in 1983 that Israel would “create, in the course of the next ten to twenty years, conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration.” Yitzhak Shamir explained how this would enable “the settlement of the Land of Israel…from the Sea to the River Jordan.” Within this context Israel’s institutionalised racism, the blockade of the Gaza Strip, military occupation and the brutal oppression of the Palestinians can only be seen as the continuation of the Zionist plan to cleanse, not only the state of Israel but also the ancient kingdoms of Judea and Samaria, of its Arab population and to enable further Jewish settlement and state building.