the roots of palestinian rage

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    Zionist Policies Toward the Palestinians - in the true spirit of colonialism and cultural darwinism.

    The main view point within the Zionist movement was that the Arab problem would be solved by first solving the Jewish problem. In time, the Palestinians would be presented with the fait accompli of a Jewish majority. Settlements, land purchases, industries, and military forces were developed gradually and systematically so that the yishuv would become too strong to uproot. In a letter to his son, Weizmann compared the Arabs to the rocks of Judea, obstacles that had to be cleared to make the path smooth. When the Palestinians mounted violent protests in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, and the late 1940s, the yishuv sought to curb them by force, rather than seek a political accommodation with the indigenous people. Any concessions made to the Palestinians by the British government concerning immigration, land sales, or labor were strongly contested by the Zionist leaders. In fact, in 1936, Ben-Gurion stated that the Palestinians will only acquiesce in a Jewish Eretz Israel after they are in a state of total despair.

    Zionists viewed their acceptance of territorial partition as a temporary measure; they did not give up the idea of the Jewish community's right to all of Palestine. Weizmann commented in 1937: "In the course of time we shall expand to the whole country ...this is only an arrangement for the next 15-30 years."

    Ben-Gurion stated in 1938, "After we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine." A FEW EFFORTS were made to reduce Arab opposition. For example in the 1920s, Zionist organizations provided financial support to Palestinian political parties, newspapers, and individuals. This was most evident in the establishment and support of the National Muslim Societies (1921-23) and Agricultural Parties (1924-26). These parties were expected to be neutral or positive toward the Zionist movement, in return for which they would receive financial subventions and their members would be helped to obtain jobs and loans. This policy was backed by Weizmann, who commented that: "extremists and moderates alike were susceptible to the influence of money and honors."

    However, Leonard Stein, a member of the London office of the World Zionist Organization, denounced this practice. He argued that Zionists must seek a permanent modus vivendi with the Palestinians by hiring them in Jewish firms and admitting them to Jewish universities. He maintained that political parties in which Arab moderates are merely Arab gramophones playing Zionist records would collapse as soon as the Zionist financial support ended. In any event, the World Zionist Organization terminated the policy by 1927, as it was in the midst of a financial crisis and as most of the leaders felt that the policy was ineffective.
    Some Zionist leaders argued that the Arab community had to be involved in the practical efforts of the Zionist movement. Chaim Kalvarisky, who initiated the policy of buying support, articulated in 1923 the gap between that ideal and the reality: "Some people say. ..that only by common work in the field of commerce, industry and agriculture mutual understanding between Jews and Arabs will ultimately be attained. ...This is, however, merely a theory. In practice we have not done and we are doing nothing for any work in common.

    - How many Arab officials have we installed in our banks? Not even one.
    - How many Arabs have we brought into our schools? Not even one.
    - What commercial houses have we established in company with Arabs? Not even one."

    Tow years later, Kalvarisky lamented: "We all admit the importance of drawing closer to the Arabs, but in fact we are growing more distant like a drawn bow. We have no contact: two separate worlds, each living its own life and fighting the other."

    Some members of the yishuv emphasized the need for political relations with the Palestinian Arabs, to achieve either a peacefully negotiated territorial partition (as Nahum Goldmann sought) or a binational state (as Brit Shalom and Hashomer Ha-tzair proposed). But few went as far as Dr. Judah L. Magnes, chancellor of The Hebrew University, who argued that Zionism meant merely the creation of a Jewish cultural center in Palestine rather than an independent state. In any case, the binationalists had little impact politically and were strongly opposed by the leadership of the Zionist movement.

    Zionist leaders felt they did not harm the Palestinians by blocking them from working in Jewish settlements and industries or even by undermining their majority status. The Palestinians were considered a small part of the large Arab nation; their economic and political needs could be met in that wider context, Zionists felt, rather than in Palestine. They could move elsewhere if they sought land and could merge with Transjordan if they sought political independence.

    This thinking led logically to the concept of population TRANSFER. In 1930 Weizmann suggested that the problems of insufficient land resources within Palestine and of the dispossession of peasants could be solved by moving them to Transjordan and Iraq. He urged the Jewish Agency to provide a loan of £1 million to help move Palestinian farmers to Transjordan. The issue was discussed at length in the Jewish Agency debates of 1936-37 on partition. At first, the majority proposed a voluntary transfer of Palestinians from the Jewish state, but later they realized that the Palestinians would never leave voluntarily. Therefore, key leaders such as Ben-Gurion insisted that compulsory transfer was essential. The Jewish Agency then voted that the British government should pay for the removal of the Palestinian Arabs from the territory allotted to the Jewish state.

    The fighting from 1947 to 1949 resulted in a far larger transfer than had been envisioned in 1937. It solved the Arab problem by removing most of the Arabs and was the ultimate expression of the policy of force majeure.

 
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