Edition 2: No. 78
“Israel Wants Peace. Period.” (Just Joking!)
By William A. Cook
14 September, 2013
“Jerusalem – Israel wants peace. Period. The Jewish people have never held a desire to rule over others and this remains true today. Not only are we ohev shalom [“lovers of peace”], but we are also rodef shalom [“active pursuers of peace”].” So says Israel Kasnett, Magazine editor of the Jerusalem Post, in an opinion piece just published in Al Jazeera. The man is delusional. Lest this illusion of a peace loving Israel pass unnoticed, let me set the record straight. The information below provides evidence that thoroughly discredits the assertion that “The Jewish people have never held a desire to rule over others and this remains true today.” The following is an article I wrote based on classified Top Secret files obtained from The Rhodes House Archives of Oxford University and later expanded into a long Introduction for the book The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction published by Palgrave Macmillan Company in 2010.
A Tale of Lies, Deceit and Terrorism: the Birth of Israel
[The Untold Story of the Zionist Intent to Turn Palestine into a Jewish State. Based on the (classified documents of Sir Richard C. Catling), seized by the British Mandate Police from the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations, materials that confirm that the Zionist-controlled Jewish community intended to remove the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their land and make the whole of Palestine a Jewish State.]
On May 14, 1948 President Harry S. Truman received a letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine announcing the impending proclamation of the independent republic of Israel (Harry S. Truman Library, document filed August 22, 1949).i That date marks not only the beginning of the State of Israel but, sub missa voce, the assumption by the State of Israel of the calculated, systematic and determined ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of the land of Palestine that had been the business of “The Consultancy” and its agents before May 14, as identified by Dr. Ilan Pappe in his monumental The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Ilan Pappe 5).ii
The letter notes that the republic has been established within “frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.” The letter was signed by Eliahu Epstein, Agent, Provisional Government of Israel.
The letter is notable not for what it announces, but for what it does not reveal. Truth requires revelation of all the facts, not concealment by omission of that which would prejudice an understanding. During the six months between the adoption of UN Resolution 181 and the date of this letter, and in subsequent months, the prospective state of Israel launched a massive military incursion into territory designated by that same Resolution for the Palestinian people, creating in its wake “three quarters of a million Palestinian refugees,” the destruction of “hundreds of entire villages … not only depopulated but obliterated …and houses blown up or bulldozed” (Walid Khalidi, All That Remains, xv).iii Khalidi’s massive study focuses on 418 villages, once the homes of Palestinians, 292 completely destroyed, 90 others “largely destroyed,” the remainder re-inhabited by Jews called Israeli settlers.
In blunt terms, the Jewish Agency for Palestine lied to the American President that it had established a provisional government that “has been charged to assume the rights and duties … for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel … and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.”
The Agency’s deception made no reference either to the President or the international community that it had created the “Catastrophe,” or as the Palestinians termed it, the Nakba, the days of infamy that created what has become the largest Diaspora of refugees in the world and a time of remembrance for those killed in a series of massacres, estimated at 24 by Benny Morris, Israel’s preeminent Historian of that period. Indeed, the Agency had acted against international law in invading Palestinian land as designated by the very Resolution that had given them the right to a state of Israel even as it lied without remorse to the international community that it would live in accordance with their laws.
This letter will serve as a microcosm of political deceit characteristic of the Zionist led forces that controlled the nascent state of Israel. Added to this sin of omission is the British promise to the Arabs in the Balfour Declaration that they would maintain a strict ratio of Jews entering Palestine to the indigenous population, the second of the Balfour Declaration promises rarely referenced as the companion piece to the establishment of a home for the Jews in Palestine. Michael Prior marks the moral significance of this omission when he notes, “Only the final draft (of the Balfour Declaration) contained provision for protection of Palestinians rights and political status.”iv
Control and manipulation of the events coming out of Palestine has been and continues to be the modus operandi of the Zionist leaders of the state of Israel. The above letter to President Truman offers insight into this manipulation. Moreover, Truman was acting on behalf of the American people in recognizing the State of Israel on the 15th of May 1948. What the American people knew was the suffering of the Jews under Hitler and the apparent logic of the United Nations partition plan to provide a state for the two peoples residing in Palestine. What they did not know was the Zionist entity had different goals and the will to deceive the citizens of America to achieve them. But the American people were not alone in being deceived. More importantly for purposes of this paper is the deception kept from the British people about these “disappeared years,” as Robert Fisk terms them. What’s missing is the perspective of the Palestinians and the British Mandate government….
The value of Sir Richard’s files should not be underestimated. Indeed, their existence makes evident the deception that has cloaked the historical records that cover the truth of what happened then and gives new insight into what is happening now. Two documents dominate the file with 62 appendices of evidence totaling close to 500 pages of materials. The first is a dispatch sent to the Secretary of State, dated 16th of October, 1941, by the High Commissioner of Palestine, Harold MacMichael, labeled “Most Secret”; the second, a Top Secret “Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence,” prepared by the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, The Palestine Police, Jerusalem, dated July 31st, 1947. v[Sir Richard C. Catling, #145, Mss.Med. S20]
Together these documents provide a British Mandate government perspective on the forces that controlled the evolving Jewish presence in Palestine: on the intent of those forces to take full control of the land of Palestine after the Mandate period, the ruthlessness of their operations against the British Palestine Government and the Palestinian people including their removal, transfer, expulsion and death, and their awareness of the awesome power the Zionists brought, both politically and militarily, to the achievement of that goal. In short, the accumulated evidence of an ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Dr. Ilan Pappe based on the Israeli archives finds corroboration here as recorded and documented by seized materials from the Jewish Agency, Haganah, Irgun and related sources.
What should be obvious now, after the carefully researched and scholarly work of Dr. Pappe and the equally well-researched work of Dr. Morris, both based on recently released evidence from the Israeli archives and those of the Israel Defense Forces Archives, complemented now with the materials preserved by Sir Richard C. Catling, is the truth about the creation of the state of Israel: acceptance of UN Resolution 181 by the Jewish Agency Provisional Government as the designated Jewish state was not done with intent to abide by the goal of the UN General Assembly, to provide a state for two peoples in the land of Palestine, but rather to use it as a means of subterfuge to gain eventual control of all the land and cleanse that land of its indigenous people to whatever extent possible. Put bluntly, what was true then is true today; the current government in Israel continues the practices of past Israeli governments, cleanse the land of its rightful inhabitants to make that land part of the Jewish state. This is what many scholars and authorities on this conflict call, “slow motion genocide.” (Cook, May 11, 2010).
I trust the paragraphs above will dispel the illusions of Mr. Kasnett; if not he can buy a copy of The Plight of the Palestinians and read about the continuing genocide taking place in Palestine in this 21st century. Since the United States Knesset and its god-father AIPAC seem determined to thwart the desires of 70% of the American people to take our soldiers to war against Syria on behalf of Israel, we might question the accuracy of Israel Kasnett’s claims that Israel has sought peace in the mid-East.
Let me close this response to Kasnett’s opinion piece in Al Jazeera with a quote from Oedipus Rex, Scene I: “How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be.” I mention this quote because it gives focus to another illusion he makes about the peaceful PM, Ehud Olmert, the man that brought us the Christmas bombing of Gaza.
“In 2008, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the farthest-reaching proposal to date in exchange for peace, but the Palestinians did not respond.” How meaningless and empty this statement when the truth is so heinous.
The nations of the world are faced with a pulverizing public relations blitz by the Israeli government to justify its disproportionate destruction of the Palestinian people and their property. Silencing truth, the reality that exists behind a cloak of lies, destroys justice just as it destroys the people of Gaza. I look back at Hamas’ victory at the election booth, at their offer for peace following that election, both the Hamas offer to consider the Saudi Prince’s 2002 peace plan and Mahmoud Abbas’ offer for an International Peace Conference in Oslo, and realize that Israel and the United States ignored their offers, intentionally ignored their offers just as President Bush, earlier this fall, ignored, by refusing to reply, to a Hamas offer for an on-going ceasefire so that peace could be achieved. A different agenda is at work here, an agenda that seeks the total elimination of the Palestinian people as a people, subject to the authority and control of the Israeli government. As Mohammed Barakeh, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset remarked about Israel‘s strategy in 2004, “Israel sought to and almost succeeded in convincing the world that its violent onslaught against the Palestinian society was in reaction to Palestinian terror. This simplified and erroneous claim ignores the simple fact that Israel’s violent and racist occupation of the Palestinian homeland is the root cause of all violence.” Once again, the government of Israel has determined that it can, by stealth of propaganda, control how the world views its occupation and military conquest of the Palestinian people. Let’s hope reality overcomes deception.
William A. Cook is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. He writes frequently for Internet publications including The Palestine Chronicle, MWC News, Atlantic Free Press, Pacific Free Press, Countercurrents, Counterpunch, World Prout Assembly, Dissident Voice, and Information Clearing House among others. His books include Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East policy, The Rape of Palestine, The Chronicles of Nefaria, a novella, and the forthcoming The Plight of the Palestinians. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.drwilliamacook.com
i. Epstein, Eliahu. (1948). Agent, Provisional Government of Israel. Letter to President Harry S. Truman. May 14, 1948. Filed August 22, 1949. Truman Library.
ii. Pappe, Ilan. (2006). The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oneworld: Oxford.
iii. Khalidi, Walid. (1992). All That Remains. Institute for Palestinian Studies: Washington, D.C. xv.
iv. Prior, Michael. (1999) Zionism and the State of Israel: A Moral Inquiry. London: Routledge.
v. MacMichael, Harold. (1947). “Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence” The Palestine Police, Jerusalem, 7-31-1947 in Catling file.