Israel is the last colonial adventure on Earth realised when all European colonial empires were disintegrating and their peoples gaining independance. The Zionist movement, created by Herzl at the end of the ninetieth century, had for objective the creation of a Jewish State which will be a haven for an ethnic group, the Ashkenazi Jews speaking yiddish, disseminated mainly in Eastern and Central Europe countries, subject to antisemitism.
The Zionists looked after a territory on Earth where the Jewish State could be established. Ouganda, Argentine were considered. Finally, Palestine was chosen, because of the religious links of these Jews with the Holy Land. The fact that this country was relatively to its size, densily populated, did not deter the Zionists. At the end of the nineteenth century, when the Americans where slaughtering the Indians, the British the Australian aborigenes and the French pushing the Algerian living in the plains into the Kabylian Mountains, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian native population did not seem unrealistic.In addition, the Ashkenazi Jews on Earth counted at the end of the nineteeth century more than 10 million, whereas all the native inhabitants of Palestine numbered about half a million.
But the Zionist movement had neither the financial means, nor the military strenght for the realization of their project of transfer and root the Ashkenazi Schetel Jews in the Holy Land. They looked after an imperialist power who will help them realize their project. In exchange, they were ready to become the mercenaries of the imperialist power that will help them conquer the Holy Land.
Palestine was considered since antiquity one of the most important
strategic areas in the World, linking Asia to Africa. The finding of the
richest oil reserves on Earth in its vicinity, increased many times its
The total failure of the Zionist movement of rooting the Ashkenazi Jews on the Palestinian Land
The collaboration of the Zionist movement with the nazi regime up to 1939, and the placing the creation of the Jewish State as a priority before the salvation of the Jews during World War II, was responsible for the amplitude of the Holocaust.
At the beginning of the fourties, President Haim Weizmann estimated that after the establishment of the Jewish State, two million Jews will come and settle in Palestine. In a letter he even mentionned five million. Ben Gourion spoke of many million Jews coming to settle in Palestine at the end of the War. They were speaking of Ashkenazi Jews. The Oriental Jews were unwelcome in the future new State.
After 1942, pogroms occured in Irak and Syria,leaving hundreds of dead and injured and thousands of Jews withouth a home. When the rescapees asked the Jewish Agency to help them come to Israel, the answer was negative. But then the Middle East was controled by the British, and the borders between the Arab States were very permeable. In the document presented in 1947 by the Jewish Agency to the United Nations in 1947 the number of Jews of Iraki origin was estimated at 3,500. The first population census done in Israel in 1949 found 8,500 Jews of Iraki origin, i.e. 5,000 more. They came to settle illegaly.
In 1948, the State of Israël emerged, thanks mainly to the political, financial and armament help of the United States and the Soviet Union, and the military superiority of the Jewish soldiers. At the same time,720,000 native Palestinians, forming more than 80% of their total population, were deported from the new State.
Both superpowers, winners of the Second World War, hoped to utilize
Israël the State of Israel in order to increase their influence in
the oil bearing Middle East. Very quickly, Israel chose its camp - The
Western Powers -.
The myth of nationalisation of 92 % of Israel's territory - the
land belongs to all Israeli citizens - has lately been destroyed. The
kibboutzim, the moshavim and many societies and private citizens rent
annually, for a symbolic sum, from "Israel's Land Administration"
under a 49 years, renewable, the land grabbed from the Palestinian fellahs
Colonizers all over the world justify the exploitation of Third World poeples and the grabbing of their lands by arguments such as bringing progress to backward communities. Zionist colonizers did not act differently. Their most arbitrary and inhuman acts against the Palestinians were always justified by ideological and advanced economic considerations.
But in their deals with the great powers, the Zionists acted differently. Herzl, in its book "The Jewish State", does not even mention the existence of a Palestinian people on the envied territory.
The Jewish Agency succeded to mobilize even the philosopher Martin Buber to the zionist cause, convincing him to plead for the establishment of a Zionist State, that will bring happiness and prosperity to both the Israelis and the indigenous Palestinians. The pionneers will help transform the backward Palestinian agriculture into one of the most advanced on Earth. Here are some extracts from a letter to Ghandhi, sent by Buber on February 1939 in reply to one of his letters: Then you come, Mahatma Ghandi,and help to draw the barriers and to declare:"Hands off! This land does not belong to you....Such an adjustment of the required living room for all is possible if it is brought into line with an all-embracing intensification of the cultivation of the whole soil of Palestine. In the present, helplessly primitive state of the fellah agriculture, the amount of land needed to produce nourishment for a family is ever so much larger than it otherwise woul be. In other words, the problem of feeding the Israeli and the Palestinian populations could be solved by intensifying the Palestinian agriculture.
Martin Buber continues: Our settlers do not come here as do the colonists from the Occident, with natives to do their work for them; they themselves set their shoulders to the plow, and they spend their strength and their blood to make the land fruitful. But it is not only for ourselves that we desire its fertility. The Jewish peasants have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab peasants, to cultivate the land more intensively; we desire to teach them further; together with them we want to cultivate the land - to "serve" it.... The more fertile the soil becomes, the more space there will be for us and for them. We have no desire to dispossess them; we want to live with them. We do not want to rule, we want to serve them.(Martin Buber - A Land of two Poeples. A Letter to Ghandi (February 1939). Oxford University Press, September 1982, pp.122-123)
The denial of the existence of a Palestinian people
Prime minister Levy Eshkol, in its last interview published before
its death, had to answer to the following question:"If the Jews had
the right to an homeland in this part of the Planet, why should that be
different for the Palestinians in their own country. He answered: Who
are the Palestinians? When I came to Palestine, there were all in all
250,000 non-Jews, most of them Arabs and Bedouins"(The Jerusalem
Post, February 2, 1969)
Abraham Grannot, one of the Jewish Agency high civil servants responsible for its land policy, wrote in the fifties: A new reality has taken place in Israel: the concentration of its lands in the Nation's hands and the relative disappearance of private property. Less than 10 % of the country's area belongs to private Jewish and Arab owners (Grannot A. - La politique agraire mondiale et l'expérience d'Israël. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1957, p. XIV). He continues: I dedicate this book to Israel's peasants, to the pionneers... who knew how to clear the smallest plot of the motherland .(ditto, p.16)
One of the well accepted declarations of the Zionist propaganda by Western opinion is the blooming of the Holy Land deserts by the Jewish pionneers, the flourishing of its arid and mountainous land through their surhuman work.
In one of the documents prepared in 1947 by the Jewish Agency in order to expose the Jewish position before the United Nations, one can read: The land held by Jews was purchased mainly from present or absentee landowners who either left their lands fallow or else leased them out, and the lesees impoverished the lands through primitive exploitation. The Jewish settlers, on the other hand, greatly improved their lands, so much so that thousands of settlers with a high standard of living now derive their livelihood on the very same lands where a few hundred of Arabs hardly eked out a bare existence heretofore. (Statistical Handbook of Jewish Palestine, 1947, A. Gertz, Editor, Department of Statistics, The Jewish Agency for Palestine, Jerusalem, p.122)
The rooting of the Jews of the Diaspora in the land of its ancestors and the making by the Zionists of desert land and marshes of Palestine bloom is a myth. The feeding of the Israeli population is tributary of millions of tons of basic and other foodstuff imported each year. The payment of these imports is not earned by the Israelis through their industrial production, but is provided by the U.S.A. and other Western powers for Israel's strategic role in the safeguard of the Western Powers interests in the oil bearing Middle East.
During this century, there were three political attemps to transform urban populations into peasants. The Zionist attempt of transforming Ashkenazi European Jews from Russia, Poland and Central Europe schtetels, into land labourers established in kibboutzim and moshavim; Mao's China "Cultural revolution", during which millions of urban intellectual Chinese were sent to work in its villages; the Cambodgian Red Khmers revolution, following a same purpose. All these three attemps totally failed. The failure of the Zionist movement of transforming urban Middle class Jews into peasants rooted in the soil of their ancesters has been concealed thanks to the annual billions of dollars mercenary rent received by Israel, which allows it to buy on the world markets almost all the food it needs. In fact, Israel could stop cultivate all its fields and still enjoy one of the highest food diets of the world.
Palestinian land reclamation ans Zionist land sterilization during the Mandatory period
The Palestinian agricultural development during the Mandatory period was in full swing. The Palestinians, most of them expulsed from their rented farms after the selling of the land to the Zionists, were adding each year, through reclamation work, tens of thousands of dunums to Palestine cultivated areas. During the Mandate, the Palestinians added more than 2.000.000 dunums to their cultivated lands, bringing the total arable area of Palestine, at the end of 1944 to 9.200.000 dunums.
During the same period, the Jews were buying from feodal landlords
more and more Palestinian land, expulsing their fellahs and leaving them
uncultivated, as a reserve for a "future colonization". Hereafter
some zionist statistics data concerning Jewish land acquisitions and "reservations".
After the creation of Israel, almost all of the 25,000 ha of the citrus plantations of Palestine remained in Israel's boundaries. Their citrus crops could have become one of the main sources of foreign currency of the new State. But the Ashkenazi owners of citrus groves near the Coastal Plain towns thought otherwise. Notwithstanding the fact that not far away of these towns large sand areas suitable for construction were to be found, these owners used their political influence in order to transform their citrus orchards into building plots, and receive from the new administration former palestinian land on which they could plant new citrus groves. In December 1948, the total area of the citrus groves remaining in the new State boundaries reached 250,000 dunum. Two years later, the citrus groves area was 130,000 dunums. Half of the citrus groves area in 1948 was destroyed. In 1967, the citrus plantations reached 420,000 dunums, most of them in the Coastal Plain. In 1992, according to Israel's official statistics, this area has been reduced to 288,000 dunums.(In fact, much less) The workers of these citrus groves are either Palestinians or Third World workers, from the Philippines, Thailand and other South Eastern Asia countries.
But the actual citrus grove owners are not satisfied with the relatively low revenues of their citrus groves. They desire to transform them into building plots, as their predecessors in the fifties. So they let their citrus groves dry up, and then utilise their influence in order to obtain by every mean available a permit to transform them into building plots.
The second main israeli export field crop is cotton. In Israel, this culture should have been totaly prohibited. Its a summer crop. When sown in June, all the soil's humidity obtained through rain in December -February has disappeared, lost in the atmosphere. Cotton needs very large quantities of water during a short period. This has obliged all cotton growers to increase the water irrigation capacity of their pipelines. Then cotton, cultivated year after yeaar on the same field, needs in order to yiels a normal crop, more and more fertilizers and pesticides whose remains in the Hula valley go and pollute the Sea of Galilee drinking waters, and in the valleys and the Coastal Plain the underground waters, main sources of drinking water for the country's population.
For these reasons, cotton should have never been cultivated in Israel. But the kibboutzim, saw in cotton the field crop that gave them the highest revenue per workday. All other considerations were thrown away. Till recently, a third of all kibboutz fieldcrops area was cotton. The reduction of the cotton areas in the kibboutzim was not due to environmental considerations, but to the fact that the price of cotton has fallen on the world markets.
Iln 1946, the Palestinians formed two thirds of the country'ss
population and the Jews one third. A book written by Ludwig Samuel, entitled
"Jewish agricultural production in Palestine", and published
in 1946 by the Jewish Agency gives details of the agicultural production
of each sector in 1943/44:
In Israel, articles concerning water and land mismanagement and dilapidation are innumerable. Such articles can be found in the press, especially in the "Haaretz" daily. But as far as I know, there is not a single specialist in Israel who has ever written a book concerning the mismanagment of Israel's land and water resources. On the contrary. English, french, german books concerning the redeeming of the Holy land, the blooming of the Negev desert, the miracles accomplished by the kibboutzim are legion. My opinion is that these dilapidations are not gratuitous. First, Israel does not need the country's lands for feedings its population. Thanks to the billions of dollars received each year, Israel can buy on the foreign markets all the staple foods it needs, as well as huge quantities of meat, fish, coffee and many delicacies for its elites. Secondly, the land and water dilapidation reenforces Israel's argumentation that on the limited area of Palestine there is no place for two poeples.
1. Rodinson M. - Israël, fait colonial? Les Temps Modernes, no 253 bis, p. 17-88
2. Reported in a letter of Anthony Wedgwood Benn,
London, May 1st, 1964, to Dan Leon