Israel: A Racist Settler Colonial Regime

The creation of the State of Israel, the dismantlement of Palestine and the uprooting of the Palestinian people from their homeland, thirty years ago, together with the ensuing Middle East (M.E.) Conflict, ever since, are the direct outcome of the introduction of political Zionism into the Middle East. Despite this, scholars and laymen in the West are reluctant to see this relationship or to tackle the issue of Zionism because of its deliberately and carefully advertised link to Judaism. It must be stressed here, at the outset, that Judaism and political Zionism not only have very little in common but are two conflicting outlooks. Many Jewish scholars assert this incompatibility. Rabbi Elmer Berger stresses that "The State of Israel, as presently conceived, and Zionism are both contradictions of every liberal humanistic dream of free men and are totally divorced from Judaism."1 The Fathers of Zionism attest to that. Max Nordau, a prominent Zionist leader, with his friend Herzl, addressing the Fourth World Zionist Congress in 1900, declared that in developing their ideology, the Zionists were not motivated by any "mystical yearning for Zion". "Of that" he assured everybody, "most of us are free."2

Zionism, as a modern political creed, emanated in Europe, as a recognisable political ideology, at the end of the nineteenth century with three main inherent and fundamental qualities.

These three qualities have characterized the movement ever since, and have become inseparable from it. They are namely settler colonialism, racism and expansionism. I propose to deal here with the first two qualities; having dealt with the third earlier.


From its very inception, the Zionist Movement, as a settler colonial movement, saw a natural symbiotic alliance with European Imperialism. The rapid advances of aggressive and chauvinist nationalism in Europe stressed that the superior racial qualities were the basis for the exploitation and "civilisational mission", under the notion of the "white man's burden." Throughout the negotiations, involving the Zionist proposals for white penetration into Africa and Asia, Herzl, in the manner of nineteenth century imperialist thinkers, spoke of imperialism and colonialisation as a "noble activity" destined to bring civilisation to the "backward races".3 Viewing the Jewish state with these occidental white binoculars, he asserted that this state is designed to "form a part of a wall of defence for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilisation against barbarism."4

In their search for a location for the Zionist enclave to be created, a variety of options were explored including Uganda, Tripolitania in Libya, Cyprus, Madagascar, the Congo and Palestine. "I have seen a land for you, Dr. Herzl, on my recent travels, and that is Uganda. It is hot on the coast, but the climate of the interior is excellent for Europeans", wrote Joseph Chamberlain to Herzl.5 Though Herzl strongly favoured Uganda as the location for the Jewish State, The Committee, appointed by the World Zionist Congress to explore the area, found it unsuitable.

Herzl then approached King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and brought up his project "to channel the surplus Jewish immigration into Tripolitania under the liberal laws and institutions of Italy". The King told him gently that the Zionist project would mean building in "Someone else's house."6 The choice finally fell on Palestine and Kaiser Wilhelm II was approached. Herzl also turned to the Ottoman Empire, pledging that if the Sultan were to give the Zionists "that piece of return we shall set his house in order, straighten out his finances, and influence public opinion all over the world in his favour."7

Herzl's attempts were all to no avail and he and Weizmann, who was to follow him as leader of the Zionist movement, moved their attention to Britain. Weizmann's approach to the British Government was more successful. Britain's interest in a Zionist enclave in Palestine or in adjacent areas, to provide a vassal state for the defence of the Suez Canal and the approaches to its Indian Empire, was long-standing. The Earl of Shaftesbury wrote in 1840 that "Syria and Palestine" are important for the British Empire and if this important geographic area needs "capital and population, the Jews can give it both". "England," he said, "has a special interest in promoting such restoration"8 Lord Palmerston saw similar benefits. Herzl, aware of this, directed his gaze toward England, while still negotiating with other potential colonial sponsors, impelled by the realisation that British Colonialism was the best established and the most expansionist of all varieties known at that time. "The English," he said, in a speech in London in 1899, were "the first to recognize the necessity of colonial expansion in the modern world." For that reason the Zionist leader packed up and went to London, where he expected to find admiration for his Zionist vision. He was convinced that "the Zionist idea, which is a colonial idea, must be understood in England easily and quickly."9

This perception of the Jewish State as a vassal is characteristic of all Zionist schools. Weizmann, too, was characterized by his friend Richard Crossman as a firm believer in the "virtues of the Empire."10 Weizmann viewed the Jewish settlement in Palestine as a safeguard for England, particularly "in respect to the Suez Canal."11 In a letter to Winston Churchill, written in 1921, the Zionist leader discussed the "identity of interests" and the "natural alliance" between the Empire and the Zionist enclave. "If there were no Palestine" he continued, "it would, I believe, be necessary to create one in the Imperial interest. It is a bastion to Egypt."12 The same identity of interests was obvious to Ben Gurion, the Labour Zionist leader, who declared at the Nineteenth Zionist Congress in 1935 that "whoever betrays Great Britain betrays Zionism". Elsewhere, he spoke of the enclave as constituting "bases of defense on sea and on land" for the Empire.13

Herzl's efforts in England included soliciting the backing of the major colonialist figures, foremost amongst whom was Cecil Rhodes. In a letter explaining his interest, Herzl wrote that although his project did not involve Africa but a piece of Asia Minor, "had this been on your path, you would have done it yourself by now". Why then did Herzl turn to him, the Zionist leader rhetorically asked? "Because it is something colonial" was the answer.14 What Herzl sought was a Rhodes certificate for colonial viability and desirability.

Herzl's successor, Weizmann, obtained from the British Imperialists the necessary patronage and protection for the imported Zionist Colons in Palestine, in the form of the "Balfour Declaration" on November 2, 1917.

In his continued search for advice and support from the expert colonialists on the African scene, Weizmann found identity of views with General Ian Smuts. Smuts addressed a meeting, arranged by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the Zionist Federation, in Johannesburg on November 3, 1919 and said: "I need not remind you that the white people of South Africa has been brought up almost entirely on Jewish tradition. The Old Testament has been the very matrix of Dutch culture here in South Africa....That is the basis of our white culture, and it is the basis of your Jewish culture; and therefore we are standing together on common platform."15

The identity of views of the two was evidenced in the fact that Weizmann, the "New Moses" as Smuts called him, never questioned the racist basis of the South African State and perceived no moral difficulty in accepting the subordinate position of the African majority in South Africa, as did Smuts assume without question the right of the Jewish settlers to occupy Palestine without regard to the rights of the indigenous Palestinian people. In both cases, Smuts and Weizmann epitomised the capacity of Western Civilisation to rationalise domination and exploitation of what they considered the "inferior uncivilised races" in Africa and Asia.

In a remarkable meeting of imperialistic design and liberal philosophy, the perpetuation of white domination over South Africa and the sanctioning of eventual Jewish control over Palestine was effected in large part by the same handful of politicians, including some of the outstanding representatives of the British ruling class. Thus the South African Act of Union of 1910 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 each owed their birth in large part to Lord Millner, Lord Selbourne, Lord Balfour, Joseph Chamberlain and General Smuts.16 Regarding South Africa, the important aim for both Liberals and Conservatives was to hold the Empire together. This could only be done by placating the Boers and by entrusting power to those who, in the words of Balfour, "think like us". Consequently, while knowing full well that with the passage of the Act of Union, the British parliament would lose for ever its right to intervene on behalf of South Africa's non-white population, both parties proceeded to ratify the Act and left the Africa majority to the "tender mercies" of the white rulers. In the final analysis it was the argument advanced by Balfour which carried the day. "You cannot," he declared, "give the natives in South Africa equal rights with the whites without threatening the whole fabric of white civilisation."17

In Palestine, too, imperial necessity and professed liberal philosophy carried the day. For "the Zionist Movement was the favoured candidate in governing circles in Whitehall," said the British historian, A.P. Thornton. "It was supposed, he said, as Theodor Herzl had proclaimed,

"...that Jews when inserted into Palestine would act as injections of European culture and technology into a decaying Asiatic trunk."18
This identity of views between the two colonial settler regimes emerged unmistakably since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, when Dr. Malan moved swiftly to extend de jure recognition to Israel. The bonds grew stronger as the two states formulated identical policies of repression, racism and transfer of population. In 1968, Die Burger, organ of the National Party in Cape Province, editorialised: "Israel and South Africa have a common lot. It is in South Africa's interest that Israel is successful in containing her enemies, who are among our own most vicious enemies. The anti-Western Powers have driven Israel and South Africa into a community of interests which had better be utilised than denied.19 In August 1973, General Hendrik Van den Bergh, the Chief of South Africa's Bureau of State Security (BOSS), paid a secret visit to Israel and in an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharanot, said: "I went to Israel recently and enjoyed every moment there. I told the Prime Minister, when I got back, that as long as Israel exists, we have a hope. If Israel should, God forbid, be destroyed, then South Africa would be in danger of extinction:'20 For quite a period of time Israel attempted to cover up its strong links with South Africa by paying lip-service support to African national movements. The exercise soon became transparent and was abandoned.

The links between the two states reached their peak in 1974 when Prime Minister Vorster officially visited Israel and formulated bilateral treaties, the most important of which were related to military and technical, including nuclear, cooperation. The relations between Israel and South Africa are today very close in the diplomatic, economic and military fields and are increasing steadily. It has also been confirmed that Israel has provided military personnel to aid the South Africans in their counter-insurgency training. Israel has also sold to the South African Navy many of its sophisticated Gabriel missiles. The Koor Corporation. owned by the Histadrut in Israel, has formed a series of joint companies in South Africa. Israel is in fact, through its government and private companies, actively breaking all U.N. resolutions forbidding this cooperation.

Together with its alliance with the only other major settler regime, Israel continued its role, as perceived by the founding Zionist fathers, as a vassal state and a Western outpost, when necessary or convenient.

In 1956, Israel played the role of the stalking horse for Britain and France in their attack on Egypt. Yitzhak Rabin told Haaretz (20 July 1973):

"The Americans have given us weapons so that we should use them when an extreme case, it is permitted to the civilised world to take control, by force, of the oil sources."21 The Zionist enclave established in Palestine is clearly a settler-colonial enterprise sponsored by the Western powers to solve economic and demographic problems and to serve as a base for military operations. Basically, all settler-colonial enclaves were established to shelter an alien demographic element that remains bound to the "mother country." Israel shared many of the characteristics of alien enclaves as in Algeria, the Congo, Angola. Mozambique and Rhodesia, but it also had some specific distinctive features.

The first, and most important, is that Zionism was based on massive population transfer. From those arose the slogans of the earliest Zionists: "A land without a people for a people without a land" and "The land itself without its population."22

From this massive population transfer, the Zionist enclave gained a degree of autonomy and independence from the colonial sponsor.

The second feature, that distinguishes the Zionist regime from other settler regimes, arose from the doctrine of "Ingathering of the Jews" and limitless immigration and brought about "endless expansionism". Moshe Dayan stood in 1968 on the Golan Heights and told Jewish American students that the creation of the Zionist state is "a process of building up of expansion, of getting more Jews and settlements and of colonisation, in order to expand the borders here." He went on: "Let there be no Jew who says that this is the end of the process. Let there be no Jew who says that we are near the end of the road .23 The U.S. Senator James Abourezk identified this characteristic when be said:

"Israel is not only similar to South Africa as a settler state, It is worse. At least South Africa does not expand its territory. They are the only two settler states left in the world, Israel and South Africa. They are allies, and they both think they are God's chosen people too". To turn now to the second quality that characterises Zionism, as it does other colonial settler regimes, namely racism. It must be remembered that racism is an inherent and a fundamental quality in the Zionist ideology organically bound to settler colonialism.

The essence of the political doctrine of Zionism is the concept that Jews are one people and must have a "Jewish State." The fulfilment of this objective was the dual program of the "Ingathering of all Jews" and the expulsion of as many as possible of the Palestinians, because they are non-Jews. It is this exclusivist vision of a theocratic state that makes the practice of discriminatory policies in the State of Israel inevitable. Another concept that was inherent in Zionist ideology is that of Jewish superiority and the Jews being the "chosen race" and Israel a "supernation."

Ahad Ha'am, a spiritual Zionist spoke of a Jewish "supernation": "The nation of Israel as a supernation - the modern version of the chosen people - can in this way be expanded into a true system". 24

Moses Hess maintained that "Every Jew has the makings of a Messiah, every Jewess that of a Mater Dolorosa." Ahad Ha'am stated that "we feel ourselves to be the aristocracy of history." Herzl declared that "our race is more efficient in everything than most other peoples of the earth." In 1957 Ben Gurion asserted the same notion. "I believe in our moral and intellectual superiority to serve as a model for the redemption of the human race."25

This concept was then drilled into the minds of Israeli school children. One of these pupils wrote in 1968:

I am a pupil in a college in Be'er Sheva. I don't want trouble. The director of the office of education will not like my letter; therefore I am not signing my full name.
The problem: KHUZARI BOOK, which is approved by the office of education. In the introduction to the book Dr. Tzifroni writes:
"The nation of Israel is a chosen nation because of its race, its education and the climate of the land in which it was brought up. The race of the Israeli people is the most superior of all races." I think that these sentences require no explanation.
Mira, Be'er Sheva
(Published in "Haolam Haze", an Israeli newspaper, (issue 1954) and quoted in "Israel Imperial News", October 1968.26)
Thus, the concept of a "chosen race" in Zionism differs from that in Nazism, only in the identity of that race being the "Jewish" rather than the "Aryan" race.27

From the very beginning of their settlement in Palestine, the Zionists pursued policies based on the denial of the Palestinian people or their presence in Palestine. Golda Meir quoted in the Sunday Times, 15 June 1969:

"There was no such thing as Palestinians. They did not exist."28 This de-humanising concept of Zionist ideology seemed make it possible for the Zionists to expel, dispossess and oppress the Palestinians with ease. Herzl spoke of expelling the Palestinians rather casually: "We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country."29 Zionism preached and Israel implemented the policies of expulsion and oppression of non-Jews (Muslim and Christian Palestinians). It is these practices that brought about the passage on November 10,1975, by an overwhelming majority by the U.N. General Assembly, of the resolution designating "Zionism as a form of racism." This brought about the hysterical outcry from U.N. and other Western politicians and media who spoke of revulsion and obscenity and protestations by Zionists that Zionism is Judaism. As we heard earlier many dedicated Jewish scholars reject, as blasphemous, the notion that equates Judaism with Zionism. Other Zionists brought up the novel idea that "Zionism is the national liberation movement of Jews". Be that as it may, we should set aside all emotionalism and look objectively not at the theoretical definition, regardless whether it is true or false, but at Zionism in PRACTICE.

The law of Return and Nationality

Central to Zionist racism is the law of Return, 1950, which grants exclusive immediate citizenship rights to members of the Jewish faith throughout the world while it denies similar rights to Palestinians who, and their forefathers, have lived on their land for thousands of years. They have to apply for citizenship under the Nationality Law of 1952 which stipulates a variety of conditions to be met. An estimated 60,000 to 70,000 Palestinians (Muslims and Christians) born in Israel and now living there are denied full rights of citizenship because, for one reason or mother, they cannot fully meet the provisions of the Nationality law for non-Jews. The number of these Arabs is increasing, since statelessness is inherited in Zionist Israel.

Professor Israel Shahak, Chairman of Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, highlights this when he says:

"People who were born, and lived most of their life in Jerusalem ait not allowed to come back and to settle in their own city, if they are not Jews. If a Dutchman converts to Judaism tomorrow (by way of Orthodox Jewish conversion, of course), he will not only be allowed to do so at once, he will also get an apartment in Ramat-Eschkol (all-Jewish suburb of Jerusalem, built on Arab land conquered and expropriated in 1967."30 Can there be any more discriminatory law anywhere in the world?

The Land Question

Since the main objective of the Zionist scheme was "a land without people", a deliberate and premeditated operation was mounted in 1948 to expel the Palestinians or force them to flee. The operation used acts of massacre, massive expulsion and more subtle methods of "persuasion". In 1948, the total Jewish holdings, leased and owned, were less than 6% of the total land area of Palestine. To enlarge this, one of the most shocking acts of plunder in modern history took place. A series of so-called laws were quickly promulgated to expropriate the millions of acres and thousands of farms and stores and hundreds of whole towns and villages that belonged to the expelled Arab refugees. These laws included the Emergency Defence Regulations, the Abandoned Areas Ordinance (1949), the Emergency articles for the Exploitation of Uncultivated Lands (1947-1949), the Absentee Property Law (1950) and the Land Acquisition Law (1955). This act of plunder was not confined to the property of the refugees who had been thrown out of the country but was extended to the Arabs who remained on their land. Under one regulation, any area could be closed by the authorities for security reasons and its Arab owners barred from it. It would then be declared "abandoned or "uncultivated". Under another law it would be handed over to others, usually Jews, to cultivate. Many Arab citizens who had never moved from the part of Palestine that became Israel happened to be away from their lands and homes for a certain period during the process of Israeli occupation, annexation, and population transfer. They were barred from their villages upon their return, thereby becoming absentees, and their property was seized. These Arabs earned the bizarre definition of "absent present"! 31

The Land Acquisition Law consolidates retroactively, Israel's stranglehold on Arab lands, for it "legalizes" and makes final the seizure of the land under the 1949 and 1950 laws, and empowers the transfer of the land thus seized to other owners.32

Dr. Shereshevsky of the Thud Party in Israel described these laws as:

"Robbery of land from people, inhabitants of the state".32 Moshe Karen, a Jewish writer, described the laws as: "Wholesale robbery with a legal coating." 32 In this way the Israeli authorities confiscated the entire movable and immovable property of the 750,000 evicted refugees, and more than one million dunums of land, belonging to Arabs who had remained in Israel after 1948, was seized.

The expropriated land was passed to the Keren Kaymeth, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) the laws of which prevent leasing the land to Arabs or use of Arab labour. Despite these clearly racist regulations, some Jews in the sly days of colonisation used Arab labourers or kept or employed the peasants, whose land was taken over, to cultivate it. The Zionists reacted violently to this, and to consummate the inhumanity, on 1st August 1967, the Israel government passed a law to enforce this racial discrimination: The Agricultural Settlement Law. This additionally prohibited the subleasing of land to Arabs, while the JNF Constitution forbids direct leasing. Uri Avnery told the Knesset:

"If we are going to expel Arab cultivators from the land that was formerly theirs, and was handed over to the Jews, we would be acting in accordant with the verse which says:
"Hast thou killed and also inherited".
These were only a few of the methods and laws that were used or legislated to expropriate the land of the Arabs, who remained in Israel and to discriminate against them. None can be more racist than the "Koenig Report, a very subtle and devious program to expropriate the land and expel the people of the Galilea, which Koenig and his masters thought should be Judaised.

Violation of Human Rights

Israel, the so-called last bastion of democracy in the Middle East, as our news media keep telling its, in its Declaration of Independence proclaimed in writing "the complete equality of social and political rights for all of its citizens, without distinction of creed, race or sex". Fine words, but the hollowness of the promise and the discrimination against the Arabs was soon exposed. Immediately, a series of discriminatory laws were enacted. The Defence Laws controlled the movements and activities of the Arabs, deprived them of freedom of speech and the press. The Military Governors were authorized to enforce these laws and could and did, by simple administrative order, detain an Arab without any explanation for any length of time, deport him from his country, refuse him access to his own property and confiscate or destroy his property. Let me remind you that these laws were inherited by the Israelis from the British Mandatory Government which enacted these laws to control Jewish terrorism in 1945. Let me also remind you how the representatives of the Jewish community in Palestine had viewed these laws. The Jewish Lawyers' Association in a conference in Tel Aviv in February 1948 heard a future Justice of the Supreme Court in Israel describe them:

"These laws contradict the most fundamental principles of law, justice and jurisprudence."33 Dr. Bernard Joseph, who was later to become Israel's Minister of Justice and responsible for enforcing these same laws, went even further: "With regard to the Defense Laws themselves, the question is: Are we all to become the victims of officially licensed terrorism?"33 Mr. Shapiro a future Israeli Attorney-General and Minister of Justice stated: The System established by the Defense Laws is unparalleled in any civilized country; there were no such laws even in Nazi Germany."34 I am in perfect agreement with Mr. Shapiro and his colleagues for these and other laws enacted or enforced by Israel, the oasis of democracy to American Press, exceed those of Nazi Germany and are the embodiment of terrorism.

The discrimination against the Muslim and Christian Arabs was, however, inevitable in an avowedly Jewish State. The discrimination against them is at its most profane as we saw in the two most extraordinary laws enacted by any state namely, the "Law of Return" and the "Nationality Law".

The new chapter of conquest in 1987 brought more than a million additional Palestinians under Israeli occupation. These are those who remained after 300,000 others were evicted or fled when scores of Palestinian towns and villages were totally and systematically bulldozed after the end of fighting. My own town, Beit Nuba, was one of these alongside Yalu and the biblical town of Emmaus, on the rubble of which, to digress, Jewish Canadian investors (with tax-deductible Canadian dollars) built a recreation center. You may wonder what kind of people are those who enjoy their recreation and beautiful roses on the ruins of the homes of others and the graves of their forefathers?

The U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council resolved, like they had done so many times before, that these new refugees should be allowed to return to their homes. This, like all previous resolutions, fell on deaf Israeli ears. Moshe Dayan said he wanted a purely Jewish state. As to those who remained behind, let us look at how Zionist Israel treated them.

To avoid repetition of crimes against civilians in occupied territories during the second World War, the nations of the world took action, recalling the treatment of Jews and others who fell under Nazi occupation, and formulated the Fourth Geneva Convention to protect civilians under occupation. Israel is a signatory to this Convention, yet there is not one single article in this convention that has not been blatantly violated by Israel in her treatment of the newly conquered Arabs. Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids the destruction of property, belonging to protected persons, yet a number of villages and over 19,000 homes were deliberately destroyed. Article 33 prohibits collective penalties, yet hundreds of homes were dynamited because a shot or grenade was suspected to have been thrown from their direction.

Article 18 prohibits attacks on civilian hospitals and relief organizations, yet more than one was attacked, destroyed or molested. Article 17 and 54 forbid the confiscation ad expropriation of property, yet thousands of acres including scores of towns and villages were expropriated to build Jewish settlements.


Article 32 prohibits torture ad corporal punishment of protected persons and prisoners, yet the stories of horror, torture and mutilation that go on in Israeli prisons against Arab prisoners need volumes to record. These have been confirmed by investigations carried out by the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, U.N. Human Rights Commission and documented reports by Israel's own League for Civil and Human Rights and scores of Western Journalists and even Israeli lawyers and intellectuals, who honourably could not bear to remain in silence.

The report of the "Insight Team" of the London "Sunday Times" on 19 June 1977 is only another chapter in this odyssey. The team, after carrying out a detailed inquiry in Israeli-occupied territories into Arab charges and official Israeli denials of the use of torture concluded:

"Torture of Arab prisoners is so widespread and systematic that it cannot be dismissed as "rogue cops exceeding orders. It appears to be sanctioned as deliberate policy."35 Yet as soon as these reports come to the surface, they are quickly squashed, by those who control the media, and the charge of anti-semitism goes against those who voice such criticism. Interestingly, this is an effective Zionist weapon that works quite efficiently in suppressing criticism of the policies of the State of Israel, granting her a unique immunity unavailable to any other government in the world. Extraordinarily, stories of torture - not reaching in frequency or intensity those that go on in Israel - are rightly publicized when they take place in Greece, Chile or the Soviet Union but let no one, who cares for his future or name, dare mention what goes on in Israel. Mr. Michael Adams, writing in "The Guardian," 26 January 1968, wrote: "I had my ups and downs during four years as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany but the Germans never treated me as harshly as the Israelis are treating the Arabs of Gaza strip, the majority of whom are women and children."36 Dr. Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and chairman of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, had this to say about the Israeli occupation, which had acquired in Western press the description of a "liberal occupation": "The Israeli occupation regime in the conquered territories is not only not a liberal one, it is one of the most cruel and repressive regimes in modern times".37 The Right of Return

Besides the dispossession, the racial discrimination and torture, the Palestinians have been subjected to, they have been deprived of their most basic and fundamental human right, namely the right to return to their homeland. I would not be surprised if some of you may not have demonstrated or protested, supporting the right of Jewish Russians to emigrate to Israel, the land of Palestine, quoting no less than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 13 (2)) stating: "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own. I have seen this much maligned declaration so often in Western press going this far and no further. No one bothers to quote the remaining portion of the declaration, which continues: "and to return to his country". Yes, the declaration grants everyone the right to return home.

Surely the Palestinian has the right to return to his home before the Russian is entitled to go to Palestine.

Needless to say, the Zionists have no room for such luxuries, as concern for human rights, especially for the Arabs. The dispossession and uprooting was inherent in Zionist ideology from Herzl to Begin.

Joseph Weitz, who replaced Ruppin as Jewish Agency representative in charge of settlement, reported in the September 29, 1967 issue of Davar, organ of the Histadrut, that in 1940 he and other Zionist leaders concluded that there was "no room for both peoples together in this country". The achievement of Zionist objectives, he realized, required "a Palestine, or at least Western Palestine (west of the Jordan river), without Arabs". He wrote that it was necessary "to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries. To transfer all of them... And only after such transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brethren."38

Racial Discrimination in Housing

Racial discrimination in Israel against Arabs and to some extent against, oriental Jews extends to housing. There are localities, suburbs and areas where they are not allowed to reside. Levi Eshkol settlement, built since 1967 on expropriated Arab land in Jerusalem, has no place for the Arabs, on whose land it is built. In Upper Nazareth riots broke out when an Arab rented an apartment in one of scores of empty homes that remained unoccupied.

Israel's treatment of Oriental Jews is only a shade better than that of her Arab citizens. Alfred Lilienthal, a Jew himself, described how the Oriental Jews, who constitute more than 50% of the population, were looked down upon as an inferior group by the dominant Western and Eastern European Jews, and were forced to do the lowest kind of labor and called "black". Isaac Joseph, speaking for a group of Indian Jews in Israel said "In India there is no discrimination. In Israel, we are Easterners and apparently inferior.39

Cultural and Intellectual Oppression

Israel's racist campaign is not directed exclusively against the physical existence of the Palestinians; it extends to their intellectual and cultural life as well.

On November 27, 1970, an editorial in Haaretz stated that among 16,000 college and university students in Israel there were about 200 Arabs, and two of these were under administrative arrest. Uri Lubrani, a former advisor on Arab affairs to the Prime Minister, in a statement made to "Haaretz" on April 4, 1961, gave expression to a Zionist hope, frustrated by reality, when he said, "If there were no (Arab) pupils, the situation would be better and more stable. If the Arabs remained hewers of wood, it might be easier for us to control them." There have been a number of Israeli newspaper articles about the threat and danger represented by the increasing number of Palestinian University graduates, both in Israel and in exile.

Frustrated political Zionist hopes uniformly translate themselves into racist attempts to suppress the emergence of an educated Arab leadership. The Israeli establishment has also deported a number of leading intellectuals. One of the more recent deportees is Dr. Hanna Nasir, President of Bir Zeit University, where the faculty and students have been the object of persistent Israeli harassment. In this very academic year, 19 Americans, Canadians and Europeans on the Faculty of the University have had their visas or work permits cancelled. Aharon David, an advocate of quick and simple procedures leading to the attainment of the racist dream, had proposed that the Arab intellectual class be annihilated.

The attempt to liquidate the Palestinians physically and intellectually assumes a curious aspect when it extends to traces they may have left behind in their exodus. As early as 1940, for instance, Weitz had reached the conclusion that "not one village, not one tribe should be left behind."41 Thereby, it was hoped that the illusion of an empty land could be perpetuated, even though Palestine was described by Zionist thinker Ahad Ha'am in 1891 as a country in which it was very difficult to find arable land that was not already cultivated.42 The Zionist program is being brutally and meticulously executed by the Zionist state. Israel has bulldozed whole Arab villages, including their cemeteries, churches and mosques. Of 475 Arab villages in pre-1948 Palestine, 385 have been destroyed. Israel's armed forces bulldozed more than 19,000 homes of Arab civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, in the period from July 1967 to December 1972.43

There have been ruthless attempts also to obliterate traces of the past. History books are rewritten to accord with the Zionist vision.


Right from its origins in Europe, Zionism grew in basic alliance with antisemitism and echoed it in many respects. The Zionists argued that the Jews cannot assimilate with others. Herzl said:

"I will say to the German Kaiser: Let us go forth. We are aliens here". Mahatma Gandhi said: "This cry for the national home affords a colorable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews".44 Gandhi's words did not constitute an exaggerated view of the situation, for the Nazis had made full use of the Zionist claims and premises. In Nazi-dominated Europe the most antisemitic slogan was "Juden raus to Palestine" (Out with the Jews to Palestine). As it turned out, the Nazis accepted the Zionist idea.

The alliance of anti-Semitism with the anti-democratic ideology of Zionism played a notable role in the motivations which produced the Balfour Declaration. In 1918, less than a year after he had transmitted the declaration to the British Zionists in a letter to Lord Rothschild, Arthur James Balfour wrote of Zionism:

"For as I read its meaning it is, among other things, a serious endeavor to mitigate the age-long miseries created for Western civilization by the presence in its midst of a Body which it was equally unable to expel or to absorb. Surely for this, if for no other reason, it should receive our support."45 Abhorrent as antisemitism is, the most ruthless exploitation of it has been made by Zionism to achieve their aims. An example of this is revealed in an editorial article in "Davar", the official newspaper of the governing Israel Labour Party (Mapai). Editor Sharun wrote: "I shall not be ashamed to confess that if I had the power, as I have the will, I would select a score of efficient young men - intelligent, decent, devoted to our ideal and burning with desire to help redeem Jews - and I would send them to the countries where Jews are absorbed in sinful self-satisfaction. The task of these young men would be to disguise themselves as non-Jews, and plague these Jews with anti-semitic slogans, such as 'Bloody Jew,' 'Jews go to Palestine,' and similar 'intimacies.' I can vouch that the results, in terms of considerable immigration to Israel from these countries, would be ten thousand times larger than the results brought by thousands of emissaries who have been, for decades, preaching to deaf ears."46 The method was actually used by planting bombs and throwing grenades at Synagogues in Baghdad by Zionist agents to force the reluctant Iraqi Jews to emigrate.47

Zionism and Racism

We have seen a glimpse of a massive catalogue of acts of discrimination, emanating from an ideology that dictates this policy. Can we ask ourselves "was the U.N. General Assembly justified in classifying Zionism as 'a Form of Racism'?

The United Nations definition of racism and racial discrimination is contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Article 1 of which states that "discrimination between human beings on the ground of race, colour or ethnic origin is an offense to human dignity and shall be condemned"; and in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which goes even further, in Article 1, by stating that "in this convention, the term 'racial discrimination' shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin."

It is manifestly clear, from both the theory and practice of Zionism, that the acts of expulsion, expropriation, violation of human rights and torture committed against the Christian and Muslim Palestinian Arabs are committed solely because they are non-Jews. These are precisely the same practices utilised by the Apartheid System practiced again blacks in South Africa. The testimony of none other than the Prime Minister of South Africa, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd ("Rand Daily Mail", 23 November 1961) is revealing:

"The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them. Israel like South Africa is an Apartheid State."48 Dr. Verwoerd should know what Apartheid is and his testimony should give Zionism the seal of authenticity as a racist movement, as did Rhodes and Smuts give it their certificate of authenticity as a colonial regime.

Zionist policy, in its attempt to justify what the Israeli writer, Uri Davis, described as Israel's "original sin", proceeded to dehumanise the Palestinian Arabs. The following story told by a British Member of Parliament, Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop, gives an insight into the true nature of the Zionist mode of thinking:

"Six weeks after that war (June 1967) six hon. Members of this House, three from each side, including myself, went to Israel and to Jordan as the guests of those countries. There was a horrifying moment for me. We were all present as guests at lunch of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Knesset in Jerusalem. After lunch the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Knesset spoke with great intemperance and at great length to us about the Arabs. When he drew a breath, I was constrained to say, 'Doctor Hacohen, I am profoundly shocked that you should preach of other human beings in terms similar to those in which Julius Streicher spoke of the Jews. Have you learned nothing?' I shall remember his reply to my dying day. He smote the table with both hands and said, 'But they are not human beings, they are not people, they are Arabs.' He was speaking of the Arab refugees".
    R.J. Maxwell-Hyslop M.P.
    House of Commons 18 October 1973 (Hansard. col. 502)
I shall leave the final testimony, on the racist nature of Zionism to Professor Israel Shahak, Chairman of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, a - who experienced racism in Nazi hands, in the Belsen concentration amp, and knows what he is talking about: "It is my considered opinion that the State of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term: In this state people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried out today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement.
"I do not wish to debate any justifications for the racist policy. The most important fact is that it exists. Therefore the first step consists in admitting the truth: The State of Israel is a racist state, and its racism is a necessary consequence of the racism of the Zionist Movement. Facts are facts. After this we can debate, if we wish to do so why such a racism is "forbidden against the Jews and becomes a good deed when it is carried out by the Jews."
The Racist Nature of Zionism and of the Zionist State of Israel, article published in Pi-Ha'aton, the weekly newspaper of the students of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 5 November 1975.

Having looked at the ideology and practices of the Zionist movement, I believe it is not difficult for any fair-minded person to see that the fundamental cause of the conflict and the massive injustice to which the Palestinian people were subjected, is basically the introduction of Zionism in the Middle East. If we can grasp this simple fact, it is not difficult to see why peace has evaded all those who attempted to achieve it by skirting around this basic issue. The Camp David Summiteers have deliberately and deviously evaded this issue and thus denied the Palestinians a modicum of justice in their own land. Peace will flounder, if based on injustice.

Justice cannot be restored in Palestine without the elimination of Zionist racism from the Holy Land. The injustices perpetrated by Zionist racism must be redressed, by the return of the uprooted Palestinians to their homes and the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination, through full and free participation in the national life of a New Palestine. The answer to the racist exclusivism, established by Zionism in Palestine, is the creation of a pluralistic society of equal and free human beings - a state to which Muslims, Christians and Jews equally belong and which equally belongs to them all.


  1. Eager, Rabbi Elmer "Israeli Threat to Judaism in Palestine: Zionism v Judaism, Christianity and Islam". A speech delivered to the Irish Arab Society, Dublin, February 5, 1970.
  2. Ben-Horin; Max Nordau, page 199.
  3. "Inter-racial Relations", Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. XII.
  4. Herzl, Theodor The Jewish State, (New York, 1943), page 30.
  5. Stevens, Richard (Ed.); Zionism and Palestine Before the Mandates A Phase of Western Imperialism, (Beirut, The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1972), page 16.
  6. Patai, Raphael (Ed.); The Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl, trans. Harry Zohn, (New York, 1960), Vol IV, page 1600.
  7. Ibid. Vol 1, page 363.
  8. Sokolow, N.; History of Zionism l600-l8l9, (London, 1919), Vol. 1, pages 206-207.
  9. Raboniwicz; "Herzl and England, Herzl Year Book, Vol. III, page 38.
  10. Crossman, Richard; A Nation Reborn, (London, Hamish Hamilton, 1970), page 36
  11. Weizmann, Chaim Trial and Error, (New York, Harper Row, 1949).
  12. Crossman, Richard; A Nation Reborn, (London, Hamish Hamilton, 1970) page 125.
  13. Ben-Herman; "Zionism and the Lion", in Hal Draper (Ed.), Zionism, Israel and the Arabs, page 27.
  14. Patai, Raphael (Ed); The Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl, trans., Harry Zohn (New York, 1960), Vol. III, pages 1193-1194.
  15. South African Jewish Chronicle, September 22, 1950.
  16. Elmessiri, A.; The Land of Promise, A Critique of Political Zionism, (New Brunswick, North American, 1977), page 101.
  17. Lenczowski, G.; The Middle East is World Affairs, (New York, Ithaca, 1956), page 315.
  18. Thornton, A.P.; The Imperial Idea and Its Enemies, (New York, 1968), page 175.
  19. Die Burger, 29 May, 1968.
  20. Yediot Aharanot. 16 August, 1973.
  21. Haaretz, 20 July, 1973.
  22. Zanwill, L; "The Return to Palestine, New Liberal Review, London (December 1901). page 627.
  23. Ma'ariv, July 7,1968.
  24. Bentwich, N.M.; Ahad Ha'am ad His Philosophy. (Jerusalem: Keren Hayesod, 1927), page 13.
  25. Cited in L. Humphrey Walz "Zionism? Racism? What do you Mean?, The Link. Winter 1975-1976, page 11.
  26. Ha'olam Ha'aze, (late 1594), quoted In Israel Imperial News, October 1968.
  27. Cohen, Morris It; "Zionism, Tribalism or Liberalism? in Smith, Zionism - The Dream and the Reality, page 50.
  28. The Sunday Times, June 15, 1968.
  29. Lowenthal, M; The Diaries of Theodore Herzl, (New York, 1956), Vol. II, page 98
  30. Shahak, Israel; "What are My Opinions", Middle East International (Supplement), May 1975.
  31. Haaretz, 14 January, 1955
  32. Ibid.
  33. Hapraklit (The Lawyer), February 1946, pages 58-64.
  34. Ibid.
  35. The Sunday Times. 19 June, 1977.
  36. The Guardian. 26 January, 1968.
  37. Shahak, Israel; "Whet are My Opinions?', Middle East International (Supplement), May 1975.
  38. Machover; "Reply to Sol Stern", Israca, January 5, 1973, Pages 27-28
  39. Lilienthal, Alfred: The Other Side of the Coin, (New York, 1965) page 223
  40. Cited in Zionism and Racism - A Case to Answer, (Paris, Eurabia, 1976), page 12.
  41. Davis, Uri and Mezvinsky, N.; Documents from Israel, 1967-1973, (London, Ithaca, 1975), page 21.
  42. Ahad Ha'am; Am Schheidewege, (Berlin, Erster Band, 1923), page 87.
  43. From a Press release issued by Israel Shahak, published In Viewpoint, May 1973, pages 17-18.
  44. Tendulkar, Mahatma, Vol. IV, page 312
  45. Sokolow, N; History of Zionism, Vol I, page XXXIV.
  46. Lilienthal, Alfred; What Price Israel?, page 47.
  47. Events, February 10, 1978.
  48. Rand Daily Mail, November 23.1961.