From Here to Eternity: The Occupation in Historical Perspective

Benjamin Netanyahu (2014):

There’s a problem that the Palestinians are there, and I have no intention of removing them. It’s impractical and inappropriate. I don’t want a binational state, and I don’t want them as either citizens or subjects. On the other hand, I don’t want another Iranian state or Al-Qaida state. Currently, we have no solution.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky (1923):

The expulsion of the Arabs from Palestine is absolutely impossible in any form. There will always be two nations in Palestine – which is good enough for me, provided the Jews become the majority….

Thus we conclude that we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say “no” and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

All this does not mean that any kind of agreement is impossible, only a voluntary agreement is impossible. As long as there is a spark of hope that they can get rid of us, they will not sell these hopes, not for any kind of sweet words or tasty morsels, because they are not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living. A living people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions only when there is no hope left. Only when not a single breach is visible in the iron wall, only then do extreme groups lose their sway, and influence transfers to moderate groups. Only then would these moderate groups come to us with proposals for mutual concessions. And only then will moderates offer suggestions for compromise on practical questions like a guarantee against expulsion, or equality and national autonomy.

I am optimistic that they will indeed be granted satisfactory assurances and that both peoples, like good neighbors, can then live in peace. But the only path to such an agreement is the iron wall, that is to say the strengthening in Palestine of a government without any kind of Arab influence, that is to say one against which the Arabs will fight. In other words, for us the only path to an agreement in the future is an absolute refusal of any attempts at an agreement now.


  1. BillR January 7, 2014 at 1:28 am | #

    Israel can’t just murder them. You can’t get away with that these days, the way the U.S. could in the 19th century, so you just get them to leave. Moshe Dayan, who was one of the more dovish members of the Israeli elite, happened to be defense minister in charge of the Occupied Territories in 1967. He advised his colleagues at the time that we should tell the Palestinians, “We have nothing for you, you’re going to live like dogs, and whoever will leave will leave. And we will see where it all ends up.

    I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.

    Sir Winston Churcill testifying before Parliament on the Palestine issue shortly before WWII broke out.

    [Jabotinsky] had also proclaimed that the goal of Zionism was the creation of a Jewish state, at a time when Zionist leaders preferred to keep quiet about their aims. “I, too, am for a Jewish state,” one of his closest collaborators commented, “but I am against using the words.” Jabotinsky was ostracized for speaking the truth. Because he recognized Arab national aspirations as legitimate, he had no interest in denying that the Zionist struggle would be violent. According to Jabotinsky, a group of Arabs approached him in 1926: “You are the only one among the Zionists who has no intention of fooling us,” Egyptian intellectual Mahmoud Azmi is reported as having thanked him for not disguising the true nature of his aims.

    Even today Palestinian leaders are more wary of those spouting slogans such as “Universalism”, “Socialism”, etc. than they are of Jabotinsky’s spiritual heirs who do not hide their aims behind deceptive slogans but shout “Death to the Arabs”:

    (Hit ‘CC’ for subtitles)

    • J. Otto Pohl January 7, 2014 at 8:58 am | #

      Yes, because it should be noted that despite his rhetoric that it was not Jabotinsky, but rather the socialist Ben Gurion who oversaw the Nakba and the imposition of martial law on the Palestinians remaining under Israeli rule. This martial law which led to things like the Kafr Qassem massacre of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in 1956 was every bit as racist as anything in the Jim Crow South. It was only lifted in 1966 and during its existence from 1948-1966 Israel was almost universally and unconditionally supported by just about every single self identified liberal, progressive, and social democrat in the Western World.

      • BillR January 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm | #

        Many changed their minds once they learned the facts, but only a very few could muster the courge to not only do an about-turn, but speak out against the “gross hypocrisy” of the prevalent intellectual and moral climate:

        The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign Power to another people for the creation of a new State. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their number have increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate?

        An excerpt from the last public statement of Bertrand Russell made in 1970.

  2. hophmi January 7, 2014 at 10:12 am | #

    Right, so now we’re going to cherry pick convenient quotes to make the case that the Israelis act not out of security, or because Israeli citizens have had their children blown up again and again, but because of a short pamphlet from 1923.

    Are you planning to do this with American texts written in the 18th or 19th century about Native Americans? How about we review some of what was written about Jews during the time of Dreyfus so that we can argue that France’s anti-immigrant fervor today is worthy of a boycott movement?

    • neffer January 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm | #


      Your comment is the only astute comment, thus far, here. Prof. Robin clearly employs essentialist categories when it comes to Israel. His is, for the reasons you assert, an invalid argument.

      • Harold January 8, 2014 at 10:48 am | #

        Well, if we’re to play that game, then I assert that yours and hophmi’s arguments are invalid because they argue for the preservation of a nation via the inhumane treatment of people who lived within the bounds of that nation before the nation’s existence.

    • Donald Pruden, Jr. a/k/a, The Enemy Combatant January 9, 2014 at 11:17 am | #

      If you can’t refute, misdirect. This is how “hasbara” is done.

  3. Ayman Fadel January 8, 2014 at 5:33 am | #

    Reblogged this on Aym Playing and commented:
    Zionists Old and New

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