Ethnic cleansing of invented people

Miko Peled

Miko’s blog
19 December 2011

Christmas in Bethlehem

Mostafa Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, Bahjat Zaalan and his son Ramdan
from Gaza died on my fiftieth birthday and just a few days after Newt
Gingrich declared them an invented people. They were murdered by the
Israeli terrorist organization, the IDF, an organization that is supported
and funded by the US. One Israeli terrorist shot the invented Tamimi in
the head with a tear gas canister, and another Israeli terrorist fired a
rocket that murdered the invented Zaalan and his boy Ramadan. Both
terrorists were educated and trained by Israel, and armed by the US.
The Israeli terrorists are not invented but quite real, and they are safe,
protected by the apartheid regime that trained and sent them on their
missions, and the Israeli court system will make sure that they are never
brought to justice. This is how Israel’s well-oiled ethnic cleansing machine

The Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine is not a thing of the past but an
ongoing campaign that is executed by three arms of the State of Israel: The
education system, a dedicated bureaucracy and the security forces. The
education system is dedicated to indoctrinating and producing soldiers and
bureaucrats who will execute and enforce the ethnic cleansing. The
bureaucracy is charged with making rules that make life unliveable for
Palestinians. Rules that restrict Palestinian access to their lands, and
restrict their ability to travel freely to work and school. This same
bureaucracy then demands that Palestinians pay for permits to be allowed do
these very same basic things that they were denied. The security forces, the
most obvious of which is the IDF, are charged with enforcing the
restrictions, fighting off the resistance, armed or peaceful, and
terrorizing the “invented” people of Palestine.

Since my father was a general and I served as a soldier in the IDF terrorist
organization, people often ask me how is it that Israeli children who are
raised in a Western style democracy become such monsters once they are in
uniform? The detailed answer can be found in my book, The General’s Son due
out in February 2012, but the short answer is this: Education – Racism
requires a mindset that is fashioned by education. In order to rationalize
and justify the ethnic cleansing the Israeli education system portrays
Palestinians as culturally inferior, violent and bent on the annihilation of
the Jews, and at the same time, void of a true national identity.
Palestinian national identity is but a figment of some anti-Semitic

Israeli children are educated to see the Palestinians as a problem that must
be solved and as a threat that must be eliminated. They can go through life,
as I did growing up in Jerusalem, without ever meeting a Palestinian child.
They know nothing of the life or culture of Palestinians who quite often
live only several hundred meters from them.

Palestinians are portrayed as an existential threat through absurd
comparisons like that of Yasser Arafat to Hitler, the Palestinians to Nazis,
and the Palestinian resistance to Al Qaeda. Since Israeli kids never meet
Palestinians what they learn in school, particularly in the school
textbooks, is all that they know. In fact it is remarkable that even though
they live so close to one another, much if not all of what Israelis know
about their Palestinian neighbors comes from high school text books and
popular racist stereotypes. Israelis don’t know that Palestinians never had
an army, that they do not posses a single tank, a single warship or fighter
jet, that they don’t have a single artillery battery and do not in fact pose
a military threat at all. According to a new book by Dr. Nurit
Peled-Elhanan, not a single photo of a person who is a Palestinian exists in
Israeli textbooks and there are millions of Palestinians in and around
Israel. Israelis don’t learn about Palestinian doctors and teachers,
engineers and writers. They don’t learn Palestinian poetry or prose and they
don’t read the works of Palestinian historians.

At a recent lecture I mentioned the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and
someone called out: “What ethnic cleansing?” People are unaware of the
ethnic cleansing taking place in Palestine because Israel hides it well and
the mainstream media doesn’t care enough to ask. In mainstream peace groups
and dialogue groups that discuss Palestine/Israel, a basic Israeli condition
is not to bring up issues like the ethnic cleansing because Israel doesn’t
like to talk about it.

But for the past 64 years ethnic cleansing of Palestine is what drives the
Zionist policies towards Palestinians. All Zionist governments and all
Zionist political parties left right and center support the ethnic
cleansing. The Israeli judicial system lets the Israeli authorities get
away with abuse, theft and murder as long as they are perpetuated against
Palestinians. Had these same crimes been committed against Israeli Jews they
would have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Zionist supporters like to bring up the fact that on November 29, 1947 the
United Nations voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish sate and an Arab
state. What is left out of the Zionist story is that within one year of the
vote Israeli forces had managed to capture close to 80% of Palestine,
destroy close to 500 Palestinian towns and villages, kill scores of unarmed
civilians and force the exile of some 800,000 Palestinians.

Then, when the UN passed resolution194 in December of 1948, calling for the
refugees to be allowed to return to their homes, Israel proceeded to build
cities and towns, parks and highways for the use of Jewish Israelis on
Palestinian land. Then the Knesset began passing laws that prohibit the
return of the refugees and allow the new state to confiscate their lands.

After the war was over, the Palestinians who remained within the newly
created Jewish state were forced to become citizens of a state that despised
them and saw them as a “problem” and a “threat.” They were designated as
“The Arabs of Israel” a designation that stripped them of a national
identity and denied them any rights to the land and provided them very
limited rights as citizens. From being the rightful owners of their lands
and their country they now existed at the pleasure of the new owner of the
land, the state of Israel. Palestinian refugees were forced into
concentration camps, conveniently called refugee camps, and those that tried
to return were shot. A military unit was created for the purpose of
punishing Palestinian refugee who “infiltrated” back into their homeland,
now called Israel. It was called Unit 101, the notorious Ariel Sharon led
it and it made a name for itself as a murderous gang with a license to kill

So regardless of the myth, now perpetuated by Newt Gingrich among others,
that says there was no forced ethnic cleansing, we know today that the
creation of Israel was made possible through a systematic campaign of ethnic
cleansing, conducted by the Jewish militia, involving massacres, terrorism,
and the wholesale looting of an entire nation.

Newt Gingrich, being the history buff that he is, might be interested in a
story I mention in my book The General’s Son, about my mother. She was born
and raised in Jerusalem and she remembers the homes of Palestinians families
in neighborhoods in West Jerusalem. She told me that when she was a child,
on Saturday afternoons she would go for walks through these neighborhoods,
admiring the beauty of the homes, watching families sit together in their
beautiful gardens. In 1948 when the Palestinian families were forced out of
West Jerusalem, my mother was offered one of those beautiful, spacious homes
but she refused. At age 22, the wife of a young army officer with little
means and with two small children, she refused a beautiful spacious home,
offered to her completely free because she could not bear the thought of
living in the home of a family that was forced out and now lives in a
refugee camp. “The coffee was still warm on the tables as the soldiers came
in and began the looting” she told me. “Can you imagine how much those
families, those mothers must miss their homes.” She would ask and she
continued, “I remember seeing the truckloads of loot, taken by the Israeli
soldiers from these homes. How were they not ashamed of themselves?” there
are thousands upon thousands of homes in cities all over the country that
were taken.

Moving forward now to 1967 and the myth that Israel was fighting for its
existence as it was attacked by Arab armies from all directions. Much was
written about this but nothing is more revealing than the minutes of the
meetings of the IDF general staff from June 1967, just prior to the war.
According to the generals, one of whom was my father, Matti Peled, not only
was there no existential threat but the generals clearly state that the
Egyptian army needed at least a year and a half before it would be ready for
war and therefore this was an opportune time to attack and destroy it. The
army pressured the cabinet to authorize an attack and indeed the cabinet
approved an attack against Egypt. The IDF destroyed the Egyptian army and
then went on to attack Jordan and Syria. It took the IDF six days and 700
casualties to kill an estimated 15,000 Arab forces, take the West Bank, the
Golan Heights and The Sinai Peninsula. One may like to think this was a
miracle but it was a well-planned, well-executed attack against countries
that had no viable military force. The Israeli army had thus fulfilled its
goal of conquering the entire Land of Israel, and the De-Arabizing of
Palestine could now proceed into the West Bank and Gaza.

Since the early days of the State of Israel the IDF made it its mission to
be the most brutal bully in the region. Today the IDF has one purpose: to
conduct an all out war against Palestinians by terrorizing Palestinian
civilians, kidnapping children from their homes and using brutal force
against protesters. We are reminded of the intensity of IDF cruelty every so
often, the latest major display being the three-week bloodbath in Gaza that
began on December 27, 2008. Hundreds of tons of bombs were dropped by
Israeli pilots on Gaza, followed by a massive invasion of land forces. All
this for the purpose of terrorizing a defenseless civilian population that
includes 800,000 children.

Now that Israel has been in control of the West Bank for over four decades
it had built and invested there heavily. But all of the investment and
construction in the West Bank was made to bring Jews into the West Bank.
Palestinian lands are being taken at an alarming pace, their homes are
destroyed and thousands are incarcerated, while industry, roads, malls,
schools and gated communities with swimming pools are being built for Jews
only. Water, which is the scarcest resource of all, is controlled and
distributed by the Israeli water authority, as follows: Per capita, Israelis
receive 300 cubic meters of water per year. In comparison, per capita
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza receive 35-85 cubic meters per year,
while the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 100 cubic meter
of water per person per year. But what is even worse is that per capita,
Israeli settlers in the West Bank are allocated 1500 cubic meters of water
per year. Jews in the West Bank live with green lawns and swimming pools
while Palestinians quite often get no water at all. Perhaps invented people
have no need for water.

De-Arabizing the history of Palestine is another crucial element of the
ethnic cleansing. 1500 years of Arab and Muslim rule and culture in
Palestine are trivialized, evidence of its existence is being destroyed and
all this is done to make the absurd connection between the ancient Hebrew
civilization and today’s Israel. The most glaring example of this today is
in Silwan, (Wadi Hilwe) a town adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem with
some 50,000 residents. Israel is expelling families from Silwan and
destroying their homes because it claims that king David built a city there
some 3000 years ago. Thousands of families will be made homeless so that
Israel can build a park to commemorate a king that may or may not have lived
3000 years ago. Not a shred of historical evidence exists that can prove
King David ever lived yet Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly
along with their schools and mosques, churches and ancient cemeteries and
any evidence of their existence must be destroyed and then denied so that
Zionist claims to exclusive rights to the land may be substantiated.

Once we connect the dots it is not hard to see that the occupation of the
West Bank and Gaza is only a small part of the Israeli Palestinian issue.
The greater issue is the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the
Zionist state. The way forward for Israelis and Palestinians alike is to
oppose the ethnic cleansing by opposing all its manifestations. This means
supporting the movement to boycott, divest and place sanctions on Israel, or
BDS for short, it means actively participating in the popular non-violent
struggle in Palestine and it means challenging the racist laws that govern
Israel by defying them. There has to be a clear and unequivocal call to
recognize that the IDF is a terrorist organization and its officers are war
criminals. Furthermore, the reprehensible discrimination against
Palestinians, whether they live in Israel/Palestine or not, practiced by the
security officials at Ben Gurion airport and other points of entry to
Israel/Palestine must be challenged. The struggle for a democracy in our
shared homeland is no different than the struggle at Tahrir square and can
in fact be seen as part of the Arab Spring.

Miko Peled is the son of an Israeli General and a staunch Zionist who came
to realise that his side of the story is not the only side to the story, and
who now dares to say in public what others still choose to deny.He is now a
peace activist and an author whose book “The General’s Son” is soon to be

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