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Commentary Last Updated: Apr 15th, 2009 - 14:11:41

Who is this Netanyahu threatening world peace?
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Apr 15, 2009, 00:22

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Binyamin Netanyahu is the narrowly elected prime minister, for a second time, of that tiny country, Israel, which lives off the military largesse of the United States. And now motor mouth is declaring that �Israel will bomb Iran if the US doesn�t.� How much chutzpah is that? At the very least he has militarized the diplomatic dialogue in the process, and made a rather tense group of nations more so. Not smart.

Oh and I forgot to mention, Mr. Netanyahu arrived in the US at 14 to get his high-quality education, including a degree in architecture from MIT in 1975, an MS from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1977, and various studies in political science from Harvard and MIT. Thank you very much, United States, for the education that helped launch his political career and a return to Israel�s right-wing, after a brief career as a furniture company�s chief marketing officer.

Now that he�s part of the international furniture, he feels free, like Israel, to tell us all what to do and how to live. But then the Palestinian experience certainly has given them both much practice with pushing people around. In fact, the distinguished Israeli author and historian Ilan Pappe in his new book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, goes beyond Jimmy Carter�s accusation of Israeli apartheid. He flawlessly documents the case for a planned, methodical expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians following the 1948 partitioning and continuing through the present.

This ethnic cleansing, these crimes against humanity, were part of Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), that were finalized on March 10, 1948, not as part of the �War for Independence,� but as a short-term combat goal for early Israeli army units under David Ben-Gurion�s leadership. The same Ben-Gurion Pappe coincidentally calls �the architect of ethnic cleansing.� By the way architect, statesman Netanyahu was born in October of 1949, just in time for the gore.

This long-standing Zionist plan that included the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians, Pappe argues with abundant detail, was created to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. To support this claim, he presents first all the accepted international and UN definitions of ethnic cleansing, and then a painstaking detailing of depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the forced expulsion of the hundreds of thousands of native Arabs from their country.

The book is almost too painful to read, but not any more painful than it is to live in Palestine then as now, or even for one watching from as far as the United States or anywhere in the world. The acts against Palestinians included everything from poisoning of water with typhoid to mass roundups and murders of town citizens, including frequent rapes of women, bulldozing of homes and whole villages.

This is a not-so-little dirty secret of history that Pappe is exposing, planned and finalized in the �Red House� in Tel-Aviv on March 10, 1948, by a �group of eleven men, veteran Zionist leaders together with young military Jewish officers [who] put the final touches to this plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. That same evening, military orders were dispatched to the units on the ground to prepare for the systematic expulsion . . . from the vast areas of the country.

�The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods: expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning. Each unit was issued with its list of villages and neighbourhoods as the targets of the master plan . . . This was the fourth and final version of less substantial plans that outlined the fate the Zionists had in store for the Palestinians and consequently for its native population.

�The previous three schemes had articulated only obscurely how the Zionist leadership contemplated dealing with the presence of so many Palestinians living in the land of the Jewish national movement coveted as its own. This fourth and last blueprint spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go.� In the words of one of the first historians to note the significance of that plan, Simcha Flapan, �The Military campaign against the Arabs,� including �conquest and destruction of the rural areas� was set forth in the Hagana�s (Zionist terrorist gang) Plan Dalet. . . . ��

When this brand of Kristallnacht that took eight months was over, 531 villages had been destroyed, 800,000 people uprooted and 11 urban neighbourhoods emptied of their citizens. It was as clear a case for ethnic cleansing as one could find and today regarded as a crime (an ongoing crime) against humanity. If you look at maps comparing Palestinian loss of land from 1946 to 2009, you can see that only a tiny percentage of it remains. One wonders if Mr. Netanyahu, who seems mystified by Palestinian anger and resistance, has never heard of what the Arabs refer to as �the Nabka,� Israel�s formal uprooting of Palestinian people from the lands.

If not, in addition to Pappe�s book, he should read Walid Khalidi�s All That Remains, his 1970 book which reassembles the massive narrative and picture of the 1948 mass exodus and massacre that the Israelis tried so hard to subsequently deny and erase from history; but not the memories of those who lived through it, and whose voices and experiences make up Khalidi and other Arab historians� books. Perhaps Netanyahu would not be so eager to replicate that slaughter with an even greater nuclear attack on Iran, whose blowback might just blow Israel away.

Given regional agreements, Israel is not allowed to conduct a nuclear attack on Iran, just as Iran cannot hit Israel. But if American forces or nearby bases were hit by Iran (incredibly unlikely), then and only then would Israel have a right to attack. If Israel ignores these rules of engagement, they will be inviting the whirlwind. Also, I know that Netanyahu is fond of making remarks comparing Iran to Nazi Germany. What irony.

As reported by Wiki, �Netanyahu said, �It�s 1938, and Iran is Germany, and Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.� In an 8 March 2007 interview with CNN, he asserted that there is only one difference between Nazi Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran, namely that the first entered a worldwide conflict and then sought atomic weapons, while the latter is first seeking atomic weapons and, once it has them, will then start a world war. . . .

��Netanyahu repeated these remarks at a news conference in April 2008. Explaining that �where that [Nazi] regime embarked on a global conflict before it developed nuclear weapons,� �he said, �This regime [Iran] is developing nuclear weapons before it embarks on a global conflict.��

It might serve Netanyahu better to remember that their revenge for the Nazi Holocaust was brought down on the heads of the Nazis by the allies and themselves in subsequent trials, and should not be misdirected on the Palestinians or the Iranians. This is a kind of pecking-order bullying, looking for the weaker nation to irrationally attack. It only establishes Netanyahu as a second-generation Holocaust pit bull -- dangerous in his aimless anger and misremembered history. He should also consider what I wrote in Israel�s 60 years of nuclear proliferation.

Early on, Israel was aware that a nuclear slingshot could make it the tiny David against the nuclear Goliaths. As early as 1945, it was exploring for uranium in the Negev desert. As early as 1956, the French helped them build a nuclear reactor. And by 1986, Mordecai Vananu, the then orthodox Jewish technician working at the Dimona nuclear plant, blew the whistle on Israel�s nuclear program in the London Times, with pictures and text of activities. Vananu served 18 years in prison, 11 in solitary confinement, for telling the truth, and another two years of house arrest for speaking to a reporter on his release.

The bottom line, Mr. Netanyahu, is who�s kidding whom? Israel�s Holocaust phobia and its tiny size seem to have perennially instilled its pit bull mentality. Unfortunately, I think in Iran�s case it�s chasing its tail. In Palestine�s case, it has brutally attacked an originally peaceful neighbor. It�s time to put an end to the ethnic cleansing if Israel wants peace.

It is time, as Ilan Pappe, the conscience of the Jewish people today calls for �the unconditional return of all Palestinian refugees and an end to the Israeli occupation.� And damn it, it is also about time for Israel to stop biting, spying on, and threatening the hand that feeds it, the United States of America. So back off, Mr. Bow-Wow, before you get your butt deservedly kicked. That may not be diplomatic. But it is the way America feels.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at His new book, State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on� is available at, Amazon or

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