The Secrets in Israel's Archives

Discussion in 'Israel and Palestine' started by P F Tinmore, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. P F Tinmore
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    P F Tinmore Platinum Member

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    History may be written by the victors, as Winston Churchill is said to have observed, but the opening up of archives can threaten a nation every bit as much as the unearthing of mass graves.

    That danger explains a decision quietly taken last month by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to extend by an additional 20 years the country’s 50-year rule for the release of sensitive documents.

    The new 70-year disclosure rule is the government’s response to Israeli journalists who have been seeking through Israel’s courts to gain access to documents that should already be declassified, especially those concerning the 1948 war, which established Israel, and the 1956 Suez crisis.

    The state’s chief archivist says many of the documents “are not fit for public viewing” and raise doubts about Israel’s “adherence to international law”, while the government warns that greater transparency will “damage foreign relations”.

    The new material was explosive enough. It undermined Israel’s traditional narrative of 1948, in which the Palestinians were said to have left voluntarily on the orders of the Arab leaders and in the expectation that the combined Arab armies would snuff out the fledging Jewish state in a bloodbath.

    Instead, the documents suggested that heavily armed Jewish forces had expelled and dispossessed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians before the Jewish state had even been declared and a single Arab soldier had entered Palestine.

    One document in particular, Plan Dalet, demonstrated the army’s intention to expel the Palestinians from their homeland. Its existence explains the ethnic cleansing of more than 80 per cent of Palestinians in the war, followed by a military campaign to destroy hundreds of villages to ensure the refugees never returned.

    Ethnic cleansing is the common theme of both these Israeli conquests. A deeper probe of the archives will almost certainly reveal in greater detail how and why these “cleansing” campaigns were carried out – which is precisely why Mr Netanyahu and others want the archives to remain locked.

    The Secrets in Israel's Archives
     
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    Prior to 1947, the Zionist agenda concentrated on building a political, ideological, cultural and economic enclave within historic Palestine. Now, during these crucial months leading to the UN Resolution 181, it was decided that the time has come to translate these ideologies into realities on the ground. The Zionist leadership openly declared that it intended to take over the land of Palestine and to expel its indigenous population.

    Just before the UN voted to partition Palestine in November 1947, Ben-Gurion secretly mobilised Jewish groups inside and outside Palestine and dispatched them to Europe to purchase massive quantities of arms for the next phase: a military plan to conquer as many Palestinian villages and to expel their inhabitants.

    Their plan was called Plan D better known as Plan Dalet, (Dalet being the fourth letter in the Hebrew alphabet) which was launched nearly six weeks prior to the end of the British Mandate in Palestine. It is worth noting that Plan D had been preceeded by Plan A (February 1945), Plan B (May 1947) and Plan C (November 1947). There is no mistaking their intention: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    March 1948: two months before the so-called Declaration of Independence, the Zionist leadership gathered in Tel Aviv and agreed and embarked on their Plan. Over 13 military underground operations were carried out (according to The History of the Palmach archives released in full in 1972) before the Arab forces entered the areas allotted to the Palestinians by th UN in their Partition Plan. Both Menachem Begin and David Ben-Gurion wrote extensively about their underground military campaigns to cleanse Palestinian villages of their indigenous inhabitants.

    http://www.1948.org.uk/plan-dalet-and-the-nakba/
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010

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