In Their Own Words
Following is a compilation of selected quotations from prominent Israeli and Zionist figures that embodies the discourse of hatred, racism, and rejection that nurtured Israeli society throughout the short existence of Israel.
This language of negation of Palestinian existence and blatant disregard to the very humanity of the Palestinian people is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of Israeli and Zionist policies.
Perhaps, the most significant aim of this document is to draw attention to the futility of this discourse. It is imperative that political leaders and prominent figures in any society promote principles of mutual respect, tolerance, and humanism, in order to nurture a more constructive outlook.
"Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it." Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.
"There is a huge gap between us [Jews] and our enemies -not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbours here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy." Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001
Jordan is a part from Eretz Israel in history. Ariel Sharon, When he became the Prime minister, 2000
"The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more" Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time - August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000
"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them." Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.
“The Oslo agreement is very important for the Palestinians since it is the only official agreed-upon document they got. We have another document, a much older one … the Bible.” Ariel Sharon, speaking at a Washington symposium, 8 May 1998
"We did not know what to do with them [surrendered Egyptian POWs in 1956]. There was no choice but to kill them. This is not such a big deal if you take into consideration that I slept well after having escaped the crematories of Auschwitz." Retired Israeli brigadier general Arieh Biro, The New York Times, August 21, 1995
"The Palestinians" would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." " Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988
"We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves." Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.
"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimetre of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours." Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces - Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983.
"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.
I don't mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal. What you don't understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it. Ariel Sharon to Amos Oz, editor of Davar, Dec. 17, 1982
"The Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs." Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the Beasts". New Statesman, 25 June 1982.
"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'" Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.
"It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands." Yoram Bar Porath, Yediot Aahronot, of 14 July 1972.
"The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only a bluff, which was born and developed after the war." Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972.
"There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed." Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969.
"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.
"How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to." Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.
"We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinians] never do return." Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. "The old will die and the young will forget." David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar's Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.
“The term annexation is out of place. The measures adopted relate to the integration of Jerusalem in the administrative spheres and furnish a legal basis for the basis for the protection of the Holy Places in Jerusalem." Israeli Foreign Min. Abba Eban at the United Nations Assembly, 4 July 1967
"We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters." Rabin's description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet - Uri Lubrani, PM Ben-Gurion's special adviser on Arab Affairs, 1960. From "The Arabs in Israel" by Sabri Jiryas.
"I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I've killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in 1956). I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian women is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do." Ariel Sharon, In an interview with General Ouze Merham, 1956.
"I don't know something called International Principles. I vow that I'll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian woman and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child’s existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger." Ariel Sharon, In an interview with General Ouze Merham, 1956.
“The most spectacular event in the contemporary history of Palestine - more spectacular in a sense than the creation of the Jewish state - is the wholesale evacuation of its Arab population which has swept with it also thousands of Arabs from areas threatened and/or occupied by us outside our boundaries.” Moshe Shertok-latter Israeli Foreign Min-in a letter to Goldmann, 15 June 1948
"We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff.
There are a few hundred thousand Negroes but that is a matter of no significance. The British authorities to Chaim Weizman on the subject of the Palestinians prior to 1948.
The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria and Lebanon. Rabbi Fischmann, member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, in his testimony to the U.N. Special Committee of Enquiry, 1947
"Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both people in this country…there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left." Yosef Weitz of the Jewish National Fund, diary entry, 1940
“Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves…politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.” Speech by David Ben-Gurion, 1938, quoted in Zionism and the Palestinians by Simha Flapan, 1979
A partial Jewish State is not the end, but only the beginning. I am certain that we can not be prevented from settling in the other parts of the country and the region. David Ben Gurion, in a letter to his son, 1937
"We and they [the Palestinians] want the same thing: we both want Palestine. And that is the fundamental conflict." David Ben-Gurion, 1936
“Apart from the political danger, I can’t put up with the idea that our brethren are morally capable of behaving in such a way to humans of another people, and unwittingly the thought comes to my mind: if it is so now, what will be our relation to the others if in truth we shall achieve at the end of times power in Eretz Yisrael? And if this be the ‘Messiah’: I do not wish to see his coming.” Ahad HaKI’am, Russian Jewish writer and philosopher, in a letter written in 1913
"Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly." Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.
After we become a strong force as the result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. David Ben-Gurion
It's not a matter of maintaining the status quo. We have to create a dynamic state, oriented towards expansion. Ben Gurion
There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbour than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument:... the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish... with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary. Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency's Colonization Department. From Israel: an Apartheid State by Uri Davis, p.5
"Let me extend Benny Morris's logic (G2, October 3) in arguing that if the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 had been complete, there might have been peace today in the Middle East. If the Nazi programme for the final solution of the Jewish problem had been complete, for sure there would be peace today in Palestine." Professor Baruch Kimmerling, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"
"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" David Ben-Gurion - Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.