Historians reveal Israel’s use of Poison against Palestinians in 1948 on Daily Minute Mirror

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A Middle Eastern Studies recent article “‘Cast thy bread’: Biological warfare used by Israel during the 1948 war” by historians Benny Morris and Benjamin Kedar revealed details of Israel’s covert utilization of bioweapons and poison against Palestinians during the systematic genocide campaign of 1947-48.

… Morris in the article stated “I find myself as convinced as ever that the Israelis played a major role in ridding the country of tens of thousands of Arabs during the 1948 war.” Morris also defended Israel after getting backlash and stated “I also believe their [Israeli] actions were inevitable and made sense.”

Continue reading at https://minutemirror.com.pk/historians-reveal-israels-use-of-poison-against-palestinians-in-1948-67542/

‘Place the Material in the Wells’: Docs Point to Israeli Army’s 1948 Biological Warfare by Ofer Aderet on Haaretz

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On April 1, 1948, David Ben-Gurion wrote in his journal about “the development of science and speeding up its application in warfare.” A month and a half later, he wrote about “biological materials” that were purchased for $2,000. Only now, 74 years later, has a connection between these two entries come to light… Evidently, the excerpts from the diary of the man who would become Israel’s first prime minister are traces of his involvement in a secret operation to poison the drinking water of Arab communities.

… This operation was partially exposed decades ago when rumors and oral testimonies were reported in newspapers and books about an attempt in 1948 by the IDF to poison wells in Acre and Gaza by adding bacteria to the drinking water. However, only now, in Morris and Kedar’s research, has the “smoking gun” been revealed – in the form of official documentation. The newly unearthed documents show that this operation was much broader in scope than earlier believed and that other top military and political figures besides Ben-Gurion were involved.

…Ben-Gurion was at the top of the pyramid. Below him was Yadin, who oversaw the military side of the operation. The operation was commanded by Yohanan Ratner. Initially, the top man in the field for the group was Dayan, who went on to become the IDF chief of staff and defense minister. The documents indicate that Dayan served as the smuggler who conveyed the bacteria from the Science Corps to different points throughout the country. David Shaltiel, commander of the Etzioni Brigade in Jerusalem, was also involved in the operation. Intelligence officer Ezra Helmer (later Omer, head of the Haganah General Staff Intelligence Department) also joined at a later stage.

…On the scientific side, the production of the poison, were people from the IDF Science Corps Bet, a subunit in the Science Corps that dealt with biological warfare. It was headed by Alex Keinan, who went on to found the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Nes Tziona. The scientific work was overseen by the Katchalski (Katzir) brothers: biophysicist Ephraim Katzir, the first commander of the Science Corps and later an Israel Prize laureate and the fourth president of Israel; and his older brother, scientist Aharon Katzir of the Weizmann Institute… A series of assistants who went on to become professors in Israeli academia were also involved in the operation.

Continue reading at https://archive.fo/ZQiOQ#selection-259.0-259.87

Was Israeli Looting in ’48 Part of a Broader Policy to Expel Arabs? by Benny Morris

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We include this article despite no mention of the word ‘genocide’ because we believe the description of the events, in tandem with mass killing and causing serious bodily and mental harm to the indigenous Palestinian people, contributed directly to their destruction as a group, and was intended to perpetuate this destruction.

… Raz goes farther, arguing that Ben-Gurion not only encouraged the robbery and plunder as part of a policy to rid the country of its Arab residents… more importantly, to tie the “people of Israel” to the phenomenon and thereby render it an “accomplice to the crime” and a partner to the policy of uprooting the Arabs from the country. At the practical level, this partnership was translated into public support for the government’s policy of preventing the displaced from returning to their homes… But the plunder of the lands and their transfer to the ownership of the Jewish community, the cultivation of the lands by kibbutzim and moshavim, the destruction or settlement of Jews in the villages and the settlement of Jews in abandoned homes in the cities with new immigrants and the forcible prevention of their return by IDF soldiers – these were the principal causes of the refugees’ severance from their country (“There is nowhere and nothing to return to”). Moreover, they underlay the opposition of the hundreds of kibbutzim and moshavim (associated with Mapai and Mapam) and of tens of thousands of urban settlers to the return of the refugees. Here lay the firm basis for the collaboration between “the people” and its government in regard to preventing that return.

Continue watching at https://archive.fo/HmGys#selection-269.0-269.67

Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs by Hagar Shezaf

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This is one of those rare cases when we archive an article that doesn’t state the word ‘genocide’ in relation to Israel, but the information in it illustrates acts that amount to genocide against the indigenous Palestinian people. It also features a policy of concealment and genocide denial.

Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:
“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”
The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. 

Continue reading at https://web.archive.org/web/20220511074244/https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-how-israel-systematically-hides-evidence-of-1948-expulsion-of-arabs-1.7435103

Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967 by Jonathan Ofir

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“Perhaps if we don’t give them enough water they won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.”

That is what Israeli Prime Minster Levi Eshkol said in 1967 about Gaza, as revealed in newly declassified documents from the time. Ofer Aderet of Haaretz reported about this today.   

… The logic here is, after all, Zionism 101. Nonetheless, they can still be shocking to read, and they should be. These are statements that convey clear intention of ethnic cleansing, and even Genocide. Emptying out, suffocation, deprivation of water till orchards wither. These words are not uttered by rightist Zionist leaders, but by leftist ones. No wonder Israel keeps these archives hidden for 50 years and more.

Continue reading at http://mondoweiss.net/2017/11/liberal-contemplating-genocide/

Israel Charny’s Attack on the Journal of Genocide Research and its Authors: A Response by Amos Goldberg, Thomas J. Kehoe, A. Dirk Moses, Raz Segal, Martin Shaw, and Gerhard Wolf

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Obviously, Charny’s main concern, reflecting his commitment to the State of Israel, is with Shaw’s application of the idea of genocide to Palestine. Shaw pointed out that “none of the ‘revisionist’ historians who now dominate the field doubts that deliberate Israeli policies made a substantial contribution to the destruction of the larger part of historical Arab society in Palestine.”
Shaw argued that this was true whether the 1948 removal was the result of Israel’s taking advantage of the “opportunity” to remove it, as Morris continues to argue, or also of extensive “pre-planning,” as Ilan Pappe’s more recent research suggests.41 In this light, Shaw proposed that, within the framework of a broad Lemkinian concept (in terms of which “ethnic cleansing” can be considered genocide), there is “prima facie a strong case for considering the [1948] events partially within a genocide framework.”

Continue reading at https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1436&context=gsp

‘Barbarism by an educated and cultured people’ — Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin by Jonathan Ofir

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The soldier tells that the commanders who are cultured and polite, considered good guys in society, have become vile murderers, and this occurs not in the storm of battle and heated response, but rather from a system of expulsion and destruction. The fewer Arabs remain – the better. This principle is the main political motive of [the] expulsions and acts of horror which no-one objects to, not in the field command nor amongst the highest military command… I myself accuse first of all the government, which doesn’t seem to have any interest to fight the phenomena and perhaps even encourages them indirectly. The fact of not-acting is in itself encouragement. My commander told me that there is an unwritten order to not take prisoners of war, and the interpretation of “prisoner” is individually given by each soldier and commander. A prisoner can be an Arab man, woman or child. 

Continue reading at https://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/barbarism-by-an-educated-and-cultured-people-dawayima-massacre-was-worse-than-deir-yassin/