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Saturday 7 January 2012

Ethnic Cleansing of Invented People.

Ethnic Cleansing of Invented People.
By Miko Peled

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 operates.

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 unlivable 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 

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 imagination.

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 

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 Palestinians.

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.

NOTE:  Miko Peled is the son of an Israeli war hero, General Matti Peled, one of Israel's top decision makers in the '67 war.  He grew up in West Jerusalem and now is a peace activist and lives with his wife and children in Southern California.  Hajja Romi/Blue

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