Zionist musings

WHY THIS IS HERE: Long ago, I had another blog, “This Much I Can Say is True,” on Blogspot. I created it just before going to Palestine in 2005 to work with the International Solidarity Movement. Down the sidebar I ran a few quotes from proud, flag-waving patriotic Zionists, aka people with serious entitlement issues. These were a mix of Israel’s founders and present settlement and ardent occupation supporters.

When my blog stopped being primarily about all that, the list moved to a page, where later on I added the far more creepy Christian Zionist quotes, and some miscellaneous curio on the subject. It’s since moved here and evolved over time. If you’ve got anything, send it on and I may add it to the collection.

 Some Zionist quotes

“The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war.”

David Ben Gurion, 1937, in a letter advocating the expulsion of Palestinians.

“Let the British or anyone talk about Zionism and they can use our terminolgy, but we know what the meaning of it is. It has one meaning to us, one meaning to Gentiles.”

— Chaim Weizmann, as the president of World Zionist movement, recounted by Edwin M. Wright, a foreign policy specialist with the U.S. State Department from 1945 to 1955.

“When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly.”

 Theodor Herzl, writing in his journal, in 1895 “The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl,” volume 1

“How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to. We can’t send it to Nasser by parcel post.”

Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.

“We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country we bought lands from the Arabs. 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 these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibta, Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

Moshe Dayan, Israeli military leader and politician, in a March 1969 speech appearing in Ha’aretz (4 April 1969)

“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, As foreign minister, in comments broadcast on Israeli radio in November 1998

“Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we came here and stole their country. Why should they accept that?”

David Ben Gurion, speaking rhetorically in 1955 with Nahum Goldmann, former president of the World Jewish Congress, and published in “Le Paraddoxe Juif” in 1978 ( trasnlated to English as “The Jewish Paradox: A personal memoir” by Steve Cox)

“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, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”

Yoram Bar Porath, in the 14 July 1972 edition of the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aahronot, quoted by  Ghada Karmi, in “The UN Resolution that Time Forgot,” Counterpunch (2009)

“If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.”

David Ben-Gurion, in 1939, Attributed by Martin Gilbert in “Israel was everything” in The New York Times, 21 June, 1987

“The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It’s that simple.”

Yitzhak Shamir, a former prime minister, in Maariv, February 21, 1997

“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.”

Ariel Sharon, prime minister, 25 March, 2001, quoted in BBC News Online

“There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”

Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times and Washington Post, 15 June, 1969.

“Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.”

Benyamin Netanyahu, as deputy foreign minister, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University on November 24, 1989.

“The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the Sea to the River Jordan for future generations, for the mass aliya, and for the Jewish people, all of whom will be gathered into this country.”

Yitzhak Shamir, former prime minister in a 1990 speech at a Tel Aviv memorial service for former Likud leaders

“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

“The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.”

Menachem Begin, 1948, Likud founder, in a speech on the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine.

“We say to them (the Palestinian protesters) from the heights of this mountain and from the perspective of thousands of years of history that they are like grasshoppers compared to us.”

Yitzhak Shamir, prime minister in a speech to Jewish settlers, published in the New York Times April 1, 1988

“Any one who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen.”

Golda Meir, in a speech to the Knesset, reported in Ner, October 1961

“The antisemites will become our most loyal friends, the antisemites nations will become our allies.”

— Theodor Herzl (One Palestine Complete, p. 47)

“The parameters of a unilateral solution are: To maximize the number of Jews; to minimize the number of Palestinians; not to withdraw to the 1967 border and not to divide Jerusalem.”

— Ehud Olmert (Haaretz)

“We don’t recognize either of them. And anyway, a Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he’s gay.”

 — Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs, Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, regarding his party’s (Habayit Hayehudi) stance on gay marriage, and mixed marriages

Christian Zionist quotes

“I have always said that America’s Bible Belt is Israel’s safety belt.”

Jerry Falwell, preacher

“The dots are there to be connected and it is not some big thing called terrorism. It is Islamic fascism… all of the various things and forces that we’ve seen around the world are not merely hot spots but they are all part of a theme — a war against western civilisation.”

Rev. John C. Hagee, Texas evangelist and pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas and the author of “Jerusalem Countdown,” July, 2006

“We’re living in times of fulfillment of what the Bible said will come in the last days. And we’re living in those times. We’re seeing that fulfilled before our eyes literally. And the things that are happening in Israel, around Israel are just part of what the Bible said would happen.”

Tyrone Morganmember of Christians United for Israel


Obama: My Support for Israel is Unshakable

Other perspectives, notes, videos, etc.

BBC’s The Ultra Zionists

“People that bite the hand that protects them, the hand of police officers and soldiers, cannot be considered balanced or normal people … Whoever does not evacuate the Jews from there is bringing danger on himself, not just in the territories, but in the entire region.”

Yossi Sarid, Meretz chairman, in a statement on why the Israeli settlers in Hebron should be evacuated, 2001

“The most accurate way to describe Israel today is an apartheid state.”

— Neve Gordon, a Jewish political professor teaching in an Israeli university

“If I was [a Palestinian] at the right age, at some stage I would have entered one of the terror organizations and have fought from there, and later certainly have tried to influence from within the political system”

Ehud Barak, in response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, when was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian

“The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was ‘given’ by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East. We are frequently told that we must sympathise with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. … What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.”

Bertrand Russell, 31 January 1970. This was Russell’s final political statement or act. It was read out at the International Conference of Parliamentarians in Cairo on 3 February 1970, the day after his death.

“I don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish state. I think it is obscene, irrational and unjustifiable to have a state organized around a religion. So I don’t celebrate the idea that there’s a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. I certainly don’t support any Jewish claims to real estate based on the Bible.”

Sam Harris, with whom I have a number of disagreements with on various topics including his other stances dealing with the Middle East, but posting this for its clarity, and in case he deletes it along the course of his apparent neo-con trajectory.


“(I am saying) what no previous Israeli leader has ever said: we should withdraw from almost all of the territories, including in east Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights.”

Ehud Olmert, lame duck prime minister in exit interview, September 2008

“I concede with sorrow that the baseless fanaticism of our people is in part to be blamed for the awakening of Arab distrust. I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.”

— Sigmund Freud, father of psychotherapy

“The (Israeli) state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with many difficulties and a narrow-mindedness. I believe it is bad.”

 — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, in testimony to a U.S. committee on an “inquiry on Palestine” in January, 1946

“I hold every Zionist Western Jew who is an apologist for Israel, or who supports it, complicit in Israel’s crimes.”

Avigail Abarbanel, Israeli born Jewish activist for Palestinian rights

The law

There are more than 50 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures. Some of the laws also violate the rights of Palestinians living in the (1967) borders of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and people living in Palestinian refugee communities in neighbouring countries. Adalah, The Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel, maintains a database of text, analyses, and legal action for present and proposed discriminatory laws in Israel and the OPT. Find it here.

The Weight of 3,000 Years by Israel Shahak

Image at top is from the (now deleted) Instagram account of Israeli military soldier Osher Maman, showing a flag of the violent, racist Kach group (via Electronic Intifada).