If a person possesses at least half a brain, they can see what a one sided affair the conflict is between Israel and Palestine. Further, a little research will tell that very same person that since 1948, it has always been that way. Now, it would be foolish to think that Israel has treated Palestine the way that it has out of ignorance. Their largest ally, the United States, provided them with the perfect example of what to do with an enemy that is occupying land that is desired for population growth and the extraction of natural resources. There are many examples that the United States could deliver to Israel on how to behave, but their destruction of the Plains tribes of North America most resembles what has been going on between Israel and Palestine, since 1948. The United States killed off the Native American’s food supply, the Bison, crashing their economy, and then those people that were not massacred in the following military campaign, were segregated to resource poor reservations, that were increasingly shrunk as new resources were found on their land or more land was needed for population expansion. The same has happened to the Palestinian Arabs. Their ability to support themselves was destroyed, Palestinian olive groves used to be some of the best in the world, they were relegated to fortified reservations, and Israel has regularly shrank these lands as need suited them. What follows are just some of the conflicts in which Israel has shrank Palestinian lands to nothing and worked to destroy their ability to resist the conquest of their native lands.
The Safsaf massacre occurred on October 29, 1948, when the Israel Defense Forces captured the Palestinian Arab village of Safsaf in the Galilee region. The village was defended by the Arab Liberation Army’s Second Yarmuk Battalion. Safsaf was the first village to fall in Operation Hiram, the aim of which, according to the IDF, was to “destroy the enemy in the central Galilee ‘pocket,’ to take control of the whole of the Galilee region, and to establish a defense line on the country’s northern border.” The village was attacked by two platoons of armored cars and a tank company from the 7th Brigade, and a fierce battle lasted from the evening until seven o’clock the next morning. Evidence of a massacre in which fifty-two to sixty-four villagers were killed by the IDF comes from several contemporaneous Israeli government sources and Arab oral history. The evidence suggests that fifty-two men had their hands tied, were shot and killed, and were buried in a pit. Several women were allegedly raped, including a fourteen year-old, and possibly killed. At least two internal inquiries were initiated in 1948, by the IDF, but their reports remain classified.
The Eilabun massacre was committed by soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces during Operation Hiram on October 30, 1948. A total of fourteen men from the Palestinian village of Eilabun were killed; they were executed by the Israeli forces after the village had already surrendered. The remaining villagers were expelled to Lebanon, living as refugees for some months before being allowed to return home. It was one of the few Arab villages to which most of the displaced refugees were eventually able to return home. The Massacre was documented by the documentary film Sons of Eilaboun by Hisham Zreiq, a film based upon the events as told by the villagers. After a battle outside the village in which six Israeli soldiers were injured and four Israeli armored cars were destroyed, a battle that was part of Operation Hiram, the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion, entered the village on October 30, 1948 and the population surrendered. Villagers flew white flags and were escorted by four religious leaders. Most of the villagers were hiding in two buildings. The soldiers were angered by a procession that had taken place in the village a month earlier, in which the heads of two decapitated Israeli soldiers, missing after an attack on a nearby hillside, had been displayed.
About fifty-two villagers were expelled from Eliabun, mainly the elderly and children. The village religious leaders complained bitterly about the expulsion of the villagers and demanded their return. Following a United Nations investigation and pressure from international organizations, the villagers eventually managed to secure their return within six months. Most of the population managed to return from Lebanon, and all the men were released from the POW camps. The event was also documented in a report produced by United Nations observers. In 1983, the victims were commemorated by a memorial monument adjacent to a cemetery in Eilabun. A second monument commemorating the massacre was built in 1998, but it was soon vandalized and practically effaced.
The Hula massacre took place between October 31 and November 1, 1948. Hula was a village in Lebanon three km west of Kibbutz Manara, not far from the Litani River. It was captured on October 24 by the Carmeli Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces without any resistance. The women and children were expelled, and most of the men aged between fifteen and sixty were shot. In total, between thirty and fifty-eight men were executed in a house which was later blown up on top of them. Two officers were responsible for the massacre. One of them, First Lieutenant Shmuel Lahis, who served as Company Commander, was put on trial in an Israeli military court where he was given a seven-year sentence, later reduced, on appeal, to one year. He was released in 1950. He received a retrospective presidential amnesty in 1955. He became a lawyer, and later Director General of the Jewish Agency. Many Israelis were opposed to this appointing because of his involvement in the Hula massacre. At his trial, Lahis put forth the defense that the crime had been committed outside the borders of Israel. The military court rejected this defense but gave Lahis a postponement so that he could appeal this point to the High Court of Justice. In the same HCJ case, the Israeli government argued that the HCJ did not have the right to interpret military law. In February of 1949, the HCJ rejected both the claim of Lahis and the claim of the government, allowing the trial to continue. The town was largely populated by Palestinian Arabs.
In the past twenty years or so, there have been annual conflicts between Israel and Palestine in which Israel would respond to a single rocket grenade with an invasion of Gaza or the West Bank, followed by a seizure of lands that would then be set aside for the purposes of the Israeli government, either new settlement land for Israeli citizens or new resource production facilities. Some people in Palestine have declared these incidents to be staged conflicts by Israel to justify the seizer of ‘needed’ lands. As a result of all these conflicts and the many more not mentioned, four hundred Palestinian Arab towns have been destroyed or abandoned, nearly five million two hundred thousand Palestinians have fled Palestine as refugees, and nearly five million Palestinians have been born in exile from their homeland. This, of course, takes no full account of the innumerable numbers of people who have lost their lives in this one sided affair. So, why does the United States continue to support such a nation? First, they are a key military, political, and economic ally in the Middle East, and second, the United States has boundless experience in doing what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, boundless experience…..
There is only one way for this too all end. The people of the United States, Palestine, and Israel all have to stand up, at once, and make it end. Unified action is the only answer.
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