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Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians - Hardcover

 
9780981513171: Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians
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Under the Cover of War is an important resource for anyone seeking to understand the full story of the 1948 Palestine war and the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Rosemarie Esber meticulously documents and poignantly recounts the first phase of the Zionist conquest of Palestine and the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians-an estimated 84 percent of whom were children under 15, pregnant and nursing mothers, the elderly, and the infirm. As this compelling history shows, the human tragedy of Palestine's ethnic cleansing entailed the demonization of the Palestinian Arabs, the incitement of violence by Jewish nationalist leaders, and a weak response from an apathetic international community. War provided a cover for systematic expulsions and the founding of the State of Israel on Palestinian land, while British colonial officials did little but watch. An array of unpublished military and diplomatic sources supports the Palestinians' own account of their Nakba (catastrophe or disaster), based on new, original refugee interviews. This little-known story of human suffering makes a convincing case that redressing Palestinian losses is vital for regional and world peace. Rosemarie M. Esber, Ph.D., is a researcher and writer with degrees from the University of London and The Johns Hopkins University.

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From the Publisher:
Under the Cover of War explains in detail how the Jewish Agency used the cover of war to expel more than 400,000 Palestinian men, women and children from some 220 villages, towns, and cities before May 15, 1948 when the British relinquished the Palestine mandate and Israel became a state.

Incorporates a Palestinian narrative of their expulsions by including some 130 new interviews with refugees from Jordan, Lebanon, and the United States.

Provides an invaluable case study for U.S. military planners on how not to end a military occupation by describing how the scuttled British withdrawal from Palestine, in just six months, contributed to civil war and the creation of Palestinian refugees.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The Creation of Palestinian Refugees: A Historical Perspective

The existence of Palestinian refugees remains an unresolved grievance at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a major obstacle to Middle East and world peace. The crux of the conflict is the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, the Zionists' forced displacement and dispossession of the Palestinians from their homeland, and the subjugation of Palestinians who remained in what became the State of Israel in 1948, as well as those in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in 1967.

Palestinian Arabs have struggled since the late nineteenth century to retain their homeland and to prevent their displacement by Zionist settlers. After World War I, European Jewish settlers, with British approval and protection, converged upon the majority Arab country in great numbers with the intention of transforming Palestine into a Jewish state. While Britain still held the Palestine mandate, the Zionists succeeded in that endeavor during the civil war, the first period of the 1948 war, before it broadened into the regional Arab-Israeli War.

The conflict's human costs have been high, unbalanced, and are still mounting. The British estimated the population of mandate Palestine at 1,320,000 Arabs and 640,000 Jews in May 1948. In the 1948 war alone, the yishuv, or pre-state Jewish settlement in Palestine, suffered 6,000 dead, nearly 1 percent of the community, and thousands were injured. After European Jewry was decimated by the Holocaust, the additional Jewish lives lost to establish the Jewish state were particularly wrenching to the yishuv.

The Palestinian Arab losses are harder to calculate, if not impossible. With no Palestinian government and a wide dispersion of the population during and after the war, no accurate casualty records were created. Palestinian Arab society and culture were shattered in 1948, and an estimated 20,000 Palestinians died during the war, about 1.5 percent of the Palestinian Arab population. The number of Palestinians injured remains unknown. Thousands of others, particularly children and the elderly, died as a result of the refugees' terrible living conditions. A British Red Cross officer reported in 1949 that one refugee camp had 4 percent deaths per month.

The great mass of Palestinians became refugees during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Zionist militias expelled approximately 800,000 indigenous Arabs from their homes and lands in Palestine. W. de St. Aubin, delegate of the League of Red Cross Societies to the Middle East, placed the number of refugees closer to one million based on registration for relief. An American Red Cross official estimated that pregnant and nursing women, children under 15, adults over 60, and the infirm composed 84 percent of Palestinian refugees by October 1948. The vast majority of Palestinians forced into exile were defenseless noncombatant civilians. Only a small percentage of refugees were able-bodied men; the rest were dependents and broken family groups, which had lost their men.

Approximately 250,000 Palestinians who were driven from their homes lived in the area designated as the Jewish state in the U.N. partition plan. All others, about 69 percent, were expelled from areas designated as the Palestinian Arab state, in violation of the partition resolution....

This book contributes to a better understanding of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war by incorporating the Palestinian viewpoint into the framework of contemporary perspectives found in the documentary and other records. As a result, a more precise narrative explains the causes of the Palestinian Arab exodus from its inception in the 1947-48 civil war period.

This research strongly supports, if not conclusively demonstrates, that the creation of the Palestinian Arab refugees began in the convergence of a chaotic civil conflict, British inaction to suppress the escalating violence, and the Jewish Agency's seizure of the opportunity presented by the cover of war to effect long-held aims of political Zionism: the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine with a population practically devoid of non-Jews. This was done by employing systematic and violent intimidation to drive out the native Palestinian Arab civilian population, which consisted largely of disempowered women, children, and elderly people incapable of resisting.

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  • PublisherArabicus Books & Media, LLC
  • Publication date2008
  • ISBN 10 0981513174
  • ISBN 13 9780981513171
  • BindingHardcover
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages440
  • Rating

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