Return to Damian's "pieces page"   "Return to Damian's Home page"

3 Israeli Leaders on the Occupation of Gaza & The West Bank

The following 3 quotes all come from the book Global Rift: The Third World Comes of Age, by L.S. Stavrianos, (New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1981)

(this is from 1953) "... Moshe Dayan, then chief of staff of Israel's defense forces, explicitly acknowledged the success and the implications of the "substantial colonization" that had been effected in the interim. In the course of a funeral oration he delivered in 1953 for a young Israeli pioneer killed by Arab marauders, Dayan declared:

Let us not today fling accusations at the murderers. Who are we that we should argue against their hatred? For eight years now they sit in refugee camps in Gaza, and before their very eyes, we turn into our homestead the land and the villages in which they and their forefathers have lived. We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and the cannon we cannot plant a tree and build a home. Let us not shrink back when we see the hatred fermenting and filling the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs, who set all around us. Let us not avert our gaze, so that our shall not slip. This is the fate of our generation, the choice of our life - to be prepared and armed, strong and tough - or otherwise, the sword will slip from our fist, and our life will be snuffed out."

Cited by D. Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch (London: Faber & Faber, 1977), p.172

Stavrianos, p 756

(this is from 1954) "...David Ben-Guirion reached a similar conclusion at the end of his distinguished career.

First, never forget that historically this country belongs to two races - the Arabs of Palestine and the Jews of the world - each of whom, first the Jews, and then the Arabs, have controlled it for some 1,200 years apiece.

Second, remember the Arabs drastically outbreed us, and that to insure survival a Jewish state must at all times maintain within her own borders an unassailable Jewish majority.

Third, the logic of all this is to get peace, we must return in principle to the pre-1967 borders. We simply haven't the available Jews to populate all biblical Palestine. So when I consider the future of Israel, I only consider the country before the Six Day War. We should return all gains except East Jerusalem and the Golan. And on these we must negotiate... Peace is more important than real estate. With proper irrigation we now have quite enough land here in the Negev to care for all the Jews in the world - if they come.

As for security, militarily defensible borders, while desirable, cannot by themselves guarantee our future. Some sections of our people still have not learned this lesson. Real peace with our Arab neighbors, mutual respect and even affection; perhaps an Arab Israeli alliance; in any case a settlement they will not reluctantly agree to live with, but will enthusiastically welcome from their hearts as essential for our common future - that is our only true security. Then together we could turn the Middle East into a second garden of Eden and one of the great creative centers of the earth. "

         David Ben-Guirion, Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (New York: Philosophical Library, 1975)

Stavrianos, p 789

(this is from 1979)
"Yael Lotan, former editor of Ariel, a magazine on Israeli art and culture sponsored by Israel's Foreign Ministry, has challenged the official policy bluntly:

... nothing is worse than the continued occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. No mystagogical formulations will ever make it an acceptable status for the inhabitants. Their repression is undoing us all, and the Zionist dream is fast turning into a nightmare. We must therefore resolve to get out - not negotiate or haggle but simply get out of there... An independent Palestine is the only chance Israel has of surviving the twentieth century. "

        Y. Lotan, in "Symposium" in Nation (Nov. 3, 1979), p. 426

Stavrianos, p. 786

Return to Damian's "pieces page"   "Return to Damian's Home page"