Back to PLO Bulletin 1-15 September 1979

Zionism in Practice


An Israeli, David Tzerkes, 37, of Tiberias was arrested when explosives were found in his car in Venice, on August 28. They said Tzerkes was detained when he disembarked his car from a ferry coming from Haifa via Cyprus and Greece. The police found three kilograms (seven pounds) of explosives, detonators, fuses and a pistol under a false floor in the car, Tzerkes was said to be travelling with an Austrian passport and to be heading for Austria or West Germany.


"It is an inalienable right of our people to live and to progress on its land and in its country..., we will fight for our land and our country." This was the slogan of the local Arab authorities and Palestinian masses in Galilee and the Triangle region during the hourlong strike from 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. that was carried out August 30 against racist statements made by Israel's General Avigdor Ben-Gal, and the attempts to erase the Palestinian nationality of the Arabs of Galilee and to force them to leave their lands. In early August, Ben-Gal told a group of Knesset members visiting the occupied Golan Heights that "the Arabs of Galilee are a cancer in the body of the (Israeli) nation... For this reason we must give preference to settlements in Galilee over settlements in the Golan Heights."

During the strike, the streets and squares of the cities and villages of Galilee were covered with slogans against racial discrimination and the confiscation of Arab lands, while one publication which was distributed in occupied Palestine called for the dismissal of Ben Gal, and for bringing him to trial immediately.

Tewfiq Zayyad, the Mayor of Nazareth, described these declarations in a press conference on August 30 as an integral part of the policy of discrimination against the Palestinians, some of the most conspicuous aspects of which are the way the people of Ma'alia were treated, and the meetings of the security authorities in Western Galilee, in addition to the law permitting the Confiscation of the land of the Arabs of the Negev and its complete Judaization.

Zayyad added that the municipality of Nazareth and the local Arab authorities view Ben Gal's declarations as originating from the swamp of the general policy of the forces of occupation, with their frequent land confiscations and discrimination against Palestinian citizens.

Zayyad asserted that the strike was meant as a challenge to this fascist policy, and dismissed the Zionist Minister of War's reprimand to Ben Gal as an attempt to throw sand in the eyes of the Arabs, and as insufficient to satisfy the people or the local authorities.

Zayyad asserted at the end of his press conference that the Palestinian people will carry on its struggle and hold firmly to its land and its right to live.


The Jerusalem Donations Committee collected IL 98,685 as part of contributions to the family of Abdel-Samie Badr, whose house was demolished by the Zionist authorities last April.


In an appeal on August 27 to Palestinian and Jewish progressive public opinion, the representatives of the Arabs of the Negev objected to the Israeli decision to confiscate their lands, and described the law concerning the confiscation of land for the construction of military airbases - in accordance with the treaty with Egypt - as a paradigm of racial discrimination and aggression. The Negev representatives confirmed that the real aim behind this policy was the expulsion of the people of the region from their lands, in preparation for its Judaization. The representatives wondered how the Israeli authorities could proclaim their respect for human rights at a time when they themselves violate the simplest rights of the Palestinian people, that of living peacefully on their own soil.


In an attack on "International Zionism" and "its grandiose lies", by Yuri Sergeyev, the Soviet news agency "Tass", on August 2, 1979, shed a special light on the collaboration between Nazism and agents of Zionism during World War II. "Tass" commented:

"The policy of terrorism and collective extermination of the Arab people in territories occupied by Israel is well known. We have also not forgotten the crimes committed by Zionists who once collaborated with Nazism to exterminate Jews in many countries during World War II. An example is Adolf Eichmann. He was exceptionally empowered by the fascist government of Germany to achieve a final solution to the Jewish problem, and had established close contacts with the Zionists who cooperated with him in many instances: first inside Germany, then inside all countries that Germany had occupied. In Poland he was an active accomplice and partner of the Zionist Nossing. In Czechoslavakia, he closely cooperated with the Zionist Mandler, and so on.

"World public opinion has not also forgotten what was called "The Case of Rudolf Kastner", leader of the Hungarian Zionists. This man, who once held a high post in Israel in the past had helped the Nazis during World War II, to dispatch thousands of Jews to the ovens in return for rescuing a handful of wealthy Zionists and activists.

"During sessions of the court which was looking into the publicity-ridden case of Kastner in the 50's, it was entirely affirmed that Kastner had cooperated with Eichmann and with General Alsnahas Beikheir in "exporting" 5,000 wealthy Jews from Hungary, including members of the Zionist Youth Organisation, leaving behind 500,000 Jews to be exterminated by the Gestapo, after being assembled in ghettos. It has been maintained that Kastner had closely cooperated with Nazi Gestapo men and that he acted according to orders he received from the leaders of International Zionism.

"In March 1957, Kastner was killed by agents of the Israeli Secret Police and it may well be true that the reason behind that was to hide away the truth about his crimes and his connections with the Zionist leaders. But we neither forget these facts nor the dirty acts of these Zionists.

"These are the ugly acts of Zionist traitors and murderers who took part in the extermination of Jews in Europe during the years of the Second World War. These acts show the wide gap which separates the Zionist reactionary leaders from the broad masses of the Jews who struggled shoulder-to-shoulder with other peoples of the world against Nazism. The progressive peoples of the world including those of Europe have firmly denounced, and still do, the treacherous acts of the Zionists against the Jewish people.

"It is useless for the present heirs of Nossing, Mandler, Kastner, and company to pretend to be the defenders of Soviet Jews and try under this false pretense, to continue their mean acts in the interest of imperialist reactionaries whom they still serve. Their treacherous acts really stir the anger of all honourable people of the world."


Tension between the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews is not a new phenomenon in Zionist society. From the earliest days of Zionist settlement, the Ashkenazi European settlers have regarded themselves as "superior" to the Sephardim who come mainly from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. One indication of the separation between the two communities is that Israel has two Chief Rabbis, one Sephardic and the other Ashkenazi.

Although he is one of the very few Sephardic Jews admitted to the senior ranks of the Ashkenazi-dominated establishment, and hence is required to play an "Uncle Tom" role, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has now become involved in a controversy with his Ashkenazi counterpart Rabbi Shlomo Goren. The reason is that Rabbi Yosef has issued a theological pronouncement which, while perfectly sound in terms of the religious ethics of Judaism, is tantamount to a "heresy" according to the Zionist viewpoint.

On 20 August, Chief Rabbi Yosef told a Rabbis' conference that the doctrine of "Pikuah Nefesh" (the saving of lives) could be applied with regard to the Israelis relinquishing their hold over territories they seized in 1967. Noting the Zionist insistence on holding onto the West Bank, he stated: "if it is true, as the politicians say, that this would endanger us in a coming war - God forbid - and much blood - God forbid - would be spilled... the return of the territories is permissible."

According to many religious Jews, this doctrine of the sanctity of human lives should take precedence over all other commandments and laws, which can be set aside if human lives are at stake.

Chief Rabbi Goren, who was the Israeli Armed Forces' Head Chaplain in the 1967 war and is well known for his hawkish views, disagrees with this and maintains that priority should be given to Zionist expansionism and colonisation. He claims that Jews are forbidden to transfer any part of the Holy Land to non-Jews and "Pikuah Nefesh does not apply to 'defence' of the Holy Land."

The Sephardic Rabbi's greater concern for human life illustrates the difference in attitudes between the Sephardim, who have traditionally lived in societies with a greater degree of religious tolerance, and the Ashkenazim, who were the victims of repeated pogroms in Europe. Zionism, essentially an Ashkenazi concept, grew up in Europe parallel to a number of fascist and extreme nationalist philosophies, many of whose doctrines it adopted in one form or another.


The Israeli authorities are continuing their policy of forced land seizures despite protests and legal action by Arab landowners. On August 19, Jerusalem newspapers revealed a decision adopted by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem Affairs to confiscate thousands of dunums of Palestinian land extending from south of the Nabi Ya'coub region to the French Hill in Jerusalem. They also revealed that the Israeli authorities are demolishing Palestinian houses in the abovementioned region.

On August 24, an Israeli court endorsed the establishment of new settlements in the Ramallah region (which involved the confiscation of an area of 500 dunums) and rejected the protests of Arab landowners because of "the security of Lydd airport". Meanwhile, the Israeli Supreme Court permitted two Alon Moreh settlers to join the Israeli Ministery of War and the Israeli Military Governor in the West Bank as defendants in a land seizure case, therefore for the first time recognizing the settlers as a party with specific interests in land seizure policies and matters related to land confiscation. Elias Khoury, the lawyer of the Palestinian landowners, protested saying the settlers are already part of the Israeli security network, and as such were represented by the Israeli Minister of War and the Chief of Staff. He noted: "They have no role in, or personal right to, the confiscated land".


More settlements
The World Zionist Organisation, a semiofficial agency responsible for Jewish settlement in occupied territory, reported that about 14,500 settlers now live in 64 settlements in the West Bank in addition to 50,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem, annexed after the 1967 war. A senior official of the Jewish Agency affirmed on August 21 that by building new strategic villages, Israel is trying to create faits accomplis in the West Bank. The main aim is to get full control over all important communication lines before completion of the so-called autonomy negotiations.


The Israeli daily al-Hamishmar reported on August 27 that a group of seven Knesset members adopted a resolution to establish 1000 more residential units in the occupied Golan Heights for this fiscal year, with the aim of raising the number of settlers there to 10,000. The daily also revealed that the same group planned on tripling the number of settlers in the Kitsreen colony thus accomodating up to 1000 Israeli families. At the same time, two members of the Israeli Knesset, Yusuf Rum and Shlomo Halil, will introduce a resolution to issue Israeli identity cards for the residents of the Golan Heights, including the Arab Druze. The seven-member group of Israeli Knesset members also signed a petition calling for the application of Israeli law in the occupied Golan Heights, and their inclusion in the state of Israel.

Palestine - PLO information bulletin has been archived online as a project of New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine.

Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"

Contact us: New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
(973) 954-2521

New Jersey Solidarity
344 Grove Street, Suite 131
Jersey City, NJ 07302