excerpted from the pamphlet
Truth Against Truth:
by Uri Avnery.
(points 12 through 19, out of 101 points)
12. The core of the conflict is the confrontation between the Israeli-Jewish nation and the Palestinian-Arab nation. It is essentially a national conflict, even if it has religious, social and other aspects.
13. The Zionist Movement was, essentially, a Jewish reaction to the emergence of the national movements in Europe, all of which were more or less anti-Semitic. Having been rejected by the European nations, some of the Jews decided to establish themselves as a separate nation and, following the new European model, to set up a national State of their own, where they could be masters of their own fate.
14. Traditional and religious motives drew the Zionist Movement to Palestine (Eretz Israel in Hebrew) and the decision was made to establish the Jewish State in this land. The maxim was: “A land without a people for a people without a land.” This maxim was not only conceived in ignorance, but also reflected the general arrogance towards non-European peoples that prevailed in Europe at that time.
15. Palestine was not an empty land – not at the end of the 19th century nor at any other period. At that time, there were half a million people living in Palestine, 90% of them Arabs. This population objected, of course, to the incursion of foreign settlers into their land.
16. The Arab National Movement emerged almost simultaneously with the Zionist Movement, initially to fight the Ottoman Empire and later the colonial regimes built on its ruins at the end of World War I. A separate Arab-Palestinian national movement developed in the country after the British created a separate State called “Palestine,” and in the course of the struggle against Zionist infiltration.
17. Since the end of World War I, there has been an ongoing struggle between two national movements, the Jewish-Zionist and the Palestinian-Arab, both of which aspire to accomplish their goals – which are entirely incompatible – within the same territory. This situation remains unchanged to this day.
18. As persecution of the Jews in Europe intensified, and as the countries of the world closed their gates to the Jews attempting to flee the inferno, so the Zionist Movement gained strength. Nazi anti-Semitism turned the Zionist utopia into a realizable modern enterprise by causing a mass-immigration of trained manpower, intellectuals, technology and capital to Palestine. The Holocaust, which took the lives of about six million Jews, gave tremendous moral and political force to the Zionist claim, leading to the establishment of the State of Israel.
19. The Palestinian nation, witnessing the growth of the Jewish population in their land, could not comprehend why they should be expected to pay the price for crimes committed against the Jews by Europeans. They violently objected to further Jewish immigration and to the acquisition of land by the Jews.