It's very good to see that, slowly slowly, more and more ethnic (whatever that really means) Jews, both outside and inside Israel, recognize the central fallacy on which the state of Israel was founded.
Pappe, professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter, joined these ranks a while ago and, in this book, meticulously shows that the Jews' claim and occupation of the levant was not only in effect an ethnic cleansing of epic proportions, but one that had been prepared for from as early as the 1920. And in such a way that Hitler would have been proud, putting into practice the systematic and total expulsion of the Palestinians from their homelands through, as envisioned,
+ killing Palestinian political leadership,
+ killing Palestinian inciters and their financial backers,
+ killing senior Palestinian officers and officials operating, until the creation of Israel, in the British backed national government,
+ damaging the sources of Palestinian livelihoods,
+ attacking Palestinian villages likely to assist in future attacks,
+ attacking Palestinian social gathering places.
At the start of the Jews, or, if you will, Zionists, putting into practice their ethnic cleansing of Palestine, two thirds of the people in the region now effectively called Israel, were indigenous Palestinians, down from some 90 percent a few decades earlier, with still only 6% of the land owned by Jews. Baffling, then, that the UN appointed 56 percent of the territory to the Jews in 1947, the Jews themselves expanding their de facto ownership only year later to over 80 percent.
The Zionist leadership, with David Ben-Gurion at the helm, could not agree with the partition plan as offered by the UN, the partition, in their eyes, giving Jews a far too small portion of the land, Ben-Gurion going on record with saying things like "[the borders of Israel] will be determined by force and not by the partition resolution".
It's quite amazing how coldly Stalinesque Ben Gurion was operating, totally irregardless of the pain, suffering and death he was leaving in his wake, particularly so short after the second world war, publicly claiming the risk of a second holocaust, while in reality being the perpetrator of one.
The book itself is a tad too academic, containing too much, if horrid, detail to easily keep reading.
In the final chapters, Pappe makes an exceptionally strong point. After an aborted attempt at reconciliation in the late 1940s, the 'peace process' has been about, at best, returning to the 1967 borders, notwithstanding the continuous encroachment israel has deployed onto Palestinian territories. Looking further back has been made not negotiable by Israel, effectively denying the Israeli invasion in 1948 of Palestinian territories and the resulting expulsion of those living in these now occupied areas.
Through this denial of occupation and displacement, and therefore not acknowledging the right of displaced Palestinians to return to the lands from which they were forcibly removed, repatriation has never been a part, even in theory, of the peace process.
No wonder that a solution is not at hand as long as Israel can not confess up to its actions.
Also, Pappe shows that, during the decades since the second world war, Israel has focussed on obtaining more and more land, while more and more reducing the percentage of Palestinians inside its borders. This, by creating and refining the apartheid state it now is.