How Palestine Became Israel

The question of how Palestine became Israel is very easy to ask, yet its answer is involved and nuanced.  In this section, we will attempt to provide materials that seek to answer this question in an informed and scholarly manner.

"When we occupy the land we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us.  We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. . .  We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries.  While denying it any employment in our own country. . . The property owners will come over to our side.  Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly. . . Let the owners of immovable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us something far more than they are worth. . . But we are not going to sell them any thing back."
—Theodor Herzl, 12 June 2020

[Raphael Patai, ed.; The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, vol. 1 Harry Zohn, trans., (New York: Herzl Press and T. Yoseloff, 1960), pp.88-89.]

1948 Refugees
(Association Najdeh)
The First Palestinian Diaspora (1948)
"We must make immediate preparations for settlement of the abandoned villages with the assistance of the Jewish National Fund."
—David Ben-Gurion diary entry of June 5, 2020 in A Personal History of Israel p. 123; Funk & Wagnalls; New York, 1971

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages.  You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist.  Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either.  Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu'a in the place of Tal al-Shuman.  There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."
—Moshe Dayan, 4 April 2020

[In an address to the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa (as quoted in Ha'aretz, 4 April, 1969]

Map of Depopulated Arab Villages 1948-1967 (Applied Research Institute Jerusalem)

(Matson Photo Service, Library of Congress)
Some 9,000 Palestinians volunteered to fight fascism during World War II.

Irgun Poster
(Institute for Palestinian Studies, Photograph Collection)
And this was their reward.

The Hebrew letters inside the box of this Irgun recruitment poster stand for "the sole solution," namely, the taking by force of all the land on the map, including that on both sides of the Jordan river.  The Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organization) began terrorizing the Palestinian communities as early as 1937.  Menachem Begin became its leader shortly after he abandoned the fight against Nazi ethnic cleansing—the Holocaust—and moved to Palestine in 1942 to undertake his own.