The Hidden History of Zionism

By Ralph Schoenman


Chapter 7
The Myth of Security

6. Zionism and the Jews   |   8. Blitzkrieg and Slaughter


"Security" has been the catch-phrase deployed to screen widespread massacre of civilian populations throughout Palestine and Lebanon, for the confiscation of Palestinian and Arab land, for the expansion into surrounding territory and the establishment of new settlements, for deportation and for sustained torture of political prisoners.

The publication of the Personal Diary of Moshe Sharett (Yoman ishi, Maariv, Tel Aviv, 1979) demolished the myth of security as the motor force of Israeli policy. Moshe Sharett was a former Prime Minister of Israel (1954-55), director of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department and Foreign Minister (1948-56).

Sharett’s diary reveals in explicit language that the Israeli political and military leadership never believed in any Arab danger to Israel.

They sought to maneuver and force the Arab states into military confrontations which the Zionist leadership were certain of winning so Israel could carry out the destabilization of Arab regimes and the planned occupation of additional territory.

Sharett described the governing motive of Israeli military provocation:

To bring about the liquidation of all ... Palestinian claims to Palestine through the dispersion of the Palestinian refugees to distant corners of the world. [98]

The Sharett diaries document a longstanding program of Israel’s leaders from both Labor and Likud: to "dismember the Arab world, defeat the Arab national movement and create puppet regimes under regional Israeli power." [99] Sharett cites cabinet meetings, position papers and policy memoranda which prepared wars "to modify the balance of power in the region radically, transforming Israel into the major power in the Middle East." [100] Sharett reveals that far from Israel "reacting" to Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal for its war of October 1956, the Israeli leadership had prepared this war and had it on their agenda from autumn 1953, one year before Nasser came to power. Sharett recounts how the Israeli cabinet had agreed that international conditions for this war would mature within three years. The explicit intent was "the absorption of the Gaza territory and of the Sinai". A timetable for conquest was decided at the highest military and political level. The occupation of Gaza and the West Bank was prepared in the early 1950s. In 1954, David Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan developed a detailed plan to instigate internal Lebanese conflict in order to fragment Lebanon. This was sixteen years before an organized Palestinian political presence occurred there in the aftermath of the expulsions from Jordan in 1970, when King Hussein slaughtered Palestinians in what came to be known as "Black September". Sharett described "the use of terror and aggression to provoke" in order to facilitate conquest:

I have been meditating on the long chain of false incidents and hostilities we have invented and on the many clashes we have provoked which cost so much blood, and on the violations of law by our men all of which have brought grave disaster and determined the whole course of events. [101]


Sharett recounts how on October 11, 1953, Israeli President Ben Zvi "raised as usual some inspired questions such as [our] chance to occupy the Sinai and how wonderful it would be if the Egyptians started an offensive so we could follow with an invasion of the desert." [102]

On October 26, 1953, Sharett writes:

1) The Army considers the present border with Jordan as absolutely unacceptable. 2) The Army is planning war in order to occupy the rest of Eretz Israel. [103]

By January 31, 1954, Dayan outlined war plans, disclosed by Sharett :

We should advance militarily into Syria and realize a series of faits accomplis. The interesting conclusion from all this regards the direction in which the Chief of Staff is thinking. [104]


Absorbing Lebanon

In May 1954, Ben Gurion and Dayan formulated a war plan for the absorption of Lebanon:

According to Dayan, the only thing that’s necessary is to find an officer, even just a Major. We should ... buy him ... to make him agree to declare himself the savior of the Maronite population.

Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory and will create a Christian regime which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel and everything will be all right.

If we were to accept the advice of the Chief of Staff we would do it tomorrow, without awaiting a signal [sic] from Baghdad. [105]

But twelve days later, Dayan had moved into high gear for the planned invasion, occupation and dismemberment of Lebanon:

The Chief of Staff supports a plan to hire a Lebanese officer who will agree to serve as a puppet so that the Israeli army may appear as responding to his appeal “to liberate Lebanon from its Muslim oppressors”. [106]

he entire scenario, therefore, for the 1982 war in Lebanon was in place twenty-eight years earlier, before the P.L.O. existed.

Sharett, who opposed the original action, recounts how the invasion of Lebanon was postponed.


Green Light from the C.I.A.

The C.I.A. gave Israel the ’green light’ to attack Egypt. The energies of Israel’s security establishment became wholly absorbed by the preparations for the war which would take place exactly one year later. [107]

The real relationship of Israel to the Arab national movement is placed by Sharett in the clear context of service to U.S. global dominion, of which Zionist expansion is an essential component:

... We have a free hand and God bless us if we act audaciously ... Now ... the U.S. is interested in toppling Nasser’s regime ... but it does not dare at the moment to use the methods it adopted to topple the leftist government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala [1954] and of Mossadegh in Iran [1953] ... It prefers its work to be done by Israel.

... Isser [General] proposes seriously and pressingly ... that we carry out our plan for the occupation of the Gaza Strip now ... The situation is changed and there are other reasons which determine that it is “time to act”. First the discovery of oil near the Strip ... its defense requires dominating the Strip - this alone is worth dealing with the troublesome question of the refugees. [108]

Moshe Sharett anticipated another wave of slaughter, which did, in fact, occur. On February 17, 1955, he wrote:

... We cry out over our isolation and the dangers to our security, we initiate aggression and reveal ourselves as being bloodthirsty and aspiring to perpetrate mass massacres. [109]

Ben Gurion and Dayan proposed that Israel create a pretext to seize the Gaza Strip. Sharett’s own evaluation on March 27, 1955, was prophetic:

Let us assume that there are 200,000 Arabs in the Gaza Strip. Let us assume that half of them will run or will be made to run to the Hebron Hills. Obviously, they will run away without anything and shortly after they establish themselves in some stable environment, they will become again riotous and homeless. It is easy to imagine the outrage and hate and bitterness.

... And we shall have 100,000 of them in the Strip, and it is easy to imagine what means we shall resort to in order to suppress them and what kind of headlines we shall receive in the international press. The first round would be: Israel aggressively invades the Gaza Strip. The second: Israel causes again the terrified flight of masses of Arab refugees. Their hate will be rekindled by the atrocities that we shall cause them to suffer during the occupation. [110]

One year later, Dayan’s troops occupied the Gaza Strip, Sinai, the Straits of Tiran and were deployed along the Suez Canal.


From Herzl to Dayan

The plans exposed by Moshe Sharett did not originate with David Ben Gurion or Moshe Dayan. In 1904, Theodor Herzl described the territory over which the Zionist movement laid claim as inclusive of all the land "from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates". [111] The territory embraced all of Lebanon and Jordan, two thirds of Syria, one-half of Iraq, a strip of Turkey, one-half of Kuwait, one third of Saudi Arabia, the Sinai and Egypt, including Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo.

In his testimony before the United Nations Special Committee of Enquiry which was preparing the Partition of Palestine (July 9, 1947), Rabbi Fischmann, the official representative of the Jewish agency for Palestine, reiterated Herzl’s claims:

The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria and Lebanon. [l12]



98. Rokach, p.5.

99. Ibid.

100. Ibid., p.4.

101. Ibid., p.6.

102. Ibid., p.14.

103. Ibid., p.18.

104. Ibid., p.19.

105. Ibid., p.29

106. Ibid.

107. Ibid., p.30.

108. Ibid., p.55.

109. Ibid., p.45.

110. Ibid., p.50.

111. Herzl, Diaries. Vol.II, 1904, p.711.

112. Israel Shahak, The Zionist Plan for the Middle East (Belmont, Mass.: A.A.U.G., 1982).


Last updated on 4.8.2001