Socialist Worker

Israel tries to hide its bloody, racist past

Issue No. 2662

Israel was founded on racism and repression

Israel was founded on racism and repression

Israel is desperate to hide its bloody, racist history. Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed last week that Israel’s defence ministry has been quietly hiding, removing and censoring documents for more than a decade.

Accounts of massacres and demolitions of Arab villages during Israel’s foundation in 1948 mysteriously went missing.

They include accounts such as this, which describe the fate of Palestinian village Safsaf. “52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. Ten were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of six elderly men.

“There were 61 bodies. Three cases of rape, one east of Safed, girl of 14, four men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

Palestinians were systematically expelled—ethnically cleansed—to ensure Israel had a Jewish ethnic majority. Historians such as Ilan Pappe have documented this.

Haaretz said the former head of the Defence Ministry’s security body acknowledged he launched the project to hide the documents.

He said the point was to “undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem”.

He also fears that uncovering the truth could lead to “unrest”.

Israel wants to hide the truth about its past. It’s our job to make sure they never make us forget.

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