No hate. No violence
Races? Only one Human race
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Radio Islam
Know Your enemy!
No time to waste. Act now!
Tomorrow it will be too late



























Vol XXX, No. 2, Winter 2001, Issue 118


Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948, by Meron Benvenisti. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 340 pages. Notes to p. 352. Index to p. 366. $35.00 cloth.

Reviewed by Ilan Pappé

Ilan Pappé is professor of political science at Haifa University and academic head of the Institute for Peace Research, Givat Haviva.

Israeli Zionist intellectuals who are located on the most leftist pole of the political spectrum continue to produce bizarre books navigating carefully between self-criticism and justifications. This is an intriguing genre, characterized by careful deconstruction of the Zionist past and present, which was recently exposed to its widest audience in the treatment of history in the Israeli television series "Tekumma"--yet another intellectual exercise of self-criticism without violating the basic Zionist consensus. Meron Benvenisti's book is very much in this vein. These books are very informative and full of intriguing facts about callous Israeli behavior in the past, but they are wrapped in Zionist ideology that leaves the question of Israel's moral responsibility intact. Morality should be an integral part of historical research, but it is not in these books in general, nor is it to be found in the book under review. Nevertheless, Benvenisti's book is somewhat exceptional in this respect because he does not pretend to write a purely scholarly work. He is a journalist and writes like one. Therefore, this is an opinionated book with a clear, undisguised ideological agenda. This transparency makes it a bit easier to examine the connection between what happened, the author's interpretation, and the moral and political conclusions driven from the historical analysis.

On the factual level, readers will find much in this work that is novel. The book in essence looks at the way the Israelis transformed the "human geography" of Palestine after the 1948 Nakba. It examines in a detailed manner the renaming of the land and its human sites as part of the antirepatriation policy that Israel adopted after the war. Benvenisti is one of the few Israelis who dare to describe the policy that was pursued as "ethnic cleansing." According to this book, the "ethnic cleansing included Hebrewizing [sic] Arab names, the building of Jewish settlements over deserted Arab villages, and the refusal to allow a collective return." The worst episode in this operation was what the author calls "the atrocities." These included massacres, rapes, and expulsions of Palestinians, but, according to this book, these "atrocities" were few in numbers and limited to the last phases of the war, around October 1948.

At this point the readers will get the impression that this is an explicit challenge not only to mainstream Israeli historiography, but even to "new historians" such as Benny Morris. But it is not. Admittedly, the term "ethnic cleansing" is provocative from a Zionist point of view, but its explication in this book would lead the average Zionist reader to exhale a sigh of relief. According to Benvenisti's narrative, the cleansing was not premeditated, the indigenous population left and was not expelled, and atrocities were on the level one would expect from a "modern" nation in a conventional war. The worst part of the narrative is the takeover of the abandoned villages and their resettlement by Jews. Indeed, if there are no war crimes and the "ethnic cleansing" amounts to the renaming and resettling of uninhabited villages, then the Israeli conduct sounds less ignominious in retrospect.

The Nakba is presented here as loss of land and houses. Nothing is mentioned about careers, normal life, cultural production--in short, the brutal termination of human existence in one's own land. The limits of the soul searching in this book emerge starkly when one reads the author's political conclusions today in light of his version of the "ethnic cleansing" of yesterday. The answer to the question Quo vadis? is quite short: "What was lost needs a tombstone." This is a distorted paraphrasing of a piece written by Azmi Bishara and adopted wrongly by Benvenisti as the end of the story. Bishara wants a tomb on the way to repatriation; Benvenisti wishes for a tomb instead of repatriation.

After reading the book, one gets the impression the Nakba was a nonevent. Benvenisti would have been perfectly right if all that had happened in Palestine was destruction of villages and urban centers in the aftermath of the war as part of an Israeli antirepatriation policy. His remorse then would be respectful and his call for forgetfulness reasonable. But the destruction of the deserted villages pales in comparison to the real "ethnic cleansing" not mentioned in even one word of this book. This is the vision that Nur Masalha describes in his recent book Imperial Israel. The destruction of deserted, uninhabited villages was a final act in a plot written in the 1880s. Zionist ideology purported and advocated the depopulation of Palestine. The contingency that developed in 1948 enabled this movement to implement this old desire to cleanse the indigenous population. Such heinous ideas could have been legitimized in the eyes of liberal-minded Europeans, such as the early Zionists, since this was the age of colonialism, when genocide and ethnic cleansing were part of the legitimate means for expanding European power into Asia and Africa. The rise of the European Left in the 1920s and the decline of the colonial powers after World War I almost brought to a stop these acts of depopulation. Zionism was lagging behind because it had to wait until it had the power to act, and it could not have done so before 1948. It also would not have escaped the wrath of the international community had it not been for the Holocaust. These last sentences, if accepted as reasonable analysis of historical development, exclude their author from the Zionist consensus. Benvenisti chooses to stay within it. To his credit, one should say that he does not hide behind scientific truth to claim the rightness of his position. It is difficult for him emotionally to cross over to the non-Zionist bank of the river.

"When a Jew, in America or in South Africa, talks to his Jewish companions about 'our' government, he means the government of Israel."

- David Ben-Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister

Palestine banner
Viva Palestina!

Latest Additions - in English

What is this Jewish carnage really about? - The background to atrocities

Videos on Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam and Blacks and Jews  

How Jewish Films and Television Promotes bias Against Muslims

Judaism is Nobody's Friend
Judaism is the Jews' strategy to dominate non-Jews.

Jewish War Against Lebanon!

Islam and Revolution
By Ahmed Rami

Hasbara - The Jewish manual for media deceptions

Celebrities bowing to their Jewish masters

Elie Wiesel - A Prominent False Witness
By Robert Faurisson

The Gaza atrocity 2008-2009

Iraq under Jewish occupation
Iraq - war and occupation

Jewish War On Syria!

CNN's Jewish version of "diversity" - Lists the main Jewish agents

Hezbollah the Beautiful
Americans, where is your own Hezbollah?

Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan's Epic Speech in Madison Square Garden, New York  - A must see!

"War on Terror" - on Israel's behalf!

World Jewish Congress: Billionaires, Oligarchs, Global Influencers for Israel

Interview with anti-Zionist veteran Ahmed Rami of Radio Islam - On ISIS, "Neo-Nazis", Syria, Judaism, Islam, Russia...

Britain under Jewish occupation!

Jewish World Power
West Europe    East Europe
Americas          Asia
Middle East       Africa
      U.N.              E.U.


The Internet and Israeli-Jewish infiltration/manipulations

Books - Important collection of titles

The Judaization of China

Israel: Jewish Supremacy in Action - By David Duke

The Power of Jews in France

Jew Goldstone appointed by UN to investigate War Crimes in Gaza

When Jews rule...
The best book on Jewish Power

The Israel Lobby - From the book

Jews and Crime - The archive

Sayanim - Israel's and Mossad's Jewish helpers abroad

Listen to Louis Farrakhan's Speech - A must hear!

The Israeli Nuclear Threat

The "Six Million" Myth

"Jewish History" - a bookreview

Putin and the Jews of Russia

Israel's attack on US warship USS Liberty - Massacre in the Mediterranean

Jewish "Religion" - What is it?

Medias in the hands of racists

Strauss-Kahn - IMF chief and member of Israel lobby group

Down with Zio-Apartheid
Stop Jewish Apartheid!

The Jews behind Islamophobia

Israel controls U.S. Presidents
Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton...

The Victories of Revisionism
By Professor Robert Faurisson

The Jewish hand behind Internet The Jews behind Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, MySpace, eBay...

"Jews, who want to be decent human beings, have to renounce being Jewish"

Jewish War Against Iran

Jewish Manipulation of World Leaders

Al Jazeera English under Jewish infiltration

The Founding Myths of Modern Israel
Garaudy's "The Founding Myths
of Israeli Politics"

Jewish hate against Christians
By Prof. Israel Shahak

Introduction to Revisionist
- By Ernst Zündel

Karl Marx: The Jewish Question

Reel Bad Arabs - Revealing the racist Jewish Hollywood propaganda

"Anti-Semitism" - What is it?

Videos - Important collection 

The Jews Banished 47 Times in 1000 Years - Why?

Zionist strategies - Plotting invasions, formenting civil wars, interreligious strife, stoking racial hatreds and race war

The International Jew
By Henry Ford

Pravda interviews Ahmed Rami

The Founding Myths of Modern Israel
Shahak's "Jewish History,
Jewish Religion"

The Jewish plan to destroy the Arab countries - From the World Zionist Organization

Judaism and Zionism inseparable

Revealing photos of the Jews 

Horrors of ISIS Created by Zionist Supremacy - By David Duke

Racist Jewish Fundamentalism

The Freedom Fighters:
   Hezbollah - Lebanon
   Nation of Islam - U.S.A.

Jewish Influence in America
- Government, Media, Finance...

"Jews" from Khazaria stealing the land of Palestine

The U.S. cost of supporting Israel

Turkey, Ataturk and the Jews

Talmud unmasked
The truth about the Talmud

Israel and the Ongoing Holocaust in Congo

Jews DO control the media - a Jew brags! - Revealing Jewish article

Abbas - The Traitor

Protocols of Zion - The whole book!

Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
Encyclopedia of the
Palestine Problem

The "Holocaust" - 120 Questions and Answers

Quotes - On Jewish Power / Zionism

Caricatures / Cartoons 

Activism! - Join the Fight!