Separating Fact From Fiction: The History of the Establishment of Israel

Wits graffiti of Israel and Palestine relations South Africa

The establishment of the state of Israel was never recognised by the UN Security Council, which is the only body with the authority to make legally binding decision. This means that the Zionists stole land from the Palestinians already living there. MICHIA MONCHO debunks some of the myths around the legality of the Israeli/Zionist state.

It is a popular myth that the United Nations, aided by the British government, created the state of Israel by voting in a resolution in 1947, but this is historically inaccurate. Why does it matter?, you may ask. It matters because many Israelis (hereto referred as Zionists, followers of the Zionism political ideology of colonial conquest) have used this inaccuracy to legitimise the state of Israel, and to make it appear as if the United Nations has sanctioned the creation of this apartheid state.

First and foremost, the United Nations does not have the authority to create a state, only to recognize it. Furthermore, the resolution often used to justify the creation of Israel – Resolution 181- was voted in by the United Nations General Assembly, primarily made up of Western Nations. The General Assembly has no authority to make decisions, only recommendations, and so this resolution was in no way, shape or form legally binding. Only the Security Council of the United Nations has any authority to make legally binding decisions, and they did not vote on this Resolution at all.

The Palestinians openly rejected the partition as it gave over 55.5% of the land to the Jewish population, who only made up 33% of the population and who had, until then, only owned about 6.6% of the land. Many of whom were recent immigrants from Europe. The Zionists on the other hand, publicly agreed with the partition but privately had sinister plans that involved completing the primary goal of Zionism – taking over all of Palestine to create a state called Israel. David Ben-Gurion, Zionist leader and the first prime minister of Israel, stated to the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) in 1949, The State of Israel considers the UN Resolution of November 1947, to be null and void. After we become a strong force as the result of the action of the state we shall abolish partition and expand [Israel] to the whole of Palestine. While the recommendation was that Israel should have 54% of the land of Palestine, in the end Israel would seize over 78% of what was known as Palestine, much of it with very valuable resources and arable land.
Israel was not created by the United Nations but was declared by Ben-Gurion, who made it very clear from his rhetoric from the very beginning that he was going through with Zionist plans to create the state of Israel regardless of the sentiments of the United Nations. The Chair of the Jewish National Fund, Menahem Ussishkin, stated in 1930 that if there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place.

In declassified minutes of security cabinet sessions in the months after the Six-Day in 1967, Israel’s third prime minister Levi Eshkol told his ministers in a cabinet meeting that he was working on the establishment of a unit or office that will engage in encouraging Arab emigration. He added, we should deal with this issue quietly, calmly and covertly, and we should work on finding a way [for] them to emigrate to other countries and not just over the Jordan [River]. The plan was and still is an absolute conquest of Palestinian land with sheer disregard of the indigenous peoples of Palestine or the international community.

During this #IsraeliApartheidWeek, it is important to highlight, more than ever, the myths surrounding the occupation of Palestine. The victors often write history and this retelling can often be laced with inaccuracies. It is our responsibility to separate fact from fiction if we wish to aid the Palestinians in their fight for emancipation.

Michia Moncho is one of the 2018 #IsraeliApartheidWeek Convener. She is from the diamond capital of the country, Kimberly, where she has been involved in youth and gender activism for over a decade. Moncho dislikes romantic comedies but firmly believes in Che Guevara’s words that a true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. Its this love that has driven Moncho to champion international struggles like that of the Palestinians. @IAWSouthAfrica

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policies of The Daily Vox.

Featured image by Fatima Moosa