Occupation of Palestine started in 1948
Published Jun 11, 2007 12:25 AM
The June 1967 Arab-Israeli War resulted in a vast expansion of the Zionist
colonial project in Palestine, a seizure of territory that much of the world
recognizes as an illegal occupation. But it wasn’t the first illegitimate
That first occupation began with a project calling itself the State of
Israel. Its armed wing is known as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
It occupied Western Palestine in 1948 and still does to this day.
The June 1967 war lasted only six days. New lands were conquered that included
the rest of Palestine—Gaza and the West Bank—as well as parts of
Egypt and Syria. Paramilitary youth under the direction of the IDF quickly
built and occupied settlements throughout the newly occupied areas.
The IDF military victory, along with the pro-Zionist media blitz that quickly
followed, encouraged the immigration of tens of thousands of settlers a year
from other countries. The pop song “Jerusalem of Gold” became a
worldwide recruitment anthem in Jewish communities.
Huge sums of money were transferred on a regular basis from the U.S. government
to fund occupation infrastructure and ensure the economic stability of the
colonial enterprise. And state-of-the-art ground, air and naval weapons systems
worth billions of dollars were made available to stabilize the IDF’s
expanded occupation mission.
Between 1948 and 1967 the Zionists could occupy Palestine—both rural
areas and cities such as Jaffa, Haifa and the western half of
Jerusalem—with occasional foot patrols, jeeps without armor and a well
developed network of informants run by secret police agencies like Shin Bet and
The Palestinians had suffered an historic defeat in 1948 and much of the
population was in exile. They were an isolated people. Communications were not
what they are today. The financial cost of occupation during this period was
Following the June 1967 occupation of parts of Egypt (Sinai Peninsula) and
Syria (Golan Plateau), however, the costs quickly rose. Besides paramilitary
settlements, the occupation of these areas required mobile armored units,
aircraft, radar systems and offshore naval forces. Occasional infantry foot
patrols were no longer enough. Large permanent bases for ground and air forces
had to be built. U.S. imperialism footed the bill for the initial construction
and continues to pay for maintenance.
The Egyptians confronted the occupation of their country by initiating the 1969
War of Attrition and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. The cost of occupation became
too high for the Zionists and by April 1982 they retreated from Egypt. The
occupation of Syria continues.
In June 1982, backed by the U.S., the Zionists began an occupation of large
parts of Southern Lebanon and parts of Beirut. This occupation met heroic
resistance from the day it began. By May 2000 the IDF had retreated from
virtually all of Lebanon and another chapter of occupation had ended.
By August 2005 the cost of occupation had grown so high in Gaza that the
Zionists were forced to close down their settlements and evacuate over 7,000
settlers. While Gaza remains surrounded and under siege, not one settler
remains. This was a hard-fought victory by the Palestinian resistance—and
especially by the self-sacrificing youth of Palestine who have inspired
militant youth worldwide.
The liberation of Arab land did not end with IDF tanks fleeing Lebanon in 2000
or Zionist settlers being moved from Gaza to other parts of Palestine in August
The real liberation for all the people of Palestine—whether they speak
Arabic or Hebrew—will begin with the end of Zionist occupation in all of
Palestine—including Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem and the Galilee—as well
as in the Golan region of Syria and Shebaa Farms in Lebanon.
The Zionist occupation of Arab land began not in 1967 but in 1948. Any
resistance against this occupation is legitimate and deserves the support of
the world’s people.
Kramer served in the IDF as a youth and took part in ground operations in
the Golan during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
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