From the archives: Special pages commemorating 50 years of Arab dispossession since the creation of the State of Israel

Al-Ahram Weekly , Sunday 21 May 2023

Gamil Shafik
1948 - 1998



From Al-Ahram Weekly archives: Fifty years of dispossession 1948-1998*

Issue: 1 January 1998

David Ben-Gurion, one of the father founders of Israel, described Zionist aims in 1948 thus: "A Christian state should be established [in Lebanon], with its southern border on the Litani river. We will make an alliance with it. When we smash the Arab Legion's strength and bomb Amman, we will eliminate Transjordan too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo... And in this fashion, we will end the war and settle our forefathers' account with Egypt, Assyria, and Aram" *.


50 years after the Arab defeat in the1948 war, which resulted in the establishment of Israel, many of Ben-Gurion's stated aims can still be discerned in the language of Israeli and Zionist leaders. Some modifications have become apparent, in large part as a result of Arab resistance, but the biblical language in which Ben-Gurion chose to state his meaning starkly expresses the deeply-rooted nature of these violent fantasies of conquest and destruction.


Resistance, in this instance through a better comprehension of the history of the struggle, as well as the writing of our own version of it, becomes more necessary than ever. Israel cannot be allowed to write the history of the past fifty years unchallenged. It is in this conviction that Al-Ahram Weekly presents the first in a regular series of articles designed to document the history and nature of Arab-Israeli struggle, as well as that of Palestinian dispossession and exile.


This article was first published in Al-Ahram Weekly’s special pages commemorating 50 years of Al-Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe when Israel was created on 15 May 1948. These pages, published in 1998, were part of a year-long series of articles documenting the history and nature of the Arab-Israeli struggle, as well as that of Palestinian dispossession and exile.

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