The Zionist narrative exists to justify the existence of the state of Israel. It is the narrative that dominates the perspectives of the US and Canadian governments as well as the mainstream media in North America. This narrative accepts as its starting point the right of a Jewish state to exist based on the fact that Jews lived in the biblical lands 2,000 years ago and that these lands belong to God’s chosen people: the Jews. But does this narrative reflect the truth? Or is it self-serving propaganda? After all, given this starting point, the inevitable outcome of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was the ‘cleansing’ of the existing Arab population in that region because a Jewish majority was required to make a Jewish state viable.
Prior to the emergence of the Zionist movement in Europe in the late 1800s, the Jewish population in Palestine had remained steady at about four percent for centuries. And by all accounts the Jews lived in relative harmony with the Muslim majority as well as with Christians and the Druze. But European Zionists began urging European Jews to ‘return’ to the Holy Land with the objective of establishing a Jewish state.
In the Zionist revision of history, the Palestinians suddenly and irrationally began attacking the Jewish population in Palestine between 1920 and 1947, while Jews were simply defending themselves. But most of the Jews in Palestine by 1920 were not the Jews who had been living there for centuries; the overwhelming majority were European Zionists who had recently migrated and whose primary objective was to establish a Jewish state.
In the decade following the Balfour declaration in 1917, more than 100,000 Jews migrated to Palestine from Europe, and by 1948 that number had reached half a million. Many of these European Jews did not migrate to Palestine to co-exist in harmony with the Arab majority, but to help fulfil the Zionist goal of establishing a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. There are countless records of statements made by Zionist leaders between 1920 and 1948 on the need to remove all Arabs from the ‘Land of Israel’ in order to make a Jewish state with a Jewish majority viable.
Was there violence perpetrated by Arabs against the recently-arrived European immigrants? Yes, there was. But this violence was in response to the threat that the Zionist project posed to Palestinians and their lands–and in response to Zionist violence too. Consequently, it was the Palestinians who had lived there for generations who were defending themselves, not the European Zionists. After all, where were they supposed to turn for redress? Following the implementation of the British Mandate in 1922, the Palestinians were being governed by the same foreign government that had pledged in the Balfour declaration to create a Jewish state on their lands.