The Secrets in Israel's Archives
Evidence of Ethnic Cleansing Kept Under Lock and Key
Date Written: 20/08/2010
Year Published: 2010
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX12090
Israel has extended the time limit for releasing documents in its archives to 70 years, to prevent disclosure of evidence of widespread ethnic cleansing. The state's chief archivist says many of the documents "are not fit for public viewing" and raise doubts about Israel's "adherence to international law," while the government warns that greater transparency will "damage foreign relations."
the documents suggested that heavily armed Jewish forces had expelled and dispossessed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians before the Jewish state had even been declared and a single Arab soldier had entered Palestine.
One document in particular, Plan Dalet, demonstrated the armys intention to expel the Palestinians from their homeland. Its existence explains the ethnic cleansing of more than 80 percent of Palestinians in the war, followed by a military campaign to destroy hundreds of villages to ensure the refugees never returned.
Ethnic cleansing is the common theme of both these Israeli conquests. A deeper probe of the archives will almost certainly reveal in greater detail how and why these "cleansing" campaigns were carried out which is precisely why Netanyahu and others want the archives to remain locked.
But full disclosure of these myth-shattering documents may be the precondition for peace. Certainly, more of these revelations offer the best hope of shocking Israeli public opinion out of its self-righteous opposition to meaningful concessions, either to Syria or the Palestinians.