UN's 1947 Partition Plan made Palestine a deal it had to refuse
Date Written: 21/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20527
Weinroth analyzes the reasons behind Palestinians' refusal of the Partition Plan, reasons that have been largely dismissed in favour of casting their actions in an unfavourable light and thereby justifying Israeli colonization.
A much-rehearsed centerpiece of Zionist discourse is an argument that begins and ends with the Partition Plan. It starts with the assertion that the Palestinians walked away from the negotiating table in 1948 and ends with the claim that if only they had accepted the plan they would no longer be stateless. In other words, the Arabs' fate was "rightly" sealed by their refusal to endorse an arrangement that was oh so fair and for which Zionists made such magnanimous compromises.
Sandwiched between these two bookends of Zionist narrative -- of Arab "crime" and "deserved punishment" -- are other notable myths, each of which has served to quell the guilty conscience of those who know, but cannot face, Israel's unconscionable history: its ethnic cleansing of Palestine, a pre-meditated act of depopulation that chased 75 per cent of Palestinians from their homeland. Noted historian Ilan Pappe has documented this dark episode with an abundance of archival evidence.
For the apologists of Zionism, the Arab rejection of the Partition Plan has been a favourite rhetorical device: a red herring. A creature of exceptional longevity, this strange fish belongs to a family of other red herrings -- figments of the imagination -- that have whirled for decades in public consciousness. And such red herrings, for all their fictiveness, have constituted powerful tropes of mass persuasion, diversions from Israel's original sins. Suffused with a tone of self-righteousness, these suspect (or "fishy") tales have lulled the Zionist conscience back into contented slumber and shielded it from the demons of '48. Today these tales may be seen for what they are: dubious alibis, state myths spawned from a skewed and selective memory of the Partition Plan.