Book: Rabin backed transfer of Arabs in ’56
By Amir Oren
Assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin proposed transferring the Palestinians from the West Bank while serving as a major general in the Israel Defense Forces in 1956, according to a book published by the State Archive last week.
The transfer suggestion was raised at an IDF staff meeting attended by then-prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion. Rabin proposed initiating a war against Jordan and using it to deport Palestinians from the West Bank.
“Most of them can be driven out,” said Rabin, then-head of the IDF’s Training Division and a week before being appointed GOC Northern Command. “If the numbers were smaller it would be easier, but the problem can be solved in principle. It would not be a humane move, but war in general is not a humane matter,” he said, according to the book.
The book – “Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel” – was edited by Yemima Rosenthal. The first of two volumes documents Rabin’s first 45 years until the end of his term as chief of staff.
At that time, before leaving for Israel’s embassy in Washington, Rabin recommended to former prime minister Levi Eshkol in December 1967 to adopt “the idea… of establishing a Palestinian state. It has an additional advantage. It is the only maneuvering space we have.” He proposed threatening Jordan’s King Hussein with “establishing a Palestinian state that would be affiliated with Israel.”
When he became chief of staff in January 1964, Rabin warned of the difficulties Israel would encounter in holding occupied territories. Less than two years later, he predicted that the Fatah attacks “could be the match that
NB: the article appears to end abruptly.
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