One of the recurrent references to discredit Zionism states that: “In 1940, Yosef Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency, stated clearly: It must be clear among us that there is no place for both peoples in the country (…). With the Arabs in the country, we cannot achieve our goal to become an independent people in this small territory; the only solution is an Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) without Arabs (…) And there is no other resource than to move the Arabs to the neighboring countries, all of them must be transferred, not a village or tribe can remain, and this transfer must be done towards Iraq, Syria and even Trans- Jordan” (same book by Brieger)”. With this quotation, some try to sustain two falsehoods: 1) that violence began because of this “Jewish exclusivism”; 2) that “this is proof” for the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948. Let’s set this straight: Yosef Weitz was not the head of the Jewish Agency (the political arm), but of the KKL (Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, in charge of the purchase and forestation of the lands), a position quite inferior in the Zionist hierarchy. In other words, this person did not have the power stated in the quotation. Yosef Weitz formed part of the Commission for Population Exchange organized by the Jewish Agency after the Peel Commission. It was the British who proposed in the midst of the commission a “transfer” of peoples. Yosef Weitz supported this transfer, but only if it was approved by those involved. He believed that a forced transfer was not real or implementable. Yosef Weitz tried to convince the Zionist leadership to prepare a “Transfer” plan and in 1943 the accountant of the Jewish Agency, Eliezer Kaplan, decided to assign some funds to study the issue, with no concrete results. The Zionist leadership did not approve or act according to what Weitz said.
top of page
bottom of page