3. Quotations

 The time is always right to do 

what is right.

Martin Luther King Jr.

• If I was an Arab leader I would

never make [peace] with Israel. That

is natural: we have taken their country.

Sure God promised it to us, but what

does that matter to them? Our God is

not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true,

but two thousand years ago, and what

is that to them? There has been

anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler,

Auschweitz, but was that their fault?

They only see one thing: we came here

and we stole their country. Why should

they accept that?

David Ben Gurion, quoted in The

Jewish Paradox, by Nathan Goldmann

(former president of the World Jewish

Congress), Weidenfeld and Nicholson,

1978, p. 99.

 The only

thing necessary

for the triumph

of evil is for

good people to

do nothing.

Edmund Burke

• voluntary reconciliation with the

Arabs is out of the question either now

or in the future. If you wish to colonize

a land in which people are already

living, you must provide a garrison for

the land, or find some rich man or

benefactor who will provide a garrison

on your behalf. Or else-or else, give up

your colonization, for without an armed

force which will render physically

impossible any attempt to destroy or

prevent this colonization, colonization is

impossible, not difficult, not dangerous,

but IMPOSSIBLE!…Zionism is a

colonization adventure and therefore

it stands or falls by the question of

armed force. It is important…to speak

Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even

more important to be able to shoot -

or else I am through with playing

at colonizing.

Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of

Revisionist Zionism (precursor of Likud),

The Iron Wall, 1923.

 Walk gently, breathe peacefully,

laugh hysterically.

Nelson Mandela

• The world stands on three pillars:

The truth, the justice and the peace.

And these three are indeed one. When

justice is served, truth is served, peace is served.

Rabbi Shimon Ben-Gamliel, Talmudic sage

 The Balfour Declaration, made in 

November 1917 by the British 

Government...was made a) by a 

European power, b) about a non-

European territory, c) in flat disregard 

of both the presence and wishes of 

the native majority resident in that 

territory...[As Balfour himself wrote 

in 1919], 'The contradiction between 

the letter of the Covenant (the Anglo 

French Declaration of 1918 promising 

the Arabs of the former Ottoman 

colonies that as a reward for 

supporting the Allies they could have 

their independence) is even more 

flagrant in the case of the independent 

nation of Palestine than in that of the 

independent nation of Syria. For in 

Palestine we do not propose even to 

go through the form of consulting the 

wishes of the present inhabitants of 

the country...The four powers are 

committed to Zionism and Zionism, 

be it right or wrong, good or bad, is 

rooted in age-long tradition, in 

present needs, in future hopes, of far 

profounder import than the desire 

and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs 

who now inhabit that ancient land.' 

Edward Said, The Question of

 There is,

however, a

difficulty from

which the Zionist

dares not avert

his eyes, though

he rarely likes to

face it.

proper has already

its inhabitants.

Israel Zangwill, The Voice 

of Jerusalem, London, 

1920, p. 88.

 We must continually raise the 

demand that our land be returned 

to our possession....If there are 

other inhabitants there, they must be 

transferred to some other place. We 

must take over the land. We have a 

great and NOBLER ideal than 

preserving several hundred thousands 

of [Palestinian] Arabs fellahin [peasants]. 

Manachem Ussishkin, 1930 [a leading 

Zionist who served as Chairman of the

Jewish National Fund and President of 

the 20th Zionist Congress] 

 To fall out of step with one’s tribe, 
if alienation or dissidence is not your 
habitual or gratifying posture, is a 
complex and difficult process. It is hard 
to defy the wisdom of the tribe, the 
wisdom that values the lives of its 
members above all others. It will always 
be unpopular, always deemed unpatriotic, 
to say that the lives of the members of 
the other tribe are as valuable as one’s 
own. It is always easier to give one's 
allegiance to those we know, to those 
with whom we are embedded, to those 
with whom we share a community of fear.

~ Susan Sontag 

The West won

the world not by

the superiority of

its ideas or values

or religion but

rather by its

superiority in

applying organized


Westerners often

forget this fact,


never do.

Samuel P. Huntington

• do not agree that the dog in a 

manger has the final right to the 

manger even though he may have 

lain there for a very long time. I do 

not admit that right. I do not admit 

for instance, that a great wrong 

has been done to the Red Indians of 

America or the black people of 

Australia. I do not admit that a wrong

has been done to these people by the 

fact that a stronger race, a higher

-grade race, a more worldly wise race 

to put it that way, has come in and 

taken their place. 

Winston Churchill [to the Peel

Commission in 1937], “who referred to

Arabs as “a lower manifestation,”

who referred to Indians as “a beastly people

with a beastly religion,” who referred

to Palestinians as “barbaric hordes,” 

and who proclaimed: "'Keep England White’

is a good slogan."]

 The struggle

is eternal.

Ella Baker

 We have to accept the . . . right 

of return. We truly expelled them. I 

myself was present and took part in 

expelling Arabs from Beersheba. I 

stood there with a rifle while they 

climbed into the trucks. They didn't 

resist. If they had, I would have shot 

them. What awful hypocrisy . . . for 

us to say that we have the right of 

return after 2000 years, but they 

don't after 50.

Hava Keller, Women on Behalf of 

Women Political Prisoners [Ma’ariv, June 

15, 2001; English translation by 

Gila Svirsky]

If I am not

for myself,

who will be

for me?

But if I am

only for myself,

what am I?

And if not now,


~ Hillel

 We suffer from an incurable

malady: Hope.

~ Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian

 Iwe know, and do nothing,
we are worse than the murderers
hired in our name.

If we know, then we must fight for
your life as though it were our
own—which it is—and render
impassable with our bodies the
corridor to the gas chamber. For,
if they take you in the morning,
they will be coming for us that night.

James Baldwin to Angela Davis

• From the Mediterranean Sea to the 
Jordan River there will be no Arab state. 
Judea and Samaria are part of the 
Land of Israel. If we want to achieve 
Jewish sovereignty, we have to settle. 
Those who have the power here will 
prevail - and we have the strength. I 
read the Bible. It doesn’t talk about the 
borders of England. But Eretz Yisrael 
[the land of Israel] is in the Bible. 
According to the Bible, I have the right 
to the East Bank of Jordan too. For my 
generation the West Bank is enough. As 
for the next generation the East Bank 
is their problem.

~ Matityahu Drobles, co-chair of the
World Zionist Organization's settlement
department and author of a detailed
plan to colonize the occupied territories
[as told to Robert I. Friedman, author of
Zealots for Zion, Random House, 1992,
p.xxiv, in his office at the Jewish Agency
in Jerusalem in the winter of 1991.]

 All land is 


All people are


~ Henri Picciotto

 Jewish villages were built in the place 

of Arab villages. You do not even know 

the names of these Arab villages, and I 

do not blame you because geography 

books no longer exist. Not only do the 

books not exist, the Arab villages are 

not there either. Nahlal arose in the 

place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the 

place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place 

of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the 

place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a 

single place built in this country that did

not have a former Arab population.
~ Moshe Dayan, address to the 

Technion, Haifa, reported in Ha’aretz

April 4, 1969. 

~ Rafeef Ziadah, “We teach life, sir” 

• The Arabs will be our problem for a long time,”
Weizmann said, “It's not going to be simple. One
day they may have to leave and let us have the
country. They're ten to one, but don't we Jews
have ten times their intelligence?”
~ Chaim Weizmann in 1919 at the Paris
peace conference, quoted in Ella Winter, 
“And Not to Yield” 

• I will not drive them out before you

in a single year, lest the land become

desolate and the wild beasts multiply to

your detriment, I will drive them out

before you little by little, until you have

increased and possess the land.

Book of Exodus ["Israeli poet Haim

Guri once noticed that Ben-Gurion

(a self-proclaimed athiest - ML)

kept on his desk a piece of paper

with a verse from the book of Exodus,

in which God promises to drive out

the inhabitants of the Land of Israel

and give it to the Jewish people”]

 If your history has
imposed a burden and
an obligation upon
you, it is to defend
justice not Israel.
This is what Judaism,
not Zionism, demands.

~ Dr. Sara Roy, senior
research scholar
[Harvard] and author

 Last night, I tell you, to
watch that [United Nations]
thing on television as I did,”
Reagan said. “Yeah,” Nixon
interjected. Reagan forged
ahead with his complaint: “To see
those, those monkeys from those
African countries—damn them,
they’re still uncomfortable wearing
shoes!” Nixon gave a huge laugh.

Ronald Reagan, then
governor of California, to
President Richard Nixon

 Before [the Palestinians’] very eyes
we are possessing the land and the
villages where they, and their
ancestors, have lived...We are the
generation of colonizers, and
without the steel helmet and the
gun barrel we cannot plant a tree
and build a home.

~ Moshe Dayan, quoted in Benjamin 
Beit-Hallahmi, “Original Sins: 
Reflections on the History of 
Zionism and Israel” 

 Whatever you

may be sure of,

be sure of this:

that you are 

dreadfully like

other people.

James Russell Lowell
(American poet)

• I do not think Nasser wanted war. The
two divisions he sent to The Sinai would
not have been sufficient to launch an
offensive war. He knew it and we knew it.
~ Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Chief of Staff in
1967, in Le Monde, 2/28/68 

 Having lived through
apartheid in South Africa.
there’s no doubt in my mind
that Israel is an apartheid
state. I cannot allow in my
name, the same kind of
oppression to go on against
the Palestinians. I have to
speak out against it. And
I have to try and speak out
against it in a rational and
calm voice when really I’m
very angry about it […]
when [Israeli] people say,
well, you South Africans,
you’re biased against us.
We’re not. We’re talking
international law…The
pro-Israeli lobby, the SA
Jewish Board of Deputies
and SA Zionist Federation
try to say that it [the
Palestinian Israeli issue] is
not a simple matter, [they
say that] it’s complicated.
It’s not complicated! It’s
very simple, the simplicity
is that a dominant group
[Jewish Israelis] exclude
the indigenous Palestinian
people from equal rights”.

~ Denis Goldberg, veteran
South African anti-apartheid
freedom fighter, who was
tried alongside Nelson Mandela

• Growing up, my grandparents
being some of the only ones in their
entire family to survive the Holocaust
in Austria,’Never again’ is something
I heard a lot and resonate strongly with.
To me, ‘Never again’ isn’t just for Jews,
it means never again should anyone in
the world have to suffer because of their
religion, race, or what they were born
into. That’s why I came to volunteer in
Palestine. Israel claims to be ‘a
homeland for Jewish people around the
world’, yet by banning and deporting
me and other Jews with differing
political opinions, they have shown
that Israel is a home for Jews only if
they don’t question or speak up about
the government’s apartheid policies.
My ban and deportation from Israel
only confirms what I have seen again
and again in Palestine: that the Israeli
government will do anything to keep
people from seeing its brutal
Occupation, ethnic cleansing, and
daily violations of Palestinians' basic
human rights.

~ Edmond Sichrovsky, grandson of
Holocaust survivors, deported from
Israel for volunteering in Palestine
with the International Solidarity

 Moshe Dayan, the celebrated 

commander who, as Defense Minister in 

1967, gave the order to conquer the 

Golan...[said] many of the firefights 

with the Syrians were deliberately 

provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz 

residents who pressed the Government 

to take the Golan Heights did so less for 

security than for the farmland...[Dayan 

stated] “They didn’t even try to hide their 

greed for the land...We would send a 

tractor to plow some area where it wasn't 

possible to do anything, in the 

demilitarized area, and knew in advance

that the Syrians would start to shoot. If 

they didn't shoot, we would tell the 

tractor to advance further, until in the 

end the Syrians would get annoyed and 

shoot. And then we would use artillery 

and later the air force also, and that's 

how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth 

day of the war, were not a threat to us.” 
~ Moshe Dayan, quoted in The New 
York Times, May 11, 1997 

 Madeline Albright was one of 
my earliest lessons in the bankruptcy
of identity politics. It doesn't
matter if you are the first anything
if your politics perpetuate the
status quo of racial violence,
imperial warmaking, and capitalist

Noura Erakat

• Dr. Weizmann [first president of
told me once how he received
the Balfour Declaration. And I asked
him: “At the time, what did you think
about the Arab question?” He answered,
“As far as the Arab question, the
British told us, that there are
hundreds of thousands of blacks
[kushim] and apparently there
is no value.” 

Arthur Ruppin, “father of
Zionist settlement,” and proponent
of a "pseudosciertific race theory”
holding that the realization of
Zionism required “racial purity”
among the Jews

 There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’.
There are only the deliberately silenced, or the
preferably unheard.

~  Arundhati Roy, Indian author and human
rights activist

 Israelis like to believe, and tell 

the world, that they are running an 

'enlightened' or 'benign' occupation, 

qualitatively different from other 

military occupations the world has 

seen. The truth was radically different. 

Like all occupations, Israel’s was 

founded on brute force, repression 

and fear, collaboration and treachery, 

beatings and torture chambers, and 

daily intimidation, humiliation and 

manipulation.... Abuse and torture 

of Palestinian prisoners by the GSS 

and other security bodies had been 

routine at least since the 

early 1970's.

Benny Morris, Israeli historian, 

“Righteous Victims” 

• The Israelis made a fence 

around the settlement, then they put

in a small gate so we could get to our 

olive trees. They gave us the key and 

let us come and go for the first year. 

Then they changed the lock and 

put a guard on. But he doesn't come 

on the Sabbath and holidays and when 

he is sick. Then one day he doesn't come 

at all and you can't get to your land. 

Then they declare you are not working 

on your land and seize it. 

~ Abdul Karim Ahmad, Palestinian 

farmer, from Chris McGreal, Villagers 

Fear Being Forced Out by Being Locked 

In, The Guardian (UK), May 14, 2003. 

• Divestment from
apartheid South Africa was certainly
no less justified because there was
repression elsewhere on the African
continent. Aggression is no more 
palatable in the hands of a
democratic power. Territorial ambition
is equally illegal whether it occurs
in slow motion, as with the Israeli
settlers in the occupied territories,
or in blitzkrieg fashion, as with the
Iraqi tanks in Kuwait. The United
States has a distinct responsibility
to intervene in atrocities committed
by its client states, and since Israel
is the single largest recipient of US
arms and foreign aid, an end to the
occupation should be a top concern
of all Americans. 

Almost instinctively, the Jewish people
have always been on the side of the
voiceless. In their history, there is painful
memory of massive roundups, house
demolitions and collective punishment.
In their scripture, there is acute empathy
for the disfranchised. The occupation
represents a dangerous and selective
amnesia of the persecution from which
these traditions were born.

~ Desmond Tutu

 In the 1850’s there was the
Dred Scott decision that said
that black people had no rights
that whites were bound to
respect. The Israelis have taken
the Dred Scott decision and
essentially made it a national
mandate- that Palestinians have
no rights that the Israeli
authorities are bound to respect-
and this is something that you
are confronted with at every 
moment that you’re there.
Bill Fletcher, Jr.

 Just because you’re too powerful to be 

prosecuted doesn’t mean you’re not a murderer.
~ Ferrari Sheppard

 The beauty of anti-racism
is that you don’t have to pretend
to be free of racism to be anti-racist.
Anti-racism is the commitment
to fight racism wherever you find
it, including in yourself. And it’s
the only way forward.

~ Ijeoma Oluo

 Every empire, however, tells itself
and the world that it is unlike all other
empires, that its mission is not to plunder
and control but to educate and liberate. 

Edward Said

 These [the Ukranian refugees]
are not the refugees we are used
to … these people are intelligent,
they are educated people….This
is not the refugee wave we have
been used to, people we were not
sure about their identity, people
with unclear pasts, who could have
been even terrorists...

~ Kiril Petkov, Bulgarian
Prime Minister

 Podrán cortar 

todas las flores,

pero no podrán 


la primavera.  

[ You can cut   

all the flowers,  

but you cannot 

keep spring 

from coming.

~ Pablo Neruda

⇧ Back to top