Video: Elderly Israeli Fighter Talks About 1948 Genocide

Electronic Intifada‘s Benjamin Doherty shared a video from “Nakba”-awareness group Zochrot – “Remembering” – of a former Palmach fighter who participated in the expulsion of unarmed Palestinian Arabs from their villages in Southern Israel. Amnon Neumann casually describes that he helped kill people, burn their villages, and chase off women and children. He regrets his actions but notes he is one of the few to admit his crimes; even so, he is loath to talk about the details of the atrocities.

In one grimace-inducing moment, Neumann talks of the Palestinians who didn’t quite realize they wouldn’t be coming back, who sneaked out of Gaza refugee camps at night to tend their villages’ grapevines. There, says Neumann, they were gunned down.

As late as the 50s, he notes, Arab villages were being evicted wholesale and forced to Gaza. The desert was made to bloom, it seems, only after its villages were ploughed under.

The reason for the Nakba, said Neumann, was “the Zionist ideology.” Like all ultranationalist movements, Zionism requires the murder and expulsion of a people and the destruction of all evidence of their existence. Those not destroyed must be permanently subjugated by the ethnicity in charge. It seems that for many, the tragedy of the Holocaust was that it happened to Jews. That the Nakba happened to Arabs means it’s not worth our attention — or worse, they are revised as aggressors.

“This is very clear. We came to inherit the land. Who do you inherit from? If the land is empty you inherit it from no one. The land was not empty when we inherited it.”

  • liberranter

    He regrets his actions but notes he is one of the few to admit his crimes; even so, he is loath to talk about the details of the atrocities.

    If Neumann genuinely "regretted" his actions, he would submit himself to Palestinian authority and/or do his best to make restitution to his surviving victims. Otherwise, this is nothing but the self-serving rambling of an old man who realizes that his days are numbered and who needs to salve his guilty conscience.

    • John

      Liberranter,

      I understand were you are coming from as an ethnic Armenian. However his expression of guilt is a start. Maybe some good could come out of it.

      jk

  • Karl

    I wouldn't call it genocide though, let's not be like Samantha Powers & co who pretend everything they find appalling is therefore a genocide.

    • John Kassabian

      Hi Karl,

      The people are saying that the Palestinians do not exist as a people. When you mix the two together, even if it was not Genocide it was Genocidal. Bad form to try to erase peoples identity.

      jk

      • Ezra

        John,
        realize that yasir arrafat and many of his senior PLO officials repeated told publications that the Palestinians do not exist as a people. They stated that they are Arabs of Greater Syria, and only use the term "Palestinian" in order to lay claim to cities that lay in nascent Israel. We, in our current obsession with self determination, apply these concepts retroactively, adding dynamics that were not present to a a situation that;s already more complex than you seem to realize.

        • jeff_davis

          Ezra,

          Though your remarks have a measured almost professorial tone, that cannot change the essential criminal nature of the events and your intent to obscure and evade this criminality with temperate sounding "explanations" — ie justification and apologism — simply makes you — as with so many J*ws around the world — an accessory to the crime.

          First then, I must state, as the default view of your, or any apologist's remarks, that in all probability they are lies,…propaganda. Which is to say, you are not to be believed. But even then, what does it matter what Arafat may or may not have said. It wouldn't change the reality, which was that these people had lived there for at least 70 generations, and that it was therefore, their land by the obvious and natural right of generations-long residence. No convoluted mouth-flapping or creative logic by Arab or J*w, can change that. Truth is truth. Water runs downhill.

          Similarly, while I respect the old man's courageous testimony, understanding as we all must the larger generic war crime of political leaders brainwashing and ordering young men to murder innocents, I bring your attention to his continued dishonesty in describing what they were doing as "inheriting" the land. "Conquering", "stealing", or "cleansing" the land would have been more truthful. That said, the old man, once a young ideologically-brainwashed killer/victim himself has come a long way in both confronting the truth and speaking it, and I commend him.

  • Tim

    The Zionists did not necessarily want to eradicate the Palestinian Arabs. They only wanted them to go away.

    • Fedup

      Then how do you explain Dier Yassin?

    • Jon

      That the definition of GENOCIDE! And if they don't wanna leave their home or try to come back then is it ok to kill them?!? Go to hell with Newt!

  • J Fig

    Zionism=Nazism

    • Wyandotte

      I don't think so. Nazism was a uniquely German ideology that could not have arisen anywhere but in Germany and at no other time in history. It was the attempt to solve economic & social problems of a unique sort.

  • David

    This was war. So these things happen. Zionism simply means a homeland for Jews. So if your against Jews having their own state and your not against anyone else having their own state, then you are anti-Jewish.

    • Jeremy Sapienza

      "This was war. So these things happen." – Every killer's excuse throughout history.

      "Zionism simply means a homeland for Jews." – And also, necessarily, that anyone who is in the way can drop dead.

      " So if your against Jews having their own state and your not against anyone else having their own state, then you are anti-Jewish." – Good thing I am against people having their own state, anywhere, when it requires genocide.

      What else you got, hasbara troll?

      • David

        Troll? Genocide? If the Palestinians wre genocides than why is their worldwide population growing? Are you saying that Israel were like the Nazis? No wonder this website gets accused of being anti-Jewish.

        • El Tonno

          Oh sh*t, there are accusations of being anti-jewish. RUN AWAY!

          Seriously though, wtf? "Jewish population" is growing too, so why is there a problem with the Hitler excursion? Could it be that because I am not denying the holocaust that I am being "anti-Jewish"?

          "This was war."

          What war was that?

        • liveload

          Now where have we seen this argument before? Put your money where your mouth is. Travel to Gaza and spew your lines with your feet on the ground in Palestine. Let me know how that works out for you Mr Knapp.

          • You seem to be implying that I'd be murdered if I dared to mention, in Gaza, that the Palestinian Arab population is growing. Doesn't sound like you have a very high opinion of the people who live there, if you think they just casually murder people for mentioning facts.

            You also seem to think that I'm "David" above, commenting pseudonymously for some reason. Sorry, no dice.

          • liveload

            I imply nothing of the kind, in fact you might find yourself being bombarded with kindness and knowledge heavy enough to leave your world unbalanced. Of course you couldn't be bothered with actually putting your idea into practice and test them against the reality on the ground. To imply racism or bigotry on my part is both despicable and disingenuous. You can try all the cute little lines you want, you're still a sheltered idiot who has nothing in common with the people he so readily disparages. That having been said, feel free to continue fellating yourself. I doubt anyone cares.

          • Liveload,

            I'm not sure who you think I'm "disparaging."

            If I were the HMFIC of Israel, my first act vis a vis the Palestinian Arabs would be withdrawal to the 1967 borders, my second act would be to inform the "settlers" that they could move back inside those borders or forgo Israeli military/police protection, and my third act would be to petition the UN to set up a property claims tribunal to adjudicate all cases in which individual Arabs claim to have been dispossessed of their land or their forebears' estates.

            That doesn't change the simple fact that if a population is growing, either genocide is not the aim of their enemies, or else their enemies are doing a piss-poor job is being done of it.

          • And as far as being a "sheltered idiot," I suspect I've spent more time in Arab countries than you have, for the simple reason that I've spent more time in Arab countries than most non-Arabs have. Not a lot of time, but some time, and I happen to have liked the people I met.

          • Shingo

            Ethnic cleansing and mass expulsion is a component if genocide. The destruction of a society, which is genocide, can take place without murdering every individual.

            The fact that the population in Gaza and the OT is increasing is therefore irrelevant.

  • Harv

    To David: What? "…so things happen"? You mean like the Holocaust? After all, "this was war", right? This is hardly a fair fight, with Israel having all resources at its disposal.

    I'm not against Jews having having their "own state". I'm just against it being financed by US tax dollars ($30+ billion annually), military assistance, the (continued) slaughter/apartheid against Gaza Palestinians. The worst part is the hipocracy of it all: Zionists who are always reminding the world about the Jewish struggle, yet practice abuse/slaughter of the Palestinians.

  • "This was war.."

    Not according to the first-person account shared above. What he describes is an armed assault on defenseless civilian populations. It was a 'war" in roughly the same sense that an incident in which a full-grown adult male beats a five-year-old girl could be described as a "fight."

    • popsiq

      Not much different than Amon Goth's production improvement methods. Removing the surplus population.

  • sherban

    It is clear that all persons of his age (in head with Shimon Peres) knows what he told but no one feels the need to say the truth and the official narrative that the Arabs from villages left their lands because by the calls of diverse local ruler and Israel has not any responsibility for Palestinians run.And ,of course,this version is the official version everywhere in the "free world"

  • karim Masri

    Nothing new about Zionizm and their criminal behavior. let the world know about it.

  • Karim Masri

    Nothing new about Zionism and their criminal behavior. Let the world know about this

  • Fedup

    He needs to go back further in time to the Stern gang & Irgun terrorist!1930s-1948 And the killing of British soldiers during WW2 and after. The Killing of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, Lord Moyne etc.
    I doubt these criminals will ever be brought to justice Why? Menahem Begin a terrorist from Irgun became the leader. Until Israel acknowleges these crimes They are nothing but hipocrites

    • popsiq

      These 'terrorists' are Zionism's 'freedom fighters'. Like an einsatzgruppe, their methods might have been terroristic, but the end,in their mind, justified the means. And so it goes to this day, the essential difference is one of semantics.

  • Cindy

    Fedup is absolutely correct!

  • Pingback: Elderly Israeli Fighter Describes The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Of The Palestinians | Social & Human Rights Issues()

  • Israel was created by the Vatican after ww2.

    • popsiq

      Israel was created by the British parliament. Had Pope Pius XII had anything to do with promoting Zionism he wouldn't be called the 'Nazi Pope' would he?

      • It is important to note that Pope Pius XII was not Hitler's pope. Rather, it was simply slander by his religious and political enemies.

        For actual evidence supporting my contention please read Gary Krupp's book, "Pope Pius XII & World War II: The Documented Truth". The evidence is quite clear.

  • popsiq

    Like any number of old Nazis recalling the 'horrors' they experienced during the 'bad/good' old days when they were young and 'fighting for their country'.

    They're few, and far between, too.

  • Hidden Author

    Why does an "antiwar" site focus only on the atrocities of one side? The Arabs were perfectly capable and willing to commit atrocities when they had the upper hand and indeed they did have the upper hand in places such as Gush Etzion. If the Arabs had been less aggressive, the Zionists would have been less aggressive but that gets lost in a website that is only "antiwar" toward the war of one of the two sides.

  • xces

    If European Jews did not came to settle In Palestine, there would be PEACE there.

  • Shingo

    >>Why does an "antiwar" site focus only on the atrocities of one side?

    Because the Israelis committed far more of thm and did so as part of an overt campaign of aggression.

    >> The Arabs were perfectly capable and willing to commit atrocities when they had the upper hand and indeed they did have the upper hand in places such as Gush Etzion.

    The Gush Etzion was in response to Deir Yassin and the toll was less than half. Thus, your ridiculous claim that if the Arabs had been less aggressive, the Zionists would have been less aggressive does not hold water.

    You Zionosts have never grasped the concept of cause and effect.

    • Hidden Author

      An easy way to make a point is to pick a starting point so you for example would start the narrative at Deir Yassin even though there were riots decades before in which Arabs killed Jews. In fact the Zionist terrorist groups such as the Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gang were formed in response to such violence. But again the habit of picking one's favorite starting point leads people to cite these groups as appearing solely due to Zionist extremism rather than as a reaction to the other side's violence.

      But all of that is moot. If "cause and effect" means that the Israelis are ultimately responsible for the violence because they came and claimed the Holy Land, then perhaps you wouldn't mind being killed by your local Indian tribe as part of a campaign to reclaim their land!

      • Shingo

        The Zionists declared their plans to expell the Palestinians long before there was any violence, so the reality is that the Arab vioence was a response to Zionist colonialism. The Zionist founders were loudly proclaiming these ambitions before the turn of the century. Zionism was the cause of the conflict from the very beginning.

        As for your juvenile reference to Indian tribes, the US and Australia have both admitted to the genocides they inflicted on the indigenous populations, and what's more, they have declared such policies illegal and crimes against humanity.

        The trouble with you Zionists is that because Israel missed out on the 19th century, you believe Israel is entitled to have one.

  • matt

    3% of the population. Now Mubarak is gone during Operation South they can feel into the arms of the MB in Sinai, the Islamist Government cannot make Gaza a closed city like Mubarak, the next operation will have a higher intensity. During Cast Lead we wanted to bomb the fence to drive them out and reoccupy the Philly Corridor. Due to the peace treaty it was deemed 'politically expensive'. Then Gaza will be demolished. I expect US elections, the peace treaty and Operation South to occur at the same time. I warned Hamas they did not listen, when I come back to Gaza. OUT,.

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  • Thank you for this video, maybe some of those who brain washed will see this and think again about all? the crimes this country committed for ages…these kind of crimes can never be hidden.

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  • Yeah, because we all know that Obama the Peace Laureate is going to end the wars, evacuate the military bases, bring the troops home and shrink the military down to the size necessary only for territorial defence.

  • david

    Nothing new about Zionizm and their criminal behavior. let the world know about it.
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  • It is obvious that all individuals of his age (in go with Shimon Peres) knows what he informed but no one seems the need to say the fact and the formal story that the Arabs from towns remaining their areas because by the calling of different regional leader and Israel has not any liability for Palestinians run.And ,of course,this edition is the formal edition everywhere in the "free world"
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  • Thank you for this movie, maybe some of those who mind cleaned will see this and think again about all? the criminal offenses this nation dedicated for age groups…these type of criminal offenses can never be invisible.
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  • Government cannot make Gaza a closed city like Mubarak, the next operation will have a higher intensity. During Cast Lead we wanted to bomb the fence to drive them out and reoccupy the Philly Corridor.

  • During Cast Lead we needed to shell the wall to drive them out and reoccupy the Philly Corridor. Because of the peace bargain it was considered 'politically unreasonable'. At that point Gaza will be decimated.