Nizar Sakhnini, 25 March 2007
Zionist ethnic cleansing operations of 1948 were planned way before 1948. Ethnic cleansing was part and parcel of the Zionist plans for the creation of the Jewish State they had in mind.
The Haganah, an illegal military organization, was formed in 1920 headed by an elected political leadership and was transferred to the joint authority of the Jewish Agency Executive and the Va'ad Leumi in 1929. The Arab rebellion in 1936-39 was quelled by the British forces in cooperation with the Haganah. Palmach, the Haganah’s strike force, was formed in 1941.
In 1931, a group of the Haganah members seceded from the organization and became knows as the Irgun Tzeva'i le'umi or its acronym, Etzel.
In 1940, a small group led by Abraham (Yair) Stern, seceded from Etzel and began to operate separately under the name "Etzel in Israel" (the Stern group).
In 1939 differences of opinion emerged between Stern and Raziel, then commander of the Irgun, which led to a split in the organization and the establishment of the new organization Irgun Zvai Leumi Beisrael, which later became to be known as the Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Lehi). Yitzhak Shamir was one of the leaders of Lehi.
By the end of WWII, Haganah, Etzel, and Lehi joined together to carry out terrorist actions against the mandate government in Palestine. Moshe Sneh, head of the Haganah national headquarters, laid down the foundations for an alliance with Etzel and Lehi, which grew into the “Hebrew Resistance Movement”. (Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion: A Biography. New York: Delacorte Press, 1977, p. 130)
In 1948, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) was founded incorporating all the three terrorist organizations.
Military operational plans for occupation and ethnic cleansing were also prepared ahead of time.
Plan A was prepared in February 1945 at a time when the Zionist leadership was hoping for an unconditional support from a post-war British Labor government which would enable them to take over the country during a period of "transitional minority rule".
Plan B was introduced in May 1947, after the British had referred the Palestine question to the UN. Since partition was expected to be rejected by the Arabs, the strategic objective of Plan B was to frustrate any interference by the neighboring Arab forces.
Plan C (Plan Gimmel) was worked out in November 1947 when partition became a distinct possibility. It had more specific operational objectives than the two earlier plans.
In March-April 1948, Plan C was replaced by Plan D (Plan Dalet). Zero hour for Plan D was to arrive when British evacuation had reached a point where the Haganah would be reasonably safe from British intervention and when mobilization had progressed to a point where the implementation of a large-scale plan would be feasible. (Netanel Lorch, The Edge of the Sword, pp. 87 – 89, reproduced in Walid Khalidi, From Heaven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem until 1948. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1971. Second Printing, Washington, 1987 pp. 755 - 760)
The possibility of retreat from partition and imposing an international trusteeship in Palestine to replace the mandate made it necessary to launch plan D in early April, before the end of the mandate.
Efforts to acquire the weapons and equipment needed for the battle began as of the end of WW II. Ben-Gurion arrived in New York on 1 July 1945 for this purpose. He held a secret meeting with 18 Jewish American millionaires to discuss a ‘vital’ matter. The meeting was held at the home of his friend the millionaire Rudolph Sonnenborn who was among those who attended the meeting. Ben-Gurion explained his plans to acquire millions of dollars in arms to defend the Jewish State that had yet to be created. Each of the eighteen millionaires undertook to do everything within his power for the project. This was the beginning of the Sonnenborn Institute. As a cover, Sonnenborn was engaged in shipping equipment and medicines for hospitals, but secretly he collected millions of dollars to buy arms and many ships to serve illegal immigration. (Michael Bar-Zohar, op. cit., pp. 126 - 127)
In the months following the ZC in 1946, Ben-Gurion dedicated himself to studying military problems. Back in December, in the course of the Zionist Congress, Ben-Gurion had summoned Ya’acov Dori and Israel Galili for a series of conversations. Dori was one of the founders of the Haganah. Galili was the chief officer in the Haganah’s national command. Now, in the spring of 1947, he appointed Galili head of the national command and made Dori commander-in-chief. He summoned the former chief of operations, Yigael Yadin, and re-appointed him to head the Operations Branch in the national command. (Ibid, pp. 141 and 145 - 146)
On 30 Sept. 1947, Ben-Gurion sent his assistant, Munia Mardo, to Europe to seek out sources of arms supplies. Three days later, he decided to purchase airplanes and recruit military experts from abroad. On Oct. 6, Ben-Gurion summoned the head of Ta’as, the local arms and munitions works, and told him to order all the raw materials he required immediately. On 7 November, the Haganah published its order concerning ‘the national structure’, thereby laying the foundations for the establishment of the IDF in due course. (Ibid, pp. 146 - 147)
When the UN issued its resolution # 181 on 29 November 1947 calling for partition, Ben-Gurion was ready for action. The action included: ethnic cleansing, occupation of the largest possible part of Palestine by force and declaration of a Jewish State in that part as a first step for expansion in the future.