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However, it may be that even Jabotinsky underestimated the difficulty. Jabotinsky believed that once the Jews had achieved a majority, a deal could be made. He prefaced his remarks by saying: 'There will always be two nations in Palestine – which is good enough for me, provided the Jews become the majority.' And he concluded by saying:

' this does not mean that there cannot be any agreement with the Palestine Arabs. What is impossible is a voluntary agreement. As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such a vital character it is only when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall. Not till then will they drop their extremist leaders whose watchword is "Never!" And the leadership will pass to the moderate groups, who will approach us with a proposal that we should both agree to mutual concessions. Then we may expect them to discuss honestly practical questions, such as a guarantee against Arab displacement, or equal rights for Arab citizens, or Arab national integrity.

'And when that happens, I am convinced that we Jews will be found ready to give them satisfactory guarantees, so that both peoples can live together in peace, like good neighbours.'

But what happens if the Jews fail to achieve a majority? Jabotinsky's main activity during the 1930s was a desperate tour round Europe trying to organise Jewish emigration to Israel. To this extent he was willing to negotiate with antisemitic states - Poland and Romania for example - anxious to offload their Jews although (perhaps rather inconsistently) he couldn't bring himself to have dealings with the Nazis - other Zionist tendencies were less scrupulous. Nonetheless, after the war (Jabotinsky died in 1941), when United Nations Resolution 181 was passed creating two state on interwoven territories, the Arabs were still in a very decisive majority, perhaps twice as many Arabs as there were Jews in a territory that still included the west Bank. The Zionists solved the problem by ceding the West Bank to the only formidable military force they faced - the Jordanian Arab Legion - and expelling 7 or 800,000 of the Arabs in the territory that remained. A useful summary of what happened is given by Rabkin (p.61):

'Zionization of the land took a radical turn after 1948. Until then, the Zionists had not been able to assert control over more than 7 percent of the land of Mandate Palestine, while 10 percent was under the control of the state authority, in this case the British administration. A year after the unilateral declaration of independence, the state of Israel, in association with the JNF [Jewish National Fund], controlled 93 percent of these lands, an outcome achieved primarily by the expropriation of land belonging to the Palestinian refugees whose return was forbidden by the Israeli authorities. In addition, two-thirds of the lands belonging to the Arab citizens of Israel were also acquired and “Zionized,” leaving to their former owners a meager 4 percent despite the fact that they constitute nowadays nearly 20 percent of all Israeli citizens. Zionization has been rendered irreversible as the JNF controls these lands “in the name of the Jewish people,” a conceptually vague entity that covers, without their knowledge let alone consent, all those who consider themselves Jews, irrespective of their relation with Zionism and the state of Israel. As a result, Israel’s Arab citizens cannot purchase, rent, or even use most of the land in the country of their citizenship. An estimated 500 Palestinian villages were obliterated after the dispossession of the native population following the creation of the Zionist state. Between 1949 and 1952, the ground on which some of those villages had stood was used to build 240 collective settlements (kibbutzim and moshavim).' 

This account, however, rather neglects the West Bank. Presumably when he says 'the Zionists had not been able to assert control over more than 7 per cent of the land of mandate Palestine' he is referring to a territory that includes the West Bank, but when he says that a year after the unilateral declaration of independence the state of Israel controlled 93% 'of these lands' he's referring to a territory that excludes the West Bank. And when he says that the Arabs constitute nowadays nearly 20% of all Israeli citizens, well, thats probably accurate but only because the Palestinians in the 'occupied' West Bank (unlike the Jewish settlers) don't have citizenship, or the rights that go with it. If the West Bank and Gaza are included as part of the territory of Israel, then it's very doubtful if the Jews can be said to constitute a majority, certainly not a safe and secure majority.

I keep returning to the interview Benny Morris gave back in 2004. Morris was one of the Israeli 'new historians' together with Ilan Pappé and Avi Shlaim, who revealed the full extent of what had been done to the Palestinians in 1948 (Palestinian historians of course, such as Nur Masalha, had already revealed it but no-one paid any attention to them). In 2004, however, Morris gave an interview in which he defended the ethnic cleansing:

'That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.'

In fact Morris argues that to be really secure in their borders Israel needed to expel more than the 700,000 Palestinians. Asked if that was what they should do now, he replied:

'If you are asking me whether I support the transfer and expulsion of the Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza and perhaps even from Galilee and the Triangle, I say not at this moment. I am not willing to be a partner to that act. In the present circumstances it is neither moral nor realistic. The world would not allow it, the Arab world would not allow it, it would destroy the Jewish society from within. But I am ready to tell you that in other circumstances, apocalyptic ones, which are liable to be realized in five or ten years, I can see expulsions. If we find ourselves with atomic weapons around us, or if there is a general Arab attack on us and a situation of warfare on the front with Arabs in the rear shooting at convoys on their way to the front, acts of expulsion will be entirely reasonable. They may even be essential.' (16)

(16)  Ari Shavit: 'Survival of the Fittest? ­ An Interview with Benny Morris', Counterpunch, January 16, 2004.

That obviously brings to mind the present situation. In a 'hot' frame of mind all things are possible that would not be possible otherwise. But more recently, in an interview given in 2019, he said he thought the time had passed. It was now too late:

'Already today there are more Arabs than Jews between the [Mediterranean] sea and the Jordan. The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority. Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights cannot persist in the 21st century, in the modern world. And as soon as they do have rights, the state will no longer be Jewish … The Arabs will demand the return of the refugees. The Jews will remain a small minority within a large Arab sea of Palestinians, a persecuted or slaughtered minority, as they were when they lived in Arab countries ... [The Palestinians] are bound to win. In another 30 to 50 years they will overcome us, come what may.' (17)

(17)  Interview in Haaretz, 18th January, 2019.

If we assume that Morris is articulating something that might be widely felt instinctively among Israeli Jews though rarely expressed out loud, we might have some understanding of the apparent madness of current Israeli politics.