Albert Einstein's 1948 letter to the New York Times
If we want to understand the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we can turn to a trustworthy Jewish source: Albert Einstein. Einstein was a humanitarian and peace activist, in addition to being
one of the greatest scientists of all time. What did this extremely intelligent, wonderfully wise and warmly humane Jew have to say about Israel's treatment of Palestinians? In a landmark open letter to the New
York Times in 1948, Einstein clearly and candidly explained why Israel's militant Zionist leaders were not to be trusted and did not deserve money or support from Americans. (You can find scanned images of the
Einstein letter online, and because it appeared in a major American newspaper its authenticity is not in doubt.) The letter was also signed by Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook and more than 20 other Jewish intellectuals who
wanted to alert Americans and the larger world to the dangers of emergent racism, fascism, terrorism and religious fanaticism in the newly-formed state of Israel. They also foresaw and predicted the disastrous results
we see in Israel/Palestine today. I have annotated the letter with [bracketed comments] to help readers better understand how the "Einstein Letter" relates to the present situation. Other prominent,
world-esteemed Jews have also strongly opposed the policies and methods of the militant Zionists, including Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka,
Isaac Asimov, Erich Fromm and Noam Chomsky. They have been joined by icons of peace like Mohandas Gandhi,
Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.—Michael R. Burch, an editor and publisher of Holocaust and
Christians may want to consider the ethical questions What does the Bible say? What would Jesus do?
I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
—Michael R. Burch, "Epitaph for a Palestinian Child"
Please note that Menachem Begin, discussed in the letter, was a future prime
minister of Israel. Begin was a racist, a fascist and the preeminent terrorist in
the Middle East, murdering Arabs, Jews and Englishmen. What sort of nation
elects a fascist terrorist to its highest office?
Letters to the New York Times
December 4, 1948
New Palestine Party
Visit of Menachem Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed
TO THE EDITORS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our
is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom
Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization,
methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.
It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai
Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.
The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this
party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of
American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement
political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several
Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is
inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly
informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their
names and support to the movement he represents.
[See Note A]
Before irreparable damage is done by way of
financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the
creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports
Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the
record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.
[See Note B]
The public avowals of Begin's
party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of
freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly
preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the
terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge
what it may be expected to do in the future.
[See Note C]
Attack on Arab Village
A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab
village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by
Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands
who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES),
terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military
objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants "240 men, women, and
children" and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the
streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed,
and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of
Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were
proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign
correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general
havoc at Deir Yassin.
The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.
Within the Jewish community they have preached an
admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like
other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves
pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have
proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.
During the last years of sporadic anti-British
violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the
Palestine Jewish community. Teachers
were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their
children join them. By
gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the
terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.
The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in
the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built
no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their
much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to
bringing in Fascist compatriots.
The discrepancies between the bold claims now being
made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine
bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This
is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews,
Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a "Leader State"
is the goal.
In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is
imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this
country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism
has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own
constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.
The undersigned therefore take this means of
publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of
urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.
ISIDORE ABRAMOWITZ, HANNAH ARENDT, ABRAHAM BRICK, RABBI JESSURUN CARDOZO, ALBERT
EINSTEIN, HERMAN EISEN, M.D., HAYIM FINEMAN, M. GALLEN, M.D., H.H.
HARRIS, ZELIG S. HARRIS, SIDNEY HOOK, FRED KARUSH, BRURIA KAUFMAN, IRMA L.
LINDHEIM, NACHMAN MAISEL, SYMOUR MELMAN, MYER D. MENDELSON, M.D., HARRY M.
ORLINSKY, SAMUEL PITLICK, FRITZ ROHRLICH, LOUIS P. ROCKER, RUTH SAGER, ITZHAK
SANKOWSKY, I.J. SCHOENBERG, SAMUEL SHUMAN, M. ZNGER, IRMA WOLPE, STEFAN WOLPE
New York, Dec. 2, 1948
[NOTE A: Einstein made the point that supporting Jewish
fascists like Menachem Begin was
like supporting Nazis. Unfortunately, many prominent Americans have
supported the fascist movement led by Begin and his disciples, who now firmly
control Israel. Begin founded Herut in 1948. It was
the political twin of
the Irgun, a violent terrorist group headed by Begin. Both
were ultra-right-wing organizations that opposed any
ceasefires or negotiations with Arabs, preferring to expand Israel's territory
in defiance of international law and the U.N. mandate that partitioned Palestine,
defining Israel's borders. Before entering politics, Begin had been the
preeminent terrorist in the Middle East, wantonly murdering British, Jewish and
Arab civilians. His most notorious act was blowing up the King David Hotel
in 1946. That explosion killed 91 people and wounded 46 others, most of them
hotel staff and other
civilians. (This remains the single most deadly act of terrorism in
Israel/Palestine to this day.) It was not just peace-loving
intellectuals who compared Begin to European fascists like Hitler,
because David Ben-Gurion, Israel's George Washington and first prime minister,
who was no shrinking violet, said similar things.
But by the mid-1960s Israel's voters were swinging hard to the extreme right. A 1964 government resolution
calling for the reinternment of Zeev Jabotinsky’s remains in Israel signaled
Herut's and Begin's ascendency. (Jabotinsky was the creator of the fascist "Iron Wall"
doctrine, which maintains that Jews must crush the spirit and will of
Palestinians through superior firepower and sheer brutality, rather than seeking
peace through diplomacy and compromise.) In 1977, the former
über-terrorist Begin was elected prime minister in a
landslide. In his book Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid, former
U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter mentioned the sea change that took place in
Israel's policies after Begin came to power. Begin's administration promoted the
construction of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, in effect
expanding Israel's borders by allowing robber barons to steal land from defenseless
Palestinian farmers and their families. Begin also authorized the 1982 invasion of Lebanon,
which became Israel's Vietnam. As Israeli military involvement
in Lebanon deepened, and the Sabra and Shatila massacre shocked the world, Begin grew increasingly isolated. He resigned from politics in 1983,
but his racist, fascist spirit lives on in disciples of his and
Jabotinsky’s, such as Israel's current prime minister, Benyamin "Bibi"
[NOTE B: Unfortunately, the American pubic, through their government, have supplied Israel with hundreds of
billions of dollars in financial aid and advanced weapons. That
"aid" has been used by Israel to practice large-scale ethnic
cleansing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This ethnic cleansing begins
with home demolitions (more than 24,000 according to the Israeli Committee
Against Home Demolitions), which are followed by Israel's euphemistic
"settlement expansions." Funding this wildly unjust system, which has been
compared to a new Holocaust, has created the impression in Palestine and throughout the
Muslim world that Americans are raging hypocrites when they talk about "equal
rights," "justice" and "democracy." Muslims have
that the U.S. will always support Israel, no matter how cruelly, brutally and
offensively it treats Palestinians, Bedouins and other non-Jews in its quest for
free land and ever-expanding borders. The results have included 9-11, two
horrific wars, multitudes of lives lost on both sides, and trillions of dollars
in unpaid war debt that threatens not only the solvency of the U.S.,
but also that of the free world. If the dollar plummets in value, or if the U.S. can no longer borrow money, what
will happen to the economies of Germany,
Japan, and other countries that rely on exports to Americans?]
[NOTE C: If we heed Einstein's wisdom, and judge Israel by its actions—apartheid,
ethnic cleansing, strafing its victims in Gaza—rather than by
oceans of self-serving propaganda, the racist/fascist nature of its government
quickly becomes apparent. Or we can simply read what prime ministers of Israel
and other prominent Zionists have said themselves.
Please keep in mind that when the terms "transfer," "eviction" and
"removal" are used, the Zionists are
talking about ethnic cleansing: a crime against humanity. When the right of
return is denied to Palestinians, this means the victims of ethnic cleansing are
being collectively sentenced to remain stateless, rightless refugees forever.
When the term "expropriation" is used, it means the theft of
Palestinian land via superior firepower, which is armed robbery. Here now are
the leading Zionists in their own words; you can judge for yourself whether
Einstein was correct, or not ...
"Spirit [ethnically cleanse] the penniless [Arab] population across the border by denying
them employment."—Theodore Herzl,
the founder of Zionism
"This REMOVAL [ethnic cleansing] of the poor [Arabs] must be carried out
discreetly and circumspectly."—Herzl
(who obviously knew it was wrong)
"It is our right to
TRANSFER [ethnically cleanse] the
Palestinians!"—Transfer Committee Director Yossef Weitz, who oversaw
"We [Zionists] all applaud, day and night, the
IRON WALL."—Ze'ev Jabotinsky, spiritual father of the Likud
and disciples like Menachem Begin
"This IRON WALL
is our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it
any other way would be hypocrisy."—Jabotinsky
"Zionist colonization ... must
either be terminated, or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population."—Jabotinsky
"Zionism is a colonizing
adventure and, therefore, it stands or falls on the question of
"The Arab is culturally backward ... his instinctive patriotism ... cannot be
bought, it can only be curbed by major force."—Jabotinsky
"There is no justice, no law, no God in heaven; only a single law which
decides and supersedes all: [Jewish] settlement."—Jabotinsky
"I devote my life to the rebirth of the Jewish State, with a Jewish majority,
both sides of the Jordan."—Jabotinsky
"The Islamic soul must be broomed [swept, ethnically cleansed] out of Eretz-Yisrael."—Jabotinsky
odious as he is to us—has given this idea [ethnic cleansing] a good name in the world."—Jabotinsky
"Zionism is a TRANSFER of the Jews."—David Ben-Gurion, Israel's
first Prime Minister, defining Zionism as ethnic cleansing/replacement
TRANSFER of the Arabs ... could give us
something we never had [even in Biblical times]."—Ben-Gurion
"Jewish power, which grows steadily, will also increase our possibilities to
carry out the
TRANSFER on a large scale."—Ben-Gurion
TRANSFER we can have a vast area
... I don't see anything
immoral in it."—Ben-Gurion
"It is impossible to imagine general
EVACUATION without compulsion, and brutal compulsion."—Ben-Gurion
"There are two issues here: sovereignty and the REMOVAL of a certain number of
Arabs; we must insist
"Before [statehood] our main interest was self-defense ... But now the issue at hand is CONQUEST,
"We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon,
Trans-Jordan, and Syria."—Ben-Gurion
"We must do everything to ensure they [ethnically cleansed Palestinian
refugees] never return."—Ben-Gurion
interests of security demand that we get rid of them."—Israel's
second Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett
"TRANSFER [ethnic cleansing] could be the crowning achievement,
the final stage in the development of [Zionist] policy ..."—Sharett
"We are equally
determined to explore all possibilities of getting rid, once and for all, of the
huge Arab minority."—Sharett
"There is no such thing as a Palestinian."—Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
(later parroted by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum)
"They [the Palestinians] are as grasshoppers in our sight."—Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
"The Palestinians are like crocodiles ..."—Prime Minister Ehud Barak
"We shall reduce the Palestinians to a community of woodcutters and waiters."—Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
"[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs."—Prime Minister Menachem
"There is no Zionism, colonization, or Jewish state without the
EVICTION of the
Arabs and the expropriation [theft] of their
lands."—Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
"I believed and to this day still believe, in our people's eternal and historic
right to this entire land."—Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
"The killing [of Palestinians] is a good deed, and Jews should have no compunction about it."—Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg
"[Land is acquired] by force—that is, by CONQUEST in
war, or in other words, by ROBBING land from its
"This the land problem ... the [Palestinian] Arabs do not want us because we want to be the rulers."—Ussishkin
(who can blame them?)
"Eventually we will have to thin out the number of Palestinians living in the
territories."—General Eitan Ben Elyahu
"There are no two peoples here. There is a Jewish people and an Arab
"We should CONQUER any disputed territory in the Land of Israel.
CONQUER and hold
it, even if it brings us years of war."—Netanyahu
"[Zionism] will include withholding food
from Arab cities, preventing education, terminating electrical power and more."—Netanyahu,
predicting Gaza's fate
Do we need any more evidence than what the prime movers of Zionism said
themselves, and the terrible things they did, which confirm their
Einstein on Palestine
asks why Einstein turned down the presidency of Israel, and examines what
the great Jewish intellectual, peace activist, pacifist and humanitarian had to
say about the conflict between Jews and Palestinians.
Mattityahu "Matti" Peled
was called Abu Salaam, the "Father of Peace," by the Palestinians who
knew him. Peled was an Israeli war hero and Aluf (Major General) who
became a strong advocate for a Palestinian state and a stern critic of Israel's
brutal occupation of the Palestinian territories, which he called "corrupting"
and a violation of the Geneva Conventions. He also called American aid to Israel
a "plague" that was "damaging" to Israel and far in excess of Israel's actual
The Shministim are
idealistic, principled young Israeli Jews who refuse to serve in a brutal army
of occupation after they graduate from high school.
also want to read and consider
Ministers who were Terrorists and
Does Israel Really Want Peace?
Christians may want to consider the ethical questions
What does the Bible say?
What would Jesus do?
Related pages: Why Israel is Wrong:
Evidence for and the Case against Israel’s Racism, Apartheid and Ethnic