Did Israel's Founders Have Genocidal Aspirations?

In May 1948, the modern state of Israel was established in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. Israel’s founders drafted the Declaration of Independence to guarantee rights for all future inhabitants:

“[The State of Israel] will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture…” 

—Declaration of Independence, Provisional Government of Israel, May 14, 1948

The War of 1948 and the consequent refugee crisis did take place during the war, but was due to Arab leaders who sought the destruction of the Jewish state. 

Dr. Alex Safian notes in his “New York Times Wrong on Israel’s Origin and Right of Return”:

“The overriding aim of the Arabs was to destroy the Jewish state, not to create a Palestinian state. They failed, but in the course of their bitter and costly war, they managed to kill 6,000 Israelis, fully one percent of the country’s population. To put this in perspective, for the United States today that would be around 3 million people killed. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the war that they and the Arabs had started, with some of the refugees leaving at the command of Arab leaders who ordered them to get out of the way so the Jews could be killed. (It is fashionable these days to claim this is a myth, but as admitted even by revisionist historian Benny Morris, it is no myth.)

Had the Palestinians and the Arabs not attacked Israel, there would not be a single Palestinian refugee, and there would be a Palestinian state about to celebrate its 59th year of independence alongside Israel. Israel never committed genocide, not during its founding, not at any point in history.”

Rev. Alex Awad has agreed to remove a quote falsely attributed to Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion from a DVD of his presentation “A Palestinian Perspective on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” One of the more egregious problems of his presentation is his use of a quote falsely attributed to Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion.