By Tony Cliff

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T he ethnic cleansing of the Arabs following the founding of the state of Israel was still to come. ‘T he catastrophe’ is the term used by the Palestinians to refer to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Since then, in the three wars between Israel and the Arabs (in 1948, 1967 and 1973), there has been a massive ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. 4 million Palestinian refugees, far more than the number of Palestinians remaining in the areas they lived in before. 5 percent of the land in the country.

For a couple of months our printing became even more burden­ some. A comrade who was a printing worker got hold of a small hand activated printing machine. It was kept in my room. I had to set the type by hand, letter by letter. It took ages. ’ Naturally I scarpered. But what a relief 26 PALES TI NE to get rid of this printing machine. For a time I used to wake up in the middle of the night with a nightmare, thinking that perhaps I had informed the police myself to get rid of the burden. Then came the difficulty of the delivery of the paper to different towns— one could not use the post.

It put their opposition to Zionism at the top of their agenda, making them ready to unite with the feudal landlords and religious parties who preached accommodation with imperialism while aiming to stop Zionist ex­ pansion. Naturally the Arab masses had only a pale picture of the impact of the future of this expansion. T he ethnic cleansing of the Arabs following the founding of the state of Israel was still to come. ‘T he catastrophe’ is the term used by the Palestinians to refer to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

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