Do you know that the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) published a fact sheet in 1967 detailing the truth about the history of Zionist, British, and U.S. aggression against the Palestinian people? Read it below to learn more – and help to fight for a free Palestine!
In the summer of 1967, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) published a fact sheet in their newsletter titled, “The Palestine Problem: Test Your Knowledge.” Focusing on the history of the formation of the Zionist state of Israel through the expulsion of the Palestinian people and the expropriation of their land, the piece was structured as a series of thirty-two answers to the question, “Do you know?” Placed under a section titled, “Third World Round Up,” the editors made the bold claim that “Since we Afro-Americans are an integral part of The Third World (Africa, Asia, Latin America, American Indians and all persons of African descent), then it is indeed necessary for us to know and understand what our brothers are doing in their homelands.”
“The Palestine Problem” was published soon after the end of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, a war which had captured the western imagination and in which the media showed little support for the Palestinians. Ethel Minor, the editor of the SNCC Newsletter, had a particular interest in the Palestinian struggle. She had met Palestinian organizers as a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne and in Brazil, and she felt the need for African Americans to follow Malcolm X’s lead to have an international orientation to Black struggle. She joined SNCC, and for two years organized a reading group in Lowndes County, Alabama, around the Palestinian issue.
The reading group, which had Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Toure and H. Rap Brown as members, read one book a month on the Palestine problem, focusing particularly on writings by the architects of Zionism - Herzl, Ben-Guirion, etc. It was through these readings that these young people discovered, in the words of Ture, “the close military, economic, and political alliance between the Israeli government and the racist apartheid regime in South Africa.”
But most importantly, the reading group learned about the undemocratic establishment of the Zionist state through a collusion of European and U.S. imperial machinations that used the United Nations to consecrate the illegal removal of Palestinians from their lands and the merciless stripping of their sovereignty. They were also shocked both at the UN’s capitulation to the west, and the refusal to acknowledge the viewpoints of the African and Asian states who stood against the dismemberment of Palestine.
“The Palestine Problem” ignited a national firestorm and SNCC faced a violent backlash, including claims of anti-semitism. Significantly, the staff of SNCC’s Atlanta bureaus and the editors of the SNCC Newsletter argued that the article was published for internal discussion within the organization in the face of the reality that “the white American press seldom, if ever, gives the true story about world events in which America is involved.” Nevertheless, the article was distributed nationally and garnered widespread rebuke - including from the integrationists liberal Black civil rights personalities Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin, and Roy Wilkins, who were afraid of offending their northern liberal supporters, many of which were staunch supporters of the Zionist state.
It is now 2023. May 15th was the 75th anniversary of the NAKBA, the catastrophe inflicted upon the Palestinian people. The Zionist entity continues its brutal occupation and its racist terror. Meanwhile, as time passes, its government becomes more extreme and right-wing. But the U.S. and its European junior partners continue to support this terrorist state with not only funding, but with media propaganda that hides both the Zionist state’s brutal origins and its ongoing genocidal policies - all the while demonizing Palestinian resistance.
Do you know: the U.S. and the rest of the West “have prevented the world from knowing the truth of the Palestine Arab refugees who were and still are the victims of Zionist, British, and U.S. aggression against them?” Well, read the SNCC factsheet (reprinted below) to learn more – and help to fight for a free Palestine!
THIRD WORLD ROUND UP
The Palestine Problem: Test Your Knowledge
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 1967
Starting with this issue, SNCC Newsletter will contain a special feature of news and analysis of what’s happening around the world and how it relates to our struggle here. Since we Afro-Americans are an integral part of The Third World (Africa, Asia, Latin America, American Indians and all persons of African descent), then it is indeed necessary for us to know and understand what our brothers are doing in their homelands.
In the past few weeks, the Arab-Israeli conflict exploded once again into all-out war as it did in 1956 and as it had done in 1948, when the State of Israel was created. What are the reasons for this prolonged conflict and permanent state of war which has existed between the Arab nations and Israel? Why has the United Nations, which helped create the problem, been unable to solve it? Why have hostilities continued? What is the root of the problem?
Since we know that the white American press seldom, if ever, gives the true story about world events in which America is involved, then we are taking this opportunity to present the following documented facts on this problem. These facts not only affect the lives of our brothers in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia, but also pertain to our struggle here. We hope they will shed some light on the problem. Future issues of SNCC Newsletter will contain more background information and articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
DO YOU KNOW:
- THAT Zionism, which is a world-wide nationalistic Jewish movement, organized, planned and created the “State of Israel” by sending Jewish immigrants from Europe into Palestine (the heart of the Arab world) to take over land and homes belonging to Arabs?
- THAT in this operation, they received maximum help, support and encouragement from Great Britain, the United States, and other white western colonial governments?
- THAT organized Jewish Zionism dates back to 1897, when the first Zionist Congress was held in Basle? The program adopted at the Congress was “To create for the Jewish People a home in Palestine secured by public law.” Thus began the Palestine Problem, which led to the present Arab-Israeli conflict.
- THAT Britain took control of Palestine at the end of World War 1, and, working hand-in-hand with European Zionist Jews, such as Lord Rothschild, set forth the Balfour Declaration? Thus, in 1917, Palestine became a world problem.
- THAT the Balfour Declaration stated that the British Government was in favor of establishing a National Home for Jewish People in Palestine, but, at the same time contradicted itself and said that nothing should be done to damage the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine (Arabs)?
- THAT the British Mandate Government of Palestine, along with the Zionists, immediately began to encourage European Jews to immigrate to Palestine…in spite of the fact that, in 1917, more than 90 per-cent of the population of Palestine were Arabs…and there were more than 56,000 Jews in Palestine?
- THAT more than half of the 56,000 Jews living in Palestine at that time were recent immigrants, who had come to Palestine only a few years before to escape persecution in Europe and had been welcomed by the native Palestinian Arab people with open arms, living in peace side-by-side with the Arabs? That, in 1917, less than 5 per-cent of the population of Palestine were native Palestinian Jews?
- THAT the Arabs of Palestine at that time owned 97½ per cent of the land, while Jews (native Palestinians and recent immigrants together) owned only 2½ per-cent of the land?
- THAT during 30 years of British occupation and rule, the Zionists were able to purchase only 3½ per-cent of the land of Palestine, in spite of encouragement by the British government? And that much of this land was transferred to Zionist bodies by the British government directly, and was not sold by Arab wonders?
- THAT, therefore, when Britain passed the Palestinian Problem to the United Nations in 1947, Zionists owned no more than 6 per-cent of the total land area of Palestine? At that time there were 1.3 million Arabs and 650,000 recent Jewish immigrants living in Palestine.
- THAT in spite of these facts, the General Assembly of the United Nations, in 1947, recommended that a “Jewish State” be established in Palestine?... And that, furthermore, the U.N. granted the proposed “State” about 54 per-cent of the total area of Palestine, which included the coastal fertile and irrigable lands, leaving the Arabs dry mountainous areas, with little or no irritation possibilities.”
- THAT the Zionists (Israeli) armies immediately occupied (and still occupy) more than 80 per-cent of the total land area of Palestine?
DO YOU KNOW:
- THAT this conquest of Arab land took place, for the most part, before May 15, 1948 before the formal end of British rule, before the Arab armies entered to protect Palestinian Arabs, and before the Arab Israeli War?
- THAT the Arab States had to send their poorly trained and ill-equipped armies against the superior western trained and supported Israeli forces, in a vain effort to protect Arab lives, property and Arab rights to the land of Palestine? That this was the formal beginning of the Arab-Israeli War?
- THAT the Zionists conquered the Arab homes and land through terror, force, and massacres? That they wiped out over 30 Arab villages before and after they took control of the area they now call “Israel”
- THAT the Zionist terror gangs (Haganah, Irgun, and Stern gangs) deliberately slaughtered and mutilated women, children and men, thereby causing the unarmed Arabs to panic, flee and leave their homes in the hands of the Zionist-Israeli forces.
- THAT three are still over one million Palestinian Arab refugees living in the Arab countries that surround Israel, that they are still homeless, penniless, and live off of United Nations charity?
DO YOU KNOW:
- THAT under the Charter of the United Nations the U.N. General Assembly had no legal right to recommend the 1947 Partition Plan which created the “Jewish State?”
- THAT all attempts by the Arab States and other Asian countries to have the U.N. Assembly test the legality of this plan before the International Court of Justice were rejected or ignored by the Assembly?
- THAT the original 1947 Partition Plan was approved, at the first vote, only by white European, American and Astralasian [sic] states, that every African and Asian state voted against it? And that, in the second vote, urgent United States pressures (which a member of the Truman cabinet called “bordering onto scandal”) had succeeded in forcing only one Asian country (the Philippines) and one African country (Liberia) both controlled by “Uncle Sam,” to abandon their opposition. IN OTHER WORDS, ISRAEL WAS PLANTED AT THE CROSSROADS OF ASIA AND AFRICA WITHOUT THE FREE APPROVAL OF ANY MIDDLE-EASTERN, ASIAN OR AFRICAN COUNTRY!
- THAT Israel has remained a total stranger in the Afro-Asian world, that Israel has never been allowed to attend any conference of the African, Asian, or Afro-Asian states?
- THAT, ever since the Armistice Agreements were signed in 1949, Israel has continued to cross the Demarcation Lines, invade the neighboring Arab states, and make commando raiders against the Arab people? And that the U.N has condemned Israel for these attacks on at least eleven occasions.
- THAT no Arab State has ever been condemned by the U.N. for military attacks against Israel.
- THAT in the U.N. Resolution, December 11, 1948, Israel was granted admission to the U.N. only if she agreed to repatriate Arab refugees compensation for property losses; but Israel has refused to do this, in spite of the fact that every year, the U.N. has called on Israel to honor the original resolution.
- THAT Israel segregates those few Arabs who remained in their homeland, that more than 90 per-cent of these Arabs live in “Security Zones,” under Martial Law, are not allowed to travel freely within Israel, and are the victims of discrimination in education, jobs etc.
- THAT dark skinned Jews from the Middle-East and North Africa are also second-class citizens in Israel, that the color line puts them in inferior position to the white, European Jews?
- THAT the United States has constantly supported Israel and Zionism by sending military and financial aid to this illegal state ever since it was forced upon the Arabs in 1948?
- THAT the U.S. Government has worked along with Zionist groups to support Israel so that America may have a toe-hold in that strategic Middle-East location, thereby helping white America to control and exploit the rich oil deposits of the Arab nations?
- THAT not only have American Zionists and their cousins in Europe poured billions of dollars into Israel since it’s [sic] founding, but they have also promoted a propaganda campaign to cover up their true aims, plans, objectives? That they have prevented the world from knowing the truth of the Palestine Arab refugees who were and still are victims of Zionist, British, and U.S. Aggression against them?
- THAT several American and European Jews, who are not Zionists and cannot support the horrors committed by Zionists in the name of Judaism, have spoken out and condemned the Zionist distortions of the Jewish religion; but their opinions are never printed in the zionist controlled press or other communications media?
- THAT the famous European Jews, the Rothschilds, who have long controlled the wealth of many European nations, were involved in the original conspiracy with the British to create the “State of Israel” and are still among Israel’s chief supporters? THAT THE ROTHSCHILDS ALSO CONTROL MUCH OF AFRICA’S MINERAL WEALTH?
- THAT under the disguise of “foreign aid,” the Israeli Histadrut (Labor Organization) has gone into African countries, tried to exploit and control their economies, and sabotaged African liberation movements, along with any other African movements or projects opposed by the United States and other white western powers?
“Third World Round-up: The Palestine Problem: Test Your Knowledge,” SNCC Newsletter, June-July, 1967.