De-colonising the mind – a former Zionist fighter’s journey

Tikva Honig-Parnass joined the Palmach militia as it ethnically cleansed Palestinians and now works to expose the crime.

Tikva Honig-Parnass’ Jewish militia played its part in depopulating and destroying Palestinian towns and villages in the 1940s

William Parry writes in Aljazeera:

Seventy years ago, Tikva Honig-Parnass terminated her university classes, ignoring her parents’ advice, and rushed off to join the Palmach, the elite Jewish military force established in the 1940s to help create a Jewish state in historical Palestine. She was 18. Her unit, the Harel Brigade, played its part in depopulating and destroying Palestinian towns and villages to create the ‘oundations of the Zionist dream.

An Israeli soldier, armed with a sten gun, picks her way through the shattered walls of Sulimans Way, in the old city of Jerusalem, Palestine, July 20, 1948, which forms a front line between the Arabs inside and Jewish forces outside the walls. Fierce fighting happened between the two forces following the expiry of a two-day truce. (AP Photo/Jim Pringle)

Initially a wireless operator with the Haganah, Tikva deserted her unit to join the Palmach – “the crowning achievement of the Jewish Zionist youth” – and served as secretary to the commander. she says women in the Palmach “didn’t really take part in real combat” but they followed close behind and witnessed the results.”

“Villages around me were wiped out. Qalunya, just a few kilometres west of Jerusalem, was on our right on the road from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. One day it was wiped out,” she says and is silent for several moments. Qalunya was one of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages that was ethnically cleansed by Zionist militia during 1948-49. It was home to about 1,000 people. “Where did they go to? How did they go? We never asked the questions,” she says. When asked if anything she witnessed shocked her, she answers: “Nothing. Nothing! That’s the whole thing – nothing shocked us.”

Her indoctrination to the aims and self-righteousness of the Zionist enterprise was evident from an early age. Her Zionist parents were as secular as they come, she says, and she and her two siblings were enrolled in a secular Zionist school – secular except that “we learned the Bible as an historical document, six days a week”, says Tikva. (Her name means The Hope and is the national anthem of Israel)


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