I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him.- Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, 2001-2006
Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don’t care. – Ariel Sharon
We must expel Arabs and take their places. – David Ben Gurion, 1937
Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them. – Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.
In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him. – Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister, 1982
The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory. – Mordechai Bentov, member of Israel’s wartime national government, 14 April 1971
We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one – progressive, liberal – in Israel; and the other – cruel, injurious – in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day. – Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General of Israel 1993-1996 , quoted in Ha’aretz, 3 Mar 2002
Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population. – Moshe Dayan, April 1969
We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying employment for it in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth.- Theodore Herzl, Founding Father of Israel, Diary 1895
How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to. – Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister, 8 March, 1969.
[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs. –Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister
The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for ever. – Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine
The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfil Zionism. It’s that simple. – Yitzhak Shamir, Maariv, 21 February 1997
(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls. – Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli Prime Minister at the time, speech to Jewish settlers, New York Times 1 April 1988
Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories. – Benyamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force…. –Ehud Barak, Israeli Prime Minister
Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial. – Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online
I don’t understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out.- David Ben Gurion, building the case for aggression, to Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress
I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May  would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.- Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Chief of Staff, 28 February 1968
We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six Days War, and we had never thought of such a possibility. – General Haim Bar-Lev, Rabin’s predecessor as chief of staff, 4 April 1972
There was never any danger of annihilation. This hypothesis has never been considered in any serious meeting. – General Ezer Weizmann, Chief of Operations during the war and a nephew of Chaim Weizmann
The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.– General Matetiyahu Peled, Israeli Chief of Logistical Command
Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel……. Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war. – General Matetiyahu Peled, Israeli Chief of Logistical Command
There was no danger of annihilation. Neither Israeli headquarters nor the Pentagon – as the memoirs of President Johnson proved – believed in this danger. – General Chaim Herzog, former Director of Military Intelligence, future Israeli Ambassador to the UN and President of Israel
All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, have never been considered in our calculations. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our “defence” against the Egyptian threat. This force was to crush once and for all the Egyptians at the military level and their Soviet masters at the political level. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analysing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army. – General Matetiyahu Peled, Israeli Chief of Logistical Command, 3 June 1972
Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country. – David Ben Gurion, speech 1938
If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel. – David Ben Gurion
There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist. – Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969
Any one who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen. – Golda Meir, 1961, in a speech to the Knesset, October 1961
This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy. – Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971
We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!’ – Yitzhak Rabin, uncensored memoirs, New York Times, 23 October 1979.
[Israel will] create in the course of the next 10 or 20 years conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the Gaza Strip and the west Bank to Jordan. To achieve this we have to come to agreement with King Hussein and not with Yasser Arafat. – Yitzhak Rabin – explaining how Israel would conduct ethnic cleansing, New York Times 4 April 1983
The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the Sea to the River Jordan for future generations, for the mass aliya (Jewish immigration), and for the Jewish people, all of whom will be gathered into this country. – Yitzhak Shamir, Former Prime Minister, November 1990.
The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more. – Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – 28 August 2000. Jerusalem Post 30 August 2000
I would have joined a terrorist organization. – Ehud Barak, response to Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz newspaper, when asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.
It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands. – Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.