Was Israeli Looting in '48 Part of a Broader Policy to Expel Arabs?

The dark sides of the War of Independence are illuminated in a book on the massive Jewish looting of Arab property then, showing the link between the plunder and Ben-Gurion's policy to rid the country of its Arab residents

Arab refugees during the War of Independence.
Arab refugees during the War of Independence. Credit: Bettmann Archive / GETTY IMAGES
Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Benny Morris

“The Looting of Arab Property in the War of Independence” by Adam Raz, Carmel Publishing House, in association with the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research (Hebrew), 332 pages, 98 shekels

In his new book, historian Adam Raz deals with the Jewish looting that occurred in 1948 – but not with the collective plunder of real estate, homes and lands of Arabs, confiscated by the Israeli government during the War of Independence and afterward (also long afterward, it must be said). Raz focuses on the looting of Arab movable assets by civilians, individual soldiers, army units and institutions of the state-in-the-making and of the state itself. Various historians have previously touched on this aspect of the war, but not with this level of focus or detail.