Palestine questions

Questions to ask your pro-Israeli friends

Paul Kinzelman formulates a set of questions which people of conscience can ask Israel’s supporters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general and on Israel’s genocidal war against the people of Gaza. More »

Happiness

Corporate capitalism versus human happiness 

Graham Peebles argues that the prevailing paradigm of market fundamentalism, neo-liberalism, globalisation and corporate politics, rather than promote social cohesion and the pursuit of happiness, engender depression, anxiety, greed and disharmony. More »

Britain-Israel

Ridding Britain of Israel’s stooges

Stuart Littlewood says Britons must get rid of the “enemy within” – the Israel flag wavers – before they could bring Israel to account and peace and prosperity to the Palestinians. More »

Netanyahu's ceasefire trick

Netanyahu’s self-inflicted Gaza conundrum

Uri Avnery says the collapse of the ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas may have been engineered by the Israeli secret service, and also helped Netanyahu out of a tight political corner. More »

Prosecute Israel for Gaza war crimes

Israel faces its own evil

Gilad Atzmon argues that on the eve of the collapse of the Gaza ceasefire, Netanyahu faced a dilemma: to lift the Gaza blockade or to end up at the International Criminal Court. More »

Liberal Zionist dilemma

The liberal Zionist dilemma

Lawrence Davidson highlights the contradiction between universal civil and political rights and support for Zionist state. He says that, faced with the choice, most “liberal” Zionists would ditch the veil of liberalism. More »

David Cameron and the Israeli flag

Freedom to live ordinary lives…

Stuart Littlewood argues that while Israel continues to ride roughshod over international law and the will of the international community, Britain’s Conservative-led government continues to regurgitate the same tired old messages. More »

Zionism corrupting US democracy

Open letter to President Obama: Your legacy

Alan Hart spells out, in an open letter to US President Barack Obama, what it would take for Obama not to go down in history as a Zionist stooge and a joke. More »

Broken promises and broken dreams

Gaza: raw power and the murdering of justice

As the Gaza conflict rages, Stuart Littlewood asks whatever happened to the US-Quartet Agreement, signed by Israel, “to give the Palestinian people freedom to move, to trade, to live ordinary lives”? More »

Israeli losers

The Gaza conflict: losers and consequences

Uri Avnery looks at who has come out worse from the month-long Gaza conflict, and assesses the consequences for Israel domestically and internationally, and for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. More »

Daily Archives: January 5, 2013

Ethnically cleansing Palestinians the “nice” way

By Alan Hart

Moshe Feiglin, one of the most deluded and racist of those who make up the extreme right of Israeli politics and who is guaranteed his first seat in the Knesset after the upcoming election, has proposed what I imagine he regards as a “nice” way to complete Zionism’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

At a recent settler-organized conference in Jerusalem, he said Israel should pay Palestinian families to leave the West Bank, using funds earmarked for security measures. “We can give every family in Judea and Samaria 500,000 US dollars to encourage them to emigrate… This is the perfect solution for us.”

I imagine he regards it as a “perfect” solution because it would save Israel from having to create a pretext to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank by military means.

The question somebody should ask him is this. “For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that such an offer is made to the Palestinians on the West Bank and they reject it, what then?”

Just imagine what the reaction would be if an Arab politician running for office expressed similar vile thoughts about Israeli and other Jews and their prophets!

Feiglin lives in a West Bank settlement and heads Likud’s Jewish Leadership faction. He believes that the Bible, interpreted literally, should form the basis of Israel’s legal system. “This is just the beginning. Eventually, we will build the temple and fulfill our purpose in this land.” And his credentials as a racist are impeccable. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for New Yorker, he said:

Why should non-Jews have a say in the policy of a Jewish state? For two thousand years, Jews dreamed of a Jewish state, not a democratic state. Democracy should serve the values of the state, not destroy them. In any case, you can’t teach a monkey to speak and you can’t teach an Arab to be democratic. You’re dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Muhammad, their prophet, was a robber and a killer and a liar. The Arab destroys everything he touches.

Just imagine what the reaction would be if an Arab politician running for office expressed similar vile thoughts about Israeli and other Jews and their prophets!(Zionism’s unquestioning supporters would call it a blood libel. Feiglin’s statement is that plus).

During the conference at which Feiglin made his proposal there was also a most interesting and, I think, very revealing contribution from Yuli Edelstein, currently the minister of information and diaspora in Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition government. (I stopped using the term diaspora to describe the collective of the Jews of the world when my very dear friend Ilan Pappe explained to me why it was wrong to do so. Diaspora means, and is the consequence of, the movement, migration or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral home. The term “Jewish diaspora” implies that all the Jews of it are from the same established or ancestral home, and that is nonsense. Edelstein’s original homeland, for example, is Ukraine in what was part of the Soviet Union when he was born there in 1958.)

In effect, Israel’s leaders say to the world: “We know we should not have done this, but we’ve done it. What are you going to do about it?”

Edelstein told the conference that the lack of Israeli sovereignty over Area C – the 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli military control and in which most of Israel’s illegal settlements are situated – “strengthens the international community’s demand for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines”.

I think he was doing more than calling in code for the formal annexation of Area C.  He was also signalling the need for Zionism to pre-empt any possible international pressure for withdrawal by going ahead with annexation without too much further delay. This would see Zionism resorting to its tried and tested way of defying international law. In effect, Israel’s leaders say to the world: “We know we should not have done this, but we’ve done it. What are you going to do about it?” On the evidence of history to date Zionism knows the answer to that question, “Nothing.”

Edelstein is not alone. As the battle for right-wing votes intensifies, more and more members of the Likud-Beiteinu election alliance are using the “a” – annexation – word.

What Feiglin, Edelstein and others said at the conference was seized upon by Tzipi Livni, the former Kadima leader and foreign minister, as an opportunity to advance the election prospects of her own newly formed “centrist” party, Hatnua. She said the conference had “removed the masks” of the Likud-Beiteinu alliance.

She went on: “Likud-Beiteinu is extreme right wing and will make Israel into a boycotted, isolated and ostraczsed state” and “lead to the destruction of Zionism and the establishment of a binational state.”

Those of us who are concerned with the need for justice for the Palestinians and peace with equal rights and security for all have to hope that her prediction will not be proved wrong by events.

Update

I wrote this piece shortly before hundreds of thousands of Palestinian supporters of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction were allowed by Hamas to rally in Gaza to mark Fatah’s 48th anniversary. If that’s a sign that there is now a real prospect of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation for the sake of Palestinian unity, the probability is that the Israeli right will be strengthened in its conviction that the ticking demographic time-bomb of occupation must be defused by any means, including, if necessary, a final ethnic cleansing by military means, not the “nice” way Feiglin proposed.