Kheir al-Din Hamdan

Israeli politicians inciting murder and mayhem

Uri Avnery argues that the actions of irresponsible Israeli politicians – from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Minister of Home Security Yitzhak Aharonowitz – is paving the way for a Palestinian uprising. More »

Ed Miliband and Labour's Jewish donors

Will British Jewish funders’ blackmail backfire?

Alan Hart offers advice to the UK Labour Party’s erstwhile Jewish donors, who are allegedly ditching the party because Ed Miliband condemned Israel and supported recognition of Palestine as an independent state. More »

Jonathan Sacks

Jonathan Sacks, preacher of Israeli hasbara

Stuart Littlewood explains why a recent speech made by former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has left him wondering whether he's an instrument of God or just another preacher of Israeli hasbara. More »

Chickenshit

Chickenshit Netanyahu

Uri Avnery examines the tense and contradictory US-Israeli relationship, and argues that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is exploiting the dysfunctional US political system to destroy the chances of peace. More »

Jonathan Djanogly

Jonathan Djanogly, example of UK’s Israel stooges

Stuart Littlewood examines the behaviour of an Israel flag waver in the UK parliament, Jonathan Djanogly, one of the “dirty dozen” lawmakers who voted against recognising Palestine as an independent state. More »

Gaza prison

How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

Jonathan Cook argues that the Palestinians’ humanitarian needs and their right in international law to resist their oppressor are being sacrificed to make the enforcement of Israel’s occupation more efficient. More »

Anti lobby demonstration

America’s special interest problem

Lawrence Davidson argues that only popular action can free United States legislators from the shackles of special interest groups, or lobbies, that have hijacked and corrupted US foreign and domestic policies. More »

India's space mission

India’s space madness amid astronomical poverty 

Graham Peebles questions the justice and wisdom of India’s ruling elite, which spends USD1 billion annually on its space programme while India has the world’s highest number of people practising open defecation. More »

US Congress traitors

Israel, the US Congress and treason

Alan Hart explains how members of Congress who put Israel’s interests ahead of those of the United States could be charged with treason, despite the US constitution’s narrow definition of a traitor. More »

Pro-Palestinian demonstration in Britain

Israel ignoring “tectonic change” in public opinion

Uri Avnery argues that, oblivious to Israelis, a tectonic change in public attitude towards Israel is underway, as shown by the UK parliament’s and Sweden’s decisions to recognise the state of Palestine. 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.