THE LEVANT – By Yvonne Ridley for the Middle East Monitor – There is a persistent narrative promoted by Israeli newspaper columnists and politicians which should raise eyebrows in the West. They are calling for the dismantling of Gaza and the relocation of its people; in other words genocide and, yes, concentration camps. It is nothing short of breath-taking that a state which rose from the ashes of one genocide should even think that another type of genocide is morally acceptable.
Of course, newspaper columnists like South African-born Martin Sherman, a former ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government, are paid to be provocative. “The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region,” he wrote recently in the Jerusalem Post. “That is the only approach that can solve the problem of Gaza. That is the only approach that will eliminate the threat to Israel continually issuing from Gaza.”
It is a sinister polemic repeated in a growing number of Op-Eds submitted to the Israeli media. Here are just a few examples:
- Arutz Sheva‘s op-ed on how to “quiet” Gaza – permanently – by attacking whoever and wherever without any consideration. The author calls it his “Solution”.
- The Times of Israel‘s op-ed on “When genocide is permissible”. The article was deleted soon after it was posted. It has been reprinted by Mondoweiss.
- The Jerusalem Post‘s op-ed on “Why Gaza must go” and where to relocate the “good Arabs”. The idea is, essentially, to annex the Gaza Strip after depopulating it.
So should the world take seriously these articles promoting a “Final Solution” for the Israeli conundrum that is Gaza? A quick scan of the anti-Semitic diatribes promoted by columnists and Op-eds in the European media during the 1930s and 40s suggests that we should all be extremely alarmed about the latest dark arts emerging from the Zionist state of Israel. Alarm bells should also be ringing in the corridors of power throughout Europe, from Berlin to Paris and London, and across the Atlantic to Washington, because this dark narrative is also gaining ground in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
It has not been lost on Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has denounced the remarks of one particular Israeli politician, which forced him to draw an analogy to the Nazi regime. Erdogan was responding to eye-watering comments made by Knesset member Ayelet Shaked, who belongs to the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home Party, part of the ruling coalition.
She is quoted as calling for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes”. Shaked posted her filth on Facebook; various critics rushed to denounce it as a call for genocide.
“They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” she is reported to have written. “They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.”
In another Facebook post she stated: “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
It is worth pointing out at this stage that Shaked is an intelligent woman, so she cannot be dismissed as a rogue politician without a brain cell to her name. She holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences and has ties to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu; from 2006-2008, she was the director of his office. Perhaps more alarmingly, she is not isolated in her views nor has anyone, as far as I can ascertain, reprimanded her for her repugnant outlook as a member of the Israeli government.
Moreover, when you get the deputy speaker of the Knesset writing at length about “final solutions” and the “extermination” of a people then there is even more reason to be alarmed. The statements from Moshe Feiglin cannot be dismissed as irresponsible hyperbole; what he has endorsed and promoted is the psychopathic, insane, genocide policy of the Third Reich. He has published a plan for the total destruction of the Palestinian people in Gaza and calls for the use of concentration camps. As any human rights lawyer will tell you, this amounts to direct and public incitement to genocide; it is a crime punishable under the Genocide Convention.
Feiglin, a member of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, calls for the “conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters… This is our country, our country exclusively… including Gaza.” His publically-aired views were expressed in a letter addressed to Netanyahu. Should Feiglin set foot anywhere outside of Israel he could, and should, be arrested and prosecuted under the Genocide Convention for his statements.
Feiglin and his Knesset colleague Shaked are now both on record as having made specific, explicit genocidal statements. Leaving no room for doubt about his intentions while calling for mass extermination and ethnic cleansing, Feiglin urged Netanyahu to “turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians.”
For those of you who don’t know Jaffa, it was once a major Palestinian coastal city that was ethnically-cleansed by Zionist militias in 1948 and sucked into present-day Israel. The few thousand Palestinians who remain in the city face ongoing attempts to force them out.
One would hope that were such views expressed in Westminster they would lead to party expulsion, but that’s not going to happen in Israel, where Feiglin’s Facebook post has attracted thousands of “Likes” from approving Israelis; more than 2,000 have even copied and shared the posting.
There’s nothing vague about the detail either. He told Netanyahu that the Israeli army must “designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas that are used for launches and tunnelling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined.”
In anyone’s language he is talking about concentration camps, but advocating canvas tents instead of wooden huts. And what of Gaza itself? Well he suggested bombing the hell out of it, leaving the military to “exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.”
Warming to his genocidal theme Feiglin gushed: “Israel will start searching for emigration destinations and quotas for the refugees from Gaza… but those who insist on staying, if they can be proven to have no affiliation with Hamas, will be required to publicly sign a declaration of loyalty to Israel, and receive a blue ID card similar to that of the Arabs of East Jerusalem.” I’m only surprised that he did not advocate Palestinians wearing yellow star badges on their lapels and tattooing numbers on everyone’s arms.
If you still find this hard to believe, Feiglin’s Facebook page is verifiable as his own, because it is linked with his official page on the Knesset website. Here is his 1 August statement on Facebook.
The words of politicians who sit in the Israeli government, like Feiglin and Shaked, surely means an end to the criticism of those who draw comparisons and parallels between Zionism and Nazism. The reality is that the Knesset is on the path of reviving the policies of Adolf Hitler, but the actions of the Nazis should not be used as a template for Gaza. Nevertheless, Israel has already created a ghetto under siege in Gaza, which is it systematically destroying brick by brick, slaughtering its inhabitants, young and old, along the way. The cries of “never again” which were screamed so loudly at the end of World War II are beginning to ring hollow.
Apart from ordinary people around the world marching in their millions every weekend to protest against the genocide in Gaza, who is strong enough to step forward and do the right thing? Sadly, until the US stops abusing its veto to protect Israel, the UN Security Council will remain toothless and useless.
It is more of an imperative than ever for us to support the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) global movement. If every member of the public imposes their own financial sanctions on Israel it will eventually help to bring down this vile state in the same way as apartheid South Africa collapsed. That day cannot come soon enough for the Palestinians under threat of extinction from Israel’s neo-Final Solution.