Is this the beginning of "Transfer" in Gaza?
By Mike Whitney
"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, Agence
France Presse, November 15, 1998.
"What's driving the conflict is the radical inequality between the
Jewish minority, that rules all of the territory between the
Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and the disenfranchised
Palestinian majority, who are paying the price for the luxury that
Israel lives in...But what pays for that normality for Israelis is
the total dispossession of the majority population. And Israel
believes that it can hide them behind walls, in ghettos, as was done
to Jews in Europe in the 1930s and '40s". Ali Abunimah "Electronic
Clearing House" -- The Palestine Chronicle conducted an informal
internet poll on Wednesday which showed that nearly 75% of the
people questioned believe that the "reinvasion of Gaza was
preplanned". This tells us that most people, who follow developments
in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, know that Israel's actions are
not simply a spontaneous reaction to the kidnapping of one of its
soldiers, but are part of a broader strategy for achieving their
political objectives. The abduction of Gilad Shalit is simply being
used as a pretext for more ethnic cleansing and land expropriation.
These are the means by which Israel traditionally achieves its
The Gaza invasion is better understood in terms of the statement
made by Ariel Sharon at the beginning of this essay. Sharon's
comments are far from original. In fact, similar statements have
been made by every Israeli prime minister since the founding of the
state in 1948. David Ben Gurion put it this way in 1937, "We must
expel Arabs and take their places". Ben Gurion's blunt declaration
is no different from Sharon's or any of his successors. It merely
summarizes the prevailing sentiment of the Israeli leadership for
the last 60 years.
Golda Meir elaborated on Ben Gurion's comments by denying the
existence of the indigenous people altogether, saying, "There's 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".
Meir's denials may be foolish but they are consistent with the
stated beliefs of every Israeli prime minister who has served since
she left office in 1970.
Yitzak Rabin's assertions are nearly identical to those of Meir and
Ben Gurion. He said,
"[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."
Rabin's promise to make life miserable for the Palestinians has been
taken up by present Prime Minister Olmert whose boycotts,
incitements and assassinations have destabilized the
democratically-elected Palestinian government and pushed the people
towards fratricidal warfare. Olmert's actions are guided by his
convictions just like his predecessors. Three weeks ago Olmert
clarified his position in comments to the US House of
Representatives saying, "I believed, and to this day still believe,
in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire land".
There is absolute unanimity among Israel's leaders past and present,
liberal and conservative, on this one, critical issue. The rhetoric
many vary, the politics may differ, but there is no substantial
difference. In reality, the settlements went through their greatest
period of expansion under the "dovish" Labor party.
Labor and Likud; two parties, one policy.
The invasion of Gaza has nothing to do with the kidnapping of an
Israeli soldier or even with Hamas' rise to power. It is simply a
continuation of the same, unalterable policy of annexation through
brutality and subjugation. This is simply the latest chapter in
Israel's ongoing confiscation of Palestinian land.
The immensity of "Operation Summer Rain", suggests that plans have
been in place for quite some time and that the aims may be farther
reaching than is now apparent.
Could this be the beginning of "Transfer"; the Israeli scheme to
force Palestinians off their land by creating (as Rabin said)
"conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration"?
It's very possible. The intentional destruction of electric power
plants, water lines, bridges, and other vital infrastructure, as
well as the cutting off of food, financial resources and medical
supplies, indicate that Israel is tightening the noose on the
Palestinians in an effort to make life untenable in the West Bank
and Gaza. Why else would they unleash their venom against objects
that are in no way related to the kidnapping of the soldier and,
probably, only put him in greater danger?
Israel is doing whatever it can to make human survival impossible in
the occupied territories. It is paving the way for a second
Ariel Sharon knew that spreading misery' throughout the territories
was the only way to deal with the "demographic problem". He said,
"You don't simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away. I
prefer to advocate a positive policy, to create, in effect, a
condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave."
(Ariel Sharon Aug 24, 1988)
In the minds of Ehud Olmert and the Israeli leadership, the invasion
of Gaza is a "positive policy" which will "induce" vast numbers of
Palestinians to leave. The humanitarian crisis they are
precipitating is not seen as a disaster, but an opportunity. Every
Palestinian, who is driven from his homeland by grinding poverty,
racism or violence, provides another inch or two of ground for
Israel to claim as its own. And, when the unilateral borders are set
and Israel owns everything from the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan
River, Olmert will finally realize his dream of "Greater Israel".
The rivers of blood that have fed that vision will mean nothing.
Menachem Begin said much the same over 20 years ago when he
proclaimed, "The partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be
recognized...Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel.
All of it. And, forever."
Who will stop them?
Click on "comments" below to read or post comments -
Click Here For Comment Policy