Ethnic cleansing of Israelis from the West Bank?

Mark Elf of Jews sans frontieres is sometimes so hard hitting that it is difficult to quote his material. But this article about Bibi Netanyahu regarding the expansion of settlements on the West Bank was so interesting that it deserves attention. Netanyahu is now contending that the stoppage of settlement building in the West Bank is equivalent to the Nazi concept of "Judenrein:" the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Germany in the 1930s.

This is not a new tactic of Netanyahu, who has used the Holocaust at every turn to continue the opposite reality: the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. But this time he repeated the notion before German diplomats.

July 10, 2009

That Judenrein thing

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the Nazi term 'Judenrein' in a recent meeting with the German foreign minister to condemn the Palestinian demand that West Bank settlements be removed, a confidant of the premier has said.

"Judea and Samaria cannot be Judenrein," the confidant quoted the prime minister as telling Frank-Walter Steinmeier earlier this week.

Asked how Germany's top diplomat responded to hearing the term used by the Nazis to refer to areas "cleansed of Jews", the confidant said, "What could he do? He basically just nodded." (Haaretz, June 10, 2009)

It takes a certain warped mind to compare the removal of illegal settlements, established through blatant and intentional disregard of international law as part of a conscious campaign for ethnic cleansing ("maximum land with minimum Arabs"), to the Nazi attempt to exterminate European Jews.

But don't blame Netanyahu. Warped mind, thy name is Zionism. After all, to give just one tiny example, it wasn't long ago that a certain hackademic who shall remain nameless described the defeat of the Zionists in the UCU as the outcome of a campaign to make the UCU "free of Jews." And if you go and google 'Judenrein', you will note that the rabid Jewish right has been using this term to describe the anti-colonial struggle in the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories) for a very long time.

This is what I love about Netanyahu. He is irrepressibly icky. All the foul, nauseating, self-righteous self-pity that has been festering in the Zionist psyche but kept firmly in check by pragmatic "labor" leaders from Ben Gurion to Peres, at least in international settings, is now gushing out, officially written into the record by an Israeli PM who wears his necrotic heart on his sleeve. Perhaps that is because in Netanyahu, the personal and the political are one, the humiliation experienced by Jewish identity as it was steamrolled by European modernity, out of which Zionism was born, resonating with Netanyahu's family's own humiliation at the hand of the labor regime in Israel, which he has never forgiven. Humiliation, resentment and lashing out in revenge are the core elements of the Netanyahu universe and one of the keys to his appeal in an electorate saturated with humiliations. He is the thus the perfect, almost expectant, foil for Obama's policy of ostensibly humiliating him/Israel, which he can only experience as deja vu all over again, just as every mild criticism of its actions or call for restraint is experienced by Israel and its supporters as a new "Auschwitz". Netanyahu is the surfeit of the Zionist death drive, a talking wound with a one word repertoire: "Nazi. Nazi. Nazi. Nazi. Nazi. Nazi..." Ad nauseam.

So now we understand Mark Elf and his antiZionist rhetoric. But we also understand where Netanyahu is coming from: pumping up 1930s anti-Semitism to justify the colonialism of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. And we also understand what the Palestinians are up against: a Palestine without Palestinians, one ethnic cleansing deserving another. The right wing is just incurable.

Tags: anti-Semitism, Israel, Netanyahu, obama, Palestine (all tags)

Comments

30 Comments

Even the Palestinian PM Fayyad

says Jews are welcome in what would be Palestine. So why not let some settlers stay? Its the Palestinians fault they chose to wage war on Israel. Israel doesn't expect to keep the West Bank forever. After all, when they made peace with Egypt because they got a real deal, they even removed every single settler from Egypt. No, settlements are not colonialism, they are a bargaining chip. When the Palestinians want to make peace, there will be peace. Until then, until the rocket attacks stop, when suicide bomber would-be stop attempting to destroy the Jewish state, which now thanks to the Anti-Martyr wall they have a tough time, some settlers will be removed, others will be in Israel as a land swap will happen, and some will stay, as PM Fayyad said Jews can be in a Palestine.

by Lakrosse 2009-07-11 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Even the Palestinian PM Fayyad

"Its the Palestinians fault they chose to wage war on Israel."

You're always getting things backwards, Lakrosse. Why don't you try reading the history than pumping Israeli propaganda?

Yes, Israelis can stay in the West Bank as Palestinian citizens, but that is not what the right wing Likud government is proposing. The Likudniks want it all.

by MainStreet 2009-07-11 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

Sorry, I agree with Lakrosse on this one.  What happened when Ariel Sharon unilaterally withdrew the settlements from Gaza?  The Palestinians moved their rocket positions that much closer to Israel, and THERE WAS NO PEACE.  That is not propoganda, that is the sad truth.  Unilateral Israeli concessions are not the answer - that has been proven.

by CLLGADEM 2009-07-12 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

And the bullshit continues.

Sharon withdrew from Gaza because a few thousand Israeli settlers among a million and a half Palestinians left Israel with an untenable situation. He preferred to work on the colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where he was taking Israel straight into an Apartheid relationship with the Palestinians, by disengaging (withdrawing) from a hand full of settlements but retaining land and borders. With this change in strategy, Sharon left Likud's transfer hopes and started Kadima, the so-called peace party, if you can you believe it. Sharon essentially adopted the Allon Plan whereby Israel believed it could take 40-50% of the West Bank.

The result could only be an Apartheid Palestinian state, something Netanyahu now believes is still possible, given the Obama ultimatim.

The Gaza siege began when Hamas was elected democratically into the Palestinian leadership, not before. And Hamas led rocketry only began when Israeli armed forces continued to enter Gaza and the West Bank to kill resistance fighters, killing more civilians in the process, in retaliation. Apparently, Israel (and right wing Likudniks like yourself) believes that it should have the right to kill Palestinians under occupation even while their homes and lands were being colonized, if they resist. I'm certain that the Germans gave the same reasoning when they killed 10 Italian civilians for each German soldier killed by the Italian partisans who fought their occupation.

In any case, only 25% of Gaza residents are members of Hamas, and most of them are just family members, more than half children.

by MainStreet 2009-07-12 03:39PM | 0 recs
what "apartheid" state?

is that what you're gonna say when Palestinians get most of Judea and Samaria? Just come out and say it already: you want the destruction of Israel, and a Judenrein Middle East. Nothing is good enough from you. you throw around the word "apartheid" like a complete idiot.

by Lakrosse 2009-07-12 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: what "apartheid" state?

Try reading Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and articles on the topic by Avnery and Halper.

Judea and Samaria are actually code words for Israeli colonialism and without the ability to "transfer" Palestinians out of the territories, the result can only be Apartheid, with Palestinians living in a collection of bantustans. Have a look:

Photobucket

The Palestinian Gulag constitutes about 10% of the West Bank and is made up of bantustans, as anyone can see.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 03:07AM | 0 recs
Re: what "apartheid" state? Correction

Sorry. That's 10% of original Palestine, or roughly 50% of the West Bank.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 03:22AM | 0 recs
Jimmy Carter is worthless

he threw our party under the political bus for 12 years, and his book is pathetic. Got panned by anyone worth a damn. Why the hell would I ever waste my time. He implied Begin would freeze settlements, when he only said he'd do it for a short period of time. Why would I read Carter, so I can be mislead like that?

by Lakrosse 2009-07-13 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Jimmy Carter is worthless

I have known JImmy Carter for over 35 years. Jimmy Carter is a friend of mine of sorts. I voted for Jimmy Carter.

Lakrosse, you're no Jimmy Carter.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 10:27AM | 0 recs
Good, I'm happy I'm no Jimmy Carter

who destroyed the Democratic Party for many years, let the economy go to shit, and is laughed at all across America, and who gets his nose into business that is not his; ie Hamas.

by Lakrosse 2009-07-13 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

It's actually kind of funny that in a diary which mocks Netanyahu for constantly resorting to Nazi analogies, you compare Israeli actions to German treatment of the Italian resistance.  It's like you have no self-consciousness whatsoever.

by Steve M 2009-07-13 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

Do you really believe that Israel's slaughter of 1,400 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including 313 children, was any different. It was all about collective punishment, and that is precisely what the German 10 for 1 policy was all about.

So stop kidding yourself about the reality, just because Nazi Germany was involved. Unfortunately, there are many other deadly analogies available during the military occupation of Palestine while Israel was colonizing Palestinian lands. B'Tselem publishes statistics on Palestinian deaths and the wounded during this conflict that you would or should be ashamed to defend.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

You know that line where Elf accuses Netanyahu of sounding like a broken record?  Uh huh.  Like I said, a complete lack of self-awareness.

By the way, this economic boycott of Israel you're always encouraging people to participate in... could that be regarded as "collective punishment"?  Just asking!

by Steve M 2009-07-13 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

Yes the boycott, sanctions, and divestment movement is indeed collective punishment, only no one is getting killed by bombs, artillary shells, and bullets, as happened in Gaza recently.

For the most part, it is a replication of the international boycotts that brought down South African Apartheid. They can work to unravel injustice.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

The siege began in response to the Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, not the other way around.  If you're going to scream "bullshit", try purging it from your comments first.

Do you want to see Netanyahu and the Likud completely and totally undermined?  Get the Palestinians to stop their terrorist attacks.  Every time there is a lull, the Israeli left surges, and hopes for peace with them.  Every rocket, every suicide bomber is political manna for Bibi.  

by CLLGADEM 2009-07-14 01:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

Many people like yourself were and are being deceived by Israeli propaganda. Hamas rocketing was always in retaliation for Israel's incursions into the West Bank and Gaza to kill Palestinian militants fighting the incessant occupation and colonization. According to Meshal (via Jimmy Carter), Hamas offered ceasefires over a half dozen times but Israel refused. When Egypt finally negotiated a ceasefire that Israel could not refuse, rocket attacks ceased until the fifth month, two months before the Israeli elections, when Barak entered Gaza and killed six Palestinians. It was only then that Hamas resumed rocketing.

Barak broke the ceasefire without any justification, except possibly that he wanted to appear Sharon-like. It didn't work.

There have been no suicide bombers since 2003, six years, so it is just another red herring for Israel to continue stealing Palestinian lands and enlarging settlements. Even then, those suicide attacks were in response to Sharon's killings of over 300 Palestinians, including 86 children, mainly in the West Bank, which preceded them. The notion that Isreal is the victim in this conflict is pure propaganda.

You must certainly be new at defending Israel. Israel is a terrorist state given its wanton killings of Palestinian civilians, for the sole purpose of continuing the military-supported colonization.

by MainStreet 2009-07-14 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re: The Blame Game

Please offer a link to back up your claims of Hamas-offered cease-fires.  I've heard nothing of the kind.  What I have heard is that Hamas refuses to recognize even the existence of Israel, which is quite a larger agenda than just Israeli withdrawal from the disputed lands.

I don't agree with everything Israel does; settlement expansion in Judea and Samaria undermines President Abbas at the very time he needs to be strengthened, particularly vis a vis Hamas.  That said, I'm not going to stand by and allow your misstatements to go unchallenged.  

The rocket attacks came first - then the Israeli incursion to stop them.  Why won't you condemn Hamas-led violence?  

by CLLGADEM 2009-07-15 01:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Ethnic cleansing of Israelis from the West Ban

So stopping illegal immigration is morally equivalent to ethnic cleansing?

Okay, sure, but only if we get to use that argument in America too.

by mcc 2009-07-12 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Ethnic cleansing of Israelis from the West Ban

That seems to be what Netanyahu is asserting. In short, there is a revived Nazism behind all of this nonsense about stopping settlement building.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 03:12AM | 0 recs
Bad enough

What has been done to the Palestinian population here is bad enough without holocaust hyperbole, which undermines the argument.  Bibi's use is irresponsible as are the uses by opponents of the occupation.  Neither settlers nor Palestinians are being herded into gas chambers.

The argument to make to Bibi and his supporters is that they can have a single state from the river to the sea, but Jewish hegemony will not prove sustainable.  If he wants his "Jewish State" he needs to leap in the direction of the Arab League proposal, the only way to defer the internal conflict between liberalism and nationalism embedded in political Zionism.

Fayyad says settlers can stay.  I agree with Halper that citizenship and residency need not in this situation be identical.  Palestinians in Israel may have full residency and civil rights but hold citizenship in Palestine as the institution through which they express their national rights.  Halper comes close to Nusseibeh's conception of two states with porous borders and with Jerusalem as an open city.

But these are still hypotheticals.  Land confiscations and house demolitions must stop immediately.  Amira Hass, known for her work on Gaza, has a piece out today entitled "Israeli Jewish worldview sanctifies West Bank inequality" (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1099 712.html) that is instructive.  It tells the story of a Bedouin community trying to build a school out of old tires and mud.  

by Strummerson 2009-07-13 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad enough

" Neither settlers nor Palestinians are being herded into gas chambers."

Nor were Black South Africans, but who could condone the Apartheid arrangement the Afrikaaners came up with, with the Black bantustans offering cheap labor to the British and Dutch industrialists.

A binational one-state state with cantons euphemistically replacing the bantustan concept is not going to change anything. Hence, the Obama two state solution. There is no other solution. That is why Netanyahu and the Zionist racists must be replaced.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad enough

Don't bait and switch.  My objection was to the the NAZI references.  I think the Apartheid analogies are instructive.

And why are you dredging up the bi-national canton debate at this point?  I wasn't suggesting it in this context.  Rather I made the point that Zionists must be made to understand that the only hope for a viable and sustainable "Jewish state" is through a two state solution.  I simply pointed out that one of the most important opponents of the occupation and firmest and longest supporters of the two state solution have notions of porous borders and an open multinational Jerusalem that serves as the capital of two states.

Don't instigate bogus arguments.  We have Lakrosse for that.

by Strummerson 2009-07-13 09:40AM | 0 recs
clarification

I simply pointed out that one of the most important opponents of the occupation (Halper) and firmest and longest supporters of the two state solution (Nusseibeh) both have notions of porous borders and an open multinational Jerusalem that serves as the capital of two states.

by Strummerson 2009-07-13 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

Without a sovereign border abut Jordan (including the Jordan Valley), and a sovereign East Jerusalem, a sovereign Palestinian state has no meaning. If by "porous," something like the border between Israel and Palestine is akin to the US-Canadian border of recent past, it might be negotiable, providing the IDF withdraws totally from the West Bank and Gaza (including the naval blockade). If Israel insists on maintaining sovereignty over settlements within the Palestinian state, it will not work.

It is time to stop the word games and get down to business.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

You are the only one playing word games here.  My statements were quite clear.  I simply pointed out that there were several figures on the left who don't see the need to completely segregate populations in order for each people to exercise sovereignty.  None of this has to do with the Jordan River Valley.  It has to do with the two state arrangement between Israel and Palestine.  I think the JRV is likely a deal breaker for Palestinians and I thing there are many ways to satisfy Israeli security concerns while Palestine maintains sovereign control of the border with Jordan.  And I think in general that any Israeli concern about being attacked by Jordan through Palestine is bullshit.  But you know this.  I don't know why you are trying to invent an argument with me.  But I am not interested in participating further.

by Strummerson 2009-07-13 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

"Security concerns," my ass. That notion is nothing more than a rationale for Israel's occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, the root cause of any security concerns. If someone was stealing my land and property, I too would be concerned for retaliation by the owners, such as the Palestinians. In truth, it is the Palestinians who have security concerns, dying at the rate of 5-600 a year (B'Tselem stats), except in 2006 and 2008 when double that number died, most of them civilians, children included.

You are becoming just another purveyor of propaganda spouting notions like this. It is as if we are back with the old Strummerson, hyping Israeli lies and propaganda. Try this documentary, which I suggest you have already seen:

Peace, Propaganda, & The Promised Land (with Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Arik Ackerman, and many others)

Part I:  

Part II:

" None of this has to do with the Jordan River Valley." ??????

It has everything to do with the Jordan Valley, everything, because there cannot be a sovereign Palestinian state without it.

by MainStreet 2009-07-13 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

Oh calm down.  I pointed out that there is no reason for Israel to fear being attacked from Jordan.

Just stop now.

Don't twist what I argue into the opposite so you can manufacture a disagreement as a pretext for posting your favorite movies.

Your antics are all worn out.

If you are not going to actually read what I post then don't bother responding.

by Strummerson 2009-07-13 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

Israel's security concerns is a bogus herring that it has used since 1967 to take the West Bank, when we saw generals paraded out to claim that only eight miles separated the West Bank from the sea.

Israel's treatment of the Palestinians since the 1948 ethnic cleansing, and its continuation after 1967 in the Palestinian territories is the prime reason that Israel has security problems. With such a vile history, who wouldn't be concerned that the true victims might retaliate. The solution is quite simple.

by MainStreet 2009-07-14 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

I'll let your handlers know you recited your daily talking points.

by Strummerson 2009-07-14 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: clarification

It is most appreciated.

And if you could add a recommendation for a salary increase, that would also be appreciated. It is not easy being a double agent blogger spy; I don't know who I'm supposed to defame one week to the next. Even though Lakrosse is on everyone's shit list, and he's an easy target, the you and the others are not that clarified.

by MainStreet 2009-07-16 04:49AM | 0 recs

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