Kol Yisrael filed a doozy of a report (Hebrew) yesterday noting the completion of a major Israeli military-police exercise simulating the civil unrest that would follow an imagined peace agreement, in which Israel would, according to the Lieberman population transfer plan, expel many of its Palestinian citizens.
According to the scenario, Hamas incites tremendous civil upheaval both in the West Bank and among Palestinians of northern Israel which result in many terror attacks. Of course, according to the simulation the demonstrations and violence are caused by ‘extremist elements’ among the ‘Arab sector’ and not by the actions of the Israeli government. The exercise included the creation of a concentration camp at the Golani junction for the more violent perpetrators.
You can see what sorts of fever dreams afflict the Israeli security apparatus that they even simulated a violent attempt by Hamas to take over the West Bank in a similar manner to the way it took over Gaza, with tactics including renewal of terror attacks, prison uprisings, and rocket attacks on prisons. In a mere 24 hours, Israel would empty its own prisons of its population in order to accommodate the incoming Palestinian prisoners.
A few comments on this madness. First, clearly this is yet another goodie offered by Bibi to Yvette to get him on board the freeze extension train that the former hopes will leave the station soon. No one in their right mind (except perhaps the far-right ministers in this government) believes that this scenario is possible. The idea that a final peace agreement would include a provision for expulsion of Israel’s Palestinian citizens is not just preposterous, it’s monstrous. That, of course, doesn’t phase the Israeli far-right. But even most of them realize that this is a non-starter (at least for now-who knows what may happen later?).
But holding such an exercise will flatter Lieberman’s ego, that Bibi at least takes his mad views seriously.
There is an equally important unstated intent of this exercise. It lays the groundwork among Israelis for them to begin to accept the reasonableness of Lieberman’s population transfer proposal. Many common citizens will say that if the government finds the notion credible enough to prepare an entire exercise around it, then it must be a viable policy. This is what creeping fascism is all about. A seed is planted, watered, nurtured. And after a period of gestation and germination it grows into a noxious weed in the body politic that cannot be eradicated at any expense. First a loyalty oath, then population transfer and concentration camps.
Finally, the exercise is a veiled threat against the Palestinians themselves. It says: if you continue being recalcitrant and refusing to negotiate you may end up losing all the West Bank territory on which major settlements now sit and having to absorb nearly 1-million Palestinians. Think of how you’ll like that eventuality. It is also yet another declaration of war against Israel’s Palestinian citizens who wish nothing more than to remain loyal (largely) citizens of that State. And it is yet another poison pill thrown into their relationship with a State many of whose Jewish citizens seem so eager to be rid of them.
H/t Ofer Neiman.