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Earlier this month, MKs Danny Danon (former UN ambassador) and Ron Ben Barak (former Mossad deputy chief) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, presenting a “humanitarian plan” to “resolve” the Gaza crisis. It involved four Arab/Muslim states which would be required to accept all 2.5-million of the ethnically cleansed Gazans. It even determined a suggested allotment of refugees by country (according to the accompanying map).
It’s a whackadoodle plan full of self-serving jargon and half-baked ideas. Either the authors know its preposterous and publish it as a trial balloon to determine how receptive Congress might be; or they are delusional in believing anyone in their right mind would take it seriously.
If these sorts of plans sound familiar that’s be used they are. During the Nakba, Israel ethnically cleansed 1-million indigenous Palestinians, who fled to refugee camps created by UNWRA In Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt (Gaza). Now, this plan seems to replicate that in contemporary terms. The only major differences is the countries in each instance.
The refugees absorbed into those countries during the Nakba aroused tremendous conflict with indigenous citizens, and even provoked a civil war (Jordan). Why would any country anywhere accede to these plans?
The proposal was shown to key figures in the House and Senate from both parties. Longtime lawmaker, Rep. Joe Wilson…even expressed open support for it, while others who were privy to the details of the text have so far kept a low profile, saying that publicly coming out in favor of the program could derail it.
This represents an extraordinary interference in the foreign affairs policy of this country. For a another country to lobby our political leaders concerning critical elements of our foreign policy toward the Arab world–and to do so to advance that country’s own interests–is sheer chutzpah. Which senators and House members were briefed on this plan? And who presented it to them? Any members who saw it should denounce it as offensive interference in US politics. The sheer power and influence of the Israel Lobby explains why no one has.
The graph above and map designate by Arab-Muslim state how many expelled Gazans each would be forced to accept. If they refused Danon and Ben Barak propose that the US freeze foreign aid to them.
Egypt receives $3-billion in aid. So that’s a considerable sum to lose. Yet Egypt has refused to accept any refugees. Adamantly refused. Is Israel prepared to ruin its relations with Egypt in order to force it to take 1-million Gaza refugees? I think not. Its strategic alliance is far too important for that.
Another bit of delusional thinking is attempting to force Yemen to accept 250,000 refugees. First, the country has no functioning government. It is divided into two warring factions which each control parts of the country. They expect 250,000 refugees to be dropped into a civil war? Are they daft?
As far as Turkey is concerned, Erdogan has been railing against Israel’s war in Gaza. So they propose that Turkey would accept 500,000 refugees? Really? Would anyone in their right mind even think this was feasible?
Of course, Israelis like them are crazy like a fox. They know this plan is ridiculous. But it performs one important function: it conditions the world to consider the idea of ethnic cleansing, even if it objects to it. Once the idea injects itself into public discourse, it begins a process of normalization. The next time the idea is broached it will be more familiar and more accepted. Over time, this process is meant to soften opposition so that eventually it can be realized. That is how poisonous this sort of Israeli public discourse is.
Messianic settler Jews ally with Christian Zionists to rebuild Temple
If you examine the map, in the upper right corner it displays the logo of a messianic evangelical group, Boneh Israel, allied with messianic settlers. The goal of both is to rebuild the Holy Temple. They are even producing the red heifer which would be necessary to resume animal sacrifices.
Its support for the ethnic cleansing has a clear theological mission. In order for the Temple to be rebuilt and eventually realize Christ’s Return, a Biblical Davidic monarchy of Jews, and Jews only must be restored. Israel must be rid of non-Jews to realize this vision. Hence the proposal to rid it of all the Palestinians in Gaza. It is one step closer to ethnically cleansing all Palestinians from this future Biblical kingdom.
As I wrote above, this is whackadoodle stuff. But it must be taken very seriously. Since Kahane died in 1991, his more racist, noxious ideas have become reality and now dominate Israeli politics. The idea that a future Israeli government would not rebuilt the Temple is quite thinkable, to adapt Herman Kahn’s phrase about nuclear war.
The world must take this theology and its political-geo-strategic implications very seriously. To treat this is totally delusional is wrong fundamentally. It may seem crazy. But it’s as serious as a heart attack. We ignore or dismiss it at our peril; and the peril of the entire Middle East.