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Senior Israeli gov’t minister warns Palestinians of ‘third Nakba’

Tzachi Hanegbi, a close ally of Netanyahu, threatens Palestinians with ethnic cleansing in response to the latest round of violence.

Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzai Hanegbi, a close ally of Prime Minister Netanyahu, December 28, 2016. (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool)

Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzai Hanegbi, a close ally of Prime Minister Netanyahu, December 28, 2016. (Ohad Zwigenberg/Pool/Flash90)

A senior minister in the Israeli government and a close ally of Prime Minister Netanyahu warned the Palestinian people over the weekend of mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing if they don’t put an end to the current round of violence.

“Remember 1948” and “remember 1967,” Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi wrote in a statement posted to Facebook on Saturday, responding to the murder of three Israeli civilians inside their home in the West Bank settlement of Halamish the night before. “This is how a ‘Nakba’ begins.”

(Find a full translation of Hangebi’s statement below.)

“Nakba” is the Palestinian name for the events surrounding 1948, when some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled by Israeli forces as part of the war that led to the establishment of Israel. Israel allowed neither those whom it expelled nor those who fled during the fighting to return once the war was over, leading to a massive refugee crisis that continues to this day. Another 300,000 or so Palestinians were forced to flee during the 1967 Six-Day War, roughly half of whom were refugees from 1948.

“When you want to stop it all it will already be gone,” Hanegbi wrote, suggesting that the current cycle of violence will lead Israel to carry out another mass expulsion or to the displacement of Palestinians. “It will already be after the third Nakba.”

“You’ve already paid that crazy price twice for your leaders,” he continued, urging the Palestinian public to break from their leaders, whom he described as reckless, religious zealots. “Don’t try us again because the result won’t be any different.”

Palestinian refugees 'making their way from Galilee in October-November 1948' (Fred Csasznik, copyright expired)

Palestinian refugees fleeing Israel, “making their way from Galilee in October-November 1948.” (Fred Csasznik, copyright expired)

Israel regularly accuses the Palestinians of incitement to violence against Jews and Israelis, yet nobody in the Israeli government has condemned Hanegbi’s warning of ethnic cleansing. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not fired him, demanded he retract the threat to carry out a war crime, nor has any Israeli official made public any indication that such statements are unacceptable.

The Netanyahu government has portrayed Palestinian incitement as one of the major hurdles to peace in the most recent American attempts to re-start a peace process.

Violence broke out in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent days as Palestinians protested new Israeli security measures outside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, unilaterally installing new fixed checkpoints to control the entry of Muslim worshipers into the site. The metal detectors were installed after three Palestinian citizens of Israel perpetrated killed two Israeli policemen at the site.

A delicate “status quo,” negotiated by Israel and Jordan after Israel conquered East Jerusalem in 1967, has been in place for the past 50 years; the Palestinians and much of the Muslim world view Israel’s new security measures as a violation of that status quo, and one of a string of Israeli attempts to assert increasing sovereignty over the holy site.

The largest protests have been nonviolent prayers in the streets of Jerusalem, but Israeli security forces have killed at least three Palestinians in clashes since the weekend. On Friday night, a Palestinian man murdered three civilian settlers in their West Bank home, which he said was related to Israeli violations of Al-Aqsa in a Facebook post before his murderous rampage.

Here is the full text of Hanegbi’s statement that he posted to Facebook (my translation):

My message to the Palestinians in an interview with Channel 2 and other media outlets following the cruel murder in the settlement of Halamish:

This is how a ‘Nakba’ begins.

Just like this.

Remember ’48.
Remember ’67.

It begins with zealot religious leaders whom Allah promised the whole world.
It continues with radical, reckless leaders for whom the spilling of blood, even if it is your blood, fits their own short-term interests.
And it permeates the religiously ignorant masses who only yearn to become “martyrs.”

Remember ’48.
Remember ’67.

When you want to stop it all it will already be gone.
It will already be after the third “Nakba.”

After the disaster. After the tragedy.

You’ve already paid that crazy price twice for your leaders.

Don’t try us again because the result won’t be any different.

You’ve been warned!

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    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      What this minister is saying is: as stranger in Eretz Israel you can stay if you respect the laws of the Jewish State. If you do not want to respect them you can leave at your convenience.All governments all over the world have the same politics.

      Reply to Comment
    2. aiste

      what a senseless interpretation of words! what a disgrace to journalism that claims to be objective! how many people do you think read just the title and did not even bother to read the article and the translation of what the minister said? how many people took your interpretation at face value? this is mindless journalism that is messing up masses. you claim to be “committed to human rights and freedom of information, and we oppose the occupation.” Well, guess how many human rights are broken because of your lewd understanding what freedom of skewed information is? guess how very much you help the occupation with such senseless reporting? shame on you Michael.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mark

        It does explain why the left garners so few votes in Israeli elections.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben Barka


        Reply to Comment
    3. David

      Israel: Ever faster and deeper into the abyss of fascism and unaware that it is digging its own grave. Zionism is rotting within and Israel is increasingly despised by peoples around the world and viewed as an ethnic cleanser and belligerent/illegal occupier, especially by all important youth, including Americans and righteous Jews everywhere. It could only be thus.

      Bottom line: Foreign Jews had the same right to Palestine as Irish Catholics and Mexican atheists, i.e., none whatsoever.

      Reply to Comment
    4. duh

      Aside from being a veiled threat these remarks are of course yet another obfuscation of the fact the Zionist movement needs violence to create and maintain a “Jewish” demographic majority within a segregated Palestine. Herzl’s stated notion in his diary of invading Palestine from Cyprus is one good piece of evidence that his movement was going to be violent.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Lewis from Afula

      Ignorant PLO supporters and fake fakestine religious nutters are digging their own grave. Transfer looks more and more likely each year. When France eventually reaches a state of civil war, all bets will be off.

      Reply to Comment
    6. i_like_ike52

      What he was really pointing out was that after every round of violence the Arabs have embarked on, they end up worse off. This started already in 1920. In each round, they come up with new forms of violent opposition to Israel and Zionism, thinking “this time it will be different”. For example, after the 1948 war, they explained their defeat by saying that the Arab leaders were supposedly “colonialist puppets”. In 1956, they felt ready for another round because now they had heroes like Nasser as leaders. They were drubbed in that war, but this time they said it was because Israel had Britain and France as allies, even though Israel did defeat the Egyptian Army. In 1967, they escalated the threats because De Gaulle, LBJ and other made it clear that Israel was alone. The Arabs this time suffer a devastating defeat. In 1973 they tried again, this time thinking that since they are striking first, they will win. They do inflict a lot casualties on Israel, and the Arabs proclaim “victory” because of this, but their armies are totally defeated once again, and not only that but Syria ends up disintegrating as a country, and Egypt becomes an unstable basket case. At this point, the Arafat’s PLO becomes dominant, so there is the 1982 Lebanon War where Arafat is forced to flee to Tunisia. Then there comes Intifada I and Intifada II and mass terror but Israel digs in and defeats both. Then there were the missile wars with HIZBULLAH and HAMAS, which are also proclaimed as great victories, but Nasrallah goes into permanent hiding and HAMAS’s Gaza ministate is on the verge of humanitarian disaster.

      Bottom line…should the Arabs embark on yet another attempt to use violence to further their aim, they will once again face defeat. That is what Tzachi is saying.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Ike: No, violence shouldn’t be used. Force should be used; BDS, cultural boycotts, U.N. votes (which the U.S. shouldn’t shield Israel from).

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Ike, your bottom line needed correction to make it honest:

        “Should the Arabs not entirely contain sporadic attempts to use violence, in addition to the broad, sustained use of nonviolence that Edo documents, to further their aim, they will once again face defeat because they are using the language we speak and we love, but should the Arabs use nonviolence to further their aim of freeing themselves from Israeli oppression we will violently shut that right down too. And especially quickly and efficiently. Because–don’t let anyone fool you–we fear and hate nonviolent resistance above all. And then when violence erupts as the only possible outlet we will secretly congratulate ourselves and relax–mission accomplished–but outwardly fret and whine and complain about what victims of “terror” we are, and when needed we’ll pull the holocaust card because that’s always useful for intimidating the Europeans. We have no intention of anything but brutal oppression in the service of grabbing ever more land but we will know how to play the victim. We excel at that. We excel at deception.”

        Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      ​One just has to look at the inarticulate stupidity of some of the posts here.

      “your lewd understanding what freedom of skewed information is?” ??

      The same babbling accuser feels entitled to pronounce on “senseless reporting”? OK…
      And then to blather about “shame”? Wow.

      The venomous hostility and the deep ignorance of what is really going on in the OT (or more accurately, the apartheid entity comprising Israel and the territories it occupies) that these posts reflect shows why Israelis cannot and will not change anything; why they cannot save themselves; why they will have to be forced, by outside pressure, to raise the price they are prepared to pay and lower the price they can cruelly exact from the Palestinians. Anyone with a shred of objectivity and human decency sees this.

      Reply to Comment