Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

The Right's plan to beat Palestinians into submission

The good news: the Right has a plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The bad news: it’s as racist as you think.

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich at a Knesset committee hearing, November 28, 2016. (Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich at a Knesset committee hearing, November 28, 2016. (Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The truth is that that there is no future in the Middle East for Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich’s new political program, which seeks to completely erase Palestinians from the river to the sea. There is no place for his plan here, nor anywhere else in the world. There will never be a place in this world for Jews alone without any room for “non-Jews.” I hope this is obvious to everyone.

But before you jump from your seat, let me be clear: Jews, like all people, deserve a place where they can live with dignity and in peace. I did not establish these facts, nor did the millions of Palestinians who were here before the establishment of Israel and who aren’t going anywhere.

What can you do? This is the universe in which we live. In 2017, there is no state on earth that is racially or religiously “pure.” There are two models for this kind of regime: the first is the Vatican, the second is the territory controlled by Islamic State.

Thankfully, ISIS’ mission is a difficult one that isn’t going as planned. Humans migrate across the world through water and land, reaching new places where they can live with other people. It is not always easy, and often depends greatly on the prudence of the nations and states that take them in. Just like in this country, where Jews lived in pre-state Palestine, and which took in millions of Jews after the 1948 War.

The problem arose with the relentless desire for complete and utter control by Jewish Israelis — who arrived here for various reasons — over the land, its resources, and its people. Everything must surrender to the Jews. In my opinion, this is what perpetuates the conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews in the region. No fence will help; no barbed wire will bring security to Jews who desire control, some of whom believe God granted them exclusive rights to this land.

Palestinians try to climb over the separation wall at the Qalandyia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem on their way to attend the last Friday prayers in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque during Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Friday, July 1, 2016. (Photo by Flash90)

Palestinians try to climb over the separation wall at the Qalandyia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem on their way to attend the last Friday prayers in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque during Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Friday, July 1, 2016. (Photo by Flash90)

But soon this will end. This week we learned about Smotrich’s “plan to end the conflict. Remember, this is the man who wants his son to be born in a sterile delivery room, where no black person can lay a hand on him, where no midwife will cut his umbilical cord, and where he won’t be bothered by a Mizrahi hafla.

He was very convincing in what he says, and you can tell that he real means it. On the one hand, I appreciated his honesty — he is not ashamed, has nothing to hide, and doesn’t play any games. On the other hand, it was difficult for me to get into the head of a messianic Jew — who is no idiot — and discover how the most racist and violent kind of mind thinks.

In a speech to the Knesset, Smotrich laid out his alternatives to the current conflict, the first of which is going to war against the Palestinians. The war will be bloody and brutal, in which Palestinian women and children will be murdered. It won’t be nice, it won’t be pretty, but it will be necessary. According to Smotrich, women and children were murdered in World War II (will anyone tell him that Russia’s war against the Nazis does not justify this?). Not every Jew or German was slaughtered in that war, and no nation was wiped off the map. And yet the world was left broken.

Smotrich’s second alternative is erasure: a complete submission by Palestinians who choose to remain here. Complete cultural, linguistic, social, and political destruction by the Jewish state. Palestinians will physically remain, but their national aspirations will disappear alongside Israel’s full-throttled Jewish supremacy. They will enjoy their lives, their work, they will come back home after a long day and thank their merciful Jewish overlords. Both sides will enjoy quiet.

The final alternative will be wholesale abandonment by Palestinians. Millions will pack their bags and board buses to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, or Egypt. “They will choose the ISIS they want to live under,” Smotrich says. Those who will not submit are welcome to leave. Those who remain will be forced to fight. It is clear who will win at that point.

Students play soccer outside of their school in the village of Khirbet al Fakheit, South Hebron Hills, West Bank, October 17, 2012. The school faces a demolition order by Israeli authorities, and teachers who come from nearby Yatta have been harassed by the Israeli military and told they are prohibited from driving their cars in the area. This village of nine families is one of the eight Palestinian communities slated for demolition in the area of the South Hebron Hills designated by the Israeli military as "Firing Zone 918." (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Students play soccer outside of their school in the village of Khirbet al Fakheit, South Hebron Hills, West Bank, October 17, 2012. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Smotrich’s illusion (which he shares with others in the government) that Palestinian national aspirations for independence and self-determination will vanish into thin air with the implementation of one of the above three options — is a deeply engrained one. Personally, it is clear that the two last scenarios simply won’t come to be, despite laws such as the nation-state bill. After all, a law that cancels Arabic’s status as an official language of the state will not cause millions of Arabs disappear.

As the government is busy with enshrining the occupation, racism, and Jewish supremacy into the law books, I am reminded of my late grandmother’s eternal argument with my father. She would always curse the Arab leaders who abandoned Palestine to the Jews. If only they showed some force “Israel would fold,” she would say. My father would laugh at her. “Keep dreaming and waiting for them…forget about it,” to which she would respond, “I’m not counting on them, I never counted on them, but the fact that they exist is a deterrence.”

My father refused to agree. Grandmother: “And yet, as much as Israel is gaining strength, all it will take is one Arab country to scare it to do the trick. There is no need to fight — just one angry stare down from a serious leader.”

“There are no good Arab leaders,” he would retort.

This argument went on until the fall of Saddam Hussein, after which my grandmother passed away. Today I think about just how right she was. If only we had strong, stable Arab countries around us, Smotrich wouldn’t dare open his mouth.

This post was originally published in Hebrew on Local Call.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. i_like_ike52

      Samah, you seem to need a remedial course in the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict, which long predated the creation of Israel in 1948. You long for “strong leaders”. Well, we can start with the Mufti who inspired several rounds of violence, the biggest being in 1929 and 1936-1939. Hundreds of Jews were murdered, but the Jewish yishuv kept growing. Then there was the 1948 war, in which 1% of the Jewish population was killed, but Israel managed to get on its feet and absorb millions of Jews. Now, you are going to say “the leaders of the 1948 Arab countries were puppets of the British and French colonialists so they really didn’t want to fight Israel”. Well, tell that to the families of the 1% of the Jews who were killed. They didn’t think the Arabs didn’t want to fight.

      However, never fear, most of those corrupt rulers were ousted in the 1950’s and replaced by Nasser, and Nasserite/Ba’athist socialist Arab nationalists who largely broke with the old colonialists and Americans and allied themselves with the “progressive”, anti-imperialist USSR. Well, Nasser got himself into two wars with Isreal, 1956 and 1967, inflicted painful casualties on Israel but was defeated. Sadat and Assad tried in 1973 with what seemed at first to be a successful surprise attack which again inflicted painful casualties on Israel, but, again, the Arab side was defeated, although they claimed they were the “victors”. Although it seemed that the Arab world was on the rise, partly due to the big increase in oil prices and that Israel was demoralized. In spite of the Arabs claiming they were the victors, Egypt has gone in to sharp decline, and Iraq and Syria along with other Arab countries have imploded, while Israel has grown much stronger and absorbed a large number of olim (immigrants).
      Now, the Palestinians decided to take the lead. Another of your ‘strong leaders’, Arafat, launched the biggest wave of terror against Israel since the 1930’s, and killed or wounded THOUSANDS of Israelis (and not a few Arabs were collatoral damage, but, who cares?). But, once again, the Arabs burned out and Israel continued advancing.

      So what is it that you want? What is your idea of a “strong leaders” that you feel is lacking? You want “more force”? What good has it done for the Arabs except bring more and more suffering on them?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Willem Sassen

      Smah, I agree that Jews have the right to live in peace, but away from Palestine. Perhaps around Chernobyl would be a good place for them

      Reply to Comment
      • Firentis

        That’s our backup plan. You think Chernobyl melted down on its own? Wink wink.

        Reply to Comment
    3. i_like_ike52

      This one of the most revealing postings I have ever seen here. We see a lament for “strong Arab leaders”, along with Grandma’s widespread belief that Israel is not really a viable country that can stand on its own.

      But has Samah ever really wondered why there are so many bad (in her eyes) Arab leaders, whereas Israel has apparently had some effective ones? After all, the traditional Arab views of Jews, dating back to the Qur’an is that Jews are stupid weaklings who are cowards. Arabs, on the other hand were great warriors and conquerors, master merchants and the center of Western Civilization in the Middle Ages. That is why Grandma said what she did about how the Arabs could knock out Israel with one “good leader” and how Israel would supposedly fold without the Arabs even having to fight. Why is the current reality so much the opposite? Is it really a matter of just finding the right leader, or are the Arab leaders simply a reflection of the societies they arise in? Why was Nasser so popular even though he led his country to two disastrous defeats against Israel, a failed war in Yemen, a failed merger with Syria and a corrupt, inefficient totalitarian system within Egypt? With all that why he was loved and gigantic crowds mourned him when he died? Is the most important thing Arabs want from a leader is bombastic speeches that make them feel good? Is that more important that delivering a functioning, prosperous society? Are the problems of the Arab world always somebody else’s fault?

      Reply to Comment