Israel's Right to Sweep Away Palestinians

Expelling Palestinians is a paradigm that’s alive and well in the Jews’ state - a plan that was carried out and that is always waiting to be replicated.

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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A Bedouin of the Jahalin tribe walks in his encampment near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, June 16, 2012.
A Bedouin of the Jahalin tribe walks in his encampment near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, June 16, 2012.Credit: Reuters
Amira Hass
Amira Hass

Why are people so shocked that Israel has jailed a professor of astrophysics over his posts on Facebook, along with young girls who brandished knives? It has every right to do so. This right follows naturally from Israel’s essence and past, and can be summed up in a term derived from a statement by Uzi Narkiss, who headed the army’s Central Command in the June 1967 war: the right to sweep away.

“I don’t know if anything will happen,” Narkiss said on the eve of that war, according to Israel Defense Forces documents recently released for publication. “But if something does happen, it will take less than 72 hours for us to sweep all the Arabs out of the West Bank.”

Here are three new examples of the exercise of that right that unfortunately haven’t received appropriate media coverage:

* The right to worship, trespass and kill. Some 4,000 Jews (according to Israel National News), including Knesset members, prayed at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus from late Thursday night to early Friday morning last week, under heavy military protection (this follows from the rights to Judaize graves, to sanctify stones the way a dog marks his territory, and to prioritize memorializing a dead Jew over the daily routine of live Palestinians).

Maj. Elitzur Trabelsi, an officer in the Samaria Brigade’s territorial defense unit, said this unit’s “hard work, before and during the visit” to Joseph’s Tomb “is satisfying when you see the number of people coming here. The Samaria Brigade will continue to enable such visits in accordance with the government’s instructions and work to ensure the visitors’ security.”

The brazen locals, who deny the right to sweep them away, demonstrated. The IDF fired live bullets at them. About 10 demonstrators were wounded, including Jamal Dweikat, 20, who was wounded in the head. He died of his wounds on Monday.

* The right to dismantle a kindergarten (which derives from having turned Area C, the part of the West Bank assigned to full Israeli control by the Oslo Accord, into the rock of our existence). On Sunday, the IDF and Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank raided the Hamadin Bedouin community in Sateh al-Bahr (“Sea Level”) on the road leading to the Dead Sea. Accompanied by heavy engineering vehicles (a crane and a digger) and at least eight all-terrain vehicles, they dismantled and confiscated six prefab houses and one prefab that served as a kindergarten for 12 children.

The buildings, a UN donation, were funded by several European countries (including Germany). Twenty-six people, including 13 children, lost their homes.

The Hamadin, a clan of the Jahalin tribe, are one of the Bedouin communities which the Civil Administration is planning to sweep out of their place of residence of the past several decades (the Jahalin, of course, had first been swept out of the Negev in the early 1950s) and to concentrate them in a township, so that they will adjust their way of life and their movements to our sacred right to spread southward and eastward and build kosher Jewish villas.

* The right to prepare for the coming and welcome wars. Between May 30 and June 1, five Palestinian communities (made up of 58 families) were ordered to evacuate their homes in the steaming northern Jordan Valley for various periods of time due to IDF exercises. Military exercises within Palestinian communities are nothing new. In April 2014, Col. Einav Shalev, then an officer in Central Command’s operations division, revealed that training exercises and the expansion of firing zones in the Jordan Valley are a way of reducing the number of Palestinians. “When the troops march, people move aside,” he said. “There are places where we significantly reduced the number of exercises, and weeds sprang up there.”

When Narkiss spoke of “sweeping out all the Arabs,” he drew a logical line to the expulsion of 1948. In other words, he revealed that expelling Palestinians is a paradigm that’s alive and well in the Jews’ state – a plan that was carried out and that is always waiting to be replicated. That plan hasn’t succeeded. But “sweeping” the Palestinians into crowded enclaves continues all the time, an inseparable part of our right as masters.

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