Opinion

The Right’s Goal: Expulsion

The goal of the Israeli colonial-settler regime is not to kill as many Palestinians as possible. It's a means to the end of expanding the Zionist estate atop their ruined lives

A Palestinian man argues with an Israeli soldier in the town of as-Sawiyah, south of Nablus in the West Bank on October 15, 2018
AFP

The hints of outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot are frightening even if they don’t say much that’s new, especially for those who see Yeshastan, the settlers conglomerate, getting bigger, richer and better armed.

It’s nothing new that the settler right and the religious-Zionist right are pushing for escalation and war. Why does the settler right (even those living in Ra’anana) want war? Here you need a very clear, detailed explanation because the levels of cognitive repression among people living west of the Green Line are sky-high.

The settler right doesn’t make do with the skill at state-sanctioned robbery shown by official bodies – it wants more. And the “more” is to create situations that will allow mass expulsion of Palestinians. The chaos of war will allow Israelis to transfer Palestinians beyond the border, not just within the West Bank (as called for in a bill by Habayit Hayehudi, which seeks to normalize the despicable term expulsion).

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The goal of the Israeli colonial-settler regime is not to kill as many Palestinians as possible. This is not meant as a compliment; rather, it’s an essential introduction to understanding solid political intentions. The killing of Palestinians was and is a means to the end of expanding the Zionist estate atop the ruined lives of the Palestinians. Killing is a legitimate means for Israel, as are nighttime raids, the imprisonment of 2 million Gazans, the expropriation of land on both sides of the Green Line, and economic suffocation.

This casual killing of a 60-year-old businessman on his way to work, of protesters behind the barbed wire fence of the concentration camp that is Gaza, as well as of suspects of killing – not yet even indicted – is possible because of our culture of impunity, the culture of “we (Jews) are above any law.”

Killing is a means that soldiers and police use joyfully, because they have been fed since childhood on a deadly mixture of fear of Palestinians and disdain for those whose homes we have stolen and will steal. The disdain makes the stealing come more naturally.

Israel threw away the generous golden opportunity it received from the Palestinians in 1994, and instead of allowing the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside it, Israel decided to stick with its colonial-settler characteristics and upgrade them.

Thus, under the umbrella of negotiations, Israel created the Palestinian enclaves. In recent years these enclaves have become the Israeli compromise between the desire to see the Palestinians disappear and the realization that the geopolitical situation does not allow a repetition of 1948.

The settler and religious right is demanding annexation of Area C, the 61 percent of the West Bank that engulfs the enclaves. That is, to do now, openly and in one go what the non-messianic right (first and foremost the Labor Party) has been doing by skillful application of the “another dunam, another goat” method, out of the spotlight, while sweet-talking about peace.

The settler right doesn’t make do with the legal methods of stealing land and homes developed by the official bodies. At any given moment there’s a Jewish cowboy driving out a Palestinian shepherd, a group of settlers building a road on land not their own, a new prefab being transported to an outpost. Every furrow of land in the West Bank and every house in East Jerusalem is prey for the victorious appetites of the princes of Yeshastan.

The Yeshastani Jews who have been screaming bitterly over the past two weeks that they are “sitting ducks” know full well that they are the best protected, most thickly padded Israelis of all.

They put on a show of hysteria to bring on an escalation and go back to the master plan waiting in the drawer. The settler right covets the Palestinian enclaves as well. Hebron empty of its Palestinian inhabitants is the model.

In any case, the lack of a future in the enclaves (first of all in Gaza) is already spurring young people and professionals to emigrate.

No international law and no country that supported Oslo has stopped the galloping Israeli settlement project. And so the settler right’s conclusion is that the next natural step, mass expulsion of Palestinians, is possible, geopolitically, and there is no international entity to get in their way.