I've always said that I like my ethnic cleansers like my men: honest, direct, and with a plan. Sadly, like good men, honest and open ethnic cleansers are few and far between. As the Israeli government, and those who blindly defend it, claim that the attacks in Gaza are for self-defense, and self-defense alone, one man has the courage to admit that the real goal is to rid the area of Palestinians and populate it with Jews. And that man is Moshe Feiglin, Deputy speaker and member of Knesset (Israel's parliament).
But before I get to Feiglin, let me explain what I mean by ethnic cleansing. This is obviously the subject of much academic and political debate, but for this post, I will defer to one of the definitions offered by Andrew Bell-Fialkoff in his Foreign Affairs "A Brief History of Ethnic Cleansing" article:
the expulsion of an "undesirable" population from a given territory due to religious or ethnic discrimination, political, strategic or ideological considerations, or a combination of these.
Ok. Back to the fun stuff. Feiglin wrote an op-ed on Tuesday in which he revealed his hopes and dreams for the future of Israel and the demise of Palestinians in Gaza. The headline is "My Outline for a Solution in Gaza." And the subheadline reads "Clear and concise, the steps towards achieving quiet in Gaza." I was immediately impressed by his candor in aspiring towards quiet, not peace. Peace, which requires an end to fighting, is such a cliche. But quiet, which can be achieved through muzzling, silencing, or killing, is so much better. Think about how much better it sounds. "We will have quiet, we will because we must..." "All we are saying, is give quiet a chance..." "What's so funny about quiet, love and understanding?" "No justice, no quiet!"
Feiglin doesn't mince his words. In fact, he puts his demands in bold, literally and metaphorically. And his seven lofty quiet-achieving goals are:
- Defense (because why not?)
I particularly like points 5-7. Let's take a look, shall we?
Conquer – After the IDF completes the "softening" of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.
Pretty straightforward conquering, unlimited by any humanitarian considerations of non-Israeli soldiers whatsoever. Sounds good.
Elimination- The GSS [General Security Service] and IDF will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.
Pretty straightforward elimination of the people who haven't already been quieted (killed). Unclear how they will define the "innocent" "enemy population" or what the generous aid will consist of. Fingers crossed, we will see 1948-levels of generosity. A girl can dream.
Sovereignty – Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.
Pretty straightforward nationalism, tribalism, expansionism, manifest destiny and chauvinism, plus a realistic forever-based timeline. Open theocratic call for Jewish repopulation of Gaza, which belongs to Jews because... The Torah. Regretful willingness to let others die while you sit at home creating genocidal to-do lists.
And, this may be the only ethnic cleansing plan which also includes train service and real estate improvements. (Location, Location, Location!)
Feigin continues, adding some Nate Silverianly precise statistical data to his "Sovereignty" section:
According to polls [which?], most [how many?] of the Arabs in Gaza wish to leave [I wonder why]. Those who were not involved in anti-Israel activity will be offered a generous international emigration package. Those who choose to remain will receive permanent resident status. After a number of years of living in Israel and becoming accustomed to it, contingent on appropriate legislation in the Knesset and the authorization of the Minister of Interior, those who personally accept upon themselves Israel’s rule, substance and way of life of the Jewish State in its Land, will be offered Israeli citizenship.
Again, unclear what anti-Israel activity means. Also unclear what the generous international emigration package consists of but I'm thinking something like an all-inclusive Cancun package with a wrist band time deal. Totally vague cultural-assimilation-based citizenship requirement, which, I imagine, will involve signing affidavits swearing to the superiority of Israeli hummus.