|9-year-old Dina wounded when shrapnel pieces hit her eyes in an Israeli strike in Gaza, is treated at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza city on August 5, 2014.|
I continue to be utterly shocked and dismayed by the horrible actions being undertaken by Israel in Gaza. Worse yet are the calls for concentration camps and/or ethnic cleansing - a sanitized term for genocide - coming from Israeli figures who are not easily relegated to the category of the lunatic fringe. What is all the more shocking is that if any ethnic/religious group ought to be sensitive to the dangers of such horrors it should be Jews who suffered so much under the Nazi "Final Solution." Yet some like Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, are calling for actions all too reminiscent of Nazi actions against the Jews. Equally disturbing is the fact that individuals like Feiglin seemingly do not care or grasp that Israeli is alienating those who formerly supported Israel. A piece in the Daily Mail looks at the disturbing situation. Here are excerpts:
An Israeli official has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’.Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, posted the inflammatory message on his Facebook page at the weekend.He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza - which includes shipping its residents across the world - in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.He says another important part of his plan is the 'conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.'In the letter he expresses his desire for the IDF to find areas on the Sinai border to establish 'tent encampments...until relevant emigration destinations are determined.'He says that the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being 'shelled with maximum fire power.'
Understandably, Andrew Sullivan is appalled as well. Especially because Feiglin is not an isolated fringe case. Andrew explains and vents:
What is one to make of the fact that the deputy speaker of the Knesset has called for ethnic cleansing in Gaza?
He’s not an obscure blogger for the Times of Israel. He is a luminary of the Likud – a man who got 23 percent of the vote in a contest for the Likud Party leadership. He was appointed to his current high position by Benjamin Netanyahu.
You read that right. There will be temporary “camps” where the Gaza population will be “concentrated”; they will be expelled with subsidies; basic supplies of water and electricity will be cut off for those who remain. The war-time ethics he recommends are: “Woe to the evildoer, and woe to his neighbor.” He backs the “annihiliation” of Hamas and all their supporters. His strategic goal is to “turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians.” (Modern Jaffa, of course, was built on the ethnic cleansing of most of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948.)
The usual response to this kind of thing among the lockstep pro-Israel community is that it is a tiny fringe opinion. And I can only hope they’re right. But what concerns me is that this racist, genocidal bigot was appointed deputy speaker of the Knesset by the current prime minister. What concerns me are the statements of Ayelet Shaked, the telegenic young protege of Naftali Bennett, who is touted as a future prime minister. This is from a Facebook post she wrote the day before the gruesome lynching of an Arab teen who was forced to drink gasoline and then burned to death by Jewish extremists. Note that her call for war came before any Hamas rocket was fired:
Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.Again, she and Feiglin dispense with the distinction between civilians and militants in Gaza. So too did the president of the New York Board of Rabbis, David-Seth Kirshner, at a recent 10,000 strong rally for Israel in New York.
I suppose someone will claim that the deputy speaker of the Knesset, and the former head of the National Security Council or the former chief rabbi in Israel or the head of the largest Jewish youth group in the world are fringe figures. But I note that, so far as I have been able to find, there have been no consequences for their statements for any of them. And I have to ask a simple question: which leader of another American ally has appointed a man who favors genocide and ethnic cleansing as the deputy speaker of the legislature? Which other democracy has legitimate political parties in the governing coalition calling for permanent occupation of a neighboring state – and deliberate social engineering to create a new demographic ethnic reality in that conquered land? Putin’s Russia has not sunk that low.
And we are not merely talking about a hypothetical situation. The grotesque death toll from Gaza is a distillation of this mindset – revealing at best a chilling contempt for Arab life and at worst, with the shelling of schools and shelters, a policy of indiscriminate hatred and revenge.
I concur with Andrew. ALL American aid to Israel needs to be halted until the barbaric murder of children and civilians in obscene numbers ceases permanently. To Senator Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, I say, grow a spine and call for cuts to aid immediately.