Israeli minister says Palestinians are bringing a ‘third Nakba’ upon themselves

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

“We are not heading toward a third intifada, we are heading toward a third Nakba”

said Israeli Likud Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi on a Channel 2 interview on Saturday, using the Arabic work for “catastrophe,” which also refers to the Israeli displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people which began with the founding of state in 1948.

“This is how a Nakba starts,” he said. “I pray that they do not bring a third Nakba on themselves”.

“They’ll lose control, the whole situation will spiral out of control, and the end result will be their misery and a third Nakba, which I emphatically do not wish for them.”

Whilst Hanegbi’s final added empathy could console some, to many others, particularly Palestinians, his statements may amount to a genocidal threat. That Palestinians would ‘bring this upon themselves’, to supposedly alleviate Israeli responsibility in the event of such genocidal action, doesn’t provide much comfort for its potential victims.

This isn’t a new idea in the Israeli discourse. It’s interesting to compare Hanegbi’s words with somewhat similar statements from Israeli historian Benny Morris, who is a self proclaimed ‘leftist’. In a 2004 interview with Ari Shavit in Haaretz, titled ‘Survival of the Fittest’, Morris bemoans that Ben-Gurion didn’t ‘finish the job’ in 1948:

“If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country – the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.” 

Yet Morris is aware that such acts, in normal circumstances, may be problematic. Nonetheless, he says:

“I am ready to tell you that in other circumstances, apocalyptic ones, which are liable to be realized in five or ten years, I can see expulsions. If we find ourselves with atomic weapons around us, or if there is a general Arab attack on us and a situation of warfare on the front with Arabs in the rear shooting at convoys on their way to the front, acts of expulsion will be entirely reasonable. They may even be essential.” 

Bear in mind, that Morris is not only referring to “transfer and expulsion” of the Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza, but also “perhaps even from Galilee and the Triangle” (the “Triangle” includes several Palestinian towns within and adjacent to the 1949 ceasefire lines, in both the central and Haifa districts).

The notion of war justifying such acts is reminiscent of what Chief IDF Rabbi, General Shlomo Goren, said in 1967, when he proposed to Chief of Central Command Uzi Narkis to blow up the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa compound:

“Do this and you will go down in history,” Goren said, and explained that such a thing could only be done under cover of war: “Tomorrow might be too late.”

But back to Hanegbi and his Nakba statements. The narrative he runs implies that Israel has no responsibility in regard to what Palestinians are doing. Whatever Palestinians are doing they ‘do to themselves’:

“We’ll suffer too, but it’s not dependent on us. We’re not slaughtering ourselves at a birthday celebration at Halamish,”

he said, referencing the Friday night terror attack at the Halamish settlement in which a Palestinian stabbed to death three members of an Israeli settler family.

“We’re not shooting ourselves at Temple Mount”, he added.

So according to Hanegbi, we’re always victims. He equates the Palestinian attack on a civilian settler family with the attack on armed border police officers, there’s no difference in his rendering. Hence, the occupation of East Jerusalem doesn’t exist in Hanegbi’s mind, as it doesn’t for Israel officially (not to mention that the occupation as a whole doesn’t exist in the world of many Israelis), as in the minds of so many other Israelis.  Hence, all of this is just them ‘bringing it upon themselves’. If they cause us to do a Nakba to them, they’ll have only themselves to blame…

It’s also interesting that Hanegbi uses the term Nakba – which Israel officially denies and has outlawed the commemoration of in 2011. Not only does Hangebi relate to the 1948 Nakba, which is the most common reference to the Nakba, but also to 1967:

“That’s exactly what happened in 1948 and 1967 — the delusion that ‘against the Jews, we have Allah. He’ll protect us. and we’ll go and bash our heads into the wall, even if we become martyrs”, he said.

So Hanegbi is both framing the 1948 and 1967 as holy wars of Jews against Muslims (rather than nationalist confrontations), as well as regarding them as two NAKBA waves, where he now warns of a third.

There is a huge indirect admission here, coming from a senior Jewish Israeli right-wing politician, that the Palestinian Nakba is not a one-off event, but rather an ongoing one – a notion that many Palestinians arduously seek to convey to the world. More specifically, the 1967 war and ensuing occupation are regarded by Palestinians as the Naqsa, which many seem to translate to ‘setback’, but it really means ‘turning over’, in the sense of an irreversible and fateful completion. 

Indeed, the 1967 war, which was instigated by Israel, included a relatively underreported additional ethnic cleansing of several hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians. The 1967 war was widely regarded as ‘finishing the job’ of 1948 by the military leaders, just as Benny Morris was suggesting above – and yet, it didn’t ‘finish the job’ demographically, only territorially.

Hanegbi runs the narrative about 1948 and 1967 suggesting that these were mere responses of Israel to “existential threats” from Arabs, and that any expulsions are but that – responses. It’s never ethnic cleansing, it’s just ‘response’. It’s certainly not genocide – it’s just response.

If we go back to Morris in his interview, there he says:

“There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”

What is Morris saying in his supposed distinction between ethnic cleansing and genocide? In his rendering, ‘genocide’ only pertains to ‘your people’ – that is, ‘his people’, that is, the ‘Jewish people’. A supposed national threat to Israel is tantamount to ‘annihilation’, that is, genocide. But when it’s about Palestinians, it’s just… ethnic cleansing. And that’s not as bad, after all. It’s even justified, according to Morris, in certain circumstances.

Ah, well, he’s not that consistent after all, because at another point in the interview he says that

“even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians.”

So really, Morris also thinks that there are circumstances in history that justify genocide… Aye, he concludes:

“There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”

So here we are, trying to work out whether Hanegbi’s references to a “third Nakba” are a threat. Hanegbi is certainly not stupid. He knows what his words mean to Palestinians, even if they mean rather little for many Israelis. He’s sending a message. And you don’t necessarily have to read Benny Morris’ many scholarly historical appraisals of the Nakba to get it, nor his other more uncuffed statements. Palestinians get it, they know the reality of this ongoing Nakba all too well. When a senior Israeli leader like Hanegbi utters that word in this way, they have good reason to take it very seriously and be very worried. And so should we all be.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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40 Responses

  1. amigo
    July 24, 2017, 12:52 pm

    I wonder how long a Palestinian leader would be breathing air outside a prison ,if he/she was to threaten the expulsion or genocide of Jews.

    Of course, the zionists will refer to any such act of Genocide or expulsion as “fake News ” or claim that the Palestinians all ran away.

    QED.It worked before .Why not again.

    As for this Israeli likudkahanik , he should be jailed forthwith and be charged with the crime of “incitement to Genocide
    ” and throw away the key”.

  2. Brewer
    July 24, 2017, 7:14 pm

    Something of a prince this Hanegbi. Both parents members of Lehi, his father, Immanuel Hanegbi, was the Operations Officer. Let’s see now. Lehi (Stern Gang) were responsible for the Assassination of Lord Moyne, ‘the world’s first true truck bomb’ in Haifa, the bombing of the British embassy in Rome and many other bombings in Europe and Great Britain, the Cairo-Haifa train bombings, the Deir Yassin massacre, the Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, not to mention the infamous offer to fight WWII on Germany’s side.

    Hanegbi received a six-month suspended sentence for leading an attack on Arab students.

    He headed the Prime Minister’s Bureau under the pysychopath Yitzhak Shamir. After a four-year trial for election bribery, fraud and breach of trust, although the three-judge panel found him guilty of perjury, the verdict cleared Hanegbi of any criminal wrongdoing, accepting the defense’s argument that this was the common practice among all cabinet members in all the previous governments since Israel’s independence.
    On 9 November 2010, the Jerusalem court fined Hanegbi 10,000 NIS, and in a 2-to-1 decision imposed moral turpitude to the offense.

    So this lovely chap, feet firmly planted on stolen land, tells the Palestinian owners that they are bringing it on themselves. Turns one’s stomach.

    When the World violently proceeds against Israel, as it inevitably must, will he be the one to admit Israel brought it on itself?

  3. echinococcus
    July 24, 2017, 7:24 pm

    There is a huge indirect admission here, coming from a senior Jewish Israeli right-wing politician, that the Palestinian Nakba is not a one-off event, but rather an ongoing one – a notion that many Palestinians arduously seek to convey to the world

    Coming from a head practitioner of ongoing genocide (fully according to the UN convention) it is not in fact a threat but an announcement of accelerated genocide. The Zionist leadership must urgently be taken care of ASAP.

  4. a blah chick
    July 24, 2017, 7:31 pm

    The silence from the State Department is deafening. But I’m sure our new moral compass, Nikki Haley will be denouncing this soon.

  5. JWalters
    July 24, 2017, 7:51 pm

    “‘This is how a Nakba starts,’ he said.”

    Another tiresome, brazen Israeli lie. The 1948 Nakba began with the crimes of war profiteers, using fanatical Jewish terrorists as pawns.
    “Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/terrorism-israeli-state
    “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”

    It looks like the Israelis are recognizing that the term “Nakba” has finally made it into the public discussion, so they are trying to re-define it.

    Regarding Morris’s claim that American democracy depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans, this claim is utterly unfounded. It would be a healthier democracy today if Native Americans and African Americans were acknowledged as full human beings from the start. His claim is a sick justification for Israel’s crimes. My guess is that somewhere along the line the Israelis coerced Morris into changing his tune. It’s an ancient tactic, and it easily explains otherwise puzzling contradictions in Morris’s case over time.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      July 25, 2017, 4:39 am

      Thanks Jwalters. I once asked Norman Finkelstein (about a decade ago) about this change of tune from Morris – why was Morris apparently even contradicting his own earlier findings?
      Finkelstein said that there was logic to the madness – that Benny Morris wants to become Israel’s court historian.

      • Citizen
        July 25, 2017, 12:54 pm

        It’s a bit of a pattern, remember Goldstone, reneging on his leadership’s report on Attack on Gaza, which he described as ” a fact-finding mission”, although no other members of his commission did? Wikileaks showed the US government did all it could to bury said report under Obama.

    • Misterioso
      July 25, 2017, 11:10 am

      @JWalters
      In exchange for “changing his tune,” Morris got an appointment at Ben-Gurion University.

      • Citizen
        July 25, 2017, 12:58 pm

        Dershowitz is trotted out on US news TV all the time; I have yet to see said media trot out Finkelstein, his arch foe.

      • RoHa
        July 25, 2017, 7:42 pm

        I love the smell of intellectual integrity in the morning. It smells of tenure.

    • Sibiriak
      July 25, 2017, 11:08 pm

      JWalters: Regarding Morris’s claim that American democracy depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans, this claim is utterly unfounded….
      ———————

      True, Native Americans voluntarily gave up their lands to the new democratic state. Manifestly, it was their destiny.

      • Mooser
        July 26, 2017, 12:11 pm

        “True, Native Americans voluntarily gave up their lands to the new democratic state. Manifestly, it was their destiny.”

        No the question is whether “American democracy depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans…”

        Maybe the genocide of the Native Americans, slavery, and a lot of other stuff were bad things, which American democracy (to the extent it exists) existed in spite of, and which moreover were negative, destructive influences on it?

      • Sibiriak
        July 26, 2017, 12:49 pm

        @Mooser

        No ethnic cleansing = No land = no United States = no U.S. “democracy”.

        Therefore, the actually-existing American “democracy” absolutely depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans.

      • Mooser
        July 26, 2017, 4:08 pm

        “Therefore, the actually-existing American “democracy” absolutely depended on ethnically cleansing the Native Americans.”

        Well then, the only thing we can do is hope Israel will take all the steps necessary to becoming a democracy soon?

      • Bont Eastlake
        July 27, 2017, 12:25 am

        Mooser,

        The consensus among pro-Palestine activists is that Israel is part of a greater group of settler-colonial establishments.

  6. eljay
    July 24, 2017, 8:52 pm

    Mr. Hanegbi is of the opinion that when the victim lashes out at the rapist and, in return, he beats her severely, it’s all her fault. She should just lie back and enjoy the ride.

    Mr. Hanegbi is a hateful and immoral Jewish supremacist – a Zionist.

  7. JLewisDickerson
    July 24, 2017, 11:14 pm

    RE: “Israeli minister says Palestinians are bringing a ‘third Nakba’ upon themselves”

    MY COMMENT: I shudder to think!
    Come to think of it, I shudder without needing to think.

  8. lonely rico
    July 25, 2017, 1:02 am

    Ever the victim.

    When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.

    Golda Meir [as quoted in A Land of Our Own: An Oral Autobiography (1973) edited by Marie Syrkin, p. 242]

  9. Ossinev
    July 25, 2017, 7:16 am

    “There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”

    And this from a supposed”left wing” Israeli historian.

    It also has a distinct MeinKampfian air to it as in:
    “the sacred mission of the German people…to assemble and preserve the most valuable racial elements…and raise them to the dominant position.” “All who are not of a good race are chaff,” wrote Hitler. It was necessary for Germans to “occupy themselves not merely with the breeding of dogs, horses, and cats but also with care for the purity of their own blood.” Hitler ascribed international significance to the elimination of Jews, which “must necessarily be a bloody process,” he wrote.”
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mein-Kampf

    Speaks volumes for the overwhelming other worldly arrogance of ZioJudaism.

    See the real smirking giggling so called “historian” in action against a true historian and scholar Norman Finklestein:

    • Citizen
      July 25, 2017, 1:03 pm

      Hitler justified his program against the Jews under the stab-in -the-back theory re WW1 & Versailles, followed by Weimar regime. In other words, he viewed his fight as a defensive, existential fight for Germans against their core enemy. Of course, his liebensraum policy also echoes today, in endless Israeli settlement expansion.

  10. Talkback
    July 25, 2017, 9:08 am

    I see no difference between Hanegbi and an antisemite who claims that the Jews brought the Shoa upon themselves.

  11. Citizen
    July 25, 2017, 9:34 am

    Hitler justified his policy by referencing what was done to the native Americans; similarly he did so re what Turkey did to the Armenians, and now Zionist Israel does the same–as if there were not two world wars fought subsequently, resulting in the Nuremberg Trials & Tokyo Trials, and Geneva IV. Israeli leaders point to the cave man, and that’s their flashlight to the world of goys looking to see the light. Is there any entity more disrespectful of Nazi victims than the self-described Jewish state of Israel?

  12. YoniFalic
    July 25, 2017, 10:06 am

    Aren’t the comments made by Hanebi in this interview reminiscent of Hitler’s speech before the Reichstag on January 30, 1939?

    The peoples [of the earth] will soon realize that Germany under National Socialism does not desire the enmity of other peoples. … I want once again to be a prophet. If the international Finance-Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed in plunging the peoples of the earth once again into a world war, the result will be not the Bolshevization of earth, and thus a Jewish victory, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.

  13. catalan
    July 25, 2017, 1:53 pm

    The minister is correct and he is warning should be heeded. The next war will result in the expulsion of the Palestinians from the regions Israel will keep, such was the Jordan valley. They can then go to Europe and boycott Israeli tomatoes.

    • YoniFalic
      July 25, 2017, 2:29 pm

      Any such action will only solidify a worldwide consensus definition of “Jew” as “racist” or “genocidaire”.

      The prediction also ignores the larger trend of the movement of Russia (whether Czarist, Soviet, or flawed democratic) into the ME to obtain a warm water port on the Mediterranean.

      Will we see a large build-up of Russian forces in Syria? Right now the Russian Federation looks like the savior of Syria while the USA is the destabilizer. A Russian-Iranian-Saudi-Gulf fossil fuel consortium could heal many ME breaches.

      An attempt by Israel at genocidal expulsion of the natives could solidify Russian influence in the region for decades. Russian lunatics have babbled for a long time that Moscow will be the 4th Rome, but the world is crazy, and Israel could make such people seem same.

      I’m not a military expert, but in a face-off between Russian and Israeli forces, the IDF would be crushed, and Israel would lose in a nuclear confrontation with the Russian Federation.

  14. Ossinev
    July 25, 2017, 2:39 pm

    @catalan
    “The next war will result in the expulsion of the Palestinians from the regions Israel will keep, such was the Jordan valley. They can then go to Europe and boycott Israeli tomatoes”

    Expulsion is so so passe what with WW2, the Holocaust , the UN , Geneva Conventions, the ICJ etc. Interested to hear your thoughts however as with all other Zionists who speak so glibly and matter of factly on the presumption of Palestinian expulsions on the logistics of it all. So please do give me:
    1) The next war scenario and the role or non role of the Arab States and Iran as well as Turkey and other Muslim states around the world – bearing in mind all the time that the Israeli “qualitative edge” is becoming less meatier by the day. Things have moved on from Yom Kippur = 44 years of high tech arms sales and acquisitions by the states surrounding Israel = huge Israeli casualties (see 3) you might be one). Unless Israel is going to drop one of its non existent nukes = fall out over Israel = multiple casualties. Please do explain how you see it all unfolding. Am fascinated to hear your thoughts.
    2) Where to and how are the millions of Palestinians going to be expelled.Europe won`t have them – perhaps you have your home country(sic) the US in mind.
    3) Finally and most importantly will you and your family be upping stakes and going off to Israel to fight the good fight in this war and help with the resultant daily grind of rounding up and expelling the Untermenschen.

    • Mooser
      July 25, 2017, 2:59 pm

      “3) Finally and most importantly will you and your family be upping stakes and going off to Israel to fight the good fight in this war”

      “Catalan”? Of course he will, if he’s “normal”.

    • catalan
      July 25, 2017, 7:16 pm

      “Finally and most importantly will you and your family be upping stakes and going off to Israel to fight the good fight in this war and help with the resultant daily grind of rounding up and expelling the Untermenschen” Ossinev
      No, not at all. I am planning to watch it from here, on CNN or Youtube or whatever. As to how it would happen, you look at Syria or Iraq for example. People leave when the going gets tough…and Israel has the willingness and capacity to make it very tough for the enemy. Where would these people go – maybe to Saudi Arabia, or they can go to France. Or Germany, they have good benefits for refugees. Then they can join the boycott movement; I personally think both Greek and French Feta are at least as good if not better than the Israeli one, so they can eat French Feta in France.

      • JosephA
        July 26, 2017, 9:39 am

        Glib is an understatement.

      • Mooser
        July 26, 2017, 12:41 pm

        “Catalan” has been in one hell of a snit since I mentioned Israel had an extradition treaty with the US.
        Are you hoping a war will cause Israel to abrogate?

  15. Marnie
    July 26, 2017, 12:23 am

    “This is how a Nakba starts,” he said. “I pray that they do not bring a third Nakba on themselves”.

    “They’ll lose control, the whole situation will spiral out of control, and the end result will be their misery and a third Nakba, which I emphatically do not wish for them.”

    “Whilst Hanegbi’s final added empathy could console some, to many others, particularly Palestinians, his statements may amount to a genocidal threat. That Palestinians would ‘bring this upon themselves’, to supposedly alleviate Israeli responsibility in the event of such genocidal action, doesn’t provide much comfort for its potential victims.”

    I don’t read any ’empathy’ in hanegbi’s statement, only a veiled threat, just as it was intended. The zionists are not humble because they’ve never known suffering (the self-inflicted kind is not what I’m referring to). They’ve never experienced what they’ve spent over 70 years inflicting on their palestinian neighbors. So there’s always been this suffocating stench of arrogance in their language, posturing and in their relations with others, even beyond their indefinable borders (never forget USS Liberty, for one; humiliation of Joe Biden; the turkish ambassador; etc., etc., ad nauseum). Anyone looking to the current president and his minions for help might as well piss up a rope. I hope and pray that Germany, France and the UK are watching this and do something. It seems like the people that have the power are unfortunately the same people without any will or spine. God bless and protect palestine and her people forever –

  16. Sulphurdunn
    July 26, 2017, 8:12 pm

    “even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians.”

    Of course it could have. What utter nonsense.

    • Bont Eastlake
      July 26, 2017, 11:02 pm

      So why did the American settler government tried so hard in exterminating the Indians? Why not invite them to be part of the voter base for their democracy?

    • Marnie
      July 27, 2017, 9:58 am

      @Sulphurdunn

      At that time in history, there was no let’s talk with the natives and share this bounty going on. The white invader wasn’t about to parley with a ‘savage’ that wasn’t even considered a full human being! Come on! It was plunder and murder and finally conquest. This was during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and that’s how the white man rolled.

      As far as Bont Eastlake’s ‘great american democracy’? There’s never been democracy in america.

      • Mooser
        July 27, 2017, 6:28 pm

        “As far as Bont Eastlake’s ‘great american democracy’? There’s never been democracy in america.”

        I think “Bont Eastlake’s ‘great american democracy’ is easily explained. There’s always democracy for the privileged.

      • Bont Eastlake
        July 27, 2017, 8:10 pm

        You dont need to convince me on America never being a democracy. I never saw it as such. For me, America has always been a disgusting, malignant human enterprise that serves the lowest of emotions and desires. Greed and dominance over fellow man.

      • Marnie
        July 28, 2017, 12:47 am

        @Bont Eastlake – thanks for the post; I want to add

        Israel “has always been a disgusting, malignant human enterprise that serves the lowest of emotions and desires. Greed and dominance over fellow man.”

      • Marnie
        July 28, 2017, 12:49 am

        “how the white man rolled” should not have been in past tense. It should be “how the white man rolls”.

      • Bont Eastlake
        July 28, 2017, 9:44 am

        The age of white supremacy is fast coming to a close, Marnie. Trump will see it through the final days.

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