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Rehavam Ze’evi and the discourse of expelling Palestinians

Israel/Palestine
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Rehavam Ze'evi

Rehavam Ze’evi

A recent Ha’aretz editorial criticized the government for enacting a law memorializing the death of Rehavam Ze’evi, who was assassinated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 2001.  Ze’evi, who at the time of his death was the Minister of Tourism, was the founder and leader of an extreme right-wing political party that advocated the expulsion of all Palestinians from the occupied territories.

The editorial goes on to characterize as “outrageous” the recent remarks of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.  Ya’alon said:  “It could be that Gandhi’s [ironically Ze’evi’s nickname] opinions were ahead of their time, and the fact that many people have sobered up in recent years is proof of this.”  As the newspaper points out,  Ze’evi had a very similar political philosophy to Meir Kahane, who was disqualified from serving in the Israeli Parliament for his racist views.

The editorial calls attention to the contradiction in the Defense Minister’s role in participating in the current peace talks while expressing support for Ze’evi’s worldview.

Ya’alon, who has been courting Likud’s Ze’evist right wing in the hope of someday inheriting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mantle, is betraying his responsibility as defense minister in a government that is conducting peace talks when he says that “Gandhi” was right.  In what was he right? In his demand to “transfer” those with whom Israel is conducting negotiations?

Unlike Kahane, who was born in the United States and was an outsider among the Israeli military-political establishment, Ze’evi had been a general in the army and was about as much of an insider as one could be.   He was given a state funeral worthy of a Prime Minister.  The murdered minister was warmly eulogized by his good friend, the then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and many military and political dignitaries.

Among those who effusively praised Ze’evi was Avraham Burg, then the Speaker of the Parliament.  A few years later, after retiring from politics, Burg became a leading critic of Israeli society and darling of American opponents of the occupation.

Ze’evi’s assassination was surely related to his extreme political views and specifically to his advocacy of expelling Palestinians.  However, the Ha’aretz report of the 2001 funeral never mentioned this or alluded to Ze’evi’s outrageous worldview.

Remembering Ze’evi is to confront just how embedded the idea of transfer is in the Jewish Israeli political discourse. As Max Blumenthal wrote in his new book, Goliath:  Fear and Loathing in Greater Israel, in 1989, Benjamin Netanyahu bragged that he had advised the government to carry out mass expulsions of Palestinians (p.32).

For the Palestinians, the idea of mass forced transfer is both a memory and an ongoing fear.  The validity of this fear is becoming more and more difficult to deny.

Ira Glunts
About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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31 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 26, 2013, 11:38 am

    If israel ethnically cleanses the Palestinians it will be the last jewish state in the middle east. Zionism has to understand that mutual tolerance is the only way to secure the jewish presence in the holy land. Sooner or later the Muslims are going to get their shit together (cf Salah ad din ) and even if every zionist is fully indoctrinated and committed they are going to get their comeuppance if they abandon decency. Laws and justice have to be respected. Israel is no miracle and gd doesn’t care.

    • Walid
      Walid
      October 26, 2013, 1:18 pm

      Israel’s national sport being the expulsion of Palestinians doesn’t help. It’s not for nothing that Israelis are always looking forward to the annual jamboree at Herzliya where innovative and technological ways of expelling Palestinians or at best better controlling them are unveiled every year. I think it was a couple of years ago at Herzliya that was rehashed the concept of “superfluous young men”, which in a nutshell for non-watchers of Herzliya, meant to starve the Palestinians so they wouldn’t grow and evolve into anti-Israel terrorists. The most despicable thing about this annual gathering re expulsions is that it’s attended by prominent Palestinians and other Arabs. Last year’s conference’s opening speech was made by the Jordanian prince. Palestinian negotiator Erekat turned down the invitation but PM Fayyad attended to hear how the Arab spring in various countries was going to affect Israel’s security; it was delivered by the Arab director of the Qatar branch of the Brookings.

    • NormanF
      NormanF
      October 26, 2013, 1:30 pm

      The Zionist leaders accepted partition in 1937, 1947, 1993, 2001 and 2008. In every case, the Arabs rejected it.

      Its not Zionism that stands in the way of Arab freedom. Its the Arabs themselves.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        October 26, 2013, 3:42 pm

        Accepting partition is a very fancy turn of phrase to describe receiving stolen goods ( land in this case ). I will accept partition of your wife’s jewellery any time you like.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 26, 2013, 3:45 pm

        Yeah Norman. It isn’t the uniformed Jew with his boot on the neck of the West Bank teenager who is the problem- no, it’s the Palestinian’s inherent tribalism which is preventing him from moving.

      • JanetB
        JanetB
        October 26, 2013, 4:47 pm

        Can you please provide one example of an indigenous population that willingly accepted partition of their land? The partition argument is the dumbest one that is Zionest bring up because not a single indigenous population anywhere has ever voluntarily accepted the taking of their land by an outside group. What did you expect that the Palestinians would do? Wonder of into the sunset sing Kumbaya or perhaps joyously shouting the Jews are coming the Jews are coming. This expectation you have is totally against human nature.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 26, 2013, 7:34 pm

        The Zionist leaders accepted partition in 1937, 1947, 1993, 2001 and 2008. In every case, the Arabs rejected it.

        Stop lying. They rejected the partition in 1937, vowed to abolish it in 1947, rejected any mentionig it in 1993, and walked away from Taba in 2001, not to mention rejecting the ArabPeace plan ever since 2002.

        Zionism is racism and this rejection that stands in the way of Arab freedom.

        Apartheid and freedom are opposites.

      • Ludwig
        Ludwig
        October 27, 2013, 1:50 pm

        Here Here Norman!! Bravo!

  2. eljay
    eljay
    October 26, 2013, 11:49 am

    “Liberal Zionist” RW could never bring himself to admit that ethnic cleansing is never necessary. The best he could manage was “Currently it’s not necessary.”

    I suppose there may come another time when he and his equally-squeamish co-collectivists will once again have to “hold their noses” while hardier Zio-supremacists do the dirty work of implementing a final solution to the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State’s” pesky Palestinian problem.

    • Mayhem
      Mayhem
      October 26, 2013, 6:58 pm

      @eljay, interesting how the wikipedia article on supremacism does not mention the kind you keep harping on about. Plenty about male supremacism and its counter female supremacism, black and white supremacism, Islamic and Christian supremacism, even Arab supremacism but not a jot about Zio-supremacism. Looks like you will need to allocate some time to amending wikipedia.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 27, 2013, 8:19 am

        >> @eljay, interesting how the wikipedia article on supremacism does not mention the kind you keep harping on about.

        A quick glance at the Wiki page on supremacism indicates that you are practising selective reading. (Surprise, surprise.)

        That said, if you’re at all upset that Wiki omitted Zio-supremacism from its page on supremacism, you should contact them to have it added. If you’re not upset, don’t worry about it.

        Either way, RW did say about ethnic cleansing: “Currently it’s not necessary.” Was he merely refusing to condemn the past, or was he leaving options open for the future? Time will tell.

  3. amigo
    amigo
    October 26, 2013, 12:51 pm

    “and even if every zionist is fully indoctrinated and committed they are going to get their comeuppance if they abandon decency” seafoid

    I don,t know if all Zionists are fully indoctrinated but am sure all zionists abandoned decency along time ago.

    Zionists seem to think they can create this magic border which will offer them security from those on the other side whom they stole property from and then Ethnically cleansed.

    Same old zio racism.Jews are allowed to resist but Arabs are terrorists if they do.

    What do these people eat ?. Platters of kosher self delusion, garnered with copious amounts of “Gravy ala chosen”.

  4. clairseoir
    clairseoir
    October 26, 2013, 1:16 pm

    It should be borne in mind that Ze’evi was “murdered” [sic] in retaliation for the outrageously provocative assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa, then leader of the Popular Front.

  5. NormanF
    NormanF
    October 26, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Its not going to happen. Israel is not like the Arab countries that kick out Palestinian Arabs when they become inconvenient or tiresome.

    The Arabs don’t want peace and want the Jews gone – this is an inversion of the truth… the Arabs are the side who want to do ethnic cleansing!

    Israel is going the last mile for peace but it won’t be realized because the Arabs are not prepared to accept Jewish national rights and a Jewish State. A real 2SS means two states for two peoples – the Arabs reject this formula.

    Gandhi is right and Haaretz is wrong – because of this, the current peace talks are going to go nowhere.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      October 26, 2013, 5:14 pm

      Arabs want to drive Jeiwsh people to sea. Problem is there is no evidence to cite it. But Rabin wanted Gazan disappear in the sea .
      Israel did not or does not want to expel Plaestinians. We can ask this guy who has hijacked the name of Ghandhi ( just Israel has hijacked the idea of Democracy and freedom ) or we can ask Ben Gurion, Jabotosnky, Dayan, and obviously Oslo -peace- wrecker in chief Sharon and Netahnhu or their US counterpart -the neocons who never believed in land for peace, wanted to roll back Oslo ( has succeeded beyond their wet dreams ).They would say no that they never wanted any forceful removal but would wink like Ben Gurion did waving his hand to show where to send the Palestinian away.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      October 26, 2013, 5:47 pm

      NormanF says: “The Arabs don’t want peace and want the Jews gone – this is an inversion of the truth… the Arabs are the side who want to do ethnic cleansing!”

      Hahaha, an “inversion of truth”. Tell that to the Palestinians your beloved Apartheid Junta keeps expelled and denationalized. That’s what you call “peace”.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 26, 2013, 11:48 pm

        “The Arabs don’t want peace and want the Jews gone – this is an inversion of the truth”

        Norman’s got his inversion wrong; the Arabs want peace but it isn’t the Jews they want gone.

    • talknic
      talknic
      October 26, 2013, 6:59 pm

      NormanF ” Israel is not like the Arab countries that kick out Palestinian Arabs when they become inconvenient or tiresome”

      Strange … Approximately 711,000 were kicked out of Israeli controlled territory by 1949 http://pages.citebite.com/q1d2i2f0f4upy

      Jordan kicked out a militant minority refugee faction to maintain order on behalf of the majority of Jordanians. Every state has a right to maintain order on behalf of the majority against militant minority factions.

      “The Arabs don’t want peace and want the Jews gone…”

      Care to explain the often touted “continual Jewish presence in Palestine for 3,000 years”. Oh and Egypt, Jordan, Syria & Lebanon

      “Israel is going the last mile for peace..”

      Building more illegal settlements and refusing to adhere to the binding Law & UN Charter as reaffirmed and emphasized in hundreds of UNSC resolutions is a really really weird way of showing it. Care to explain this activity in non-Israeli territory …thx

      ” .. the Arabs are not prepared to accept Jewish national rights and a Jewish State. “

      Irrelevant (and provably nonsense). Israel already exists, is already a UN Member state, already has Internationally recognized borders ” as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947 ” exactly as it asked to be recognized http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      There is no legal obligation on anyone to recognize anyone else. We can see this in the UN where UN Member states do not recognize each other, yet they are all recognized states.

      Say…. Can you name the states Israel recognized before it gained independence?

      “A real 2SS means two states for two peoples – the Arabs reject this formula”

      Arab Peace initiative, ever read it? Not allowed to or you will vomit or choke? Die? The sky will fall in? You will turn inside out?

      Abbas’s statement to the world at the UN http://pages.citebite.com/e9p5s8u2yhcd ever read it? Not allowed to or you will break out in boils, get fired from Hasbara 101, go blind?

      ” .. because of this, the current peace talks are going to go nowhere”

      A state that keeps building more illegal settlements is demonstrating it wants territory over peace.

      • Walid
        Walid
        October 26, 2013, 11:42 pm

        ” .. the Arabs are not prepared to accept Jewish national rights and a Jewish State. ”

        The Zionists are not yet ready to have the Arabs accept a Jewish state simply because they are not prepared to enshrine the rights of minorities in it and they haven’t yet figured out how to get rid of the remaining Palestinians in Israel.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 26, 2013, 7:40 pm

      Its not going to happen. Israel is not like the Arab countries that kick out Palestinian Arabs when they become inconvenient or tiresome

      True, it kicked them out ahead of time.

      the Arabs are the side who want to do ethnic cleansing!

      The Zionists wanted it and did it.

      Israel doesn’t want peace. It has demonstrated time and time again that it prefers stolen land to peace. The last mile it is going to is the lady mile they remains of Palestine.

      A real 2SS means two states for two peoples – the Arabs reject this formula.

      False. It’s written in Likud’s charter to reject that formula.

      The current peace talks are going to go nowhere because that’s how Israel likes it.

  6. just
    just
    October 26, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Norman, if the “Arabs” wanted the “Jews” gone, it would have been done long ago.

    You’re foolish. It is Israel that does not want peace.

  7. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    October 26, 2013, 5:08 pm

    Why bring poor Ghandhi in it. Yes he had his skin in this game way back in 30s .He denounced the project of manufacturing a state . Israel wants to insult him- that is fine. He would have ignored it. His great grandson anyway was hounded out of an office here in US for criticizing Israeli policies in Palestine.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 26, 2013, 5:09 pm

    It wouldn’t be the final solution, but the beginning of the end for middle east judaism. Only the Palestinians can guarantee that presence.

  9. talknic
    talknic
    October 26, 2013, 7:12 pm

    NormanF and the like are propagandists. Persons who, when shown irrefutable evidence ignore it and repeat their propaganda.

    They’re not interested in any information that runs counter to their Hasbara 101 nonsense.

    They do however unwittingly afford the opportunity time and again to provide information to honest readers

    In that respect their persistence deserves congratulations

    Bravo NormanF!!! Well done

  10. Walid
    Walid
    October 26, 2013, 11:31 pm

    “Ya’alon said: “It could be that Gandhi’s [ironically Ze’evi’s nickname] opinions were ahead of their time, and the fact that many people have sobered up in recent years is proof of this.” As the newspaper points out, Ze’evi had a very similar political philosophy to Meir Kahane”

    Calling the ethnic cleanser “Gandhi” is not ironic but obscene.

  11. Ludwig
    Ludwig
    October 27, 2013, 1:49 pm

    An for what reason is it ok to have a discourse of expelling over 700,000 from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria? For what reason was expelling over 10k Jews from Gaza ok? Shame on you for this double standard. Even I am against expelling Arabs though you constantly speak on the need to ethnically cleanse Jews. Shame.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 27, 2013, 8:27 pm

      <block An for what reason is it ok to have a discourse of expelling over 700,000 from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria?

      Removing squatters and illegal settlers is not expulsion and thee is no such thing as Judea and Samaria.

      But I am glad you agree that expulsion is shameful. You must be disgusted that Israel did it to Palestinians and still does.

      For what reason was expelling over 10k Jews from Gaza ok?

      It’s not expulsion when a government relocated it’s own population.

      Even I am against expelling Arabs

      Then you must clearly support ROR if refugees .

    • talknic
      talknic
      October 29, 2013, 11:48 am

      @Ludwig “An for what reason is it ok to have a discourse of expelling over 700,000 from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria? “

      You’re either stupid or deliberately ignoring salients FACTS. They’re not Palestinian citizens, they’re Israeli citizens. The West Bank (as it is OFFICIALLY named) and Jerusalem are not Israeli (UNSC res 476)

      “For what reason was expelling over 10k Jews from Gaza ok?”

      They weren’t Palestinian citizens, they were Israeli citizens. Gaza was never Israeli territory.

      “Shame on you for this double standard”

      There’s no double standard. It’s NORMAL to expel illegal settlers when they’re not citizens of the territory they are settling.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 29, 2013, 11:59 am

      >> An for what reason is it ok to have a discourse of expelling over 700,000 from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria?

      They are Israeli colonists. They have no business colonizing Palestine.

      >> For what reason was expelling over 10k Jews from Gaza ok?

      They were Israeli colonists. They had no business colonizing Palestine.

      >> Shame on you for this double standard.

      Shame on you for being no smarter than the perfesser. (I wonder if perhaps you *are* the perfesser!)

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 29, 2013, 12:47 pm

      “An for what reason is it ok to have a discourse of expelling over 700,000 from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria?”

      Because it’s not theirs to take (and there is no such place as “Judea” and “Samaria” those are racist code words, nothing else.)

      “For what reason was expelling over 10k Jews from Gaza ok?”

      It wasn’t theirs to take.

      “Shame on you for this double standard. ”

      Oh, nonsense. Kicking the israelis out of occupied territory is exactly the same as kicking the SS out of occupied France.

      “Even I am against expelling Arabs ”

      Great, then support the full Right of Return to right the injustice of expulsion. (Or is your precious principled stance only valid if the Jews aren’t called to disgorge their evil-gotten gains?)

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