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Israeli lawmaker warns that the Great March of Return will turn into “The Great Nakba”

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Israeli lawmaker Avi Dichter (Likud) is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and former head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency.  He tweeted the following message to Palestinians in Gaza:

The Hebrew reads: “Special message from Avi Dichter to Gaza residents: Tell me, are you confused? Where are you going? The Hamas took you out to the march of return, and I tell you: The march of return will turn into the Nakba!”

There are two versions of the tweet, one in Hebrew and one in Arabic

In the video that accompanied both, he is speaking Arabic, and is more explicit than in the written heading – here he says not merely “Nakba”, but “The Great Nakba”, as a supposed pun upon the Great March of Return.

Dichter then goes through a typical Hasbara rant, explaining to Gazans how they should be so happy because of what is happening in Syria.

His threatening tweet from this morning comes after another one which he posted yesterday, which now appears to be removed (saved and posted on Facebook by Younes Arrar). There he wrote:

“If the protesters in Gaza will continue to try to hurt IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens, I am not worried. The IDF has enough bullets for each of the terrorists”.

Notice the language there – he first concedes that these are “protesters”. These protesters do not have to actually “hurt” Israeli soldiers (not to speak of Israeli citizens). In fact, they haven’t. They just need to “try”. And the Israeli version of “try” is simply to get near the fence. Then they become “terrorists”, and there’s a bullet for each one of them.

It is a rather common notion in Israel, to suggest that Palestinians are bringing a Nakba upon themselves. Last year Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi warned Palestinians not to bring a “third Nakba upon themselves”. This was the essential message in Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s genocidal post from summer 2014, where she wrote:

“Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started” [….] Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. 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.”  

It is the same essence that is in Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s claim that “there are no innocent people in Gaza”.

The count for the massacre of yesterday is:

58 killed, including 7 minors and 1 paramedic

2,771 injured – including 225 minors, 11 journalists, 17 paramedics

130 in serious and critical condition

1,359 shot by Israeli soldiers using live Israeli ammunition.

That all casualties are Palestinian, sadly goes without saying.

The death toll continues to rise today, as several children are reported dying from wounds sustained yesterday, including a 16 year old boy, as well as an 8-months old baby girl from tear-gas inhalation.  

Nakba Day is today, the culmination of the Great March of Return. Yesterday, Israeli soldiers have not merely shot at people near the fence. At around 6:30 A.M., the army also fired at tents in the return camps, and several of the tents went up in flames. Some of the burned tents were used by first-aid teams, Al Mezan center for Human Rights reported (cited by Amira Hass, Haaretz).

Whatever happens today, Avi Dichter will chide Palestinians for it – for not listening to him, even when he speaks Arabic, and for bringing “The Great Nakba” upon themselves.

Jonathan Ofir

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

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One Response

  1. CigarGod on May 15, 2018, 11:30 am

    Avi Dichter…has a catchy and memorable ring to it…historically memorable, even.

    Keep talking, Avi.
    The Hague will set you up with headphones and translators.

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