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Tags: gaza | overton | gazan

Mainstream Thought on Gaza Shifting to the Unthinkable

ram ben barak mideast israel knesset

Ram Ben-Barak (L), then-head of the Israeli Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense committees, listens to Ali Rashid al-Nuaimi - chairman of the Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Federal National Council. Feb. 7, 2022.  (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images).

Martin Sherman By Friday, 17 November 2023 02:28 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

"Consideration should be given even to the heroic remedy of transfer of populations...the hardship of moving is great, but it is [still] less than the constant suffering of minorities and the constant recurrence of war."

---Herbert Hoover, in: "The Problems of Lasting Peace."

Recently, Ram Ben-Barak, formerly deputy head of Mossad, and today a prominent left-leaning Knesset member, appeared on a popular TV channel.

"The dream of every young Gazan"

Quoting a senior Hamas member as saying, "The population of Gaza is made up of entirely of refugees," Ben Barak went on to assert, " . . . so if all of Gaza is made up of refugees, let's disperse them around the world. There are 2.5 million people over there [If] each country will take twenty thousand people - 100 countries . . . It's humane, it's obvious.

"They are refugees anyway . . . It is better to be a refugee in Canada than a refugee in Gaza. If the world really wants to solve the problem, it can solve it."

Endorsing Ben Barak's contention, a respected expert on Arab affairs commented: The dream of every young Gazan is to emigrate.

For anyone not well-versed in Israeli politics, it is difficult to grasp the enormity of the change such an utterance represents — coming as it does from a distinctly dovish politician.

A Humane and Historical Imperative

Three decades ago, I called for the removal of the Gazan population, precisely to avoid the kind of tragedy now befalling them, emphasizing, "This is not a call for a forcibly imposed 'racist' transfer by Israel but rather . . . an appeal to enlist international support for the rehabilitation elsewhere of the hundreds and thousands of refugees. They are victims of war, held hostage . . . by those purportedly committed to their welfare."

I urged the then-government to "devote its efforts to marshaling international efforts in support of this humane and historically imperative enterprise"

Moreover, the much-maligned Rehavam "Gandhi" Ze'evi, arguably the standard-bearer of the "extreme right", proposed encouraging voluntary Arab emigration by means of—inter alia — monetary grants — something uncannily similar to the left-leaning Ben Barak's formula.

Similar sentiments were also expressed elsewhere.

For example, on Oct. 18, The Hill, reported that Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf suggested that the UK take Gaza's refugees.

International Calls to Take in Gazan Refugees

According to Yousaf, "Scotland is willing to lead the way for the rest of the U.K.  . . . to be the first country in the U.K. to take those refugees," urging other countries to open their doors to refugees from Gaza.

Likewise, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called on the region's partners to help Palestinian refugees but added that the U.S. should acknowledge its "historic role" in accepting refugees. Likewise, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., told the New York Post that the United States, "should be prepared to welcome refugees from Palestine."

Significantly, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 78% of participants said they agreed that, "American diplomats should actively be working on a plan to allow civilians fleeing fighting in Gaza to move to a safe country."

A Hobson's Choice for Israel?

Of course, the cogent question is if Arab migration is ruled out, what is the future policy that Israel is to adopt?

Clearly, the two-state option is no longer feasible in any foreseeable timeframe, while "conflict management," which merely gave the Gazan terror groups respite to regroup, rearm and redeploy, is now totally.

Moreover, the one-state option is a blatant non-starter which, at best, will lead to the Lebanonization of the country, with all the inter-ethnic strife that would inevitably accompany such an ill-advised measure.

As for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, this was the cornerstone of the 1993 Oslo Accords — blatantly flouted by the Palestinian Arabs.

But quite apart from the manifest difficulty in attaining such demilitarization, there are no less acute difficulties that would arise if, in fact, it were achieved.

After all, if Israel were to effectively disarm any future regime in Gaza this would inevitably cripple its ability to impose law on any recalcitrant elements in the population—especially given the Jihadi forces in the adjacent Sinai Peninsula.

Accordingly, if one's point of departure is that Israel is to remain a viable nation-state for the Jewish people, no other policy appears to have any practical feasibility or moral superiority.

Indeed, it's Hobson's choice for Israel.

Clearly then, the origins of the ongoing catastrophe that has befallen the Palestinians—never mind the Jews — are due to the obstinate refusal to recognize this inconvenient fact

The Shifting Overton Window

It is thus hardly surprising that the idea of Arab migration is now emerging not as radical right-wing extremism — but rather as sound political science that is becoming an increasingly mainstream viewpoint.

Moreover, it is becoming clear that, as the public rejoicing at the recent Judeocide indelibly underscores, the population of Gaza is not the victim of Hamas; but the crucible in which Hamas was formed and from which it emerged.

Accordingly, this dramatic shift in an Overton Window (a "window" of limited scope, of ideas, which will find appreciable acceptance) on Gaza  is rooted in the growing awareness that the only way for Israel to determine how Gaza is ruled — and by whom — is to rule it itself.

The only way for Israel to rule Gaza without the burden of having to rule over "another people" is to remove that "other people" from the territory over which it is obligated to rule.

Martin Sherman spent seven years in operational capacities in the Israeli defense establishment. He is the founder of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a member of the Habithonistim-Israel Defense & Security Forum (IDSF) research team, and a participant in the Israel Victory Project. Read Martin Sherman's Reports — More Here.

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Of course, the cogent question is if Arab migration is ruled out, what is the future policy that Israel is to adopt? Clearly, the two-state option is no longer feasible
gaza, overton, gazan
Friday, 17 November 2023 02:28 PM
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