Why do I oppose Meir Kahane's idea of "transfer," that is, forcibly moving Palestinians out of the West Bank, a reader asked recently. Count the reasons: Meir Kahane espoused the "transfer" of Palestinians out of Israeli-ruled territories.
Meir Kahane espoused the "transfer" of Palestinians out of Israeli-ruled territories.
Morally wrong: This reason suffices unto itself. A government cannot force people to leave their homes only because they speak the wrong language, have the wrong faith, or pursue the wrong politics. Ethnic cleansing is unacceptable. (Also when it applies to Jews, by the way, such as those living in Gaza.)
Turns Israelis against their state: A sizeable portion of Israel's Jewish population would be alienated from a government that engaged in transfer. Some would leave Israel. The Zionist cause would suffer severe damage.
Infuriates the American ally: Israel, with a mere population of 7 million, depends heavily on its U.S. ally; transfer would prompt every American administration to engage in a basic rethinking of its alliance with Israel.
Inflames, not discourages, the Arab enemy: Wars end when one side gives up – and forced removals would not cause the Palestinians, much less their Arab and Muslim supporters, to give up their dream of eliminating the Jewish state. Rather, they would be outraged and agitated. The conflict would be extended, not resolved.
(February 25, 2009)