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Don't Rule out the Transfer Option

Reader comment on item: How Israel Can Win

Submitted by Moshe Brody (Israel), Apr 6, 2006 at 04:58

Don't dismiss the notion of transferring Palestinian Arabs out of the disputed territories. If you're going to refrain from recommending specific steps, then also refrain from disqualifying specific steps. The third bulleted conclusion (on the "transfer" issue) should have been omitted from the article. There are compelling reasons to seriously consider transfer on its own merits, because the transfer of large masses of the Palestinian population out of the area will be an absolutely essential part of any true victory for Israel. It may be politically-incorrect to discuss "transfer" of the Arabs -- but that does not mean that transfer is unworkable or undesirable.

How else could one propose for Israel to be "victorious" without asserting full national sovereignty over the entirety of the disputed areas? And in practice this necessarily entails some meaningful degree of Arab population transfer. How else can there be victory over the Palestinians, to convince them that they have lost? -- Anything else would require that Israel devastate them, crush them, and beat them into submission. Aside from being unfashionable these days, such measures would never achieve victory. The only action that would convince the Palestinians that they have lost would be to assert full Jewish sovereignty over the vacated land and to physically move sufficient masses of them somewhere else, preferably to the Arab countries of their recent origin. Nothing else would have the enormous psychological impact it will take to attain victory.

The Palestinian conflict cannot be overcome by acts of kindness, economic cooperation, appeasement -- all this has been tried many times, only to reaffirm Eric Hoffer's thesis that the more the disaffected masses gain and advance, the more radical and violent they become. Israel cannot defeat the Palestinians through diplomacy nor with the support of the international community -- because the international community is fundamentally antagonistic to the interests of a Jewish country. If the international community were the least bit favorable to a Jewish country, it would have honored its signature on the Treaty of Sevres and the Mandate for Palestine, both instruments of international law (still in force today) which designate "Palestine" as the Jewish national homeland, and which awarded the sole national rights in "Palestine" to the Jewish People. Instead, we are seeing an unending train of broken promises and dishonorable compromises forced upon Israel.

Without transfer of the bulk of the Palestinian Arabs, there will continue this unending, ineffectual, and tragic military conflict with a hostile population. A quick glance at the past century of unrelenting Arab hatred for Jewish life should be sufficient to cure any realistic person of today's politically-correct "peaceful coexistence" fantasies, and the naive belief that somehow a moderate and pragmatic Palestinian leadership will "emerge" from the cesspool of moral filth that is Palestinian Arab culture.

The Arabs have made it plain that their objective is the eradication of Israel and exile/extinction of the Jews. No goal for Israeli victory could possibly make sense, other than conquest and removal of the Arab enemy from the land. To the Palestinian Arabs, anything less is a joke.
Transfer furthermore could (in theory) be done in a more-or-less humane fashion, with minimal physical and psychological trauma. If the Arabs themselves voluntarily accept payment to leave -- as many have already done and many more would like to do -- that will impart some amount of psychological closure, at least on the individuals involved. For the transferred Arabs themselves, it can mean freedom at last from endless cynical exploitation as pawns in a grotesque and hideous struggle for political power. It can mean justice for the Arabs as well as justice for the Jewish People.

Anything that falls short of such a transfer is guaranteed to perpetuate the conflict. It is impossible to be realistic and honest about the Palestinian problem without acknowledging this. That is because the bulk of the "Palestinian" Arabs were allowed/encouraged to migrate into this area for perverse political reasons -- prior to 1948 it was to prevent a Jewish country from coming into existence; and after 1948 it was to hasten its destruction. Arguing that the Arabs should be assured a permanent place here is simply to aid and abet this evil purpose, which the Palestinians themselves overwhelmingly endorse and support, both in word and in deed.

Don't forget that every single one of the attempted solutions to the conflict has failed miserably. Enormous resources and human life have wasted on one crazy scheme after another -- all of which clearly spelled disaster even while they were still on paper. None of today's diplomatic fads stands any better chance, and will also end in catastrophe. In stark contrast, transfer has never been allowed to happen at an official level, despite good reason to believe that it will succeed in solving the conflict at much lower cost and far lower trauma: In 1948 and to some extent in 1967, there was a mass exodus of Arabs from territories liberated by Israeli forces. This effectively amounted to a "transfer" of sorts. It's easy to blame the "refugee problem" on this and thereby lose sight of the fact that it had an immensely beneficial side: we can only imagine how much violence and loss of life would have resulted had all those Arabs remained in Israel.

Lastly, there is no objective reason to believe that transfer of Arabs would be counterproductive. It is merely fashionable to say that it will prompt greater outrage, increase the number of enemies, and perpetuate the conflict. It is not clear what the world's true reaction would be to an Israeli initiative to repatriate Arabs to Arab countries. Any anticipated outrage will be just another orchestrated bashing of Israel that can't be any worse than it already is. The world has a short memory, and if Israel shows it means business, the protests will subside soon enough. In addition, transfer could be kept low-key to frutrate international troublemakers by not providing opportunities for media sensationalism. Besides, the way things are going, the Europeans (and maybe the Americans!) may soon experience growing domestic sentiment for transfering some of their own Muslim and Arabs. If Israel leads the way in doing this successfully, we could perhaps win some respect for ourselves. It may be a grudging respect, but even that is to be preferred to the disrespect and disapproval we put up with now.

In summary, there's a valid and worthwhile case to be made for Israel to transfer the Arabs, and we must not let hypocritical political correctness and sanctimonous false morality rule it out.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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