Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, and an elected lawmaker representing the Likud Party of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has used an Op Ed in the Israel National News to call for the ‘elimination’ of Gaza as a final solution to the ‘Palestinian Problem’.
Before we address Feiglin’s words, it is important to understand them in the context of Israel’s deeds when it comes to Palestine in general, and Gaza in particular:
- There are more than 5 million Palestinian refugees living in UNWRA camps having been displaced from their lands by Israel
- The UN has made 69 resolutions against Israel, declared its settlement program ‘deplorable’ and illegal and that its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank violates International Law
- Before and since Israel ‘withdrew’ from Gaza in 2009, it has imprisoned Gaza’s 1.8m inhabitants behind an apartheid wall, and blockaded the strip of land by air and sea too. In 2006, Israeli government adviser Dov Weisglass said of the deliberate policy to cap food imports to imprisoned Gaza: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” Nevertheless, the UN describe the blockade as making Gaza “uninhabitable”.
- The United Nations under secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes states that Gaza’s citizens are “living in a large open-air prison,”
- Gaza is the 40th most densely populated place on earth.
Gazans are trapped behind the walls, and shelled or shot at by Israel if they attempt to swim for it. They have no army and no control over their land, sea or air. They don’t have enough water, food, or basic supplies to live in dignity – and now they are being attacked once more.
This is the stricken and imprisoned population to which Feiglin refers in his piece. Feiglin calls on all of Gaza’s inhabitants to leave the strip, the Israeli military to annihilate any and everyone who remains and resists as Gaza becomes a Jewish-only region of Israel.
The MK breaks his argument down into parts:
Ultimatum: Feiglin calls on Netenyahu to issue a threat to all inhabitants of Gaza that they should leave the area or be considered fair game. So where do 1.8m people go? “Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts.”
Attack: Israel should attack every site it suspects of housing any resistance to occupation “with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’”
Siege: Israel will allow nothing and no one to enter Gaza – we must assume this includes water, food, and any other supplies or humanitarian interventions by the UN or Red Crescent. Inhabitants will be asked to leave, or face death by military assault, starvation, thirst or disease.
Defense: Any attempt at defense from Gaza will result in Gaza being “immediately attacked with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’.”
Conquer: The next phase in operations, says Feiglin, should be to “conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.” That is, the obliteration of all and any resistance to expulsion.
Elimination: Feiglin demands the ID “eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza”. This means death for all who have resisted occupation by the taking up of arms. Israel will pay those who surrender the Gaza strip to Israel for submitting to their own ethnic cleansing.
Sovereignty: This final stage of his plan is to take full control of Gaza as a Jewish land: “it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.”
This is a call for ethnic cleansing, from within the Israeli government. Explicit, detailed and unapologetic. This comes just weeks after a fellow lawmaker made a similar call endorsing the genocide of Palestinians, including women and children. Meanwhile, over 500 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip as Israel continues to bombard the are from land, sea and air.
We are witnessing a genocide.