The Israeli army order that permits Israel to ethnically purge the West Bank of non-Jews (Palestinians and foreigners who are not Jewish) is the next rational step in the evolution of the Jewish state.
A Ha’aretz editorial calls this latest iteration of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine “a step too far.” The editors go on to state that “Israel, which justifiably prevents Palestinians from returning to where they lived before 1948… cannot expel Palestinians from the occupied territories on the basis of dubious bureaucratic claims.”
The Ha’aretz editors are confused, mistaking cause with the tools of implementation. They wrongly presume that Palestine is being purged of natives because of “dubious bureaucratic claims” and not because of any racist religious mandate or racist secular dogma.
Israel is locked in an interminable grind to rid the Holy Land of non-Jews. That process exploded with the creation of the colonial-settler state in 1948, and continues today. Anyone who opposes what is happening in the West Bank today should also oppose what happened in all of Palestine in 1948 out of logical and moral constancy. In 1948, war was the primary tool employed by the Zionist army for its “justifiable” territorial ethnic cleansing. In 2010, “bureaucratic claims” are merely the updated tactics; the racist toolbox is expansive.
It’s worth exploring the logic that likely underpins the “liberal” Zionist mindset. How is it that a contemporary Zionist can say that an ethnic purge is justifiable in at least one case, but not in others? It helps to understand that Zionist ideology is marred by an ethnocentric, exclusivist, us-above-all stain. Jewish exceptionalism permits Zionists to rationalize the suffering of others as a necessary price to be paid for Jewish supremacy within a territorial space. The difference between “liberal” Zionists and other Zionists is that the former seem to believe that the goal of securing that space has been achieved, while the others believe that the process is ongoing. Therefore, 1948 was justifiable, but 2010 is excessive, “a step too far.”
In both cases, Zionists rationalize atrocity as necessary for securing the Jewish people. The only difference is whether the process of securing the Jewish people is ongoing or complete. You are a ‘liberal’ Zionist if you think the process is complete, and a Kahanist-Liebermanist if you don’t. There is no contradiction here, after all.
I’ll end by noting that there is a silver lining to all this. The original Amira Hass article in Ha’aretz says that the order “disregards the existence of the Palestinian Authority and the agreements Israel signed with it and the PLO.” As the thin veils of self-deception fall away, more people will see things for what they are. The Palestinian struggle is quintessentially about equal rights in all Palestine/Israel. The right of return is at the core of that struggle.