By Ahmed Amr
It was bound to happen. The Israelis have decided to opt for outright ethnic cleansing. As of April 13, 2010 – the Israelis military will be accorded the power to deport any Palestinian or any foreigner in the West Bank if their papers ‘aren’t in order.’ The IDF has already made it clear that the order will not apply to Israeli citizens in the West Bank – you know – the illegal Jewish settlers. In fact, if you are Mongolian and can produce a faded newspaper clip announcing your grandfather’s bar mitzvah – that will be sufficient documentation to acquire immediate Israeli citizenship and get a red carpet reception when you relocate to the occupied territories. They’ll even provide you with subsidized housing if you take them up on the offer.
However, if you happen to be of the Palestinian persuasion, the IDF won’t worry if you’re married to a woman from Nablus or engaged to a Palestinian from East Jerusalem. If you’re not Jewish – you have to move on. Even if you were born in the West Bank but your mother made the mistake of being born in Gaza, you qualify for deportation.
But what if both your parents were born in Jaffa, but they ended up being refugees in Gaza? You still get deported to Gaza – because you’re not Jewish. What if your mother was a refugee from Nazareth who took refuge in Bethlehem and your father was born in Jerusalem but ended up in a refugee camp in Gaza. You’re still deportable – because you’re not Jewish. There are all kinds of possibilities if you’re not Jewish.
Given the way Israel has manipulated who and who does not get residence – almost every Palestinian family might have a member who gets an expulsion order. And many of them could very well be turned into refugees for the second or third time around – because they’re not Jewish and because that’s what Israel is all about – one set of laws and privileges for Jews or anybody remotely Jewish, no matter their nationality or place of birth, and another book of arbitrary rules tailor made for the expulsion of the indigenous population. If you’re lucky enough to be Jewish or convert to Judaism – you get to come and go as you please. If you’re Palestinian – you just get to go to Gaza.
There is a real simple solution to all this nonsense – deport the Palestinians to their ancestral homes. A good percentage of West Bankers and Gazans were either born in what is now Israel or their parents were born there. If the Israelis insist on deporting them to make room for settlements – then it only makes sense to deport them to where they came from – the parts of Palestine that ended up being Israel.
This new Israeli law sets all kinds of precedents. We’ve got Russian and Moldavian born colonial settlers telling the natives of the Holy Land that they can’t even reside in the small slice of Palestine that everybody understood was reserved for the emerging Palestinian state. That just happens to be the dictionary definition of Chutzpah.
Now it’s no use wasting time complaining to the Israelis. They go by rule number one – they will do whatever they think they can get away with. They got away with the Apartheid Wall. They’ve been getting away with war crimes since before the state was established – most recently in Gaza where they mercilessly slaughtered 1,500 residents with a permit issued by the Bush administration.
This is the acid test for Obama. He knows exactly what he’s seeing. Unlike his predecessor, the zealous warmongering Armageddon worshiping dispensationalist who learned everything he needed to know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Revelations, this president understands exactly what he is witnessing – ethnic cleansing. He understands why Palestinians are being asked to move along – because they’re not Jewish. Not only that, because they’re Arab.
And it’s not just Obama who fully comprehends what this policy is about. Hillary Clinton, who claimed Jewish ancestry when she was running for a New York Senate seat, must also have a good handle on the absurdity of her entitlement to Israeli citizenship. There can be no doubt that she’s perfectly aware that under Israeli law she has the right to settle in the West Bank and take up the space vacated by a deportable Palestinian. If that sits well with her, we’ll know exactly the kind of Secretary of State she’s destined to be.
You don’t have to interpret what the Israelis are doing to the folks in the State Department or the United Nations or the Arab League or the European Union. They know what ethnic cleansing and racism look like. Even the Israelis know what they look like. They just happen to believe they have a God given right to be racists – because they’re Jewish and the Palestinians are not. And if you want to argue with them and their dispensationalist followers, they’ll say it to your face. They’re always glad to put their scriptures on the table and prove to you that God promised ancestral Palestinian land to Jews from Moldavia.
Like any theocratic state, Israel insists that its laws supersede international laws including the prohibition against the forcible removal of the population of an occupied territory. At the very core of Zionism, there remains the steadfast belief that the expulsion of the native inhabitants of the Holy Land is a worthy state enterprise. Forget about all their propaganda, every Israeli knows exactly what the blueprint calls for – more land and less Palestinians by any means necessary.
The Israelis and their Amen Corner will deploy all kinds of words from their magic thesaurus to camouflage this transparent policy of ethnic cleansing. But there is nothing ambiguous about what’s going on here. The only ambiguity is on how the world – especially the United States – will respond. Make no mistake, the Nuts and Yahoos in Jerusalem are putting Obama to the test. It’s not a trail balloon or anything like that. It’s a declared policy to radically alter the demographics of the West Bank by expulsion and land expropriation.
In the coming days we’ll see the metal Obama is made of. The President might do absolutely nothing which the Israelis will take as a green light. He might even have the State Department issue a carefully worded statement of disapproval – which the Israelis will also mistake for a nod of approval. Or he could take a stand – as a man who has tasted the rotten fruit of racism – and do the right thing. And the right thing to do is to raise hell if a single Palestinian is deported – unless they’re deported to where they came from – Israel.
– Ahmed Amr is an Arab-American and the former editor of NileMedia.com. He is the Author of “The Sheep and the Guardians – Diary of a SEC Sanctioned Swindle.” He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.