Another great opinion piece by Israeli media.
BTW, Israel proper includes its two connected territories; Gaza and the West Bank. If you include all the inhabitants approx 50% are Jewish Isrealis and 50% are Palestinians. The idea that someone is going to rid Israel of Palestinians is not only ethnic cleansing but impossible.
'Voluntary Transfer' of Palestinians in Gaza Is Another Fantasy. It Won't Last
Even if several thousand Gazans end up fleeing the hell they've become trapped in, the Palestinians will remain.
By Hanin Majadli, Haaretz Media
Jan 7, 2024 3:03 am IST
Last week, an Israeli soldier died after contracting a fungal infection in Gaza. The media reported that 10 more soldiers were sickened by similar fungi, which may have come from soil that was polluted by wastewater.
Many Israelis wondered if the fungus would endanger more soldiers, spread to the general population. They were less concerned about reports from several weeks earlier about the health disaster in the Gaza Strip and the spread of viruses, bacteria and infectious diseases there, about bodies piling up in the streets and under the rubble.
Reservist Aviad Frija shot to death the hero Yuval Kestelman, a civilian, last month during a terror attack because he thought Kestelman was a Palestinian terrorist. Video footage of the shooting indicates that this was an execution. Many Israelis were horrified.
They aren't so horrified when something similar happens to a Palestinian. A video on social media shows an Israeli giving out sweets in the lobby of a hotel where displaced Israelis are staying to celebrate the assassination of Saleh al-Arouri. An Arabic song play in the background. When Palestinians give out sweets following a terror attack, Israelis are appalled.
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Not two states, not one state: A new way out of disaster for Israelis and Palestinians
Since Israel's founding, many here have been caught up in fantasies: If only the country would empty out of Arabs, we could live in safety; there's no peace because there's no partner; military control of the West Bank and a blockade of Gaza can be maintained without consequences; if we don't look at the other side and don't see what's in the backyard, it won't blow up in our faces; occupation does not corrupt, certainly not us; our wars are all wars of no choice; and of course – we're not like them, we mustn't be like them.
Besides the fantasies connected to Israeli identity, there are also the practical fantasies: What we weren't able to do in 1948 we can do now; what we weren't able to do in 1967, maybe we can do this time; maybe this time we'll deter them; if we just push them more and more, if we just build a stronger underwater barrier, if we just squeeze them into small enclaves, if we just erect more checkpoints and fences.
At the very top of the pyramid of fantasies is the transfer fantasy. What was considered abominable when Rehavam Ze'evi once proposed it has lately become a very fashionable term.
Its popularity also has to do with Israelis' belief that without any Palestinians around, they can go back to having "beautiful locks and fine faces" like in the famous poem by Haim Gouri; and with the fact that the idea has come to seem quite practical, certainly compared to the idea of a genocide of a million Palestinians (not so practical).
The current iteration of the transfer fantasy comes under the guise of "voluntary transfer." It's pretty logical when you think about it – people who are being bombarded day and night, whose houses have been destroyed and whose families have been killed or wounded, exhibit a "desire" to leave the inferno. But like all the other fantasies that keep blowing up in the Israeli public's face, this fantasy won't last long either.
Even if several thousand Gazans end up fleeing the hell they've become trapped in, the Palestinians will remain. And if Israel doesn't change direction by 180 degrees, it could find that the opposite will happen: More and more Israelis – educated, middle-class Jews who don't see enough hope here anymore – will "voluntarily transfer" themselves to other countries. They've already got the foreign passports.