The rights of the refugees that were expelled by Israel during the 1948 war were recognized by the general Assembly of the United Nations in December 1948. The UN continued to reaffirm this resolution and is committed to it to this day. These rights are anchored in International Law and also in principles of Universal Justice. One can also argue with whoever is not interested in values or is indifferent to moral and ideological positions, that without an Israeli recognition of the Right of Return and its implementation in a manner that will be acceptable to the refugees or their representatives, all the attempts at reconciliation will collapse, as indeed it already happened during the Oslo process that shattered into splinters at the Camp David Summit during the summer of 2000.
However, the refugee problem is much more than a proper or improper solution to the ethnic cleansing committed by Israel during 1948. This problem underscores the basis for the understanding of the entire Zionist Project in its current garb. It is also perhaps the basis for the only alternative for its existence. The most fundamental and consensus bearing Israeli argument against the return of the Refugees is the fear of losing the Jewish demographic majority. This fear is stronger than the wish to deny the Naqba or the desire to avoid the responsibility for the execution of this crime of 1948. The Israeli and the international moral position has been eroded to such an extent that there is no longer an Israeli fear of condemnation or a Jewish desire for forgiveness.
At the base of this position one can find the dilemma that haunted the Crusaders who discovered that they had established a State not in Europe but in the heart of the Muslim world, and White Colonialists who wanted to establish a tribal State of their own in Africa but could not cope with the Black Continent. It bothered less the Colonialists in both the Americas who annihilated a very wide swath of the non-white surround upon their arrival.
Around the year 1922 a group of Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe succeeded in establishing a “State To Be” backed by British bayonets and they hoped to maintain a “white” enclave at the heart of the Arab World. The Jewish Holocaust in Europe exhausted the reservoir of White Jews and those remaining, by and large, preferred the United States or even Europe itself. Without an alternative the Eastern European Jewish leadership decided to import a million Jewish Arabs and put them through the
de-Arabization process that is well documented nowadays because of the Post-Zionist and Mizrachi research. Thus, even with the presence of the Palestinian minority inside Israel it became possible to build this illusion that the Zionist enclave was well established - even if the price was the ethnic cleansing of most of the local population and taking over of about 80% of Palestine.
But both the Arab world and the Palestinian National Movement were strong enough to pass on the message that they would not live peacefully with this enclave. The flood of secular Zionist Messianizm that was born in 1948 following the success in conquering the land was not satisfied with 80%. When these two trends in the Arab world and the Political Zionist center collided in 1967, Zionism emerged as the victor who took over all of Palestine, a little of Syria, Egypt and Jordan - because there is no limit to greed. In 1982 it also added a chunk of Lebanon. All this in order to protect the White enclave in the heart of the Arab World where it settled.
In the year 2000 the Zionist State does not conquer new territories anymore. It even retreated from areas it conquered in Egypt and Lebanon. Its leaders are convinced that nuclear might, unconditional support from the United States and a strong army will guard the enclave they have built here. Even an old-new Zionist pragmatism has reappeared: It is possible to rule over only 90% of Palestine but for the purpose one needs to live inside high walls because despite the might, the support and the army Israel did not succeed in demolishing the Palestinian resistance movement. A crazed minority with an overdose of Zionism does not understand it and therefore, it is as if there is a Civil war over the disengagement into the 90%, but the majority of the public supports the logical position of the government, even some of my good friends who write to this site.
But what is happening inside the walls? Quite a lot of non-Jews did arrive from the former Soviet Union, but they are white, or at least non-Arabs, so let them stay inside the walls. The foreign workers will probably be deported but even if not, modern, non-Arab slaves do not constitute a “demographic problem”. The Jewish Arabs, thank God, most of them became even more Anti-Arab than they used to be. You can count on them to provide the goods of whitening the Zionist enclave and assume that those few of their children who dare seek a path to their roots and from there to our absorption in the region do not constitute a real threat to the majority view which is what counts.
Therefore how is it possible even to begin a discussion with the
Palestinians about the arrival of additional “Arabs” into the enclave. Perhaps there isn’t in it already today a solid Jewish majority with all those Christians that came from the former Soviet Union, the foreign workers and, God forbid, those assimilated secular Jews, but, thank God, they are all white - that is, all except the Ethiopians, but these are almost Jewish, they live in poverty neighborhoods and are relatively few, you don’t see them. So even if all the best excuses in the world will be raised by Zionist left wingers about justice, morality and reconciliation and all the pragmatic reasoning brought up by the practical and “Real Politic” people in the center of the political map - why would it pay us to recognize the Right of Return and to enable the return of refugees. The desire not to introduce into the enclave more “Arabs” is the determining factor.
However, Israel did already dry up its Jewish immigration sources and also failed to promote increased Jewish births. It also did not find a
territorial solution capable of reducing the number of “Arabs” but rather succeeded in creating such “solutions” that actually increased their numbers (everybody supports annexing Greater Jerusalem, the large
Settlement blocks and the Golan heights as well as maintaining, at least, indirect control, of the Palestinian areas that will be evacuated). Furthermore, these solutions that the Sharon-Peres government is selling - with the quiet agreement of the Zionist Left can perhaps satisfy several Arab regimes such as Egypt or Jordan but not the simmering civil societies there which are led by the radical Islamic political narrative. So its true, there are American forces in Iraq which were destined to help these regimes and obviously also Israel, in the name of “American Democracy”, but somehow their presence does not ease the conditions of living in the white enclave. The standard of living of some of its residents does increase but for most it actually goes down - but who has time to deal with this problem, or air pollution, or women’s status? The most important thing is that we remain a white majority in a sea of blacks.
The resistance to the Palestinian Return means an unconditional support for the concept of the white enclave. Many of those that in their origin were part of the Arab civilization and who tried to “whiten-up”, i.e., to become Ashkenazi, are today the most ardent supporters of this concept despite the fact that what is awaiting most of them, especially those coming from North Africa and Caucasus, not to even mention members of the Druze, Bedouin and Ethiopian communities, is a thick and impenetrable glass ceiling on the way to a good position on the white island. This continued, wall to wall, support is the best guarantee for the
continuation of the conflict with the Palestinians, the Arab world and the Muslim world. There is no power in history that could withstand such forces which drain feelings of frustration and desire for freedom from Malaysia to Morocco into Palestine and its redemption.
The Intimate familiarity of the Palestinians here inside Israel and in parts of the territories with the complexity of the Israeli white
existence promises a possibility of reconciliation despite the years of Apartheid, expulsions and oppression. This complexity has a potential for something that is not only better than the Zionist State but also than the evil Arab States that surround us. But the window of opportunity for both Palestinians and Jews is constantly closing. If the last European Post Colonial enclave will fall by the sword and will not voluntarily dismantle and become a civil and egalitarian State, it will be replaced with a regime of revenge, nationalism and religious extremism. In the Palestinian bank, when this inevitable scenario will eventually occur, the balance of injustices will be so long and heavy that it will be humanly impossible to demand moderation, constructivism and thoughtfulness. It is possible that these will come later - but if to judge by the wide expanse of the Arab world that underwent de-colonization through struggle rather than
reconciliation, to chances for that are low.
Therefore, whoever supports today the Right of Return, a full support, believes that this window is still open. Whoever bothers can join the political networks and understand that the turret is still not completely closed. Whoever continuously speaks to refugees here, in the Territories and in the Exile, knows that this is possible and that there still is a basis for another reality. Whoever understands this knows the disparity between the depth of the crime that was committed here in 1948 and the weakness of the Palestinian desire for revenge.
But how many like this are there here today?
13 March 2005. Translated from Hebrew by Zalman Amit for Kibush.
For Hebrew version.
This article comes fromHagada Hasmalit