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Dishonesty can be evil

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On September 13, 2011 @ 10:22 am In the Arab problem | No Comments

Like most phenomena, hypocrisy is wickedly attractive when it is based on strength, and disgusting when it covers weakness. As a committed Machiavellian, I admire the hypocrisy which trumps moralizing in pursuit of all-important ends. Such was Ben Gurion’s hypocrisy when he was calling on the Arabs for peaceful coexistence while laying out the Plan Dalet for expelling them, and slapped with a token punishment the soldiers who grossly exceeded the norms of humanity while doing his bidding.

In our days, Israeli hypocrisy covers her cowardice. The establishment shrinks from recognizing some basic truths: coexistence with Arabs is worse than with Ukrainians and is not worth the trouble of relocating from the Diaspora. All Jews—leftists included—would love to have their state without a single Arab, and a Jewish state cannot include an Arabs a third of the population. The government cannot bring itself to admit that yes, we did expel those Arab refugees in 1948, and yes it was a necessary thing to do; indeed the right thing, clearly commanded in the Torah.

The head-in-the-sand attitude creates the problem of refugees. A normal government would have said: “We expelled you to make the room for ourselves; no remorse, compensation, or return. You’re good people who honestly defended the land of your ancestors from us, the invaders, but we prevailed and now you’re out. In your worldview, you have every right to this land, but that is totally irrelevant to us.” Arabs are normal people, they would understand and respect an honest and straightforward answer like this. But no one likes it when a coward, unwilling to admit his own atrocities and injustices, brazenly lies to him. Even if the Arabs did not feel they had a right to this land, the offense of being lied to would suffice to arouse them.

The Israeli government refuses to recognize foreign Palestinians as refugees, suggesting that they left of their own volition. But if they left, why can they not return? It is enshrined in the European Charter on Human Rights (enshrined = shrine = worship of strange rights) that no one can be stripped of his citizenship.

Recognizing the weakness of its position, the government switches to the “Jewish state” argument and offers the refugees resettlement in the West Bank. But if the state’s Jewishness (that is, non-Arabness) is of any concern, why the fuss about 300,000 refugees who want to return?

The real problem is the 1.5 million Israeli Arabs who want to stay. If Israeli Palestinians are allowed to riot en masse and still retain their citizenship, why should the Lebanese Palestinians be barred from Israel for their great-grandfathers’ riots?

The government insists on the exile-lite: after their return, the refugees would remain expelled but slightly less so, to the West Bank rather than Lebanon. Almost all the refugees are from Small Israel, none came from the West Bank. If expelling Arab refugees twenty miles from Jaffa to the West Bank is an acceptable option, why not expel all the Arabs thirty miles farther into Jordan?

Dishonesty is the policy most brutal to all.

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