Nearly 15 years ago, a tall, lanky legislator from Massachusetts arose in the US Senate and delivered a brief yet impassioned call to stop what was deemed to be ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.
With a concurrent resolution on the table authorizing US president Bill Clinton to launch air operations and missile strikes against Yugoslavia, the lawmaker turned to his wavering colleagues and implored them to vote in favor.
“The essential objective,” he said, according to the March 23, 1999, Congressional record, is to “minimize the capacity for ethnic cleansing. That is the overpowering strategic and, I think also, humanitarian interest here.”
The veteran senators’ words, and his emphasis on the need to stop ethnic cleansing, helped to carry the day, with the Senate voting to pass the non-binding resolution by a margin of 58-41. The following day, NATO , with American participation, launched a ruthless and bloody bombing campaign against Belgrade.
Ironically, the senator who spoke out so firmly against ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in 1999 – John Kerry – is now leading the charge as US secretary of state to implement it in the Middle East of 2014.
By pushing for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, Kerry is effectively calling for the systematic and compulsory removal of a particular religious and ethnic group – in this case, Jews – from their homes.
He is attempting to lend a hand to Palestinian efforts to remove any and all Jews from their midst, for the simple reason that they are Jews.
Isn’t that precisely what “ethnic cleansing” is all about? At his press conference in Davos on Friday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rightly repudiated this contemptible stance.
“I have no intention of removing a single community,” the premier said, adding, “I have no intention of uprooting a single Israeli.”
In the wake of Netanyahu’s remarks, an unnamed source in the Prime Minister’s Office suggested that Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria should be allowed to remain in areas under Palestinian control as part of any peace deal. Naturally, the Palestinians wasted little time in reacting, with Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat telling the Associated Press that, “No settler will be allowed to stay in the Palestinian state, not even a single one.”
In other words, the Palestinians are ready to hang a large “No Jews Allowed” sign at the entrance to their sought-after country. In this regard, Netanyahu has adeptly exposed the true face of Palestinian nationalism.
After all, the Palestinian desire to create a monolithic entity, one that is free of Jews, belies their claim to democratic aspirations and reveals the hatred and intolerance that is lurking in their hearts. If the very idea of Jews living among them is unacceptable, what does that say about the kind of state “Palestine” would be? We all know the answer to this question: any Palestinian state that would arise would be yet another bastion of autocracy, thuggery and oppression in the Middle East.
It is therefore time for all of us to stop mincing words and hiding behind opaque diplomatic ambiguities.
Anyone who supports the so-called “two-state solution” and advocates the expulsion of Jews from places such as Hebron, Shiloh and Beit El is a would-be ethnic cleanser. In the name of a dubious peace, backers of such an idea are willing to countenance discrimination and the deportation of an entire ethnic or religious community.
Just imagine the outrage that would ensue if a senior Israeli official were to suggest that Israeli Arabs be physically removed from their homes and shipped off to a nascent Palestinian state. And yet, for some reason, the international community and many of our fellow Israelis have no qualms about embracing this double standard, despite the clear hypocrisy upon which it is based.
All those who promote the idea of creating a Palestinian entity need to look themselves in the mirror and ask if they truly believe that the ends justify the means.
Does the establishment of Palestinian sovereignty warrant the violation of the human and civil rights of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Judea and Samaria? Does the desire of Palestinians to run their own affairs really outweigh the importance of true coexistence between Arab and Jew? The answer, I dare say, is no.
What Kerry and other supporters of a Palestinian state fail to grasp is that something so basic that it should not even need to be said. Simply put: a peace based on immorality and injustice is one that cannot, will not and should not stand. And nothing would be more immoral or unjust than the creation of Apartheid Palestine and the exile of its Jews from their homes.