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Israel's Transfer Scheme - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The eyes of the Arab world are intensely focused on fears of a possible Israeli strike against Lebanon or Syria or even Iran. But the biggest fear lies in the secret scheme that is being whispered against the West Bank. Israel continues to believe that the biggest obstacle to its expansionist policy and settlement construction activities is the Palestinian human “numbers” on the lands of the West Bank. This intense and major Palestinian presence is the “truth” that is facing and delaying Israel’s expansionist designs.

These days, Israeli reports are talking about a major war whose essential purpose is the focused eviction of the population of the West Bank and expulsion toward Jordan. This eviction scheme is called “transfer” and its basic aim is to undermine the proposed form of the plan to establish a Palestinian homeland, change the demographic facts, and transform the problem into a tragedy “outside the Israeli borders”. All the leaders of the current Israeli government approve this proposal but differ on how it should be carried out. Israel is staging miniature “rehearsals daily in various parts of the Palestinian territories. Buildings are being demolished, lands are being razed, and people are being displaced and barred from entering their homes. This is the scheme that will be implemented later but on a bigger scale and based on a broader plan. Israel is preoccupying the world and the Arabs with the Syrian Scud missiles, threatening Iran, and warning against the dangers of Hezbollah. Meanwhile, it is focusing intensely on expanding its settlements and raising the degree of the phobia from others surrounding it. Israel wants to turn world public opinion against its neighbors and “sell” the idea that it is powerless and that its safety is threatened by these neighbors. This portrayal is similar to fairy tales and children bedtime stories.

The key to peace in the Middle East is deterring Israel and stopping its frenzied expansionist schemes that no one is trying to deter. Israel did not respect charters or pledges or norms. It does not have mercy on buildings or homes or churches or mosques or schools. Nothing is forbidden to it for the sake of more land that would increase its expansion and settlement building activities. The “transfer” – as the scheme is known in Israeli circles – will be a strong blow to any talk about peace because it will mark the biggest transformation on the ground and a fait accompli (the term that Israel uses when it wants to defend settlement building activities. It considers it a fait accompli that it should deal with instead of transforming it). With this policy of transfer, Israel will reshuffle the cards of the game and turn it into a humanitarian issue that requires aid and relief similar to the other forms of this problem in the Egyptian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Syrian, and Jordanian [Palestinian refugee] camps. Israel’s planners estimate that they can evict between two and three million Palestinians and transfer them to Jordan within a maximum period of two weeks. It cites as examples India’s rumored eviction of its Muslims to Pakistan during the separation into two states or the transfer of the Vietnamese of one another or Burma’s eviction of its Muslims to Bangladesh. Some Israeli leaders even dare to cite the eviction of Europe’s Jewry and what happened to the Jews in the Nazi camps and that may happen again.

All the aggressions being committed in the Palestinian territories and the usurpation of this land by force is a prelude to something more dangerous. As is normal to Israel, it will not be satisfied unless it usurps more lands. Peace with the Palestinians is not in Israel’s mind nor does it take the two-state solution seriously. It treats this solution as temporary pressures until it “solves” the problem itself. That is why Israel is preparing for the transfer scheme.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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