Israeli Rabbis Favor Right Of Return…To Saudi Arabia – OpEd


Israel’s far-right nationalist rabbis have made a major political breakthrough in coming to recognize a Palestinian right of return. The only problem…where they want them to return to: Saudi Arabia.  Rabbi Dov Lior, chief rabbi of the most extreme of the extremist settlers in Hebron, has come up with a tremendously creative notion to settle the Israeli-Arab conflict.  It involves two simple words: go away.   Go here, go there, go anywhere–just not Israel.  Here’s what the good rabbi told a crowd  of learned gentlemen at a recent conference:

I say we should create incentives–even financial ones, to encourage their return to the “lands of their origin.”  Today, there are many areas of Saudi Arabia and Libya and other places where they could live.  I’m not saying from a humanitarian point of view that we shouldn’t help [them].  Let’s help them [go] there.  If we leave them here and they act against the interests of the [Jewish] people and State of Israel there’ll be no [other] solution.  If this were a normal situation there would be a way to find a solution [short of expulsion].  But the reality is that this problem is so deeply rooted and so difficult that it has no solution [besides expulsion].

To show his true humanitarian credentials, Rabbi Lior even said the Bedouin should be treated far better than those who were expelled from Gush Katif, because the Bedouin should be aided financially to facilitate their transfer.  The good rabbi seems to forget that hundreds of thousands of shekels have been expended both by the government and private charities (among them one supported by the sister of The Limited founder, Susan Wexner) to help these settlers find new homes.

Lior continued in this report by Arutz Sheva:

“There is a struggle against our return to our homeland.  The Arab population opposes the creation of the State of Israel.  They oppose the existence of the Jewish people.  Which is why I don’t see any solution that can satisfy them.  There is a solution that can satisfy them.”  According to the Rabbi, return of territory and concessions will not solve the problem.  ”The subject of  control of land is part of the broader struggle of the Arabs against the Jewish people, the State of Israel–and therefore in my humble opinion there isn’t a solution to the conflict [without expulsion].  They say ‘Israeli-Arab conflict.’ For us there is no conflict with them.   They create the conflict with us.”

You have to admit that the saintly one has a point.  If his devoted followers in Hebron disfigure Palestinians by pouring acid in their faces, rain feces down upon them, and provoke their 8 year olds to smash Palestinian grandmothers heads’ open–how can anyone believe Jews have any conflict with Palestinians?  What a silly notion.  You’d have to be churlish to think otherwise.

The above quotation gives you a measure of the depth of delusion of the settlers and their “spiritual leaders.”  It gives you a sense of the amount of denial that contributes to their world view.  Simply, unbelievable shocking.

Let’s keep in mind that this is the same learned fellow who suggested that Jews not use goyische sperm to conceive because the goyim are depraved and it would create depraved Jewish babies.

An Israeli Palestinian MK responded to the cash for transfer offer with one of his own to Rabbi Lior:

“We are happy to pay for a one-way ticket for him to leave Israel.”

The conference at which he spoke was organized by the far-right Komemiyut organization and addressed the growing ‘menace’ of Israeli Palestinians intermingling with Jews in mixed communities.  The Israel Lands Administration, which is the battering ram destroying indigenous Bedouin communities through its confiscatory land policies, was an honored participant in the event.  Shockingly, the organizers invited Arab and Druze speakers and they didn’t show up for some inexplicable reason (according to the sponsors).

Another participant in the conference, the saintly Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Tzfat, had this to say about the Arab usurpers:

Would [you] trust the Arabs whose national identity is Palestinian, who identify completely with Hamas and Hezbollah?” The rabbi added that “they [Arabs] want the whole world to convert to Islam,” and warned that the violence breaking out in the Arab world should be a warning sign about “these cultural standards which we can’t allow to enter Israeli society.”

True to its liberal values, the Jerusalem Post has given this story the exposure it surely ‘deserves.’  Should we expect any less of the settlers’ English language mouthpiece?

This article first appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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