Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Ben White, The Electronic Intifada, 9 January 2008
"......Extremist religious settlers may be less refined in expressing their views, but anti-Palestinian racism has been common amongst the Zionist political and military establishment, from the first pre-state leadership to sitting Knesset members today. MK Effi Eitam is a decorated war hero and sits on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees. In an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz he described expelling all the Palestinians of the occupied territories and those living inside Israel as a "politically enticing" solution.  "Israeli Arabs," according to Eitam, are an "elusive threat" like that of a "cancer." Eitam can find common cause with Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Strategic Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, who said in May 2004 of the Palestinians inside Israel that "they have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost." 
Outspoken remarks like these are often hypocritically condemned by the same politicians and generals who will openly worry about the "demographic threat." Reports like the one compiled by Professor Arnon Soffer into the dangers posed by the rising Palestinian population are discussed at length at the very highest level, despite the fact that the underlying presumption is that Palestinians are a "threat" for simply being Palestinian. 
Interviewed in Haaretz in 2003, leftist activist and journalist Haim Hanegbi recalled the moment he realized that for all the rhetoric, Israeli settlements were constantly growing:
"I realized that Israel can't abandon its expansionist character; it is shackled, by arms and legs, to its institutionalized ideology, structure, actions and theft. 
With Bush's visit to Israel, and the controversy over the outposts, we are set for more posturing politics and veiling of apartheid. It is vital to make the link between the outposts, the settlement blocs, and the identity of Israel itself, in order that proposed solutions to the conflict go to its very core, rather than play around on the edges."