By Shaun Meller
Let me just say for the record that I tend not to be a fan of Andrew Sullivan and his "holier-than-thou"'pontifications.
In his most recent screed Sullivan is completely wrong to group politicians such as Feiglin and Shaked with true fringe religious figures who call for mass death. NO-ONE in Israel views the wholesale killing of Arabs as having any place in the discourse, including Feiglin and Shaked. Quite the opposite.
Feiglin and Shaked are saying that civilians in Gaza elected Hamas and fully support their goal of annihilating Israel and outright murder of Israeli civilians. They celebrate the capture and murder of Israeli civilians, and are elated when their sons and daughters become martyrs to the cause. They, therefore, are not the peace-loving civilians any more than the Germans who brought Hitler to power. That doesn't mean they should be vaporized as the Allies did in many towns in Germany.
Feiglin's words are indeed accurate, and his plan is the most logical and humane answer to the endless cycle of violence which will always result in lobsided misery for the Palestinian Arabs due to Israel's massive spending on anti-missile defense and bomb shelters, as well as it's vast military superiority. But that's the point...Hamas relies on its own civilian deaths as part of its propaganda war to demoralize, deligitimize and isolate Israel. Sullivan has fallen into the predictable trap.
Feiglin's plan distinguishes between 3 groups of Palestinian Arabs: 1) the Hamas terrorists who wish to destroy Israel 2) the vast majority who are civilians that have already voiced their desire to leave (80% according to a recent Palestinian poll) and 3) those who wish to stay and integrate into Israel.
The civilians and terrorists need to first be separated, with the civilians placed in temporary housing with basic needs including food and electricity. The terrorists and their infrastructure can then much more easily be utterly destroyed, first by cutting the power and water supplied by Israel, as any normal nation would do in war to end the threat posed against it. The civilians can then either choose compensation and leave while those willing to accept Israeli sovereignty and forego any hope of a state of their own would eventually be issued residency cards just like Israeli Arabs who live in the rest of Israel.
If Sullivan calls this genocide then he's either biased against Israel or he has conveniently forgotten recent history with real examples of outright intentional attempted genocide and the mass murder of a whole people (ie the Jews of Europe, the Tutsis of Rwanda, the Shiite Muslims in Syria and Iraq). As far as "ethnic cleansing" is concerned, it's a population transfer which has been done many times, except it would include compensation for those who wish to leave anyway. Regarding the Arabs who were "forced to flee" in 1948, he's conveniently leaving out the history (I know...something you also prefer to ignore) of the war the Arabs themselves initiated to wipe out Israel with the expectation of returning the Arabs as conquerors.
Of all the many ideas at forging a long-term solution (2-states, 1-state with full voting rights, a land bridge between Gaza and the West Bank, etc) this the only plan that hasn't yet been tried, and the only one that makes sense for a true long term solution given the current reality.
Just listen to the Palestinians talking about Middle Age blood libels and global Jewish plots to control the world. They are taught such racist hate from a young age. There will not be peace for generations with this kind of indoctrination.
In 1967, Israel pleaded with Jordan to stay out of the war. They didn't, and Israel was forced against its own will to take over the Eastern half of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria. The same is happening in Gaza...Israel will ultimately have no choice but to reconquer the strip because of the clear threat of tunnels expelling hundreds of terrorists into Israel proper to commit mass murder. Seventy-five percent of the bordering residents have moved up north and will not return until Israel can 100% guarantee they will not have terrorists digging under their bedrooms.
Feiglin is running a close 2nd in the polls in Likud against a man who has been a cabinet minister (not just a Knesset member) for many years. His views are now considered mainstream.
It's just a matter of time.