Earlier this month, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav was asked during an interview with the Israeli Arabic-language weekly Kul al-Arab whether he’d accept in principle the return to Haifa of “tens of thousands of Arab refugees” who left it in 1948.
Yahav replied he “wouldn’t mind their return” in the context of a peace agreement, adding: “In all sincerity I feel the refugees’ pain… because my father too tasted the bitterness of homelessness and loss after he fled Germany.”
There’s no ambiguity about Yahav’s motivations. As he noted in the interview, Haifa’s 35,000 Arabs comprise 13% of its population and Haifa has become a magnet for Arab villagers (a fact Yahav welcomed). Any politician worth his salt is bound to try to suck up to potential voters.
The problem isn’t so much Yahav’s vote-getting scruples as what his prattle portends. Hitherto only Israeli Jews on the outermost fringes of the loony Left dared explicitly advocate what the Arabs sanctify as “the Right of Return” – i.e. inundating Israel with millions of hostile irredentist Arabs, thereby wiping the Jewish state off the map.
Most noteworthy is a bunch called Zochrot (not run by women, despite the misleading Hebrew feminine conjugation). This outfit – born in 2002 – campaigns to commemorate Arab hamlets within the Green Line which villainous Israel allegedly obliterated. The not-so-subliminal message is that nothing Zionist in this land is legitimate. In no time, however, Zochrot’s overt operational bottom line has evolved to facilitating the “Right of Return.”
Imperceptibly and lots more rapidly than imagined, the “Right of Return” is gaining adherents. For faithful followers of fashion in voguish avant-garde circles, faddishly thumbing noses at the Jewish collective is de rigueur and proof positive of enlightenment.
Continue reading Another Tack: Sins of Omission