Reuters reported last week that prime minister Netanyahu, while hosting German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, used the term “Judenrein” as derived from the Nazi era of the Holocaust to condemn “Palestinian (sic)” demands that Jewish towns be removed from the entirety of beyond the “greenline”, presumably to clear the way for a “Palestinian (sic)” in the entirety of Yesha. But, what was Bibi’s true meaning, motivation behind use of the term “Judenrein”?:
Hosting the German foreign minister this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… condemn[ed] the Palestinian demand that Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank be removed.
“Judea and Samaria cannot be Judenrein,” a Netanyahu confidant quoted him as telling Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Asked how Germany’s top diplomat responded to hearing the Nazi Holocaust term for areas “cleansed of Jews,” the confidant said, “What could he do? He basically just nodded.”
Protocol might have indicated that a representative of the country that carried out the World War Two genocide, and which has since made much effort to atone, be spared such invocations.
But these are not normal times for the right-wing Netanyahu coalition. It faces unprecedented U.S. pressure to make way for a Palestinian state on West Bank land that many Jews call Judea and Samaria and consider their eternal, biblical birthright.
Hence the jaw-dropper defiance of “Judenrein,” which the confidant said Netanyahu had encouraged cabinet colleagues to deploy in their defense of the settlements and of Israel’s insistence that Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state.
Briefing foreign reporters last week, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, a stalwart of Netanyahu’s Likud party, urged them to ask whether
“Palestinians would accept that Jews will live among them, or whether it is going to be totally not allowed.”
“‘Judenrein’ is the term that was once used in other countries,” Meridor said darkly, in remarks echoed the next day by another Likud minister who briefed journalists and diplomats.
Some diplomats have quietly questioned the propriety of applying such comparisons to a Middle East conflict which is a unique mix of race and religion, conquest and coexistence.
German officials made no comment on the terminology.
The Palestinians, for their part, see a rhetorical ruse by an Israeli leadership which has shown little appetite for entering negotiations on a two-state peace accord.
“We believe that this is simply a new strategy by Israel to delay any real outcome,” said Xavier Abu Eid, a Palestinian diplomat. “In past negotiations, I can assure you, Israel never tried to have Jews remain in the state of Palestine.”
Challenged over the West Bank settlers’ prospective status, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was quoted this week telling the Ideas Festival in Aspen that “Jews, to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine, will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel.”
Abu Eid said Palestinian jurists had yet to examine how settlers could become citizens. Nor is it clear how Fayyad’s Palestinian Authority can claim to set long-term policy given its feud with the hardline Hamas Islamists who control Gaza.
An Israeli diplomat suggested that Netanyahu, in adopting harsh language such as “Judenrein,” aimed to mollify hawks in his coalition government over his agreement in principle to see the eventual establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state.
“Netanyahu has done what was long considered unthinkable for a Likud leader,” the diplomat said.
“So now he has to talk tough.”
So the question is, has Netanyahu climbed a tree which he can’t come down from in accepting “two-states” and is he thus trying, by use of the term Judenrein, to (as the column idicates) “mollify” likud hawks and coalition hawks while contrasting how Israeli Arabs have, in large part, been integrated into mainstream of life in Israel with the Arab world’s goal of eradicating Jews and Israel from the midst of the middle east?
Or, how are we to understand Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor’s explanation of the term “Judenrein” in his urging of the foreign media to question whether “Palestinians (sic)” would allow and accept Jews living among them? And what about the comments of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who was quoted above as saying, in response to Netanyahu:
“Jews, to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine, will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel.”
As an indication of how Jews are treated by the Arabs, I cite my own accidental wrong turn in Hevron 11 years ago on the way to daven outside the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’orat HaMachpela):
I unintentionally strayed into a part of Hevron which Arabs consider theirs. By the way, on the way in the wrong direction, I encountered several chayalim who made no motion and no indication that I was headed in the wrong direction and headed for possible trouble.
During that unfortunate occurence, I encountered 3 Arabs approaching who, upon reaching me, asked where I was going. I told that I was on the way to pray. They told me, in no uncertain terms, “you’re on Arab land — you don’t belong here.” With that, I did an about face and headed back in the opposite direction back into the Jewish-inhabited part of Hevron. I then had to ask directions to the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Later, I found out that it was spared of any violence against me only by the fact of there being certain individuals in Hevron connected by walkie-talkies who were aware of my error. To this day, I credit the brave Hevron Jews for preventing, by power of deterence, any harm from coming to me.
I concede that I could be very wrong, but concerning the diminishing believeability and credibility of secular Israeli governance and the resultant years of dumbing-down multitudes of Israelis, THE compelling question must be; is the Netanyahu government appeasing the hawks of Likud and of the coalition and/or is he scheming to hand over Jewish land to the Arabs, thus seceding from, rather than expelling, the Jews of Yesha leaving them to persecution and butchering by the Arabs, the so-called “Palestinians (sic)”? MB