Monday, April 12, 2010

Deporting Out of Context

Alex Stein asked me yesterday if Haaretz is lying about their new story, whereby a military order is about to launch the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians. The story was published by Amira Haas, here; it is based, apparently, on a story from Hamoked, an Israeli far-left ogranization, here; and today's editorial of Haaretz deplores it here.

I don't know if Haaretz is lying. Probably not: there's a limit to the amount of dishonesty a newspaper can engage in at once, and Haaretz is already in trouble on other matters. On the other hand, it may well be that they're not telling the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Were there to be an Israeli policy to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians - or even only hundreds, if they were innocent civilians, or even any innocent civilians at all - this would be wrong. I'll state that unambiguously, lest there be any misinterpretation. In the context of achieving peace I'm in favour of uprooting tens of thousands of Israeli Jews who have settled in the West Bank over the past 40 years. Not because of international law, which isn't relevant, but because a significant section of the Israeli political body always told them very clearly that given the appropriate context they would have to move. I do not however see a scenario in which Israel deports Palestinians by group. An individual delinquent, yes; many delinquents if they acted illegally, yes, but not a group arbitrarily defined by someone they have no control over. That's the important distinction: that the Israeli settlers participate in a political decision which will effect them; the Palestinians don't participate in the Israeli political discussions. (Well, not directly).

Yet in spite of the heat coming out of Haaretz on this new story, I doubt the events they are warning of are poised to happen. I'm going to wait a day or three before commenting further, so as to give the agencies who know, time to explain; later on I'll either return to the story or not, depending upon whether there is a story at all.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried to read that Amira Hass thing yesterday and gave up after two paragraphs because I felt severely confused by not having read one unambiguous sentence until then.
A newspaper publishes an English edition because it wants to be read outside Israel, right?
Why then do they write stuff full of insiderish hints that only who? can make sense of?
and thanks to Yaacov I can pride myself on being already a wee bit better informed than the average foreigner - therefore I start with the assumption that they, Haaretz, are after something devious. This is btw the same reaction when the bosses at my employer sent woolly stuff around - there we scrutinized it letter by letter and usually found out what they were really after i.e. say without saying i.e. hide
Silke

Barry Meislin said...

...there's a limit to the amount of dishonesty a newspaper can engage in at once....

Seems, alas, that this is not, remotely, the case; though in true, liberal style, you seem to want to give this "flagship" Israeli newspaper the benefit of the doubt (something certain of your readers would never dream of giving you---but then, that's to be expected).

In the case of Ha'aretz, it's a vile, pernicious rag that has gotten more vile, more pernicious. Who could have thought it could ever happen? (But then, that's where an uber-elitist, holier-than-thou outfit always seems to outdo itself and slip up.)

As for Amira Hass, she was/is too valuable for Hamas to lose; and so they sent her packing (i.e., expelled her from Gaza) in those heady weeks when they in their wisdom decided they'd had enough hudna, thank you very much.

Worth 1000 regiments, Amira is.....

(And how much would you want to wager that Anat Kamm suffered, in her youthful and romantic exuberance, significant Hass-envy. A real role-model, our Amira....)

Alex Stein said...

This is what I mean by disingeneous: few people are suggesting that this order will be used for mass expulsions, so in that sense you're attacking a straw man. What people are saying, however, is that this order can be used to deal with the ongoing protests against the separation barrier (or to get rid of Gaza Palestinians who are in the WB). See here - http://www.promisedlandblog.com/?p=2412

Yaacov said...

Now you're being disingeneous, Alex.

I agree that may be what it's about, and I say so without even having read your blog link. It's concievable. Whether it's legitimate (whatever legitimate means) or not, that's a seperate matter, one that requires close attention to detalis of various sorts. How much easier, then, to put a crude headline at the top of page one, shouting about entire townships which will be emptied. Such a pleasing effect to the latter; such a boring, nit-picking effect to the former. Trust Haaretz to prefer the histrionics, especially when they can be regurgitated worldwide by the anti-Israeli ignoramusi.

Jon said...

Alex Stein, before I even read the article, someone tried to convince me that the IDF was issuing mass expulsions.

Alex Stein said...

Yaacov - even if you are right, What should be of more concern to the Israeli citizen? A sensationalist headline, or yet another example of deepening repression in the territories? I know which worries me more.

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with wanting to keep demonstrations away from a (Israeli) life saving security fence????

- surely to keep such a fence efficient demands that demonstrators keep a proper distance otherwise it might be too difficult to keep them from scaling it which is what ancient and later warfarers did when they wanted to loot a city.

Silke

Barry Meislin said...

I know which worries me more.

Whatever it is that worries you, it certainly isn't the truth.

But that's precisely what makes your position so utterly ethical, isn't it?

Sylvia said...

Alex Stein, I don't think this has anything to do with Palestinian deportations. The far left is trying to make it look that way because they fear the law might (indirectly) affect them, since it refers to entry in Israel of Western pro-Palestinian foreign activists to Jerusalem.
What has happened so far is that many foreigners get a visa for the Palestinian-ruled West Bank based on work permits from there, as English editors or English teachers for example.
They get in, then almost immediately slip into Israel, where they have no Israeli entry visa nor work permit.As far as Israel is concerned, they entered the country illegally -infiltrated through the border.
Understandably, the far left are very worried since those foreigners make the bulk of their protesters in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan or Bil'in, not the Palestinians or the Israelis.These Westerners will now be required to obtain an Israeli permit to enter Israel.
They are hoping by clamoring "mass deportation of Palestinians" that they can stir world public opinion who will then pressure Israel so that they rescind that law.
I don't know if this could also affect the Darfurians and Sudanese infiltrating the southern border since they are supposed to have refugee status.

Indeed reading far-left sites such as Hamoqed can be confusing: the reason for that is that once they have explained to the world that Israel is an partheid country, they must suppress all and any reference to the contrary in their own articles, either by omitting the fact that there is an autonomous Palestinian government in the West Bank and in Gaza - and just call it West Bank, or - the case of some Human rights organizations - call Palestinian-ruled West Bank and Palestinian- ruled Gaza IOT (Israeli occupied territories). hence the confusion for those who have the faacts.

Victor said...

I don't know very much about this order. I tried reading a few articles on it, which did little to clarify precisely what the order is and what ground it covers, to little avail.

What I can say, is that I am fully in favor of deporting internationals (the ISM types) who instigate mobs and inflame tensions. I know these people; without Israel they're just a bunch of misfits. The last ISM'er I know who got deported from the territories ended up in a nudist colony in Pennsylvania, pregnant within 3 months and scraping for a living somewhere in Tennessee right now. Israel couldn't be furthest from her mind, and she's better for it.

As for Palestinians, I'm surprised deportation, particularly for violent offenses, are not more prevalent. After 5, 10, 15 years, individuals incarcerated for terrorist acts are released back into Palestinian society. Why? They've clearly demonstrated an inability to engage in peaceful political discourse. At the very least if they reoffend deportation should be considered.

Why incarcerate them in the first place, on the public dime? Israeli prisons are like a graduate school for Palestinian "activists". Why not just deport to Jordan? Make it a three strikes rule, with clearly delineated activities. Throw a molotov cocktail? Strike one, etc.

As for "repression", give me a break. First, the territories are progressively less under Israeli control than they've ever been. In the 1980s Palestinians were arrested for handing out PLO leaflets, participating in the Israeli boycott in the territories or flying the Palestinian flag. Talk about counterproductive. Now that's repressive.

Getting kicked out of the country because you're an exceptionally bad troublemaker? That's just commons sense.

This Is Hell said...

John "Juan" Cole has already picked up on this and blathered all over Salon.com. The curious thing is that no one seems to be able to source this.

NormanF said...

The order merely clarifies who is allowed to be legally present in Judea and Samaria. It does not say every one can be deported without trial. What Haaretz and the international media are saying is untrue. Israel had of course deported terrorists but has not revived the practice since the 1990s since no country will take them.

Sylvia said...

Indeed Norman the "mass deportation of Palestinians" in Hess article is only her own interpretation. I imagine it will also cover migrant workers who overstayed as well as Palestinians with a Palestinian ID without a permit to work in Israel.
Meanwhile, this made it all the way to the Arab Emirates and Sala Fayyad is protesting the planned "mass deportation" of Palestinians. The useful idiots, Silverstein, Mondoweiss will soon grab it if they haven't already.

The harm is done, whether or not there will be a correction.

A clever diversion from Haaretz' troubles.

AKUS said...

I doubt that any significant number of palestinians will be expelled as a result of this order.

What i hope will happen s that all the meddling outsiders - ISM and their ilk - will be given the honorable order of the boot. That will do a lot for peace.

Dimitry Papkov said...

Not exactly what it is purported to be
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/04/israel-is-not-deporting-tens-of.html

I'd say people should be happy here, but I digress...

Yaacov said...

Nice, Dimitry. I'll put the link in a post.