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.