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Transfer vs. Separation: Kahanist in Reverse
by Ariel Natan Pasko
17 March 2004Israeli Flag

Yitzhak Rabin was a "Kahanist in Reverse," and so too is Ariel Sharon today.


Yitzhak Rabin was a Kahanist. I said it in 1994 and 1995, and I'm saying it again. You know terminology is a funny thing; you have to understand the real meaning of what a person says, the words he uses, to truly understand the ideas they intend to convey. So I repeat myself for clarity...

Rabin was a "Kahanist in Reverse" and so too is Ariel Sharon today.

So are both Yossis, Yossi Sarid and Yossi Beilin, Peace Now and Gush Shalom, they all want to get rid of the "Palestinians." After twenty years, they've finally agreed with the "demographic threat" that Rabbi Meir Kahane warned about. The only difference is that where Rabbi Meir Kahane, his followers, and the current transferists on the Right, like Rabbi Benny Elon and the Moledet/National Union Party, want to "Transfer" the Arabs out of the Land of Israel and "Transfer" full control of the Land to the Jews; Yitzhak Rabin, his followers, and the current separationists like the Labor Party, both Yossis et al and their Yahad Party and others on the Left, want to "Transfer" Jews out of parts of the Land of Israel and "Transfer" parts of the Land to Arab control.

Today we can add Sharon and parts of the Likud Party, along with -- so-called Centrist -- Shinui, who want to "Transfer" Jews out of Gaza -- they call it "Disengagement" -- to the list of "Kahanists in Reverse."

It's a funny thing about terminology; Rabbi Meir Kahane never used the term "Transfer." He always spoke of "Havdalah," that is "Separation," between the Jews and the Arabs in the Land of Israel. The Jews would stay. The Arabs would go, voluntarily or otherwise. Interestingly, Rabbi Kahane always said he wished the Arabs a good life, somewhere else, just not in "his" country.

Then he was banned from running in the 1988 Knesset elections.
 
But a new political party (Moledet-Homeland) was started by former Palmachnik (like Rabin) reserve general Rechavam "Gandhi" Ze'evi. Ze'evi revived an older terminology, not "Separation" but "Transfer." Moledet's 1988 election campaign slogan was, "Us here, them there." "Transfer M'Ratzon," i.e. voluntary transfer, became the new terminology. Moledet wasn't banned from the elections and they won one seat.

Gandhi effectively revived the concept of population transfer and injected it back into Israeli politics. Population transfer had been used to solve seemingly insurmountable national problems throughout the 20th century. Poles and Germans were transferred after World War II. Muslims and Hindus were transferred out of and into the new states of India and Pakistan in 1947-48. Many non-Jews and Jews had proposed population transfer as a solution to the Arab problem in Mandatory Palestine before the State of Israel's birth in 1948 (see Rabbi Dr. Chaim Simons' seminal work, "International Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895-1947: A Historical Survey," published by KTAV (1988), at: www.geocities.com/chaimsimons).

In 1990, an Arab terrorist murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane in NY. Effectively ending the political life of the "Separation" idea. Or, at least, that's the way it seemed.

Meanwhile, in 1990, after the Labor party withdrew from a national unity government constructed by Ariel Sharon, and led by Yitzhak Shamir and Likud; Gandhi and Moledet joined a right-wing government, bringing "Transfer" to the heart of power. But nothing was done to implement it.

Following the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, Yitzhak Shamir led an Israeli delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference.  Thus began the Madrid Process, which went nowhere. Pressure was mounting to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the "Palestinian Problem."  Yitzhak Rabin and the Left were elected in the 1992 Knesset elections promising a change.

Rabin promised not to speak with the PLO, just as Shamir had before him. It was still illegal to meet with members of a banned terrorist organization, the PLO. But behind the scenes, Shimon Peres' protégé Yossi Beilin -- once called Peres' poodle by Rabin -- was negotiating PLO recognition on the part of Israel, a "Peace Process," and an eventual Palestinian State. Whether Peres and Beilin foisted this "Process" on Rabin, or Rabin joyously embraced the idea, is a moot point, better left for academics to debate. But by September 13, 1993, Yitzhak Rabin found himself on the White House lawn signing away parts of the Jews' ancient homeland and shaking hands with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. Gaza and Jericho first became the new slogan.

Arafat returned to Gaza, the Palestinian Authority was established and Arafat was firmly in control. But terrorism didn't abate as Rabin had promised and soon Rabin began speaking of a new terminology, not "Transfer", but '"Separation." By 1994 "Separation" was revived, but not the "Separation" of Rabbi Kahane to remove the Arabs from the Land of Israel and end terror attacks; but "Transfer" of the Jews from Yesha -- Judea and Samaria -- the West Bank and Gaza, back into pre-1967 Israel, to "separate" from the Arabs.

Rabin was a Kahanist in Reverse...

The situation continued to deteriorate. Rabin was murdered in 1995. Bus bombings grew during Shimon Peres' short reign (1995-96). Binyamin Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister in 1996.  The "Peace Process" tripped, fell, and with Ehud Barak's election as Prime Minister in 1999, tried to stand up again. But Yasser Arafat shot it in the heart, in Sept. 2000. Rejecting Barak's overgenerous offer at Camp David II -- one the Palestinians will probably never get again -- Arafat declared the Oslo War against Israel in Sept. 2000. Soon after, Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel, in Feb. 2001.

With the outbreak of the Oslo War, the murder of Tourism Minister and Moledet leader Rechavam Ze'evi (Oct. 2001), and the increasing ferocity of Suicide Bombings, ideas in the Israeli body politic have crystallized. "Transfer" as a viable idea revived substantially, and "Separation," when a security fence is added to it, gained new momentum. And recently, Sharon too has adopted "Separation" as a policy. The Oslo War continues and, as they say, the rest is history.

After analyzing dozens of opinion polls over the last several years, the picture that emerges is that there is an approximately equal amount of support (high 30's- high 50's percent) both over time and with multiple ways of wording the survey questions, to "Transfer" Arabs or Jews (Separation-Disengagement) from parts of the Land of Israel. Temporary variances all depend on the wording of the survey questions and what's happening, in security terms, at any particular time. Both the Left and the Right advocate their policy of "Transfer" for the "sake of peace."

Those today who present "Separation" as a moderate centrist position -- or practical -- are really obfuscating "Transferists" -- against Jews -- are just as extreme as the "Transferists" who want "Separation" from the Arabs, by sending them somewhere else to live.

So I return again to my original claim. Rabin, Sharon, the Left and parts of the Right are Kahanists, but in reverse!

A true "Centrist" position would probably advocate co-existence, maybe even a bi-national state 'Isra-Stine' or 'Pala-Rael' or something. People like Meron Benvenisti -- researcher and former deputy mayor of Jerusalem under Teddy Kollek -- who was recently on Israel Television's "Politica" voicing his opposition to Yossi Beilin's "Geneva" plan. Why, you ask? Because Benvenisti said he has moved past solutions such as the Geneva Agreement. He said he now supports a bi-national state, meaning, no more Israel. Benvenisti said in reality there already is a bi-national state and since no agreement with the Palestinians seems to be able to satisfy their needs...

Not too many people from the Israeli Left or Right see a "Peaceful and Democratic" neighbor in the foreseeable future.  And, with anywhere from 40-80% of Palestinians (depending on the poll's wording), calling for continued violence against Jews, including suicide bombings; Palestinians don't seem to be ready for peaceful co-existence yet. That's why Sharon has begun pushing his "Disengagement" plan, i.e. "Transfer" the Jews from Gaza.

But, "Separation" without uprooting "settlements" -- Jewish towns -- as originally proposed, with only a fence, isn't real separation between the two groups, Jews and Arabs. So Sharon has enlarged the idea to include "Transfer" of Jews from their homes. And, what about Israeli Arabs? If Jews aren't allowed to live in "Palestine" -- maybe they should be, if there were peace -- shouldn't moral symmetry demand that Arabs, presently Israeli citizens, be repatriated to their homeland, the Palestinian State? Shouldn't Israeli Arabs be "Transferred" to Palestine, for the "Separation" to be complete? No Jews in Palestine, and no Arabs in Israel.

Partial "Transfer" -- only against Jews -- is a despicably racist policy.

You know terminology is a funny thing; it has a way of confusing people or covering up "true intent."  Whether it is "Transfer" or "Separation" or "Disengagement," used by the Left or by the Right, what seems clear to me is that no serious centrist position exists today. Extremism rules the day, and it's mostly against Jews.

So, I repeat myself. Rabin was a Kahanist in Reverse. So too is Sharon today. And Rabbi Kahane, he was a "Separationist." Isn't terminology funny?


Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. His articles can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko.

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