Ship of Fools: Like the Jews in 1930s Germany, Palestinians are scrambling to get out.
I was chatting with a friend whose parents had immigrated to Berkeley from East Jerusalem many years ago. "The Zionists are making things so miserable for Palestinians in Israel these days that it's beginning to be a matter of immigrate or die," he said. "But where are they to go? Jordan won't take them." Then he laughed. "Maybe George Bush will take them at his ranch in Texas!" Yeah right.
Then an Israeli friend of mine told me, "This Gaza invasion is nothing new. They've been planning different ways to get rid of Palestinians for the last 50 years. Go to Israel yourself. Check it out. There are now thousands -- if not hundreds of thousands -- of upscale rent-free Israeli condos built on land that used to be owned by Palestinians." And all these free deluxe condos are paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
I wish they'd buy ME a condo!
"Currently, in the section of East Jerusalem mostly inhabited by Arab-Israelis, there are TEN THOUSAND home demolition orders that have already been issued for Arab-Israeli homes," continued my friend. "And the only thing that keeps the Israelis from destroying these 10,000 homes is their lack of trained bulldozer drivers." But they are training them as fast as they can.
Then I read Mike Whitney's recent article in OpEd News. "In the minds of Ehud Olmert and the Israeli leadership, the invasion of Gaza is a 'positive policy' which will 'induce' vast numbers of Palestinians to leave," wrote Whitney. "The humanitarian crisis they are precipitating is not seen as a disaster, but an opportunity. Every Palestinian who is driven from his homeland by grinding poverty, racism or violence, provides another inch or two of ground for Israel to claim as its own."
Olmert has a plan here. "And," states Whitney, "when the unilateral borders are set and Israel owns everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, Olmert will finally realize his dream of 'Greater Israel'. The rivers of blood that have fed that vision will mean nothing,"
Okay. So we got grinding poverty, seized homes and rivers of blood. That should induce Palestinians to leave -- just as Hitler's policy toward the Jews in 1930s Germany induced them to try to leave too. And, like the Jews in Hitler's 1930s Germany, Palestinians are asking themselves the same question. "Where can we go?"
For Palestinians, finding a new homeland is like a scene from that old movie about Jewish German refugees. "Ship of Fools".
The United States refused to take many of the Jews fleeing Germany in the 1930s. And the United States refuses to open its doors to Palestinians fleeing Israel today. Egypt doesn't want the Palestinians either. Who will take them? Iceland? Botswana? Haiti?
I'll take them. I have a spare bedroom! Twenty years from now, I don't want people accusing me of being a Nazi. "What did YOU do to help the Palestinians during the Holocaust, Grandma?"
"Well, you know your Uncle Moussa? He's not really your uncle...." He's someone I rescued from off the Ship of Fools.