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Israel Wants to Help Gazans Emigrate (Part 1)

23

From the Jerusalem Post:

Israel is actively encouraging the emigration of Palestinians from Gaza, a senior Israeli official told reporters accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his current trip to Ukraine.

According to various tweets from reporters on the trip, the official said that Jerusalem is in contact with other countries – including some in the Mideast – to see if they would be willing to absorb Gazan emigrants. The official noted that more than 35,000 Gazans left the area last year.

According to the official, Israel is willing to finance flights from an airport in the south for those who are interested in leaving. The official said so far no country has responded positively to accepting emigrants from Gaza.

According to an NPR report last month, between 35,000 to 40,000 people have left Gaza via Egypt since Egypt opened the Sinai-Gaza border in May 2018. Egypt reportedly allows a few hundred Gazans to cross the frontier each day.

According to these reports, some of those exiting Gaza via Egypt fly from Cairo to the Gulf. Others remain in Egypt, while some fly to Turkey and in the hope of smuggling their way into Greece, and from there to other European Union countries.

In offering to help Palestinians emigrate from Gaza, Israel is hoping to make it easier for some of the most discontented — the 70% of the Gazan young who are unemployed and who unsurprisingly are among the most violent participants in the Great March of Return – find new lives elsewhere. The thinking is that Gaza is akin to a pressure cooker that can be made to let off human steam. It is the young and unemployed who feel they have nothing to lose, and who are the most violent against Israel. Decreasing their numbers, by allowing and even encouraging them to leave for new lives abroad, is likely to calm things a bit. And should these emigrants find employment abroad, their remittances might help relatives at home, also contributing to lessen economic despair in Gaza. Contrary to Arab propaganda, Israel wants better economic conditions for the Palestinians in Gaza, believing that this moderates their desire to engage in violence. Finally, the more Palestinians leave Gaza, the smaller the potential demographic threat to Israel. Of course Hamas opposes the outflow of people from Gaza for the same reasons that the Israeli government wishes to promote it: Hamas recognizes both that unemployed, discontented young men are Hamas’s likeliest recruits, and that the more Palestinians in Gaza there are, the more effectively the demographic jihad against the hated Zionists can be waged.

So far, however, Israel has been unable to find any other country, either in Europe or among the Arab countries, to agree to take in these Palestinians from Gaza. Why should Europeans want to make more trouble for themselves by admitting such a volatile and menacing population, consisting largely of young, unskilled Muslim males, long inured to engaging in violence against Israel, in open warfare (the Gaza Wars), in Hamas-led terrorism, and in weekly riots by armed mobs (Molotov cocktails, grenades, incendiary kites) at Israel’s security fence. The Gazan Palestinians are also used to the internecine warfare between Hamas and Fatah, and the repression by Hamas of all those opposed to its rule. Gazan Palestinians would constitute both a security danger and a huge economic burden, if admitted into Europe. The security danger is obvious: these Muslim migrants would bring with them, undeclared in their mental baggage, anti-Infidel and, especially, virulently antisemitic attitudes. They have been raised in an environment where terrorists are lionized and Jews demonized. Such views do not disappear when they move to another country.

The economic burden on host countries would result from the need to supply these unskilled migrants with free or highly subsidized housing, free medical care, free education (including language training), unemployment benefits (even for those who were not previously employed), and family allowances for those who bring their families. If experience with other Muslim migrants in Europe is any guide, these Palestinians will be in no hurry to find jobs. And their rates of criminality will far exceed those of both the indigenous population and of other, non-Muslim migrants.

Arab states are similarly uneager to take in Palestinians. In the Gulf, they remember how hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Kuwait sided with the Iraqi invaders in 1990, and betrayed the country that had given them refuge. The Palestinians have overstayed their welcome in a half-dozen Arab countries, as in Lebanon, where they are seen to have tipped the scales against the Christians during the Lebanese civil war. More recently, they have supported  Hezbollah, which has become the strongest military force in Lebanon. In Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E., most Palestinians are seen as supporters of Hamas and thus of the Muslim Brotherhood, for Hamas is merely the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is both feared and hated by the governments in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. These countries are unlikely to want to take in any Palestinians from Gaza, though Egypt has allowed some Gazans to enter Egypt if they claim to be in transit to other countries. No Arab country knowingly wants to take in more Palestinians.

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