Many have learned over the last three months how Hamas and the Israeli right, and especially Benjamin Netanyahu, have a paradoxically symbiotic relationship. Arch-enemies and yet dependent on each other. It’s occurred to me in recent days how many of Israel’s fiercest critics have a comparable relationship with the many far-right extremists who make up Netanyahu’s current and, one hopes, final government. From the start of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, various members of the current coalition have opined or hoped that the carnage and destruction might be an opportunity to depopulate Gaza.
This kind of rhetoric comes in two basic forms. One is the simple fact that Gaza is a warzone with immense destruction. And civilians generally flee warzones. We saw it in Yugoslavia. In Syria. We see it in Ukraine. That’s what happens in wars and warzones. Civilians flee. But of course this history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict makes it totally different. So you have members of the Israeli far right saying, with perfect disingenuousness, why not let these poor people flee? It’s a humanitarian gesture. It’s helping them! Others barely even bother with this pretense of voluntary departure. It’s just an opportunity to get Gazans to leave.